Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Because our adult Institute Class is now studying Parable of the Latter-days, we have a new blog. It is:

Since it does not have many hits, you will probably have to put it in your address bar.

It has been lots of fun gathering scriptures and quotes from prophets which have to do with the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chapter 47: Exaltation

Material for this lesson can be found in two chapters of the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:... (the old Priesthood/Relief Society manuals), in Joseph Smith Chapter 21, in Brigham Young Chapter 13. Joseph F. Smith Chapters 37, 40 and 48, in Harold B. Lee Chapters 2 and 24, and in Spencer W. Kimball Chapter 1. These can be found by going to the new “” then click on “Go to Classic” (lower left corner), then click on “Gospel Library” then “Lessons” then “Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society.” The manuals are all found at the bottom of this page.

As with the last lesson Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual Chapter 37 is a wonderful resource for this lesson. It is available online at “” then click on “Course Catalog” on the top bar. There are many references that could be given for the lesson title, but we will confine this blog to the subjects found in the sections of this lesson.

1 - - The Plan for Our Progression

President Kimball explained the value of a plan:

To pinpoint a destination not previously visited we usually consult a map. … The Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, has given us our map—a code of laws and commandments whereby we might attain perfection and, eventually, godhood. This set of laws and ordinances is known as the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is the only plan which will exalt mankind. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the sole repository of this priceless program in its fulness, which is made available to those who accept it.

The Church of Jesus Christ picks you up on this side of the veil and, if you live its commandments, carries you right through the veil as though it weren’t there and on through the eternities to exaltation (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 5).

A crucial part of the “plan” is that of exaltation. A section heading in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball reads:

In our premortal life, Heavenly Father taught us His plan for our exaltation (p. 2).

Concerning the “plan” discussed in this first section, Elder Richard G. Scott delivered a great conference talk entitled, “The Plan for Happiness and Exaltation” in which he concluded:

With all the love of my heart, I extend an invitation to all to obtain a fulness of an understanding of the plan of happiness and exaltation provided by the Savior. I testify that this fulness is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love you and ask you to seek that fulness, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen (Ensign, Oct. 1981, 11).

To supplement this section and the wonderful doctrine that we can become like Our Father in Heaven, here is repeated an excerpt (with a change or two) from Chapter 38 of this blog:

The doctrine of exaltation is one of the most sacred of all doctrines. To really understand the full impact of the title to this section, the concepts of “exaltation” and “eternal” need to be clarified. In the scriptures “God” and “eternal” and “exaltation” are synonymous:

Eternal punishment is God's punishment (D&C 19:11).

Doctrinally, “eternal” whether referring to marriage or life, means literally “Godlike.” Thus true “eternal” is more than forever, more than being with God, but it accurately means “like God.”

Exaltation also means becoming like God:

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, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood…they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things…

Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting… (D&C 132:19-20).

This is the chapter for this tremendously important doctrine. It is also found in several places in this manual:

“By keeping His commandments we can become like Him” (p. 6).

“Heavenly Father has given us the law of eternal marriage so we can become like Him” (p. 220).

“We can be exalted as God is and receive a fulness of joy” (p. 221).

“The Lord has said that if we are true and faithful, we will enter into our exaltation. We will become like our Heavenly Father (See D&C 132:19–20.)” (p. 223).

“Those who inherit the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, who become gods, must also have been married for eternity in the temple (see D&C 131:1–4)” (p. 272).

And now from this chapter:

"We could be like Him, an exalted being" (p. 275).

"Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation" (p. 275).

"They [those who receive exaltation] will become gods" (p. 277).

"They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (see D&C 132:19–20)" (p. 277).

This concept is also found in the most quoted scripture in general conference:

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

As is stated in this section, “Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give His children (see D&C 14:7).

Note that in D&C 14:7, the Lord states that “eternal life” is the “greatest gift” God can give. As explained earlier, “exaltation” and “eternal life” are indeed synonyms.

President Lee clarified this important principle found in these two powerful scriptures:

The purpose of life was to bring to pass immortality and eternal life. Now, immortality means to eventually gain a body that will no longer be subject to the pains of mortality, no longer subject to another mortal death…

From the scriptures, from the writings of inspired Church leaders, and from secular commentaries, eternal life may be defined as life in the presence of those eternal Beings, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. To shorten that definition, we might then say that eternal life is God’s life (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 15, 226).

President Kimball added:

If we are true and faithful, we shall rise, not alone in immortality but unto eternal life. Immortality is to live forever in an assigned kingdom. Eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest heaven and live in the family unit (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 7).

President Joseph F. Smith also taught:

We must become like [God]; peradventure to sit upon thrones, to have dominion, power, and eternal increase. God designed this in the beginning. … This is the object of our existence in the world (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 337).

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus commanded:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

In the Sermon at the Temple, after He had completed His “perfection” with resurrection, Jesus also charged:

Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect (3 Nephi 12:48).

Under footnote “a” to 3 Nephi 12:48, we read:

“Potential to become like Heavenly Father.”

Concerning this great commandment, President Spencer W. Kimball declared:

One of the great teachings of the Man of Galilee, the Lord Jesus Christ, was that you and I carry within us immense possibilities. In urging us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect, Jesus was not taunting us or teasing us. He was telling us a powerful truth about our possibilities and about our potential. It is a truth almost too stunning to contemplate. Jesus, who could not lie, sought to beckon us to move further along the pathway to perfection (Ensign, Aug. 1979, 5).

If more understanding about how to accomplish this “stunning” truth, there is an excellent article by a wonderful friend, Gerald Lund, in “I Have a Question” in Ensign, August 1986, p. 38. Following is a quote from that article wherein Brother Lund quotes Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

What we do in this life is chart a course leading to eternal life. That course begins here and now and continues in the realms ahead. We must determine in our hearts and in our souls, with all the power and ability we have, that from this time forward we will press on in righteousness; by so doing we can go where God and Christ are. If we make that firm determination, and are in the course of our duty when this life is over, we will continue in that course in eternity. That same spirit that possesses our bodies at the time we depart from this mortal life will have power to possess our bodies in the eternal world. If we go out of this life loving the Lord, desiring righteousness, and seeking to acquire the attributes of godliness, we will have that same spirit in the eternal world, and we will then continue to advance and progress until an ultimate, destined day when we will possess, receive, and inherit all things (p. 38).

President Lorenzo Snow summarized:

Through a continual course of progression, our Heavenly Father has received exaltation and glory, and He points us out the same path; and inasmuch as He is clothed with power, authority, and glory, He says, “Walk ye up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness that I possess.”

In the gospel, those things have been made manifest unto us; and we are perfectly assured that, inasmuch as we are faithful, we shall eventually come in possession of everything that the mind of man can conceive of—everything that heart can desire (Lorenzo Snow Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 92).

This quote also introduces the next section.

2 - - Exaltation

In addition to the discussion in this section concerning “exaltation” we read the following from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

To Latter-day ‘Saints, exaltation is a state a person can attain in becoming like God—salvation in the ultimate sense *D&C 132:17)… It means not only living in God’s presence, but receiving power to do as God does, including the power to bear children after the resurrection… (p. 409).

Elder Orson F. Whitney (an Apostle) elaborated:

The gospel of Christ is more than “the power of God unto salvation;” it is the power of God unto exaltation, and was instituted as such before this earth rolled into existence… It is the way of eternal progress, the path to perfection… (We Believe, 181).

Concerning the title of this section, President Joseph F. Smith declared:

I know that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will enable me to attain to this exaltation, and there is no other way given by which man can be saved; no other plan revealed in the world by which man can be exalted and return again to the presence of God. There is no other way (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 430).

During what is known as the King Follett discourse (a funeral sermon for a man by the name of King Follett) Joseph Smith for the first time introduced this doctrine of exaltation:

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man (Ensign, Apr 1971, 13).

Lorenzo Snow actually learned of this doctrine earlier and had an interesting time figuring out what to do with it. Gerald Lund related this interesting story in an “I Have A Question” article in the Ensign:

In the spring of 1840 he [Lorenzo Snow] was called to serve a mission in the British Isles. Before his departure he was in the home of a Church member who was preaching a sermon on the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. (See Matt. 20:1–16.) According to Elder Snow, “While attentively listening to his explanation, the Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon me—the eyes of my understanding were opened, and I saw as clear as the sun at noonday, with wonder and astonishment, the pathway of God and man. I formed the following couplet which expresses the revelation, as it was shown me, and explains Father Smith’s dark saying to me at a blessing meeting in the Kirtland Temple, prior to my baptism. …

“As man now is, God once was:”

“As God now is, man may be.”

I felt this to be a sacred communication, which I related to no one except my sister Eliza, until I reached England, when in a confidential private conversation with President Brigham Young, in Manchester, I related to him this extraordinary manifestation.” (Eliza R. Snow, pp. 46–47; italics added. Brigham Young was President of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time.)

President Snow’s son LeRoi later told that the Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the validity of the revelation Elder Snow had received: “Soon after his return from England, in January, 1843, Lorenzo Snow related to the Prophet Joseph Smith his experience in Elder Sherwood’s home. This was in a confidential interview in Nauvoo. The Prophet’s reply was: ‘Brother Snow, that is a true gospel doctrine, and it is a revelation from God to you.’” (LeRoi C. Snow, Improvement Era, June 1919, p. 656.)

The Prophet Joseph Smith himself publicly taught the doctrine the following year, 1844, during a funeral sermon of Elder King Follett: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46.)
Once the Prophet Joseph had taught the doctrine publicly, Elder Snow also felt free to publicly teach it, and it was a common theme of his teachings throughout his life (Ensign, Feb 1982, 38).

Later, President Joseph F. Smith and his First Presidency issued a wonderful statement concerning this doctrine of man becoming as God. Chapter 37 in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith covers important points of this document.

This same First Presidency also issued a First Presidency statement entitled “The Origin of Man” (reprinted in the Ensign, Feb. 2002, 26) which concluded with the following declaration:

Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.

President Spencer W. Kimball explained what men did during the great apostasy:

They had replaced the glorious, divine plan of exaltation of Christ with an elaborate, colorful, man-made system (We Believe, 31).

