GOSPEL TOPICS 4

The Purpose of Demons

                                                         

Each person who arrives in mortality has assigned to them a regular number of five evil spirits or demons. Mortals may acquire many more than this original number as they become increasingly useful to Satan through disobedience to eternal laws.

However, five evil spirits seem to be standard procedure. Each have an assignment relative to the existing or potential weaknesses of their assigned subjects.

There are also other demons that roam the earth looking to cause mischief and may be assigned to show up at particular times in a person’s history for which Satan has some particular anticipation relative to his knowledge of us from the pre-mortal existence. These special assignment demonic spirits are more cunning and powerful. They are the sort that may be involved in human possession.

A person who is honest and doing his/her best to live the commandments will not attract additional evil spirits but may be invisibly challenged by them at one or more critical junctures in life.

The purpose of demons and the reason that the Lord allows them to be assigned to us has to do with the principle of “opposition in all things” (2 Ne. 2:10-11). They take an active part in seeing that each mortal is tempted and tried. When we give into temptation, they gain power over us, and in the process our spirits become weak and unclean.

The purpose of demons as far as Satan is concerned, is to drag us down to misery and woe, to addiction and negative passions, to self-destruction and to be a source of harm to others. Their purpose as far as the Lord is concerned is to bring our weaknesses to our attention so that we will take our weaknesses to the Lord for assistance in getting rid of them (the weaknesses). By so doing consistently we also rid ourselves of the demons assigned to us. The Lord says:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my  grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them (Ether 12:27).

It is the power of the Atonement that subdues our weaknesses and turns them into strengths. And it is the repentant broken heart and contrite spirit that taps into the power of the Atonement. When this happens the work of one or more demons is thwarted and they lose power over us. As we conquer each weakness that the forces of opposition articulate in us, they lose their hold entirely and must leave us. However, until they are banished by our righteousness they still have a right to be there and do their job. Our sins are the “hook” that allows them to be with us.

There are people who go around teaching other people how to get rid of evil spirits. This generally provides the demons with some amusement and has just the opposite effect—it attracts them. As a rule the only way to get rid of demons is to get rid of the “hook” that allows or facilitates their presence and influence. The exercise of the Savior’s Atonement and the Melchizedek priesthood are the important and necessary factors. There are rare occasions in which the Lord may direct for an evil spirit to be cast out of a person or the sin/hook removed such that the demon related to that hook is released. There is a Process for this (e.g. SHRRP).

Though Lucifer succeeds in keeping most people out of the Celestial Kingdom, it is also Lucifer, much to his consternation, that provides the opposition that serves to perfect the sanctified who will have eternal increase, worlds without end.

One other important note about Satan. There are those who suppose that the context he provides to supply the necessary opposition for perfecting the righteous, somehow makes him a good guy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most heinous atrocities and abominations perpetrated on mankind, including children, are done under his direct supervision. This creation is the most evil of all of Heavenly Father’s creations and he is surely the main reason why. We pray for the day when he is bound.

 

      And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S

      (Obad. 1:21).

                                                             Saviors on Mount Zion

The need, benefit and blessings associated with the various aspects of genealogical research and attendant temple work are well enough understood so as to not require being detailed here. Such activities, particularly as led by the Spirit of the Lord, are a definite factor in the Savior on Mount Zion definition and equation.

What is often missed with respect to the Savior on Mount Zion concept and principle is its extent. Though genealogical activities and related temple work can be challenging, this is only one side of the coin. Intercession and bearing of burdens for both the living and the dead represent the rest of the equation. Such activities require a high personal level of Light and Truth as well as regular direction from the Lord (see also Bearing of Burdens).

When we are in a willing and sanctified spiritual state the Lord may use us in the role of Saviors on Mount Zion as He sees fit. In this role we receive periodic stewardships under the direction of His Spirit. This will include church callings but will consist of other things as the Spirit identifies and directs. This is a matter of consecration and doing the will of the Lord—which is the “meat” of the gospel (see Milk vs Meat).

