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Title: The Vitality of Mormonism: Brief Essays on Distinctive Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Author: James E. Talmage

Release date: October 23, 2014 [eBook #47182]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by the Mormon Texts Project (






One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church





The message of "Mormonism" is of summoning interest in the world today. People of serious mind are not satisfied with the unsupported generalization that it is naught but the outgrowth of delusion and error.

Fungi of fallacy, particularly in the field of modern religious systems, are of no such sturdy growth and wholesome fruitage as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has progressively manifested.

"Mormonism," mis-named though it be, stands for the principles of eternal truth as enunciated by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His duly commissioned Apostles and Prophets. The basis of "Mormonism" is fairly summarized in the following outline of facts and premises:

1. The eternal existence of a living personal God; and the preexistence and eternal duration of mankind as His literal offspring.

2. The placing of man upon the earth as an embodied spirit to undergo the experiences of an intermediate probation.

3. The transgression and fall of the first parents of the race, by which man became mortal, or in other words was doomed to suffer a separation of spirit and body through death.

4. The absolute need of a Redeemer, empowered to overcome death and thereby provide for a reunion of the spirits and bodies of mankind through a material resurrection from death to immortality.

5. The providing of a definite plan of salvation, by obedience to which man may obtain remission of his sins, and be enabled to advance by effort and righteous achievement throughout eternity.

6. The establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ in the "meridian of time," by the personal ministry and atoning death of the foreordained Redeemer and Savior of mankind, and the proclamation of His saving Gospel through the ministry of the Holy Priesthood during the apostolic period and for a season thereafter.

7. The general "falling away" from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by which the world degenerated into a state of apostasy, and the Holy Priesthood ceased to be operative in the organization of sects and churches designed and effected by the authority of man.

8. The restoration of the Gospel in the current age, and the reestablishment of the Church of Jesus Christ by the bestowal of the Holy Priesthood through Divine revelation.

9. The appointed mission of the restored Church of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof amongst all nations, in preparation for the near advent of our Savior Jesus Christ, who shall reign on earth as Lord and King.

The short essays following have been published at weekly intervals through two years; they number therefore one hundred and four. Concise rather than exhaustive treatment has been attempted. No apology is offered for reiteration of quotations or comment; repetition seemed preferable to the introduction of cross references.


Salt Lake City, Utah,

February 3, 1919.


1. The Mustard Seed and the Tree—Development, not Growth Alone

2. What the "Mormons" Believe—Their Articles of Faith

3. What's in a Name?—Is "Mormonism" Misunderstood because of Its Unpopular Title?

4. "Mormonism"—A Distinctive Religious System

5. Direct and Sure—The Church Bold yet Tolerant

6. Wheat and Weeds—Successive Apostasies from the Gospel

7. A New Dispensation—Authority by Restoration not Through Succession

8 Divine Command and Human Agency—The Church a Democracy

9. The Holy Trinity—Unity of the Godhead

10. Original Sin—Are All to Suffer from it Eternally?

11. The Cooperative Plan of Salvation—Christ Alone Cannot Save You

12. The Need of a Redeemer—Man Cannot Exalt Himself

13. Christ's Unique Status—As Redeemer and Savior of the World

14. Philosophy of the Atonement—Its Two-fold Effect

15. How Does Christ Save?—His Plan Combines Justice and Mercy

16. Heaven and Hell—Graded Conditions in the Hereafter

17. In the Realm of the Dead—Paradise—What of the Spirits in Prison?

18. Why Are They Baptized for the Dead?—Elijah the Prophet on the American Continent

19. Obedience is Heaven's First Law—Conditions of Citizenship in the Kingdom of God

20. The Devils Believe and Tremble—Faith not Mere Belief

21. The Voice of John the Baptist Again Heard—Repent Ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!

22. Arise and Wash Away Thy Sins—The Only Way

23. Are Babes to be Damned?—A Horrible Misconception

24. The Watery Grave—And the New Birth

25. The Baptism of Fire—Power of the Spirit

26. In the Name of God, Amen!—Authority of the Holy Priesthood Again Operative on Earth

27. For Time Only or for Eternity—Human Institutions and Divine Authority

28. Apostles and Prophets Necessary—The Primitive Church and the Church of Latter Days

29. When Darkness Covered the Earth—The Long Night of Apostasy

30. The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flee—Light of the Gospel Again Shines

31. The Beginning or the End—Ushering in of the Last Dispensation

32. A God of Miracles—Wonders Wrought by Devils

33. Is the Bible Sufficient?—Scriptures of Many Peoples

34. A Messenger—From the Presence of God

35. Scriptures of the American Continent—The Book of Mormon

36. By the Mouth of Witnesses—Shall the Truth be Established

37. Voices of the Dead—A Testimony from the Dust

38. A New Witness of the Christ—An Independent Scripture

39. When Christ Stood on American Soil—His Church Established Among the Ancient Americans

40. East and West in One Acclaim—That Jesus is the Christ

41. Sheep of Another Fold—Shepherds and Sheep-herders

42. From God to Man—Divine Communication in the Current Age

43. The Tragedy of Israel—A Nation Without a Country

44. The Gathering of the Tribes—Judah and Israel to Come into Their Own

45. America the Land of Zion—The Place of the New Jerusalem

46. The Coming of the Lord—The Consummation of the Ages

47. The Federation of the World—A Thousand Years of Peace

48. Thy Kingdom Come!—So Pray We Yet

49. Freedom to Worship God—Man's Divine Birthright

50. The Law of the Land—Should We Submit to It?

51. Church and State—Independent but Mutually Helpful

52. Religion of Daily Life—A Practical Test

53. America the Cradle of Liberty—No King to Rule in the Land

54. Democracy of American Origin—The Founding of an Ancient Republic

55. Perpetuity of American Nation—Assured by Prophecy

56. Law of the Tithe—The Lord's Revenue System

57. The United Order—No Longer Mine and Thine, but the Lord's and Ours

58. The Word of Wisdom—Sanctity of the Body

59. Unchastity the Dominant Evil—Infamy of a Double Standard of Virtue

60. Not Good for Man to be Alone—Companionship of the Sexes

61. Till Death Does You Part—Is there no Hope Beyond?

62. They Neither Marry—Nor Give in Marriage

63. Celestial Marriage—Eternal Relationship of the Sexes

64. There Was War in Heaven—Primeval Conflict over Satanic Autocracy

65. We Lived Before We Were Born—Our Primeval Childhood

66. Man is Eternal—Successive Stages of Existence

67. In the Lineage of Deity—Man's Divine Pedigree

68. Unending Advancement—Infinite Possibilities of Man's Estate

69. The Living and the Dead—Both to Hear the Gospel

70. God of the Living—All Live unto Him

71. Beyond the Grave—Repentance Possible even There

72. Opportunity Here and Hereafter—Free Agency and its Results

73. The Spirit World—Paradise and Hades

74. How Long Shall Hell Last?—The Duration of Punishment

75. Salvation and Exaltation—Advancement Worlds Without End

76. Deity as Exalted Humanity—Man is a God in Embryo

77. Be Ye Perfect—Is It Possible

78. The Glory of God is Intelligence—Knowledge is Power in Heaven as on Earth

79. When Ignorance is Sin—Opportunity Entails Accountability

80. Knowing and Doing—Knowledge May Help to Condemn or Save

81. Will Many or Few be Saved?—Our Place Beyond the Grave

82. The Graves Shall be Opened—And the Dead Shall Live

83. Resurrection of the Dead—When Shall it be?

84. Reaching After the Dead—"Lest We Forget"

85. The House of the Lord—Why do the Latter-day Saints Build Temples?

86. The Second Death—Spiritual Banishment Like unto the First

87. Antiquity of the Gospel—As Old as Adam

88. The Origin of Sacrifice—Coeval with the Race

89. Simplicity of the Gospel—None Need Err Therein

90. The Will or God—Though Opposed, Yet Eventually Supreme

91. God's Foreknowledge—Not a Determining Cause

92. Are Men Created Equal?—Individualism is Eternal

93. Ethics and Religion—A Distinction with a Difference

94. Religion Active and Passive—Effort Essential to Salvation

95. Remember the Sabbath Day—A Law unto Man from the Beginning

96. The Foolishness of God—And the Wisdom of Men

97. Freedom Through Obedience—Release from Autocracy of Sin

98. He Went and Washed—And Came Seeing

99. The Rod of Iron—A Dependable Support

100. Liar and Murderer—From the Beginning

101. On the Devil's Ground—Prisoners to Satan

102. What Doth It Profit a Man?—Worldly Gain—Eternal Loss

103. The Garden of God—And the Weeds of Human Culture

104. The Last Dispensation—Today is the Sum of all the Yesterdays


— 1 —


Development, Not Growth Alone

WHY does "Mormonism" persist? The question is perennial, while the fact implied therein commands increasing interest and concern.

Determined attempts were made to stifle the system at its birth, to destroy the mustard seed at the planting; and, paradoxically, in proportion as the actuality of its survival has become generally evident, the assumed certainty of its imminent decline has been the more confidently proclaimed. The fall of the spreading tree, whose branches afford unfailing food and shelter, has been predicted time and again, but never realized.

On the sixth day of April, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized as a body corporate at Fayette in the State of New York, with a membership of six persons. True, at that time a few times six had associated themselves more or less closely with the new religious movement; but, as the laws of the State specified six as the minimum required to form a religious corporation, only that number took part in the legal procedure. And they, save one, were relatively obscure.

The name of Joseph Smith had already been heard beyond his home district. He was at the time a subject of widening notoriety if not of enviable fame. The Book of Mormon, purporting to be a record of the aboriginal peoples of the Western Continent, had already been published. In reference to the title page of this work the appellation "Mormons" came to be fastened upon members of the Church.

Such a beginning as that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would seem to afford little ground of either hope or fear as to future developments. What was there to cause hostile concern over the voluntary association of six men and a few of their friends in an organization of openly expressed purpose, and that, the peaceful promulgation of what they verily believed to be the uplifting religion of life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Whatever may be the answer to the query, the fact that the Church met opposition, which for a long period was increasingly severe, is abundantly attested by history.[1]

Today the "Mormon" Church is known, by name at least, throughout the civilized world, as well as among most of the semi-cultured peoples in the remoter parts of the earth and on the islands of the sea. The six have increased to over half a million adherents.

The growth of the organization is apparent to even the poorly informed. But the Church has not only grown; it has developed. Between growth and development there is an essential difference; and not a few of the grave mistakes of men, even in every-day affairs—in business, in politics, in statesmanship—are traceable to our confusing and confounding the two. Growth alone is the result of accretion, the accumulation of material, the amassing of stuff. Development involves an extension of function, a gradation of efficiency, a passing from immaturity to maturity, from the seed to the fruiting tree.

Growth produces big things, and not only things of this sort but men. Between bigness and greatness, however, there is a distinction of kind. Growth is a measure of bulk, of quantity; it is specified as "so many" or "so much"; development is a gradation of quality; its terms are "so good" or "so bad." Our nation boasts a constantly increasing host of big men; the great men of the country may be more easily counted. And as with men so with institutions.

Dead things may grow, as witness the tiny salt crystal in its mother-brine—at first a microscopic cube, then a huge hexahedron limited only by the size of the container or other external conditions. Development, however, is the characteristic of life, to which mere growth is essentially secondary and subordinate.

The vital character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been evident from the first. "Mormonism" lives because it is healthy, normal and undeformed. In general, a healthy organism is assured of life, barring destruction from external violence or deprivation of physical necessities; whereas one that is abnormal and sickly is doomed to decline. Opposition to the Church, the pitiless maltreatment to which its people have been subjected, particularly in the earlier decades of its history, comprising mobbings, drivings, spoliation, scourgings, and assassination, have operated to strengthen the Church, body and soul. True, the heat of persecution has scorched and withered a few of the sickly plants, such as had little depth of sincerity; but the general effect has been to promote a fuller growth, and to make richer and more fertile the Garden of the Lord.

The Church has never experienced a distinctive period of reduced membership. Always the present has been the time of its highest achievement. In spite of persecution, some of which sprang from misplaced sincerity and zeal while much was born of ignorance and fanaticism, the strength of the institution, measured in terms of loyalty, devotion and unswerving adherence to the principles of the restored Gospel, has steadily increased.

It is a notable fact that its members are imbued with the testimony of certitude as to the genuineness of the Gospel they have espoused and the perpetuity of the Church. This has been a distinguishing feature from the beginning.

Apostasy from the organization is so rare as to be negligible. Excommunicants, who are deprived of their membership through failure to live up to the high standard of morality and duty required by the revealed law of the Church, while not numerous exceed by many fold those who voluntarily withdraw and affiliate with other religious bodies.

"Mormonism" is definite and incisive in its claims. It speaks to the world in no uncertain tone. Its voice is virile; its activities are strong. It presents an unbroken front and is unafraid. Its attitude is not hostile, though strongly aggressive. Its methods are those of reason and persuasion, coupled with a fearless affirmation of testimony as to the surpassing importance of its message, which message it labors to convey to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

It is not too much to affirm that the leaven of "Mormonism" is leavening the world and its theology. Every studious reader of recent commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, and of theological treatises in general, is aware of a surprising progressiveness in modern views of things spiritual, amounting in many instances to an abandonment of what were once regarded as the fundamentals of orthodoxy.

In the new theology "Mormonism" has pioneered the way.

In its early days the Church received the word of the Lord avouching the perpetuity of the organization. While no individual was promised that he should not fall away, and though the forfeiture of the Holy Spirit's companionship was specified as the sure and incalculable loss to all who wilfully persisted in sin, the blessed assurance was given that the Church of Jesus Christ was established for the last time, never to be destroyed, nor again driven from the earth through apostasy. Men may come and men may go, but the Church shall go on forever.

There has never been revision nor amendment in the fundamental law of the Church, and the only changes are those natural to development, expansion and adaptation to new conditions.

The world is full of sects and churches, and there is scarcely one that has not a counterpart in a revised or reformed or reorganized sect. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is no sect; it is an original creation, established upon the earth in this age as a restoration. There will never be a reformed or reorganized variant of this, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The faith of the people is no whit weakened because of their fewness. This very condition was foretold. Nearly six centuries before the Savior's birth, a Hebrew prophet on the Western Continent predicted the establishment of this Church in the last days, and testified of it, as he had seen in vision, that its members would be found in all parts of the earth, but that their numbers would be relatively small. See Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14.

"Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:14, also Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 14:14.)

The doors of the Church are open to all, rich and poor, learned and unlearned; and the pleading invitation to enter and become partakers of the blessings that pertain both to mortality and to the eternities beyond is freely extended—to you and yours and to everybody, near and afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.


1. See the author's "Story and Philosophy of 'Mormonism'," 136 pp., The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.

— 2 —


Their Articles of Faith

WHILE it may be impossible for any religious body to set forth in a brief statement all the distinguishing features of its doctrines and practise, it has become usual for churches to embody the fundamentals of their belief in condensed form as creeds. When asked for a concise presentation of the principal doctrines accepted by his people, Joseph Smith, through whose instrumentality the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established, responded with the Articles of Faith presented below. This was in the year 1841.

From the time of their first promulgation The Articles have been in force as an authorized statement of belief; and they were early adopted as such by the Church in general conference assembled.

The Articles of Faith

of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.


We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.


We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.


We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:—(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.


We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.


We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.


We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.


We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.


We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.


We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this [the American] continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.


We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.


We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.


We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul, we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.—Joseph Smith.

To most of these items many sects professing Christianity could confidently pledge allegiance; to many of them all Christian bodies subscribe. Belief in the existence and powers of the Holy Trinity, in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, in man's individual accountability for his acts, in the acceptance of sacred writ as the Word of God, in the rights of worship according to the dictates of conscience, in the moral virtues—these professions and beliefs are a common creed in the realm of present-day Christendom. There is no peculiarly "Mormon" interpretation, in the light of which these principles of faith and practise are viewed by the Latter-day Saints, except, perhaps, in a certain simplicity and literalness of acceptance.

The Articles of Faith are confessedly but an incomplete summary of doctrine, as the ninth of the series avers. The atmosphere of the Church is that of expectancy, of reverent waiting for further revelation of the Divine will and purpose.

"Mormonism" is alive, and therefore grows and develops with the years. It promulgates latter-day Scripture as well as the Holy Writ of centuries remote; and strict comparison demonstrates consistency and harmony in spirit and principle.

"Mormonism" affirms itself to be the embodiment of the essential requirements of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as proclaimed by the Master Himself, and by His duly ordained Apostles in the Primitive Church, and as taught and administered under Divine authority in the present dispensation. "Mormonism" is new only as a reestablishment, a restoration. It is the embodiment of the eternal Gospel, come again.[1]


1. For more detailed treatment see the author's "The Articles of Faith," 480 pp., The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.

— 3 —


Is "Mormonism" Misunderstood Because of Its Unpopular Title?

WHAT'S in a name? So asked one who has been called the chief of English bards; and hosts of thoughtful minds have been conscious of the same insistent query springing up as a conception original to each. Who but the superficial will venture to deny the influence of names? We are all subject to the witchery of bias and of prejudice for or against; and the odium or the good repute of a name ofttimes determines our provisional acceptance or rejection of that for which it stands.

Most of us are in the habit of putting up our knowledge in little packages, duly ticketed. These we stow away in more or less orderly fashion, and though we glance betimes at the label we are apt to forget what any one of the parcels really contains.

"Mormonism" is an unpopular name; the truths for which it stands, the principles which it embodies, are more readily believed in if left unlabeled.

It should be borne in mind that the term "Mormon" with its several variants was first applied by way of nickname to the people now so designated. But nicknames may be so sanctified by effort and achievement that they become titles of respect and profound significance. To this fact history lends definite and abundant testimony.

The term "Christian" was first applied as an epithet of contempt. You know how it was hurled in hatred and disdain at the disciples in Antioch. See Acts 11:26. Yet the followers of Christ accepted the name and hallowed it by sacrifice and righteous deeds; and today the world counts but one distinction greater than being called a Christian, and that is to be a Christian in fact.

The "Mormon" people do not resent the misnomer by which they are commonly known, and which has been put upon them by popular usage. They deplore, however, the possible misunderstanding that the Church to which they belong professes to be the church of Mormon. It should be known that Mormon was a man, a very distinguished and a very able man it is true, an eminent prophet and historian according to the record bearing his name, but a man nevertheless. The "Mormon" Church affirms itself to be in no sense the church of Mormon, nor the church of Joseph Smith, nor of Brigham Young, nor of any man other than the Savior and Redeemer of the race. The true name of this Church, the designation by which it is officially known is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This is an age of multitudinous sects, cults, and religious societies in general, and the number increases year by year. Strictly speaking a sect is a branch or offshoot of a primary institution, and in this sense numerous sects have arisen and others may arise, all professing something in common though differing in particulars ofttimes to the point of antagonism.

Most of the existing sects designate themselves as "churches" with a distinctive forename to each. As the term "church" in its ordinary and broad usage is a common possession, unprotected by letters patent or other guaranty of exclusiveness, its general employment as an alternative for "sects" or cognate nouns is no breach of law, order or custom.

Narrowing our consideration to that of churches professing Christianity, we meet the question as to whether there can be two or more diverse sects, opposed to each other in essentials of belief and practise, and both or all be in reality the Church of Jesus Christ. Can a church that is divided against itself, or a multitude of sects with discordant doctrines and conflicting claims to priestly authority, be one and all the same church, and that the Church of God?

The question has been answered by the churches themselves; and their emphatic reply in the negative is expressed in the names by which these organizations have chosen to be known. Some have elected to be called after the names of their founders or eminent promoters, as Lutherans, Calvinists, Wesleyans, Campbellites. Others proclaim by their self-chosen titles a preference for appellations denoting some descriptive feature of their plan of organization or governmental system, as Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational. Yet others attach so great significance to distinctive points of doctrine as to make that the mark of identity, such as Unitarian, Trinitarian, Universalist, Baptist.

None of us can consistently challenge the vested right of religious associations to choose their own names. Moreover, the designations of existing sects, with few exceptions, are self-explanatory, significantly expressive, and eminently appropriate. In general the names tell, as explicitly as any brief title could do, just what the respective sect, society or church professes to be.

Organizations planned and operated for individual and social betterment, whether known as churches or otherwise, are commendable institutions. Inasmuch as membership therein is a matter of personal choice, no objection should be raised against rules established by common consent or majority decision for the admission of new applicants or for the discipline of members, provided, of course, that such rules be administered without infringement upon the rights of outsiders.

But can any association of men, conceived and effected on human initiative, be anything other than an earthly institution, even though its aims be lofty and its activities the most praiseworthy?

The Church of Jesus Christ, as an institution both earthly and heavenly, that is to say having vital relation to mortal life and to eternity, cannot have been originated at human instance. That church is not the fruitage of man's planting, neither the offshoot of other and older institutions. The Church of Jesus Christ, therefore, is not, nor can it be, a sect.

The Book of Mormon affirms that the Lord Jesus Christ, shortly after His ascension in Judea, visited the early inhabitants of the Western Continent and established His Church amongst them. As He had done in Galilee, so in America. He chose and ordained Twelve Disciples, to whom He gave authority to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, which, as the Lord taught, are essential to salvation. He very clearly set forth that His Church was to be rightly named, as the following record attests.

The Twelve, whom He had commissioned to build up the Church, prayed for instruction, saying: "Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this Church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter." And the Resurrected Lord, there present in visible Person, answered them in this wise:

"Verily, verily I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing? Have they not read the Scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day. And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day. Therefore whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the Church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name, that He will bless the Church for my sake. And how be it my Church, save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name, then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man, then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name, then it is my Church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27.)

The members of the Church aver that the distinguishing features of their religious system, in short, the essentials of the philosophy of "Mormonism" are epitomized in the name of their organization—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If the name be used without Divine warrant, its assumption can not fail to be regarded as a sacrilege; if it has been authoritatively bestowed one need look no further for explanation of the vitality exhibited by the Church in so impressive a degree from the day of its organization to the present.

— 4 —


A Distinctive Religious System

IN the popular classification of religious bodies, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, if included at all, is generally given mention apart from churches and sectarian institutions in general. The segregation is eminently proper, for this Church is strictly unique.

No well informed commentator, no capable critic in either friendly or hostile mood, has classed "Mormonism" as the sectarian offspring of any mother church, nor as any mere variation of a preexisting body. No church on earth claims, acknowledges or admits any community of origin with the commonly known but mis-called "Mormon" Church. Nor does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assert any such relationship with other bodies.

At this point it is well to consider the fact that toleration in religious belief and practise is a fundamental tenet of "Mormonism." This is set forth in one of the formulated Articles of Faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

We demand no prerogatives, ask no privileges, beyond what we readily accede to be the common rights of mankind. Our distinctive teachings and the claims of the Church as to its commission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and administer the saving ordinances thereof, must be judged on their merits, and in the spirit of testimony, which we believe the honest-hearted inquirer may gain for himself in the course of unbiased investigation.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique in that it solemnly affirms to the world that the new dispensation, foretold in prophecy as a characteristic of the last days precedent to the second advent of Christ, is established, and that the Holy Priesthood, with all its ancient authority and power, has been restored to earth.

"Mormonism" affirms that such restoration was a necessity, inasmuch as mankind had fallen away from the Gospel of Christ during the dark ages of history, with the inevitable consequence that the Holy Priesthood had been taken from the earth, and authority to administer the essential and saving ordinances of the Gospel had been lost. The condition of spiritual darkness was foretold by prophets who lived prior to the meridian of time, as also by Jesus Christ while in the flesh, and by His Apostles, who were left to continue the ministry after the Lord's departure.

Furthermore, the fact of the great falling away or general apostasy is admitted, and indeed affirmed, by high ecclesiastical authority. Consider the forceful declaration of the Church of England, embodied in her official "Homily Against Peril of Idolatry," first published about the middle of the 16th century, and still in force as "appointed to be read in churches."

"So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom—an horrible and most dreadful thing to think—have been at once drowned in abominable idolatry; of all other vices most detested of God, and most damnable to man; and that by the space of eight hundred years and more."

Prophets of olden times were permitted to look beyond the black night of apostasy and to behold the glorious dawn of the restoration. John, the Apostle and Revelator, having seen the events in vision, wrote of the realization as then already attained:

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Rev. 14:6-7.)

We affirm the literal fulfilment of this gladsome promise through the ministration of angels in these latter days, by which the Holy Priesthood has been renewed to man. Thus, in 1823, an angelic personage ministered to Joseph Smith, and later delivered to the mortal prophet the ancient record from which the Book of Mormon has been translated. This record contains "the fulness of the everlasting Gospel" as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants of the Western Continent.

Then, on May 15, 1829, John the Baptist, who held the keys of the Lesser or Aaronic Priesthood in the earlier dispensation, appeared in his resurrected state and ordained Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to that order of Priesthood, comprising "the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins." (D&C 13.)

Later, the presiding three of the ancient Twelve Apostles ordained these men to the holy apostleship, conferring upon them the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood, which comprises all authority for the administration of the prescribed ordinances of the Gospel, and for the building up of the Church of Jesus Christ in the current dispensation, preparatory to the coming of the Christ to reign on earth.

This is the distinctive claim of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Being under Divine commission so to do, the Church proclaims these solemn truths, with full recognition of the individual rights of men to believe or disbelieve according to their choice.

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The Church Bold Yet Tolerant

THE establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was no experiment. Its actual organization as a body corporate was preceded by visitations of heavenly beings, by definite revelation, by prophecies as to the unfolding plan of the Divine purpose in these latter days, and by the publication of the Book of Mormon—a volume of Scripture which, though comprising the record of ancient peoples, was new to the modern world.

These and other heavenly manifestations, including the bestowal of the Holy Priesthood with its expressly defined authority and appointment to organize and build up the Church, were made through Joseph Smith, who at the time of the first visitation was a lad in his fifteenth year.

To the earnest student of this unprecedented series of events a certain dominant characteristic is apparent—the positiveness and certitude with which the successive avowals of the youthful prophet were set forth. From his testimony of the glorious theophany by which the dispensation of the fulness of times was inaugurated, down to his last inspired utterances immediately preceding his martyrdom, his doctrinal teachings, his affirmations and prophecies were unweakened by qualification or ambiguity.

Plain and unembellished by studied rhetoric or dramatic effect, his solemn averments were free from even the shadow of the tentative or provisional. He voiced his message fearlessly and in the strength of simplicity, with no restraining afterthought of opposition, ridicule or persecution.

True to the character of a real prophet, he gave out only as he received—line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. And behold, the precepts have arrayed themselves into a scriptural unity; the lines have fallen into order as verses of a revealed epic; and the little has grown to the fulness of the everlasting Gospel.

The mission of Joseph Smith and that of the Church he was instrumental in founding have from the first been before the world in their true colors. Though the unity of unalterable purpose and unchanging plan is impressively apparent, there is nothing in the latter-day Scripture that savors of policy or obscure intent.

Granted that the claims of the Church are bold ones, even strikingly so, and that some of them when first enunciated stood in disturbing contrast with certain theological dogmas long regarded as orthodox. Nevertheless, they were presented with an assurance such as only the certainty of their Divine source could justify or sufficiently explain.

In this age of free speech and liberty of conscience it is surely allowable to put forth views and publish affirmations relating to religious belief, even though the doctrines be opposed to earlier conceptions, provided the rights of men to accept or reject be duly respected. Consider the following instances of the solemn avowals made by Joseph Smith.

He declares that in answer to prayer, in the spring of 1820, he was visited by two Personages, in the form and likeness of perfect men and amidst light and glory indescribable, who were none other than God the Eternal Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; and that the former pointing to the latter said "This is my beloved Son, hear Him."

Then on September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni, who disclosed to him the depository of the ancient records from which the Book of Mormon has been since translated. Part of the angel's message on this occasion, as recorded in the words of the latter-day prophet, was "that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 89.)

Is it conceivable that an unschooled youth, of obscure parentage and humble surroundings, would venture to assert such future distinction without the assurance of unmistakable commission?

Another of Moroni's predictions is thus stated by Joseph Smith: "He informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation."

Furthermore, the angel cited Scripture from both the Old Testament and the New, relating to the gathering of Israel, vicarious work for the dead, and other characteristics of the last days, declaring that all these earlier prophecies were about to be fulfilled.

In 1832 a revelation was received by Joseph Smith definitely foretelling the civil war in this country, and specifying the defection of the State of South Carolina as the beginning. This portentous prediction followed: "The days will come that war will be poured out upon all nations," and that by bloodshed, famine, plagues, as well as by earthquakes and other destructive natural agencies, the inhabitants of the earth would be brought into mourning and humility.

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Successive Apostasies from the Gospel

"THE kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat." (Matt. 13:24-25.)

So hath it been from the beginning; so will it be until the end.

The Lord God gave commandment unto Adam, and straightway Satan countered with sophistry and falsehood disguised as half the truth. Adam preached the Gospel and administered its essential ordinances amongst his posterity; "And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 21.)

Thus, even during the lifetime of the first patriarch, many of his descendants fell into apostasy and denied the God with whom their great progenitor had talked face to face.

From Adam to Noah righteous men taught and testified of the truth, denounced sin and warned sinners; yet all the while Satan sowed assiduously the tares of wickedness in the hearts of men, and with such evil success that, excepting Noah and his household, the whole human family became corrupt. So awful was the condition that the floods came and swept the ungodly race from the earth; and their rebellious spirits passed into the state of duress, in which they remained until the way of repentance was opened to them anew by the ministry of the disembodied Christ over twenty-three centuries later. See 1 Peter 3:18-20.

As the children of men multiplied and nations developed after the Deluge, the wholesome plants of Divine truth struggled against the rank growth of error; therefore the Lord commanded Abraham to leave his idolatrous country and kindred, that through him and his posterity the saving powers of the Priesthood might be preserved among men. The tares of idolatry and its inseparable abominations grew apace. Even the harrowing experiences of Egyptian bondage failed to extirpate the weeds from Israel, though the fertilizing effect of humility under suffering did much to nurture and sustain the precious grain of the covenant.

At the time of the Exodus the Israelites constituted the few whom the Lord could call His own; and they had to undergo a disciplinary probation—a course of intensive and purifying cultivation, covering four decades in the wilderness—before they were deemed fit to enter the land of their inheritance. They were distinguished as Jehovah-worshipers, and as such stood apart from the more thoroughly apostate and degenerate world.

But even Israel's fields were full of tares; and the Lord mercifully suspended the fulness of the Gospel requirements, which, because of violation, would have been a means of condemnation; and the law of carnal commandments, generalized as the Mosaic Code, was given instead—as a schoolmaster, whose rigid insistence and compelling restraint, whose rod of correction would, in the course of centuries, prepare the covenant though recreant people for the reestablishment of the Gospel—as was effected through the personal ministry of the Redeemer. See Gal. 3:23-26.

Following the Messianic ministry and apostolic dispensation, another cloud of apostasy enveloped the world, and for well-nigh sixteen centuries held the race befogged in its clammy mists. In this murky and fetid atmosphere the weeds of superstition, unbelief and human dogma flourished as a dank tropical jungle, while belief in revealed truth survived only as a wilted growth amidst the prevalent insalubrity.

The last apostasy was general, alike on both hemispheres. For nearly two centuries after its establishment on the Western Continent, the Church of Jesus Christ flourished to the blessing of its members. Then followed disruption and apostasy, the bitter fruitage of sin; and so was fulfilled the saddening prophecy of Alma concerning the Nephites:

"Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct. Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief, and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities. Yea, I say unto you, that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge, yea, I say unto you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away, before this great iniquity shall come." (Book of Mormon, Alma 45.)

Following each of these epoch-marking declensions, from the Adamic to the current dispensation, there has come a period of revival, rejuvenescence, or as now witnessed, a definite restoration and reestablishment of the Church of Jesus Christ, by which the tares, though not yet rooted up to be burned, have been at least prevented from choking out the wheat.

The application of our Lord's parable of the wheat and the tares to the great falling away, or the last general apostasy, is thus shown in latter-day Scripture: "And after they [the Apostles of old] have fallen asleep, the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign, behold he soweth the tares; wherefore the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness." (D&C 86:3; compare Rev. 12:6, 14.)

But the day of the Church's exile is ended. In unostentatious triumph she has returned after enforced absence, and is established anew for the blessing of all who make themselves fit to be partakers of her bounty.

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Authority by Restoration Not Through Succession

TO act officially in affairs of government, to administer public laws and ordinances, a man must have been duly elected or appointed and must have qualified as the law provides. If there be but the shadow of doubt as to his legal competency, his acts, say as president, senator, governor, judge or mayor, are almost sure to be challenged; and, if his claims to authority be invalid, his so-called official acts are justly pronounced null and void, while the quondam pretender may be liable to severe penalty.

In like manner authority to administer the ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be definitely vested through personal conferment as the law of God prescribes.

"And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." (Heb. 5:4).

Aaron was called and set apart to the priestly office by revelation from God through Moses, and retributive punishment fell upon all who essayed to minister without authority in the priest's office. Consider the awful fate of Korah and his associates (Num. 16), the instance of Uzziah king of Judah (2 Chron. 26), and, in New Testament times, that of Sceva's sons (Acts 19), all of whom brought upon themselves condign penalty for blasphemously arrogating the right to officiate in the name of the Lord.

How great a lesson is writ for warning and guidance in the history of Saul, king of Israel. He had received his anointing under the hand of Samuel the prophet. On the eve of battle, when Samuel delayed his coming to offer sacrifices for victory, Saul presumptuously officiated at the altar, failing to realize that, king though he was, his royal authority did not empower him to serve even as a deacon in the household of God. His sacrilege was one of the principal causes that led to his rejection by the Lord.

While in the flesh Christ chose His Apostles and ordained them, bestowing upon them specific authority. Those who were afterward called through revelation, e. g., Matthias, Saul of Tarsus who came to be known as Paul the Apostle, Barnabas, and others, were ordained by those previously invested with the Holy Priesthood.

Elders, priests, bishops, teachers and deacons in the Primitive Church on the Eastern hemisphere were all similarly ordained; and so a succession was maintained until the Church, corrupted and apostate, was no longer worthy to be called the Church of Jesus Christ, because it was not; and the real Church, characterized by investiture of the Holy Priesthood, was lost to mankind.

When the Resurrected Lord established His Church on the Western Continent, He called and personally commissioned Twelve Disciples; and later, others were with equal definiteness and certainty called and ordained to priestly functions by revelation through those in authority; and this order continued in the West until, through transgression, the people became apostate and succession in the priesthood no longer obtained. See Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11 and later chapters.

There is but one church on the earth today claiming authority in the Holy Priesthood by direct succession from the Primitive Church; and surely none can consistently assert priestly powers by spontaneous origination. The rational interpretation of history reveals the literal fulfilment of ancient prophecy in the absolute loss of sacerdotal authority during the early centuries of the Christian Era; so that present-day claim to the Priesthood through unbroken succession from the Apostles of old rests upon arbitrary assertion only.

If a mother church be devoid of Divine commission in the Holy Priesthood, definitely and authoritatively vested, no sect springing from that parent institution can inherit the Priesthood.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints positively avers that it lays claim to no priestly authority through mortal succession reaching back to the Primitive Church of the East, nor by descent from the Nephite Church of Christ as established on the Western Continent.

To the contrary, this Church affirms the complete cessation of Divine commission in churchly organizations, and the consequent necessity of a restoration—a new dispensation from the heavens.

This Church disavows any and all derivation of appointment or commission, direct or implied, from other organizations, Catholic or Protestant, "established" or dissenting churches sects or parties. It defends the rights of all men, whether church members or not, to worship as they severally choose to do, and to believe in and advocate the genuineness of any sect or church to which they elect to belong; and, by the same principle of liberty, it claims the right to set forth its own professions and doctrines, the while bespeaking for these a dispassionate and prayerful consideration.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints avows that the Holy Priesthood has been restored to earth in the present age, by means and manner strictly in accord with prophecy; and that through direct bestowal from the heavens the authority to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, which are indispensable to individual salvation, is operative today in preparation for the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is near, as hath been predicted by the mouths of holy prophets and by the coming Lord Himself.

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The Church a Democracy

THE compound character of the name-title—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—has elicited inquiries from many thoughtful readers. Does the organization profess to be The Church of Jesus Christ, or The Church of the Latter-day Saints?

The answer is—both.

As we have already seen, our Lord designated the Church established by Himself in the meridian of time as "My Church," that is to say, His Church—The Church of Jesus Christ. And, as also shown, when the Savior ministered in the resurrected state to the ancient inhabitants of America, He established His Church amongst them, and particularly directed that the institution be called by His name as the only properly descriptive title. See Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27.

When the Church was reestablished upon earth through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith the prophet, in 1830, it was provisionally called the Church of Jesus Christ, in harmony with the principle and practise established by the Savior among the Nephites, and to express the Lord's specific designation of the latter-day body as "My Church."

The early revelations given to the Church contain frequent mention of common consent or the voice of the members, as essential in matters of administration. The following excerpts are illustrative:

"No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church."

"And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen." (D&C 20 and 26.)

After the people had been trained through the revealed word and by actual experience in the affairs of Church government, when they had learned the basal lesson that upon every member rests a measure of responsibility, and that in consistency and justice each is entitled to part and voice in the activities of the organized body, the Lord specified in the following manner the expanded and complete name by which the institution was to be known. He spoke by revelation directed to the High Council and "unto all the elders and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world. For thus shall my Church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (115:3-4).

The name thus conferred is a self-explanatory and exclusive title of distinction and authority. It is an epitome of the cardinal truths and of the philosophical basis of the system commonly called "Mormonism." Every prayer that is offered, every ordinance administered, every doctrine proclaimed by the Church, is voiced in the name of Him whose Church it is.

Nevertheless, as an association of human membership, as a working body having relation with the secular law, as a religious society claiming the rights of recognition and privilege common to all, it is the people's institution, for the operation of which, so far as such is dependent upon them, they are answerable to themselves, to the organization as a unit, and to God.

The plan of organization and government of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that of a theodemocracy, whose organic constitution has been revealed from heaven and is accepted by the members as their guide in faith, doctrine and practise.

The Church receives commandments through revelation, and when such are promulgated the assembled body takes action, voting to accept and to obey the same so far as the Divine direction calls for service.

Such a conception as that of the Church rejecting a Divine revelation is extreme, and suggests an improbable contingency. Nevertheless, individuals having membership in the Church may ignore or reject the commandments of God, and so exhibit the spirit of apostasy in a degree proportionate to their disaffection; but such declension by the Church in its entirety is neither to be supposed nor feared.

Adam had his agency, and chose to use it in disobeying the Lord's injunction. Of the commandment and the alternative we read: "And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; thou shalt not eat of it. Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 13-14.)

The same principle applies to persons and to the Church as a whole today. God has not established His Church to make of its members irresponsible automatons, nor to exact from them blind obedience. Albeit, blessed is the man who, while unable to fathom or comprehend in full the Divine purpose underlying commandment and law, has such faith as to obey. So did Adam in offering sacrifice, yet, when questioned as to the significance of his service, he answered with faith and assurance worthy the patriarch of the race: "I know not, save the Lord commanded me."

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Unity of the Godhead

"WE believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

So runs the first of the "Articles of Faith" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A similar asseveration of belief has place in most creeds or churches called Christian. The Scriptures affirm the existence of the Supreme Trinity, constituting the Godhead, the governing Council of the heavens and the earth.

The very name "Trinity" which is commonly current in the literature of Christian theology, connotes three distinct entities, and such we believe to be the scriptural signification and therefore expressive of the actual constitution of the Godhead. Three Personages are comprised, each designated by the exalted title "God", and each of whom has separately and individually revealed Himself to mankind; these are (1) God the Eternal Father, (2) God the Son, or Jesus Christ, and (3) God the Holy Ghost.

That the three are individually separate and distinct Personages is evidenced by such Scriptures as the following. As our Lord Jesus Christ emerged from the baptismal waters of Jordan, John, the officiating priest, recognized the visible sign of the Holy Ghost, while he saw before him the Christ with a tangible body of flesh and bones, and heard the voice of the Eternal Father saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:16, 17). The three Personages were there present, each manifesting Himself in a different manner to mortal sense, and plainly, each distinct from the others.

Again, in that last solemn interview with His apostles on the night of the betrayal, the Lord Jesus thus cheered with sublime assurance their sorrowful despair: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." (John 15:26.) Could the members of the Trinity be more definitely segregated? That the Comforter is the Holy Ghost is expressly set forth in the preceding chapter (John 14:26), and in that passage also the Father and the Son are as separately specified.

That the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ are individual Personages is clear from the very fact of the relationship expressed, for no being can be his own father or his own son. The numerous Scriptures in which Christ is shown as praying to His Father abundantly testify of Their distinct personality; and, furthermore, amidst the indescribable glory of our Lord's transfiguration, from out of the cloud came the voice of the Father, avowing again: "This is my beloved Son."

The individual members of the Holy Trinity are united in purpose, plan, and method. To conceive of disagreement, differences, or dissension among them would be to regard them as lacking in the attributes of perfection that characterize Godhood. But that this unity involves any merging of personality is nowhere attested in Scripture, and the mind is incapable of apprehending such a union.

In the course of His soulful High-Priestly prayer, Christ supplicated the Father in behalf of the Apostles, asking "that they may be one" as He and the Father were one (John 17:11). Surely the Lord did not intimate that He would have the Apostles lose their individuality and become one person; and indeed, He had long before assured them that at a time which is even yet future they "shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt. 19:28.)

Human knowledge concerning the attributes of God and the nature of the Godhead is such as has been revealed from the heavens. Divine revelation is the ultimate source of all we know of the being and personality of the Deity. Through revelation in ancient days God was made known to man—to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. And in the present age, after mankind had in great measure come to reject the plain and simple truths of a personal God and His actual Son Jesus Christ, such as the Scriptures affirm, the Father and the Son have revealed Themselves anew.

Joseph Smith has given us his solemn testimony that in the early spring of 1820, while engaged in solitary prayer, to which he had been impelled by scriptural admonition (James 1:5), he was visited by the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and that the Father, pointing to the Christ, spake, saying: "This is my beloved Son, hear Him."

In this wise was ushered in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, foretold by the Apostle of old (Eph. 1:10). In 1820 there was on earth one mortal who knew beyond all question that the human conception of Deity, as an incorporeal essence of something possessing neither form nor substance, is as devoid of truth in respect to both the Father and the Son as its statement in formulated creeds is incomprehensible.

Joseph Smith has proclaimed anew to the world the simple truth that the Eternal Father and His glorified Son Jesus Christ are in form and stature perfect Men; and that in Their physical likeness mankind has been created in the flesh.

— 10 —


Are All to Suffer from it Eternally?

"WE believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions."

Belief in original sin, with its dread incubus as a burden from which none can escape, has for ages cast its depressing shadow over the human heart and mind. Accepting as fact the account outlined in Genesis concerning the transgression of the parents of the race, every thoughtful reader must have wondered as to whether he is to suffer throughout this life and beyond for a deed in which he had no part, and for which, according to his natural conception of justice and right, he was not even indirectly responsible. If he assumes an affirmative answer to his honest query, he must have stood aghast at the seeming injustice of it all.

The Scriptures proclaim in definite terms the fact of individual responsibility, and as an indispensable consequence, the Free Agency of Man. Freedom to choose or reject and accountability for the choice go hand in hand. The word of Divine revelation made the matter plain very early in the history of mankind. To evil-hearted Cain the Lord said: "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." (Gen. 4:7.)

A knowledge of good and evil is essential to progress, and the school of experience in mortality has been provided for the acquirement of such knowledge. The Divine purpose was thus enunciated by an ancient Hebrew prophet:

"Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore man could not act for himself, save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. . .. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:16 and 27.)

And a later prophet voiced the eternal truth as addressed to his wayward fellows:

"And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free." (Book of Mormon, Helaman 14:30.)

But, many have asked how can man be regarded as free to choose right or wrong when he is predisposed to evil through the heritage of original sin bequeathed to him by Adam? Heredity at most is but tendency, not compulsion; and we have no warrant for doubt in the light of revealed truth concerning the inherent justice and mercy of God that every element of cause or inflicted tendency will be taken into righteous account in the judgment of each and every soul. The man who can intelligently ask or consider the question framed above shows his capability of distinguishing between good and evil, and can not consistently excuse himself for wilful wrongdoing.

Our first parents disobeyed the command of God by indulging in food unsuited to their condition; and, as a natural consequence, they suffered physical degeneracy, whereby bodily weakness, disease, and death came into the world. Their posterity have inherited the resultant ills, to all of which we now say flesh is heir; and it is true that these human imperfections came through disobedience, and are therefore the fruits of sin. But as to accountability for Adam's transgression, in all justice Adam alone must answer. The present fallen status of mankind, as expressed in our mortal condition, was inaugurated by Adam and Eve; but Divine justice forbids that we be accounted sinners solely because our parents transgressed.