3 - - Blessings of Exaltation

The first blessing of “those who receive exaltation” listed in this section is, “They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (p. 277). We love this description of what this will be like from Elder Russell M. Ballard’s grandfather:

Away on the Fort Peck Reservation where I was doing missionary work with some of our brethren, laboring among the Indians, seeking the Lord for light to decide certain matters pertaining to our work there, and receiving a witness from Him that we were doing things according to His will, I found myself one evening in the dreams of the night in that sacred building, the temple. After a season of prayer and rejoicing I was informed that I should have the privilege of entering into one of those rooms to meet a glorious Personage, and, as I entered the door, I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious Being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds. As I approached to be introduced, he arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and he smiled as he softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into his arms and kissed me, pressed me to his bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When he had finished, I fell at his feet, and, as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of Him who hath all things in His hands, to have His love, His affection, and His blessing was such that if I ever can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be to feel what I then felt!” (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness, pp. 138–39).

Number three on this list of blessings is, “They will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have eternal increase“ (p. 277). Concerning this “increase” Brigham Young taught:

The Lord has blessed us with the ability to enjoy an eternal life with the Gods, and this is pronounced the greatest gift of God. …the Lord has bestowed on us the privilege of becoming fathers of lives. What is a father of lives as mentioned in the Scriptures? A man who has a posterity to an eternal continuance. That is the blessing Abraham received, and it perfectly satisfied his soul. He obtained the promise that he should be the father of lives.

T he Lord would like to see us take the course that leads unto the strait gate, that we might be crowned sons and daughters of God, for such are the only ones in the heavens who multiply and increase (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 89-90).

President Lee elaborated further:

[After quoting D&C 132:19] The Prophet Joseph Smith said this meant that those who were married in the new and everlasting covenant and were true to their covenants, that after they passed through the resurrection they would be able to live together again as husband and wife and have what he calls here, a continuation of the seeds. Now what does that mean? Let me read you from another scripture: … [now quotes D&C 131:1-4]

Increase of what? Increase of posterity. In other words, through obedience to His divine command, we here as human beings are given power to cooperate with God in the creation of a human soul here, and then beyond the grave to have eternal increase in a family relationship after this earth has concluded its work. [then quotes D&C 132:20] (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 16).

Number four on this list of blessings is, “They will receive a fulness of joy” (p. 277). We love what Elder Orson F. Whitney said about this “fulness”:

The everlasting Gospel, through obedience to its every requirement, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, gives this power. It not only saves—it exalts men to where God and Christ dwell in the fulness of celestial glory (We Believe, 181).

Number five on this list of blessings is, “They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have…” (p. 277). Concerning this, Brigham Young declared:

All who believe, have honest hearts, and bring forth fruits of righteousness, are the elect of God and heirs to all things (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 286).

4 - - Requirements for Exaltation

Joseph Smith said the following in regards to the title of this section:

…righteousness will be put to the line, and judgment to the plummet, and ‘he that fears the Lord will alone be exalted in that day.’ [See Isaiah 2:11; 28:17.] (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 258).

The second paragraph discusses things we need to do to become worthy of exaltation. Another description comes from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

Blessings and privileges of exaltation require unwavering faith, repentance, and complete obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ (p. 409).

President Joseph F. Smith added:

If the Lord has revealed to the world the plan of salvation and redemption from sin, by which men may be exalted again into his presence and partake of eternal life with him, I submit, as a proposition that cannot be controverted, that no man can be exalted in the presence of God and attain to a fulness of glory and happiness in his kingdom and presence, save and except he will obey the plan that God has devised and revealed (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 99).

In this section, we read, “He [Jesus Christ] commands us all to receive certain ordinances” (p. 278). This is followed by five necessary ordinances. President Kimball explained further:

In order to reach the goal of eternal life and exaltation and godhood, one must be initiated into the kingdom by baptism, properly performed; one must receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of authoritative hands; a man must be ordained to the priesthood by authorized priesthood holders; one must be endowed and sealed in the house of God…and one must live a life of righteousness, cleanliness, purity and service. None can enter into eternal life other than by the correct door—Jesus Christ and his commandments (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 5-6).

In this section, we read, “…the Lord commands all of us to…” (p. 278). This is followed by a list of ten items of things to “do.” President Kimball taught us well about “do”:

Church members all over the world love the Primary song “I Am a Child of God,” with its simple but profound message of who we are, why we are on the earth, and what the Lord promises us if we are faithful. Sister Naomi W. Randall wrote the text to the song in 1957, when Elder Spencer W. Kimball was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. At that time, the song’s chorus concluded with the words “Teach me all that I must know to live with him someday.

While visiting a stake conference, Elder Kimball listened to a group of Primary children sing “I Am a Child of God.” Soon after that, he commented on the song in a conversation with a member of the Primary General Board. “I love the children’s song,” he said, “but there is one word that bothers me. Would Sister Randall mind if the word know were changed to the word do?”

Sister Randall agreed to change the song. Now the chorus ends with the words “Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday.” These words reflect a principle that President Kimball emphasized throughout his ministry: “Celestial life may be had by every soul who will fulfil the requirements. To know is not enough. One must do… He taught that the gospel is “a way of life, the plan of personal salvation, and is based upon personal responsibility. It is developed for man, the offspring of God. Man is a god in embryo and has in him the seeds of godhood, and he can, if he will, rise to great heights” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 1).

President Kimball clarified this potential regarding exaltation:

Man can transform himself and he must. Man has in himself the seeds of godhood, which can germinate and grow and develop. As the acorn becomes the oak, the mortal man becomes a god. It is within his power to lift himself by his very bootstraps from the plane on which he finds himself to the plane on which he should be. It may be a long, hard lift with many obstacles, but it is a real possibility” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.28).

President Kimball also explained that all of the above is worth what is promised:

When one realizes the vastness, the richness, the glory of that “all” which the Lord promises to bestow upon his faithful, it is worth all it costs in patience, faith, sacrifice, sweat and tears. The blessings of eternity contemplated in this “all” bring men immortality and everlasting life, eternal growth, divine leadership, eternal increase, perfection, and with it all, godhood (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 9).

5 - - After We Have Been Faithful and Endured to the End

President Kimball had this to say about temple ordinances and endurance:

It is true that many Latter-day Saints, having been baptized and confirmed members of the Church, and some even having received their endowments and having been married and sealed in the holy temple, have felt that they were thus guaranteed the blessings of exaltation and eternal life. But this is not so. There are two basic requirements every soul must fulfill or he cannot attain to the great blessings offered. He must receive the ordinances and he must be faithful, overcoming his weaknesses. Hence, not all who claim to be Latter-day Saints will be exalted (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 9).

This section begins with the question, “What happens when we have endured to the end in faithful discipleship to Christ?” (p. 279). An optional doctrine that may help us to understand the end result of being a true disciple of Jesus Christ is the doctrine of Christ as Father. From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism we learn:

When individuals are born again they are spiritually begotten sons and daughters of God and more specifically of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 5:7; 27:25) (p. 218).

An excellent article on this subject by Robert L. Millett is found in Encyclopedia of Mormonism under “Jesus Christ, Fatherhood and Sonship of.” This wonderful resource can be found online at “”

The above article references the First Presidency statement by President Joseph F. Smith and his presidency entitled “The Father and the Son” issued in 1916. This can be found reprinted in the April Ensign of 2002 and as Chapter 40 in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, including other statements by President Smith. Here are some excerpts from the Ensign article:

The third subheading in this doctrinal exposition for various meanings of “Father” is, “3. Jesus Christ the “Father” of Those Who Abide in His Gospel.”

A third sense in which Jesus Christ is regarded as the “Father” has reference to the relationship between Him and those who accept His gospel and thereby become heirs of eternal life

That by obedience to the gospel men may become sons of God, both as sons of Jesus Christ, and, through Him, as sons of His Father, is set forth in many revelations given in the current dispensation.

Men may become children of Jesus Christ by being born anew—born of God…
By the new birth—that of water and the Spirit—mankind may become children of Jesus Christ…

If it be proper to speak of those who accept and abide in the gospel as Christ’s sons and daughters—and upon this matter the scriptures are explicit and cannot be gainsaid nor denied—it is consistently proper to speak of Jesus Christ as the Father of the righteous, they having become His children and He having been made their Father through the second birth—the baptismal regeneration (Ensign April 2002, p. 13).

President Joseph F. Smith’s son, Joseph Fielding Smith further explained:

The Savior becomes our Father, in the sense in which this term is used in the scriptures, because he offers us life, eternal life, through atonement which he made for us…we become the children, sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, through our covenants of obedience to him. Because of his divine authority and sacrifice on the cross, we become spiritually begotten sons and daughters, and he is our Father (We Believe, 344).

President Joseph Fielding Smith’s son-in-law, Elder Bruce R. McConkie further elaborated:

Few doctrines are better known by members of the true Church than the doctrine of preexistence. We are well aware that all men are the children of God, the offspring of the Father, his sons and his daughters… What is not so well known is that nearly all the passages of scripture, both ancient and modern, which speak of God as our father and of men on earth being the sons of God, Have no reference to our birth in preexistence as the children of Elohim, but teach rather that Jehovah is our Father and we are his children…Who is our new Father? The answer is Christ is our Father, we become his children by adoption; he makes us members of his family. (We Believe, 343).

This is apparently what Isaiah had in mind when he proclaimed:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called…The everlasting Father… (Isaiah 9:6) .

This doctrine was also declared by Jesus Christ from heaven before He descended in the Americas:

And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God… (3 Nephi 9:17).

The above also helps us understand President John Taylor when he declared;

This earth is properly the dwelling place, and rightful inheritance of the Saints. Inasmuch as it belongs to Jesus Christ, it also belongs to his servants and followers, for we are told, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof,” [Psalm 24:1] and that, when things are in their proper place, “the Saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the Most High.” [See Daniel 7:18, 27.] It is therefore their rightful inheritance (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 222).

Concerning this doctrine, President Joseph F. Smith also explained:

I believe that our Savior is the ever-living example to all flesh. … The works he did, we are commanded to do. We are enjoined to follow him, as he followed his Head; that where he is, we may be also; and being with him, may be like him.