This service will be unique to us according to our callings and commissions from the premortal realm and also pertains to the changing conditions of our directed spiritual mortal life path. Being a Savior on Mount Zion means not only to bear and lighten burdens but also breaking chains, particularly those of our ancestors.

Ancestral chains to be dealt with will generally begin with the negative propensities we have inherited and show up in our own conduct. However, as we work our way through these negative behaviors relying upon and applying the Atonement, we shall in time find ourselves dealing with a variety of behavioral issues that are not as much characteristic of ourselves but of others.

In order to clear negative behavior energy and habits from our ancestors we will be taking on emotional and spiritual issues that may not have affected us directly. However these chains remain in the family line/energy field affecting other siblings and/or posterity and one or more of our children. These are, therefore, worthy of our attention and our burden-carrying and chain-breaking efforts as directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Clearing negative habits and their associated energies from our ancestral and mortal family field by interceding on their behalf has immense benefits for the living and future posterity. It is by this means that we truly become proxy saviors to them (e.g. our stewardships)—in other words, Saviors on Mount Zion.

The stewardships that the Lord gives the earnest seekers and sanctified servants will include intercessory prayers and bearing burdens for family, friends and sometimes strangers. These personal Savior on Mount Zion service stewardships are generally transitory and will evolve and adjust according to the Lord’s wisdom and to our capacity and ongoing circumstances. They may include church callings but do not require them. Our covenant path of sanctification will be unique to ourselves and require regular personal revelation, The most important work that we do in this regard will likely be anonymous, without fanfare, recognition, worldly or cultural glory. The payoff is peace, power and salvation.

In the course of performing our stewardships as Saviors on Mount Zion we may also provide some of the Lord’s children with the opportunity to repent, to which they may choose not to avail themselves. In this sense we are or will become judges of those people who will include some who, like Esau, have sold their birthright for a mess of worldly pottage.

 

Scriptures Pertaining to the “Rest of the Lord”

                                            

​When we have entered into the rest of the Lord we have, through extensive repentance, entered into the glory of the Lord and may then rest from all temptation and sin—Satan has no more hold on us. This state of being is the result of calling and election. Following are some pertinent scriptural references:

3 Ne 27:19, 20: And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end… that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

Alma 13:12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with  abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

D&C 84: 23-24: Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

Hebrews 3:7-11: Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.

Hebrews 4:9-13: There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Alma 12:33-37: But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son; Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest. And whosoever will harden his heart and will do iniquity, behold, I swear in my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest. And now, my brethren, behold I say unto you, that if ye will harden your hearts ye shall not enter into the rest of the Lord; therefore your iniquity provoketh him that he sendeth down his wrath upon you as in the first provocation, yea, according to his word in the last provocation as well as the first, to the everlasting destruction of your souls; therefore, according to his word, unto the last death, as well as the first. And now, my brethren, seeing we know these things, and they are true, let us repent, and harden not our hearts, that we provoke not the Lord our God to pull down his wrath upon us in these his second commandments [refers to the gospel commandments of the Nephite dispensation] which he has given unto us; but let us enter into the  rest of God, which is prepared according to his word.

Alma 13:14-18: Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of a Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever. And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. Now these  ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. Now, there were a many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention.

It is interesting to note that the prophets link the subject of hardening of the heart, or not, as a key factor in entering into the rest of the Lord. It is those who have soft and broken hearts and contrite spirits that can receive the gifts of the redemptive power of Christ’s atonement. It is those who harden not their hearts and do not, therefore, resist the whisperings of the Spirit of the Lord for their lives. These have taken the Spirit for their guide, repented of their sins and are not deceived by the narratives of the world and the subtleties of Satan (see Alma 13:28, D&C 45:56-57).

 
The Dews of Heaven, Doctrines of the Priesthood
  1. The Premortal Realm & the Plan

    • There was a premortal existence which still exists for those who have not yet come to mortality (Abr. 3:22-26).

    • There was only one Plan and it has been used in countless creations before (Alma 42:5, D&C 138:55-56).