Though the privations, the vicissitudes, and the unrelenting toil enforced by the state of mortal existence be part of our heritage from Adam, we are enriched thereby; for in just such conditions do we find opportunity to develop the powers of soul that shall enable us to overcome evil, to choose the good, and to win salvation and exaltation in the mansions of our Father.

If the expression "original sin" has any definite signification it must be taken to mean the transgression of our parents in Eden. We were not participators in that offense. We are not inheritors of original sin, though we be subjects of the consequences. The millions who have been slaughtered or have otherwise met death because of the greatest war in history, and those other and more millions of helpless dependents who have endured such agonies as to make of death a blessed relief, are all involved in the frightful results of the precipitation of war by their respective rulers; yet who can doubt that when a just accounting is called, those who brought about the carnage and the suffering shall be made to answer, not the irresponsible victims? And to everyone who has suffered blamelessly, He who notes even the sparrow's fall shall give full meed of recompense.

Why waste time and effort in bewailing what Adam did? Better is it to face like men the actual conditions of our existence and to meet the requirements of righteous living. From the effects of Adam's transgression full redemption is assured through the atonement wrought by Jesus Christ our Lord. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22.)

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Christ Alone Cannot Save You

"WE believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

In earlier articles of this series it has been shown that mortality is divinely provided as a means of schooling and test, whereby the spirit offspring of God may develop their powers and demonstrate their characters. Every one of us has been advanced from the unembodied or preexistent state to our present condition, in which the individual spirit is temporarily united with a body of flesh and bones. Yet this promotion to the mortal state is regarded by many as a degradation; and we are prone to bewail the fallen condition of the race as an unmitigated calamity. The Scriptures make plain the glorious truth that man may rise far above the plane upon which he existed before his birth in the flesh. We have stooped that we may conquer; we have been permitted to descend only that we may attain greater heights.

The transgression of our parents in Eden was foreseen, and the Divine plan provided a means of redemption. The Eternal Father, who is verily the Father of our spirits, well understood the diverse natures and varied capacities of His unembodied children; and it was plain to Him, even from the beginning, that in the school of mortal life some would succeed while others would fail; some would be faithful and others false; some would choose the good, others the evil; some would seek the way of life while others would follow the road to destruction. He foresaw that His commandments would be disobeyed and His law violated; and that men, shut out from His presence and left to themselves would sink rather than rise, would retrograde rather than advance, and would be lost to the heavens. It was plain to Him that death would enter the world, and that the possession of bodies by His children would be of brief individual duration.

A Redeemer was chosen, and that even before the foundation of the world. He, the first-born among all the spirit children of God, was to come to earth, clothed with the attributes of both Godhood and manhood, to teach men the saving principles of the eternal Gospel and so establish on earth the terms and conditions of salvation. In consummation of His mission, Christ gave up His life as a voluntary and vicarious sacrifice for the race. Through the Atonement wrought by Him the power of death has been overcome; for while all men must die, their resurrection is assured. The effect of Christ's Atonement upon the race is twofold:

1. The eventual resurrection of all men, whether righteous or wicked. This constitutes Redemption from the Fall, and, since the Fall came through individual transgression, in all justice relief therefrom must be made universal and unconditional.

2. The providing of a means whereby reparation may be made and forgiveness be obtained for individual sin. This constitutes Salvation, and is made available to all through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Between redemption from the power of death and salvation in the Kingdom of Heaven there is a vital difference. Man alone cannot save himself; Christ alone cannot save him. The plan of salvation is cooperative. The Atonement effected by the Lord Jesus Christ has opened the way; it is left to every man to enter therein and be saved or to turn aside and forfeit salvation. God will force no man either into heaven or into hell.

Jacob, a Nephite prophet, has given us a masterly summary of the results of our Lord's Atonement, both as to the universal redemption from death, and the conditions upon which individual salvation may be obtained:

"For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord; Wherefore it must needs be an infinite atonement; save it should be an infinite atonement, this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. . .. And it shall come to pass, that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God. . .. And he suffereth this, that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:6, 7, 15, 22-24).

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Man Cannot Exalt Himself

THE Scriptures inform us that, prior to his transgression in Eden, Adam held direct and personal communion with God; and that one of the immediate consequences of his fall, which was brought about through disobedience, was his forfeiture of that exalted association. He was shut out from the presence of God, and though he heard the Divine Voice he no longer was permitted to behold the Presence of the Lord. This banishment was to the man spiritual death; and its infliction brought into effect the predicted penalty, that in the day of his sin he would surely die. See Gen. 2:17; Pearl of Great Price, p. 14.

Through partaking of food unsuited to their condition and against which they had been specifically forewarned, the man and his wife became subject to physical degeneracy; and, eventually, as Satan the arch-tempter had foreseen, both the man and the woman had to suffer bodily death. Their offspring were directly affected by the hereditary enthralment, to which Abel fell a victim even during the life-time of his parents.

Death came into the world through sin; the imperfections and frailties incident to the mortal state are conducive to sin; and man is prone in an inexcusable degree to readily yield thereto. So general is sin operative in the world that the wise comment of the ancient preacher stands unchallenged: "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not." (Eccles. 7:20). And the admonitory precept given by John the Apostle has lost none of its inspired forcefulness with time: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8).

This sinful and fallen condition of mankind and the universal infliction of death are dominant elements of Satan's diabolical scheme to subdue the embodied spirits, whom he, as the rebellious son of the morning, had failed to draw to his standard in the conflict of primeval hosts. See Rev. 12:7-9; Isa. 14:12; also D&C 29:36-38 and 76:25-27. God provided a way by which His spirit-children would become embodied as a means of advancement; Satan introduced degeneracy and death in an attempt to thwart the Divine purpose.

Death may claim its victim in infancy or youth, in the period of life's prime or when the snows of age have settled heavily upon the venerable head; it may come through disease or accident, by violence, or as what we call the result of natural causes; but come it must, as Satan well knows; and in that knowledge lies his present though but temporary triumph. But the ways of God, as they ever have been and ever shall be, are infinitely more potent than the deepest designs of men or devils; and the Satanic machinations to make death perpetual and supreme were foreseen and provided against even before the first man had been clothed in flesh. The Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ was ordained to overcome death, and to provide a means of ransom from sin and consequent deliverance from the dominion of Satan.

As the natural and inevitable penalty incident to Adam's fall came upon the race through individual transgression, it would be manifestly unjust and therefore impossible as part of the Divine plan to make all men suffer the results thereof without provision for emancipation. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:12, 18). And further: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:21, 22; see further Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:11, 12).

Without assistance from some power superior to his own, fallen man would remain eternally in his state of spiritual banishment from the presence of God. He is tainted and defiled through sin; and though he must pass the gates of death, that change from the embodied to the disembodied state cannot consistently be regarded as a means of ransom from the effect of transgression. We find in Nature an analogy applicable to our present demonstration; though in its use the present writer claims no credit for originality.

The lifeless mineral, belonging to the lowest of the "three kingdoms," may grow big through accretion of substance, and may attain relative perfection of structure and form as in the crystal. But, though placed in the most favorable environment, no mineral particle unassisted by the power incident to life can become part of a living organism such as the plant. The living plant, however, may reach down to the mineral plane, and by absorption and assimilation make the mineral part of its own organic tissue. So the plant, though of itself utterly powerless to attain the yet higher plane of animal tissue, may be assimilated by the animal and become part thereof. And so with respect to either plant or animal substance becoming a constituent of human tissue.

So for the advancement of man from his present fallen state to the higher condition of spiritual life, a power greater than his own is requisite. Through the operation of laws obtaining in the spiritual world man may be reached and lifted; himself he cannot exalt. A Redeemer and Savior is essential to the accomplishment of the Father's plan, which is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Pearl of Great Price, p. 7); and that Redeemer and Savior is Jesus the Christ, beside whom there is and can be no other.

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As Redeemer and Savior of the World

TO hosts of earnest and thoughtful people, comprising many who devoutly believe in the efficacy of our Lord's atoning death as a means of redemption from death and salvation from sin, it is a matter of surpassing wonder that the sacrifice of a single life could be made an effective means of emancipation for mankind.

Scriptures ante-dating the Savior's earthly life plainly aver that the Atonement to be made by Him was to be a vicarious sacrifice, voluntary and love-inspired on His part, and universal in its application so far as human-kind would avail themselves of its beneficent means. These conditions were confirmed by the personal affirmations of the embodied Christ, and are attested by Scriptures post-dating the tragic consummation on Calvary.

The concept of vicarious service, in which one may act or officiate for and in behalf of another, is as old as the race. It is, however, fundamentally opposed to the unscriptural assumption that the merits of one man may be accounted to the cancellation of another's sins. Scriptures both ancient and modern, the traditions of the human family, the rites of altar sacrifice, and even the sacrileges of heathen idolatry involve the basal conception of vicarious atonement. This principle, of Divine establishment in its original and uncorrupted form, was revealed to Adam (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 19-20), who offered sacrifices in the similitude of the then future death of the Lamb of God, and was taught and practised by later prophets down to the time of Christ.

The Scriptures relieve us from the assumption that any ordinary mortal, by voluntarily giving up his life even as a martyr to the best of causes, could become a ransom for the sins of his fellows and a victor over death. Jesus Christ, though He lived and died as one of the human family, was of unique nature. Never has another such as He walked the earth. Christ was the only Being among all the embodied spirit-children of God suited to and acceptable as the great sacrifice of atonement, in these definite and distinct respects:

1. He was the One chosen and foreordained in the heavens to this specific service.

2. He was and is the Only Begotten of the Father in the body, and therefore the only Being ever born to earth who possessed in their fulness the inherent attributes of both Godhood and manhood.

3. He was and is the one and only sinless Man who has lived in mortality.

Concerning our Lord's foreordination as the Redeemer and Savior, He has given us personal testimony with which the utterances of prophets who lived before His birth and apostles who taught after His death are in harmony. Twenty-two centuries before the meridian of time, the then unembodied Christ revealed Himself to a Book of Mormon prophet, saying: "Behold I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold I am Jesus Christ." (Book of Mormon, Ether 3:14). Unto Moses the Father spake, saying: "Thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten, and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 2). These Scriptures are in accord with Peter's testimony of Christ as "a Lamb without blemish and without spot, who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world." (1 Peter 1:19-20).

As the Eternal Father's Only Begotten Son in the flesh, Christ possessed the inborn power to withstand death indefinitely, and this just as naturally as that He, being the offspring of a mortal mother, should derive the ability to die. Jesus Christ inherited through the operation of the natural law of heredity the physical, mental, and spiritual attributes of His parents—the Father immortal and glorified, the mother human. He could not be slain until His hour had come, the hour in which He would voluntarily give up His life, and permit His own decease as an act of will. How else are His definite asseverations concerning Himself to be construed? Consider for example this: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." (John 10:17-18). And further: "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." (John 5:26).

Christ died, not as other men have died or shall die, because of inability to escape death, but for a special purpose by voluntary surrender. Thus, the atoning sacrifice was no usual death of an ordinary man, but the decease of One who had the power to live. It was a sacrifice, indeed![1]

As a sinless Man Christ was exempt from the dominion of Satan; and was sublimely conscious of His own perfect probity. He challenged assailants with the pertinent demand "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" (John 8:46); and in the hour of His entrance into Gethsemane solemnly averred: "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." (John 14:30).

Had our Lord died as the result of Satan's power over Him through transgression, His death would have been but an individual experience, expiatory in no degree of any offenses but His own. His absolute freedom from spot or blemish of sin made Him eligible, His humility and willingness rendered Him acceptable as the propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the world. In these respects, as in that of His having life in Himself and therefore power over death, He was of a status absolutely unique among men. With this knowledge spake the ancient Hebrew prophet, saying: "As the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven, save it be this Jesus Christ of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:20).


1. For comprehensive treatment see the author's work "Jesus the Christ," 800 pp., The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Its Two-fold Effect

BELIEF in the efficacy of the death of Jesus Christ as a means of atonement, whereby redemption and salvation are made possible, is an essential feature of distinctively Christian religion. That belief if sustained by works constitutes faith in or acceptance of the Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God, and is supported by the Holy Scriptures of all ages. Nevertheless, to most of us, the fact of the Atonement is a great mystery.

Be it remembered that the effect of the Atonement is two-fold: (1) Redemption of the human race from physical death, which entered the world as a result of Adam's transgression; and (2) Salvation, whereby means of relief from the results of individual sin are provided.

Victory over death and the tomb became manifest in the resurrection of the crucified Christ. Of all who have lived in the flesh He was the first to come from the grave with spirit and body reunited, a resurrected, immortalized Soul. Justly, therefore, is He called "the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20); "the firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:18); and "the first begotten of the dead." (Rev. 1:5).

Immediately following our Lord's resurrection, "many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matt. 27:52-53).

We learn that in due time everyone who has lived and died on earth shall be resurrected, "they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:29). However, the order in which we shall be resurrected is determined by individual conditions of righteousness or guilt. (See 1 Cor. 15:23; Rev. 20:5-6.) A latter-day Scripture, describing the general resurrection of the just, incident to the approaching advent of Christ, embodies the Lord's declaration in these words: "The trump of God shall sound both long and loud, and shall say to the sleeping nations, Ye saints arise and live; ye sinners stay and sleep until I shall call again." (D&C 43:18).

The second effect of the Atonement makes salvation possible to all men through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel; and of these the following are fundamental: (1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It is evident that but for the Atonement accomplished by the Savior, there could be no resurrection from the dead (see Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:7-12); and advancement from the disembodied state would be impossible. And just as plainly the Scriptures declare that without the Atonement of Christ mankind would be left in their sins, without means of making amends therefor and receiving remission thereof.

We have learned but little of the eternal laws operative in the heavens; but that God's purposes are accomplished through and by law is beyond question. There can be no irregularity, inconsistency, arbitrariness or caprice in His doings, for such would mean injustice. Therefore, the Atonement must have been effected in accordance with law. The self-sacrificing life, the indescribable agony, and the voluntary death of One who had life in Himself with power to halt His torturers at any stage, and whom none could slay until He permitted, must have constituted compliance with the eternal law of justice, propitiation and expiation by which victory over sin and death could be and has been achieved. Through the mortal life and sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ the demands of justice have been fully met, and the way is opened for the lawful ministration of mercy so far as the effects of the Fall are concerned.

Sin, followed by death, came into the world through the transgression of one man. The entailment of mortality upon that man's posterity, with all its elements of a fallen state, is natural, we say, because we think we know something about heredity. Is it any more truly natural that one man's transgression should be of universal effect than that the redeeming and saving achievement of One, fully empowered and qualified for the work of atonement, should be of universal blessing? The ancient Apostles were explicit in answer. Thus spake Paul: "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:18). And further: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:5-6).

Christ, victor over sin and death, established His right to prescribe the conditions under which man may attain salvation, and these are summarized as obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. That the physical, mental, and spiritual agony preceding and accompanying the crucifixion was real and necessary to the accomplishment of His fore-appointed mission has been affirmed by the Christ in the current dispensation: "For behold I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I. Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit: and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparation unto the children of men. Wherefore, I command you again to repent." (D&C 19:16-20).

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His Plan Combines Justice and Mercy

THE results of the Atonement accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ comprise (1) universal deliverance from bodily death, that is to say the assured resurrection of all the dead, and (2) deliverance from the effects of individual sin.

It is but just that since death has been entailed upon the entire race through the act of our first parents, redemption therefrom should be likewise universal, without effort or sacrifice on our part. We shall each be resurrected from death, our disembodied spirits tabernacling again in their bodies of flesh and bones, whether we be relatively clean, or filthy from sin; but the time or order of our respective liberation from the grave will be determined by our state of righteousness or guilt. So the Scriptures aver. (See e. g. John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:23; Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:6-13; and D&C 88:96-102.)

Herein is a lawful adjustment between justice and mercy. We are mortal through no personal fault; we shall be made immortal without personal merit. Such is justice. And though many have committed crimes far more heinous than Adam's disobedience, even they shall eventually be absolved from their hereditary mortality. Such is mercy.

The Divine plan of salvation, made effective through the Atonement, is likewise of universal application, so that every man may become a beneficiary thereof; but that plan is not self-operative. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints summarizes the conditions in this wise:

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

"We believe that, through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

However great his moral weakness and sinful tendencies entailed by heredity, every responsible individual knows right from wrong, with some degree of conviction; and in the final judgment of that soul every element, whether of extenuation or crimination, will be taken into due account. Means of making amends for sin, and thereby establishing eligibility as fit subjects for remission or forgiveness, are freely offered to all men; but the prescribed conditions must be complied with or the incubus of sin can not be lifted.

Salvation is not to be had for the mere asking. It is too precious a pearl to be wantonly cast at the feet of the unrepentant and unregenerate who, heedless of its eternal worth, would fain tread it into the mire wherein they wallow. Christ's plan for saving the souls of men contemplates no universal and unconditional remission of sins. That would be justice travestied and mercy corrupted. So far as I am personally responsible for sin, I, and I alone am accountable. This is just. But though I make all material restitution possible to my brother whom I may have wronged, I cannot alone wipe the stain of guilt from my soul. To obtain remission from God whose laws I have violated, to be again reconciled to Him through expiation for my transgression, I am in dire need of help. That help is provided through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not left without hope; but on the contrary have the Divine assurance of possible emancipation. This is mercy, indeed.

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). So spake the Christ. The belief here specified must mean that active, vital, potent belief which we distinctively designate faith. A mere assent of the mind to any proposition, without application and action, remains a mental concept and nothing more. Our Lord's association of belief with baptism is proof that no empty or idle belief can avail to save. Genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ naturally leads to obedience to His commands; and the firstfruits of faith are embodied in repentance. None but the truly repentant believer is an acceptable subject for baptism.

Thus no man can consistently hope for salvation in the Kingdom of God except through the Atonement of Jesus Christ; and the Atonement is made operative for the remission of sins through individual compliance with the conditions explicitly set forth by "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." (Heb. 5:9). Christ's method of saving souls is that of providing definite means, which any one may accept or reject to his own eternal gain or loss.

Universal amnesty for crime may serve to increase crime. God's system of benevolence, which comprises and exceeds all that we call charity, consists in helping sinners to help themselves. Indiscriminate giving fosters pauperism in both the temporal and the spiritual sense. Man alone cannot save himself; and just as truly, Christ alone cannot save him. Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel is the price of salvation.

An ancient Hebrew prophet thus set forth in simplicity the plan of salvation dependent upon the Atonement of Christ:

"His blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died, not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned. But, wo, wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God; for salvation cometh to none such, except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ." (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:11-12).

In these latter days the Lord hath given this commandment unto the Church: "Thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior and remission of sins by baptism and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost." (D&C 19:31.)

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Graded Conditions in the Hereafter

THE destiny of souls in the hereafter is a subject of persistent interest and concern in human belief and speculation. Even pagan literature and the languages of heathendom testify to a general though ofttimes vague conception of two widely separated places or strongly contrasted states of future existence, which are in the main equivalent to the heaven and the hell of dogmatic theology.

The Holy Scriptures generalize the future estate of the righteous as heaven, and the opposite as hell, without giving warrant, however, for the belief that but two places or kingdoms are provided, to one or the other of which every soul is to be consigned according to the balance-sheet of his life's account, and perhaps on a very small margin of merit or guilt. Equally unscriptural is the inference that the state of the soul at death determines that soul's place and environment throughout eternity, forever deprived of opportunity of progression.

When left to his imagination, without the guidance of revelation, man conjures up a heaven and a hell to suit his fancy. Thus, to the mind of the savage, heaven is a hunting-ground with game a-plenty; to the carnal, heaven promises perpetual gratification of senses and passions; to the lover of truth and the devotee of righteousness, heaven is the assurance of limitless advancement in wisdom and achievement. And to each of these, hell is the eternal realization of deprivation, loss, disappointment and consequent anguish.

Divine revelation is the only source of sure knowledge as to what awaits man beyond the grave, and from this we learn that at death the spirits of all men pass to an intermediate state, in which they associate with their kind, the good with the good, the wicked with the wicked, and so shall endure in happiness or awful suspense until the time appointed for their resurrection. Paradise is the dwelling place of relatively righteous spirits awaiting the glorious dawn of the resurrection. The final judgment, at which all men shall appear before the bar of God, is to follow their resurrection from the dead. We shall stand in our resurrected bodies of flesh and bones to receive from Jesus Christ, who shall judge the world, the sentence we individually merit, whether it be "Come ye blessed of my Father" or "Depart from me ye cursed." (See Matt. 25:31-46.)

In His solemn discourse to the Apostles immediately prior to the betrayal our Lord sought to cheer their saddened hearts with the assurance, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2, 3.)

Here is conclusive proof of varied conditions in the world beyond; and the teachings of Paul are incisive as to the state of resurrected souls: "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead." (1 Cor. 15:40-42.)

Latter-day revelation avers even more explicitly the fact of numerous and graded states provided for the souls of men. There is a Celestial Kingdom, into which shall enter all who have won not alone Salvation, but Exaltation. And who are these blessed ones?

"They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given; that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit." (D&C, 76).

Next in order is the Terrestrial Kingdom, in which shall be saved those who, though honorable according to the codes of men, have failed in valiant and aggressive service in the cause of God, and also those who have died in ignorance of the prescribed "laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

"Behold, these are they who died without law, and also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men."

Yet lower is the Telestial Kingdom, and of its inhabitants we read:

"These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus. These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit. These are they who are thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil, until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb shall have finished his work. . . . But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the sea shore."

Far below the lowest of these kingdoms of glory is the fate or state decreed for the souls who have sinned in the full light of knowledge and with conscious guilt, those who having received the testimony of Christ have ruthlessly and wantonly denied it in the interest of temporary gain or gratification, who have fallen so far in transgression as to be known by the awful name "sons of perdition," for whom no forgiveness is promised. (See D&C, 76:32-38).

Thus is it provided that every soul shall inherit according to his deserts under the inviolable laws of God. Salvation is relative. He who attains the Telestial state is saved from the fate of utter Perdition; he who wins a place in the Terrestrial is raised above the lesser glory; and those who merit exaltation in the Celestial kingdom are supremely blessed, for they shall dwell and serve with God and His Christ eternally.

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Paradise—What of the Spirits in Prison?

"WE believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

No limitation is here expressed with respect to the living or the dead. Who are the living but the few just now tabernacled in mortal bodies destined sooner or later to die? Who are the dead but the uncounted myriads who once lived in the flesh and have already passed to the world of the disembodied? If the Atonement accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ be a means of salvation to the few only who constituted the living during some specific period, or even to all who have heard and accepted the Gospel while in the body, the sacrifice made by the Son of God becomes of limited and small effect. The sure word of Scripture declares otherwise.

Christ affirmed that His mission as the Redeemer and Savior of the race extended beyond the grave. Consider the profound significance of His words: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. . . . Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:25-29).

Jesus Christ died upon the cross in the literal sense in which all men die. While the corpse lay in the rock-hewn sepulchre the immortal Christ existed as a disembodied Spirit. Where was He, and what were His activities in the interval between His death on Calvary and His emergence from the tomb with spirit and body reunited—a resurrected Soul? The most natural assumption is that He went where the spirits of the dead ordinarily go; and that in the sense in which He had been while in the flesh a Man among men, He was during the period of disembodiment a Spirit among spirits. The Scriptures confirm this conception as true.

While in the bodiless state our Lord ministered among the departed, both in Paradise and in the prison realm where dwelt in a state of durance the spirits of the disobedient. To this effect testified Peter: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison." (1 Peter 3:18, 19).

And further: "For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6).

One of the two condemned malefactors crucified by our Lord's side reviled Him; the other, who was penitent, supplicated the dying Christ saying: "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom"; and to this appeal the Lord replied with the blessed assurance: "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:42, 43).

The spirit of Jesus and that of the repentant sinner left their crucified bodies and went to the same place in the spirit world. But neither of them at that time went to Heaven, the abode of the Eternal Father; for, on the third day following, Jesus, then a resurrected Being, positively stated to the weeping Magdalene: "I am not yet ascended to my Father," and added as to an event then future, "but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17).

Christ and the contrite thief went to Paradise; but Paradise is not the distinctive abode of God. To infer that the crucified transgressor was saved by his dying confession, and was granted a special passport to Heaven with sins unexpiated and without his compliance with "the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" is to disregard both letter and spirit of Scripture, and to ignore both reason and the sense of justice. We find here no warrant for belief in the efficacy of death-bed confession as a means of grace. Only through individual faith, repentance, and works can remission of sins be obtained. The dying malefactor who won from the Christ the comforting promise of a place in Paradise had manifested both faith and repentance. The blessing promised him was to the effect that he should that day hear the Gospel preached in Paradise. In the acceptance or rejection of the message of salvation he would be left an agent unto himself. The requirement of obedience to "the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" was not waived, suspended, or superseded in his case, nor shall it be for any soul.

For the dead who have lived and died in ignorance of the requirements of salvation, as, in another sense, for the disobedient who later come to repentance, the plan of God provides for the vicarious administration of the essential ordinances to the living posterity in behalf of their dead progenitors. Of this saving labor Malachi prophesied in solemn plainness (Malachi 4:5, 6); and the glorious fulfilment has been witnessed in this modern age. The great Temples reared by the Latter-day Saints are maintained in large part for the service of the living in behalf of the dead.

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Elijah the Prophet on the American Continent

IN one of his letters to the Corinthians, Paul the Apostle discusses the resurrection of the dead, which was a subject of contention at the time of his writing. Having shown that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind shall be eventually redeemed from bodily death, the scholarly Apostle asks: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1 Cor. 15:29). As the question is put by way of finality and climax to the preceding argument and is without explanatory comment, we must conclude that the subject involved no new or strange doctrine; but to the contrary that the people both understood and practised the ordinance of vicarious baptism by the living in behalf of the dead.

To Nicodemus our Lord declared in such plainness as to preclude dispute: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5). That this new birth comprises water baptism by immersion, as was at that time being administered by John the Baptist, and the higher baptism of the Spirit, which Christ Himself came to give, is evident from the scriptural context. Note the incisiveness of our Lord's affirmation that without baptism man cannot enter the kingdom of God. No distinction is made, no exceptions are implied. The indispensable condition is applicable to all men whether living or dead.

Nicodemus, though a scholar and a master in Israel, failed to understand the full import of our Lord's words, and in seeming bewilderment asked: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (Verse 4).

With at least equal pertinency it may now be asked: How can a man who has died without baptism be baptized? Can he enter the second time into his body of flesh and be immersed in water? The answer is that the living may be baptized for the dead. No one who accepts as a reality the Atonement of Jesus Christ in behalf of all humankind can consistently deny the efficacy of vicarious service, in which one person officiates in behalf of another, provided of course that the labor be done by Divine appointment.

In the last chapter of the Old Testament the prophet Malachi describes a condition of the last days immediately precedent to the second advent of the Christ: "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." (Malachi 4:1).

This fateful prediction is followed by the blessed promise, expressed in the words of Jehovah: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Verses 5, 6).

Joseph Smith the modern prophet solemnly affirms that in 1836 Elijah the prophet of ancient Israel appeared in the Temple that had been erected by the Latter-day Saints at Kirtland, Ohio, and effected the fulfilment of Malachi's prediction by this declaration: "Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that he (Elijah) should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse." (D&C, 110:14-15).

This union of the interests of the departed fathers with those of their yet living descendants is a necessary preparation for the coming of the Lord, as affirmed by Joseph Smith: "The earth will be smitten with a curse, unless there is a welding link of some kind or other, between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other, and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect." (D. C. 128:18).

The Latter-day Saints are distinguished as a Temple-building people. Through direct revelation the Lord has made plain that baptism and associated ordinances for the dead, as also certain endowments of the living, are acceptable only when administered in structures specially reared and consecrated for this sacred service.

In the spirit realm, as in our material world of mortals, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached; and among both dead and living the authoritative proclamation is made: Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. To be competent to officiate for his dead, a man must first comply with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel in his own behalf.

There is an element of particular fitness in the fact that the appointed minister, through whom the vicarious service of the living in behalf of the dead has been inaugurated in the current dispensation, is none other than Elijah, who was taken from earth without passing through the change we call death, and who therefore held a peculiar and special relationship to both the living and the dead.

True to the commission conferred through Elijah's modern ministry, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rears Temples to the name and service of the living God, and in those sacred structures carries forward the appointed service for the salvation of the uncounted dead who have passed away in ignorance as to the necessity of compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, without which compliance no man can have place in the Kingdom of God.

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Conditions of Citizenship in the Kingdom of God

WE believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. (Articles of Faith, 3).

Pope's famous line, "Order is Heaven's first law," has often been misapplied. Order is a result of compliance with established requirements; of necessity, therefore, it cannot be first. It is an effect, not the primary cause. A more thoughtful generalization leads to the conclusion that obedience is the basal law of Heaven, and that this law is equally valid and as truly operative in things pertaining to mortality.

Jesus Christ, through whom the plan of salvation has been made available to mankind, has prescribed the conditions under which we may become its beneficiaries—the terms by which citizenship in the Kingdom of God may be secured.

Among these specified conditions is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. The gross materialist, who wilfully refuses to see or to acknowledge anything beyond the affairs of earth, may ask: How can water wash away sin? In answer be it said, water cannot remove the stain of guilt; nevertheless, obedience to the law of baptism as required by Jesus Christ is truly a means of securing forgiveness. Obedience, not water, is the cleansing unction.

Have you never read of Naaman, captain of the Syrian hosts, who sought relief from his leprosy through the ministration of Elisha, the man of God? Read 2 Kings, chap. 5. The prophet commanded the leper to wash himself seven times in Jordan, and promised that through obedience the man would be cleansed. But the haughty Syrian was offended at the simplicity of the requirement. He had expected some ceremonial spectacle of power, a display of miracle. But by the counsel of his servant he went "and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." The waters of Jordan had no special virtues of healing, but obedience effected a cure from the leprous affliction, which was rightly regarded as at once a bodily disease and a curse.

And what of the widow, whose sons were to be sold into bondage because she could not pay her late husband's debt? Read 2 Kings 4:1-7. She came to Elisha in agony of soul; and the prophet told her to take the one little pot of oil in her house, and pour from it into as many vessels as she could borrow. With scrupulous care she complied with every detail of the instructions given her by the man of God, and the vessels were filled from the single cruse. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, "Go, sell the cil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."

Obedience is a source of power, even as is prayer. When the Jews marveled at the wisdom of Christ, He told them of a very simple yet effective way of obtaining, each for himself, knowledge of supreme worth. "My doctrine is not mine," said He, "but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:16, 17).

In every-day affairs we comply without question with the requirements essential to the results we desire. Electricity lights our homes, propels our vehicles, drives our machinery, transmits our messages, but only on condition that we obey to the minutest detail the laws by which that mystic force operates. We may cause the sunlight to record indelibly the beauties of the landscape, or the features of a friend, but only through obedience to the laws of light and the numerous mechanical adjustments incident to the use of the camera. And as we fully and unreservedly obey, the result is sure.

Why then should it be a thing strange in our eyes that through obedience to established and eternal law the higher or spiritual powers should be invoked to our service? The effect is equally sure. The Christ has given us solemn assurance: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16).

In the present age, the unalterable necessity of obedience as a means of blessing has been reaffirmed through the prophet Joseph Smith:

"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated; And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." (D&C 130:20, 21).

And further: "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (82:10).

There is no element of uncertainty in the plan of salvation, far less of inconsistency or caprice in the judgment to be rendered on individual lives, for that would imply injustice. The plan is simple. Man is in a fallen condition, beset with weaknesses and sin. Means are provided whereby he may rise, and, through the corridors of death and the portals of the resurrection, reach the way of eternal progression. These means are all comprised in obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. It is only by compliance with the laws of our community and nation that we have title to personal liberty and to a share in the blessings and privileges provided by the government under which we live. Shall the terms of citizenship in the Kingdom of God be less definite than in the nations officered by men?

Divine authority for the naturalization of mankind in that eternal Kingdom has been restored to earth in the current age. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls upon all peoples, irrespective of race or nationality, to cultivate an abiding faith in God, to turn from sin in contrite and genuine repentance, to be baptized by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, and to receive the assured companionship of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands.

On the high authority of the Holy Scriptures, the direct word of God to man, be it said: There is no other road to Salvation.

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Faith Not Mere Belief

WE believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: (1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Articles of Faith, 4).

Faith in God is the first, the fundamental, the basal principle of the Gospel; as, indeed, faith, in the more general usage of the term, is the impelling cause to activity even in ordinary affairs. Faith and belief are not infrequently confused, and the words are too commonly regarded as synonymous. An approach to identity of meaning appears in early English, in consequence of which fact belief is sometimes given the more definite signification of faith in our versions of the Holy Scriptures. Belief may be nothing more than a mental assent to any proposition, principle, or alleged fact; whereas faith implies such confidence and conviction as shall inspire to action. Belief is by comparison passive, a mere agreement or tacit acceptance only; faith is active and positive, and is accompanied by works. Faith is vivified, vitalized, living belief.

Even the devils believe that Jesus is the Christ, and so fully that they tremble at the prospect of the fate foreshadowed by that belief (see James 2:19). Their belief may amount even to certain knowledge, but they remain devils nevertheless. Consider the man possessed by a demon in the country of the Gadarenes. When he beheld Jesus afar off he ran to the Master, and worshiped Him, while the evil spirit by whom the man was controlled acknowledged the Lord, calling Him "Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God." (Mark 5; for analogous instances see Mark 1:23-27, and 3:8-11).

Strikingly similar in form, yet vitally different in spirit and effect, is this testimony of the demons as compared with Peter's confession of his Lord. To the Savior's question "Whom say ye that I am?" Peter replied in practically the same words voiced by the unclean spirits: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt. 16:15, 16).

Peter's faith had already been tested, and had demonstrated its vital power. Through faith the Apostle had forsaken much that had been dear, and had followed his Lord in persecution and suffering. His knowledge of God as the Eternal Father and of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer may have been no greater than that of the demons; but while to them that knowledge was an added cause of condemnation, to him it was the power of righteous service and of eventual salvation.

In a theological sense faith includes a moving, vital, inspiring confidence in God, and the acceptance of His will as our law and of His words as our guide in life. Faith in God is a principle of power, for by its exercise spiritual forces are made operative. By this power phenomena that appear to be supernatural, such as we call miracles, are wrought. Even the Lord Jesus was influenced and in a measure controlled by the lack of faith or the possession thereof by those who sought blessings at His hands. We are told that at a certain time and place Jesus "could there do no mighty work" because of the people's unbelief, which was so dense that He marveled at it. (Mark 6:5, 6). Repeatedly did the Lord rebuke and admonish with such reproofs as "O ye of little faith," "Where is your faith?" and "How is it that ye have no faith?" In glorious contrast rang out His words of benediction to those whose faith had made it possible for Him to heal and to save: "Thy faith hath made thee whole" and "According to your faith be it unto you."

Read the record of the youthful demoniac whose agonized father brought his son to the Master, pleading pitiably "If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us." To this qualified intercession Jesus replied "If thou canst believe" and added "All things are possible to him that believeth." (Read Mark 9:14-29). The faith requisite to the healing was not that of the Healer alone, but primarily faith on the part of the suppliant.

If through faith Divine interposition may be secured to the accomplishment of what we call material or physical miracles, and of this the Scriptures contain copious testimony (read Hebrews, chap. 11), is it consistent to doubt that faith is the appointed agency for invoking and securing spiritual blessings, even to the attainment of salvation in the eternal worlds?

As shown in earlier articles, redemption from the power of death is assured to all through the victory achieved by Jesus Christ; but salvation is an individual gift, provided for all who shall establish claim thereto through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Faith in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and Savior of the race, and in the Holy Ghost, is essential to the securing of individual salvation. Paul forcefully declares "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb. 11:6).

The Scriptures abound in assurances of salvation to those who exercise faith in God. The Savior's teachings are conclusive:

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16).

And again:

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36).

But who will venture to affirm that passive belief as distinguished from active faith is here implied? Can a man be said to believe in Jesus Christ in any effective and genuine sense unless that man shall strive to do the things that Christ commands? To any such inconsistent assumption, the Apostle John replies:

"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." (1 John 2:3-5).

In a revelation through Joseph Smith in 1829 the Lord Jesus Christ gave this instruction and blessed promise:

"Ask the Father in my name, in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men." (D&C 18:18).

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Repent Ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

THE personal ministry of Jesus Christ in the flesh was directly heralded by the preaching of John the Baptist, whose voice was that of one crying in the wilderness: "Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The proclamation of the appointed harbinger was vindicated by the appearance of the Lord Himself, who came and opened the way of the Kingdom of God to all who would enter therein.

In these modern days that same John, now a resurrected personage, has again officiated on earth. In him was vested of old the authority of the Priesthood of Aaron. On the 15th of May, 1829, a heavenly messenger, who declared himself to be John known as the Baptist, appeared in light and glory, and, laying his hands upon the heads of the modern prophet Joseph Smith and a companion in the ministry, conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood, saying:

"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins." (D&C, Sec. 13).

Thus was fulfilled in part the vision prophecy of the ancient Revelator, that in the last days an angel would come, "having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth." (See Rev. 14:6, 7).

Repentance, which stands eternally established as an indispensable condition of salvation, is today proclaimed anew under the authority of the restored Priesthood, and the call is to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The second advent of the Christ is near, and but little time remains to prepare for His coming, which shall be in power and great glory, to the accompaniment of the resurrection of the righteous dead, the glorification of the worthy who are still in the flesh, and the destruction of the wilfully and hopelessly wicked.

Repentance, as the ordained requirement whereby remission of sins may be attained, consists essentially in a genuine sorrow for sin and comprises: (1) a personal conviction of guilt; (2) an earnest desire to secure foregiveness; and (3) a resolute determination to forsake sin and follow the path of righteous living. The first step in the course of effective repentance consists in the acknowledgment or confession of sin before God; the second in the sinner forgiving those who have sinned against him; and the third in his acceptance of Christ's atoning sacrifice as shown by a willingness to obey the further requirements embodied in the Gospel of salvation.

1. Without sincere confession of sin repentance is impossible. The Apostle John declared the solemn truth:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8, 9).

In this modern age the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ has been heard to the same effect:

"Verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death."

And further:

"By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins. Behold, he will confess them and forsake them." (D&C 64:7; and 58:43).

2. The sinner must be willing to grant forgiveness to others if he would secure that boon to himself. In teaching us how to pray, the Lord specified the condition on which forgiveness may rationally be asked: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." No hope of forgiveness is justified if in our hearts we are unforgiving, "For," said the Christ, "if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:14, 15).

Through His revelations to the restored Church in the current age, the Lord has emphasized this essential element of repentance:

"Wherefore I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another, for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses, standeth condemned before the Lord, for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." (D&C 64:9, 10).

3. Contrite repentance will naturally lead the penitent to do all he can to make amends for past offenses, and to comply with the conditions on which forgiveness is predicated. And as he learns that baptism at the hands of one invested with Divine authority is essential, he will seek such a servant of God, and humbly submit himself to the ordinance whereby citizenship in the Kingdom of God may be established.

Without repentance salvation is impossible. The Savior followed the ringing call of His forerunner with the command: "Repent ye and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). So also taught the Apostles of old, that God "commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). And in the present dispensation the word of God has come through the Prophet Joseph Smith:

"And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God." (D&C 20:29).

Against the awful danger of procrastination, whereby the ability to repent may be forfeited, the Book of Mormon solemnly warns:

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors, . . . For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you." (Book of Mormon, Alma 34:32, 35).

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The Only Way

WE believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: (1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Articles of Faith, 4).

"Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Such was the eager, anguished, almost despairing cry of the humbled multitude who, at the first Pentecost following the crucifixion of Christ, were brought to a realization of their awful guilt through the inspired utterances of Peter, the presiding Apostle.

What shall we do? What can we do? Is hope yet open to us? This is the wail of contritely penitent souls, everywhere, always. When convicted of sin at the bar of his own conscience through genuine repentance, when at last able to see himself in all the repulsive pollution of his transgression, the self-accusing sinner yearns with fervid purpose to make all possible reparation and is zealous to learn and obey the conditions of forgiveness, if such there be.

To every soul thus brought into the depths through the benign though afflicting influences of repentance, to all who thus appeal for mercy and rescue, the answer is direct and prompt:

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (See Acts 2:37-39).

The promise of remission is as wide as the domain of sin; for, excepting those (and be it said to our comfort that they are few) who sink so far into the quagmire of iniquity as to be numbered among the "sons of perdition," to whom effective repentance is impossible, all may be saved by compliance with the requirements set forth by the Author of the plan of salvation. The need of forgiveness is likewise universal; "for there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not" (Eccles. 7:20).

Is it not reasonable, and wholly in keeping with the ordinary ways of men in their mutual dealings, that some substantial evidence shall be demanded to attest the genuineness of the repentance we voice in words? Is it enough that the debtor shall merely acknowledge his obligation and express regret that he has not heretofore been able to meet it? He must do something more, or he remains forever in debt. The seal by which repentance is validated is Baptism in water for the remission of sins; for by this is the blood of Jesus Christ made effective to cleanse from sin. (See 1 John 1:7).

The voice in the wilderness heralding the advent of the Lord, the proclamation that aroused Jerusalem and reverberated throughout Judea and Galilee, was "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). The cleansing ordinance was not to be administered indiscriminately, however; it was reserved for those who had brought forth "fruits meet for repentance," those whose profession of penitence was a true index to their contrite state.

Saul of Tarsus when rebuked for his ill-directed zeal in persecuting the Lord's own, exclaimed in agony: "What shall I do, Lord?" By the mouth of devout Ananias came the answer: "Arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins." (See Acts 22). And Saul, thereafter known as Paul, a preacher of righteousness and an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, taught the saving doctrine that by baptism in water comes regeneration from sin.

Pastors and prophets who ministered to the ancient fold of Christ on the American continent led the people in the same path, that of repentance and baptism by water, the only way by which remission of sins could then or can ever be secured. Read for yourselves in the Book of Mormon, which is verily the Scripture of the Western Continent:

"For the gate by which ye should enter, is repentance, and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire, and by the Holy Ghost." (2 Nephi 31:17).

"Shew unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins, and enter into a covenant with Him to keep His commandments, and witness it unto Him this day, by going into the waters of baptism." (Alma 7:15).

Hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ through the prophet Mormon:

"Turn, all ye Gentiles from your wicked ways, and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people, who are of the house of Israel." (3 Nephi 30:2).

And further:

"The first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith, unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins." (Moroni 8:25).

To His commissioned servants in the current age, the bearers of the Holy Priesthood again restored to earth, the Lord has given commandment that they proclaim anew to the world the same unchangeable truth, that only through baptism is remission of sins promised. Thus we read:

"But thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior and remission of sins by baptism and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost." (D&C 19:31).

Such is the immutable law of God throughout the ages. There is no other way provided on earth or in heaven by which the merits of the Atonement of Jesus Christ may bring salvation to mankind.

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A Horrible Misconception

THAT baptism is essential to individual salvation is a tenet of most Christian churches. But baptism is enjoined as an indispensable requisite to remission of sins, and as the one and only gate of admission to the Church of Jesus Christ or the Kingdom of God. Faith in God and genuine repentance are prerequisites to effective baptism. In all consistency and justice, therefore, baptism can be required of those only who are capable of exercising faith and of rendering repentance.

The undeveloped mind of a babe is incapable of conceiving sin, of experiencing faith, or of comprehending repentance. Why then should babes be baptized?

We search in vain for scriptural authority or sanction of the practise of infant baptism. Christ took little children into His arms and blessed them, saying to those who would have kept the innocents from Him "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 19:14).

But He did not baptize them; and, as an early writer has tersely remarked: "From the action of Christ's blessing infants, to infer they are to be baptized, proves nothing so much as that there is a want of better argument; for the conclusion would with more probability be derived thus: Christ blessed infants, and so dismissed them, but baptized them not; therefore infants are not to be baptized."

The unscriptural and repellent dogma of inherent degeneracy and the contaminating effect of original sin, by which every child is born vile in the sight and judgment of God, long cast its dark shadow over the minds of men. From this conception sprang the practise of infant baptism and the perverted doctrine of assured damnation for all babes who die unbaptized. Even the most radical of churches has modified its teaching on this subject, and today permits its members to believe that children who die without baptism pass to a state of partial happiness and content, though forever denied the beatific vision of God.