Christ is the great example for all mankind, and I believe that mankind were as much foreordained to become like him, as that he was foreordained to be the Redeemer of man. … We are … in the form of God, physically, and may become like him spiritually, and like him in the possession of knowledge, intelligence, wisdom and power.

The grand object of our coming to this earth is that we may become like Christ, for if we are not like him, we cannot become the sons of God, and be joint heirs with Christ.

Let us follow the Son of God. Make him our exemplar, and our guide. Imitate him. Do his work. Become like unto him, as far as it lies within our powers to become like him that was perfect and without sin (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 151-2).

In Chapters 1, 38, 46 and 47, the idea is presented that “we can become like Heavenly Father.” Many of other faiths think it blasphemous that we believe this doctrine literally. Many believe that God is “unreachable” in human progression and that God is “nothing like us” in spite of the idea that we were “made in His image.” Brigham Young taught:

Some believe or conceive the idea that to know God would lessen him in our estimation; but I can say that for me to understand any principle or being, on earth or in heaven, it does not lessen its true value to me, but on the contrary, it increases it; and the more I can know of God, the dearer and more precious he is to me, and the more exalted are my feelings towards him. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 30)

Elder Boyd K. Packer clarified the important idea that even though Christ will become the father of those who are exalted, no one will ever replace God Our Father:

The Father is the one true God. This thing is certain: no one will ever ascend above Him; no one will ever replace Him. Nor will anything ever change the relationship that we, His literal offspring, have with Him. He is Eloheim, the Father. He is God. Of Him there is only one. We revere our Father and our God; we worship Him. (Ensign, Nov 1984, 66)

What happens is basically what is taught in another piece of Moses 1:39:

For behold, this is…my glory—to bring to pass the…eternal life of man.

The plan of God is that, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, if we keep our covenants made in sacred ordinances and are completely obedient in keeping the commandments of God, we can be exalted. We then add to God’s glory, as Jesus Christ added to the glory of the Father. John testified of the latter:

And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;

And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth… (D&C 93:16 - 17).

Joseph Smith summarized this process for us:

…they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus do? Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. My Father worked out His kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to My Father, so that He may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt Him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take His place, and thereby become exalted myself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of his Father, and inherits what God did before; and God is thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all his children (Ensign, Apr 1971, 13).

Remember from Chapter 45 of this blog, we learned more about becoming “kings and priests” during the Millennium. Exaltation is the final result of this promise:

They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—

They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; (D&C 76:55 - 56)

Again, Joseph Smith summarized for us concerning the information taught in this section:

Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, … by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.

The righteous who have died] shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.

They who obtain a glorious resurrection from the dead, are exalted far above principalities, powers, thrones, dominions and angels, and are expressly declared to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, all having eternal power [see Romans 8:17] (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 221-2).

To help us prepare for all that we have learned in the last few chapters, Brigham Young stated:

Whether the world is going to be burned up within a year, or within a thousand years, does not matter a groat [a kernel of grain] to you and me. We have the words of eternal life, we have the privilege of obtaining glory, immortality, and eternal lives, now will you obtain these blessings? (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 334).

Brigham Young also taught:

This is a world in which we are to prove ourselves. The lifetime of man is a day of trial, wherein we may prove to God, in our darkness, in our weakness, and where the enemy reigns, that we are our Father’s friends, and that we receive light from him and are worthy to be leaders of our children—to become lords of lords, and kings of kings—to have perfect dominion over that portion of our families that will be crowned in the celestial kingdom with glory, immortality, and eternal lives (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 285).

President Joseph F. Smith declared:

We live, then; we do not die; we do not anticipate death but we anticipate life, immortality, glory, exaltation, and to be quickened by the glory of the celestial kingdom, and receive of the same even a fulness. This is our destiny; this is the exalted position to which we may attain and there is no power that can deprive or rob us of it, if we prove faithful and true to the covenant of the gospel.

The object of our earthly existence is that we may have a fulness of joy, and that we may become the sons and daughters of God, in the fullest sense of the word, being heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, to be kings and priests unto God, to inherit glory, dominion, exaltation, thrones and every power and attribute developed and possessed by our Heavenly Father. This is the object of our being on this earth. In order to attain unto this exalted position, it is necessary that we go through this mortal experience, or probation, by which we may prove ourselves worthy, through the aid of our elder brother Jesus (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 100).

We end this blog with a quote we love from President Lee:

Some time ago I read an article written by a famous newspaper journalist who explained how he went about arranging for a meaningful conversation with some person whom he wished to interview. He would ask a question similar to this: ‘Would you mind telling me the inscription you would have written on your tombstone?’ He reported that many would give answers like ‘have fun,’ ‘gone to another meeting,’ and so on. Then the journalist was asked what he himself would have written on his tombstone. He replied very quietly and sincerely, “Safely home, at last.”

When the full significance of this statement is impressed upon us, we might well ask ourselves, ‘After all, what is life all about, and what is our hope beyond this life, believing, as we do, in a life after this one?’ Almost everyone, no matter what his religious faith may be, looks forth to an existence that may be defined in various ways. If my assumption is correct, then, we would all wish to have written on our tombstones, as an epitaph to our life’s work, that we were “safe at home, at last” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 224).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chapter 46: The Final Judgment

Material for this lesson can be found in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:... (the old Priesthood/Relief Society manuals) in Brigham Young Chapter 39 and in Harold B. Lee Chapter 24. These can be found by going to the new “” then click on “Go to Classic” (lower left corner), then click on “Gospel Library” then “Lessons” then “Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society.” The manuals are all found at the bottom of this page.

As with the last few lesson Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual Chapter 32 and 33 are wonderful resources for this lesson. It is available online at “” then click on “Course Catalog” on the top bar. There are many references that could be given for the lesson title, but we will confine this blog to the subjects found in the sections of this lesson.

1 - - Judgments of God

In this section, a question is asked, “What are some different judgments that come before the final judgment?” (p. 269). This is a great discussion question. At least three that might be important to understand are premortal existence, baptism and death. First, the premortal decision of whether to follow Jesus or Lucifer resulted in a final judgment, since those who followed Lucifer will never have a body or any kingdom of glory. President Lee indicated that we also were judged as to our ability to reign with the Savior (see Chapter 44 in this blog):

We have the right to become kings and rulers because of the roles we played in the spirit world before we came here (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 15).

Second, baptism is a partial judgment and is discussed in the third paragraph of this section. It will also be dealt with fully in the next and final Chapter of this blog.

Third, death is a partial judgment and is dealt with in the fourth paragraph. The “state of happiness or misery” mentioned there, is of course going to either paradise or spirit prison as result of our actions here (see Chapter 41 of this blog).

The judgment discussed in the second paragraph of this section was defined as just by Brigham Young:

Death levels the most powerful monarch with the poorest starving mendicant [beggar]; and both must stand before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for the deeds done in the body (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 285).

The fairness of this judgment was taught by President Lee:

The judgment we shall face will be before the Righteous Judge who will take into account our capacities and our limitations, our opportunities and our handicaps. One who sins and repents and thereafter fills his life with purposeful effort may not lose as much in that day of righteous judgment as one who, though not committing serious sin, falls down miserably by omitting to do that which he had capacity and opportunity to do but would not (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 229).

President Lee also talked of suffering we will have if we fall short of what we know possible:

The greatest hell that one can suffer is the burning of one’s conscience. The scriptures say his thoughts will condemn him, he’ll have a bright recollection of all his life (see Alma 12:14; 11:43)…. Now, when we fail of that highest degree of glory and realize what we’ve lost, there will be a burning of the conscience that will be worse than any physical kind of fire that I assume one could suffer (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 227-8).

2 - - Our Words, Works, and Thoughts Are Used to Judge Us

A word that does not appear in the title of this section, but very well should is “hearts”. This word appears two times in the whole lesson. The first time is in the first section in a scripture, “We will also be judged “according to the desire of [our] hearts” (D&C 137:9; see also Alma 41:3)” (p. 269). The second time is in this section, “As we repent of our sins, giving up every impure thought and act, the Holy Ghost will change our hearts so we no longer have even the desire to sin (see Mosiah 5:2)” (p. 270).

In a conference talk, Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained how “desires” play a crucial part in our behavior:

I have chosen to talk about the importance of desire. I hope each of us will search our hearts to determine what we really desire and how we rank our most important desires.

Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming (April conference, 2011).

It is important for us to understand the relationship between “thoughts” and the “words” or “works” by which we will be judged. What is in our “hearts” or “thoughts” is crucial to what we do. This connection is illustrated in the scriptures.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart (D&C 8:2).

This connection between “thoughts” and “hearts” was discussed by President Brigham Young:

I have come to the conclusion that we shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body and according to the thoughts and intents of the heart (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 285).

Another principle which may be a great help in understanding the judgment, especially when it comes down to “thoughts” and what is in our “hearts” and “desires” is that of the omniscience of God. President John Taylor explained:

We may deceive one another, and, in some circumstances, as counterfeit coin passes for that which is considered true and valuable among men. But God searches the hearts and tries the reins of the children of men. He knows our thoughts and comprehends our desires and feelings; he knows our acts and the motives which prompt us to perform them. He is acquainted with all the doings and operations of the human family, and all the secret thoughts and acts of the children of men are open and naked before him, and for them he will bring them to judgment (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 89).

If any need further understanding of the omniscience of God, a review of the Topical Guide in the Bible will greatly help. There are two places to check out, “God, Foreknowledge of” (p. 174) and “God, Omniscience of” (pp. 178-9).

An additional subject which could be added to this section and for which we will be judged is outlined by Brigham Young:

Time and ability to labor are the capital stock of the whole world of mankind, and we are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage, and he will require of us a strict account of the disposition we make of this ability (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 286).

3 - - We Will Be Judged by Records

In a wonderful conference talk (the whole talk really is terrific) Elder Russell M. Nelson

While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil, it has an equal power to bless the living. It has a refining influence on those who are engaged in it. They are literally helping to exalt their families.

We are exalted when we can dwell together with our extended families in the presence of Almighty God. The Prophet Joseph Smith foresaw our duty: “The great day of the Lord is at hand…” he said. “Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple … a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation” [D&C 128:24].