    • The objective of the Father’s Plan was to make His creations in His own image and to enable us to become like Him (Gen. 1:27, Moses 1:39, Mosiah 7:27).

    • The human creation consisted of only male and female (Gen. 1:27, 2:24, Mark 10:6, D&C 20:18).

    • Marriage between a man and a woman is the only ordained and approved intimate relationship between the two genders (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:4-6, Mark 10:7-9, Eph. 5:31-33).

    • Satan’s alternative plan, the nullification of human agency, was an alternative and defective plan (Moses 4:1-4, Abr. 3:27, D&C 29:36-37).

    • Satan was very intelligent but in the way of cunning. He erroneously supposed he could ascend to be like the Most High God while contradicting eternal principles of progression (Abr. 3:27, Isa. 14:13-14).

    • In terms of earth time we do not know how long we were there, but we do know that we lived with Heavenly Father and that there were opportunities to learn (Alma 13:3, Abr. 3:26).

    • We also know that the degree to which we applied ourselves to learning has benefited us here in our 2nd estate (Abr. 3:22-23).

    • The personal character we bring to earth life is based on the experiences we had in the pre-earth life and how we reacted to them, as well as certain characteristics inherited from ancestors. (See www.neuro-genix.com/appendix-b).

    • We experienced both positive and negative emotions in the premortal realm. We even participated in a war (Rev. 12:7, D&C 29:36) and shouted for joy (Job 38:7).

    • We come here as truly unique individuals. Personality traits then continue to develop through mortal experiences and ancestral morphic fields. (See www.neuro-genix.com/whitepapers-1).

    • It is also likely that those who followed Satan had squandered lesson time and lacked confidence in their ability to have a successful mortality experience (D&C 29:36).

    • When the Lamb, the Savior, the Son of God, accepted the role of the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), the righteous shouted for joy (Job 38:7, Abr. 3:27).

    • Satan and 1/3rd of the hosts of heaven, the disobedient, were cast out of heaven and upon the earth (Moses 4:3, Rev. 12:7-11).

    • Opposition was a necessary part of the Creation (see below).

  2. The Creation

    • Since the material universe already existed the creation of the earth was a process of organization (Gen. 1:1-5, Abr. 3:24).

    • The fundamental building blocks or organizing principles of creation are information and intelligence (e.g. the Word, John 1:1-5).

    • Christ is called the Word by John because He is the sources of all information, Truth and Light (John 1:1-3).

    • And it is also by the literal Word of God that all things were created. When the Lord commanded the materials obeyed. (Gen. 1:1-29).

    • Many of us also participated in the creation (Job 38:7).

    • The “day” or periods of creation were each for an indeterminate time.

    • It is also likely that the material of this earth was taken from other creations.

    • And it is possible that the earth itself has been used for previous creations.

    • Because of the above and because the earth was not always where it now is, carbon dating of materials and fossils cannot be relied upon.

    • Adam and Eve being created from the “dust” is figurative as human bodies are composed of the natural elements. However, it is the spirit that gives life to the body.

  3. The Garden

    • The planting of the garden and earth consisted of master life forms that could not or were not permitted reproduce until after the Fall (Moses 2:12,24, 2 Ne. 2:22-23).

    • In the Garden Adam was put in charge of all the life forms (Gen. 2:19).

    • The war between the sexes began subtly as soon as the Lord put Adam in charge, and becomes an extension of the war in heaven.

    • Regarding the question of why the woman listened to Satan and Adam did not, is that her decision was a “misuse of will” that resulted from her feeling of being slighted by the Lord when He put Adam in charge.

    • Eve also resents Adam’s leadership and finds it lacking. Of the two she is the more natural leader.

    • This leaves her vulnerable to a discussion with Satan as to how to get the upper hand.

    • Satan’s intention is to use the woman to destroy the Divine Order.

    • The Divine Order requires each marriage partner to accept and fulfill the role that is most difficult for them: leadership for Adam, and support of Adam for Eve.