It is conceded, of course, that no dictum, dogma, or doctrine of men can determine the fate of souls, infant or adult, in the hereafter; nevertheless, theologic precepts have direct effect upon the thoughts and lives of mankind. It is cheering to know that practically all Christendom today repudiates the frightful heresy of the eternal condemnation of babes who die without baptism.

Hear now the word of "Mormonism" on the matter and note the time of its enunciation. In 1830 the Book of Mormon was first published. Therein we read, in an epistle of the ancient prophet Mormon to his son Moroni:

"Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance: the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me. And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children. Behold I say unto you, that this thing shall ye teach, repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world. . . . Little children cannot repent; wherefore it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy. And he that saith, that little children need baptism, denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at nought the atonement of him and the power of his redemption." (Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:8-20).

So proclaims the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the world today. Faith in God, repentance of sin, baptism by water and of the Spirit, are required of every soul that comes to years of accountability and powers of comprehension; but without faith and repentance, of which only understanding minds are capable, baptism is but a perversion of the Gospel ordinance.

The Scriptures relating to baptism in all ages and of all peoples are in harmony as to the conditions essential to the proper reception of the saving rite. In a revelation on Church government given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, in April, 1830, the Lord Jesus Christ thus defined the status of acceptable candidates for baptism:

"All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into His Church." (D&C 20:37).

These conditions exclude all who have not reached the age and capacity of discretion and understanding; and by specific commandment the Lord has forbidden the Church to administer baptism to others:

"No one can be received into the Church of Christ, unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance." (Verse 71).

By revelation the Lord has designated eight years as the age at which children may be baptized into the Church. At an earlier age, however, children are to be brought to the elders of the Church, and be blessed by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ, after the pattern set by the Master in the course of His personal ministry.

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And the New Birth

WHILE our Lord tarried at Jerusalem following the first Passover festival after the beginning of His public ministry, there came unto Him by night a certain ruler of the Jews. The visitor was of the Pharisees and a member of the great Sanhedrin, or supreme council of the nation. There is significance in the circumstance that Nicodemus sought Christ by night. Read John 3:1-21. We must credit the man with a genuine desire to learn of the doctrines taught by the newly recognized Prophet from Galilee, whose fame was already widely spread; but it appears that pride of station or fear of criticism led him to seek an interview under cover of darkness and privacy.

Speaking for himself and probably for his official associates, Nicodemus thus addressed the Savior: "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."

Without waiting for specific questions, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

The learned Jew expressed surprise, if not incredulity. "How can a man be born when he is old?" he asked; "can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Even after further explanation of the plan provided for the salvation of mankind, the eminent Rabbi and Sanhedrist exclaimed: "How can these things be?" Our Lord's reply must have been humbling if not humiliating to the man: "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" The conditions of citizenship in the kingdom of God are so simple that even the unscholarly may understand and obey.

Beyond question the second birth specified to Nicodemus as so thoroughly indispensable that without it no man can ever see the kingdom of God is baptism by water, and by the ministry of the Spirit or the Holy Ghost.

The efficacy of baptism as a means of securing remission of sins and of attaining entrance to the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the kingdom of God, lies in the fact that this is the ordinance prescribed by Divine authority, whereby the Savior's atoning sacrifice may be made operative and effective. Salvation is not to be had for the mere asking; it is nevertheless made accessible to all through faith and prescribed works.

Simple as is the outward or physical process, there is profound symbolism in the baptismal rite. As seen, Christ compared it to a birth, an entrance into a new world or state of being. No such symbolism obtains in baptism except by complete immersion in water and a coming forth therefrom.

Water baptism has also been very impressively compared to burial and resurrection; and the comparison is meaningless except the baptism be by immersion followed by a rising from the watery grave. Paul evidently so knew, as his words attest: "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." (Rom. 6:3-5; see also Col. 2:12).

Christ Himself was baptized "to fulfill all righteousness," and His baptism at the hands of John was by immersion, as is evidenced by the fact that He "went up straightway out of the water."

Have you read the story of the contrite Ethiopian eunuch, treasurer to Queen Candace? After listening to Philip's exposition of the Scriptures, as the two rode together, the Ethiopian desired baptism, and, Philip consenting, "he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing." (See Acts 8:26-39). Did Philip, who was directed in this ministry by the angel of the Lord, err in administering baptism by immersion?

Theologians are generally agreed that for centuries after the time of Christ immersion was the only mode of authorized baptism; and philologists testify that the very word "baptize" is derived from the Greek verb meaning to immerse or bury. The Holy Scriptures prescribe baptism by immersion as essential to salvation, and none other form is validated by the Word of God.

To the Nephites on the Western Continent the resurrected Lord appeared soon after His ascension from the Mount of Olives. He gave the people explicit instructions as to the way in which the essential ordinance of baptism by immersion was to be administered.

Baptism as prescribed by revelation in the present age is after the same pattern; and every baptism administered in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is by immersion. (See D&C 20:72-74).

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Power of the Spirit

WE believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:—(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Articles of Faith 4).

John the Baptist proclaimed the necessity of repentance and of baptism by water, which latter he administered to all who came in contrition seeking admission to the kingdom of God. With equal fervency, this voice crying in the wilderness foretold a second or higher baptism, which, however, John was not authorized to give. This he characterized as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, ordained to follow his administration, and to be given by that Mightier One, whose preeminence John delighted to proclaim. This was the Baptist's testimony:

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." (Matt. 3:11).

That the Mightier One referred to was none other than Jesus the Christ is thus set forth in the words of John: "Behold the Lamb of God. . . . This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. . . . And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." (John 1:29-33).

In His incisive instructions to Nicodemus respecting the works essential to salvation, the Savior did not stop with the specification of the watery birth. Baptism by immersion in water, though administered by one invested with the power of the Holy Priesthood, is incomplete without the quickening effect of the Spirit. "Born of water and of the Spirit" is the indispensable status of every man who shall gain admission to the kingdom of God.

While yet in the flesh our Lord specifically and repeatedly assured the Apostles that after His departure the Comforter or the Spirit of Truth would be sent unto them; and the scriptural context plainly shows that these expressive appellations have reference solely to the Holy Ghost. Amidst the solemnities of His ascension, the Lord reiterated these assurances of a spiritual baptism, saying: "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:5).

A rich fulfilment was realized at the succeeding Pentecost, when the assembled Apostles were endowed with unprecedented power from heaven, being filled with the influence of the Holy Ghost so that they spake in tongues other than their own as the Spirit gave them utterance. An outward manifestation of this Divine investiture was seen in the tongues of flame which rested upon them severally. The Lord's promise, so miraculously fulfilled upon themselves, was repeated by the Apostles to those who sought their instruction. Conditioned upon their repentance and baptism in water, Peter assured the penitent Jews that they should "receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38).

That the bestowal of the Holy Ghost is an ordinance requiring higher authority than that by which water baptism may be performed is evidenced by Scripture. Philip—not the Apostle Philip, but presumably one of the seven men who had been set apart for a lesser ministry (Acts 6:3-6)—preached to the Samaritans and baptized many. Plainly Philip was empowered to administer water baptism; and it is equally clear that an authority greater than his was requisite for the higher baptism of the Spirit or the conferring of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. To this the Scriptures testify:

"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." (Acts 8:14-17).

Very illuminating is the instance of Paul's ministry unto certain devout Ephesians (Acts 19:1-7) who professed to have been baptized "unto John's baptism," but who were plainly uninstructed as to the necessity of the baptism of the Spirit. It is probable that these men had submitted to immersion by unauthorized hands; and therefore Paul caused that they be baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."

To the Twelve Disciples who were ordained by the resurrected Lord among the Nephites on the American continent, Christ gave special power, so that all baptized believers upon whom they would lay their hands should receive the Holy Ghost; and thus is the assurance recorded:

"Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12:2; see also Moroni chap. 2.)

And in this modern day, the authority of both the Lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, which is requisite to water baptism, and of the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood, without which the gift of the Holy Ghost cannot be authoritatively bestowed, has been restored to earth, through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Elders of the Church today are commanded to preach the Gospel, to baptize the penitent, "And to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the Scriptures." (D&C 20:41).

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Authority of the Holy Priesthood Again Operative on Earth

WE believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (Articles of Faith No. 5).

We have seen that certain ordinances, prescribed by the Lord Jesus Christ, are indispensable to salvation. Without baptism by water and the conferment of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands no man can enter the kingdom of God, for so the Lord hath affirmed and so the Scriptures attest.

The outward form, mode, or operation in each of these sacred and far-reaching rites is notably simple. So far as the physical procedure is concerned, any man of ordinary ability may learn to perform the ceremony, and that with a few minutes' oral instruction or reading. The same may be said of many ordinances prescribed in human institutions. One may readily commit to memory and learn to speak with due impressiveness the words by which a college degree is conferred upon the successful student, the formula by which man and woman are united in the bonds of wedlock, or the judicial pronouncement by which one prisoner is restored to liberty and another condemned.

But, as everybody knows, to make the utterance effective he who speaks must be invested with specific authority, without which his presumption to officiate would be a punishable offense under the secular law. Are consistency and reason less to be considered in matters of Divine administration than in the affairs of mortals?

Healing ministry to the afflicted in the name of Jesus Christ is one of the gifts of the Spirit implanted in the Church. The Apostles of old so administered, and with such effect that disease was stayed and evil spirits were rebuked. Certain vagabond Jews once attempted to imitate Paul in his authoritative functions, and among them were the seven sons of Sceva chief of the priests. (See Acts 19:11-18). Unto a suffering demoniac these evil and presumptuous men, void of authority and power, undertook to minister, solemnly pronouncing the words: "We adjure you by Jesus," and then, as if to put beyond question the Name in which they blasphemously essayed to speak, added "whom Paul preacheth." But the demon in the man laughed them to scorn, and cried aloud in derision: "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?"

The Apostles who were with the Lord in the flesh had been ordained by Him to the Holy Priesthood; and Paul who was later called into the ministry was ordained by the laying on of hands of those in authority. (Acts 13:2-4). Even the evil spirits acknowledged their authority, as earlier the demons had acclaimed the Christ "Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God." (See Mark 5:7). But for the vagabond pretenders there was contempt and humiliation.

And what of the impressive lesson taught by the experience of Simon the sorcerer? (See Acts 8:18-24). He marveled at the power demonstrated through the Apostles; for to the baptized believers upon whom they laid their hands came the Holy Ghost with manifestations of spiritual endowment. His mind, heart and motive darkened by sin, Simon sought to buy with money the power that only the call of God could impart: "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts 8:20-23).

Far surpassing anything and all that man can bestow is the authority to preach the Word of God and administer Divine ordinances through the investiture of the Holy Priesthood. While Israel lived under the Law, bereft of the fulness of spiritual light such as the Gospel alone can give, Jehovah repeatedly manifested His righteous jealousy or zeal in behalf of His appointed servants and against all who pretended to arrogate authority unto themselves. Read the story of wicked Korah and his associates in their attempt to minister in the priest's office (Numbers 16); consider the rejection of Saul, king of Israel, who offended by undertaking to discharge the functions of the Lord's prophet (1 Sam. 13:8-14). And think of Uzziah, king of Judah, who died an outcast and a leper, through the visitation of punishment for having presumed to officiate without priestly ordination. (2 Chron. 26).

In the establishment of His Church among the ancient Americans, the Lord was specific in conferring upon certain men the authority to baptize, to lay on hands for the giving of the Holy Ghost, administer the sacrament of bread and wine, and otherwise to officiate in the ordinances pertaining to the Holy Priesthood. By personal ordination the Lord invested His chosen representatives to minister in His Name. (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:21, 22; 12: 1, 2; 18:5).

So also, in the present age, authority to minister in the saving ordinances of the Gospel must be given of God, not assumed by man. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims to the world that the Holy Priesthood, which is the appointment and authority to officiate in the name of God, has been restored to the earth in modern days, through direct dispensation from the heavens by angelic ministry to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The imperative urgency of the call is thus set forth in current revelation:

"And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days. And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them. . . . Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear: Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh. . . . For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven." (D&C 1).

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Human Institutions and Divine Authority.

ORGANIZATION is essential to human advancement. The Divine affirmation that it is not good for man to be alone may be applied not only to the union of the sexes in honorable marriage, upon which the perpetuity of the race depends, but also to the association of humankind in community life, without which cooperation is impossible and the achievements of united purpose would be unknown.

It is natural and necessary that men shall establish and maintain institutions for community betterment. The constitution of every liberal government recognizes the right of individuals to associate themselves in any organization having worthy purpose, in harmony with the spirit of law and order, and not interfering with the rights and privileges of non-members.

Thus, men may institute societies, associations, and clubs, guilds, fraternities, and orders. They may designate their organization as a church if they choose, and may enact rules prescribing conditions of admission, and providing for the administration of the institution's affairs. They may go so far as to say that no man shall be admitted to the church thus created except he be baptized by immersion in water by one of the officials, and that the seal of membership shall be the pronouncing of a formula accompanied by the laying on of hands.

But who of us would hazard his reputation as a rational being by asserting or even believing that such baptism, administered by an authority created by man, can be of effect in assuring remission of sins, or that it shall be recognized as efficacious by the powers of Heaven?

Churches, societies, or other associations, established on purely human initiative are institutions of men; they can never be aught else. It is in line with consistency that such organizations bear the names of men, or that they be known by some appellation expressive of their origin, their constitution, their peculiarities of government, their location, or some other distinguishing feature. Could it be counted less than sacrilege to attach the name of Deity to a church called into being in the manner we have assumed?

The Church of the apostolic epoch was the organization that Christ had established. He very expressively called it My Church (Matt. 16:18); and after His departure, every ordinance therein was administered in the name of Jesus Christ. By Divine assurance those ordinances were of effect, not only on earth but in Heaven, not alone for time, but for eternity. Of man-made institutions, of artificial growths though bearing the titles of churchly cults, the Lord emphatically declared: "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." (Matt. 15:13).

In the course of His ministrations on the Western Continent, Jesus Christ established His Church, and thus answered certain inquiries as to the name by which that Church should be called:

"Whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name, that he will bless the church for my sake. And how be it my church, save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name, then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man, then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name, then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27:7, 8.)

The acts of a public official, whether of local or national status, are effective only within the limits of the jurisdiction he represents. City ordinances can be enforced within the boundaries of the municipality, but not beyond. State legislatures are powerless to enact laws for interstate regulation. Congress is limited in specific jurisdiction to the national domain. Yet, in the face of these fundamental facts, there are men who assume that it is within their province to legislate in spiritual affairs, and to alter, annul, or supersede by their own enactments, the laws established by Divine authority relating to membership in the Kingdom of God.

In the current age the Lord has established His Church upon the earth, and has made plain the portentous fact that while honorable obligations, agreements, and contracts among men may be valid under human laws, He is in no way bound by such exercise of mortal agency as conditioning the future of the soul after death. Ponder these declarations of Jesus Christ, given to His Church in 1843:

"All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made, and entered into, and sealed, by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, . . .. are of no efficacy, virtue or force, in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end, have an end when men are dead. . . ..And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God." (D&C 132:5-13).

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The Primitive Church and the Church of Latter Days

WE believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 6).

Most people who profess belief in Christianity accept as a scriptural fact the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ, through the Lord's personal ministry, in the early days of what we call the Christian Era, the period that has been expressively designated the meridian of time. During the many centuries between the days of Moses and the advent of Christ in the flesh, Israel had lived under the Law, between which and the Gospel a clear distinction is drawn in Scripture. Paul's explicit segregation of the two is cogent, and ample for illustration:

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:23-26).

The Law of Moses, the schoolmaster's administration which was constituted for the discipline of a people unprepared to receive the higher tutoring of the Gospel, was fulfilled and therefore abrogated as a formal and obligatory system through the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. While this fulfilment is evidenced by the whole tenor of New Testament Scripture, a most direct and concise declaration may be quoted with profit from the Nephite Scriptures, recorded by holy men who officiated under Divine commission on the American continent throughout a period of approximately six centuries before and four centuries after the birth of Christ. The prophet Nephi who was living at the time of our Lord's death, resurrection, and ascension, incorporates in his record the words of the Resurrected Savior as follows:

"Behold I say unto you, that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses. Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel: therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfil the law; therefore it hath an end. Behold, I do not destroy the prophets, for as many as have not been fulfilled in me, verily I say unto you, shall all be fulfilled." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 15:4-6).

A studious reading of the four Gospels demonstrates that while our Lord recognized the Jewish hierarchy as administrators of an existing system of government, and complied with all lawful requirements thereof as such applied to Himself, He proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom in place of the Mosaic Law, and ordained men to a higher Priesthood than that of Aaron under which the priests of the Jews claimed to operate. He commissioned the Twelve Apostles (Matt. 10:1; Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13), and afterward the Seventy (Luke 10:1). Unto the eleven Apostles who had remained faithful the Lord gave the parting instruction, shortly before His ascension: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." The Apostles labored with devoted energy, "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." (See Mark 16:15-20).

The Apostles clearly understood that though the Master had passed from earth He had left with them authority and commandment to build up the Church as an established organization. One of their early official acts was to fill the vacancy in their own body, which had been created by the apostasy and death of Judas Iscariot. It is evident that they considered the apostolic body to comprise twelve members and that the needs of the Church required the organization to be made complete. By official action Matthias was added to the eleven. (See Acts 1:21-26).

Under the administration of the Apostles and others who officiated by their direction in positions of lesser authority, the Church of Jesus Christ grew in membership and influence. For ten years or more following our Lord's ascension, Jerusalem was the headquarters of the Church, but branches were established in the outlying provinces, and these branches, or local "churches," were officered by bishops, deacons, and other ministers, who were chosen and ordained by apostolic authority.

We find, operating in their sacred callings in the Primitive Church, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders, bishops, priests and deacons. The purpose of these several offices is declared to be "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Eph. 4:12).

Every office so established is necessary to the development of the Church, which has been aptly compared to a perfect body with its several members, each adapted to particular function and all coordinated for the common good. In an organization planned and established through Divine wisdom, there are neither superfluities nor parts wanting. Eye, ear, hand, and foot, each is essential to the symmetry and physical perfection of the body; in the Church no one in authority can rightly say to his fellow: "I have no need of thee." (See 1 Cor. 12:12-21).

The Primitive Church was of comparatively short duration. The world fell into spiritual darkness, and a restoration of power and commission from the Heavens became necessary to the reestablishment of the Church with its ancient blessings and privileges. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims the imperative need of "the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church," and solemnly avers that through the ministration of heavenly beings the Church of Jesus Christ is restored to earth, for the salvation of mankind both living and dead.

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The Long Night of Apostasy

WE accept as fact the belief common to Christendom that the Church of Christ was established under our Lord's personal direction and that during the early period of apostolic administration the Church was blessed with rapid growth and marvelous development. A question of profound importance confronts us: Has the Church of Jesus Christ maintained an organized existence upon the earth from the apostolic age to the present?

We affirm that with the passing of the apostolic period the Church drifted into a condition of apostasy, whereby succession in the Holy Priesthood was broken; and that the Church as an earthly organization operating under Divine direction and having authority to officiate in spiritual ordinances ceased to exist among men.[1]

We affirm that this great apostasy, whereby the world was enshrouded in spiritual darkness, was foretold by the Savior Himself while He lived as a Man among men, and by His prophets both before and after the period of His life in mortality.

The apostolic ministry continued in the Primitive Church for about sixty years after the death of Christ, or nearly to the end of the first century of the Christian Era. For some time thereafter the Church existed as a unified body, officered by men duly invested by ordination in the Holy Priesthood, though, even during the lifetime of some of the Apostles, the leaven of apostasy and disintegration had been working. Indeed, hardly had the Gospel seed been sown before the enemy of all righteousness had started assiduously to sow tares in the field; and so intimate was the growth of the two that any forcible attempt to extirpate the tares would have imperiled the wheat. The evidences of spiritual decline were observed with anguish by the Apostles who, however, recognized the fulfilment of earlier prophecy in the declension, and added their own inspired testimony to the effect that even a greater falling away was imminent.

The apostasy progressed rapidly, in consequence of a cooperation of disrupting forces without and within the Church. The dreadful persecution to which the early Christians were subjected drove great numbers of Christians to renounce their allegiance to Christianity, thus causing a widespread apostasy from the Church. But far more destructive was the contagion of evil that spread within the body, manifesting its effects mainly in the following developments:

(1) The corrupting of the simple principles of the Gospel of Christ by admixture with the so-called philosophical systems of the times.

(2) Unauthorized additions to the rites of the Church, and the introduction of vital changes in essential ordinances.

(3) Unauthorized changes in Church organization and government.

The result of the degeneracy so produced was to bring about an actual apostasy of the entire Church.

The Apostasy Predicted

Isaiah beheld in vision the condition of mankind during the darkness of the spiritual night; and he pictures the earth as languishing in desolation: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." (Isa. 24:1-6).

That the general transgression meant something more than a violation of Mosaic statutes is evident from the fact that nowhere in Scripture is the Law of Moses called an "everlasting covenant," but to the contrary, the covenant of the Gospel is clearly differentiated from the Law.

The prophet Amos foresaw the time of famine and thirst, the day of futile search for the Word of God. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12).

Christ specifically warned the disciples against the impending departure from the truth: "Take heed that no man deceive you" said He, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many." (Matt. 24:4, 5). And further: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." (Verses 23-26).

The Apostles bore warning testimony to the same awful certainty. Paul admonished the elders at Ephesus to be on their guard against the wolves that would invade the fold, and against false teachers who would assert themselves "speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them." (See Acts 20:28-30). The same Apostle thus wrote to Timothy: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." (1 Tim. 4:1, 2; see also 2 Tim. 4:1-4; and 2 Thess. 2:3, 4).

Peter prophesied, in language so plain that all may comprehend, of the heresies that would be preached as doctrine: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." (2 Peter 2:1, 2).

John the Revelator expressly predicted the restoration of the Gospel (Rev. 14:6, 7); and such restoration would be impossible had not the Gospel been taken from the earth. Book of Mormon Scriptures foretold in plainness the great falling away and the subsequent restoration of the Gospel of Christ. (See 1 Nephi 13: 5-9; 3 Nephi 16:7).

The Apostasy Affirmed

The apostate condition of Christendom has been recognized and affirmed by high ecclesiastical authority. Let a single citation suffice. The Church of England thus proclaims the fact of degeneracy, as set forth in her "Homily against Peril of Idolatry," published about the middle of the sixteenth century and retained to this day as an official declaration:

"So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom—an horrible and most dreadful thing to think—have been at once drowned in abominable idolatry; of all other vices most detested of God, and most damnable to man; and that by the space of eight hundred years and more."

By revelation through Joseph Smith the prophet the Lord thus confirmed the predictions of His ancient servants with respect to the apostasy of mankind: "For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant. They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol." (D&C 1:15, 16).

The universal apostasy has been succeeded by the restoration of the Gospel, of which blessed truth the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bears testimony to the world.


1. See the author's "The Great Apostasy," 170 pp., The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Light of the Gospel Again Shines

WE believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 6).

As one of the signs whereby men may know when the Lord's coming is near, Christ specified this feature of the latter times: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14). As this follows in immediate sequence to our Lord's prediction of the general apostasy, incident to which false prophets would arise, iniquity abound, and love for the truth wax cold, an actual restoration of the Gospel had to occur, or the Savior's words recorded in the 24th chapter of Matthew would be inconsistent and their fulfilment impossible.

The Revelator John was shown the scenes of the days immediately before the latter-day advent of the Christ. In recording the vision as then already past he wrote:

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Rev. 14:6, 7).

If an angel was to come to earth, bringing the Gospel, the fact is plain that the Gospel could not be at that time upon the earth. The Gospel, which the angel would bring, was to be preached "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people"; and this in strict and logical consistency with the Lord's personal prophecy quoted above, that one of the distinguishing signs of the last days was that the Gospel of the kingdom, "this Gospel," that is to say, the Gospel that He had proclaimed, would be "preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations."

But, many have asked, had we not the Gospel? The Holy Bible, which is the scriptural repository of the Gospel record has been among men from the time of its earliest compilation; why then the necessity of a restoration? Yes, we had the Bible; but the Gospel is something other and greater than a book.

The Holy Scriptures, invaluable and sacred though they be, profess to be only the letter of the Gospel. Is it reasonable to assume that the mere possession of a Bible, or even a perfect memorization of its contents, could give to man the authority to administer the ordinances prescribed therein? It is quite as plausible to say that if one owns a copy of the statutes of his state or nation and learns therefrom the duties of sheriff, judge, governor or president, the knowledge thus acquired would be authority for him to administer in the respective offices. Statutes are not self-operative.

The Holy Scriptures define and prescribe certain administrative ordinances, such as water baptism and the laying on of hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, which ordinances, unless the Lord Christ spoke fable and falsehood, are indispensable to individual salvation. But the right and authority to administer those essential and saving ordinances cannot be arrogated to one's self by ever so intensive a study of the scriptural record.

The angel seen by the Revelator, in vision of the then distant future, was to bring to earth not the bare record and letter of requirement as to baptism and other rites, for this the world already would have, in part at least; but he was to restore to earth the Divine commission, the actual appointment and authority to officiate in those sacred and saving ordinances, in short the power of the Holy Priesthood, which the world would not at that time possess.

We affirm that on the 15th of May, 1829, a heavenly messenger appeared on the earth in light and glory, and, laying his hands upon the heads of Joseph Smith and an associate in the ministry, Oliver Cowdery, conferred upon them the Lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, saying:

"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." (D&C, Sec. 13).

The personage who thus appeared and officiated as an angel of light announced himself as John, known of old as the Baptist, and stated that he acted under instructions from the Apostles Peter, James, and John, who held the presidency of the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood in the earlier Gospel dispensation. Later, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were visited by the presiding Apostles of old, Peter, James and John, who ordained them to the Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, which comprises the fulness of authority operative in the Church of Jesus Christ.

In accordance with this high commission the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been established; and presents to the world today "the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc."

Come ye and share the priceless blessings of the restored Gospel, for verily, the darkness of the long night of apostasy has been dispelled, and the spiritual light of heaven again illumines the earth.

"The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
Lo! Zion's standard is unfurled.
The dawning of a brighter day
Majestic rises on the world."

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Ushering in of the Last Dispensation

THE inauguration of the last or current dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is verily the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, was in this wise.

In the year 1820 there lived at Manchester, N. Y., Joseph Smith Jr. then in his fifteenth year, the third son in a respected and pious family. At the time of which we speak great excitement with much sectarian rivalry was manifest in religious matters, and the boy Joseph was seriously concerned as to which of the contending sects was the true Church of Christ; for it was plain that all could not be right. Let us read the account written by himself.

"During this time of great excitement, my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

"My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of either reason or sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others. In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself, What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it? While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contest of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

"Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. . . . At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to ask of God, concluding that if He gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture. . . . After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

"But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

"It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other—This is my beloved Son, hear Him!

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right—and which I should join.

"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."' (See Pearl of Great Price, pp. 83-85).

Thus ended the long night of spiritual darkness in which man had groped for centuries. Thus was begun the dispensation of which the ancient prophets had spoken, in preparation for the coming of the Christ to reign on earth as Lord and King.

This glorious and unprecedented manifestation of the Father and the Son to a mortal was followed in later years by visitations of angelic personages through whom the Holy Priesthood was again restored to earth, and under whose direction the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in April, 1830. Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God. His testimony is before the world. The saving ordinances of the Gospel are again administered under Divine authority, and the means of salvation are offered freely to all mankind.

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Wonders Wrought by Devils

WE believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 7).

The personal ministry of Jesus Christ in the flesh was characterized by many mighty works—signs, wonders, miracles, as they are severally called. The Apostles who labored to build up the Church after the Master's departure attested the divinity of their calling and priesthood by manifestations of power surpassing the ordinary attributes of mortals. Thus, these holy men were endowed with the ennobling gifts of the Spirit, which have been inherent in the Church of Christ in all ages.

Multitudes have been troubled by the disquieting query as to why the gifts of prophecy, visions, revelation, healing, and the power to speak in diverse tongues are not apparent in the sectarian churches of modern times, and have found partial satisfaction in the assumption, unfounded and unscriptural though it be, that all such gifts and graces ceased with the passing of apostolic days and are not required as testimonies of the Spirit in a more enlightened age. That these spiritual gifts did cease as the apostasy of the Primitive Church progressed is doubtless true; but that the cause of the cessation was anything else than transgression by which the apostasy was brought about is unsupported by Scripture.

In His parting commission to the Apostles, the Resurrected Christ gave this combined command and promise:

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:15-18).

It is evident that the several gifts of the Spirit are the products of faith in God and obedience to His commandments. That these manifestations are brought about through the power of the Holy Priesthood and are characteristic thereof is set forth in Paul's teachings: "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." (1 Cor. 12:28).

Mormon, a prophet who ministered on the American continent in the latter part of the fourth century, solemnly declared that miracles will not cease in the Church so long as there shall be a man upon the earth to be saved: "For it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." (Moroni 7:37).

Mark his inspired words addressed to those "who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues."

"Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things, knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them. For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and for ever; and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in him there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles. But behold, I will shew unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are." (Moroni 9:7-11).

Miracles are not promised save to those who believe and obey as the Lord hath commanded. However marvelous they may be as gaged by physical standards, the gifts of the Spirit appeal to the unbelieving and carnal mind only as unusual and curious phenomena; while to the man of faith they testify of the power and purposes of God. Many people followed Jesus about through morbid curiosity, clamoring to see some strange thing wrought; and degenerate Herod Antipas, before whom our Lord was brought in bonds, was interested and amused, because "he hoped to have seen some miracle done by Him." (Luke 23:8.) Through a revelation to the Church in 1831 the Lord Jesus Christ gave this solemn admonishment against the craving for spiritual gifts to gratify curiosity.

"Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived, seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given. For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do, that all may be benefited that seeketh or that asketh of me, that asketh and not for a sign that he may consume it upon his lusts." (D&C 46:8-9).

We are not justified in regarding miracles as infallible testimony of Divine power and authority, for powers of the baser sort work wonders, to the deceiving of many. The magicians of Egypt were able to imitate in small measure the miracles of Moses. John the Revelator told of evil powers deceiving men by what seemed to be supernatural achievements, and he saw unclean spirits, whom he knew to be "the spirits of devils working miracles." (See Rev. 13: 13-14, and 16:13-14). And the Savior Himself by this solemn warning armed the disciples against deception: "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24:24).

The distinguishing feature of a miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit, as contrasted with a wonder wrought through other agencies, lies in the fact that the former is always done in the name of Jesus Christ and has for its object the fostering of faith and the furthering of Divine purposes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rejoices in the possession of the several gifts and graces with which the Church of old was endowed; and within her pale signs do follow them that believe. Come and see.

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Scriptures of Many Peoples

WE believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. (Articles of Faith, No. 8).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the Holy Bible for just what it purports to be, nothing less, nothing more. Taken as a whole the Holy Bible is a collection of sacred and historical writings, depicting though incompletely the Divine dealings with mankind on the Eastern Hemisphere from the creation down to about the close of the first century after Christ. The Old Testament contains a brief record of pre-Mosaic time, but is largely a history of the Semitic people or Hebrews, as they lived under the Law of Moses. The New Testament is distinctively the Scripture of the Gospel as contrasted with the Law, and is devoted to the earthly ministry of the Savior and to the growth of His Church under apostolic administration. The compilation as it now stands is the work of men, and our modern translations from the original Hebrew of the Old Testament and Greek of the New have been made by skilled linguists and learned theologians.

But the wisdom of even the wisest of men may be faulty, and the understanding of the prudent may be biased and dangerously imperfect. The many revisions and successive versions of the Bible, made as the errors of earlier renditions became strikingly apparent, testify to the unreliability of scholarship in the translation of sacred writ. Moreover, it is an indisputable fact that the compilation of books constituting our present version is incomplete; for within the Bible itself more than a score of books, epistles, or other writings not included are mentioned, and generally in such a way as to show that those lost Scriptures were considered authentic and genuine. Furthermore, numerous Biblical passages are tinged with what scholars call "gloss"—that is wording intended to convey the private interpretation of the translator.

The Latter-day Saints openly proclaim their reservation as to incorrect translation. We are in harmony with all able and earnest students of the Scriptures in accepting the Bible as the Word of God, only so far as it is translated correctly.

But we hold that there are now extant other Scriptures, of equal validity with those of the Holy Bible, and in no sense in conflict therewith nor a substitute therefor. For nearly six centuries before and about four centuries after the birth of Christ, the American continent was inhabited by a detached body of Israelites, who developed into powerful nations. Their existence was unknown to the people of the East. Is it unreasonable to believe that unto the western fold God sent His shepherds, and that prophets officiated amongst them by Divine appointment?

That the Book of Mormon would be rejected by many on the specious and untenable claim that they already had a Bible and that there could be no other Scriptures, the Lord foretold by the mouth of the prophet Nephi:

"And because my words shall hiss forth, many of the Gentiles shall say, A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

"Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

"And I do this that I may prove unto many, that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be, until the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever.

"For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it.

"And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews." (2 Nephi 29).

Thus is predicted the bringing forth of yet other Scriptures, not extant among known nations today, viz., the records of the Lost Tribes of Israel, to whom the Book of Mormon indicates the Resurrected Christ went to minister after His visitation to the Nephites. In the present or last dispensation numerous revelations have been given by Jesus Christ to His modern prophets. Many of these are before the world in the volume of latter-day Scripture known as the D&C.

It is noticeable that we make no reservation respecting the Book of Mormon on the ground of incorrect translation. To do so would be to ignore attested facts as to the bringing forth of that book. Joseph Smith the prophet, seer, and revelator, through whom the ancient record has been translated into our modern tongue, expressly avers that the translation was effected through the gift and power of God, and is in no sense the product of linguistic scholarship.

The Bible in its original form, and in modern versions so far as correctly translated, contains the Word of God. Without it, the world would be plunged into spiritual gloom. Nevertheless there are other Scriptures already published, and yet others are to come.

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From the Presence of God

THE discovery of the ancient record known to mankind as the Book of Mormon was no affair of chance. To the contrary, both the finding of the plates of gold and the translation of the inscriptions were specifically the result of Divine direction. So the following facts attest.

On the 21st of September, 1823, Joseph Smith of Manchester, N. Y., was visited by an angelic personage who announced himself as Moroni, "A messenger sent from the presence of God."

"What!" the skeptical may exclaim, "A heavenly being visiting the earth and talking to a man in these modern days?" To which interrogatory a fair rejoinder is Why not? Has the God of Heaven changed in nature and attributes, or found need of altering and revising His former and most simple methods of communicating with men?

To the priest Zacharias in days of old came one saying "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God, and am sent to speak unto thee." (Luke 1:19). To the prophet Joseph Smith in latter times came a messenger with the same form of annunciation.

Both Gabriel and Moroni were ambassadors from the Eternal One, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, and "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1: 17; Heb. 13:8).

Part of Moroni's message delivered at this visitation is thus stated by the latter-day prophet: "He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants. Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted 'seers' in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. . . . While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it."

On going to the place the next day Joseph Smith located the stone box, and with the aid of a lever removed the cover. His record continues:

"I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the messenger, and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time; but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates."

At the close of the fourth probationary year, the plates and accessories were given into the custody of the latter-day seer. Of this occasion and subsequent developments he wrote as follows:

"At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.

"I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them. For no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible. But by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight."

Subsequent revelations showed that Moroni was the last of a long line of prophets whose translated writings constitute the Book of Mormon. By him the ancient records had been closed about 420 A. D.; by him the graven plates had been deposited in the stone vault wherein they lay buried over fourteen centuries; and through his appointed embassage they were given into the possession of the latter-day seer whose work of translation is before us.

Joseph Smith, unschooled beyond the rudiments of what we call an education, unversed in any tongue but the vernacular English, was wholly unequipped according to all human standards to translate the language of a nation long extinct, and, except for certain Indian traditions, forgotten. But the operation of a power higher than human, by which the engraved plates were brought forth from the earth, was to be effective in making the long-buried chronicles intelligible to modern readers.

It was no part of the Lord's plan to entrust the translating to man's linguistic skill; and, moreover, at that time the Rosetta Stone still lay buried beneath the debris of ages, and there was not a man upon the earth capable of rendering an Egyptian inscription into English. As the Book of Mormon avers, the original writing was Egyptian, modified through the isolation of the ancient peoples on the Western Continent, and designated Reformed Egyptian.

It was divinely appointed that the sacred archives should be restored to the knowledge of men through the gift and power of God. Had it not been written that in the latter days the Lord would accomplish a marvelous work and a wonder, whereby the wisdom of the wise would fail and the understanding of the learned be hidden? (See Isa. 29: 13, 14). And this because men would put their dogmas and precepts above the revealed word? (Verse 13). In the translation of the Book of Mormon there was to be no gloss of fallible scholarship, no attempt to improve and embellish the plain, simple and unambiguous diction of the original scribes who wrote by inspiration. Therefore was the commission laid upon one who was rated among the weak of the earth, but whose ministry, nevertheless, has confounded the mighty. (See 1 Cor. 1:27, 28).

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The Book of Mormon

THE Book of Mormon is preeminently an American book, comprising the history of the aboriginal peoples of the New World. It professes to be the modern translation of certain records, covering the period from B. C. 600 to about A. D. 420, with which is incorporated the abridgment of a yet earlier history. The original account was inscribed on thin sheets of gold, in small characters of the Reformed Egyptian style. The plates were taken from their repository on the side of a hill near Palmyra, New York. This was in September, 1827; and in the early months of 1830 the English translation was published.

The Book of Mormon story deals in part with the general history of the ancient peoples, their rise and fall as nations, their wars and intrigues of state, their alternating epochs of material prosperity and adversity; but more particularly it preserves an account of the Divine revelations, the prophets and prophecies with which the ancient Americans were blessed; and thus the work stands before the world as the Scriptures of the Western Continent.

This is the story in brief. In the closing years of the 7th century B. C. there lived in Jerusalem a person of influence and wealth named Lehi. He was a righteous man and a prophet, of the tribe of Manasseh and therefore a descendant of Joseph, son of Jacob.

At the time of which we speak, Lehi and his wife were the parents of four sons, of whom the elder two were of disobedient and unruly character, in which respect they stood in striking contrast to their dutiful brothers. Other children, both sons and daughters, are of later mention.

Those were troublous days for Israel. The people had largely forgotten the God of their fathers; and the calamities voiced by Moses and the prophets as the contingent result of sins against which the people had been specifically warned, were multiplying apace. Already the shadows of the Babylonian captivity were falling athwart the nation. Many prophets, Lehi among them, lifted their voices in admonition and warning, crying repentance to the recreant Israelites, and predicting that unless they turned from their wickedness the City of David, their national boast and pride, would be despoiled and Israel be made captive. Instead of heeding these men of God, the people went wild with resentment and tried to slay them.

In the year 600 B. C., when Zedekiah ascended the throne of Judah, the word of the Lord came to Lehi directing him to take his family and flee from Jerusalem into the wilderness of Arabia. The scattering of the Israelitish nation had been foretold, and the departure of Lehi and his household, together with another entire family which was of the tribe of Ephraim, and part of a third, was in line with the general dispersion. Had it not so been declared by Isaiah? "For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this." (2 Kings 19:31; also Isa. 37:32).

The migrating colony journeyed by slow stages for about eight years in the desert, during which time Lehi and his faithful younger son Nephi received many revelations of the Divine word and will, through which the purpose of their own exodus was made known, as were also the portending vicissitudes of the nation from which they had become expatriated by the Lord's command. Eventually they reached the shores of the Arabian sea, where, divinely directed, they built a vessel, in which they were carried by wind and current across the ocean to the western coast of South America.

So long as unity prevailed the colony prospered in the Promised Land, and with high birth-rate and few deaths soon became a numerous people. With prosperity came pride and avarice, and the inevitable accompaniment, dissension. The more righteous part chose Nephi for their leader and called themselves Nephites, while the rebellious and evil faction came to be known as Lamanites or followers of Laman, who was the eldest and most wicked of Lehi's sons.

As the decades linked themselves into centuries the breach between Nephites and Lamanites became wider, the enmity fiercer, and the disparity in customs and culture greater; though for brief and exceptional periods there was truce between them. The Nephites maintained a relatively high standard of civilized activity, while the Lamanites became a degenerate people, of nomadic and predatory life, devoted mostly to warfare and the chase; and as a mark of Divine displeasure they were cursed with a dark ruddy skin. Many and bloody were the wars they waged against their more peaceable contemporaries. Nevertheless the Nephites developed and throve in proportion to their varying degrees of allegiance to the laws of God as made known by the succession of prophets whom the Lord raised up among them; and their departures from the ways of righteousness were followed by the disciplinary suffering incident to Lamanite victories, which were permitted to afflict them at intervals. They fled before their aggressive foes, moving northward and eastward; so that in the course of centuries they swept over a large part of the area now embraced by Mexico and the United States.

The Gospel of salvation was taught and the fundamental ordinances were administered among the Nephites; and the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, ministered among them in Person, and declared them to be the sheep of that other fold to which He had referred while preaching to the Jews. See John 10:16.

About 420 A. D., the Nephites, having fallen into wickedness all the more convicting because of their intellectual superiority, were utterly destroyed as a nation by their hereditary enemies. The exterminating conflict was fought in the vicinity of Palmyra, in the present State of New York. The savage but victorious Lamanites have lived on as the degraded race of red men, whom Columbus found in the land on the occasion of his re-discovery of the Western Continent. Such is the origin of the American Indians. They are of Israelitish descent, belonging to the House of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

From the time of Lehi's exodus from Jerusalem down to the end of Nephite history, a circumstantial record was kept by scribes set apart to the work. That record has been restored to human knowledge, and the translated part has been given to the world as the Book of Mormon.

The announcement of such a discovery as that of the plates of Mormon, and of such an achievement as the translation of the records into English, could not fail to attract the attention of both layman and scholar. But the announcement was treated with contempt and vigorous denunciation.

The reason for this hostile rejection is found in the fact that Joseph Smith, the translator, avowed that he had not accomplished the marvelous work by his own or other human power alone, but that the resting-place of the ancient plates had been revealed to him by an angel, who appeared in light and glory, and announced himself as that same Moroni who had sealed up and buried the inscribed plates over fourteen centuries earlier. A further cause for the popular opposition to the Book of Mormon lay in Joseph Smith's solemn testimony that he had been empowered to make the translation through the direct inspiration of God.

This avowal introduced the element of the supernatural. If Joseph Smith spoke truly, miracles had not ceased, and direct revelation from God to man was of modern certainty. Such a conception was wholly opposed by theological theory and churchly dogma. And yet, why in reason should direct revelation from the heavens be more of an improbability today than in the centuries of long ago? Except as to the extent of the writing, is the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon any more of a marvel than the inspired reading of the mystic words by Daniel in the midst of Belshazzar's riotous feast? (See Dan. 5:25-31). And surely the means by which the writing was done appears far more mysterious in the case of the Chaldean king than in the ordinary and human way of engraving the Book of Mormon plates.

The Book of Mormon is before the world. It has been distributed by millions of copies in English and other modern tongues. Let it be understood that in no sense does the Book of Mormon profess to be a substitute for the Holy Bible, or to be in any way related thereto except as a parallel volume of Scripture. The Bible is essentially a record of the dealings of God with His people of the East; the Book of Mormon is an embodiment of Divine revelations to the people of the West. So far as the two books touch common themes they are in harmony; and in no particular are they contradictory of each other.

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Shall the Truth be Established

MOSES voiced the word of Jehovah unto Israel, saying that by the testimony of competent witnesses should questions of fact be established; and our Lord in the flesh reaffirmed the ancient rule for common observance (Matt. 18:16), and, on a particular occasion, cited it in vindicating to the casuistical Jews His claim to Divine authority. (John 8:17, 18). It is a vital element of jurisprudence, and is at once reasonable and indispensable in practise.

The Book of Mormon predicts its own coming forth in latter times, and presents the specific prophecy that the plates on which the ancient record was engraved would be shown to three witnesses, and later to certain others. The sacred character of the plates forbade their display for the gratification of curiosity; and, moreover, it was the stated purpose of the Lord that the restored Scriptures be accepted or rejected by men according to the reader's measure of faith or lack thereof.

Respecting the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon in the latter days, the Lord thus spake through Nephi the prophet: "Wherefore at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein. And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men: for the Lord God hath said, That the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead. Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good, will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God." (2 Nephi 27).