The preparation of that record is our individual and collective responsibility. As we work together, we can make it worthy of all acceptation by the Lord. That record enables ordinances to be performed for and accepted by our deceased ancestors, as they may choose. Those ordinances can bring liberty to captives on the other side of the veil [See Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; D&C 138:18, 31, 42] (April Conference 2011).

It is clear from this statement why we will be judged by temple records. This is a great way to build on our understanding of the importance of Chapter 40 “Temple Work and Family History” in this manual, as well as in this blog.

In the fourth paragraph of this section we are taught, “The Apostle John taught that ‘the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son’” (John 5:22) (p. 271). President Lee dispelled an old myth:

Contrary to the usual concept of religionists, that the Apostle Peter is the keeper of the gateway to the life beyond this, we are told that “the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there (2 Nephi 9:41.) (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 227).

In the fourth paragraph of this section we are also taught, “Son, in turn, will call upon others to assist in the Judgment (p. 271). The duty of the Twelve as judges is then outlined. This could be expanded to more judges the Lord has called. Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught:

…in modern revelation the Lord appointed the bishop to be a “judge in Israel” to judge over property and transgressions (D&C 58:17; D&C 107:72) (Ensign, Aug. 1999, 7).

In this section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord explains this duty of the Bishop as a judge:

Wherefore, the office of a bishop…

And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church.

Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a stake of Zion, or in any branch of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry… (D&C 107:68, 72, 74).

President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled bishops further:

You cannot compromise your qualifications to sit as a common judge in Israel. It is a fearsome and awesome responsibility to stand as a judge of the people. You must be their judge in some instances as to worthiness to hold membership in the Church, worthiness to enter the house of the Lord, worthiness to be baptized, worthiness to receive the priesthood, worthiness to serve missions, worthiness to teach and to serve as officers in the organizations. You must be the judge of their eligibility in times of distress to receive help from the fast offerings of the people and commodities from the storehouse of the Lord (Ensign, Nov. 2003, 60).

4 - - Inheriting a Place in a Kingdom of Glory

Here is a wonderful account of how Joseph learned of the “Kingdoms of Glory”:

Joseph Smith’s work on the translation of the Bible led to a most remarkable vision of life in the eternities. On February 16, 1832, the Prophet was at work in the home of John Johnson in Hiram, Ohio, with Sidney Rigdon serving as his scribe. He was translating the Gospel of John. “From sundry revelations which had been received,” the Prophet later said, “it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body, the term ‘Heaven,’ as intended for the Saints’ eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one.”

The Prophet translated John 5:29, which describes how all “shall come forth” in the resurrection—“they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” As he and Sidney pondered this scripture, a marvelous vision was opened to them. As the Prophet recorded: “By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning” (D&C 76:12–13).

In this glorious vision, the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon saw the Son of God at the right hand of the Father and “received of his fulness” (D&C 76:20). They saw the three kingdoms of glory that God has prepared for His children and learned who will inherit these kingdoms. They also saw Satan thrust out of the presence of God and the sufferings of those who allow themselves to be overcome by Satan.

This vision later became section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants. The Prophet explained: “Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, … witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: ‘It came from God’” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 217-19).

In an address, Joseph later stated:

My text is on the resurrection of the dead, which you will find in the 14th chapter of John—‘In my Father’s house are many mansions.’ [John 14:2.] It should be—‘In my Father’s kingdom are many kingdoms,’ in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint-heirs with me. … There are mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order.

“But,’ says one, ‘I believe in one universal heaven and hell, where all go, and are all alike, and equally miserable or equally happy.”

What! where all are huddled together—the honorable, virtuous, and murderers, and whoremongers, when it is written that they shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body? (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 219-20).

A great question is asked at the beginning of this section, “How will our faithfulness during our life on earth influence our life in the eternities?” (p. 271). The rest of this lesson will cover the first idea in this question. It may be good to pause on the last phrase of the question, “our life in the eternities” and realize that to live forever is also a gift from God. Brigham Young declared:

This is the greatest gift that can be conferred on intelligent beings, to live forever and never be destroyed (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 89).

The most quoted scripture in conference states in part:

For behold, this is my work…to bring to pass the immortality…of man (Moses 1:39).

While we will deal with the rest of the scripture in the next (and last) lesson, this first “work” of the Savior is important. One of the two parts of the Atonement is to provide resurrection for all into a degree of glory (as well as a degree of non-glory). Brigham Young explained it this way:

Jesus will never cease his work until all are brought up to the enjoyment of a kingdom in the mansions of his Father, where there are many kingdoms and many glories, to suit the works and faithfulness of all men that have lived on the earth. Some will obey the celestial law and receive of its glory, some will abide the terrestrial and some the telestial, and others will receive no glory (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 52).

In this section we read, “We learn from this revelation that even members of the Church will inherit different kingdoms because they will not be equally faithful and valiant in their obedience to Christ” (p. 271). Brigham Young taught:

All these different glories are ordained to fit the capacities and conditions of men (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 288).

In preparation for the next part of this lesson, Joseph F. Smith taught:

We shall stand before the bar of God to be judged. So says the Bible, so says the Book of Mormon, and so say the revelations which have come direct to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith. And then those who have not been subject and obedient to the celestial law will not be quickened by the celestial glory. And those who have not been subject and obedient to the terrestrial law will not be quickened by the terrestrial glory. And those who have not been subject and obedient to the telestial law, will not be quickened by a telestial glory; but they will have a kingdom without glory (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 100).

President Harold B. Lee elaborated further:

Here and now in mortality, each one of us is having the opportunity of choosing the kind of laws we elect to obey. We are now living and obeying celestial laws that will make us candidates for celestial glory, or we are living terrestrial laws that will make us candidates for … terrestrial glory, or telestial law. The place we shall occupy in the eternal worlds will be determined by the obedience we yield to the laws of these various kingdoms during the time we have here in mortality upon the earth (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 230).

Elder James E. Talmage discussed one of the advantages of any of the Kingdoms of Glory:

…all who receive of any one of these orders of glory are at last saved, and upon them Satan will finally have no claim (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 91).

It is interesting that the degrees of glory all have varying degrees within them. Elder James E. Talmage explained:

The three kingdoms of widely differing glories are organized on an orderly plan of graduation. We have seen that the telestial kingdom comprises several subdivisions; this also is the case, we are told, with the celestial; and, by analogy, we conclude that a similar condition prevails in the terrestrial. Thus the innumerable degrees of merit amongst mankind are provided for in an infinity of graded glories (We Believe, 192).

4 (A) - - Celestial

President Lee clarified Our Father’s priority for us in the eternity:

There is only one objective so far as our Father’s work is concerned, and that is that in the end when we shall have finished our work here on earth, whether after a short space of time or a long, we too shall have overcome the world and have earned the right to that place called the Celestial Kingdom (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 230).

President Lee also detailed the two classes of Our Father’s children who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom:

Those of you who have lived a righteous life and die without having become the servants of sin, or who have truly repented of your sins, will enter into the “rest of the Lord,” which rest “is the fulness of the glory of the Lord [See D&C 84:24.] (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 227).

Paul was speaking of the second group when he stated:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

All who have lived past the age of accountability “have sinned” and thus are in need of repentance. The first group, obviously, are those who die before this age. President Wilford Woodruff clarified:

There is no infant or child that has died before arriving at the years of accountability, but what is redeemed…

Children are innocent before the Lord… They will come forth out of their graves in the morning of the resurrection, … clothed with glory, immortality and eternal life, in eternal beauty and bloom, and they will be given into the hands of their parents, and they will receive them in the family organization of the celestial world (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 84).

Indeed, scriptures and prophets declare, “…little children are saved in the celestial kingdom…” (for a terrific article on this by one of my favorite teachers, see “I Have a Question” by Leland H. Gentry in Ensign, Jun. 1981, 35).

As an optional part of this lesson, it may be helpful to better understand the geographical destiny of those who inherit the Celestial Kingdom. Here are some scriptures and quotes from prophets which link to show a wonderful pattern concerning this destination:

Exodus 20:12

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin (of the Presiding Bishopric):

[after referring to Exodus 20:12] "Long days upon the land" stimulates the thought that it may not mean days of mortality alone, but the days to come when our earth shall become celestialized (D&C 88:25-26) and the dwelling place of those who shall enjoy and inherit the celestial kingdom, which I pray will be the blessing of every worthy father and mother and every loyal son and daughter in Israel. Amen (Conference Report, October 1943, pp. 119-124).

Psalms 37:9

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

1 Nephi 15:5

And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all, because of the destruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall.

2 Nephi 1:5

But, said he [Lehi], notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

2 Nephi 3:2

And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.

Matthew 5:5 or 3 Nephi 12:5

And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Many have referred to the following from D&C 64:23 as “fire insurance”:

…he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

While it is true that those who pay tithes will escape being “burned” at the Second Coming, terrestrial people will also escape being “burned” (see Chapter 44 of this blog). Tithing, however, definitely fits into a much bigger picture in this pattern of “Who will inherit the earth?”

D&C 63:20

Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth…

D&C 38:18-20

And I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh;

And I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts.

And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away.

D&C 88:17, 25-26

And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it.

And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—

Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.

Joseph Smith:

This earth will be rolled back into the presence of God, and crowned with celestial glory. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 181)

Brigham Young

The earth will abide its creation, and will be counted worthy of receiving the blessings designed for it, and will ultimately roll back into the presence of God who formed it and established its mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. These will all be retained upon the earth, come forth in the resurrection, and abide for ever and for ever (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

George Albert Smith

God has said if we will honor Him and keep His commandments—if we will observe His laws He will fight our battles and destroy the wicked, and when the time comes He will come down in heaven—not from heaven—but He will bring heaven with Him—and this earth upon which we dwell, will be the celestial kingdom (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

Joseph Fielding Smith:

The Lord did not say this earth shall be one-third celestial, and one-third terrestrial, and one-third telestial, but that the earth was made and created to become a celestial body upon whose face the meek and the poor, who have received their part in the celestial kingdom, shall find their eternal abode….all who cannot abide the celestial law…will have to be transplanted to some other sphere… (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:367)

Joseph Fielding Smith:

Afterwards [referring to the millennium] will come the death of the earth, its resurrection, its glorification, as the abode of the righteous (D&C 88:25-26) or they who belong to the celestial kingdom, and they only shall dwell upon the face of it (D&C 130:9). (Conference Report, April 1952, pp. 26-28)

Joseph Fielding Smith

In that great change, or resurrection, which shall come to this earth, it shall be sanctified, celestialized and made a fit abode even for God the Father, who shall grace it with his presence. (D&C 88:19.) Then shall the righteous, those who have become sanctified through the law of God, possess it for ever as their abode. This earth is destined to become the everlasting residence of its inhabitants who gain the glory of the celestial kingdom. It shall become in that day like the throne of God and shall shine forth with all the splendor and brightness of celestial glory in its eternal, sanctified and glorious state (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

D&C 130:8-11

The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.
This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ's.

Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

Joseph Smith

I remarked to my family and friends present, that when the earth was sanctified and became like a sea of glass, it would be one great urim and thummim, and the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

Joseph Smith:

A man…can never see the celestial kingdom of God without being born of the water and the Spirit…. He can never come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God…unless he becomes as a little child and is taught by the Spirit of God. (History of the Church, 1:283)

Finally, we love this statement by President George Albert Smith:

One of the beautiful things to me in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it brings us all to a common level. It is not necessary for a man to be a president of a stake, or a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, in order to attain a high place in the celestial kingdom. The humblest member of the Church, if he keeps the commandments of God, will obtain an exaltation just as much as any other man in the celestial kingdom. (Conference Report, p. 25, October 1933)

4 (B) - - Terrestrial

In this section we read, “These are they who rejected the gospel on earth but afterward received it in the spirit world” (p. 272). Concerning this, Brigham Young declared:

When the light of the knowledge of God comes to a man, and he rejects it, that is his condemnation (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 286).

Joseph Fielding Smith explained further:

Into the terrestrial kingdom will go all those who are honorable and who have lived clean virtuous lives, but who would not receive the Gospel, but in the spirit world repented and accepted it as far as it can be given unto them. Many of these have been blinded by tradition and the love of the world, and have not been able to see the beauties of the Gospel (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 92).

Brigham Young emphasized the importance of not being blinded by others:

Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 288).

President Lee taught of those who are taught the gospel but settle for less:

[President George F. Richards] related this story, a story of a young man who was very desirous of getting an education. His parents were unable to send him to college, so he walked to the college city, and after diligent inquiry he succeeded in finding a place [where] he could pay his board and lodging. Later one of the college professors gave him a job cutting wood to pay for his tuition. Others, learning of his success as a woodchopper, employed him to chop wood for them. He soon found that he had no time to go to college, and he became content with his success as a woodchopper.
This represents a condition which obtains with many of us. We came to earth for a specific purpose—that of working out our own salvation, or in other words, to prepare for the life which is to come, which is everlasting. Some of us seem to have forgotten the purpose we had in view, and have become content with our search for the wealth and fame which life affords, in other words, content with merely “chopping wood” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 225-6).

Brigham Young further explained:

Some might suppose that it would be a great blessing to be taken and carried directly into heaven and there set down, but in reality that would be no blessing to such persons; they could not reap a full reward, could not enjoy the glory of the kingdom, and could not comprehend and abide the light thereof, but it would be to them a hell intolerable and I suppose would consume them much quicker than would hell fire. It would be no blessing to you to be carried into the celestial kingdom, and obliged to stay therein, unless you were prepared to dwell there (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 92).

Brigham Young continued:

Were the wicked, in their sins, under the necessity of walking into the presence of the Father and Son, hand-in-hand with those who believe that all will be saved—that Jesus will leave none, their condition would be more excruciating and unendurable than to dwell in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. …the adulterer, whoremonger, thief, liar, false swearer, murderer, and every other abominable character, if they but repent on the gallows or their death-beds, are, by the same doctrine, forced into the presence of the Father and the Son, which, could they enter there, would be a hell to them. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 288).

4 (C) - - Telestial

That all kingdoms are indeed kingdoms of glory was stated by Brigham Young:

If [people] have a law, no matter who made it, and do the best they know how, they will have a glory which is beyond your imagination, by any description I might give; you cannot conceive of the least portion of the glory of God prepared for his beings, the workmanship of his hands (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 287).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie agreed:

In the infinite mercy of a beneficent Father it surpasses all mortal understanding, and yet it is in no way comparable to the glory of the terrestrial and celestial worlds (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 93).

4 (D) - - Outer Darkness

Those who are born (in addition to all who chose Lucifer in the premortal existence and were not born) and go to outer darkness are described by Joseph Smith:

All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 93).

Joseph F. Smith added:

And he that believes, is baptized, and receives the light and testimony of Jesus Christ, and walks well for a season, receiving the fulness of the blessings of the gospel in this world, and afterwards turns wholly unto sin, violating his covenants, he will be among those whom the gospel can never reach in the spirit world; and all such go beyond its saving power, they will taste the second death, and be banished from the presence of God eternally (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 93).

A warning for those tempted to futilely speculate on those who to “outer darkness” as discussed in this section is found in the following:

And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;

Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof… (D&C 76:45 - 46).

5 - - We Should Prepare Now for Judgment

In Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee there is a terrific resource for this section, “How do we prepare to meet the Lord?” (pp. 228-230). Here is an excerpt:

The Lord has granted us a few more days or a few more weeks or a few more years as the time goes—it matters not how long—for in the accounting of the Almighty, every day of preparation is precious. One prophet has put it, “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, … the devil … doth seal you his.” (Alma 34:32, 35.)

We need to remember that it doesn’t make so much difference whether we die early in life or in middle age, the all-important thing is not when we die, but how prepared are we when we do die. This is a day of preparation for men to prepare to meet their God. How great and merciful He was in allowing us a period of probation during which time man should be perfecting himself.

Today is the day for us to begin to search our souls. Have you discovered which is the most important of all the commandments to you today? … Are you going to begin working on it today? Or are you going to wait until it is too late? The little boy says, “Well, when I get to be a big boy, then I’m going to do so and so.” And what is that? When he gets to be a big boy, … then he says, “When I get married, then I’ll do so and so.” And then after he gets married, it all changes, and “Well, when I retire.” And then after he is retired, a cold wind sweeps down over him and suddenly he realizes too late that he has lost everything. And it is too late. And yet all his life he has had all the time that there was. He just hasn’t taken advantage of it. Now, today, this is the day for us to begin to do something about it, before it is too late (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 228-9).

This next portion is a repeat of this blog, chapter 7. Even if this was taught way back then (over a year ago by now) we think it will be helpful here to better understand the title of this section.

Here is a discussion about what President McKay calls “The Dual Nature of Man” in Chapter 2 of Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay. Concerning this, Joseph Smith declared:

All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies. God reveals them to us in view of no eternal dissolution of the body, or tabernacle (History of The Church, 6: 312 - 313).

So the Holy Ghost speaks to our spirits, not our bodies.

Brigham Young then stated:

You are aware that many think that the devil has rule and power over both body and spirit. Now, I want to tell you that he does not hold any power over man, only so far as the body overcomes the spirit that is in a man, through yielding to the spirit of evil. The spirit that the Lord puts into a tabernacle of flesh is under the dictation of the Lord Almighty; but the spirit and body are united in order that the spirit may have a tabernacle, and be exalted; and the spirit is influenced by the body, and the body by the spirit.

In the first place the spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth. If the spirit yields to the body, the devil then has power to overcome both the body and spirit of that man, and he loses both.

Recollect, brethren and sisters, every one of you, that when evil is suggested to you, when it arises in your hearts, it is through the temporal organization. When you are tempted, buffeted, and step out of the way inadvertently: when you are overtaken in a fault, or commit an overt act unthinkingly; when you are full of evil passion, and wish to yield to it, then stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take the lead. If you do that, I will promise that you will overcome all evil, and obtain eternal lives. But many, very many, let the spirit yield to the body, and are overcome and destroyed.

The influence of the enemy has power over all such. Those who overcome every passion, and every evil, will be sanctified, and be prepared to enjoy eternity with the blessed. If you have never thought of this before, try to realize it now. Let it rest upon your minds, and see if you can discover in yourselves the operations of the spirit and the body, which constitute the man. Continually and righteously watch the spirit that the Lord has put in you, and I will promise you to be led into righteousness, holiness, peace, and good order.

But let the body rise up with its passions, with the fallen nature pertaining to it, and let the spirit yield to it, your destruction is sure. On the other hand, let the spirit take the lead, and bring the body and its passions into subjection, and you are safe (Journal of Discourses, 2: 256).

David O. McKay also taught in Conference:

Man has a dual nature—one, related to the earthly or animal life—the other the spiritual life, akin to the divine. Man's body is but the tabernacle in which his spirit dwells. Too many, far too many, are prone to regard the body as the man and consequently, to direct their efforts to the gratifying of the body's pleasures, its appetites, its desires, its passions. Too few recognize that the real man is an immortal spirit which "intelligence or light of truth" was animated as an individual entity, with all its distinguishing traits, will continue after the body ceases to respond to its earthly environment.

Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions, and slipping further and further into the realm of indulgence or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day—nay, every hour of his life (Conference Report, April 1967).

The following chart illustrates what Elder William R. Bradford taught my brother Byron when he served as my brother’s Mission President (you can complete the circles when you draw the diagram on the board):

God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ have spoken to prophets, but rarely talk face-to-face with mortal man. Fallen man generally communes with the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost (see D&C 130:22-23, Moroni 10:17, D&C 50:13-14). Satan also tempts man (see Moses 5:13, 2 Nephi 28:21, and Alma 30:53). Since both are spirits, they speak “by the spirit” (one a good spirit, one an evil one) to man. There is a gate, which shuts one or the other out. The handle is on our side. If we shut the Holy Ghost out, then we automatically open the door to Satan’s temptations. If we shut Satan out, then the Holy Ghost can commune with us. There is something that President Bradford did not show in his diagram that my brother and I think should be added. We think that for fallen man, there is a spring on the gate, making it harder to shut Satan out than to keep it open to the Holy Ghost. However, shutting Satan out and listening to the Holy Ghost is crucial to progressing and becoming like God.