    • Eve’s role is actually the more critical.

    • The blessings of the Divine Order will not be realized unless she chooses to empower Adam, the marriage and the family relationships by her inspired support.

  4. Opposition

    • Opposition is a critical necessity in the scheme of creation, both physical and spiritual (see 2 Ne. 2:11-14).

    • For example, without friction and gravity nothing in the physical world could be accomplished.

    • “We will prove them herewith to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abr.3:25).

    • Satan’s role of spiritual opposition is critical in the perfection of the saints.

    • Satan finds himself in the position of fulfilling the need of opposition in the Lord’s Plan “for he knew not the mind of God” (Moses 4:6, D&C 29:39).

    • His job is to find and exploit our weaknesses so that we may (ideally) be humble and repent, so that our weaknesses become our strengths (Ether 12:27, D&C 29:39).

    • Some have supposed that Satan is actually a good guy. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is the very epitome of evil and personally oversees the most abominable and heinous acts committed by mortals under his influence (Isa. 14:19-21).

    • His job is to find and exploit our weaknesses.

    • The Lord gives us weaknesses that we might be humble because He can only work with (e.g. perfect) the humble.

    • By accentuating our weaknesses Satan either drives us into the hands of the Lord or takes us down. How we handle our weaknesses determines our path.

    • Satan assigns the spirits that followed him to accentuate our weaknesses.

    • From our clinical work we understand that an average of five evil spirits are assigned to each mortal human.

    • These spirits are permitted to have influence upon us until we get rid of the particular weakness or negative behavior “hook” to which they are assigned.

    • Trying to send these spirits away, even by the priesthood, will not be effective until the weakness or sin to which they are assigned has been removed through repentance. Until then they have a right to be attached to the mortal.

    • If we indulge our weaknesses, we may acquire other or additional spirits to have influence over us.

    • The divine purpose of our weaknesses is to come unto Christ to have them removed (Ether 12:27).

    • We come unto Christ for help by virtue of the realization of our weakness or sin (Ether 12:28).

    • We come unto Christ by virtue of urgent and sincere prayer in the form of a broken heart and contrite spirit (3 Ne.12:19-20, 21:6, Ether 4:15).

    • Those who have a broken heart and contrite spirit experience godly sorrow over their sin and are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them.

    • The broken heart and contrite spirit result in a remission of sins and answer the end of the Law of Redemption (2 Ne. 2:7).

    • It is by this means that the weakness or sin is removed and replaced by a gift of the Divine Nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

    • It is by this means that we are to address and remove all our weaknesses and sins, past and present.

    • Our weaknesses and sins consist of every aspect of our character that is not Christlike or Godlike.

    • This is a step-wise or incremental process whereby our carnal or mortal character is changed over time to become like that of Christ and the Father.

    • Service is also required and will be directed by personal revelation through the Lord’s Spirit by following the above steps.

    • All the relevant ordinances of the Lord’s Restored Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are also necessary.

  5. Personal Revelation

    • “Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!” (2 Ne. 28:25).

    • “Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!” (2 Ne. 28:26)

    • “Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!” (2 Ne. 28:27).

    • There is no salvation in the Celestial Kingdom without personal revelation.

    • The fullness of salvation requires personal revelation (Brice R McConkie, Doctrines of the Restoration, p. 243-4).

    • Repentance and a broken heart and contrite spirit sets the stage and is the price for personal revelation (D&C 50:29-30. 2 Ne. 2:7).

    • Personal revelation is received from the Father because of the Son.

    • This requires complete allegiance to the Father and the Son.

    • We may follow persons, such as church leaders, only as the Spirit of the Lord bears witness and only for as long as He bears witness.

    • Following the Spirit of the Lord through personal revelation will result in personal activities that are questioned by others (JS WofJS, p.323, 12 May 1844).

    • It is by personal revelation and repentance that we come to know and experience our Heavenly Father, ultimately acquiring His attributes.

    • It is by personal revelation and the discernment it provides that we avoid deception and are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (D&C 45:56-57).