The angel, Moroni, who delivered the plates to Joseph Smith, received them back into his keeping after the translation of the unsealed portion had been effected. The latter-day prophet had been instructed to guard the plates with vigilant care, and was warned against any temptation to use the sheets of gold for personal gain. They were preserved inviolate while in his hands; and were shown by him only as the Lord directed. In June, 1829, three men, designated through revelation, were chosen to view the plates, and the occasion was one of heavenly visitation.

The Testimony of Three Witnesses

"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shewn unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvellous in our eyes, nevertheless the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with Him eternally in the heavens. And the honour be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris."

This solemn affirmation was never revoked nor in the least degree modified, though all of the three were later severed from the Church for transgression. To the time of death each maintained the truth of his testimony, despite ridicule and divers sufferings through persecution.

Shortly after the witnessing of the plates by the three, other eight persons were permitted to see and handle the records, as they thus attest:

The Testimony of Eight Witnesses

"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shewn unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it. Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jun., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith."

Three of these eight died out of the Church, yet not one of the whole number ever was known to deny his testimony. Had policy figured in the matter, as doubtless would have been the case in the fraudulent exploitation of a spurious book, the Church might have been expected to tolerate misconduct on the part of members so vitally prominent in its affairs; but the ban of excommunication fell, as justice demanded, without respect to persons. The biography of each of the eleven witnesses has been widely published. Their testimonies appear in every copy of the Book of Mormon. Read and consider.

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A Testimony from the Dust

ON September 22, 1827, Joseph Smith, a youthful resident of Manchester, N. Y., took from the side of a hill in that vicinity a book made up of thin leaves of beaten gold, held together by rings after the fashion of our modern loose-leaf records. As described by the finder, and by others to whom they were shown, these golden leaves or plates were engraved with fine characters having all the appearance of ancient and curious workmanship.

The engraved plates had been laid away with care and attention to preservation; for, when uncovered, they were found, together with certain other antique objects, resting in a small vault or box of stone. "The box in which they lay," wrote Joseph Smith, "was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them." The top slab or lid of the box "was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth."

As subsequent examination proved, the graven characters constituted a history of the aboriginal peoples of the Western Continent, of whom the existing tribes of American Indians are the posterity. A part of the ancient record has been translated into English and the modern version was first published in 1830 as The Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon contains pointed and specific predictions of its own coming forth in the latter days; and these prophecies harmonize with the Biblical Scriptures. The ancient peoples whose voice is again heard among the living were of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and therefore of the family of Joseph, son of Jacob. With this fact in mind, the thoughtful student finds profound significance in the otherwise obscure words of Ezekiel (37:15-20): "The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."

To the puzzled questioners who would ask the meaning of all this, the prophet was told to declare the Lord's purpose in this wise: "Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."

Plainly the record of Judah, which we recognize as the Holy Bible, was to be supplemented by the record of Joseph; and the bringing forth of the latter was to be effected by the direct exercise of Divine power, for the Lord said "I will take the stick of Joseph"; and of the two He averred "they shall be one in mine hand," even as the prototypes had become one in the hand of Ezekiel.

If the testimony of scholars as to Biblical chronology be reliable, Lehi and his colony had already crossed the great waters and become well established in America when Ezekiel voiced this significant prophecy concerning the "stick" or record of Joseph as being distinct from that of Judah. The prediction has been fulfilled. The Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon, the records of Judah and Joseph respectively, are before the world, each attesting the authenticity of the other, and each standing as an irrefutable testimony of the atoning life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A century and a half earlier, Isaiah had cried wo unto Ariel, the City of David; and had made distinction between Judah who then occupied Ariel or Jerusalem, and another people with whom comparison is made. Note the prediction: "And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust." (Isa. 29:4).

The Book of Mormon contains pointed and specific predictions of its own coming forth in the latter days, and these prophecies harmonize with the Biblical Scriptures. Nephi, foreseeing the eventual annihilation of his people as the result of transgression, and having been shown in vision the degraded future of the Lamanites, whom he designated "the seed of my brethren," spoke of the promised restoration of the records in this wise:

"But behold, I prophesy unto you concerning the last days; concerning the days when the Lord God shall bring these things forth unto the children of men. After my seed and the seed of my brethren shall have dwindled in unbelief, and shall have been smitten by the Gentiles; yea, after the Lord God shall have camped against them round about, and shall have laid siege against them with a mount, and raised forts against them; and after they shall have been brought down low in the dust, even that they are not, yet the words of the righteous shall be written, and the prayers of the faithful shall be heard, and all those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not be forgotten. For those who shall be destroyed shall speak unto them out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit; for the Lord God will give unto him power, that he may whisper concerning them, even as it were out of the ground; and their speech shall whisper out of the dust." (2 Nephi 26).

The nation thus "brought down" has spoken "out of the ground"; her speech has come forth "out of the dust"; for the original of the Book of Mormon was actually taken out of the ground, and the voice of the sacred record is as that of one speaking from the dust of the past.

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An Independent Scripture

THE angel Moroni, who made known to Joseph Smith the existence and repository of the inscribed plates from which the Book of Mormon has been translated, informed the modern prophet that the metallic pages contained the fulness of the everlasting Gospel as delivered by the Savior to the former inhabitants of the Western Continent. The book is more than a series of annals and chronicles.

Invaluable as the ancient record may have proved in giving to man the history of a once mighty but now extinct nation, in demonstrating the origin and significance of traditions cherished by the degenerate Indians as evidence of a more enlightened past, in explaining ethnological data otherwise unrelated and largely inexplicable—in these respects the Book of Mormon could have been nothing more than an important contribution to the common fund of human knowledge, possibly of great academic interest but certainly of small vital value.

No apology could be consistently demanded for surprise, wonder, or even incredulity over the announcement of a messenger sent from the presence of God to restore to the possession of mortals a mere history of dynasties and kingdoms, of migrations and battles, of cities builded and destroyed, and of the rise and fall of commonwealths.

The miraculous interposition of Divine power in such a matter is without recorded precedent and apparently lacking in the essential element of necessity.

The priceless character of the Book of Mormon lies in its sacredness as a compilation of Holy Scripture, telling primarily of the dealings of God with the ancient peoples of the West, of the Divine purpose in their isolation on a previously unknown continent, the teaching and practise of the Gospel with all its essential laws and ordinances enjoined through revelation entirely apart from the Biblical Scriptures, and particularly of the solemn testimony of a great nation relating to the atoning death and literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the race.

The avowed purpose of Jehovah, in leading Lehi and his colony from Jerusalem and conducting them across the great waters to the American shores, was to separate unto Himself a body of Israelites who would be cleansed from false tradition and the defiling precepts of men respecting the appointed mission of Christ in the flesh. As Moses was led into the desert and later into the mountain top, as Elijah was impelled to seek the cavern's solitude, that each might the better hear the Divine voice—so a nation was sequestered in the New World that they might learn the word of revealed truth in its simplicity and plainness.

In the mind of God it had been decreed that the life, death, and resurrection of His Only Begotten Son be attested by other witnesses than Galilee, Samaria and Judea. While Lehi and his people were journeying through the deserts of Arabia, the Lord revealed by vision and the visitation of angels unto the prophet and again unto Nephi that, six hundred years later, the Son of the Eternal Father would be born of the Virgin of Nazareth, that He was to be the Redeemer of the world, that a prophet would go before Him crying repentance unto the people and baptizing them in Jordan, and that twelve Apostles would attend the Savior and continue to teach and administer after the Lord's death and resurrection.

The doctrine of the coming Christ and the necessity of repentance and baptism had been preached by prophets throughout the six centuries of preparation. At the time of our Lord's birth at Bethlehem, the predicted signs of the glad event were witnessed in America, and prominent among these was the absence of darkness between two days. The tragedy on Calvary was signalized in the West, as the prophets had foretold, by great disturbances of the earth, and by the continuation of darkness between two nights.

The more righteous part of the people had been preserved from destruction; and to a multitude of these, assembled about the Temple, the crucified and resurrected Lord appeared, with the solemn accompaniment of the Father's proclamation from the heavens: "Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name: hear ye Him." (3 Nephi, chap. 11).

The people looked upward, "And behold they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and He was clothed in a white robe, and He came down and stood in the midst of them, and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon Him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them. And it came to pass that He stretched forth His hand and spake unto the people, saying, Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world; And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning."

He permitted them to see and feel the wounds of the cross in His hands, feet, and side; and they worshiped Him.

The Book of Mormon is a new and independent witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, by which all mankind may be saved through obedience, and without which no man can have place in the Kingdom of God.

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His Church Established Among the Ancient Americans

DURING His brief period of mortal ministry our Lord the Christ established His Church, with Apostles empowered and directed to administer the ordinances essential to membership and to build up the institution. This was done in Palestine; and from that land the message of salvation was carried into every country known to the inhabitants of the Eastern Continent. In the period immediately following the Lord's departure, the Apostles prosecuted the work of the ministry with such zeal and effectiveness that we read of them: "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." (Mark 16:20).

We are expressly informed of the rapid growth of the Church in apostolic times. Paul, writing approximately thirty years after the Ascension, declared that the Gospel had been made known to every nation—"preached to every creature under heaven," by which comprehensive statement the Apostle doubtless meant that the Gospel had been so generally proclaimed in known lands that all who would might have learned of it.

The Apostles had been instructed to go into all the world and to preach the Gospel to every creature, with the assurance that such as accepted their message and were baptized as the Lord had commanded would be saved, while such as rejected the Gospel would be damned.

So far as we know, during the apostolic epoch and for more than a millennium thereafter, the existence of a Western Continent was known to no one in the East. Nevertheless, at that very time and for centuries before, America was inhabited by powerful nations, who exhibited the entire range of attainment from savagery to refinement and culture, and all the gradations from deviltry to godliness.

It was obviously impossible for the Galilean Apostles, by any but miraculous and supernatural aid, to carry the Gospel to the western world, and we find scriptural warrant for the assertion that they did not so.

Nevertheless, the Church of Jesus Christ was established upon the American continent, and that through the personal ministry of the Risen Lord, soon after His ascension from Mount Olivet. The Book of Mormon contains a circumstantial account of this marvelous theophany.

Jesus Christ visited the aboriginal peoples of the Western Continent. His identity affirmed by the voice of the Eternal Father and by His own solemn testimony, the Resurrected Christ, still bearing the wounds of the cross in hands and feet and side, declared that the old order under the Mosaic Law was fulfilled and abrogated in Him; and straightway He proceeded to organize His Church under the new or Gospel dispensation.

He chose twelve men, whom He ordained to be special witnesses of Himself and the Church; and to them He gave authority to administer the ordinances essential to salvation, as He had done on the other hemisphere.

Baptism had been practised among the Nephites prior to this visitation, and disputation had arisen as to the mode and purpose of the ordinance. The Savior cautioned the Nephite Twelve and the people generally against schism and contention. To the ordained disciples He said:

"On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them: behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water. . . . And there shall be no disputations among you, as there hath hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there hath hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. . . . And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me. . . . And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11).

Then by specific commission He empowered the Twelve Disciples to administer the higher baptism of the Spirit, or the bestowal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

The sacrament of bread and wine was instituted by the Lord for the further blessing of those who, after due confession of faith and repentance, had been baptized in His name. As to partaking of the broken and consecrated bread He gave special commandment: "And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shewn unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father, that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you."

In connection with the administration of the sacramental wine He said: "Ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you." (18:7-11).

We read further: "And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the Church of Christ." (26:21).

Thus was the Church of Jesus Christ organized among the ancient Americans. For nearly two centuries it flourished with such fruitage of blessing as had never before been known. Then the weeds of dissension attained so rank a growth as to well-nigh smother the tree of the Lord's own planting. Man-made churches sprang up, and persecution, foul sister to intolerance, became rampant.

About four hundred years after the visitation of Christ, the Church in America ceased to exist, for an overwhelming tide of apostasy had swept the New as well as the Old World, and by Divine allowance the Nephite nation fell a prey to its hereditary foes.

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That Jesus is the Christ

TWO national histories, separate and distinct, written on opposite hemispheres, unite in circumstantial testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ as the World's Redeemer; and these are embodied in independent volumes of Scripture—The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon.

The evidence of witnesses, whether individuals, coteries or nations, refutes itself if it fail in consistency, mutual support, and agreement in all substantials. The most critical examination of these two compilations of Scripture as to this vital feature is invited.

Among the outstanding facts of profoundest import recorded in the Bible concerning Jesus Christ and His mission are these:

1. His preexistence and antemortal Godship.

2. His foreordination as the Redeemer and Savior of mankind.

3. Predictions of His embodiment in the flesh, as the Son of the Eternal Father and of mortal woman.

4. The fulfilment of these predictions in His birth as Mary's Child.

5. The sending of a forerunner, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the Lord's public ministry.

6. Christ's earthly life, covering about a third of a century, characterized by beneficent service, by authoritative administration, and by unexceptionable example.

7. The establishment of His Church with duly ordained Apostles, who, with other ministers invested with the Holy Priesthood, carried forward the work of salvation after the Lord's departure.

8. The specific and authentic enunciation of the fundamental principles and ordinances of the Gospel, by which the way of salvation has been opened to all, and without which none can abide in the Kingdom of God, these comprising: (1) Faith in Him as the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world; (2) Repentance of sin; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and (4) Bestowal of the Holy Ghost by the authoritative laying on of hands.

9. The Lord's sacrificial and atoning death.

10. His actual resurrection, whereby His spirit was reunited with the crucified body and He became a glorified and immortalized Soul.

11. His ministry as a Resurrected Being among men.

12. His exaltation to the place He had won at the right hand of God the Eternal Father.

13. The general apostasy of mankind from the Gospel of Christ, bringing about an era of spiritual darkness.

14. The restoration of the Holy Priesthood in the latter days, by which the Gospel would be again preached in power and its ordinances administered for the salvation of men.

15. The assurance of our Lord's yet future return to earth, in glory and judgment, to inaugurate the predicted Millennium of peace and righteousness.

16. His eternal status as Judge of both quick and dead, and the eventual Victor over sin and death.

In every particular, even to circumstantial detail, the Scriptures of the West accord with those of the East in their solemn witness to these portentous developments of the Divine plan, which has for its purpose "the immortality and eternal life of man." The voice of the continents, the independent testimonies of Judah and Ephraim, the Scriptures of the Jews and those of the Nephites, are heard in tuneful harmony bearing true witness to the world of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In vindication of the prophets of both East and West, the Holy Priesthood has been restored to the earth in this latter age, and the saving ordinances of the Lord's House are again administered for the salvation of souls. In this glorious restoration, coupled with the miraculous bringing forth of the Book of Mormon, is found a rich fulfilment of ancient prophecy; for verily Truth has sprung out of the earth, and Righteousness has come down from heaven. (See Psa. 85:11).

Now, in olden times at least two witnesses were required to establish the truth of any important fact; and thus spake the Lord respecting the independent testimony of nations concerning Himself: "Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. . . . Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible, ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. . . . For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. . . . And it shall come to pass that my people which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one." (2 Nephi 29).

The theme of this unified anthem of Divine ministry is the preparation of the race for the impending advent of the Lord, who shall stand in Bodily Presence upon the earth, to subdue wickedness and reign in righteousness in company with all who shall have become His.

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Shepherds and Sheep-Herders

OUR Lord's likening Himself to a shepherd and His followers to sheep has been an inspiration to poets, preachers, artists, and devout souls generally throughout the centuries of our era. While all His discourses are fraught with a significance that increases with repeated readings, some of His utterances are of outstanding interest because of their universal application and personal appeal. The sermon of the Good Shepherd is prominent in this class. Read John 10.

None other than the Lord Himself has depicted so forcefully and yet simply the contrast between shepherd and sheep-herder, between owner and hireling, between him who is ready to defend the sheep because he loves them, and the other who sees in the flock only so much wool, hide, and mutton.

Our literature contains no more striking differentiation of devoted service from money-loving effort than that presented in this brief, terse, yet comprehensive discourse. Every efficient laborer is worthy of his hire, or ought to be, be he plowman, artizan or professional, artist, teacher or preacher. Far from there being discredit in receiving wage for work, this reciprocal relationship is a fundamental necessity of community existence. But he whose sole purpose and interest is the wage, without devotion to the service for its intrinsic good, is but a hired servant and likely so to remain.

Never has been spoken a stronger arraignment of insincere teachers, false pastors, self-seeking hirelings—those who teach for pelf and divine for dollars, robbers who pose as shepherds yet avoid the door to the fold and climb up "some other way," prophets in the devil's employ who, to achieve their master's purpose, hesitate not to robe themselves in assumed sanctity, and appear in sheep's clothing while inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matt. 7:15).

In the record of this profound discourse, one verse appears as an abrupt interpolation, bearing little relation aside from imagery with preceding or following verses. This reads: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16).

The Bible contains no related passage affording explanation. Commentators treat this verse as an isolated and unconnected utterance, and content themselves with the suggestion that the "other sheep" may be the Gentile nations who are to be brought into the Jewish fold under the one Shepherd. The Jews who heard the Lord speak so understood Him. The Book of Mormon, however, illumines our understanding of the quoted Scripture, and explains the Lord's purpose in speaking as He did and in leaving the subject without further exposition.

Shortly after His ascension, Christ visited a detached body of Israelites then existing as a great nation on the Western Continent. To them He declared Himself to be the slain and resurrected Son of God, through whom alone salvation was made possible to man. He gave them precepts and commandments, and chose twelve disciples whom He ordained to teach the Gospel and to administer in His name the ordinances thereof. To them He said, referring to the Jews amongst whom He had lived and died:

"This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them: That other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. . . . And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice; that I should not manifest myself unto them, save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 15:16-24).

It is evident that even the Jewish Apostles had failed to apprehend the real significance of the Master's words; for they had vaguely surmised that He would manifest Himself in personal ministry among the Gentiles, oblivious to the fact that He had been sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel; and that only through the ministrations of His ordained representatives would the Gospel be declared to the Gentile world.

But, as other parts of the sacred record make plain, the Gospel is offered freely to the Gentiles of the earth, and they through acceptance and obedience shall be numbered with Israel and be made partakers of the blessings assured by covenant to the righteous. See Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 30:2; 3 Nephi 16:13.

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Divine Communication in the Current Age

WE believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (Articles of Faith, No. 9).

Revelation, direct and personal from God to men, is the dominant theme of Scripture. Expunge from the Bible all record of actual revelation and reference thereto, and what remains? Nothing more than a variety of historical sketches, chronicles, genealogical data, some chapters of ethical value, a few poetical rhapsodies, proverbs, and allegories.

Every believer in the authenticity of the Holy Bible acknowledges that God literally spake to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, and that specific revelation was given to Israel during the time of the Judges, and on to David and Solomon, thence to John who was the immediate forerunner of the Messiah. The actuality of Divine revelation through duly constituted prophets, seers, and revelators, has been so generally accepted throughout the ages, and is so abundantly attested, that by all rules of argument and debate the burden of proof naturally and properly falls upon him who denies.

Continued revelation of the Divine will and purpose is in harmony with the spirit of the times. In no phase of human effort and advancement, save only that of the soul's salvation, do men venture to assert or even think that we have learned all there is to learn. What of a college professor in chemistry, geology, or astronomy, who would confine his students to the conning of books that tell of early discoveries, with the dictum that nothing remains to be discovered, instead of guiding them in laboratory and field, and in the searching of the outer deep with telescope and spectroscope, in the confident hope of finding new truths?

Revelation is God's means of communication with His children, and we deny the consistent and unchangeable character of Deity when we say that God has revealed Himself to man, but cannot or will not do so again. Is it reasonable to hold that in one age the Church of Christ was blessed, enlightened, and guided by direct revelation and that at another time the Church is to be left to itself, sustained only by the dead letter of earlier days? The living Church must be in vital communication with its Divine Head.

The Christ Himself was a revelator, through whom the Father's will was made known to man. Notwithstanding His personal authority as Jehovah, God though He had been, was, and is, while He lived as a Man among men Jesus Christ declared His work to be that of One greater than Himself, from whom He had been sent, and by whom He was instructed and directed. Note His words: "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John 12:49-50).

The recreant and unbelieving Jews rejected their Lord because He came to them with a new revelation. Had they not Moses and the prophets? What more could they need? They openly boasted "We are Moses' disciples," and added "We know that God spake unto Moses; as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." (John 9:28-29). Those who deny the possibility of present day revelation are not distinguished by originality; they follow a beaten path, hard trodden by ignoble feet.

The Apostles ministered under the guiding influence of revelation. Paul writing to the Corinthians said: "But God hath revealed them [Divine truths] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. 2:10-12).

The imperative need of continued revelation appears in the fact that new conditions and unprecedented combinations of circumstances arise with the passage of time, and Divine direction alone can meet the new issues.

The Apostle John knew that in the last days, these present days, the voice of God would be heard calling His people from the Babylon of sin to the Zion of safety: "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4; see also 14:6).

Nephi, an ancient prophet whose record appears in the Book of Mormon, addressed himself to the unbelievers of the last days, and thus predicted the bringing forth of additional Scriptures: "And it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold the book shall be sealed: and in the book shall be a revelation from God." (2 Nephi, 27: 6-7).

Through the Hebrew prophet Malachi the Lord promised additional revelation in the last days, by the coming of Elijah with a special and particular commission. (Mal. 4: 5-6). These prophecies have been fulfilled to the letter in modern time, the first by the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon and its publication to the world: the latter by the inauguration of vicarious work for the dead through the personal visitation of Elijah, a work now in vigorous prosecution in the Temples erected and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Not only has the voice of God been heard in modern times, but His words spell rebuke and reproof unto those who would close His mouth and estrange Him from His people. Verily hath He spoken, "proving to the world that the Holy Scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, to-day, and for ever." (D&C 20:11-12). Of old the Lord proclaimed: "Wo be unto him that shall say, We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough" (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 28:29); and in this age hath He spoken words of admonition and warning: "Deny not the Spirit of revelation, nor the Spirit of prophecy, for wo unto him that denieth these things." (D&C 11:25).

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A Nation Without a Country

WE believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes, etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 10).

The gathering of Israel is contingent upon the fact of that people's dispersion. Consideration of the scattering is a necessary preliminary to a study of the reassembling of Israel's hosts.

God made covenant with Abraham that through him and his posterity should all nations of the earth be blessed. A rich fulfilment of the promise is found in the earthly birth of the Christ through the lineage of Abraham. Further and related fulfilment appears in the effect of the distribution of Israelites amongst other nations through enforced dispersion.

Abraham's descendants through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob have been distinctively known since Jacob's time as Israelites, or the Children of Israel. As the Old Testament avouches they grew to be a mighty nation, distinguished in certain respects from all other peoples. They were particularly characterized as "Jehovah worshipers," professing allegiance to the living God, whilst all the rest of the world was pagan and idolatrous. By their world wide dispersion a knowledge of the true and living God has been diffused.

So long as the Israelites were true to the Divine covenants made with Abraham, and reaffirmed severally with Isaac and Jacob, they prospered in material things as in spiritual power. So far as they became alienated through pagan practises and unrighteous affiliations, they suffered both individually and as a nation.

The Lord set before them the alternative of blessed perpetuity incident to their faithfulness, or disruption and subjugation to alien powers as the sure result of disobedience to Divine requirement. Both sacred and secular history make plain that Israel chose the evil part, forfeiting the promised blessings, reaping the foretold curses.

At the death of Solomon the nation was divided. Approximately two of the twelve tribes became established as the Kingdom of Judah, and came in time to be currently known as Jews; the rest of the tribes retained the title Kingdom of Israel, though known also by the name of Ephraim. The division led eventually to the eclipse of both kingdoms as autonomous powers among the known nations of the earth.

The Kingdom of Israel was subdued by the Assyrians about 721 B. C.; the people were carried into captivity, and later disappeared so completely from history as to be designated the Lost Tribes. These are the ten tribes whose restoration is predicted as an event of latter times. The Kingdom of Judah maintained a precarious and partial independence for a little more than a century after the Assyrian captivity, and then fell a prey to the conquering hosts of Nebuchadnezzar. After seventy years of bondage, the period specified through prophecy by Jeremiah (25:11, 12; 29:10), a considerable number of the people were permitted to return to Judea, where they rebuilt the temple, and vainly strove to reestablish themselves on the scale of their vanished greatness. They were impoverished by the aggressions of Syria and Egypt, and eventually became tributary to Rome, in which condition of vassalage they existed at the time of Christ's earthly ministry amongst them.

From the numerous Biblical prophecies relating to Israel's dispersion the following are cited as particularly illustrative:

"And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you." (Deut. 4:27.)

"And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee." (Ezek. 22:15).

"For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth." (Amos 9:9).

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24).

And so, in progressive stages, the covenant people of God have been scattered. The bringing of a body of Israelites to the Western Continent six centuries before the birth of Christ, of which the Book of Mormon bears record, was part of the general dispersion, and was so recognized by Nephite prophets.

Since the destruction of Jerusalem and the final disruption of the Jewish nation by the Romans, A. D. 71, the Jews have been largely wanderers upon the face of the earth, outcasts among the nations, a people without a country, a nation without a home. Israel has been sifted "like as corn is sifted in a sieve"; but, be it remembered that coupled with the dread prediction was the assuring promise "Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth."

The record made by that division of the house of Israel which took its departure from Jerusalem, and made its way to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B. C., contains many references to the dispersions that had already taken place, and to the continuation of the scattering which was to the writers of the Book of Mormon yet future. In the course of the journey to the coast, the prophet Lehi, while encamped with his family and other followers in the valley of Lemuel on the borders of the Red Sea, declared what he had learned by revelation of the future "dwindling of the Jews in unbelief," of their crucifying the Messiah, and of their scattering "upon all the face of the earth." He compared Israel to an olive tree, the branches of which were to be broken off and distributed; and he recognized the exodus of his colony, and their journeying afar, as an incident in the general plan of dispersion.

Nephi, the son of Lehi, also beheld in vision the scattering of the covenant people of God, and on this point added his testimony to that of his prophet-father. He saw also that the seed of his brethren, subsequently known as the Lamanites, were to be chastened for their unbelief, and that they were destined to become subject to the Gentiles, and to be scattered before them. Down the prophetic vista of years, he saw also the bringing forth of sacred records, other than those then known, "unto the convincing of the Gentiles, and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth."

After their arrival on the promised land, the colony led by Lehi received further information regarding the dispersion of Israel. The prophet Zenos, quoted by Nephi, had predicted the unbelief of the house of Israel, in consequence of which these covenant ones of God were to "wander in the flesh, and perish, and become a hiss and a by-word, and be hated among all nations."

The brothers of Nephi, skeptical in regard to these teachings, asked whether the things of which he spake were to come to pass in a spiritual sense, or more literally; and were informed that "the house of Israel, sooner or later, will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations"; and further, in reference to dispersions then already accomplished, that "the more part of all the tribes have been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea"; and then, by way of prediction concerning further division and separation, Nephi adds that the Gentiles shall be given power over the people of Israel, "and by them shall our seed be scattered."

The day of deliverance for Israel is near at hand; the restoration of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, and of the remnants of all the tribes distributed throughout the earth, as well as bringing forth from their long exile the tribes that have been lost, are particularly specified as events of the current dispensation, directly precedent to the second advent of the Christ.

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Judah and Israel to Come Into Their Own

WE believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes, etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 10).

As complete as was the scattering, so shall the gathering of Israel be. Great as has been the chastisement of the covenant though recreant people, all through their centuries of suffering they have been sustained by the Divine promise of recovery and rehabilitation. Though despised of men, a large part of them gone from the knowledge of the world, the people of Israel are not lost to their God, who knows whither they have been led or driven. Note the paternal affection, in which appears commiseration for the plight into which they had brought themselves through sin: "And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God." (Lev. 26:44; see also Deut. 4:26-31).

Isaiah thus forcefully proclaims the purposes of God to be fulfilled in the last, the current, age: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left. . . . And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isa. 11:11-12).

So momentous shall be the assembling of the tribes in their respective places of gathering, that the event shall be held to surpass the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, for thus hath the Lord spoken: "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." (Jer. 16:14-16).

To these Biblical citations let us add the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, given to His Apostles just prior to His death and specified as one of the signs to precede His later coming: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matt. 24:31).

Two gathering centers are distinctively mentioned, and the maintenance of a separate autonomy for the ancient kingdoms of Judah and Israel is repeatedly affirmed in Scripture, with Jerusalem and Zion as the respective capitals. In the light of modern revelation by which many ancient passages are illumined and made clear, we hold that the Jerusalem of Judea is to be rebuilt by the reassembled house of Judah, and that Zion is to be built up on the American continent by the gathered hosts of Israel, other than the Jews. When such shall have been accomplished, Christ shall personally rule in the earth, and then shall be realized the glad fulfilment: "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3; see also Joel 3:16; Zeph. 3:14).

Book of Mormon prophecies are plain in defining the extent and purpose of the latter-day gathering. Be it remembered that it was the people who once constituted the kingdom of Judah, the Jews, not the entire house of Israel, who rejected Jesus as the Son of God and the foreappointed Redeemer. By the Nephites who dwelt on the American continent, an Israelitish branch, He was received and worshipped as the Christ (see Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11); and the tenor of Book of Mormon Scriptures warrants the inference that He was accepted by the Lost Tribes, to whom He went to minister in person after His several visitations in the resurrected state to the Nephites. (See 3 Nephi 15:15 and 16:1-3; compare 2 Nephi 29:12-13).

The rehabilitation of the Jewish nation is assured, and the prominent part to be taken in that work by Gentile nations is defined in prophecy. So spake Jehovah through His prophet Nephi:

"But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance. And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance. Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?" (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 10:7-9; see also 25:15-17).

The work of gathering is well under way; and among the far-reaching results of the World War is the participation of the Gentile nations in providing for the reassembling of Israel. It is the privilege of the Gentiles to assist in the gathering of the Jews on the Eastern, and the other branches of Israel on the Western Continent; and so far as they shall accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Gentiles shall be numbered with the covenant people and share with them the plenitude of blessings, in their own right, for, verily, God is no respecter of persons.

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The Place of the New Jerusalem

WE believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this [the American] continent; etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 10).

The Holy Bible makes frequent mention of Zion and Jerusalem with the context showing that the terms are used interchangeably if not as precise synonyms. This application of different names to the same place is justified by the fact that within the walls of the Jerusalem of old was a hill specifically called Mount Zion, and by contraction, Zion.

But the two names appear in other Biblical passages with distinctive meaning, indicating different places, and expressive of contrast instead of identity. For example, consider the prophecy voiced by Isaiah relating to a time yet future: "Oh Zion that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength: lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God." (Isa. 40:9).

The same prophet refers to a Zion of the last days in which the righteous shall be safeguarded, this to be in a mountainous land, with the "munitions of rocks" as a defense; and he particularly states that the land is very far off. (See Isa. 33: 14-17).

More definite than Bible prophecies, however, are the predictions relating to the latter-day Zion made by prophets who ministered on the American continent many centuries prior to the rediscovery of the New World by Columbus. In the Book of Mormon the names Zion and New Jerusalem are used with allied meaning and sometimes synonymously.

Near the beginning of the sixth century before Christ's birth, Ether, a Jaredite prophet, compiled the history of his people from the time of their coming to America soon after the dispersion from Babel. Even before they had crossed the ocean, the sanctity of the Western Continent as a foreappointed land for people who would observe the laws of righteousness was made known to the Jaredites. In a summary of Ether's record, Moroni the Nephite who lived a thousand years after the extinction of the Jaredites, says of the latter:

"And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people. And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them. . . . For behold this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God, or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off." (Book of Mormon, Ether 2:7-10).

The inspired admonition of these ancient prophets to the inhabitants of America today, that they observe and uphold the principles of righteousness, which embody just government and true liberty under equitable laws, may profitably be taken to heart by people of all conditions and degrees.

America is the Land of Zion, and as the people of this continent render allegiance to the God of Israel who is verily the God of all mankind, the land shall be sacred to liberty as the inheritance of the house of Israel. In it the Gentiles shall be potent, and shall be numbered with Israel according to their deserts. To the Nephites the Lord gave this far-reaching and blessed promise.

"But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land against all other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God; for he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them for ever, that hear my words." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 10:10-14).

Zion is to be established on this continent, and as the word of modern revelation avers, in the western part of the United States (See D&C 45:64-71; 57:1-5). The time of the blessed consummation is conditioned by the fitness of the people. Hither shall come the hosts of scattered Israel, and the Lost Tribes from their long obscurity. Here shall yet be built the City of the Lord, Zion, the New Jerusalem, which in time shall be made one with the "Holy City," which the Revelator saw "coming down from God, out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev. 21:2).

Holy Scriptures, of both ancient and latter days, aver that the Lost Tribes of Israel shall be brought forth from the place whereunto the Lord has led them, and shall figure in the general gathering incident to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. Touching this feature of the Divine purpose in the time of restoration, we are told:

"And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear his voice and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim; and they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows." (D&C 133:26-34).

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The Consummation of the Ages

WE believe . . . that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; etc. (Articles of Faith, No. 10).

"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11). So spake the white-robed angels to the Apostles as the resurrected Christ ascended from their midst on Mount Olivet. The assertion is definite, unambiguous, easy to comprehend. Jesus the Christ is to return to earth "in like manner" as He went, therefore as a material Being, a living Personage, having a tangible immortalized body of flesh and bones.

The actuality of the Lord's future advent is attested by the utterances of holy prophets both before and since the brief period of His ministry in the flesh, and by His own unequivocal avowal. Consider the following:

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matt. 16:27).

"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels." (Luke 9:26; compare Mark 8:38).

The Master had so effectively instructed the Apostles concerning His assured death and His later return to earth in power and glory, that they eagerly inquired as to the time and signs of His coming. (See Matt. chap. 24). Though they failed to comprehend the full import of His reply, He told them that many great developments would intervene between His departure and return; but as to the certainty of His advent as Judge, and Lord, and King, Jesus left no excuse for dubiety in their minds. Throughout the apostolic period the Lord's coming was preached with the emphasis of inspired and convicting testimony.

Book of Mormon prophecies concerning the great event are no whit less explicit. To the Nephites the resurrected Christ preached the Gospel of salvation; "And He did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that He should come in His glory." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 26:3).

Questions of supreme import to every one of us are these: (1) When will Christ come? (2) What shall be the purpose and attendant conditions of His coming?

The date of the Lord's advent has never been revealed to man, nor shall it be. Prior to His resurrection Jesus Himself did not know it, as witness His words: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (Mark 13:32).

In the present age the Father hath declared: "And they have done unto the Son of Man even as they listed; and He has taken His power on the right hand of His glory, and now reigneth in the heavens, and will reign till He descends on the earth to put all enemies under His feet, which time is nigh at hand. I, the Lord God, have spoken it, but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until He comes." (D&C 49:6-7).

In the light of such scriptural affirmations we may dismiss as empty conjecture all alleged determinations as to the precise time of the Lord's appearing. Nevertheless, the specified signs and conditions by which is shown the imminence of the event are definite, and from these we know that the great day of the Lord is very near. So near is the consummation that the intervening period is called "today"; and on the morrow mankind shall rejoice or tremble at the presence of the Lord. (See Doctrines and Covenants 64:23-25).

Christ's advent shall be made with the accompaniment of power and great glory. While in suddenness and unexpectedness to the unobserving it shall be comparable to the coming of a thief in the night, it shall be a manifestation of surpassing glory to all the world: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:27).

With the Lord's appearing a general resurrection of the righteous dead shall be effected, and many then in the flesh shall be changed from the mortal to the immortal state without the intervening experience of prolonged disembodiment or the sleep of the grave. (See 1 Thess. 4:14-17).

"And the face of the Lord shall be unveiled; And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened, and be caught up to meet Him. And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth; for their graves shall be opened, and they also shall be caught up to meet Him in the midst of the pillar of heaven." (D&C 88:95-97).

Then shall be established the era of peace, the predicted Millennium, in which Christ shall dwell with men, and shall rule in the earth as Lord and King.

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A Thousand Years of Peace

WE believe . . . that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (Articles of Faith, No. 10).

Through the lurid gloom of smoke and fire in which the nations have been enshrouded, amidst the awful stench of blood that has sickened the world, mankind has had reason to rejoice in the enlightening beams of comforting assurance that an era of peace is to be established. And this shall be a peace that cannot be broken, for righteousness shall rule, and man's birthright to liberty shall be inviolate.

Of necessity this blessed state shall be attained only after due preparation; for in the economy of God it would be as incongruous to force upon mankind an unappreciated and undesired boon as to arbitrarily afflict with an undeserved curse.

The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign personally upon the earth is near at hand, for the Scriptures so attest. Prophecies relating to this impending event specify a period of a thousand years, distinctively known as the Millennium, which in certain conditions shall differ from both preceding and succeeding time. While this period is nowise indicative of a limitation to the Lord's dominion, it specifies the duration of a particular part of His ministry, even as the epoch of His administration in the flesh is measurable in terms of years and days.

Unto righteous Enoch, who walked with God and was taken bodily from the earth (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5), the certainty of the millennial reign was revealed over thirty centuries before the Lord's birth in mortality, as is thus recorded: "And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 45).

In glorious vision John, the apostle and revelator, foresaw Christ's personal reign, during which Satan is to be bound:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." (Rev. 20:4, 5; see also verse 2).

The Millennium is to be a Sabbatical era, when the earth shall rest; and men, relieved from the tyranny of Satan, shall, if they will, live in righteousness and peace. Man, to whom was given dominion over the earth and its creatures, shall rule by love, for enmity between him and the brute creation shall cease, and the ferocity and venom of the beasts shall be done away. So hath the Lord avowed through the prophet Isaiah. (See Isa. ch. 65).

We are definitely assured that the Millennium is to be inaugurated by the advent of Christ, and that Satan's power over men shall be restrained, and further, that after the thousand blessed years are finished, Satan shall be loosed for a season, and such as elect to follow him shall eventually go with him to eternal condemnation. See Rev. 20:7, and consider these words of the Lord Christ spoken in the current dispensation:

"For in my own due time will I come upon the earth in judgment, and my people shall be redeemed and shall reign with me on earth. For the great Millennium, of which I have spoken by the mouth of my servants, shall come; For Satan shall be bound, and when he is loosed again he shall only reign for a little season, and then cometh the end of the earth. . . . Hearken ye to these words; Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts, and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds." (D&C 43: 29-34).

The following revelation is equally specific:

"For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand. . . . And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season; And the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth." (D&C 29:11, 22, 23).

It is evident from citations given and from all Scripture bearing upon the subject, that the Millennium is to precede the consummation spoken of as "the end of the world." In the era of peace both mortal and immortalized beings will tenant the earth; and though sin will not be wholly abolished nor death banished, the powers of righteousness shall be dominant. Though Satan shall afterward regain a measure of power over mankind, his time will be short and the earth shall eventually be restored to its paradisiacal glory, and become a fit abode for the glorified children of our God and His Christ.

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So Pray We Yet

"OUR Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come."

Thus did the Master teach His disciples to pray; and the injunction has never been abrogated. The passing of the centuries has demonstrated the need of ever increasing fervency in the supplication Thy kingdom come!

But if this petition be anything more than words, it implies a conviction on the part of the supplicant that the kingdom specified has not yet been established on the earth, and that it will be set up in due time. And, if there is to be a kingdom, there must needs be a living, reigning King.

In the Gospel according to Matthew the phrase "kingdom of heaven" repeatedly occurs; while in the writings of the other evangelists and throughout the epistles, the corresponding expression is "kingdom of God," "kingdom of Christ," or simply "kingdom." In many instances these designations are used with the same meaning, though a distinction is apparent in others. The several scriptural usages of the terms comprise:

1. A signification practically identical with that of "The Church of Jesus Christ."

2. The designation of the literal kingdom, material and spiritual, over which Christ the Lord shall rule by personal ministration in days yet future.

Under the first conception, the "kingdom" of scriptural mention has been already established as an organization among men, and is today in a state of war against sin, with its powers and resources mobilized in defense of freedom of worship and for the salvation of the race. Plainly, when we speak of the Church as the Kingdom we refer to an institution already extant on the earth, not one that is yet to come.

The Church of Jesus Christ asserts no right of control in the government of nations; and its jurisdiction in temporal affairs is limited to matters of organization and discipline within itself, such as are essential to the maintenance and perpetuity of any community body.

The Kingdom of God and the Church of Christ are virtually synonymous terms. We do not pray that this organization shall come; for it is now existent. We pray and strive for its growth and development, for the spread of its saving principles, and for their acceptance by all mankind. But the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than the Church as the latter exists today, and when fully established will be seen to be a development thereof. Its advent is yet to be prayed for.

This relationship is made clear through a revelation given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1831:

"Hearken, and lo, a voice as of one from on high, who is mighty and powerful, whose going forth is unto the ends of the earth, yea, whose voice is unto men—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. . . . Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth. Wherefore may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thy enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honour, power and glory, for ever and ever. Amen." (D&C, Sec. 65).

When the Messiah comes to rule and reign, He will be accompanied by the hosts of the righteous who have already passed through the change of death; and the righteous who are yet in the flesh shall be caught up to meet Him, and shall descend with Him as partakers of His glory. Then shall the Kingdom of God on earth be made one with the Kingdom of Heaven. Then shall be realized the glorious fulfilment of the prayer taught by the Christ, and voiced by men through the ages past, Thy Kingdom come.

The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is to be a literal government, administered under the supreme direction of Jesus Christ the King. No longer shall men arrogate to themselves the power of might to exercise dominion over their fellows, nor exalt themselves on thrones, nor bedeck themselves with crowns and scepters.

That the extent and jurisdiction of the kingdom shall be world-wide was declared by Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, depicting "what shall be in the latter days." Thus spake the prophet:

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." (Dan. 2:44-45; see also verse 28).

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Man's Divine Birthright

WE claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (Articles of Faith, 11).

The derivation of the word "worship" is significant. It is the lineal descendant of a pair of Anglo-Saxon terms—weorth meaning "worthy," and scipe, an ancient form of the termination "snip" signifying condition or state. The combination as perpetuated in our expression "worship" means worthy-ship, and connotes the attribute of worthiness on the part of the object of adoration.

Man cannot intelligently worship in ignorance; and this basal fact is supported and strengthened by the inspired affirmation of a modern prophet: "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance." (D&C 131:6).

The devout worshiper must have some conception of the ennobling or emulatory character of his deity, whether that deity be an idol made with hands or the true and living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Worship to be genuine, to be what the word implies, must be voluntary, willing, soulful homage. It is typified by actual praying as contrasted with the formality of saying one's prayers.

Worship is no matter of mere form; it consists not of posture nor gesture, neither of ritual nor of creed—any more than prayer consists of words. Under compulsion, or for the hypocritical purposes of effect, one may mechanically perform all the outward ceremonies of an established style of adoration, yet, without sincerity his effort is but a mockery of worship.

Worship, then, is a matter of conscience, and as such its observance is one of man's inalienable rights. Freedom in worship is part of the Divine birthright of the race; and, as a natural consequence, no earthly power can justly interfere therewith so long as its exercise involves no trespass upon individual or community rights.

The Latter-day Saints accept as divinely inspired the constitutional provision by which religious liberty is professedly guarded—that no law shall ever be made "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"; and we confidently believe that with the spread of enlightenment throughout the world, a similar guaranty will be established in every nation.

Religious intolerance is inconsistent with democratic government; yet this species of prejudice is manifest even amongst the most progressive nations of the age. Zeal ofttimes breeds indiscretion and injustice. It is easy for one who believes that he has the truth to become uncharitable toward those who will not or cannot see as he sees. We find simple explanation of the fact that the early followers of Christ, zealous for the new faith into which they had been baptized, should look with disdain upon their fellows still groping in spiritual darkness. Even John, who has come to be known as the Apostle of Love, became on more than one occasion intolerant and resentful toward unbelievers. He and his brother were incensed at the Samaritans' rejection of the Lord, and would fain have called fire from heaven to consume the offenders; but this vengeful desire was met by Jesus with incisive rebuke, as thus expressed:

"Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." (Luke 9:51-56; see also Mark 9:38-41; compare John 3:17).

Intolerance is unscriptural and un-Christian. Our Lord's teachings are imbued with the spirit of forbearance and love even toward enemies and persecutors.

But let us not forget that there is a vital difference between toleration and acceptance. To assume that because I have respect for my neighbor's belief I must believe and act as he does would be to surrender my own rights. To regard all religious systems, all sects and churches, as essentially of equal worth and worthiness, is to make of religious profession a matter of mere convenience and conventionality.

I verily believe, with the full force of my soul's conviction, that there is and can be but one Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth, possessing the blessings and powers of the Holy Priesthood, with the authority to administer the ordinances requisite to salvation. Nevertheless, I can and do admit freely and without reservation the right of any man to believe that I am wrong; and I hold that neither of us is justified in assailing the other except by means of persuasion, demonstration, and testimony.