In short and simple terms, it seems that if the spirit learns to listen to and then follow the spirit of the Holy Ghost to conquer the body’s affinity for carnal, sensual and devilish desires, along with the desires due to hormones, appetites and passions all of which accompany the natural man born into mortality, thru association with the Holy Ghost and that person truly “receives” the Gift of the Holy Ghost and becomes celestial.

However, if this battle is half won and half lost, and a person never “receives” the Holy Ghost, that person becomes terrestrial. If the battle is mostly lost and the body and the spirit becomes carnal, sensual and devilish, remaining a “natural man” and rejecting both the light of Christ and any influence of the Holy Ghost, that person becomes telestial.

This battle is waged with every significant decision we make in life. President Henry B. Eyring explained:

When we reject the counsel that comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence. We reject the protection of a perfectly loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Father in Heaven, whose whole purpose, as that of His Beloved Son, is to give us eternal life, to give us all that He has, and to bring us home again in families to the arms of His love. In rejecting His counsel, we choose the influence of another power, whose purpose is to make us miserable and whose motive is hatred. We have moral agency as a gift of God. Rather than the right to choose to be free of influence, it is the inalienable right to submit ourselves to whichever of those powers we choose. (Ensign, Jun 2008, 4)

Thus one way we can “prepare now for judgment” is keep our covenants with good decisions. Covenants are made in the name of Jesus Christ. President Lee stated the sorrow we will feel if we break our covenants but also the joy we will have by keeping our covenants:

When we pass through the portals of death … He’s going to say to us, “Now you took upon yourselves my name. What have you done with my name? Have you ever brought disgrace to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a member of my church?” Imagine a frown, imagine He shakes His head and turns and walks away. … But imagine when we meet Him that a smile lights up His face. He puts out His beckoning arms to us, and says to us, “My son, my daughter, you’ve been faithful on earth. You’ve kept the faith. You’ve finished your work. There’s now a crown prepared for such as you in my kingdom.” [See 2 Timothy 4:7–8.] I can’t think of any ecstasy in all the world that will transcend that kind of a reception into the presence of the Almighty, in that world to come (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 228).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chpater 45: The Millennium

Material for this lesson can be found in two chapters of the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:... (the old Priesthood/Relief Society manuals), in Joseph Smith Chapter 21, in Brigham Young Chapter 45, in John Taylor Chapter 24 and in Wilford Woodruff Chapter 24.

The above can be found by going to the new “” then click on “Go to Classic” (lower left corner), then click on “Gospel Library” then “Lessons” then “Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society.” The manuals are all found at the bottom of this page.

As with the last lesson Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual Chapter 37 is a wonderful resource for this lesson. It is available online at “” then click on “Course Catalog” on the top bar.

The last lesson was on the Second Coming. The Second Coming, of course, is the beginning of the Millennium. Here is how the prophet Joseph learned more of the two:

Two days later, on December 27, the Prophet received another revelation that contained much information about the Second Coming. On that day, a conference of high priests had gathered in the Prophet’s “translating room,” the room in the Whitney store where Joseph did much of his work on the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. The minutes of the conference record: “Brother Joseph arose and said, to receive revelation and the blessings of heaven it was necessary to have our minds on God and exercise faith and become of one heart and of one mind. Therefore he recommended all present to pray separately and vocally to the Lord for [Him] to reveal His will unto us concerning the upbuilding of Zion and for the benefit of the Saints.”

Each high priest “bowed down before the Lord” and then spoke of his feelings and determination to keep the commandments of God. Shortly thereafter, the Prophet began to receive the revelation from God that would later become section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This revelation contains some of the scriptures’ most detailed prophecies about the coming of the Lord and the establishment of a thousand-year period of peace (see D&C 88:86–116) (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 250).

1 - - People on the Earth during the Millennium

Perhaps it will be helpful to list the reasons for the Millennium being “A thousand years of peace, love and joy…on the earth” (p. 263) as stated in this section. Here are at least three reasons:

# 1- - Christ will reign (see the rest of this section).

Concerning this, Joseph Smith taught:

When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he learned that America is the land of Zion which was given to Joseph and his children and that on this land the City Zion, or New Jerusalem, is to be built. He also learned that Jerusalem in Palestine is to be rebuilt and become a holy city. [ 3 Nephi 20:22 ; 21:20–29 ; Ether 13:1–12 .] These two cities, one in the land of Zion and one in Palestine, are to become capitals for the kingdom of God during the millennium (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 104).

John Taylor added:

The kingdom of God means the government of God. That means, power, authority, rule, dominion, and a people to rule over. But that principle will not be fulfilled, cannot be entirely fulfilled, until, as we are told in the scriptures, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he will rule over them [see Revelation 11:15], and when unto him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Christ [see D&C 88:104], to the glory of God, the Father. …the introduction of that kingdom, and the introduction of that kingdom could only be made by that Being who is the King and Ruler, and the Head of that government, first communicating his ideas, his principles, his laws, his government to the people. Otherwise we should not know what his laws were (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 222).

# 2 - - Satan will not be on the earth (see 3 (A) in this blog).

# 3 - - There will be no telestial people on the earth. Joseph Fielding Smith stated:

When the reign of Jesus Christ comes during the millennium, only those who have lived the telestial law will be removed. The earth will be cleansed of all its corruption and wickedness (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 104).

It may be instructional to list items in the evening news on TV or the newspaper or online that will disappear from our world as a result of telestial people being removed from society.

In this section we read, “People will still have their agency, and for a time many will be free to continue with their religions and ideas” (p. 263). Concerning this, Brigham Young taught:

In the millennium men will have the privilege of being Presbyterians, Methodists or Infidels, but they will not have the privilege of treating the name and character of Deity as they have done heretofore (We Believe, 563).

Joseph Fielding Smith also added:

Some members of the Church have an erroneous idea that when the millennium comes all of the people are going to be swept off the earth except righteous members of the Church. That is not so. There will be millions of people, Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, Mohammedans, people of all classes, and of all beliefs, still permitted to remain upon the face of the earth, but they will be those who have lived clean lives, those who have been free from wickedness and corruption. All who belong, by virtue of their good lives, to the terrestrial order, as well as those who have kept the celestial laws, will remain upon the face of the earth during the millennium (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

Here is what Joseph Fielding Smith declared about who would stay and who would not:

Those who have lived virtuous lives, who have been honest in their dealings with their fellow man and have endeavored to do good to the best of their understanding, shall remain (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 104).

So an important question to ask ourselves is, “Am I going to be around for the entire Millennium? Have I calendared my plans for the Millennium?”

There are two possibilities for each of us enjoying the entire Millennium. One is be alive at the Second Coming and the other is to die before that glorious event.

For the first possibility, the above quotes indicate that we need to avoid being telestial to enjoy the entire Millennium. Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated:

The wicked, meaning those who live a telestial law, shall either be destroyed before the Second Coming or be burned at that time. None will remain who do not live at least a terrestrial law (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:587).

For the second possibility, we will need to be celestial when we die to be here for the entire Millennium. From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism we read:

LDS doctrine teaches that every human being will be resurrected. Many were resurrected soon after Jesus’ resurrection; the remaining righteous will be resurrected at the second coming of Christ… (p. 398).

The Lord promised this:

Yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, when the Lord shall come, and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die after, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city (D&C 63:49).

During a funeral address, Joseph Smith discussed the opportunity of Saints to be raised in the morning of the first resurrection (at the beginning of the Millennium):

…there will be none but Saints…where the Son of Man will make His appearance, and where they may hear the sound of the trump that shall call them forth to behold Him, that in the morn of the resurrection they may come forth in a body, and come up out of their graves and strike hands immediately in eternal glory and felicity…

Would you think it strange if I relate what I have seen in vision in relation to this interesting theme? Those who have died in Jesus Christ may expect to enter into all that fruition of joy when they come forth, which they possessed or anticipated here. So plain was the vision, that I actually saw men, before they had ascended from the tomb, as though they were getting up slowly. They took each other by the hand and said to each other, "My father, my son, my mother, my daughter, my brother, my sister." And when the voice calls for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the side of my father, what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father, my mother, my brother, my sister; and when they are by my side, I embrace them and they me. . . . All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful… The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils of life (History of the Church, 5:361-2

So, if we are righteous and are going to the Celestial Kingdom, we will enjoy the entire Millennium. We should joyously anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus Christ whether alive or dead. We love the way President Hinckley summarized:

Let us rather live each day so that if the Lord does come while we are yet upon the earth we shall be worthy of that change which will occur as in the twinkling of an eye and under which we shall be changed from mortal to immortal beings. And if we should die before he comes, then—if our lives have conformed to his teachings—we shall arise in that resurrection morning and be partakers of the marvelous experiences designed for those who shall live and work with the Savior in that promised Millennium (BYU Speeches of the Year, 1979, 4).

For more on whether or not we will be Celestial, see the next Chapter in this manual.

2 - - The Work of the Church during the Millennium

In this section it is stated:

There will be two great works for members of the Church during the Millennium: temple work and missionary work. Temple work involves the ordinances that are necessary for exaltation. These include baptism, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the temple ordinances—the endowment, temple marriage, and the sealing together of family units (p. 265).

So work # 1 is temple work. Concerning this great work, Brigham Young taught:

In the Millennium, when the Kingdom of God is established on the earth in power, glory and perfection, and the reign of wickedness that has so long prevailed is subdued, the Saints of God will have the privilege of building their temples, and of entering into them, becoming, as it were, pillars in the temples of God [see Revelation 3:12], and they will officiate for their dead. Then we will see our friends come up, and perhaps some that we have been acquainted with here. . . . And we will have revelations to know our forefathers clear back to Father Adam and Mother Eve, and we will enter into the temples of God and officiate for them. Then [children] will be sealed to [parents] until the chain is made perfect back to Adam, so that there will be a perfect chain of Priesthood from Adam to
the winding-up scene.

This will be the work of the Latter-day Saints in the Millennium (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 333-4).

In case it was not used in the last lesson (Chapter 44), the quote from Brigham Young found under “3 He will usher in the Millennium” (p. 259) also fits very well here.

President Taylor added:

While showing the Salt Lake Temple construction site to a visitor from another country, President Taylor prophesied of the great increase in the number of temples in the world: “We expect to build hundreds of them yet, and to administer in them in carrying out the work of God” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 184).

Isn’t it interesting how much closer we are to fulfilling President Taylor’s prophesy.

Brigham Young went further:

To accomplish this work there will have to be not only one temple but thousands of them, and thousands and tens of thousands of men and women will go into those temples and officiate for people who have lived as far back as the Lord shall reveal (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 310).

President Woodruff added:

When the Savior comes, a thousand years will be devoted to this work of redemption; and Temples will appear all over this land of Joseph,—North and South America—and also in Europe and elsewhere; and all the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth who received not the gospel in the flesh, must be officiated for in the Temples of God before the Savior can present the kingdom to the Father, saying, “It is finished.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 188-9).

In this section we read about extra help we will have doing temple work in the Millennium:

Resurrected beings will help us correct the mistakes we have made in doing research concerning our dead ancestors. They will also help us find the information we need to complete our records (p. 265). President Joseph F. Smith discussed another means by which temple work will progress:

…it is revealed that the great work of the Millennium shall be the work in the temples for the redemption of the dead; and then we hope to enjoy the benefits of revelation through the Urim and Thummim, or by such means as the Lord may reveal concerning those for whom the work shall be done, so that we may not work by chance, or by faith alone, without knowledge, but with the actual knowledge revealed unto us (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

And work # 2 is missionary work. President Joseph F. Smith stated:

The Prophet Joseph Smith has said that this [missionary work] is one of the most important duties that devolves upon the Latter-day Saints. And why? Because this is the dispensation of the fulness of times, which will usher in the millennial reign, and in which all things spoken by the mouths of holy prophets, since the world began, must be fulfilled, and all things united, both which are in heaven and in the earth (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 410-11).

His son, Joseph Fielding Smith declared:

Eventually, however, the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters do the sea. But there will be need for the preaching of the gospel, after the millennium is brought in, until all men are either converted or pass away (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 105).

This statement could also fit with section 3 (E) “All things restored” in this lesson.

3 - - Conditions during the Millennium

In addition to the quote from Joseph Smith in answer to the question in this section, “In what ways will life during the Millennium be different from life on the earth now? (p. 265), Joseph Fielding Smith explained:

The great change which shall come when Christ our Savior begins his Millennial reign, is to be a restoration to the conditions which prevailed before the fall of man. The tenth article of faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches us that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed, or restored, and receive its paradisiacal glory when that day comes.

This new heaven and earth which will come into existence when our Lord comes to reign, is this same earth with its heavens renewed or restored to its primitive condition and beauty. Everything is to be brought back as nearly as it is possible to its position as it was in the beginning. The mountains, we are informed, are to be thrown down, the valleys are to be exalted, and “the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided” (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 104).

Brigham Young also taught concerning “conditions during the Millennium”:

The Millennium consists in this—every heart in the Church and Kingdom of God being united in one; the Kingdom increasing to the overcoming of everything opposed to the economy of heaven, and Satan being bound, and having a seal set upon him. All things else will be as they are now, we shall eat, drink, and wear clothing (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 333).

This statement by Brigham Young, partially quoted in section 3(F) “Other Millennial Activities” also introduces the next sub-section.

3(A) - - Satan Bound

Concerning this subject, Joseph Smith said:

“He whose right it is, will possess the kingdom, and reign until He has put all things under His feet” [see Ezekiel 21:27; 1 Corinthians 15:27]; iniquity will hide its hoary head, Satan will be bound, and the works of darkness destroyed; righteousness will be put to the line, and judgment to the plummet, and “he that fears the Lord will alone be exalted in that day” [See Isaiah 2:11; 28:17.] (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 258).

Brigham Young added:

By and by the world will be overturned according to the words of the prophet, and we will see the reign of righteousness enter in, and sin and iniquity will have to walk off. But the power and principles of evil, if they can be called principles, will never yield one particle to the righteous march of the Savior, only as they are beaten back inch by inch, and we have got to take the ground by force. Yes, by the mental force of faith, and by good works, the march forth of the Gospel will increase, spread, grow and prosper, until the nations of the earth will feel that Jesus has the right to rule King of nations as he does King of Saints.

Do you know that it is the eleventh hour of the reign of Satan on the earth? Jesus is coming to reign, and all you who fear and tremble because of your enemies, cease to fear them, and learn to fear to offend God, fear to transgress his laws, fear to do any evil to your brother, or to any being upon the earth, and do not fear Satan and his power, nor those who have only power to slay the body, for God will preserve his people (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 332-3).

John Taylor also taught:

Satan will not then be permitted to control its [the Kingdom of God] inhabitants, for the Lord God will be king over all the earth, and the kingdom and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven will be given to the saints (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 225).

In hopes that some of the details of this doctrine may be helpful here, we are repeating a excerpt from Chapter 3 of this blog:

In D&C 52:14 is found a powerful principle in the battle between God and Satan, as well as many other truths:

And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations—

One of the very important patterns to recognize is that of the battle between God and Satan:

 Satan allowed in Garden
 Satan cast out of Garden
 Satan allowed on earth
 Satan cast out on earth
 Satan bound during the Millennium
 Satan loosed for a little season
 Satan’s power destroyed at end of Millennium (D&C 88:114)

In reality, there were two things Joseph Smith learned before God revealed the doctrine of the nature of God in the First Vision. First Joseph learned about the power of Satan (Joseph Smith-History 1:15-16). Second Joseph learned that God had power over Satan (verses 16-17). Moses learned the same two lessons in reverse order (Moses 1:1-21).

We also have power over Satan, as Joseph Smith taught:

All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 181)

As Joseph herein implied, we also need God’s power to overcome Satan (as did Moses, see Moses 1:16-21). God even controls the ability Satan has to tempt us (1 Corinthians 10:13).

An important part of this scripture, often overlooked is “God…will with the temptation also make a way to escape…” (verse 13). If we remember that Jesus Christ said, “…I am the way…” (John 14:6) it becomes clear that we indeed can overcome any temptation with “the way” provided by Our Father in Heaven, even Jesus Christ. Again affirmation of this important principle, Jesus Christ is more powerful than Satan or his temptations.

It is significant that in the accounts in Genesis and Moses where God casts Satan out of the Garden, God tells the serpent (mouthpiece for Satan) that [Christ] will “bruise thy [Satan’s] head.” However, footnote “c” to “bruise” in Genesis 3:15 gives the Hebrew translation as “crush.” In the temple, we learn that “crush” is the right word. This is clarified in D&C 19:3 where Jesus Christ proclaims:

“I AM Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; Retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world…”

Now let’s combine these two principles to see how the battle between God and Satan will play out during the beginning of the Millennium. Nephi declared:

And because of the righteousness of his [Holy One of Israel’s] people, Satan has no power… (1 Nephi 22:26).

Elder George Q. Cannon explained:

Satan only gains power over man through man’s exercise of his own agency; and when Satan shall be bound, as the Lord says he will be for a thousand years, one of the great powers that will help bring this to pass will be man’s agency (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 101)

John the Revelator also prophesied about this event:

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him… (Revelation 20:2-3)

Remember in an earlier quote in this blog, Brigham Young stated:

Satan being bound, and having a seal set upon him (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 333).

Elder George Q. Cannon discussed how Satan will be bound by a combination of these two:

Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 101).

The final chapter in this battle is described in Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

Toward the end of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed (D&C 88:110-15) because people will again hearken to him. But he will be vanquished and sent from this earth to outer darkness, where he and his followers, both spirits and resurrected sons of perdition…will dwell in the misery and darkness of selfishness and isolation forever. (p. 381)

It is most interesting that the Hebrew meaning of Satan is “to oppose,” since one of the principles of why a Satan is necessary is “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:21). Another principle we need to apply in life is found in this quote by Brigham Young:

I ask, is there a reason for men and women being exposed more constantly and more powerfully, to the power of the enemy, by having visions than by not having them? There is and it is simply this--God never bestows upon His people, or upon an individual, superior blessings without a severe trial to prove them, to prove that individual, or that people to see whether they will keep their covenants with him, and keep in remembrance what He has shown them. Then the greater the vision, the greater the display of the power of the enemy. (Journal of Discourses, 3:205)

Let us all pray to stay on the Lord’s side in this battle.

President Hinckley wonderfully discussed what it will be like when Satan is bound:

Can you imagine the wonder and the beauty of that era when the adversary shall not have influence? Think of his pull upon you now and reflect on the peace of that time when you will be free from such influence. There will be quiet and goodness where now there is contention and evil (BYU Speeches of the Year, 1979, 4).

3(B) - - Peace on Earth

Joseph Smith discussed the condition of “peace on earth” during the Millennium:

The designs of God … have been … to establish peace and good will among men; to promote the principles of eternal truth; to bring about a state of things that shall unite man to his fellow man; cause the world to “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” [Isaiah 2:4], make the nations of the earth dwell in peace, and to bring about the millennial glory, when “the earth shall yield its increase, resume its [paradisiacal] glory, and become as the garden of the Lord” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 256-7).

David O. McKay also explained:

We may take courage in what I believe is a fact, that in the hearts of more millions of honest men and women than ever before war is abhorrent. War has lost its false glamour and boasted glory. Such an attitude at least keeps alive our hope for the dawning of that day when men ". . . shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:4) (Conference Report, October 1961, p. 5).

The above quote was found from that great resource, “” where every scripture (in this case, Isaiah 2:4) can be accessed to find any time it was used in a conference talk.

Joseph Smith elaborated concerning an interesting lesson he taught those on Zion’s Camp to help prepare them for the Millennium:

In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, "Let them alone -- don't hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety." The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger (History of the Church, 2:72).

Indeed, Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

It shall be in that day that the lion shall lie down with the lamb and eat straw as the ox, and all fear, hatred, and enmity shall depart from the earth because all things having hate in their hearts shall pass away; and there shall come a change, a change over men, a change over the of the field, and upon all things living upon the face of the earth.
According to this word I have read there shall be harmony, and love, and peace, and righteousness (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 104).