To preach the doctrines of men as the precepts of Christ, to supplant the eternal principles of the Gospel by the dogmas of human conception, is to commit grievous sin and incur fearful culpability. Christ and His apostles gave solemn and repeated warning against the heresies of false teachers. Thus wrote Paul to the Galatians:

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8-9).

Some have thought to find in this and cognate Scriptures an excuse for intolerance, and even for persecution. But is it otherwise than consistent with justice and reason to hold that any man who preaches his own doctrines or those of other men under the name of the Gospel of Jesus Christ stands convicted of blasphemy, and deserving of the curse of God? The Apostle cited above left no doubt as to the genuineness of the Gospel he so vigorously defended, as witness the following:

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Each of us may accept or reject the message of eternal life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and by all reason and consistency each shall garner the fruitage of his choice.

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Should We Submit to It?

WE believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (Articles of Faith, 12).

Religion is essentially a matter of every-day life. It has as much to do with the adjustment of the individual to his material environment as with his abstract belief in matters spiritual. A man's religion should be a concrete demonstration of his conceptions concerning God and the Divine purposes respecting himself and his fellows. Anything less lacks both the form of godliness and the power thereof.

The Master associated love for God with love for fellowman; and surely love comprises duty, and duty means effort and action. See Matt. 22:35-40. A very large part of the course of education provided in the school of mortality is attained through association with our kind and the righteous observance of duty in community life. We are not here to be recluses nor to hold ourselves aloof from public service, but to live in a state of mutual helpfulness and effective cooperation.

It is a fundamental necessity that laws shall be established among men for general governance; and obedience to law is the obvious duty of every member of organized society. Violation of the law, therefore, is not only a secular offense but a transgression of the principles of true religion. This world would be a happier one if men carried more religion into their daily affairs—into business, politics, and statesmanship. Mark you, I say religion, not church. Under existing conditions it is imperative that State and Church be kept separate; and this segregation must be maintained until the inauguration of Christ's personal reign.

Loyal citizenship is at once a characteristic and a test of a man's religion; and as to the incumbent duties of citizenship, the voice of the people, as expressed through the established channels of government, must determine.

Obedience to secular authority is enjoined by Scripture; and the Lord Christ exemplified the principle in His own life, even to the extent of meeting a demand that could have been legally challenged. When the tax collector called for tribute money, the following instructive colloquy occurred between Jesus and Peter: "What thinkest thou, Simon, of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matt. 17:25-27. For a discussion of this incident and lessons associated therewith see the writer's work "Jesus the Christ").

On another occasion a treacherous snare was laid to make Christ appear as an offender against the Roman power. Certain wicked Pharisees sought to entangle Him by the question: "What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" The Lord's reply was a telling lesson in the matter of submission to the law. "Shew me the tribute money," said He, "And they brought unto Him a penny. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto Him, Caesar's. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matt. 22:15-21).

The Apostles made it clear that respect for the law and its officers was a part of the religious duty of the saints. In writing to Titus, who was in charge of the Church at Crete, Paul thus admonished him to teach his flock to be orderly and law-abiding: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." (Titus 3:1).

To the saints in Rome the same Apostle wrote, emphasizing their duty toward the civil power, pointing out the necessity of secular government, and designating the officers of the law as ministers of God:

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. . . . For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Rom. 13:1-7).

To the same effect the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ has come to the Church in this age. Thus spake He in 1831:

"Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land: Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until He reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under His feet." And the distinction between the laws of the Church and the laws of the nation is emphasized in the further word: "Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth." (D&C 58:21-23).

Loyal and whole-souled support of the government, service to country, and devotion to the interests of the nation, are requirements of the religion embodied in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Independent But Mutually Helpful

THE teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints concerning the duty of its members, and of all men, in relation to the secular law, are set forth in Section 134 of the D&C, which is one of the standard works of the Church. This is part of the law of the Church, and has been adopted as a guide in faith and practise by the members in general conference assembled.

Of Governments and Laws in General

"1. We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and that He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, either in making laws or administering them, for the good and safety of society.

"2. We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

"3. We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same, and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people (if a republic), or the will of the sovereign.

"4. We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that men are amenable to Him, and to Him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

"5. We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgment are best calculated to secure the public interest, at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

"6. We believe that every man should be honored in his station: rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws, all men owe respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man, and Divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.

"7. We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice, to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws, and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.

"8. We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality, and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquillity all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.

"9. We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered, and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members as citizens, denied.

"10. We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct according to the rules and regulations of such societies, provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, neither to inflict any physical punishment upon them; they can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

"11. We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted, or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons, in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

"12. We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them, contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least, to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men; such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude."

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A Practical Test

WE believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praise-worthy, we seek after these things. (Articles of Faith, 13).

In this brief statement the Latter-day Saints proclaim the practical character of their religion—a religion that embraces not alone definite conceptions of spiritual matters and belief as to conditions in the hereafter, doctrines of original sin and the actuality of heaven and hell, but also and more particularly of present, current, every-day duties, in which self-respect, love for fellow-men, and devotion to God are the guiding principles.

Religion without personal morality, professions of godliness without charity, church membership without consistent conduct in the common affairs of life are but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals—noise without music, the words of prayer without the spirit.

"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:26, 27).

A good test of a man's religion is its utility. Religious profession used as a cloak—and that too often reserved for Sunday wear, hiding in part the shabby rags of sin—is but sacrilege. In any attempt to analyze a religious system or creed it is pertinent to examine the results of its operation in the lives of its adherents. This is as simple and fair as to judge a tree by the quality of its substance and fruit. Altruism is an essential ingredient of a religion that is worth while.

"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." (1 John 4:20, 21).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites attention to its work of unselfish, practical, unremitting benevolence. In missionary service the Church has been active since the date of its organization; and this systematic labor, because of its extent and unique methods, has attracted attention and stimulated comment in practically all nations of the earth. Actuated by a genuine love for humanity and the desire to obey the Divine command respecting such, the Church sends out every year hundreds of missionaries to proclaim its message to the world. These devoted servants comprise men and women called from all vocations, who serve without salary or any other form of material remuneration. Furthermore, they pay their own way in traveling to their appointed fields of labor and while serving therein, except so far as they may receive assistance from those who become interested in their work.

A desire common to young Latter-day Saints is to so live that they shall be found worthy to be called into service to spend a period of years, generally from two to four, as traveling ministers of the Gospel of Christ. They offer their message without money or price, carrying it to the doors in city and country, distributing literature, inviting conversation, but never forcing themselves upon unwilling hearers. Who can consistently affirm that such faithful servants as these are insincere or devoid of that love for fellow-men without which genuine love of God is impossible?

The benevolence that manifests itself in material giving is impressed as a duty upon members of the Church, and while every one is taught to assist the needy by individual effort, a system of orderly contribution and distribution is maintained. In each Ward and Branch of the Church an organization of women known as the Relief Society is operative. Its particular function is that of caring for the needy and the afflicted, without exclusive distinction as to whether the subjects of their ministration are members of the Church or not. The Relief Society receives contributions of money, clothing, food and other commodities and distributes these as occasion requires, beside maintaining a system of visitation to the needy, giving aid in nursing, comfort in bereavement, and relief from distress in every way possible.

The Church teaches the efficacy of prudent fasting, moderate abstinence from food at stated times, as an accessory to prayer; and the first Sunday of each month is observed as a fast-day. On that day the people are invited to meet for special devotional service, and by common consent and custom they contribute at least the equivalent of the meals omitted through the fasting of the family. These offerings are received by the local officers and are distributed under their direction to the worthy poor. If there be a surplus in any Ward it is applied to the needs of other Wards in which the proportion of dependent poor is greater.

By these and other methods, including the tithing system to be considered later, are the Latter-day Saints taught to give of their substance for worthy purposes, and in such a way as to avoid indiscriminate charity whereby perchance unworthy dependency would be fostered. We believe that the harmony of our prayers will become a discord if the cry of the deserving poor accompany our supplications to the throne of Grace.

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No King to Rule in the Land

THE commanding position of the United States among the world powers, and the prominent place the American nation is to maintain as the exponent and champion of human rights, were foreseen and predicted centuries before the beginning of the Christian Era. Such is the Book of Mormon record.

The prophet Nephi was one of the original company, who, under the leadership of his father Lehi, left Jerusalem in the year 600 B. C., and journeyed to the Arabian shore, thence voyaging to the American continent in a vessel they had constructed as, centuries earlier, Noah had built an ark under Divine guidance.

In the early stages of the exodus, while the travelers were journeying seaward through the deserts of Arabia, the Lord revealed unto Nephi that a part of the posterity of his brethren would be smitten by the righteous wrath of God; and it was specifically shown that the nation into which the little company was to develop would be isolated beyond the seas from all other peoples. Thus runs the account of the revelation to Nephi the prophet, the events being chronicled in the past tense as though already accomplished:

"And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren. And it came to pass that the angel said unto me, Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land." (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 13:10-12).

Lehi and his people were Hebrews; all other nations are designated in the Book of Mormon as Gentiles. As later parts of the record make plain, "the promised land" is the continent of America. The "man among the Gentiles," who was to come across the many waters and discover the descendants of Nephi's brethren upon whom the wrath of God had fallen, was Christopher Columbus whose mission was as surely foreappointed as was that of any prophet. Then follows the prediction of the migration of the Pilgrim Fathers, who are described as "other Gentiles" going forth out of captivity; while the subsequent occupation of the land by multitudes of the Gentiles who would prosper as a nation and would subjugate the Indians is impressively set forth. The struggle of the American colonies for independence was foretold, and the assurance that the power of God would be exercised to give them victory over "their mother Gentiles", or the British nation, was inscribed on enduring metal before the existence of the western world had found place even in the dreams of mankind.

Thus runs the ancient record: "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity, did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them; And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them. And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle. And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity, were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations." (1 Nephi 13:16-19).

In the economy of God, America, which is veritably the land of Zion, was aforetime consecrated as the home of a free and independent nation. It is the divinely assured inheritance of the "House of Israel"; and people of all nationalities who will abide by the laws of righteousness, which embody the principles of true liberty, may become by adoption members of the House of Israel. For a wise purpose this promised land, the American continent, was long kept from the knowledge of men; and the hand of the Lord has been potent in directing its discovery and in the establishment of the nation of promise and destiny thereon. Nephite prophets reiterated this solemn assurance, and proclaimed as the will and purpose of God that the government of the land should be a government of the people and not the tyranny of kings.

Lehi was explicit in avowal of the Lord's purpose in consecrating America as the home of free men, on conditions of righteousness: "Wherefore I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land, save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound, cursed shall be the land for their sakes; but unto the righteous it shall be blessed for ever. And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance." (2 Nephi 1:6-8).

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The Founding of an Ancient Republic

Democracy is indigenous to America.

One of the earliest recorded experiments of representative government by the people was undertaken on the Western Continent; and it was a success.

These statements are not made with reference to the establishment of the United States of America as a free and independent nation, but to events that antedated by nearly a century the birth of Christ.

At that time North America was inhabited by two great peoples, the Nephites and the Lamanites, each named after an early leader, and both originally of one family stock. Except for brief periods of comparative peace the two nations lived in a state of hostility due to Lamanite aggression.

The Nephites were progressive, cultured, and of peaceful desires, while the Lamanites became degenerate, dark-skinned and barbarous. Eventually the Nephite nation was destroyed by its savage foes; the Lamanites persisted and are represented today by their direct descendants, the American Indians.

For five centuries prior to the events now under consideration each nation had been governed by a succession of kings. The Lamanite rulers exercised autocratic sway and relied upon physical force for their power. Some of the Nephite monarchs were almost as bad, though many were notably considerate and just.

The last of the Nephite sovereigns was Mosiah; he died 91 B. C. after a righteous reign of thirty-three years. King in name, he called his people brethren and counted himself their trusted and presiding servant.

A short time before his death Mosiah called for an expression from his people as to whom they desired to succeed him on the throne. There was a united answer; the people wanted the king's son, to whom it was said "the kingdom doth rightly belong." But Aaron, the people's choice, declined the crown, as did his brothers in turn; for all these sons of Mosiah were devoted to the preaching of the Gospel and esteemed the labors of the ministry above the royal estate.

Mosiah seized the opportunity occasioned by the people's loyalty and unity to awaken them to the fact that the powers of government were inherent within themselves, and to urge them to exercise their sovereign rights and assume the privileges and responsibilities of self-rule. He recommended that they abolish the monarchy and establish a Republic according to "the voice of the people."

In a stirring proclamation he set forth the potential dangers of kingly rule and admonished the nation to guard its liberty as a sacred possession, and to delegate the governing power to officers of its own choosing, whom he called judges, who should be elected by popular vote, and who could be impeached if charged with iniquitous exercise of power and be removed if found unworthy. King Mosiah summarized in a masterly way the fundamentals of true democracy. After reciting the wrongs the people had suffered under monarchical oppression, he continued in this wise:

"Therefore choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.

"Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe, and make it your law to do your business by the voice of the people.

"And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you, yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

"And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.

"If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.

"And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord: and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king. . . .

"And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike." (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 29.)

The affairs of government were to be the concern of the whole commonwealth; for, as the king proclaimed with convincing plainness, "the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part." It is gratifying to know that the Nephites adopted the proposition, straightway set about creating election districts, and at the appointed time chose by vote the first elective rulers of the new Republic.

From American soil, which of all was first to be prepared for the cultivation of representative government by the people, the seed of democracy shall be carried to every other land, until all men are free, in accordance with Divine intent.

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Assured by Prophecy

As late as but a few months prior to that fateful date—August 1, 1914—when the war storm burst in Europe, some of the world's great ones, eminent in scholarship and leaders of thought, aggressively proclaimed their belief that a great war was impossible. They held that the affairs of nations were so intimately related, the interests common to humanity so closely knit, as to safeguard the world against any such devastating conflict as would be entailed by the outbreak of war among great nations with the frightfully efficient enginery of destruction developed by present-day science. There was neither ambiguity nor reservation in the academic pronouncement that the human race, in its course of evolutionary progression, had happily risen above the barbarous incentive to wholesale murder and ruthless destruction such as characterized the less cultured epochs of history.

Certain optimistic protagonists averred that if, contrary to their demonstrated facts and figures, great nations should plunge recklessly into war, the struggle would of necessity be brief, for the total wealth of the world was insufficient to maintain for more than a few weeks at most the waging of war with modern equipment.

Yet in spite of all prognostications, as though derisively flouting the wisdom of the wise, August 1, 1914, was so deeply crimsoned that the weathering of ages future will not dull the stain. That day and all the days since have witnessed the fulfilment of the prediction relating to the last dispensation, the time in which we live, as voiced by Isaiah:

"Behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Isa. 29:14.)

Verily the accumulated wisdom of men has failed us in the time of need, has failed to forecast and fails to expound the dread happenings of these eventful times. Where is the master mind that can interpret the problems of contemporary history, with factors innumerable, with relations so intricate and differentials so varied that the calculus of time is inadequate to solve?

Human reasoning unillumined by Divine revelation offers but dark and insecure refuge from the turmoil of current events. Whither then shall we look for guidance? Or, must we abandon ourselves to the despairing conclusion that to the storm-lashed ocean of the ominous present there is no haven of hope, and to our buffeted bark no anchor of comforting assurance?

To him who listens in faith there rises even above the roar of strife, the voice of prophecy citing earlier prediction of events now materializing in rapid sequence, and telling of the eventual triumph of righteousness and the vindication of man's right to liberty and happiness.

The great world conflict was predicted by both ancient and modern prophets. Joseph Smith, speaking the word of God, told of the imminent outpouring of war upon all nations, wisdom of the world's wise men to the contrary notwithstanding. And in these utterances the modern prophet spake in harmony with the predictions of earlier seers, as did he also of the promises made concerning America, which is described as a land choice above all others. Read these words of assurance given through an ancient Jaredite: "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written." (Book of Mormon, Ether 2:12.)

Furthermore, hearken unto the following with reference to this same choice land, spoken unto the ancient inhabitants of this continent through Jacob the Nephite: "But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land against all other nations." (2 Nephi 10:10-12.)

We hold that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are inspired documents, veritable scriptures of the nation, framed by men under Divine direction, men specifically empowered and raised up for this high mission; and that these charters of liberty constitute a pattern after which the governments of the nations shall be shaped. Thus shall be fulfilled, in part at least, the prophecy of the ancient revelator, that out of this land, which in solemn truth is the land of Zion, shall go forth the law of the Lord unto the world at large. In the majesty of her high destiny our Nation has taken a stand as the champion of freedom and human rights. Her enduring greatness is conditioned only by the righteousness of her people, who, if they will but serve the God of the land—the God of Heaven and earth—shall never be subject to alien domination.

It is not written in the book of destiny that America shall bow the knee to autocracy; but, to the glorious contrary, it is inscribed on the scroll of the Divine purpose, that this, the land of Zion, shall be the haven of refuge to the oppressed: "And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy." (D&C 45: 70-71.)

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The Lord's Revenue System

Payment of tithes was required under the Law of Moses. Indeed, the early prominence given to this requirement has led to the incorrect assumption that tithe-paying had its beginning in an Israelitish statute. Tithing is older than Israel. Abraham paid a tenth part of his gains to Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:20 and Heb. 7:1-8); and Jacob made a covenant to devote to the Lord's service a tenth of all that would come into his hands. (Gen. 28:22.)

Following the development of the children of Israel into a theocratic nation, the practise of paying tithes in kind became one of the features by which they, the worshipers of Jehovah, were distinguished from all other peoples. The requirement was explicit and its application general, to rich and poor alike. Thus we read: "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord. . . . And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord." (Lev. 27:30, 32.)

As long as the people faithfully complied with the law of the tithe they prospered; and when they failed the land was no longer sanctified to their good. Hezekiah (2 Chron. 31: 5-10) and Nehemiah (Neh. 13:10-13) reproved the people for their negligence in the matter and awakened them to the jeopardy that threatened; and, later, Malachi voiced the word of Jehovah in stern rebuke, forceful admonition, and encouraging promise, relative to the payment of the Lord's tenth:

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, said the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Mal. 3:8-10.)

At the time of our Lord's personal ministry the law had been supplemented by innumerable rules, comprising unauthorized exactions often based upon mere trivialities. Christ approved the tithe but made plain the fact that other duties were none the less imperative. See Matt. 23:23.

During recent years great interest has been manifest in the matter of the tithe, among theologians, ministers and intelligent laymen; and the reestablishment of tithe-paying as a religious duty has been strongly advocated. It is important to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has observed this requirement from the early days of its history—not because it was operative in ancient Israel, nor because it was law and custom among the Jews in the days of Christ, but because it has been authoritatively established through modern revelation in the Church. In 1838 the Lord systematized the practise upon which the people had voluntarily entered, and defined the tithe as a tenth of one's individual possessions: "And this," said He, "shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed, shall pay one tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them for ever, for my Holy Priesthood, saith the Lord." (D&C 119: 3-4.) The manner in which the tithes of the people are to be paid and the channels through which the contributions are to be distributed and used in the work of the Church are specifically set forth.

As of old, so in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today, tithing is the divinely established revenue system by which the pecuniary needs of the ecclesiastical community are provided for. And as of old so today, tithe-paying must be a voluntary free-will sacrifice, not to be exacted by secular power nor enforced by infliction of fines or other material penalties. The obligation is self-assumed; nevertheless it is one to be observed with full purpose of heart by the earner who claims standing in the Church and who professes to abide by the revealed word given for the spiritual development of its members.

It is essential that men learn to give. Without provision for this training the curriculum in the school of mortality would be seriously defective. Human wisdom has failed to devise a more equitable scheme of individual contribution for community needs than the simple plan of the tithe. Every one is invited to give in amount proportioned to his income, and to so give regularly and systematically. The spirit of giving makes the tithe holy; and it is by means thus sanctified that the material activities of the Church are carried on. Blessings, specific and choice, are promised the honest tithe-payer; and these blessings are placed within the reach of all. In the Lord's work the widow's penny is as acceptable as the gold-piece of the millionaire.

Tithing is the rental we are asked to pay on the property committed to our keeping and use. We are but temporary holders, lessees of property the ultimate title of which is vested in Him who created all that is.

The Latter-day Saints believe that the tithing system has been divinely appointed for their observance; and they esteem themselves blessed in thus being permitted to have part in the furtherance of God's purposes. Under this system the people have prospered severally and as an organized body. It is the simple and effective revenue law of the Church; and its operation has been a success from the time of its establishment. Amongst us it obviates the necessity of taking up collections in religious assemblies, and makes possible the promulgation of the Church's message through the printed and spoken word, the building and maintenance of Temples for the benefit of both living and dead, to an extent that would be otherwise unattainable.

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No Longer Mine and Thine, But the Lord's and Ours

WE live in a material world, and certain material possessions are essential to life, to say nothing of convenience and comfort. Man must have food, clothing, and shelter; and he should have the means of intellectual enjoyment, wholesome recreation, and the desirable comforts of life. All these things are comprised in what we call wealth, and under present social conditions are represented by the one word money. Is it not true that money or its equivalent—the essential things that money can buy—must be counted among the necessities of life?

By misquotation we hear it said that money is the root of all evil; but the Scriptures say not so. The inspired declaration reads: "For the love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Tim. 6:10.) As soon as one sets his heart on money he becomes unbalanced in mind and spirit; his vision and perspective are disturbed.

In view of the prevailing conditions of social unrest, of protest against existing systems whereby the distribution of wealth is becoming more and more disproportionate, the consequent dissatisfaction with governments, and the half-smothered fires of anarchy discernible in almost every nation, we find comfort in the God-given promise of a better plan—a plan that provides without force or violence to establish a rational equality, to take the weapons of despotism from the oppressor, to banish poverty, and to give to every man the opportunity to live, labor, and rejoice in the field or sphere to which he is adapted. From the tyranny of misused wealth, as from every other form of oppression, the truth will make men free. To deserve real freedom, and to enjoy the blessings thereof to the full, mankind must subdue selfishness, which is the potent enemy of godliness.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been put under training in the practise of altruistic living, in liberality, and in the overcoming of selfishness, by the Lord's requirement of the tithe and other free-will offerings and efforts. We regard the tithe system, however, as but a step in the course of advancement toward the consecration of all our possessions, time, talents and ability, to the service of God.

Within a few months after the organization of the Church the voice of the Lord was heard in the matter, foreshadowing a development yet future, in preparation for which the tithing system was established. The day is coming when none amongst us shall speak of mine and thine, but all we have shall be accounted ours and the Lord's.

In this confident expectation we indulge no vague dreams of communism, fostering individual irresponsibility, and giving the idler an excuse for hoping to live at the expense of the thrifty; but in the assurance that every man shall be a steward of the property entrusted to his care, with the certainty of being required to give a full account of his stewardship. The varied and graded vocations will still exist; there will be laborers whose qualifications are for physical toil, managers who have proved their ability to lead and direct, some who can best serve with the pen, others with the plow; there will be engineers and mechanics, artizans and artists, farmers and scholars, teachers and authors—each laboring so far as practicable in the sphere of his choice but each required to work, and to work where and how he can be of the greatest service. Equal rights are to be insured, for thus the Lord hath spoken:

"And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just." (D&C 82:17.)

Only the idler would suffer under such an order of things as is here outlined, and against him the edict of the Almighty has gone forth. We read in the revelations of the Church: "Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." (42:42.)

In the early part of the apostolic ministry, the unity and devotion of the Church was such that the members established a system of community ownership; (Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-37; 6:1-4) and during the brief period of its operation the people prospered temporally and spiritually. More than thirty centuries earlier the people of Enoch had rejoiced in a similar condition of oneness, and their righteousness was such that "The Lord came and dwelt with His people. . . . And the Lord called His people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 38.)

The people of whom the Book of Mormon bears record also attained a blessed state of equality and with corresponding results. The Twelve Disciples, whom Christ had specially commissioned, ministered with such effectiveness that the people "had all things common among them, every man dealing justly one with another." (3 Nephi 26:19.) Further, "Therefore they were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift." (4 Nephi 1:3.) Of them the prophet wrote: "Surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God." (Verse 16.)

The United Order will be a success when it is established by Divine direction. The tithing system has failed whenever meddled with by the secular power. Common ownership can never be enforced by the law of the land. It must be a religious observance, of voluntary acceptance devoid of compulsion or restraint; and as such, the world shall yet see this, the Lord's plan, in successful operation.

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Sanctity of the Body

"KNOW ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor. 3:16; see also 6:19; and D&C 93:35.)

In these and kindred Scriptures the sanctity of the human body is affirmed with impressive simplicity. The word of God stands in strong contrast with the erroneous assumption that the body is a hindrance and burden to the spirit and ought to be contemned and kept in subjection by self-imposed afflictions. The lust of the flesh as manifested in perverted appetites and passions is a very real temptation, and servitude thereto is among the commonest of sins; but this is the evil against which the saints of old were so solemnly warned in the foregoing citation.

If the mortal state be an advancement beyond the pre-existent or unembodied condition, and a preparation for a yet more exalted existence, and so the Scriptures attest, then the body of flesh and bones is an endowment of supreme worth.

The genius of the current age recognizes the nobility of the mortal tabernacle in fact if not in theory; and as a result of this advanced conception, means for the maintenance of health and preservation of the body and the conservation of its divinely implanted functions are taught in school and college and are enforced by statute for community observance.

After long centuries of painful experience the race is coming to understand that the human body is essentially good; and the word of God so proclaimed even in the beginning. I venture to affirm that every natural appetite, yearning, passion of the human organism is inherently good; and that evil comes not from the normal satisfying of these cravings but from the perversion thereof.

As early as 1833 the Lord spake to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in warning against the use of stimulants and narcotics, and in counsel as to matters of food and drink. This revelation is currently known as

The Word of Wisdom

"That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.

"And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.

"And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly; but for the washing of your bodies.

"And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.

"And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

"And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.

"Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

"Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

"And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

"All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

"And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

"All grain is good for the food of man, as also the fruit of the vine, that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground.

"Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.

"And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel, and marrow to their bones;

"And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

"And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

"And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen." (D&C 89.)

Hot drinks, against which the people are specifically warned, are understood to include tea and coffee, and the counsel against their use was preached and published long before chemists and physiologists had recognized the deleterious effect of thein and caffein, which are poisonous alkaloids contained in the beverages named. The inhibition, however, applies in another sense to all liquids at high temperatures. To this point special interest attaches in view of recent demonstrations in science. Dr. Wm. J. Mayo, a surgeon of prominence, declared in an address delivered in San Francisco, June, 1915, that hot drinks are among the dominant causes of gastric ulcers and cancer.

The Word of Wisdom is generally but not universally observed in its entirety by the Latter-day Saints; and it is pertinent to inquire as to the results revealed by the vital statistics of the people. The Presiding Bishopric of the Church report that, for the six year period ending with 1916, deaths among Latter-day Saints in the organized Stakes, due to cancers and malignant ulcers of the stomach, averaged 15.83 per 100,000 of population. For the United States registration area as a whole, during the six year period covered by the latest available report, which, however, is earlier than the sexennium of the latest Church statistics, the average mortality from stomach cancer is 28.3 per 100,000. Deaths from all cancerous afflictions among members of the Church during the last six years averaged 31.15 per 100,000, or only 2.85 more per 100,000 than the national rate of mortality from stomach cancer alone for the six years last reported.

The statistics of the Church show for its members resident in organized communities exceptionally low death-rate, high birth-rate, and high average age at death, as compared with the official reports of corresponding data for the registration area of the country at large.

Of the certified causes of death "Mormons" lead the country in one, and that one is old age.

The Divine promise of health, prosperity, and prolonged life are in course of rich fulfilment among the Latter-day Saints, as in part the natural effect of obedience to the word of the Lord embodied in the Word of Wisdom.

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Infamy of a Double Standard of Virtue

THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims the law of personal purity as a Divine commandment, the violation of which constitutes one of the most grievous of sins. We hold that the requirement is equally binding upon both man and woman, and that a standard by which he is excused and she condemned is infamously unjust. Expressive of the attitude of the Church upon this subject, the following excerpts are taken from a pamphlet issued by the late President Joseph F. Smith, who at the time of writing was the presiding official in the Church.

"What has come to be known in present day literature as the social evil is a subject of perennial discussion, and the means proposed for dealing with it are topics of contention and debate. That the public conscience is aroused to the seriousness of the dire condition due to sexual immorality is a promising indication of prospective betterment. No more loathsome cancer disfigures the body and soul of society today than the frightful affliction of sexual sin. It vitiates the very fountains of life and bequeaths its foul effects to the yet unborn as a legacy of death.

"Infidelity to marriage vows is a fruitful source of divorce, with its long train of attendant evils, not the least of which are the shame and dishonor inflicted on unfortunate though innocent children. The dreadful effects of adultery cannot be confined to the erring participants. Whether openly known or partly concealed under the cloak of guilty secrecy, the results are potent in evil influence. The immortal spirits that come to earth to tabernacle in bodies of flesh have the right to be well-born, through parents who are free from the contamination of sexual vice.

"It is a deplorable fact that society persists in holding woman to stricter account than man in the matter of sexual offense. What shadow of excuse, not to speak of justification, can be found for this outrageous and cowardly discrimination? Can moral defilement be any the less filthy and pestilential in man than in woman? Is a male leper less to be shunned for fear of contagion that a woman similarly stricken?

"Oh the baseness, the injustice, the dishonor of it all! Happily the early promulgators of this shameful conception of a double standard of morals for the sexes are hidden in the oblivion of the past. Let the infamy in which they should rightly share be borne by those who countenance the current acceptance of so vicious a distinction! Visualize the spectacle. Man, who is by nature the protector and defender of woman, ready to stone to social death the adulteress, in whose sin he was partner!

"So far as woman sins it is inevitable that she shall suffer, for retribution is sure whether it be immediate or deferred. But in so far as man's injustice inflicts upon her the consequence of his offenses, he stands convicted of multiple guilt. And man is largely responsible for the sins against decency and virtue, the burden of which is too often fastened upon the weaker participant in the crime.

"Horrifying as the condition is, it is nevertheless a black reality, that hordes of women prostitute their bodies and souls for money and find no lack of eager buyers. Who is the more depraved—the vendor or the purchaser of woman's honor? In many cases a power of discernment and analysis superior to human attainment is essential to a just verdict, but it appears certain that whatever of palliation through stress of circumstance may be found for the woman, guilty lust is too generally the primal motive of the man.

"The low esteem in which strict sexual morality is currently held is an element of positive danger to the nation as a human institution, to say nothing of the wholesale debauching of souls as an offense against Divine decree. With such awful examples as history furnishes, it is a matter of astonishment that governments should be so nearly oblivious to the disintegrating forces springing from violations of the moral law amongst their citizenry.

"The grandeur of ancient Greece, the majesty of Rome, once the proud rulers of the world, have disappeared; and the verdict of history specifies the prevalence of sexual immorality as among the chief of the destructive agencies by which the fall of those mighty peoples was effected.

"Is our modern nation to bring upon itself the doom of destructive depravity? The forces of disintegration are at work throughout the land, and they operate as insidiously as does the virus of deadly contagion. A nation-wide awakening to the need of personal sanitation and of rigorous reform in the matter of sexual morality is demanded by the exigencies of the times.

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the divinely ordained panacea for the ills that afflict humanity, and pre-eminently so for the dread affliction of sexual sin. Note the teachings of the Master while He ministered among men in the flesh—they were primarily directed to individual probity and rectitude of life. The letter of the Mosaic Law was superseded by the spirit of personal devotion to the right. 'Ye have heard,' said He, 'that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' (Matt. 5: 27, 28.) The sin itself may spring from the sensual thought, the lustful glance; just as murder is often the fruitage of hatred or covetousness.

"We accept without reservation or qualification the affirmation of Deity through an ancient Nephite prophet: 'For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts.'"

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Companionship of the Sexes

WHEN this earth, a new unit amongst uncounted worlds, had developed to a condition suited to human habitation, God created man in His own personal, physical image, and gave him dominion over the earth and its manifold belongings. Beside the man stood the woman, sharing with him the divinely bestowed honor and dignity of supremacy over all lesser creations; for the Lord God had said: "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Gen. 2:18.)

So begins the first page of human history relating to this planet: "In the image of God created He him; male and female created He them."

The earliest recorded commandment to the newly embodied pair provided for the procreation of their kind; for unto them the Lord said: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." That the wedded state thus inaugurated was to be the permanent order of life amongst Adam's posterity is attested by the further Scripture: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24.)

Inasmuch as the union of the sexes is the only way by which the perpetuity of the race is possible, such union is essentially as beneficent as it is necessary. Lawful, that is to say righteous, association of the sexes, is an uplifting and ennobling function to the participants, and the heritage of earth-life to preexistent spirits who are thereby advanced to the mortal state. Conversely, all sexual union outside the bonds of legitimacy is debasing and pernicious, not only to the guilty parties themselves, but to children who are thus ill-born, and to organized society in general.

The stability of society demands that the divinely established institution of marriage shall be administered under secular law, whereby the family unit shall be a legalized entity, with responsibilities and obligations clearly defined, the rights of husband, wife and children protected, property interests safeguarded, and inheritance regulated.

But the marriage covenant is more than a legalized contract. It is a solemn sacrament, under which the parties are made eligible to the blessing of Divine approval, and by which they are answerable both to the law of man and to the Power that transcends all human institutions. That marriage is honorable is as true today as when the precept was written in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

The Latter-day Saints accept the doctrine of the imperative necessity of wedlock and the sanctity thereof; and they apply it as a requirement to all who are not prohibited by physical or other disability from assuming the sacred responsibilities of the married state. They hold as part of the birthright of every worthy man the privilege and duty of standing at the head of a household, the companion of a virtuous wife, both imbued with the hope of posterity, which by the blessing of God may never become extinct; and equally ennobling is the desire of every worthy woman to be a wife and mother in the family of mankind.

We repudiate and abhor the pernicious doctrine that the sexual relation is but a carnal necessity, inherent in human kind because of fleshly desire, or that celibacy is a feature of exalted status more acceptable than marriage in the sight and judgment of God. Touching this matter the Lord hath spoken through direct revelation in the current age, saying:

"And again, I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. Wherefore it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation, and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made." (D&C 49: 15-17.)

Without the power of perpetuating his kind man is in part bereft of his glory; for small is the possibility of achievement within the limited range of an individual life. Grand as may seem to be the attainments of a man who is really great as gaged by the best standards of human estimation, the culmination of his glorious heritage lies in his leaving offspring from his own body to carry forward the worthy efforts of their sire. And as with the man, so with the woman.

We regard children literally as gifts from God, committed to our parental care, for whose support, protection, and training in righteousness we shall be held to a strict accounting, remembering the solemn admonition and profound affirmation of the Christ: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 18:10.)

But the bringing of children into the world is but part of God's beneficent plan of uplift and development through honorable marriage. Companionship of husband and wife is a divinely appointed means of mutual betterment; and according to the measure of holy love, mutual respect and honor with which that companionship is graced and sanctified, do man and woman develop toward the spiritual stature of God. It is plainly the Divine intent that husband and wife should be each the other's great incentive to effort and achievement in good works.

Blessed indeed are the wedded pair who severally find in each a help meet for the other.

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Is There No Hope Beyond?

IT is not good that man should be alone.

This is the word of God. It is inscribed on the first page of human history. The affirmation was given special application to the marital state, whereby the perpetuity of the race would be insured in the distinctive family order. To this end "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24.)

At the very beginning of man's existence as an embodied spirit, the Divine fiat against promiscuity in the association of the sexes was promulgated. Anthropologists aver that even in the most primitive communities kinship was recognized as an established feature, and laws relating to the sexual relationship obtained.

The family unit is therefore the universal order amongst mankind, and is of Divine establishment. Both the Mosaic code and the law of the Gospel, in which it was fulfilled and superseded, recognized the sanctity of family ties and prescribed regulations for the maintenance thereof.

The family institution comprises more than the wedded union of husband and wife with its mutual obligations and responsibilities. The status of parenthood is the flower of family existence, while marriage was but the bud. Under the revealed law parents are as truly answerable to God for the adequate discharge of duty to their children as for the faithful observance of the marriage covenant respecting themselves.

Within the family established and maintained according to the Divine word, man and woman find their holiest and most ennobling happiness. Individual development—the education of the soul for which earth-life has been provided—is incomplete without the impelling and restraining experiences incident to the responsibilities of the wedded and parental state.

Is the family relationship to end with death?

Are husbands and wives to be separated, and the mutual claims of parents and children to be nullified by the grave?

If so, then surely the sting of death and the victory of the grave are enduring verities; for the dead would be lost to us and we to them. Such a conception affords ample explanation of the prevalence of black at funerals. The sombre pall and sable trappings are all in place if bereavement on earth means everlasting separation.

The dread assumption—let us not say belief, for who does not hope that a brighter destiny awaits us?—has been fostered by custom and ignorance, and even taught as doctrine by substituting the precepts of men for the word of God. It is embodied in the marriage ceremony, wherein the officiating minister, addressing the principals at the moment of their supreme concern, says: I join you in the bonds of matrimony until death does you part.

How like the thud of clods upon the casket in an open grave! Must we tolerate the shadow of death as an intruding guest at every wedding?

Verily so, if marriage be nothing more than an earthly contract, regulated by law solely as a human institution; for no legislature, congress, or parliament of men, no synod, church, council, or ecclesiastical hierarchy of human origination, can legislate or administer ordinances of other than earthly validity. To claim jurisdiction in post-mortal affairs on the basis of human assumption is both sacrilege and blasphemy.

The current marriage ceremony, uniting the parties until death does them part, is framed in consistency and propriety. As an institution of men it is honorable and legally binding. And so are all the obligations and endowments resulting therefrom, including the exalting status of parenthood. But all such relationships are to end with death if validated only by man's authority. Can we consistently affirm that if the grave terminates the claim of parents upon each other it shall not likewise end the claim of parents upon children, and of children upon parents?

But behold, there is hope! God has provided a way by which the family unit may survive the grave and endure throughout eternity. It is the Divine intent that marriage be an eternal union, and that the relationship between parents and offspring shall be made valid in the hereafter as here.

We affirm that the Holy Priesthood has been restored to earth by direct dispensation from the heavens, and this in accordance with prophecy and Scripture, and that the authority of this Priesthood, when administered as God has directed, is effective both on earth and in heaven. (Compare Matt. 16:19; 18:18.)

We affirm that even as baptism, when administered as our Lord prescribed, by those invested with the Holy Priesthood, shall be a means to salvation beyond the grave, so other ordinances, including the sealing of wives to husbands and children to parents, may be authoritatively solemnized so as to be valid after death. To this effect hath the Lord spoken respecting the everlasting covenant, which embraces marriage for both time and eternity.

"Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by my word; and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world. Therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage. . . . And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise . . . it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity, and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the Gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds for ever and ever." (D&C 132.)

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Nor Give in Marriage

CERTAIN Sadducees once came to Christ with a question concerning martial relations following the resurrection. The real point of their inquiry was in part hidden, or, in current vernacular, camouflaged. Their chief purpose was that of disputing the doctrine of the resurrection itself, the actuality of which the Sadducees as a sect strenuously denied.

They cited a case, presumably hypothetical, of a woman who had been married, and then six times remarried under the levirate law, and seven times widowed, and who eventually had died, childless. The question as submitted was: "Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven?"

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." (Matt. 22:28-30.)

Three of the evangelists make record of the incident; and the most extended version of our Lord's reply is given by Luke (20:34-38). From this we gather that while marriage and giving in marriage—that is to say the association of eligible parties in wedlock, and the authoritative solemnization of the union by a duly qualified official—are necessary and honorable undertakings among mortals, they to whom the Savior referred shall neither marry nor be given in marriage in the resurrection, but at best shall be made equal to the angels.

The inquisitorial Sadducees must have felt the force of the Master's rebuke in being told that they were in error "not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God," for they prided themselves on their learning and superior qualities of understanding. Nevertheless, the reproof was merited, for had they opened their hearts to the spirit of Scripture, had they considered with honest desire to comprehend the words of the Lord who spoke to them, whose utterances were and are Scripture of the highest and most sacred order, they would have been able to distinguish between ceremonies performed for time only under the regulations of human law, and ordinances administered by the authority of God for both time and eternity.

Sacred rites that pertain both to the period of mortality and to the life beyond must be solemnized on earth. Compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, or the rejection of these, determines the individual test for which the world was prepared as the abode of men—to "prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 66.)

Thus, in the case of the initiatory ordinance, baptism, it is essential that it be administered to mankind in the flesh; for Scripture nowhere avers that in and after the resurrection men shall be baptized in water for the remission of sins done in mortality. And so is it with respect to marriage.

True, as we have heretofore seen, the merciful economy of God makes possible the vicarious administration of baptism for the disembodied, that is for the dead prior to their resurrection; but the actual baptism is to be solemnized by and upon mortal beings, who, having been already baptized for themselves, may officiate for their dead kindred by complying with the revealed laws and regulations. So also the marital union of the worthy dead, who have lived in lawful and honorable wedlock as regulated by secular law, may be confirmed and superseded by the ordinance of Celestial Marriage, wherein the family relationship is perpetuated by sealing under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, to be of force and effect in and after the resurrection from the dead.

The family relationship was primarily designed to be perpetual; and only as mankind have forfeited or rejected the ministration of the Holy Priesthood has mere temporal union become a necessary yet but partial substitute for the eternal order of marriage. Paul's comprehensive precept "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:11) has an application beyond the marital state in mortality.

The full measure of progression in eternity is unattainable without the perpetuity of the family organization; and the family unit must be established on earth through the order of Celestial Marriage, which comprises marriage for time as well as for eternity, or, in the case of the dead by the confirmation and extension of earthly wedlock through the vicarious sealing of the parties in Celestial Marriage. Otherwise, that is if the marriage of any couple shall have been by secular authority only, without the authority of the Holy Priesthood, the parties shall find in the resurrection that neither are they married nor can they then be given in marriage.

Following the visitation of the Risen Christ to the Nephites on the Western Continent we read of the marriage institution associated with specific blessings, indicating the authorized administration of the higher and eternal order of matrimony: "And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them." (Book of Mormon, 4 Nephi 1:11.)

Concerning those who are wedded for this life only, the word of God as revealed in the present age is in strict accord with the Lord's affirmation to the Sadducees:

"Therefore, when they are out of the world, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory." (D&C 132:16.)

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Eternal Relationship of the Sexes

"NEITHER is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:11.)

This scriptural epigram loses much of its significance if restricted to the period of mortal life. Admitting the actuality of individual existence after death, both during the interval of disembodiment and beyond in the resurrected state, we must in consistency accept the fact of the eternity of sex. Man will be man and woman woman in the hereafter as here.

Marriage as regarded by the Latter-day Saints is ordained of God and designed to be an eternal relationship. The Church affirms it to be not only a temporal and legal contract, of binding effect during the mortal life of the parties, but also a solemn covenant that shall endure beyond the grave. In the complete ordinance of marriage as administered within the Church, the man and the woman are placed under covenant of mutual fidelity and union not until death does them part, but for time and for all eternity.

A contract as far-reaching as this, extending not only throughout the period of earth-life, but beyond death, requires for its validation an authority superior to any that can be originated by human enactment; and such authority is found in the Holy Priesthood, which, given of God, is eternal.

Only as God delegates authority to man, with promise that administration under that authority shall be acknowledged in heaven, can any contract be made in this world and be of assured validity after the death of the parties concerned. Marriage is properly authorized by legal statute; and every contract of matrimony entered into as the law provides is honorable, and unless dissolved by the operation of law is effective during the life of the respective parties thereto. But it is beyond the power of man to legislate for eternity.

This is made plain in a revelation given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1843, part of which follows:

"All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made, and entered into, and sealed, by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment . . . are of no efficacy, virtue or force, in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end, have an end when men are dead. . . . And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God." (D&C 132:7, 13.)

In application of this principle and law to the covenants of matrimony, the revelation continues:

"Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by my word; and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world."

This holy order of matrimony, involving covenant and blessing for both time and eternity, is distinctively known in the Church as Celestial Marriage, and is administered to those only who are adjudged to be of worthy life, eligible for admission to the House of the Lord; for this sacred ordinance together with others of eternal validity may be solemnized only within the Temples reared and dedicated for such exalted service.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, sanctions and acknowledges legal marriages for mortality alone, and solemnizes such unions, as the secular law provides, between parties who do not enter the Temple or who voluntarily choose the lesser and temporal order of matrimony. The ordinance of Celestial Marriage comprises and includes marriage for time, and is therefore administered to none who are not legally eligible to marry according to the law of the land.

Marriage that shall be valid after death must be solemnized here, as must all other ordinances required of men in the flesh, and that under the authority given of God for earthly administration. The resurrected state of those, otherwise worthy, who are wedded for mortality alone and that under laws created by man, is set forth in both ancient and modern Scripture as that of angels or ministers, unblessed by eternal increase:

"For these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not Gods, but are angels of God, for ever and ever." (D&C 132:17.)

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Primeval Conflict Over Satanic Autocracy

"AND there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." See Rev. 12:7-9.

John the Revelator beheld in vision this scene of primeval conflict between the hosts of unembodied spirits. Plainly this battle antedated the beginning of human history, for the dragon or Satan had not then been expelled from heaven, and at the time of his first recorded activity among mortals he was a fallen being.

In this antemortal contest the forces were unequally divided; Satan drew to his standard only a third of the spirit children of God (Rev. 12:4; D&C 29:36-38 and 76:25-27), while the majority either fought with Michael or refrained from active opposition, and so accomplished the purpose of their "first estate." The angels who followed Satan "kept not their first estate" (Jude 6) and so forfeited the glorious possibilities of an advanced or "second estate." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 66.) The victory was won by Michael and his angels; and Satan, theretofore a "son of the morning," was cast out of heaven, yea "he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Rev. 12:9.)

About eight centuries prior to John's time, the principal facts of these momentous occurrences were revealed to Isaiah the prophet, who lamented with inspired pathos the fall of so great a one as Lucifer, and specified selfish ambition as the cause. Read Isa. 14:12-15.

The question at issue in the war in heaven is of first importance to human-kind. From the record of Isaiah we learn that Lucifer, then of exalted rank among the spirits, sought to aggrandize himself without regard to the rights and agency of others. He aspired to the unrighteous powers of absolute autocracy. The principle for which Michael, the archangel contended, and which Lucifer sought to nullify, comprised the individual liberties or the free agency of the spirit hosts destined to be embodied in the flesh. The whole matter is set forth in a revelation given to Moses and repeated through Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the present dispensation:

"And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down. And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice." (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 15-16.)

Thus it is shown that before this earth was tenanted by man, Christ and Satan together with the hosts of the spirit offspring of God existed as intelligent individuals, with ability and power of choice, and freedom to follow the leaders whom they elected to obey. In that innumerable concourse of spirit intelligences, the Father's plan, whereby His children would be advanced to their second estate, was submitted and doubtless discussed.

Satan's plan of compulsion whereby all would be forcibly guided through mortality, bereft of freedom to act and agency to choose, so circumscribed that forfeiture of salvation would be impossible and not one soul could be lost, was rejected; and the humble offer to Jesus the Firstborn—to live among men as their Exemplar, observing the sanctity of man's agency while teaching men to use aright that Divine heritage—was accepted. The decision brought war, which resulted in the vanquishment of Lucifer and his angels, and they were cast out, deprived of the boundless privileges incident to the mortal or second estate.

Ever since the beginning of human existence on earth, the deposed son of the morning and his followers have been compassing the captivity of souls. The plan of salvation is the gospel of liberty. And now, in these the last days, immediately precedent to the return of Christ, who shall come to rule in righteousness on earth, the arch-fiend is making desperate effort to enthrall mankind under the autocracy of hell. The conflict under which the earth has been made to groan was a repetition of the premundane war, whereby the free agency of spirits was vindicated; and the eventual issue of the later struggle was equally assured.

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Our Primeval Childhood

IT is a grievous error to assume that mortal birth marks the beginning of one's individual existence. Quite as reasonable is it to hold that death means annihilation of the soul. The preexistent or antemortal state of man is as plainly affirmed by Scripture as is the fact of life beyond the grave.

We are too prone to regard the body as the man, and this mistake breeds the thought that life in the flesh is all there is to existence. There is in man an immortal spirit that existed as an intelligent being before the body was begotten, and that shall continue to exist as the same immortal individual after the body has gone to decay. Divine revelation attests the solemn truth that man is eternal.

No one who accepts the Holy Bible as the word of God can consistently deny the preexistence of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the first chapter of the Gospel written by John, Christ is designated as the Word, and the Savior's preexistence and primeval Godship are thus set forth: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We read further: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:1 and 14.)

Our Lord's personal testimony is to the same effect. Of the disciples he asked: "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?" (John 6:62.) And on another occasion He averred "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John 16:28.) In solemn prayer He implored, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John 17:5.)

Nevertheless, as to earthly birth Christ was born a Child and lived to maturity as a Man among men. Even as His bodily birth was the union of a preexistent spirit with a tabernacle of flesh and bones, such also is the birth of every human being.

Everyone of us was known by name and character to the Father, who is "the God of the spirits of all flesh" (Numbers 16:22; 27:16), in our antemortal or primeval childhood; and from among the hosts of His unembodied children God chose for special service on earth such as were best suited to the accomplishment of His purposes. In illustration consider the Lord's definite revelation to Jeremiah the prophet: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jer. 1:5.)

More than twelve centuries before Jeremiah's time God had revealed unto Abraham the fact of the preexistence of the spirits of mankind, as also the diverse capacities of those spirits, and the Divine purpose in preparing the earth for their habitation. Thus runs the record:

"Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads forever and ever." (Pearl of Great Price, pp. 65-66.)

Our life in the flesh is but one stage in the course of the soul's eternal progress, a link connecting the eternities past with the eternities yet to come. The purpose of our mortal probation is that of education, training, trial, and test, whereby we demonstrate whether we will obey the commandments of the Lord our God and so lay hold on the boundless opportunities of advancement in the eternal worlds, or elect to do evil and forfeit the boon of citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The condition upon which mankind may have place in that Kingdom is compliance with the requirements laid down by Jesus Christ the Redeemer and Savior of the world, whose name is "the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 33.)

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Successive Stages of Existence

THERE are four states, conditions, or stages in the advancement of the individual soul, specified in Sacred Writ. These are (1) the unembodied, (2) the embodied, (3) the disembodied, and (4) the resurrected state.

In other words, (1) every one of us lived in an antemortal existence as an individual spirit; (2) we are now in the advanced or mortal stage of progress; (3) we shall live in a disembodied state after death, which is but a separation of spirit and body; (4) and in due time each of us, whether righteous or sinful, shall be resurrected from the dead with spirit and body reunited and never again to be separated.

As to the certainty of the antemortal state, commonly spoken of as preexistence, the Scriptures are explicit. Our Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly averred that He had lived before He was born in flesh (see John 6:62; 8:58; 16:28; 17:5); and as with Him so with the spirits of all who have become or yet shall become mortal.

We were severally brought into being, as spirits, in that preexistent condition, literally the children of the Supreme Being whom Jesus Christ worshiped and addressed as Father. Do we not read that the Eternal Father is "the God of the spirits of all flesh" (Numb. 16:22; 27:16), and more specifically that He is "the Father of spirits"? (Heb. 12:9.) In the light of these Scriptures it is plainly true that the spirits of mankind were there begotten and born into what we call the preexistent or antemortal condition.

The primeval spirit birth is expressively described by Abraham to whom the facts were revealed, as a process of organization and the spirits so advanced are designated as intelligences: "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 65.)

The human mind finds difficulty in apprehending the actuality of infinite or eternal process, either from the present onward to and beyond what we call in a relative sense perfection, on, on, without end; or backward through receding stages that had no beginning. But who will affirm that things beyond human comprehension cannot be?

In the antemortal eternities we developed with individual differences and varied capacities. So far as we can peer into the past by the aid of revealed light we see that there was always gradation of intelligence, and consequently of ability, among the spirits, precisely as such differences exist amongst us mortals.

"That all men are created equal" is true in the sense in which that telling epigram was written into the scriptures of the Nation as a self-evident truth; for such laws as men enact in righteousness provide for the protection of individual rights on a basis of equality and recognize no discriminating respect of persons. But if applied as meaning that all men are born with equal capacities, or even inherent abilities in like measure for each, the aphorism becomes absurd and manifestly false.

Every spirit born in the flesh is an individual character, and brings to the body prepared for its tenancy a nature all its own. The tendencies, likes and dislikes, in short the whole disposition of the spirit may be intensified or changed by the course of mortal life, and the spirit may advance or retrograde while allied with its mortal tabernacle. Students of the so-called science with a newly coined name, Eugenics, are prone to emphasize the facts of heredity to the exclusion of preexistent traits and attributes of the individual spirit as factors in the determination of character.

The spirit lived as an organized intelligence before it became the embodied child of human parents; and its pre-existent individualism will be of effect in its period of earth life. Even though the manifestations of primeval personality be largely smothered under the tendencies due to bodily and prenatal influence, it is there, and makes its mark. This is in analogy with the recognized laws of physical operation—every force acting upon a body produces it definite effect whether it acts alone or with other and even opposing forces.

The genesis of every soul lies back in the eternity past, beyond the horizon of our full comprehension, and what we call a beginning is as truly a consummation and an ending, just as mortal birth is at once the commencement of earth life and the termination of the stage of antemortal existence.

The facts are thus set forth in the revealed word of God:

"If there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 65.)

To every stage of development, as to every human life, there is beginning and end; but each stage is a definite fraction of eternal process, which is without beginning or end. Man is of eternal nature and of Divine lineage.

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Man's Divine Pedigree

THE spirits of mankind are the offspring of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so affirms on the basis of scriptural certainty, and as wholly reasonable and consistent.

The preexistent or antemortal state of man has been heretofore demonstrated. God the Eternal Father is the actual and literal Parent of spirits. That many of these spirits in their embodied state manifest more of human weakness than of Divine heritage, that they grasp the earthly present with little regard for the heavenly past and with less for the yet greater possibilities of the heavenly future, is no proof to the contrary of the revealed truth that man belongs to the lineage of God.

Of all the spirit children begotten of the Eternal Father throughout the eons past, Jesus Christ was the firstborn. To this solemn truth the Christ has testified in the current age: "And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the firstborn." And as to the human family in general, ponder our Lord's further avowal: "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father." (D&C 93:21, 23.)

The Scriptures aver that all things existing upon earth, including man, were created spiritually prior to their embodiment in earthly tabernacles; and furthermore, that mortal man is fashioned after the image of God. In short, all earthly existences are material expressions of preexistent entities. The human body, so far as it is normal, undeformed and unimpaired, is a presentment of the spirit itself.

One of the essential and distinguishing characteristics of life is the power to select and utilize in its own tabernacle, whether plant, animal, or human, the material elements within its reach, so far as such are necessary to its growth and development. This is true alike of the unborn embryo and of the mature being.

Man's spirit, therefore, is in the likeness of its Divine and Eternal Father, and in the operations of the functions of life it shapes the body to conform with itself. How could the spirit be otherwise than in the image of God if it be divinely begotten and born?

The conformation of the body to the likeness of the pre-existent spirit is attested in a revelation to an ancient prophet and seer, wherein the Lord Jesus Christ, then in the unembodied state, showed Himself to His mortal servant, saying: "Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning, after mine own image. Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the flesh." (Book of Mormon, Ether, 3:15, 16).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the spirit of man being the offspring of Deity, and the human body though of earthly composition yet being, in its perfect condition, the very image of God, man, even in his present and so-called fallen condition, possesses inherited traits, tendencies, and powers that tell of his Divine descent; and that these attributes may be developed as to make him, even while mortal, in a measure Godlike. If this be not true we have to explain a vital exception to what we regard as an inviolable law of organic nature—that like begets like, and that perpetuation of species is in compliance with the condition "each after his kind."

The actuality of the spiritual procreation, with which mortal birth is analogous, is expressed in the inspired hymn by a latter-day poetess, Eliza R. Snow:

For a wise and glorious purpose
  Thou hast placed me here on earth,
And withheld the recollection
  Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
  Whispered, "You're a stranger here";
And I felt that I had wandered
  From a more exalted sphere.

I had learned to call thee Father,
  Through thy Spirit from on high;
But until the Key of Knowledge
  Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heavens are parents single?
  No; the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason, truth eternal
  Tells me I've a Mother there.

When I leave this frail existence,
  When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
  In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed
  All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
  Let me come and dwell with you.

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Infinite Possibilities of Man's Estate

THE spirit of man is in the image of God, whose child it is, and every human body conforms, in the measure determined by its perfection or physical defects, to the spirit that tenants it. Furthermore, we know that the spirit existed in the ante-mortal state, that after death it lives as a disembodied individual, and that later it shall be reunited with the body of flesh and bones in an everlasting union through the resurrection inaugurated by our Lord Jesus Christ.

If man be the spirit offspring of God, and if the possibilities of individual progression be endless, to both of which sublime truths the Scriptures bear definite testimony, then we have to admit that man may eventually attain to Divine estate. However far away it be in the eternities future, what eons may elapse before any one now mortal may reach the sanctity and glory of godhood, man nevertheless has inherited from his Divine Father the possibilities of such attainment—even as the crawling caterpillar or the corpse-like chrysalis holds the latent possibility, nay, barring destruction, the certainty, indeed, of the winged imago in all the glory of maturity.

Progression in mortality, that is true progression, advancement of the soul in developing the attributes of godliness, achievement in righteousness that shall endure beyond death and resurrection, is conditioned upon compliance with spiritual law, just as bodily health is dependent upon the observance of what we call natural law. Between the two there may be difference of degree, but not essentially of kind. Physical exercise is indispensable to the development of body, and quite as certainly is spiritual activity requisite to the healthful and normal development of the soul.

Through valiant service, by unreserved obedience to the requirements embodied in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, never-ending advancement is made possible to man. Thus, within the soul are the potentialities of godhood. Such high attainment is specifically the exaltation of the soul as distinguished from salvation. Not all who are saved in the hereafter shall be exalted. One may refrain in large measure from committing particular sins or sin in general, and so gain title to a degree of salvation far above the lot of the gross offender, nevertheless his goodness may be merely passive, and thus distinctly apart from the active, aggressive, positive godliness of him who is valiant in righteous service.

The incident of the rich young Jew who came in quest of instruction as to his duty is in point. See Matt. 19:16-26. "Good Master," said he, "what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" The Lord answered "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" and in response to further inquiry cited the standard requirements of the Mosaic Law. In simplicity, and seemingly devoid of all sense of self-righteousness, the young man rejoined: "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" Then Jesus replied "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." The young ruler, for as such he is designated, yearned to know what he should do beyond ordinary observance of "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" of the decalog. He went away sorrowful in contemplation of the sacrifice required of him for the attainment of perfection. Love of worldly things was this man's besetting ailment. The Great Physician diagnosed his case and prescribed a suitable remedy.

Through the latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith, the Lord has specified the conditions of exaltation in the eternal worlds, by describing those who thus attain:

"They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on His name and were baptized after the manner of His burial, being buried in the water in His name, and this according to the commandment which He has given. That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power. . . . They are they who are Priests and Kings, who have received of His fulness, and of His glory, and are Priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written, they are Gods, even the sons of God." (D&C 76:51-58.)

And further, of the supremely blessed we read:

"Then shall they be Gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be Gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily I say unto you, except ye abide my law, ye cannot attain to this glory." (132:20, 21.)

But all shall be subject to the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ, as thus attested:

"Wherefore all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ's and Christ is God's." (76:59.)

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Both to Hear The Gospel

THE Atonement of Jesus Christ is the means by which salvation has been placed within the reach of all mankind—poor and rich, bond and free, and, be it added, living or dead.

We have seen in the light of scriptural demonstration that, except through compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel as enunciated and prescribed by the Lord Jesus Christ, no man can attain a place in the Kingdom of God.

What then of the dead, who have lived and passed without so much as hearing that there is a Gospel of salvation or a Savior of the race? Are they to be hopelessly and forever damned? If so, the phrase "eternal justice" should be stricken from Scripture and literature, and "infamous injustice" substituted.

Think of the myriads who died before and at the Deluge, of the hosts of Israel who knew only the Law and died in ignorance of the Gospel, and count in with them the millions of their pagan contemporaries; then think of the generations who passed away during the long dark night of spiritual apostasy, predicted by prophecy and attested by history; and contemplate the heathen and but partly civilized tribes of the present day. Are these, to whom no knowledge of the Gospel has come, to be under eternal condemnation in consequence?

In the hereafter the saved and the lost are to be segregated. The Scriptures so avouch. Therefore, were there no salvation for these who have died in ignorance of Christ's Atonement and His Gospel, these benighted spirits could never associate with their descendants who have been privileged to live in an age of Gospel enlightenment, and who have made themselves eligible for salvation by faith and its fruitage, obedience.

I have read of a heathen king, who, through the zealous efforts of missionaries whom he had tolerantly admitted to his realm, was inclined to accept what had been presented to him as Christianity and make it the religion of his people. Though he yearned for the blessed state of salvation which the new religion seemed to offer, he was profoundly affected by the thought that his ancestors, the dead chieftains of his tribe, together with all the departed of his people, had gone to their graves unsaved. When he was told that while he and his subjects could reach heaven, those who had died before had surely gone to hell, he exclaimed with a loud oath "Then to hell I will go with them."

He spoke as a brave man. Though, had he been more fully informed he would have known that the Gospel of Jesus Christ entails no such dire certainty; but that, on the contrary, the spirits of his noble dead would have opportunity of learning, in the world of the disembodied, the saving truth which in the flesh had never saluted their ears.

The Gospel is being preached to the dead. Missionary service in the spirit world has been in progress since its inauguration by the disembodied Christ while His crucified body lay in the tomb. (John 5:25.)

Christ's promise from the cross to the penitent thief dying by His side, that the man should that day be in paradise with the Lord, tells us where the Savior's spirit went and ministered during the interval between death and resurrection. Paradise is not heaven, if by that name we mean the abode of God and the place of the supremely blessed; for in the early light of the resurrection Sunday the Risen Lord decisively affirmed that He had not then ascended to His Father. (See John 20:17.)

Peter tells of the Lord's ministry among the disembodied: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison." (1 Peter 3:18-19.)

The terms of salvation are equally binding upon the quick and the dead: "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6.)

The Atonement would be shorn of its sublime import and effect were its provisions limited to the relative few who have complied with the ordinances of the Gospel in the body. But the Scriptures abundantly show that the Atonement is of universal effect, reaching every soul, both in the certainty of resurrection from death and in the opportunity for salvation through individual obedience. With particular reference to redemption from death Jacob, a Nephite prophet, thus spake: "Wherefore it must needs be an infinite atonement; save it should be an infinite atonement, this corruption could not put on incorruption." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:7.)

Obedience to Gospel requirements is likewise of universal application. It follows that if any man has failed, either through neglect or lack of opportunity to meet the requirement, the obligation is not cancelled by death.

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All Live Unto Him

"BUT as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." See Matt. 22:23-33.

These words of the Master were addressed to a party of Sadducees, who had asked, though in irony, concerning certain details of the resurrected state, all the while holding to their unscriptural dogma that there could not be a resurrection from the dead.

The Lord dismissed their circumstantial instance with terse reproof and brief explanation, and went direct to the real point of their question—the actuality of the resurrection then future. He cited a Scripture often quoted in the rabbinical discourses of the time, daily sung in the refrain of the temple chants, and of frequent recurrence in their ceremonial orisons: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

Jehovah's affirmation of His own identity as expressed in this passage was made to Moses at Horeb. See Exo. 3. At that time Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom He who there spake unto Moses from amidst the fiery splendor of the burning bush had made covenant of everlasting effect, were dead. The climax of the Master's explanatory and positive doctrine was unanswerable: "He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him." (Luke 20:38.)

Small wonder that certain of the Scribes exclaimed, "Master, thou hast well said," nor that the multitude "were astonished at His doctrine." To acclaim as one of the distinguishing titles of Jehovah that He was the God of the patriarchs whom they most revered, and yet hold that those worthies were dead in the Sadducean sense of death, was inconsistency itself.

The real import of death varies with the point of view. Looked at from this side of the veil it means bereavement, departure, separation, and as some ignorantly profess to believe, annihilation. From the other side it is seen in its verity as the disembodiment of the living, active, intelligent spirit, which existed before its entrance into a tabernacle of flesh and bones, which maintains its individuality after bodily dissolution, and which is destined to be reembodied in the resurrection.

In these several states of existence the spirit is the same being, with specific powers and functions, endowed with agency or choice, and therefore strictly accountable. Death of the body in no sense extinguishes the conscious personality of the spirit nor does it terminate individual accountability.

Peter tells us of disembodied spirits who had lived in the flesh during the Noachian dispensation, and who through disobedience and wilful rejection of the Gospel had incurred bodily destruction, and imprisonment of their undying spirits throughout the centuries from Noah to Christ. Unto them the disembodied Savior went and preached the Gospel. They were therefore alive, possessed of understanding, and capable of accepting or again rejecting the Gospel of salvation.

Yet they were all numbered among the dead as man counts the departed; and for that matter so was the Christ, for His visitation to those "spirits in prison" was made during the interval of His death on the cross and His emergence from the tomb with spirit and body reunited—a resurrected Soul.

The Nephite prophet Alma set forth in words of inspired plainness the continuity of intelligent existence after death:

"Now concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection. Behold, it has been made known unto me, by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body; yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise; a state of rest; a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. . . . Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked; yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful, looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection." (Book of Mormon, Alma 40.)

And as to the individual existence in and after the resurrection, the same revelator has given us this Scripture:

"Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death: and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death. The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt. Now this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous." (Alma 11.)

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Repentance Possible Even There

IN view of scriptural affirmation that between His death and resurrection Christ visited and ministered to the spirits who had been disobedient, and who, because of unexpiated sins were still held in duress, it is pertinent to inquire as to the object and scope of the Savior's ministry among them. (See 1 Peter 3:18-19; and 4:6.)

His preaching "to the spirits in prison" must have been purposeful and positive. Moreover, it is not to be assumed that His message was other than one of relief and mercy. Those to whom He went had long been in a state of durance, deprivation and suffering. To them came the Redeemer to preach, not to further condemn, to show them the way that led to light, not to intensify the darkness of their despair.

Had not that visit of deliverance been long predicted? Centuries earlier Isaiah had voiced the word of Jehovah concerning the state of proud and wicked spirits: "And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited." (Isa. 24:22; see also 42:6, 7.) David, conscious of his own transgression, but thrilled with contrition and hope, sang in measures of mingled sorrow and joy: "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." (Psa. 16:9-10.)

Inasmuch as Christ preached the Gospel to the dead, His ministry must have included the affirmation of His own atoning death, the inculcation of faith in Himself and in the whole plan of salvation, which includes as a fundamental essential, contrite repentance acceptable unto God.

Peter specifies the purpose of the Savior's introduction of the Gospel to departed spirits as "that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Pet. 4-6.) Through latter-day revelation we learn that among the inhabitants of the terrestrial world, or lesser kingdom of glory, are "they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it." (D&C 76:73-74.)

Progression, then, is possible beyond the grave. Advancement is eternal. Were it otherwise, Christ's ministry among the disembodied would be less than fable and fiction. Equally repugnant is the thought that though the Savior preached faith, repentance and other principles of the Gospel to the imprisoned sinners in the realm of spirits, their compliance was impossible.

It is not difficult to conceive of disembodied spirits being capable of faith and repentance. Death has not destroyed their status as individual intelligences. As they hear the glad tidings of the Gospel some will accept, and others, the obstinate and rebellious, will reject and for a further period will have to languish in prison.

Besides the principles of the Gospel there are certain ordinances involving material works, which are indispensable to salvation. Among these the Scriptures specify baptism by immersion in water, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the imposition of authorized hands. How can a man be baptized when he is dead? The answer is that the necessary ordinances may be administered vicariously for the dead to their living representatives in the body. Thus, as a man may be baptized in his own person for himself, he may be baptized as proxy for his ancestral dead. Herein we find point and explanation of Paul's challenging question to the doubting Corinthians: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1 Cor. 15:29.)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms that the Divine plan of salvation is not bounded by the grave; but that the Gospel is deathless and everlasting, reaching back through all the ages that have sped, and forward into the eternities of the future. Vicarious service by the living in behalf of the dead is in line with and a result of the supreme vicarious sacrifice embodied in the Atonement wrought by the Savior of the world.

Largely for the administration of ordinances in behalf of the dead the Latter-day Saints build and maintain Temples, wherein the living posterity enter the waters of baptism and receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, as representatives of their departed progenitors. This labor was foretold through Malachi as a necessary and characteristic feature of the last dispensation, preceding the advent of Christ in glory and judgment. Thus, the dead fathers and living children are turned toward one another in the affection of a kinship that is to endure throughout eternity. (See Mal. 4:5-6.)

We solemnly aver that on April 3, 1836, Elijah the ancient prophet came to earth and committed unto the restored Church the authority and commission to administer in behalf of the dead. (See D&C 110: 13-16.)

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Free Agency and Its Results

REPENTANCE and other good works, whereby the saving grace of Christ's Atonement may be made of individual effect for the remission of sins, are possible to the dead; and furthermore, the required ordinances of the Gospel may be administered to the living in behalf of the departed.

Let it not be assumed that the doctrine of vicarious labor for the disembodied implies, even remotely, that the administration of ordinances in behalf of the dead operates in the least degree to interfere with the right of choice and the free exercise of agency on their part. They are at liberty to accept or reject ministrations intended for their benefit; and so they will accept or reject in accord with their penitent or unregenerate condition, even as is the case with those whom the Gospel message reaches in mortality.

Though baptism be authoritatively administered to a living person as proxy for a dead ancestor, that spirit will derive no immediate advancement nor salvation thereby if he has not yet attained faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or if he be still unrepentant. Even as Christ has made salvation possible to all, though few there be who accept the prescribed conditions in the flesh, so vicarious ordinances may be administered for many in the spirit realm who are not yet prepared to avail themselves of the opportunities thus placed within their reach.

It is evident that labor in behalf of the dead is two-fold; that performed on earth would remain incomplete and futile but for its supplement and counterpart beyond the veil. Missionary work is in progress there—work compared with which the evangelistic labor on earth is relatively of small extent. There are preachers and teachers, ministers invested with the Holy Priesthood, all engaged in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to spirits still sitting in darkness. This great labor was inaugurated by the Savior during the brief period of His disembodiment. It is reasonable and consistent to hold that the saving ministry so begun was left to be continued by others duly authorized and commissioned; just as the work of preaching the Gospel and administering therein among the living was committed to the Apostles of old through their ordination by the Lord Himself.

Missionary service in the spirit world is primarily effective among two classes: (1) those who have died in ignorance of the Gospel—i. e., those who have lived and died without law, and who therefore cannot be condemned until they have come to the knowledge and opportunity requisite to obedience; and (2) those who failed to comply with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel in the flesh, and who through the experiences of the other world have come to the contrite and receptive state.

It is unreasonable and vitally opposed to both letter and spirit of Holy Scripture to assume that neglect or rejection of the call to repentance in this life can be easily remedied by repentance hereafter. Forfeiture through disobedience is a very real loss, entailing deprivation of opportunity beyond all human computation. Refusal to hear and heed the word of God is no physical deafness, but a manifestation of spiritual disease resulting from sin. Death is no cure for such. The unrepentant state is a disorder of the spirit, and, following disembodiment, the spirit will still be afflicted therewith.

What ages such an afflicted one may have to pass in prison confines before he becomes repentant and therefore fit for cleansing, we may not know. The unrepentant hosts who rejected the Gospel in the days of Noah remained in thraldom until after the crucifixion of Christ. (See 1 Peter 3:18-20.) The prophet Amulek admonished the people to repent while opportunity permitted. Consider his inspired appeal:

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God. . . . Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his." (Book of Mormon, Alma 34:32-35.)

Revelation in the current age confirms the earlier Scriptures in emphasizing the fact that mortality is the probationary state, and that the individual achievements or forfeitures in this life will be of eternal effect, notwithstanding the merciful provision made for advancement in the hereafter. The celestial kingdom of glory and eternal communion with God and Christ is provided for those who obey the Gospel when they learn of it. The lower or terrestrial state will be the inheritance of such as "received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it." Yet lower is the telestial abode of the less deserving; and deepest of all, the awful banishment of the sons of perdition. (See D&C 76.)

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Paradise and Hades

IT is a common practise to designate the place, the time, or the state of existence following death as the hereafter; indeed, that term is defined by lexicographers as the future life. The application is a broad one, too broad to be regarded as descriptive except in the matter of sequence.

Nevertheless, the expression is a convenient one, and is practically synonymous with the poet's phrase "the great unknown." Its usage is a confession of uncertainty or ignorance of what awaits us beyond; and as to duration it embraces eternity, without divisions or periods either as to condition or time. Holy Scripture is more definite, and like Paul's commanding call, on Mars' Hill, to the worshipers of "the unknown God," summons us to hear and learn the truth.

The world of the disembodied was known to the Hebrews as Sheol and to the Greeks as Hades; and these terms, meaning the unseen or unknown world, are translated Hell in our version of the Old and New Testaments, respectively. In a few New Testament passages referring to the state of the damned, Gehenna is the original of the term Hell.

"Paradise" first appears in the Bible in the Savior's utterance from the cross promising the penitent thief a place there (Luke 23:43); and the word occurs subsequently but twice. Paradise is distinctively the abode of the righteous during their period of disembodiment, and is in contrast with the "prison" tenanted by disobedient spirits. (1 Peter 3:19, 20.)

The several places or states mentioned above have reference to the existence of disembodied spirits, and therefore embrace only that period of the hereafter between death and resurrection. Beyond the spirit world, with its Paradise and its prison, lies the eternity of the resurrected state, in the which men shall endure, with spirits and bodies reunited, redeemed from the thraldom of death, and, according to the record of their mortal lives, saved or condemned.

The hereafter, therefore, comprises severally the disembodied and the reembodied existences of the individual; and these must be distinctly segregated in any rational conception of the future life based on Scripture. Read the testimony of the prophet Alma:

"Now concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection. Behold, it has been made known unto me, by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body; yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

"And then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise; a state of rest; a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow, etc.

"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil; for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house; and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and this because of their own iniquity; being led captive by the will of the devil.

"Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked; yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful, looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection." (Book of Mormon, Alma 40:11-14.)

It is evident that the final judgment of mankind is to be reserved until after the resurrection; while in another sense judgment is manifest in the segregation of the disembodied, for in the intermediate state like will seek like, the clean and good finding companionship with their kind, and the wicked congregating through the natural attraction of evil for evil.

The essential features of the intermediate state are deducible from the Lord's parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Read Luke 16:19-31. While it would be critically unfair to affirm doctrinal principles on the incidents of an ordinary story, we cannot admit that Christ would teach falsely even in parable; and therefore we accept as true our Lord's portrayal of conditions in the spirit world. That righteous and unrighteous dwell apart between death and resurrection is made clear. Paradise, or, as the Jews liked to designate that blessed abode, "Abraham's bosom," is not the place of final glory, any more than the hell to which the rich man's spirit went is the final habitation of the lost. Between the two, however, "there is a great gulf fixed." To that intermediate state of existence men's works do follow them (Rev. 14:13); and the dead shall find that in their bodiless state their condition is that for which they have prepared themselves while in the flesh.

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The Duration of Punishment

WE are accustomed to speak broadly of salvation and condemnation in the hereafter as reward and punishment, respectively. The Scriptures justify this usage, and furthermore make plain the fact that reward or punishment will be a natural and inevitable heritage resulting from individual righteousness or sin.

The Eternal Judge of the quick and the dead is bound by His own inviolable laws—and no less so than by His Divine attributes of justice and mercy—to exalt every deserving soul, and to validate and enforce the loss and suffering consequent to wilful wickedness. Verily, the Lord God is no respecter of persons, condoning the unexpiated sins of favorites and inflicting punishment upon others for but equal guilt. Such an unbelievable condition would mean injustice and vindictiveness.

Everlasting blessedness is thoroughly consistent with justice. The souls that attain to salvation and eternal life "shall have glory added upon their heads forever and ever." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 66.) But the thought of never-ending punishment as the fate of all who die in their sins is repugnant; and rightly so.

As reward for righteous living is to be proportionate to deserts, so punishment for sin must be graded according to the offense. The purpose of punishment is disciplinary, reformatory, and in support of justice. God's mercy is as truly manifest in the expiatory suffering, which He allows, as in the endless joys of salvation, which He bestows.

As to the duration of punishment, we may take assurance that it shall be measured to the individual in just accordance with the sum of his iniquity. That every sentence for sin must be interminable is as directly opposed to a rational conception of justice as it is contradictory of the revealed Word of God.

It was mercifully foreordained that even the prisoners thronging the pit should in due time be visited (Isa. 24:21-22), and be offered means of amelioration (42:7). David sang right rapturously, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." (Psa. 16:10.)

True, the Scriptures speak of endless punishment, and depict everlasting burnings, eternal damnation, and the sufferings incident to unquenchable fire, as features of the judgment reserved for the wicked. But none of these awful possibilities are anywhere in Scripture declared to be the unending fate of the individual sinner.

Blessing or punishment ordained of God is eternal, for He is eternal, and eternal are all His ways. His is a system of endless and eternal punishment, for it will always exist as the place or condition provided for the rebellious and disobedient; but the penalty as visited upon the individual will terminate when through repentance and expiation the necessary reform has been effected and the uttermost farthing paid.

Even to hell there is an exit as well as an entrance; and when sentence has been served, commuted perhaps by repentance and its attendant works, the prison doors shall open and the penitent captive be afforded opportunity to comply with the law, which he aforetime violated. But the prison remains, and the eternal decree prescribing punishment for the offender stands unrepealed. So it is even with the penal institutions established by man.

To this effect hath the Lord spoken in the current age: "I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am He, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world. . . . And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless. Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand. Nevertheless it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation . . . for, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand, is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore eternal punishment is God's punishment. Endless punishment is God's punishment."

The revelation continues: "Therefore I command you to repent—repent lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not! how exquisite you know not! yea, how hard to bear you know not! For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent. But if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I, which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit: and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men." (D&C 19.)

The inhabitants of the telestial world—the lowest of the kingdoms of glory prepared for resurrected souls, shall include those "who are thrust down to hell" and "who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection." (76:82-85.) And though these may be delivered from hell and attain to a measure of glory with possibilities of progression, yet their lot shall be that of "servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end." (v. 112.) Deliverance from hell is not admittance to heaven.

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Advancement Worlds Without End

IMPROVEMENT, advancement, progression, here and hereafter, are basal principles of the Divine plan with respect to the souls of men. Earth-life with its varied experiences of joy and sorrow, of success and failure, of temptation and resistance thereto, all the bitter and the sweet of mortal existence may be turned to eventual good in the development of the individual soul.

We hold as reasonable, scriptural, and true, that advancement in righteous achievement and power for good shall be a feature of the future life, both during the period of disembodiment and in and after the resurrection from the dead. Nevertheless, ability to progress in eternity is largely conditioned by the thoroughness of our education in the school of mortality.

Our status in the hereafter will be found to be primarily dependent upon the merits or demerits of our life here; and beyond as in this world ability to advance will be varied and graded. Wilful neglect here may forfeit both ability and opportunity there. Hence, though in the mercy of God the Gospel is being preached in the spirit world, and vicarious administration of the essential and saving ordinances is provided for, to the end that the repentant dead "might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit" (1 Peter 4:6), disembodied spirits may be incapacitated and ineligible even for repentance, and for the benefits of baptism administered in their behalf upon earth, until they shall have learned in the spirit world the primary lessons that they ignored or rejected while in the flesh. To this effect spake Alma the prophet:

"There was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state, which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead." (Book of Mormon, Alma 12:24.)

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

"And now as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you, that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness, wherein there can be no labor performed.

"Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

"For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you." (34:32-35.)

Some degree of salvation shall be granted to every soul who has not forfeited all claim thereto. But Salvation as a graded state provided for all who have not sinned unto the incurring of the dread penalty of the second death is far exceeded by the Exaltation provided for the valiant righteous. Of such as are worthy of a measure of salvation, yet who have failed to lay hold on the higher blessings and privileges of eternal life, including the perpetuity of the family relation through the sealing ordinances administered under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, title to which is to be won by individual effort by and through the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord has spoken in this dispensation, saying that they "are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot not be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not Gods, but are angels of God, for ever and ever." (D&C 132:16-17.)

Progression in eternity is to be along well defined lines; and thus the inheritors of any specific order or kingdom of glory may advance forever without attaining the particular exaltation belonging to a different kingdom or order. Of those who shall belong to the Telestial or lowest kingdom of glory we read:

"But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the Telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the sea shore; and heard the voice of the Lord, saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne for ever and ever. For 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, worlds without end." (76:109-112.)

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Man Is a God in Embryo

WE read of our Lord's presence at a winter festival in Jerusalem, the Feast of Dedication. As He stood in Solomon's Porch He was assailed with questions from some of the more prominent Jews; and His answers so stirred their priestly wrath that they essayed to stone Him to death. Read John 10:22-42. The chief cause of their anger lay in Christ's affirmation of His actual relationship to the Father as the veritable Son of God. To the assault of the infuriated and sin-blinded Jews Jesus responded with these words: "Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" And the answering howl of the mob was: "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."

Blasphemy was the blackest crime in the Mosaic category; and the prescribed penalty was death by stoning. The essence of this capital offense lay in falsely claiming for one's self or attributing to man the authority belonging to God, or in ascribing to Deity unworthy attributes. Jesus had proclaimed to the angry Jews His inherent power to grant eternal life unto all who would believe on Him and do the things He taught. Hence the frightful charge of blasphemy hurled at the Son of God, who spake as the Father gave commandment.

Our Lord reminded them that even human judges of their own, being empowered by Divine authority and therefore acting in the administration of justice as representatives of Deity, were called gods (see Psalm 82:1, 6); and then, with sublime pertinence asked: "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

The actuality of the relationship between Jesus the Son and God the Father as set forth in the Scriptures cited is in accord with Scripture in its entirety; and that humankind are veritably children of that same Father, Jesus Christ being the Firstborn of the spirits, and therefore our Elder Brother, is attested by the same high and unquestionable authority.

The Jews denied and blasphemously decried the Godship of Christ because He was to them a man, the reputed son of a carpenter, and His mother, brothers and sisters were known to them as familiar townsfolk. Christ emphatically affirmed that He was following His Father's footsteps, as witness His words on another occasion, when the Jews tried to kill Him because He had said "that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Read John 5:17-23. In the verse following, Jesus declared that unto Him the Father showed all things that He, the Father, did. In connection with the same occurrence He declared, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."

It is plain that Jesus Christ recognized the literal relationship of Sonship which He bore to the Father; and moreover, that He was pursuing a course leading to His own exaltation, a state then future, which course was essentially that which His Father had trodden aforetime. To the Father's supremacy He repeatedly testified, and expressly stated, "My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28.)

Jesus Christ lived and died a mortal Being, though distinguished in certain essential attributes from all other mortals because of His status as the Only Begotten of God His Father in the flesh. Yet Jesus Christ has attained the supreme exaltation of Godship, and has won His place at the right hand of the Eternal Father. Ponder the significance of His words: "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." (John 5:26.) The teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on this affirmation by the Lord Jesus were set forth by Joseph Smith the prophet in this wise:

"As the Father hath power in Himself, so hath the Son power in Himself, to lay down His life and take it again, so He has a body of His own. The Son doeth what He hath seen the Father do: then the Father hath some day laid down His life and taken it again; so He has a body of His own."

And further: "God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret. If the veil was rent to-day, and the Great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible—I say, if you were to see Him to-day, you would see Him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image, and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another."

We read further: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also." (D&C 130:22.)

Our belief as to the relationship of humanity to Deity is thus expressed:

"As man is God once was; as God is man may be."

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Is It Possible?

SOME knowledge of the attributes of God is essential to intelligent worship. Granted that finite man cannot comprehend infinity; yet consistency forbids us carrying this self-evident truth to the extent of saying that because God is infinite man can have no conception of His nature or character.

If God be but a vast formless nonentity, filling all space and therefore illimitable, substanceless, devoid of body and parts, incapable of emotions and passions, He is not my Father, I am not His son. To the contrary, the Scriptures affirm that humankind are the children of God, fashioned after His likeness in both spirit and body; and conversely, He must be of definite form and feature, possessed of a body perfect in all its parts, and He likewise perfect in all His acts.

On the night of the betrayal, while comforting the sorrow-stricken Eleven by solemn and lofty discourse, Jesus said unto them: "Ye believe in God, believe also in me. . . . If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him."

The faithful Philip broke in with an appealing request: "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." The Lord's response was an unequivocal avowal that He was His Father's exact presentment, so that whosoever had seen Him had seen unto what and whom the Father was like. Note the explicit and withal pathetic words of the heavy-hearted Christ: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" See John 14:1-10.

Jesus Christ, the Man, was and is in the express likeness of His Father's Person; and, since the consummation of His mission in the flesh and His victory over death whereby comes the resurrection, He has been exalted to the Father's state of glory and perfection. See Heb. 1:1-4.

Though the thoughts and activities of God be as far above the ways of men as the heavens are above the earth, they are nevertheless of a kind with human yearnings and aspirations, so far as these be the fruitage of holiness, purity, and righteous endeavor. Though our planet be but as a drop of the ocean compared with the many greater orbs, it is not the least of all; and what we have come to know of other worlds is primarily based on analogy with the phenomena of our own. Notwithstanding that Deity is perfect and humanity grossly imperfect, we may learn much of the Higher by a study of the lower in its true and normal phases.

As an impressive and profound climax to one division of the sublime discourse, The Sermon on the Mount, the Master said: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt. 5:48.)

What led up to this utterance, calling for the explanatory "therefore" by which the relation of premises and conclusion is expressed? A studious reading of the entire chapter gives answer. Following the Beatitudes and certain well defined admonitions and precepts, the Lord made plain the distinction between the Law under which Israel had professedly lived from Moses down, and the higher requirements of the Gospel taught by Christ. Again and again the introductory, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time," is followed by the authoritative, "But I say unto you." Obedience to the Gospel, which comprises all the essentials of the Law, was enjoined as the means by which man may become perfect, even in the sense in which the Father in heaven is perfect.

It is a significant fact that when Jesus Christ, a resurrected and glorified Being, visited the Nephite branch of the House of Israel on the Western Continent, He included Himself with the Father as the existent ideal of perfection, as thus appears: "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12:48).

The road to exaltation and perfection is opened through the Gospel of Christ. We cannot rationally construe our Lord's admonition as implying an impossibility. We are not required to assume that man in mortality can attain the perfection of an exalted and glorified personage, such as either the Father or Jesus Christ. However, man may be perfect in his sphere as more advanced intelligences may be in their several spheres; yet the relative perfection of the lower is vastly inferior to that of the higher. We can conceive of a college freshman attaining perfection in his class; yet the honors of the upper classman are beyond; and graduation, though to him remote, is assured if be do but maintain his high standing to the end.

After all, individual perfection is relative and must be gaged by the law operative upon us. In 1832 the Lord thus spake through His prophet Joseph Smith: "And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law, and perfected and sanctified by the same." (D&C 88:34.)

The law of the Gospel is a perfect law; and the sure effect of full obedience thereto is perfection. Of those who attain exaltation in the celestial kingdom Christ has declared: "These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect Atonement through the shedding of his own blood." (76:69.)

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Knowledge Is Power in Heaven as on Earth

IN a revelation to Abraham the Lord made known the existence of spirits appointed to take bodies upon the earth. These spirits were designated as "the intelligences that were organized before the world was"; and elsewhere in the same record spirits are called intelligences. See Pearl of Great Price, pp. 65, 66.

This usage of the term has gained a place in modern English, as lexicographers agree. The Standard Dictionary gives us the following as one of the specific definitions of intelligence: "An intelligent being, especially a spirit not embodied; as the intelligences of the unseen world; the Supreme Intelligence."

The word is current as connoting (1) the mental capacity to know and understand; (2) knowledge itself, or the thing that is known and understood; and (3) the person who knows and understands. Beside these there are other minor usages.

In the revelation above cited the Lord impressed upon His ancient prophet and seer the fact that some of the spirits were more intelligent than others; and then proclaimed His own Divine supremacy by the declaration: "I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all. . . . I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning. I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen."

In such wise did God make known anciently the power by virtue of which He is supreme over all the intelligences that exist—the fact that He is more intelligent than any and all others. In the heavens as upon the earth the aphorism holds good that Knowledge is Power, providing that by "knowledge" we mean application, and not merely mental possession, of truth. In a revelation through Joseph Smith the prophet given in 1833, the character of Divine authority and power is thus sublimely summarized: "The Glory of God is Intelligence." (D&C 93:36.)

The context of the passage shows that the intelligence therein referred to as an attribute of Deity is spiritual light and truth; and that man may attain to a measure of this exalting light and truth is thus made certain: "He that keepeth His commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. . . . Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also."