President Monson gave terrific counsel as to how we can prepare for this time of peace:

To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible

…we are all susceptible to those feelings which, if left unchecked, can lead to anger. We experience displeasure or irritation or antagonism, and if we so choose, we lose our temper and become angry with others. Ironically, those others are often members of our own families—the people we really love the most (Ensign, Nov. 2009, 62).

Brigham Young also elaborated on this subject:

Let the people be holy, and the earth under their feet will be holy. Let the people be holy, and filled with the Spirit of God, and every animal and creeping thing will be filled with peace; the soil of the earth will bring forth in its strength, and the fruits thereof will be meat for man. The more purity that exists, the less is the strife; the more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase, and the savage nature of the brute creation vanish away (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 333).

We like this summary for this section by John Taylor:

What will be the effects of the establishment of Christ’s kingdom, or the reign of God on the earth? … It is the doing away with war, bloodshed, misery, disease, and sin, and the ushering in of a kingdom of peace, righteousness, justice, happiness, and prosperity. It is the restoration of the earth and man to their primeval glory and pristine excellence; in fact, the restitution of all things spoken of by all the prophets since the world began [see Acts 3:21] (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 226).

3(C) - - Righteous Government

In the third paragraph of the first section of this lesson, there is a quote referred to from Joseph Smith (p. 263). Here is the quote::

While in conversation at Judge Adams’ during the evening, I said, Christ and the resurrected Saints will reign over the earth during the thousand years. They will not probably dwell upon the earth, but will visit it when they please, or when it is necessary to govern it (Old Testament Institute Student Manual, 33-48)

John Taylor explained how this “reign” by Jesus Christ will begin with the establishment of a prophet:

What is the first thing necessary for the establishment of his kingdom? It is to raise up a prophet and have him declare the will of God; the next thing is to have a people yield obedience to the hand of the Lord through that prophet. If you cannot have these, you never can establish the kingdom of God upon the earth (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 222-3).

John Taylor discussed how the priesthood will be important to this process:

God was desirous of introducing his kingdom upon the earth, and he had, in the first place, to organize his church, to organize the people that he had scattered among the nations and to bring them together, that there might be one fold and one shepherd [see John 10:16], and one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, and one God, who should be in all and through all [see Ephesians 4:5–6], and by which all should be governed. To facilitate this object, he organized his holy priesthood as it existed in the heavens (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 223).

President Kimball quoted Brigham Young concerning a priesthood ordinance that will be restored in the Millennium:

President Brigham Young, the second president of this dispensation, said: “It is supposed by this people that we have all the ordinances in our possession for life and salvation, and exaltation, and that we are administering in those ordinances. This is not the case. We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would like to ask what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of resurrection.” (Journal of Discourses, 15:137.) (Ensign, May 1977, 49).

Elder Charles W. Penrose, of the Quorum of the Twelve stated, Every man who overcomes all things and is thereby to all things, receives power to bring up his wife to join him in the possession and enjoyment thereof.” (Charles W. Penrose, Contributor, Vol. 2, No. 11, August, 1881, 339)

President Spencer W. Kimball declared:

We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection. They will be given to those who have passed off this state of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will. They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints, just as we receive the ordinance of baptism, then the keys of authority to baptize others for the remission of their sins. This is one of the ordinances we can not receive here, and there are many more....

If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is—Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them when they shall have been officiated for, and bring them up.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 15:137-139). (Ensign, May 1977, 49)

That resurrection is an ordinance is born out in the following scripture:

Herein is glory and honor, and immortality and eternal life—The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other; to be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead (D&C 128:12).

In context of the above, it appears that “this ordinance” refers to resurrection.

President Woodruff also elaborated on another step in this process:

…brethren and sisters, are we prepared in our hearts? Do we realize these things? As a people do we realize our responsibilities before the Lord? The Lord has raised up a kingdom of priests here in the last days to establish his church and kingdom, and to prepare the way for the second coming of the Son of Man.

The word of the Lord to me is that it is time for Zion to rise and let her light shine; and the testimony of the Spirit of God to me is that this whole kingdom, this great kingdom of priests . . . who have borne the priesthood, have thoroughly fulfilled one part of the parable of the ten virgins. What is that? Why, that while the Bridegroom has tarried we have all slumbered and slept; as a church and kingdom we have slumbered and slept, and the word of the Lord to me is that we have slept long enough; and we have the privilege now of rising and trimming our lamps and putting oil in our vessels. This is the word of the Lord to me (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 254, 256).

John Taylor added:

“Thy kingdom come.” [Matthew 6:10.] … This was taught by Jesus to his disciples when they came to him, saying, teach us to pray. … Thy kingdom come. What kingdom? What is the meaning of “thy kingdom come”? It means the rule of God. It means the law of God. It means the government of God. It means the people who have listened to and who are willing to listen to and observe the commands of Jehovah. And it means that there is a God who is willing to guide and direct and sustain his people. Thy kingdom come, that thy government may be established, and the principles of eternal truth as they exist in the heavens may be imparted to men; and that, when they are imparted to men, those men may be in subjection to those laws and to that government, and live in the fear of God, keeping his commandments and being under his direction. Thy kingdom come, that the confusion, the evil, and wickedness, the murder and bloodshed that now exist among mankind may be done away, and the principles of truth and right, the principles of kindness, charity, and love as they dwell in the bosom of the Gods, may dwell with us (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 223-4).

In the scriptures are some powerful promises concerning kings and priests:

Christ chooses some as kings and priests unto God—Christ shall come again—John sees the Risen Lord.(Revelation 1:Heading).

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5 - 6).

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10).

And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean;

That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will (D&C 88:74 - 75).

As we ponder the above promises and connect them with sacred ordinances performed in the initiatory ordinances of the temples, one possibility is that these blessings may be fulfilled during the Millennium, according to the above statements made by prophets.

Joseph Smith explained how this may happen:

That Jesus will be a resident on the earth a thousand [years] with the Saints is not the case, but will reign over the Saints and come down and instruct, as he did the five hundred brethren [see 1 Corinthians 15:6], and those of the first resurrection will also reign with him over the Saints (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 258).

John Taylor further taught:

I have demonstrated … that the kingdom of God would be literally established on the earth. It will not be an aerial phantom, according to some visionaries, but a substantial reality. It will be established, as before said, on a literal earth, and will be composed of literal men, women, and children; of living saints who keep the commandments of God, and of resurrected bodies who shall actually come out of their graves, and live on the earth (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 225).

Following the above, the next statement in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor is that quoted in the manual in this section (p. 266).

President Woodruff gives sobering council concerning all of the above:

The Lord has a great work ahead and he is preparing a people to do it before his coming. Now the question arises here, brethren and sisters, are we prepared in our hearts? Do we realize these things? As a people do we realize our responsibilities before the Lord? The Lord has raised up a kingdom of priests here in the last days to establish his church and kingdom, and to prepare the way for the second coming of the Son of Man.
I think, many times, that we, as elders of Israel and as Latter-day Saints, come far short of realizing our position before the Lord (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 253-4, 255).

3(D) - - No Death

In this section we learn about a very different death instituted during the Millennium. In conference, Elder LeGrand Richards, an apostle, quoted D&C 101:29-31 and then summarized the status of people and death during the Millennium:

So he is to live to the age of a tree, and then he is to be changed in the twinkling of an eye (Ensign, Nov 1974, 52).

Joseph Fielding Smith further explained:

This does not mean that those who are living in mortality at that time [at the beginning of the Millennium] will be changed and pass through the resurrection, for mortals must remain on the earth until after the thousand years are ended. A change, nevertheless, will come over all who remain on the earth; they will be quickened so that they will not be subject unto death until they are old. Men shall die when they are one hundred years of age, and the change shall be made suddenly to the immortal state. Graves will not be made during this thousand years… (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 104)

3(E) - - All Things Revealed

Orson Pratt describes how wonderful it will be to have “all things revealed”:

What a happy earth this creation will be, when this purifying process shall come, and the earth be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the great deep! What a change! Travel, then, from one end of the earth to another, you can find no wicked man, no drunken man, no man to blaspheme the name of the Great Creator, no one to lay hold on his neighbor’s goods, and steal them, no one to commit whoredoms (Doctrines of the Gospel Institute Manual, 103).

Two more great scriptures to reinforce the information in addition to D&C 101:32-34, quoted in this section, are:

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now;

Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;

A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.

All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And also, if there be bounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars—

All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times— (D&C 121:26 - 31).

3(F) - - Other Millennial Activities

Using the resource already cited, “” the following statement from Elder LeGrand Richards in a conference talk was found concerning Isaiah 65:21 quoted in this section:

…we remember when Isaiah saw the new heaven and the new earth, when the lamb and the wolf should feed together, and “the lion shall eat straw like the bullock. …” ( Isa. 65:25.) He saw that men “shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: … and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands … for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.” ( Isa. 65:21–23.) How could you make it any more plain than that, that they and their offspring with them would inhabit the houses that they would build? (Conference Report, April 1969, pp. 87).

In a later conference talk, Elder Richards added:

So I thank God for the thousand years of the millennial reign. My, what a lot of work needs to be done during that period! I can’t take time to tell you much about that, but I think of the words of Isaiah. He had a glimpse of it. He saw the day when we would have a new heaven and a new earth, when the wolf and the lion would lie down together, and the lion would eat straw like the ox. His people should build houses and inhabit them, and should plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof. They should not build and another inhabit. They should not plant and another eat, for every man would enjoy the work of his own hands. (See Isa. 65:17–25 and Isa. 11:6–9.) Then he adds: “For they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.” ( Isa. 65:23.) That sounds like a continuation of the family, doesn’t it? (Ensign, Nov 1974, 52).

One Final Struggle after the Millennium

In this section we learn that at the end of the Millennium, “Some people will turn away from Heavenly Father” (p. 267). For those who don’t understand how this could happen, it may be important to review that even though “they shall all know me…” (Jeremiah 31:34) (p. 265) through missionary work, just like today, in the Millennium “people will have their agency…” (p. 263) and some will choose to turn against the Savior, perhaps directly related to previous sentence from which we started in this section, “…Satan will be set free…” (p. 267).

However, this is when will come the destruction of the power of Satan forever:

And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all (D&C 88:114).