The antithesis of light and truth is darkness and falsehood; the former is summarized as righteousness, the latter as evil. Reverting to the figure of mortality as a school for embodied spirits, we must admit that every pupil who ignores or rejects the truth as presented to him through the revealed word and his own experience is culpably responsible for his ignorance.

Not all knowledge is of equal worth. The knowledge that constitutes the wisdom of the heavens is all embraced in the Gospel as taught by Jesus Christ; and wilful ignorance of this, the highest type of knowledge, will relegate its victim to the inferior order of intelligences. Another latter-day Scripture may be cited as an inspired generalization embodying an eternal truth relating to our subject: "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance." (D&C 131:6.)

Can it be otherwise? If a man be ignorant of the terms on which salvation is predicated he is unable to comply therewith, and consequently fails to attain what otherwise might have been his eternal gain. The ignorance that thus condemns is responsible ignorance, involving wilful and sinful neglect. Lack of the saving knowledge that one has had no opportunity to acquire is but a temporary deficiency; for Eternal Justice provides means of education beyond the grave. Every one of us will be judged according to the measure of light and truth we have had opportunity to acquire. Even the untutored heathen who has lived up to his highest conceptions of right shall find means of progression. Part of the blessing to follow the second advent of Christ is thus stated: "And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them." (45:54.)

The intelligence that saves comprises knowing and doing what is required by the Gospel of Christ; and such intelligence will endure beyond death. "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (130:18, 19.)

Intelligence as to Godly things, which are summarized in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, leads to an ever increasing understanding and comprehension of God Himself, and this is knowledge supreme; for as the praying Christ affirmed: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3.)

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Opportunity Entails Accountability

IT is an aphorism of the courts that ignorance of the law is no valid excuse for crime. If this rule be just it must rest upon the assumption that knowledge of what the law demands or forbids is an inherent and natural possession, or that it is so readily accessible that no one is justified in failing to become informed.

The normal individual of a civilized community requires no specific instruction to know that theft, falsification, drunkenness, adultery or murder is fundamentally wrong, since each of these crimes is a violation of his conscience and a pronounced offense against public weal. If, however, he enter restricted territory within which registration is legally demanded, and he, not knowing of the requirement, fails to register, he is technically a law-breaker subject to the penalties prescribed. True, his offense is that of omission or non-compliance and his ignorance may or may not be taken into account as a mitigating circumstance, this depending, perhaps, upon local conditions and the discretion of the magistrate as warranting leniency or demanding the full measure of punishment.

As thus in the ordinary affairs of men so with regard to the laws of God, framed for the governance of souls and providing for their salvation. One's inherent consciousness warns him against criminal actions but fails to inform him of certain definite requirements, without compliance with which he is debarred from admission to the Kingdom of God. There is no inborn knowledge by which man knows that baptism by immersion in water, and the higher baptism of the Spirit through the imposition of hands are essential to salvation; nevertheless our Lord's words to Nicodemus are alike binding upon every soul: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." (John 3:5.)

Is it less reasonable with respect to spiritual requirements than in secular matters to expect of every one an acquaintance with the law as it applies to himself, providing, of course, such knowledge is accessible to all? But some may honestly assert inability to apprehend the necessity of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, even though they had informed themselves as to the letter of the prescribed conditions. Such may ask: Are men to suffer penalty in the hereafter because they cannot understand what is required of them in mortality? The degree of their culpability is to be determined by the fundamental cause of their ineptitude in matters spiritual. Failure to comprehend may be due to bias or to lack of desire to know. The record of our Lord's ministry presents an instance in point, coupled with a remedy for the spiritual disorder by which ignorance was fostered and truth ignored.

It was at the Feast of Tabernacles. Read John 7:14-18. The Jews were greatly troubled over His teachings; a few believed, more doubted and questioned, and some were so resentful as to want to kill Him. The more honest in the multitude desired to know for themselves whether the Master spoke by the power and authority of God or as a man, for as a man only was He generally regarded. "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Are you unable to realize that baptism is essential to salvation? Perhaps the cause lies in the fact that you have never developed the essential condition of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; or, perchance, you have never repented of your sins. Faith and repentance, as the Scriptures aver, are prerequisites to effective baptism; and it is as unreasonable to expect a faithless unrepentant sinner to comprehend the essentiality of baptism as to expect one untrained in the rudiments of arithmetic to understand algebra.

Wilful ignorance of Gospel requirements is sin. Man is untrue to his Divine lineage and birthright of reason when he turns away from the truth, or deliberately chooses to walk in darkness while the illumined path is open to his tread. Positive rejection of the truth is even graver than passive inattention or neglect. Yet to every one is given the right of choice and the power of agency, with the certainty of his meeting the natural and inevitable consequence.

We learn of three principal states or graded kingdoms into which souls shall enter under Divine judgment—the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial—and the inheritance of each soul shall be determined by his measure of obedience to the laws of God, as the Lord's revelation through the prophet Joseph Smith attests: "For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. He who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory." (D&C 88:22-24.)

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Knowledge May Help to Condemn of Save

BY way of summary and climax to His lofty yet simple, and withal unparalleled discourse, since named The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ thus spake: "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matt. 7:24-27; compare Luke 6:47-49.)

This Sermon has stood through the centuries in a class of its own. The address is before us as a living preceptor thrilled with the spirit of sincerity and action as opposed to wordy profession and careless neglect. The closing sentences quoted above express, in language suited alike to child and sage, a generalization of deep import—that actions not words alone, works not empty belief, doing not merely knowing what to do, are conditions indispensable to the salvation of the soul.

Many of those who were so signally privileged and blessed as to personally hear the Master were astonished at His doctrine and deeply moved by the simple and convincing presentation: "For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matt. 7:29.) Our Lord was qualified to teach as He did, not only, by reason of the sufficing fact that He bore the Father's commission, but because He had done and was doing just what He required of others. The authority of Divine precept was united in Him with that of unimpeachable example. The burden of all scriptural direction relating to the attainment of a place in the Kingdom of God is: Do the works that are prescribed.

Ever consistent, unchangeable as the Father Himself, our Lord affirmed the same necessity of works when He ministered among the Nephites on the American continent soon after His ascension from the Mount of Olives in Palestine. Having declared that His doctrine was the doctrine of the Father, the Resurrected Christ thus proclaimed:

"Whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also, and unto him will the Father bear record of me; for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. . . . And again I say unto you, Ye must repent and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this, buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock, but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell standeth open to receive such, when the floods come and the winds beat upon them." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:33-40.)

The accumulated experience of the world sustains the soundness of the principle thus emphasized in the Savior's teachings. An alien immigrant to our shores may desire to attain the full status of citizenship; but desire alone will never enfranchise him. He must first learn the legal requirements, and then comply therewith in every detail.

A student of the Scriptures may have learned, and that to his own complete conviction, that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance of sin, baptism by water and of the Spirit, are the prescribed conditions of citizenship in the Kingdom of God; but that knowledge serves only to make him the more blameworthy if he fails to act. Even a letter-perfect memorization of all Scripture if unaccompanied by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel is invalid as title to salvation, and does but intensify the guilt incident to wilful neglect.

Opportunity to avail one's self of the saving provisions of the Gospel may not always be within individual reach, for neglect may forfeit the ability to repent. The Word of the Lord to the world today is thus proclaimed: "I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven, and he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts." (D&C 1:31-33.)

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Our Place Beyond the Grave

IN the course of our Lord's last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, which proved to be His solemn march to Calvary and the tomb, He threaded the towns and villages of the region, teaching and preaching by the way. Multitudes were impressed by His lofty precepts and His simple exposition of plain, every-day religion; and many questions were submitted to Him, some based on curiosity or even less worthy motives, others inspired by genuine interest.

"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?" (Luke 13:23.)

The inquiry was and is of great moment. We observe as a striking and significant fact, that while the Lord nowise treated the query as improper, yet He gave no specific or direct answer. Indeed, so far as the record enables us to judge He purposely left the question unanswered; though He gave a most impressive sermon in connection therewith. Note again the question, and part of the response:

"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."

As the succeeding verses tell, the instruction was enlarged upon to show that neglect or procrastination in obeying the requirements of salvation may result in dire jeopardy to the soul. Moreover, the people were warned that their Israelitish lineage would not save them; for many who were not of the covenant people would believe and be admitted to the Lord's presence, while unworthy Israelites would be thrust out. So is it that "There are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last." (Verse 30.)

Uplifting and invaluable as this teaching is, it has, nevertheless, but an indirect bearing upon the clean-cut question: Will many or but few be saved? The people to whom Jesus was speaking were incapable of understanding a plain answer to the question, and would have been misled thereby. For, had He said "Few" they would have construed the reply to mean that only a few, and they the Jews, would find a place in "Abraham's bosom," while all the rest would be consigned to sheol. Had the Lord answered "Many" they would have taken His word to mean that the great majority shall attain supreme bliss in the kingdom of heaven, and only a few are to find a place in hell. Either inference is untrue.

Later, on the night of the betrayal, the Lord said to the sorrowful Apostles: "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you." Here we find conclusive refutation of the old and still current superstition, that but two states, conditions, or places—heaven and hell—are established for souls in eternity. Salvation is graded; and every soul shall inherit the condition for which he is prepared.

Paul comprehended this great truth, as appears from his declaration that in the resurrection some souls shall be of the celestial order, comparable in glory to the sun; others shall attain but a terrestrial state, of which the brightness of the moon is typical; while the graded conditions of others shall be as the varying light of the stars. See 1 Cor. 15:41, 42. Here we have two kingdoms of glory distinctively specified—the celestial and the terrestrial, and a third to which no name is given.

Modern revelation is in strict accord with Holy Writ of ancient record, and is explicit in affirming the graded conditions that await the souls of men. As made known in 1832 through the prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C, Sec. 76) there are three main kingdoms or degrees of glory in the hereafter—(1) the Celestial, of which the sun is relatively typical, (2) the Terrestrial, as far below the first as the moon is inferior to the sun in effulgence, and (3) the Telestial, which is the kingdom referred to by Paul but without name.

The Celestial inheritance is for those who have accepted the Gospel of Christ and have rendered valiant service in the cause of righteousness; those who have yielded obedience to all the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Into the Terrestrial order shall enter those who have failed to lay hold on the privileges of eternal life while in the flesh; "honorable men of the earth" perhaps, according to human standard, yet blinded "by the craftiness" of false teachers, false philosophy, science falsely so called. These shall inherit glory, but not a fulness thereof.

The Telestial state is provided for those who have rejected the Gospel and testimony of Christ, and who merit condemnation. "These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie." Among them shall be varied degrees, even as the stars differ in glory.

Far below this condition is that of the sons of perdition—those who have sinned in full consciousness, those who have shed innocent blood. The comparative few who reach this state of extreme degradation are doomed to dwell "with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment."

Thus, those who attain even the Telestial state are saved from the depths of perdition; while the inheritors of the higher glories are saved from the condition of the less exalted.

Consider anew the question asked of Christ: "Lord, are there few that be saved?"

And the answer revealed in the present age: "But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the sea shore." (D&C 76:109.)

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And the Dead Shall Live

"WHY should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" (Acts 26:8.)

So asked Paul of King Agrippa when arraigned before him a prisoner in bonds approximately thirty years after our Lord's resurrection. At that time the Apostles and the saints generally suffered severe persecution because of their persistent testimony of the Christ, crucified and risen. The powerful Sadducees denied the actuality of a resurrection; their opponents, the Pharisees, professed a belief in the resurrection, but all save those who had been converted to Christianity through faith and repentance denounced the solemn testimonies of Christ's resurrection as fiction and falsehood.

That the spirit of Jesus Christ returned from the abode of the disembodied and reentered the body till then reposing in the sepulchre is specifically affirmed in Holy Writ. In the early dawn of that most memorable Sunday in history He was seen by Mary Magdalene and then by others, some of whom were permitted to reverently touch His feet. In the evening He stood amongst the Apostles and quieted their fears by the assuring demonstration: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39.)

That the body they beheld was the identical body in which the Lord had lived amongst them was evident from the presence of the wounds made by the crucifiers. To further assure the devoted company that He was no shadowy form, no immaterial being, but a living Personage with bodily organs, internal as well as outward, He asked: "Have ye here any meat?" They brought broiled fish and other food, and He "did eat before them."

Christ was the first of all men to emerge from the tomb with spirit and body reunited, a resurrected immortalized Soul. Therefore, is He rightly called "the firstfruits of them that slept," as also "the firstborn from the dead," and "the first begotten of the dead." (1 Cor. 15:20; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5.) The victory over death thus achieved by the foreordained Redeemer of the race was positively and abundantly foretold. That a literal resurrection shall come to all who have or shall have lived and died on earth is quite as strongly attested in Scripture.

Two general resurrections are specified; these we may distinguish as the first and the final, or as the resurrection of the just and that of the unjust respectively. Hear the words of Christ Himself relating to the dead and their assured coming forth: "For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28, 29.)

The first resurrection began with that of Jesus Christ and was continued thereafter as we read: "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matt. 27:52, 53.) The resurrection of the just is to be made general at the time of the Lord's approaching advent in glory; but a fixed gradation is established as Paul averred: "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (1 Cor. 15:20-23.)

The Millennium is to be inaugurated by a glorious redemption of the righteous from the power of death; and of them it is written: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6.) Of the unworthy we read in thrilling contrast: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."

Of the imminence of His coming and in further specification of the distinction between the resurrection of the just and that of the unjust the Lord has said through revelation in the current age: "Hearken ye, for, behold, the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand. For the day cometh that the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven; the heavens shall shake and the earth shall tremble, and the trump of God shall sound both long and loud, and shall say to the sleeping nations, Ye saints arise and live; ye sinners stay and sleep until I shall call again." (D&C 43:17, 18.)

The Book of Mormon is explicit in description of the literal and universal resurrection: "Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death; The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt. Now this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but all things shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil." (Alma 11:42-44.)

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When Shall It Be?

THE eventual resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a scriptural certainty. The resurrection consists of a literal and material reembodiment of spirits, following their post-mortal experience in the spirit world, whether this shall have been the freedom and joy of Paradise or the restraint and remorse of the prison house. We are destined to exist through the eternities beyond the resurrection with spirit and body reunited. Only in such union is a fulness of glory, opportunity, and achievement possible.

Thus spake the Lord Jesus Christ to the Church in 1833: "For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receiveth a fulness of joy. And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy." (D&C 93:33-34.)

The word of ancient Scripture affirms beyond any reasonable question or doubt that Jesus Christ, who has been exalted to authority and power by the side of His and our Eternal Father, exists as a Spirit clothed in an immortalized body of flesh and bones; for in such a body did He manifest Himself after His resurrection; and in that same body did He ascend from Olivet in the full sight of the apostles, while angelic attendants solemnly proclaimed: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11.)

When the Savior does so return, His body will be found to bear the marks of the cruel piercings received on Calvary; and He shall say: "These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God." (D&C 45:52.)

The Eternal Father is likewise a Spirit tabernacled in an immortalized "body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's." (D&C 130:22.)

So shall it be with every one of God's spirit-children who has been born in flesh; he shall be resurrected in flesh; for, through the infinite Atonement, physical death is but a temporary separation of spirit from body.

But though a fulness of joy eternal is possible only to resurrected beings, not all shall find that ineffable happiness. To the contrary, many shall be consigned to anguish and remorse unspeakable, because of their misdeeds in the body and their unrepentant state during the period of disembodiment.

The resurrection from the dead was inaugurated by Christ, who had power over death, and who laid down His body and took it up again as and when He willed. (John 10:17-18.) Other resurrections of the righteous dead followed. (Matt. 27:52-53; and Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 23:9-10.) This, the first resurrection, or that of the just, has been in operation since. John the Baptist, and both Peter and James, each of whom met a martyr's death, have severally appeared upon the earth and ministered in their resurrected bodies in these latter times. (D&C 13; and 27:8-13.) In this circumstance the continuance of service in the Holy Priesthood, through both mortal and resurrected beings, is profoundly exemplified.

Moroni, a Nephite prophet who died about 420 A.D., appeared as a resurrected man to Joseph Smith in 1823, and at later times, and committed to the latter-day prophet the original record from which the Book of Mormon has been translated. (See Pearl of Great Price, p. 88.)

Christ affirmed that there would be a resurrection of the just and a later resurrection of the unjust, or resurrection unto life and damnation, respectively. (John 5:29.) Apostolic Scriptures are definite in segregating individual resurrections, in that every man shall come forth "in his own order" according to worthiness. (1 Cor. 15:20-23; Rev. 20:4-6.)

The imminent but yet future advent of Jesus Christ is to be accompanied by a general resurrection of the just, while the yet unregenerate dead shall remain in their unrepentant state of duress until the Lord's blessed reign of a thousand years on earth shall have passed. Then, in a period following shall come the resurrection of the wicked.

The Book of Mormon makes plain that the resurrection of both just and wicked shall precede the last judgment: "And they [the dead] shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death. And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them." (Mormon 9:13-14.)

No spirit shall remain disembodied longer than he deserves, or than is requisite to accomplish the just and merciful purposes of God. The resurrection of the just began with Christ; it has been in process and shall continue till the Lord comes in glory, and thence onward through the Millennium. The final resurrection, or that of the wicked, the resurrection to condemnation, is to be yet later.

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"Lest We Forget"

THE Latter-day Saints are deeply concerned in the identification of their dead, back through the generations to the remotest extent possible. This is exemplified by the persistent ardor of the people in the compilation and preservation of genealogical records, the collating of items of lineage, and the formulation of true family pedigrees, by which the facts as to the relationship of ancestors to posterity may be determined.

In this specific activity the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not working alone; for it is a notable fact that during the last seven or eight decades, interest in genealogical matters has developed to a degree theretofore unknown in modern history. The living are reaching backward to learn of their dead. And in this movement, as in many other distinguishing features of particular epochs, a power superior to man's unguided purpose is operative.

The immediate motive in such undertakings may vary with the individual. Many, doubtless, are eager to trace their pedigree to an illustrious source according to human estimate of eminence; and of these some find disappointment. As literature attests, many spurious pedigrees have been fabricated. It was probably against such that Paul inveighed in his terse admonition to both Timothy (1 Tim. 1:4) and Titus (3:9) and through them to the Church, to eschew fables and endless genealogies, from the discussion of which only contention would result.

The Latter-day Saints have a specific, and, indeed, unique purpose in genealogical investigation. They seek not nobility nor aristocracy of ancestry, but the facts, let the line lead where it may; and the shadow of falsification would be fatal to their object.

Every believer in individual existence beyond the grave—and everybody believes in or fears the certainty of such a state—hopes and yearns for the blessed condition we call salvation. On the authority of Scripture the Church proclaims that "through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel"; and conversely, that without compliance with the laws and ordinances prescribed by Jesus Christ no man can have place in the Kingdom of God.

Who can doubt this basal and portentous truth in the light of the Savior's definite and unqualified affirmation to the learned Jew, Nicodemus, respecting baptism by water and of the Spirit (see John 3:5), which requirements are among the fundamental laws and ordinances of the Gospel?

In His comprehensive declaration our Lord made no discrimination of classes, drew no distinction between the living and the dead. But what of the unnumbered hosts who have lived and died without a knowledge of the indispensability of baptism, or, though they knew yet never had opportunity to be baptized by one holding the authority of the Holy Priesthood to so administer? Are they irrecoverably lost? A frightful thought!

When Death is reaping so rank a harvest through war, pestilence, and famine, can we bear to believe it?

What of those beloved fathers, husbands, brothers, sons—yours or some others'—who have fallen on the blooddrenched fields beyond the seas—are they, because unbaptized, to be forever shut out from the Kingdom of God, even though they have died martyrs to the cause of the Divine purpose in the vindication of the liberties of mankind?

Verily, No! The living may be baptized for the dead, as they were in earlier dispensations. Ponder the profound significance of Paul's climacteric question relating to the actuality of the resurrection: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1 Cor. 15:29.)

Those still in the flesh may officiate vicariously for their departed progenitors; but for this service the genealogy of the dead is indispensable. Furthermore, vicarious ordinances are administered only in sacred Temples, reared, dedicated, and maintained for this ministry; for so the Lord has directed.

Hence the Latter-day Saints are diligently seeking out the records of their dead and are ministering for them in holy Temples. This we hold to be the bounden duty of the living in behalf of the departed, the discharge of which is as truly essential to our exaltation as to theirs.

"For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers 'that they without us cannot be made perfect'; neither can we without our dead be made perfect." (D&C 128:15; see also Hebrews 11:40.)

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Why do the Latter-day Saints Build Temples?

THE Latter-day Saints are known and distinguished as a Temple-building people. They, in common with religious bodies in general, build houses of worship, which for the different sects range from humble chapels to great churches, imposing synagogs, spacious tabernacles and stately cathedrals; but for none of these edifices is the claim advanced that they are Temples in the true and specific sense of the term.

Be it remembered that Temples are not designed for purposes of general assembly or congregational worship as are church buildings in general, but for the administration of sacred ordinances. It is both interesting and instructive to note that this characteristic applies alike to heathen temples and to exclusive sanctuaries reared to the name of the true and living God. In pagan temples of olden time, the altar of sacrifice stood at the entrance; and though devotees thronged about the altar, none but the officiating priests were admitted to the actual shrine within the temple itself.

So also with the Tabernacle of the Congregation, which was a portable sanctuary, constructed by the Israelites in their migration from Egypt; and so with the imposing Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and Herod, in each of which were spacious courts enclosed by outer walls, with altar and other equipment, within which courts the people congregated; but the sanctuary itself was a relatively small structure, reserved for the most holy ordinances and ceremonial ministry. Similarly the Temples erected and maintained by the Latter-day Saints are reserved for the solemnizing of sacred ordinances, and are distinctively other than meeting-houses used for public worship.

True to the Divine commission laid upon Israel, the Nephite colonists erected a Temple on the Western Continent as early as 570 B. C., about thirty years after their exodus from Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon informs us that this structure was patterned after the Temple of Solomon, though greatly inferior in size and splendor. (2 Nephi 5:16.)

The Latter-day Saints build Temples because they are commanded so to do through the direct word of modern revelation; and in this divinely imposed labor they recognize the purposes of God with respect to the salvation and possible exaltation of mankind.

Through the Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ the eventual resurrection of all who have lived and died is assured. This deliverance from the power of death is an essential element of Redemption; and Christ is the one and only Redeemer of the race.

By compliance with the prescribed terms as embodied in the Gospel, men may be saved from the blighting effects of sin. This condition constitutes Salvation; and since provision therefor is made effective through the Atonement, Christ is the one and only Savior of the race.

Great and glorious as is the boon of Redemption from the grave, greater and more glorious as are the conditions prescribed for the soul's Salvation, the revealed Gospel of Jesus Christ provides yet more transcendent blessings in the plan for Exaltation, whereby resurrected man may advance from one stage of relative perfection to another, with powers of eternal increase and never ending progression.

The laws and ordinances of the Gospel so far as required for Salvation—specifically the individual exercise of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, true repentance, submission to baptism by immersion at the hands of one having authority, and to the higher baptism of the Spirit by the authoritative imposition of hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost—these requirements may be met and the saving effects thereof secured by the living without Temples. But baptism for the dead, as also the endowments incident to the Holy Priesthood with its boundless possibilities of advancement, in short, administration of the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Christ requisite to Exaltation in the eternal worlds, can be solemnized only in Temples erected and dedicated for these holy purposes, for so the Lord hath declared. See D&C 124:28-41.

As indicated above, Temples are not for the benefit of the living alone. Existing Temples are maintained for the salvation and exaltation of both living and dead; and the ordinances administered therein in behalf of the dead outnumber many fold the administrations for the living.

Vicarious service for the departed is peculiar to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and rightly so, for to this Church has the commission for this high ministry been given. In the last chapter of Malachi we find a vivid description of the condition of mankind in the last days, and a prophecy of gladsome promise. On April 3, 1836, in the first Temple erected in modern times, that at Kirtland, Ohio, a glorious manifestation was given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, in the course of which Elijah ministered in person to the two modern prophets, saying:

"Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that he (Elijah) should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse. Therefore the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands, and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors." (D&C 110:14-16.)

The requirements of the Gospel are universally applicable, to bond and free, to living and dead. In the plenitude of Divine mercy provision is made whereby the myriads who have died without a knowledge of the required conditions, or without opportunity of compliance therewith, may be ministered for by their living posterity. Thus the departed fathers, if they be repentant in the spirit world, may be made partakers of the blessings provided through the Atonement of Christ. "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6.)[1]


1. See the author's "The House of the Lord," 333 pp., with illustrations of modern Temples, The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Spiritual Banishment Like Unto the First

IN the Revelation written by John, the second death is referred to several times, and always as the dread fate of the ungodly or wilfully wicked. Physical death is associated with sorrow; and the anguish of bereavement is often so deep that only the assurances of immortality and the certainty of a resurrection can effectively palliate or relieve. The mere mention or thought of a second death is horrifying. What is this frightful eventuality? And is it to be the lot of the many or the few?

We have seen that a means of redemption is provided even for those who are cast into hell; and that every soul shall be resurrected in due time, whether he be righteous, or foul with sin. The second death, therefore, whatever its nature or extent, is a feature of the final judgment, at which each shall stand in his resurrected body of flesh and bones to receive the sentence of honor or of shame.

We are without scriptural warrant for assuming that the second death is another separation of body and spirit, or that the spirit shall undergo dissolution and cease to be. The spirit of man is eternal; and the resurrected body shall be everlasting. The soul knows not annihilation, neither loss of personality in an impossible Nirvana. You will be yourself and I myself throughout eternity, with quickened senses, amplified powers of perception and vastly increased capacity for happiness or suffering. Neither heaven nor hell can be gaged by the yard-stick of human conception.

In what then does the second death consist? John wrote of an event following the resurrection of the wicked and the pronouncement of judgment: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Rev. 20:14.) The "lake of fire" as elsewhere explained by the Revelator is the abode of Satan and those over whom he has gained power. The second death therefore is final consignment to the dominion of Satan, and, of necessity, banishment from the presence of God and Christ.

The condition of death that Adam brought immediately upon himself through disobedience was essentially a spiritual change, whereby he was shut out from the presence of God; and this befell him in the very day of his transgression, as he had been warned it would. Bodily death, though an unescapable result, was nevertheless secondary, and was deferred until Adam had reached the age of 930 years.

As eternal life consists in knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:3; D&C 132:24), so eternal condemnation or spiritual death is essentially banishment from the Divine presence, with corresponding forfeiture of glory and power appertaining to exaltation. The word of latter-day revelation, relating to Adam's spiritual death, and to the final or as we call it, the second death, which is reserved for the ungodly, runs as follows: "Wherefore I the Lord God caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the first death, even that same death, which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say, Depart, ye cursed." (D&C 29:41.)

The Lamanite prophet, Samuel, had a clear understanding of the matter, as thus expressed: "But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord. Yea, and it bringeth to pass the condition of repentance, that whosoever repenteth, the same is not hewn and cast into the fire; but whosoever repenteth not, is hewn down and cast into the fire, and there cometh upon them again a spiritual death, yea, a second death, for they are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness." (Book of Mormon, Helaman 14:17-18.)

We are assured that all who win place and part in the first resurrection—distinctively the resurrection of the just—shall be exempt from the second death, and shall find their way open to exaltation in the presence of God.

There is a place or condition of punishment even deeper than hell. This is prepared for those who have sinned most grievously, who have received the testimony of Christ and afterward wilfully and with consciousness of what they were doing, have surrendered themselves to the power and service of Satan. "They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born. . . . These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels, and the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power." (D&C 76:32-37.)

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As Old as Adam

THE old Anglo-Saxon words "god" and "spel," from which our Anglicized term Gospel is a lineal descendant, signified in combination "the good news of God." In a theological sense, and indeed according to common usage, "The Gospel" is thus defined: "Good news or tidings, especially the announcement of the salvation of men through the atoning death of Jesus Christ." (Stand. Dict.)

It is noteworthy that the word does not occur in the Old Testament, which is usually regarded as the record, in part, of the Semitic peoples, and of God's dealings with them through the medium of the Mosaic Law. The definite distinction between this Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is strikingly illustrated by the segregation of the Holy Bible into Old and New Testaments.

The teachings of Christ and later those of the Apostles emphasized the superiority of the Gospel over the Law, which latter was likened by Paul to a schoolmaster whose function was to discipline, train and instruct, in preparation for the greater revelation of the Gospel. See Gal. 3:23-29. These and other kindred facts have led to the erroneous assumption that the Gospel was first revealed to mankind when Christ came in the flesh.

Nevertheless, the Gospel, comprising not alone precepts but the accompanying authority of the Holy Priesthood to administer ordinances, was preached to men in the earliest period of human history. The necessity of (1) faith in the then unembodied but chosen and ordained Savior of mankind, (2) the indispensability of repentance as a means leading to remission of sins, (3) the Divine requirement of baptism by immersion in water, and (4) spiritual baptism through the power of the Holy Ghost—which constitute the fundamental principles and ordinances of the Gospel—was preached and administered to Adam, the patriarch of the race, and by him to his posterity. Through a revelation to Moses this is recorded of Adam, following the Fall:

"And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam saying . . . Thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son for evermore. And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and for ever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 20.)

As wickedness increased among men "God cursed the earth with a sore curse and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom He had made. For they would not hearken unto His voice, nor believe on His Only Begotten Son, even Him whom He declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world. And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by His own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost." (p. 26.)

The prophet Enoch testified further: "But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent. And He called upon our father Adam by His own voice, saying: . . . If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (p. 33).

Enoch taught the same Gospel and administered baptism to repentant believers, and Noah, duly ordained, labored in similar ministry: "And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words. Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not." (p. 48).

So, from Adam to the Deluge, which came because of the unbelief and apostasy of the race, the ordinances of the Gospel were known and administered. Reverting to Biblical Scripture we read that the Gospel was preached unto Abraham, with the assurance that all who would abide therein should be accounted as Abraham's children. See Gal. 3:6-18. Through the prophet Joseph Smith a fuller account of Jehovah's promise to Abraham is given us, the Lord saying: "I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father"; and the particularity of the blessing wherein all families of the earth might share through the lineage of Abraham was to be "the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 58).

As Abraham's posterity became sinful, the lesser law, which when codified came to be known as the Law of Moses, was prescribed instead of the Gospel, which had been preached aforetime and which was later taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. Following the apostolic administration apostasy again darkened the world; and now, in the current or last dispensation, the Gospel has been restored anew with all its ancient authority, power, and blessings. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims these glad tidings to the world. This Gospel is new only in the fact of its restoration to earth according to prophecy. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was preached to and by Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and a host of other men of God who ministered anciently; it is the Gospel that was taught by the Savior Himself and by His Apostles; it is the Eternal Gospel brought again to earth in preparation for the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Coeval with the Race

THAT the offering of material things as sacrifices to Deity dates from Adamic days is attested in Genesis 4:3-5, wherein we read that both Cain and Abel made offerings unto the Lord. The Biblical record shows that the practise continued to and beyond the Deluge, and throughout the patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations among the Semitic peoples, who were distinguished as Jehovah worshipers. Non-scriptural history is no less definite in making the sacrifice of animals an essential feature of pagan ceremonial, even in the earliest times of which we have account. That Noah, Abraham, Jacob and other patriarchs and prophets builded altars and sacrificed thereon is admitted by all to whom the Holy Bible is authentic; and the Mosaic code regulated the ordinance of sacrifice while silent as to its origin or even its establishment in Israel.

That pagan sacrifices were originally in imitation of the Semitic practise is highly probable, though both may have been derived from a common and, as generally regarded, a prehistoric pattern. This conception is no whit weakened by the corruptions and abominations incident to heathen idolatry, which reached the extreme of atrocity in the immolation of human victims on the altars of defilement and sacrilege; for, without the directing and restraining power of Divine revelation, unauthorized innovations and unholy extremes were inevitable.

Israelitish sacrifices may be conveniently classified as bloody and bloodless, the former comprising all offerings involving the ceremonial slaughter of animals, and the latter consisting in the offering of vegetables or their manufactured products. The bloody sacrifices were early associated with the idea of expiation, or propitiation for sin, the offerer, whether an individual or the community as a whole, acknowledging guilt and craving propitiation through the death of the animal made to serve as proxy for the human offender.

The animal victim intended for sacrificial death had to be chosen in accordance with specific requirements. Thus, it was to be of the class designated as clean, and within this class only domestic cattle and sheep and certain birds—pigeons and turtle-doves—were acceptable. Furthermore, it was essential that the selected animal be without physical defect or blemish; and thus all that were deformed, maimed or diseased were absolutely excluded. Physical defects were held as typical of spiritual blemish, or sin; and "God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance."

These requirements of relative perfection on the part of the victim were in accord with the fact that the slaughter of animals as a priestly rite by Divine direction was in pre-figurement of the then future sacrifice of the Christ Himself, whose atoning death would mark the consummation of His ministry in mortality. While the animal victims slain on Israel's altars figuratively bore the sins of the people, who by their observance of the sacrificial rite sought propitiation for their offenses, or reconciliation with God, from whom they had become estranged through transgression, Jesus Christ actually bore the burden of sin and provided a way for a literal reconciliation of sinful man to God. The principal sacrifice in the Mosaic dispensation was that of the Passover; and the superseding of the type by the actual is forcefully expressed by Paul: "For even Christ our pass-over is sacrificed for us." (1 Cor. 5:7.)

Theologians, Bible scholars generally, and ethnologists as well, admit the absence of all record both in the Bible and in profane history concerning the origin of sacrifice. The writer of the article "Sacrifice" in one of our Bible Dictionaries (Cassell's), which article is in line with other learned commentaries, says, following an array of facts: "On these and other accounts it has been judiciously inferred that sacrifice formed an element in the primeval worship of man; and that its universality is not merely an indirect argument for the unity of the human race, but an illustration and confirmation of the first inspired pages of the world's history. The notion of sacrifice can hardly be viewed as a product of unassisted human nature, and must therefore be traced to a higher source and viewed as a Divine revelation to primitive man."

That "Divine revelation to primitive man" is now before the world; and the much-talked-of historical difficulty as to the origin of sacrificial rites is definitely solved by revelation from God to man in the current age, whereby parts of the ancient Scriptures not contained in the Bible have been restored to human knowledge. As the natural and inevitable consequence of his transgression, Adam forfeited the high privilege of holding direct and personal association with God. In his fallen state the man was commanded by the voice of the Lord to offer in sacrifice the firstlings of his flocks.

"And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son for evermore." (Pearl of Great Price, p.20.)

This, then, was the origin of the sacrificial ordinance on earth. Its purport as the prototype of the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be effected approximately four millenniums later, was revealed to Adam, who, through obedience, attained salvation. With the Savior's sacrificial death the significance of animal sacrifices was superseded as part of the Israelitish ritual. The law of sacrifice is still operative however; and the acceptable offering is thus specified in the present age: "Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit." (D&C 59:8.)

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None Need Err Therein

SALVATION of the soul consists essentially in the attainment of a state of blessedness beyond the grave, and therefore comprises immunity from the penalties incident to condemnation. Both salvation and condemnation involve graded conditions, or degrees, every soul receiving according to his just deserts, based on his works done in the flesh, be they good or evil.

Our individual status in the hereafter, both during the period of disembodiment and in the resurrection from bodily death, will be determined by the record of our earthly life, which will be fully declared by what we actually are. In the judgment of souls conflict of testimony or evidence will be impossible. Every fact bearing upon our condition of worthiness or guilt, of cleanliness through righteousness or defilement through sin, will be known.

To each of these asseverations the Holy Scriptures of both former and current time bear abundant and unequivocal testimony. The same high and unimpeachable authority, embodying the very words of Divine decree, declares that only by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is salvation in the Kingdom of God possible unto man.

Consider the fundamental rite, which is baptism. The words of the Christ to the timid but truth-seeking rabbi of Jerusalem are as free from ambiguity as language makes possible: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5.)

This solemn affirmation was made to Nicodemus at the time of great excitement and controversy in Judea and neighboring provinces over the activities of John the Baptist, who was boldly preaching the necessity of baptism at his own hands as of one having particular authority, and who was administering baptism by immersion to all repentant applicants. John further declared that the watery baptism in which he officiated would be followed by a higher endowment to be administered by a Mightier One than himself, and this he designated the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Our Lord's declaration to the uninformed "master of Israel" set the seal of an authority higher than John's on the absolute necessity of baptism as conditioning man's attainment of salvation.

The crucified and resurrected Christ left this parting command and commission with the Apostles: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28:19); and further declared: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16.)

To the Nephite branch of the Israelitish stock on the American continent the Lord taught the same doctrine in language and style as simple as before: "And again I say unto you, Ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God." (Book of Mormon,3 Nephi 11:38.) In full harmony with these ancient injunctions, the Lord has said to the Church in the present dispensation: "Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." (D&C 68:8, 9.)

Could Scripture be simpler or plainer? Without baptism administered by the requisite authority, salvation in the kingdom of God is impossible, else the Word of God is void. But baptism to be effective must be preceded by repentance of sin. When unrepentant sinners came to John the zealous Baptist denounced them in stinging epithet as a "generation of vipers" and laid upon them the condition to make themselves acceptable by bringing forth fruits meet for repentance.

But to repent of sin in humility and contrition, with the earnest purpose and soulful desire of making amends for offenses done and thereby to become reconciled with and acceptable to God, one must have unqualified trust and faith in Him. The basal principles and fundamental ordinances of the Gospel, through which alone the saving efficacy of the Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ is made certain in assuring individual salvation, are ranged in the following order, as the Scriptures prove: (1) Faith in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and Savior of humankind, and in the Holy Ghost; (2) repentance in full purpose of heart—active, vital repentance that shall lead and impel to good works and renunciation of sin; (3) baptism by immersion in water; and (4) bestowal of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands—both ordinances being administered by men duly authorized to officiate by ordination to the Holy Priesthood.

The man of thoughtful mind and contrite heart cannot fail to find inexpressible comfort and profound cause for devout thanksgiving and praise through contemplating God's infinite mercy in having made so simple and easy these indispensable conditions of salvation. Had the terms been such as only vast wealth could meet, or the requirements so intricate or strenuous that great physical strength or high intellectual ability were necessary to accomplish the feat of compliance, then indeed the mortal or fallen state of the race would be deplorable beyond conception; and, withal, justice would be eliminated from the category of Deity's attributes. But lo! The Gospel plan is so simple that the child may comprehend, and he that runs may read.

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Though Opposed, Yet Eventually Supreme

DO you believe that "whatever is is right"? I do not; I cannot believe it. If right means accordance with the will of God surely there is much wrong in the world.

But, it is argued, God is omnipotent, and therefore has power to direct all things as He wills. Granted. Nevertheless both scriptural and secular history, as also the turbulent course of current events combine to show that transgression of Divine law is as old as the race, and as persistent.

God has given to man agency and liberty of action. It is the will of God that this birthright of human freedom shall be inviolate; but it is contrary to the Divine intent that man shall abuse his agency, and misconstrue his liberty as license for wrong-doing. And as with the individual, so with communities and nations.

In the course of Israel's troubled journey from Egypt, where they had dwelt as in a "hours of bondage," to Canaan the land of their promised inheritance, the Lord gave them many laws and established ordinances, with promise of blessing for compliance, and warning of calamity if they proved disobedient. As the sacred record progresses, the fact is made plain that Israel had chosen the evil alternative, forfeiting the blessings and reaping the curses.

In the days of Samuel the Israelites clamored for a king. They were tired of the theo-democracy under which they had prospered, and wanted to be "like all nations," a monarchy, with a king wearing a crown, swaying a scepter, and sitting enthroned in state. Read 1 Samuel, chapter 8. This condition had been foreseen and foretold: nevertheless the people erred in their demand, and the Lord yielded under protest. There is real pathos in His words to the prophet: "They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." They had their king, and a long succession of monarchs, some of whom proved to be veritable tyrants, and the people groaned under the oppression against which they had been forewarned.

Was it the will of God, think you, that Israel should sin? Can it be the Divine will that any man or nation shall come under the thrall of iniquity? Is it the will of God that man shall make of himself a drunken sot, with reason dethroned, and naught but his brutish passions alert? Or that man shall oppress his fellows by unrighteous dominion, robbing them of the rights upon which God Himself refuses to infringe even though those rights be grossly misused? Is it the will of God that woman's virtue shall be bartered for gold, and that vice shall stalk unchallenged through the world?

To hold that these abominations accord with the Divine will is to make God responsible for them, and therefore the author of sin. The very thought is blasphemous.

God's omnipotence is manifest in the over-ruling by which eventual good results from immediate evil. The crime of the ages, consummated on the slopes of Calvary, has proved to be the means of salvation to the world; but the awful guilt of the betrayal, of the false testimony and the crucifixion is no whit diminished by the glorious outcome.

Through the successive captivities and the general dispersion of Israel, which came as the consequence of infidelity to Jehovah, a knowledge of the true and living God has been diffused among even benighted and idolatrous peoples. And thus the nation's calamity has been made to serve Divine purposes.

I cannot look upon the frightful carnage and inhuman atrocities of the world war as a manifestation of the direct will of God. This dreadful conflict was brought on through lust of power and greed of gain. It sprang from an unholy determination to rob mankind of God-given rights, and to subject the race to autocratic domination. It is a repetition of the issue at stake in the primeval struggle, when Michael, the champion of free agency, led his hosts against Lucifer's myrmidons, who sought to rule by might. (See Rev. 12:7-9.)

In the free exercise of agency and the right of decision our nation deliberately and solemnly entered the great conflict in the interests of righteousness. Out of the seething carnage shall crystallize the lustrous gems of peace and the liberties of men; and thus enriched the world shall be the more prepared to receive the Christ, whose coming is near, and whose dominion shall be holy, whereby the rights of all men shall be respected and assured.

God's power and glory shall be manifest in eventual victory for the right, and in the good that shall spring from present evil. But in the eternal accounting, responsibility for the crime whereby war was precipitated shall weigh upon the man, men, nation or nations who did the devil's bidding in the attempt to enthrall mankind.

Thus the hand of God is potent in the furtherance of right; and though His will be violated and His commandments transgressed, evil shall be followed by good. Divine displeasure is directed against all "who confess not His hand in all things, and obey not His commandments." (D&C 59:21.)

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Not a Determining Cause

PROPHECY is one of the specified gifts of the Spirit, and one of the distinguishing graces of the Church of Christ. If there be prophecy there must be prophets, men through whom the purposes of God are made known to the people at large. Prediction of events more or less remotely future is a prophetic function, though constituting but part of the gift of prophecy.

Divine revelation of what is to come is proof of foreknowledge. God, therefore, knows, and has known from the beginning, what shall be, even to the end of the world. The transgression of Adam was foreknown, even before the man was embodied in flesh; and because of the results entailed upon humankind a Redeemer was chosen, even "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The earthly life, ministry, and sacrificial death of the Savior were all foreseen, and their certainty was declared by the mouths of holy prophets.

The apostasy of the Primitive Church, the long centuries of spiritual darkness, the restoration of the Gospel in these latter days in a land specifically prepared as the abode of a liberty-loving nation—each of these epoch-marking events was known to God, and by Him was revealed through prophets empowered to speak in His name.

But who will venture to affirm that foreknowledge is a determining cause? God's omniscience concerning Adam cannot reasonably be considered the cause of the Fall. Adam was free to do as he chose to do. God did not force him to disobey the Divine command. Neither did God's knowledge compel false Judas to betray the Christ, nor the recreant Jews to crucify their Lord.

Surely the omniscience of God does not operate to make of men automations; nor does it warrant the superstition of fatalism. The chief purpose of earth life, as a stage in the course of the soul's progression, would be nullified if man's agency was after all but a pretense, and he a creature of circumstance compelled to do as he does.

A mortal father who knows the weaknesses and frailties of his son may by reason of that knowledge sorrowfully predict the calamities and suffering awaiting his wayward boy. He may foresee in that son's future a forfeiture of blessings that could be won, loss of position, self-respect, reputation, character, and honor. Even the dark shadows of a felon's cell and the night of a drunkard's grave may loom in the visions of that fond father's soul. Yet, convinced by experience of the son's determination to follow the path of sin, he foresees the dread developments to the future, and writhes in anguish because of his knowledge.

Can it be truthfully said that the father's foreknowledge is even a contributory cause of the evil life of his boy? To so hold is to say that a neglectful parent, who will not trouble himself to study the character of his son, who shuts his eyes to sinful ways, and rests in careless indifference as to the probable future, will by his very heartlessness benefit the boy, because the father's lack of forethought diminishes the son's tendency toward dereliction.

By way of further illustration, consider the man versed in meteorology, who by due consideration of temperature, air-pressure, humidity, and other essential data, is able to forecast weather conditions. He speaks with the assurance of long experience in foretelling a storm. The storm comes, bringing benefit or injury, contributing to the harvest perhaps or destroying the ripening grain; but, whether it be of good or ill effect, can he who prophesied of the approaching storm be held accountable for its coming?

It may be argued, however, that in these illustrative instances neither the mortal parent nor the human forecaster had power to alter the respective course of events, while God can direct and over-rule as He wills. But, be it remembered that God has granted agency unto His children, and does not control them in its exercise by arbitrary force. He impels no man toward sin; He compels none to righteousness.

The Father of our spirits has a full knowledge of the nature and disposition of each of His children, a knowledge gained by observation and experience in the long ages of our primeval childhood, when we existed as unembodied spirits, endowed with individuality and agency—a knowledge compared with which that gained by earthly parents through experience with their children in the flesh is infinitesimally small. In that surpassing knowledge God reads the future of child and children, of men individually and of men collectively. He knows what each will do under given conditions, and sees the end from the beginning. His foreknowledge is based on intelligence and reason. He foresees the future of men and nations as a state that naturally and surely will be; not as a state of things that must be because He has arbitrarily willed that it shall be.

"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." (Acts 15:18.)

He willed and decreed the mortal state for His spirit offspring, and prepared the earth for their schooling. He provided all the facilities necessary to their training, and thus proclaimed His purpose:

"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 7.)

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Individualism is Eternal

DEMOCRACY holds as a distinguishing and fundamental principle the recognition of individual rights and privileges. The living units of a democratic system are citizens, not subjects. Before the law, so far as it be administered in justice, all citizens are on a plane of equality. In the exercise of the elective franchise, for example, the ballot of the poor man, the unscholarly, the weak, sick or maimed, counts just as much as that of the millionaire, the university graduate, or the athlete. All this is inherent in democracy as a political system. If through corrupt administration a citizen suffers deprivation of his rights, the fault, grievous though ti be, is not chargeable to the system but to the officials who have misused the authority delegated to them.

In this sense it is affirmed in the Declaration of Independence, as the first of the truths therein set forth as self-evident, and as assuring to all their inalienable rights "that all men are created equal;" and in this sense the affirmation is irrefutable. No other foundation could support a stable structure of government by the people.

But it is manifest folly to carry this conception of the legal equality of citizenship to the extreme of assuming that all men are alike in capacity, ability, or power. As long as mankind live in communities there will be leaders and followers, men of prominence, and of necessity others who are relatively obscure, men of energy and idlers, and consequently masters and servants.

Doubtless much of the existing disparity among men, such as the inequitable distribution of wealth, the unrighteous acquisition of power and its iniquitous exercise, is pernicious—evil in the sight of God and ominously wrong under the laws of man. Nevertheless, attempts to right such wrongs by illegal force, and to establish a false equality by promiscuously taking from one to give to another, tend toward disruption and anarchy.

We are confronted by this profound fact: Individualism is an attribute of the soul, and as truly eternal as the soul itself.

(1) In the unembodied, preexistent or antemortal state, we were decidedly unequal in capacity and power.

(2) We know we are not equal here in the world of mortals.

(3) Assuredly we shall not be equal after death, either in the intermediate state of disembodiment or beyond the resurrection.

We read that Jeremiah was chosen from among his fellows and ordained before he was born to be a prophet unto the nations (Jer. 1:5) ; and a similar fore-ordination is indicated by Isaiah (49:1, 5.) Abraham definitely avers that among the unembodied spirits there were differences, some were noble and great and others less adapted to the duties of rulership: "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones. And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers." (Pearl of Great Price p. 65-66.)

The God of spirits recognized particular qualifications in some, and selected them to be leaders among men. Let us not assume that the "rulers" thus divinely chosen are necessarily those whom men would later elect to be their leaders. Many of God's great ones have been and are counted among the despised of earth. So it was with the Christ Himself, and so with many of His prophets, apostles and revelators unto mankind.

Born into the flesh with diverse capacities, subjected here to varied environment, which may be favorable or opposed to the development of inherent tendencies toward either good or evil, we as a race are creatures of disparity, inequality, and heterogeneous circumstance. But all color of injustice disappears in the light of assurance that, in the judgment of souls, every condition shall be weighed in the accurate balances of Justice and Mercy.

But what of the hereafter—shall we not be made equal there? Not in the sense that our individuality shall be subverted or radically changed. We shall find beyond more gradations in society than we have ever known on earth. But the basis of classification will be essentially different. Here we are rated according to what we have—of wealth, learning, political or other influence due to circumstance; there we shall find our place according to what we really are.

Ponder the significance of our Lord's assurance of the "many mansions" in the Father's kingdom (John 14:1-3) and consider Paul's summary of varied glories. (1 Cor. 15:40-41.)

Through later Scripture we are told of distinct kingdoms or worlds of graded order, comparable to the sun, moon, and stars respectively. There are the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial kingdoms, in which the souls of men shall abide and serve as their attainments in righteousness or their disqualification through sin shall determine. Concerning the inhabitants of the Telestial world, the lowest of the specified kingdoms of glory, we read: "For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared." (D&C 76:111.)

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A Distinction With a Difference

UNDOUBTEDLY there are many people who, while of earnest intent and practise, of worthy, honorable, and moral life, neither profess religion nor confess belief in it. At least, so they would say if questioned. Closer analysis would probably show that by religion these good people had understood Church membership or actual affiliation with some religious organization. And their conception is not irrational nor fundamentally wrong; though such membership or affiliation is no assurance of personal religion.

The foundation of all religion is a real belief, or, more accurately, faith, in the existence of a Supreme Being upon whose beneficence man is dependent and to whom he is accountable for his conduct. With this belief, man cannot fail to recognize the superlative duty of learning God's will and of living according to His revealed word and law.

Mankind being by nature gregarious, and indeed unsuited to solitary existence, will congregate according to community interests, beliefs and aspirations. In the tribal organizations of peoples whom we call semi-civilized, there is generally a distinctive religion for each tribe; even though it be but a phase of paganism; and their unenlightened souls are held together by their generic conception of worship. Among larger and more advanced nations differences in religious conceptions are manifest, and people associate in rival sects and churches. Voluntary membership in any such body is at least a profession of belief in its distinguishing tenets.

But beside these there are many who aver that ethics is sufficient, and that a moral life will insure salvation in the world to come. Granted that religious profession without morality is but mockery and hypocrisy. Nevertheless, between the merely ethical and the really religious life, there is vital distinction.

To assume that an ethical or even a strictly moral course of conduct is all-sufficient for the soul's salvation would be to repudiate Scripture, deny the essential efficacy of the Atonement, dethrone the Christ, and eliminate God from earthly affairs. Such an assumption proclaims the stupendous error that mortal man is competent to save himself—on his terms, and according to a standard established by human agency.

Religion is more than a code of morals. Man can no more be saved by ethics than can he live by bread alone. The spiritual nutriment, without which no soul can develop to the exalted status of eternal life, consists of "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

The very purpose for which this earth was created as an abiding place for the spirit-children of God during their brief period of embodiment in flesh was to test and "prove them herewith to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (Pearl of Great Price p. 66.)

It is conceivable that ethics may measurably satisfy the conscience of one who really believes that mortal life is the sum total of existence; though I seriously doubt that such a being exists. If he lives, he is dangerously liable to stifle conscience, and to follow the easier though pernicious prompting to eat, drink and be merry whilst he may, taking no thought for the morrow of eternity.

But, it is fair to ask, shall not morality count in the judgment to come? Beyond question, Yes. God's word so declares. The clean minded who, however, fail to comply with the specified laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Christ, are not to be cast into the society of the spiritually filthy; neither are they to be exalted with the valiant who have righteously obeyed the requirements of the Gospel.

There is a hell to which shall go the "liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie." Furthermore, there is a kingdom prepared to receive the "honorable men of the earth who were blinded by the craftiness of men"—the unfortunate and deluded who have followed after human theories and precepts to the ignoring of God and His word, the misled devotees of "science falsely so called."

And above all else is the state of eternal life and exaltation provided for those who, while in the flesh, lived the religion of Christ, "who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial"; for "these are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood." (D&C 76.)

The Lord's affirmation is definite: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved"; for if his belief be vital he will make the morality that Christ taught the foundation of his religion. "But he that believeth not shall be damned," whatever his standard of ethics may be. (See Mark 16:16.)

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Effort Essential to Salvation

RELIGION to be worth while must be a vital element of life and work. It is of both temporal and spiritual significance, value and effect. It has to do with individual morality, with mutual dealings and associations of men even in ordinary, every-day affairs, with the great problems involved in family unity and efficiency and with the little things that make or mar the home, with work and play, with the duties of citizenship, statesmanship and public service generally.

All these relationships are human and earthly, and the honorable discharge of duties arising therefrom approaches ethical perfection. But man's standard of ethics is of necessity unstable, variable and, withal, unsatisfying to the soul having a healthful hunger for spiritual nourishment.

Who of us has not felt at times the spontaneous yearning and aspirations incident to our deep inborn conviction of life beyond death? We may weaken these emotions by persistently ignoring them; we may effectively stifle them by rude force; we may render them dormant by the poisonous anodyne of false philosophy and the boastful pride of man's mis-called wisdom; but kill them we can not, for they were divinely implanted and are deathless.

And as there is a hereafter, in which every soul of us shall live in continuation of the eternal existence of which earthlife is but a span, so surely shall our status there be determined by the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil.

Religion, then, has to do not only with this life but with that to come. We are but sojourners on earth; and, profoundly important as is this mortal experience, it is, after all, mainly a probation, and essentially a preparation for eternity.

It is temporarily easier to be passive than aggressive, whether we claim for our guiding code man's rules of ethics or the clear-cut requirements of the Gospel of Christ. There are more good men on earth than men who are good for much.

The Gospel demands something greater than avoidance of actual sins of commission. The culpability of neglect and omission may justly condemn the soul. Wilful spurning of Divine opportunity may work eternal loss. Though the Scriptures affirm the possibility of progression after death, nowhere do we find ground for assuming that failure to obey the Gospel on earth will be nullified by immediate remission beyond. We have no basis for computing the ages that shall be requisite to make amends there for wanton failure here.

There is a time in the eternal existence of souls which has been specifically made the time of repentance and test; and that is the period of mortality. Paul's forceful admonition is of universal application: "Lay hold on eternal life" while opportunity is found (1 Tim. 6:12, 19). For, be it remembered that the Lord has spoken concerning the wilfully unrepentant: "From him shall be taken even the light which he has received, for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts." (D&C 1:33.)

Sin is conducive to lethargy in things spiritual; the Gospel inspires to life and activity. Contentment with the things of this world, so long as they go to suit us, with no thought of what shall follow, is the devil's lullaby. In the moment of supreme complacency when we are expressing by word, act, thought, or through sheer inaction, the stultifying soliloquy "Soul, take thine ease," may come the summoning decree: "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." Read Luke 12:16-21.

When will men awaken to the imperative yet persuasive summons to repentance? Are not the awful vicissitudes of the days of war and death sufficient to arouse us to some realization of the solemnities of eternity? As a nation we have valiantly waged war for the vindication of the rights, privileges, and liberties of men. As individuals we are summoned by the call of God to resist iniquity, and to make peace and reconciliation with Him through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Only through active, vital faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, effective repentance of wrong-doing, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the bestowal of the gift of the Holy Ghost or the higher baptism of the Spirit, can salvation be attained in the Kingdom of God, for so the Holy Scriptures aver.

The pleading call of the ancient prophet is yet in force. Hear ye, and heed: "Now I say unto you, that ye must repent, and be born again: for the Spirit saith, If ye are not born again, ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness." (Book of Mormon, Alma 7:14.)

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A Law unto Man from the Beginning

THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts Sunday as the Christian Sabbath and proclaims the sanctity of the day. We admit without argument that under the Mosaic Law the seventh day of the week, Saturday, was designated and observed as the Holy Day, and that the change from Saturday to Sunday was a feature of the apostolic administration following the personal ministry of Jesus Christ. Greater to us than the question of this day or that in the week, is the actuality of the weekly Sabbath, to be observed as a day of special and particular devotion to the service of the Lord.

The Sabbath was prefigured if not definitely specified in the record of the creation, wherein we read, following the account of the six days or periods of creative effort: "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Gen. 2:3.)

In the early stages of the Exodus the Israelites were commanded to lay in a double portion of manna on the sixth day, for the seventh was consecrated as a day of holy rest; and this was signalized by the Lord's withholding manna on the Sabbath day. See Exo. 16:23-30. There is no proof that Sabbath observance by Israel at this early date was an innovation; and it may be reasonably regarded as a recognition of an established order by reenactment in the new dispensation. Later, when the decalog was codified and promulgated on Sinai, the Sabbath law was made particularly explicit, and the Lord's rest was cited as its foundation:

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exo. 20:8-11.)

The keeping of the Sabbath as a day of surcease from toil and of particular devotion came to be a national characteristic of the Israelites, whereby they were distinguished from pagan nations; and rightly so, for the observance of the Holy Day was specified as a distinctive sign of the covenant between Jehovah and His people. See Exo. 31:13.

In the course of Israelitish history successive prophets admonished and rebuked the people for neglect or profanation of the Sabbath. Nehemiah ascribed the affliction of the nation to the forfeiture of Divine protection through Sabbath violation (see Neh. 13:15-22); and by the mouth of Ezekiel the Lord reaffirmed the significance of the Sabbath as a mark of His covenant with Israel, and sternly upbraided those who observed not the day. (See Ezek. 20:12-24.) To the detached branch of Israel, which, as the Book of Mormon avers, was transplanted to American soil, Sabbath observance was no less an imperative requirement. See Jarom 1:5; Mosiah 13:16-19; 18:23.

Long before the birth of Christ the original purpose of the Sabbath and the spirit of its service had come to be largely lost sight of among the Jews; and rabbinical rules had introduced numerous technicalities, which made of the day one of discomfort and severity. This condition was strongly denounced by our Lord in reply to the many criticisms heaped upon Him because of the healings and other good works wrought by Him on the Sabbath. "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath," said He, and then continued with the profound affirmation: "The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." (Mark 2:27, 28.)

Christ came not to destroy the Law of Moses but to fulfil it; and through Him the law was superseded by the Gospel. The Savior rose from the tomb on the first day of the week; and that particular Sunday, as also the next, was rendered forever memorable by the bodily visitation of the resurrected Lord to the assembled Apostles and others. To the believers in the crucified and risen Savior Sunday became the Lord's Day (Rev. 1:10), and in time took the place of Saturday as the weekly Sabbath in the Christian churches.

The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that Sunday is the acceptable day for Sabbath observance, on the authority of direct revelation specifying the Lord's Day as such. In this, a new dispensation, and verily the last—the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times—the law of the Sabbath has been reaffirmed unto the Church. It is to be noted that the revelation, part of which follows, was given to the Church on a Sunday (August 7th, 1831.)

"And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day. For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High. Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times. But remember that on this the Lord's day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full." (D&C 59:9-13.)

We believe that a weekly day of rest is no less truly a necessity for the physical well-being of man than for his spiritual growth; but, primarily and essentially, we regard the Sabbath as divinely established, and its observance a commandment of Him who was and is and ever shall be, Lord of the Sabbath.

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And the Wisdom of Men

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. . . . Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (Cor. 1:18, 25.)

So spake Paul in olden days, and he knew whereof he spake. Rich in the learning of Jews and Greeks, ripe in scholarship and experience, he possessed breadth of foresight and depth of insight far exceeding the average capacity of men; and to these superior qualifications of mind must be added the transcendent spiritual endowments of the apostle, the prophet, the seer, the revelator.

His abnegation and humility are no less striking than the incontestable sincerity and genuineness of his avowals. Inspired philosopher as he was, he discriminated with keen perception and clear vision between knowledge and wisdom, and with masterly skill contrasted the fallible teachings of men with the unshakable averments of prophecy.

The Greeks of Paul's time prided themselves on their learning, philosophy, and science, much of which last was "falsely so called." By such the preaching of the cross, the teachings of the Gospel, the precepts of eternal life were accounted but vain babblings. Those pagan Greeks were mindtrained but spirit-dwarfed. And that type of misshapen monstrosity is not yet extinct.

The brutal protagonists of autocratic tyranny, whose barbarous kultur impels to crimes innumerable and atrocities indescribable, profess to regard the might of righteousness as but maudlin sentiment and puerile weakness. Boastful of material achievements and the temporary success of their diabolical system of selfishness and arrogance, they blaspheme the name and power of the living God, whose will it is that every soul be free.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Divine will and purpose. That Gospel enjoins obedience to righteous law as the guaranty of individual liberty. It endures as the unchanging expression of eternal wisdom, though by carnally-minded sinners ridiculed as foolishness.

As early as 1833, in a revelation through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord declared that both strong drinks and hot drinks were injurious to the body. In that period the use of alcoholic beverages was common, and the consumption of hot drinks, particularly as tea and coffee, was well nigh universal. Promulgation of the Divine warning against these harmful customs was treated as a fad born of fanaticism. Inexorable fact has compelled acknowledgment of the Word of Wisdom (see D&C, Sec. 89) as the pronouncement of Nature's God. Prohibition of the use of intoxicants has become a question of supreme international importance. The efficiency of armies and navies is seen to be gravely conditioned thereby. Some of the world's most eminent surgeons aver that the habitual use of hot drinks is one of the most effective causes of gastric ulcer and cancer, which are classed among the deadliest of maladies.

The same revelation voices a direct inhibition against the use of tobacco by man, and this avowal, now branded as extreme and uncalled for, is destined yet to become the basis of secular enactment.

The immoderate use of flesh foods was specified by Divine utterance as harmful. The exigencies of war enforced restriction of meat eating, and the nation was bettered thereby.

Unchastity, the dominant vice of the ages, has been tolerated as an irrepressible feature of the social system, and this notwithstanding the warning fiat of Jehovah against marital infidelity and sexual sin in all its hideous phases. The imperative demand for efficiency in this crucial age of stress and struggle has literally forced a measured though lamentably inadequate acceptance of the Divine requirement, for the statistical data of incapacity due to so-called social diseases are so astounding and show a condition so frightful as to make plain that the very foundations of civilization are jeopardized.

Men have been prone to turn deaf ears to the voice of God, delivered through the prophets always in season to avert threatening calamities; and have rested in the lethal contentment of self-confident ability to deal in their own way with the problems of life. How surpassingly wiser would it be, as shown in the light of our dearly-bought experience, to acknowledge the wisdom of God's beneficence, and profit thereby. Prophecy is direct and sure, science laggard and tentative. One is the advance message from God, the other man's belated and ofttimes distorted version of the truth.

Mormonism proclaims the Gospel of Christ as the panacea for the ills of men and nations. Its proclamation to the world is the assurance of peace on earth and good will among men, through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. The veriest moiety of the wisdom of God transcends the accumulated knowledge of men in its entirety.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is calling aloud to every nation, kindred, tongue and people: Have faith in God. Deal justly with one another. Make amends for past wrongs before opportunity is forfeited. Strive to enter in at the gate to the Kingdom of God while yet you may, for verily the time is short, and the coming of the Lord is near. Repent and be baptized, every one of you, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by which ye shall be guided in the paths of truth and inherit salvation at the great and terrible day of the Lord which is nigh, even at your doors.

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Release from Autocracy of Sin

"COME unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30.)

A blessed invitation indeed!

Seemingly faint at heart over the unbelief of the people, our Lord had sought strength in prayer. With the soulful eloquence characteristic of the anguish-laden communion which at recurrent periods He had with the Father, the Savior voiced His reverent gratitude that God had imparted a testimony of the truth to the humble and lowly whom He likened unto trusting babes, rather than unto men proud in their learning and arrogant in self-assumption.

Then turning to the common people, the multitude who had just witnessed His miracles and listened to His lofty yet simple precepts, He urged anew their acceptance of Him and His Gospel in one of the grandest outpourings of spiritual emotion recorded for man to read.

His summoning yet pleading call was addressed to priestridden and Rome-governed Jews. Many of them yearned for release from thraldom, but the national spirit had been so broken that most of them had become inured to vassalage and tolerant of bondage.

The priestly hierarchy was boastful of its status, and strove effectively to deceive the people into the belief that they were free while sweating under the burdens of unrighteous exaction.

What had Christ to offer in mitigation of their grievous state? Certainly not the emancipation for which false rabbinical precept had led them to look—the reestablishment of the throne of David as an earthly kingdom, destined to subjugate all other nations by force of arms and make supreme the scepter of rehabilitated Israel.

Christ's kingdom was not, is not, nor ever shall be a merely secular or political dominion. His throne and crown are not of earthly make.

The people of Israel had brought themselves into bondage. Their vanished glory and fallen status had been foretold as an alternative fate, which would fall upon them if they departed from the covenant and proved recreant to the God of their fathers. But more burdensome than Roman mastership was the literal serfdom of priestly misrule. Rome was tolerant and conciliatory, while those who for the time sat in Moses' seat gloried in the shackles they had riveted upon the people through a blasphemous misapplication of the Law.

To the overladen and weary Jews came the offer of rest and peace. The Lord pleadingly invited them from drudgery to pleasant service, from the well-nigh unbearable burdens of ecclesiastical exaction and traditional formalism to the liberty of true worship, from slavery to freedom.

But they would not.

The Gospel He offered was and is the embodiment of liberty, untainted by selfish license. True, it entailed obedience and submission; but even if such could be likened unto a yoke, what was its burden in comparison with the incubus under which they groaned?

The offer, the call, the invitation is in full force and effect today. Transgression of the law is primarily or indirectly the cause of all suffering. Obedience to righteous law is the price of liberty. In such obedience lies happiness.

By a government of the people, administered in equity, every man is under wholesome restriction in compliance with which he finds privilege and protection.

Irresponsibility is directly opposed to enduring freedom. But what are the restraints of democracy in contrast with enslavement under autocratic rule? How easy the yoke, how light the burden, and how glorious the blessings of righteous government!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the expression of the eternal truth that shall make men free. It prescribes obedience, compliance, voluntary submission as the conditions of enfranchisement in the kingdom of God. In its conflict with sin the Gospel neither slays nor makes men prisoners. Its weapons are persuasion, invitation, and awakening summons. Its antagonists suffer self-inflicted punishment, bring upon themselves imprisonment within the bars of lost opportunity, and formulate their own sentence of eventual banishment as alien enemies of the truth.

Liberty through obedience was the theme of Benjamin, the ancient prophet and king who thus addressed his penitent people, respecting their acknowledgment of Christ as the Author of salvation:

"And under this head, ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God, that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 5:8.)

And unto the repentant and obedient of the present day the Lord has spoken through the prophet Joseph Smith:

"Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord come." (D&C 88:86.)

The Lord has spoken, saying to all men and nations: Come unto me in faith, doubting not; repent of your sins; be baptized for the remission thereof; and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost and He shall guide you in the truth that shall make you free.

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And Came Seeing

THE ninth chapter of John contains an absorbingly graphic account of a man who had been born blind, yet who was made to see through the ministrations of the Lord Jesus Christ. As in every other miracle wrought by the Savior, the outward or visible procedure in this case was strikingly simple.

Jesus anointed the sightless eyes with clay, and said unto the man: "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam." The sequel is thus tersely recorded: "He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."

The man had been a mendicant, a blind beggar, and as such was a familiar character in his neighborhood. Word of the miracle spread and a great stir arose among both the common folk and the learned Pharisees. The day of the healing was the Sabbath, and the hypercritical Pharisees laid stress on this point as proof that He who had given sight to the blind man was obviously a sinner, for He had healed on the Holy Day, whereon all manner of work was forbidden.

With the assurance characteristic of a sincere mind that knows whereof it speaks, and with incisive directness, the happy recipient of our Lord's bounty replied: "Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."

Then the inquisitors questioned the man anew as to the precise means by which his eyes had been opened; but he refused to repeat what they had already treated with derision, and ironically inquired if they were about to join the disciples of the Healer. This served but to increase their anger. They boasted of being disciples of Moses, but as for Christ, whom they referred to as "this fellow," they furiously declared that they knew not whence He came.

They were enraged that an illiterate beggar should answer so boldly in their scholarly presence; but the man was more than a match for them all. His rejoinder was maddening because it flouted their vaunted wisdom, and, withal, was unanswerable.

"Why, herein is a marvellous thing," said he, "that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing."

Unable to cope in argument or demonstration with the erstwhile sightless beggar, those blinded Pharisees could at least exercise their official authority, however unjustly, by excommunicating him from the congregation of the synagog, and this they promptly and wickedly did.

The case in all its bearings is typical of current conditions, as indeed it has been of men in all ages. Physical blindness is a grievous affliction, and relief therefrom correspondingly gladsome. But it is of the body only, and though permitted to endure till death, it shall end.

For that deeper darkness—blindness of mind and heart—the grave is no curative. As between the sightless beggar and the sin-proud Pharisees, the latter were by far the blinder. He reverently rejoiced in the gift of sight, for he knew that he had been blind and that afterward he saw; they boasted of their vision, though living in darkness, and refused enlightement.

"Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:32.)

The requirements of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are the same today as in "the meridian of time" when the Master taught among men in Person. Likewise are there now many blind eyes, some of which are opened through the enlightenment of obedience, while others grow more and more darkened by the spreading cataract of false teaching, skepticism, and wilful sin.

Away with the benighting Pharisaism that sets the precepts of men above the revealed word of God! For spiritual blindness so induced, the Divine Healer offers sure relief. Oh, sightless man, anoint thine eyes with the balm of compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel as enunciated by the Redeemer of men. Do but desire the light with repentant heart and with the deep full earnestness of a living faith, and then, in the waters of baptism be washed, and ye shall come, seeing.

Of deep import are these words of the Lord given unto an ancient Hebrew seer:

"And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish, and are lost." (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:17.)

Man is not the author of the plan of salvation; and blind indeed are they who suppose that precepts, theories or systems originated or contrived by man can substitute or supersede the means divinely appointed for the redemption of mankind.

To the groping, sightless soul is offered the unction of faith and the ability to repent; and in the Siloam of baptism shall be received the enlightenment that guides the soul, once blind, now seeing, along the path leading to eternal life.

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A Dependable Support

UNTO Lehi, a prophet of Jerusalem, who by Divine command had gone with his family from the city into the wilderness, came the word of the Lord in vision.

The man stood by a tree, the fruit of which he found to be sweet, and "desirable to make one happy"; for, as he ate of it his soul was filled with peace and joy unspeakable. Near the tree, separating it from a spacious plain wherein great concourses of people had gathered, flowed a turbulent river of muddy, filthy water. The head of the stream was visible in the distance, and from this to the tree, alongside the river's treacherous bank, ran a narrow path, paralleling which was a rod of iron, firmly secured, and so placed that one could hold to it while treading the pathway.

Numerous people were observed moving toward the head of the stream, striving to lay hold on the iron rod, but dense mists of darkness arose, and enshrouded them, so that many became bewildered, and, abandoning their purpose of reaching the tree, were lost in the murky depths of the river. Of the more faithful and determined, he saw and testified:

"And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree." (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 8:24; read chaps. 8 and 15).

An explication of the vision was given through inspiration. The tree shown to the prophet was the tree of life, and its fruit the salvation of the soul. Of the rod of iron it is written: "That it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." (1 Nephi 15:24).

The river of foul waters typified the great gulf separating "the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God", and the state of loss and condemnation, which shall be the inevitable fate of the wilfully and unregenerate wicked.

The present is an age of whirl and swirl, in which many reach out confusedly and despairingly for support, buffeted by the waves of theologic dogma, swept hither and thither by the creeds and precepts of men, blown about by the winds of conflicting doctrines, bewildered by the mists of darkness, which are "the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men." (12:17).

The rod of iron is the Word of God unto man, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith in God, and in His Son Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and Savior of men, and contrite repentance of sin mark the beginning of the narrow path. We must hold fast to the rod, for the mists of darkness are dense and confusing; and it is easy to let go, to slip and slide and fall.

But with firm hand on the rod, stedfast feet on the path, we are led into the clear and purifying waters of baptism, without whose invigorating ablution we are unable to progress. Cleansed and strengthened we press on, even though the mists thicken; and by the enlightening baptism of the Spirit, which is administered by the authorized laying on of hands, we reach the tree, entitled to live thereafter gladdened and made strong by its sweet and nourishing bounty.

The rod of iron is still in place, fast, secure, a dependable support for every soul who strives with full purpose of heart to reach the tree of life. Clinging thereto we make sure progress, though the filthy waters beat hard by the narrow path. Let go, and we slip, then slide, and if we fail through strenuous effort and the aid of an outstretched helping hand to regain our grasp, we are swept away, carried by the torrent of confusion and uncertainty, perhaps into the engulfing Charybdis of fatalism or the dread Scylla of atheistical despair.

Mark you, that rod is unbendable, unbreakable, immovable. The pathway endures, is never in need of repairs by addition, new construction, or reinforcement. These are no product of man's skill. It is sadly true, however, that men have essayed to make roads, the while proclaiming that their broad highways lead to the tree of life. But never has one such thoroughfare been constructed to the promised destination; nor can it be. For a time these manmade roads are alluring in their macadamized smoothness, but they crumble and are worn into pitfalls, unsightly and dangerous.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13, 14).

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From the Beginning

THE Scriptures are equally definite in affirming the existence of both individual Gods and devils.

Of the former we recognize three, the Holy Trinity, comprising God the Eternal Father, God the Son who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Ghost, these three individual Personages constituting the presiding council having supreme power and authority throughout the universe, and collectively known as the Godhead.

The devils are many, and their chieftain is Satan, who though unembodied is as truly an individual being as is any one of us. He is the personage who in the primeval world bore the exalted title of Lucifer, a son of the morning, and who with his rebellious horde was cast out, prior to the peopling of the earth. (See Rev. 12:7-9; also D&C 29:36-38, and 76:25-27; and Isa. 14:12-15).

On the best authority, that of the Lord Jesus Christ, we learn something of the character of this fallen son of the morning, the antagonist of righteousness, and the enemy of God and man. In denouncing the false beliefs and evil practises of certain unregenerate Jews, Christ spoke in these definite and forceful terms:

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." (John 8:44-45).

A liar and a murderer from the beginning! He it was who beguiled the mother of the race, and that by the most dangerous of all falsehoods, the half-truth, in the use of which he is a past master.

He it was who taught the awful secret of murder to the fratricide, Cain, baiting the hook of infamous temptation with the lie, that, by slaying his brother, Cain would come into possession of Abel's flocks, and have much gain beside. (See Pearl of Great Price, pp. 22 and 23).

He it was who deceived Israel, by inducing them to revolt against the theo-democracy under which they had prospered, and to clamor for a king. Under kingly rule the nation was brought into vassalage and obscurity.

Primordially he and his angels were "cast out into the earth", and here they have since been, going up and down in the world, seeking whom they may deceive.

He is the author of sophistry and degrading skepticism, and of the whole foul mass of the philosophy and science "falsely so called", by which mankind are led to doubt the word of God, to becloud the Scriptures with vain imaginings and private interpretations, and to narcotize the mind with the poison of human invention as a substitute for revealed truth.

He is an adept at compounding mixtures of truth and falsehood, with just enough of the one to inspire a dangerous confidence, and of the other a toxic portion.

Beware of his prescriptions, his tonics and medicaments. Remember that water may be crystal clear, and yet hold in solution the deadliest of poisons.

He it is who has deceived peoples, tribes, and races, into servile submission to self-constituted rulers, and made of the masses slaves of autocrats, rather than to assert and maintain their rights as free men, whatever the effort and sacrifice be.

He it is who seeks to lead men captive at his will, to destroy their power of agency and choice, to dupe them into bartering their birthright of freedom for the nauseating pottage of present expediency.

He it is who has cajoled men into the unscriptural conception that there are ways, many and variable, by which salvation is attainable, other than the one and only way provided by the Savior of souls.

He is the arch-deceiver, the master sophist, the prime dissembler, the prince of hypocrites.

Concerning the devil's plan of subverting the rights of man, and of those who support it, Moroni, the last of the Nephite prophets, wrote:

"Whoso buildeth it up, seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents; yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men, that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning." (Book of Mormon, Ether 8:25).

Though great be Satan's power, deliverance therefrom is provided through compliance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, at whose advent, now near at hand, the promised millennium of peace shall be inaugurated, a blessed feature of which is that the devil shall be rendered impotent to further subjugate the souls of men, and "that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled." (Rev. 20:3).

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Prisoners to Satan

IN the decisive issues of war there are victors and vanquished; the casualties comprise killed, wounded, and prisoners. Generally, capture by the enemy is the form of individual calamity most dreaded by the gallant soldier who knows he is fighting for the right, and particularly so if the foe be ruthless or treacherous.

In the battle of life as a whole, analogous conditions and categories obtain. The slain may have fallen in honor; for the disabled there is hope of recovery; but the fate of the captured is one of apprehension or dread certainty, ofttimes of horror.

When one is taken prisoner as the result of venturesome curiosity, reckless exposure, or disobedience to orders, he must bear the blame as well as the suffering consequent on capture. Many are prisoners because thoughtlessly, wilfully, or defiantly, they have trespassed upon the devil's ground, without warrant of duty or justifiable excuse. The soldier's part is to keep within the lines until ordered forward in attack to dislodge the foe.

Hosts of capable souls have heedlessly put themselves into the enemy's power by yielding to the treacherous invitation to fraternize with sin. Such a one is made welcome in the camp of the foe, and, at first a visitor, he sooner or later awakens to the fact that he is a prisoner, and withal a deserter from the ranks of patriotism and honor.

The young man, rich in hope and promise, sets out to see the world for himself—just to see, that's all, he says—and is overpowered in the grog-shop trench or the wanton's den—a prisoner in the power of a merciless and exulting foe.

Solemn as the sound of doom, piercing as the blast of angel's trump, is the Lord's affirmation: "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34.)

Who can find so much as excuse to think of himself as a freeman when he knows he is a slave—to base passion, to dishonorable desire, to hypocrisy and crime?

The prisoner's fate is as commonly the result of negative sin—of neglect, indolence, failure to do—as it is the consequence of ill-directed activity and positive transgression. Refusal to comply with the prescribed laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to permit or invite capture by the arch-enemy of souls.

Obedience is the test of allegiance, and he whom we obey, the leader we elect to follow, is the master who directs our destiny, whether in the liberty of righteousness or the serfdom of sin.

"Know ye not," wrote Paul of old to the proud Romans, "that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Rom 6:16.)

The certainty of capture by the enemy through passive irresolution or aggressive violation of Divine law, together with the actuality of the captive state was set forth by a Hebrew prophet on the Western Hemisphere centuries before the birth of Christ, as follows:

"For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger and perish.

"For behold, at that day [this latter, modern, present day] shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

"And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say, All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well; and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

"And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them, I am no devil, for there is none; and thus he whispereth in their ears until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

"Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith, must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 28:19-23.)

It is evident from the foregoing and from the following, that captivity to the devil shall extend into the eternities as the state of those who have failed to establish their status as citizens in the Kingdom of freedom:

"For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked." (Alma 34:35.)

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Worldly Gain—Eternal Loss

"FOR what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37).

These are questions put by the Teacher of teachers. They are related; we may consider them as one. Simple, like unto all the Master's teachings—for high precept and profound philosophy are embodied in the interrogatory—the question is searching, peremptory, challenging. Who that hears or reads can brush it aside? Compelling in its incisive brevity, it is of haunting directness. Once considered, even cursorily, it will not down; once admitted to the inner consciousness, it will not out. The baubles of earth are set over against the priceless jewels of heaven; the fleeting things of mortality are put in contrast with the enduring verities of eternity.

Granted that this is a material world, and that experience in material affairs is a pervading and indispensable element in the curriculum of life's school, it is no less truly a fact that earth-life is neither the beginning nor the end of individual existence and progression.

Material belongings, relative wealth or poverty, physical environment—the things on which we are prone to set our hearts and anchor our aspirations, the things for which we sweat and strive, ofttimes at the sacrifice of happiness and to the forfeiture of real success—these after all are but externals, the worth of which in the reckoning to come shall be counted in terms of the use we have made of them.

Is the plow more than the field to be furrowed, or the sickle than the ripened grain? Can gold stay the hunger pangs better than the nourishing food that the money may buy?

The context with which occurs the crucial interrogation quoted above points the question sharply: "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's; the same shall save it."

The cross to be taken up may be heavy, perhaps to be dragged because too burdensome to be borne. We are apt to assume that self-denial is the sole material of our cross; but this is true only as we regard self-denial in its broadest sense, comprising both positive and negative aspects. One man's cross may consist mostly in refraining from doings to which he is inclined, another's in doing what he would fain escape. One's besetting sin is evil indulgence; his neighbor's a lazy inattention to the activities required by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, coupled perchance with puritanical rigor in other observances.

But the great question, striking home to every thoughtful soul, is that of the Master—"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Matt. 16:26).

It is possible then for a man to lose his own soul. To deny is to reject the Lord's own doctrine. The safeguard against such incalculable loss is specifically indicated—to follow the Savior; and this can mean only keeping His commandments, whatever the temporary suffering or worldly sacrifice may be.

The occasion of Christ's question with its accompanying brief but forceful discourse was this: He had reiterated to the disciples, with greater directness than ever before, the facts of His approaching death and the ignominy that would be forced upon Him. Peter, impetuous and impulsive as ever, exclaimed "Be it far from thee Lord: this shall not be unto thee." In that remark, though well-intended and bold, lay the suggestion that Jesus should avert the impending tragedy to Himself, and save His own life. The Lord's reply to Peter was a rebuke of the severest kind.

Then followed the avowal that one who saves his life at the cost of righteous duty shall lose it, and the comforting assurance that he who is ready to sacrifice his life in the Master's service shall find it. If this be true with life as the stake, how more so shall it be with wealth, station, worldly power, or pet but false theory and doctrine, as the thing to be gained or lost?

Consider the words of Jacob the Nephite:

"O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves—wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. . .. Behold, the way for man is narrow but it lieth in a straight course before him; and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and He employeth no servant there; and there is none other way, save it be by the gate, for He cannot be deceived; for the Lord God is His name. And whoso knocketh, to him will He open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches; yea, they are they, whom He despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9).

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And the Weeds of Human Culture

"BUT He answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." (Matt. 15:13.)

This significant and comprehensive avowal by the Lord Jesus Christ while in the flesh was spoken by way of rejoinder to a report from certain disciples that the Pharisees were offended at His doctrine. Some of the learned scribes and punctilious Pharisees had voiced the criticism that our Lord's disciples were in transgression because they ignored the tradition respecting the ceremonial washing of hands. The Master's rebuke was incisive and severe. He demanded of the casuistical complainers: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" And He cited the glaring instance of the then current violation of the Divine command respecting the honor due to parents from their children, as occasioned by the hierarchic vagary of the Corban practise, by which undutiful children were enabled to escape their filial obligations. Then, calling to the multitude He loudly proclaimed, in denunciation of the unlawful exaction of arbitrary rule: "Hear and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."

Who that heard could fail to note the clear differentiation between man-made rules and Divine law, between human tradition and the commandments of God?

Then followed the sweeping declaration cited above. What were the plants of Pharisaical tradition but noxious tares, doomed to be rooted up and burned?

Only the wheat of Divine planting shall be gathered into the garner of the Lord. But, as so impressively taught in parable, the wholesome grain and the poisonous tares are allowed to grow together for a season, lest perchance the premature extirpation of the weeds imperil the wheat.

Nations and kingdoms rise and fall, sometimes by God's immediate direction and through the instrumentality of men foreordained to the occasion, sometimes by Divine permission or allowance incident to the exercise of individual or national agency.

I cannot believe that God ever planted the noisome fungus of tyranny or kingly despotism. Nevertheless it has been permitted to flourish rankly in the soil of ignorance and false tradition; and its spores have been surreptitiously scattered even in the fields of fair freedom's flowers.

With God as with man there is a time of seeding and a time of harvest. Only now has the world been even measurably prepared for government based on the consent of the people, for the kind of government that shall yet be established in other lands as it has been already developed in America. Fifty, twenty, aye, even ten years ago, to have attempted forcibly to uproot the weeds of autocracy would have endangered the precious wheat of real democracy. There is a dominant element of timeliness in all the works of God. Verily He doeth all things well, and in propitious season.

Have you never read that in the last days all things shall be in commotion? We live in the predicted time of shaking, when every unstable structure shall totter, and only such as are established upon an eternal foundation shall stand. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews so understood, as witness his admonitory precept:

"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh." The reference is to Christ. "For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." (Heb. 12:25-27.)

The things of God are not to be shaken even by the boom of man's heaviest artillery; they shall abide in spite of bomb and shell. But the works of human craft shall be shattered. Not only so as to material structures, but likewise man's sophistries, erroneous theories, conjectures, philosophy, and such science as is falsely so called.

Institutions of human origin may persist long years, but shall surely come to an end. In and after the resurrection they shall have neither place nor name. Institutions established by the authority of heaven alone can endure.

To administer in the ordinances of God requires an authority distinctively different from any that man can originate or arrogate to himself. Let Caesar regulate the things of Caesar, if you will, but let not Caesar essay to administer the things of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal, it shall never be destroyed nor shaken. The laws of God are immutable and compliance therewith, in mode as well as in spirit, is indispensable to salvation. Thus hath the Lord decreed:

"Behold! mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name! Or, will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed! And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was! I am the Lord thy God, and I give unto you this commandment, that no man shall come unto the Father but by me, or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord. And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed." (D&C 132.)

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Today is the Sum of all the Yesterdays

THE student of history recognizes distinct epochs, periods and ages in the chronicles of events, and classifies his subject-matter accordingly. Single facts and isolated occurrences may be of immediate importance; but when studied in relation to one another they take on a vastly augmented significance.

This is equally true with respect to both secular and sacred history. In the latter field, which comprises the record of God's direct dealings with man and the unfolding of the Divine purpose as attested by prophecy and its fulfilment, the existence of progressive plan and orderly design is strikingly apparent.

Holy Writ affirms a succession of dispensations, each characterized by distinctive features of Divine authority and commission revealed to man. Illustrative of these dispensations are the Adamic, the Noachian, the Abrahamic, and the Mosaic. In due course came the Meridian dispensation, glorified by the personal ministry of our Lord, the Christ; and this was immediately succeeded by the Apostolic dispensation.

Both Christ and the Apostles foretold a great falling away, a general apostasy, a long era of spiritual darkness, which was to be succeeded by a new dispensation distinguished by the restoration of the Gospel and the establishment of the Church of Christ on earth for the last time. The Scriptures affirm that the new dispensation is to comprise all the authority, powers, and gifts of earlier dispensations, and is therefore distinctively a time of restitution, reorganization, and restoration. It is appropriately named the Last Dispensation, and the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.

The comprehensiveness of this period of restoration was forcefully expressed by Paul: "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." (Eph. 1:10.)

Peter, addressing the penitent Jews, who were pricked to the heart because of their guilty consciousness of having consented to the Lord's death, held out to them hope of forgiveness in a time then far future, the time of restitution of which the prophets had spoken. Ponder his profound admonition and assuring promise:

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.)

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times has been inaugurated. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is again preached upon earth, and the Holy Priesthood is made operative by direct bestowal from the heavens, for the administration of the ordinances without which no man can enter the Kingdom of God.

In the year 1820, God the Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ manifested Themselves as bodily Personages to Joseph Smith; and from the mouth of the resurrected and glorified Savior the youthful prophet received the glad tidings that the predicted time of restoration had arrived. Thus was ushered in the Last Dispensation. The darkness incident to the long night of apostasy was dispelled; the glory of the heavens once more illumined the world; the silence of centuries was broken; the voice of God was heard again by man.

Visitations of other heavenly personages followed. John the Baptist, who held the keys of the Lessor or Aaronic Priesthood, appeared as a resurrected being and conferred upon Joseph Smith authority to minister in the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins. Peter, James and John ordained him to the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood, including the Holy Apostleship; Moses brought to earth the commission of gathering scattered Israel; Elijah transmitted the appointment of vicarious service in behalf of the dead. (See Mal. 4:5, 6.)

The great consummation shall be realized in the return of Christ to earth, in power and glory, to rule and reign, as the holy prophets have foretold. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appeals to the world to heed the fast ripening signs of the Lord's coming, to repent and be baptized, by which means alone is salvation through Christ attainable. Heed ye the merciful warning of the Lord, our Savior:

"Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom: For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly. Even so. Amen." (D&C 33:17-18.)