    • By obedience to its commandments and ordinances the object of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is to obtain membership in the Church of the Firstborn (D&C 76:50-60).

    • It is by personal revelation, repentance and ordinances sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise that we become members of the Church of the Firstborn and have our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (D&C 132:7-11).

    • The temple ceremony teaches us that the information we need to pass through the veil into the Celestial Kingdom is received directly from the Lord.

    • This requires a personal relationship of “fellowship” with the Lord.

  6. The Priesthood

    • The priesthood is eternal in nature and power (D&C 84:17-18, Alma 13:7-8).

    • The power to act in the name of God through the reception and exercise of priesthood keys (Bruce R McConkie, The Doctrine of the Priesthood, General Conference, Priesthood session, Apr, 1982).

    • Received through ordinance by those who hold the keys and are duly authorized by the Lord (D&C 84:17-18).

    • Priesthood keys are to be used as directed by higher authority and by the Spirit of the Lord.

    • Priesthood keys are bestowed in a probationary manner upon worthy males.

    • The day of this life is the time for priesthood holders to magnify their priesthood with acts directed by priesthood authority and the Spirit of the Lord.

    • Such acts may receive the seal of the Holy Spirit of Promise and have eternal merit (D&C 132:7-11).

    • Priesthood holders, who have proven themselves worthy through a life of repentance and service, may receive the fullness of the priesthood.

    • The fullness of the priesthood is received in conjunction with an oath sworn by the Father and a covenant of the bestowal of power manifest by His voice and witnessed by angels (see Oath & Covenant).

    • The fullness of the priesthood includes the sealing power restored by Elijah the Prophet (D&C 2:1).

    • Receiving the fullness of the priesthood requires calling and election made sure (D&C 88:1-69).

  7. Principles of Salvation

    • Apply the first principles and ordinances and repeat them throughout our life.

    • Learn how to hear and follow the Spirit of the Lord.

    • Obtain all the ordinances of the temple and do work for the dead.

    • Study the scriptures daily—hold onto the iron rod.

    • Learn the mysteries of godliness through repentance and a broken heart and contrite spirit.

    • Serve the Lord in your church callings and in all the other things the Spirit of the Lord directs in your life.

    • Do all your labors as if in the service of the Lord.

    • Receive the baptism of fire at each level of sanctification.

    • Retain a remission of sins from day-to-day.

    • Make your calling and election sure.

  8. Justification

    • All works directed or approved by the Spirit of the Lord are justified and will have eternal effect (Rom. 2:3, James 2:24, D&C 20:30, 88:39, Moses 6:60).

    • All of our works done for other objectives will have an end when the earth is renewed (Hebrews 12:27-29, D&C 132:7).

    • Our acts as directed by the Spirit of the Lord the Spirit are justified in preparation for sanctification.

  9. Sanctification

    • The changes our character requires to live with God requires sanctification.

    • We are sanctified by and through application of the Atonement, that is by the blood of Christ.

    • Sanctification only occurs through the repentant offering of a broken heart and contrite spirit.

    • Sanctification also requires that we studiously follow the instructions and directions we receive through the broken heart and contrite spirit communication with Heavenly Father.

    • This allows us to receive and apply the gifts of the divine nature of Christ required for full salvation (exaltation).

  10. The Rest of the Lord

    • The “rest of the Lord” is defined as the “fulness of His glory” (D&C 84:24).

    • Entering into the rest of the Lord or the fulness of His glory, is the object of our existence (see Moses 1:39, D&C 76:56-58).

    • The term “rest” describes a state of being in which we are no longer troubled by temptation or personal sin (Alma 13:12, 3 Ne 27:19-20).

    • Because of complacency and the philosophies of men the Saints have not entered into the “rest” of the Lord (see Isa. 30:15).

    • However, according to Alma there were, “exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” in previous dispensations (Alma 13:12).

    • In order to enter into the rest of the Lord we must first have become sanctified and receive our calling and election (see Alma 13:12).

    • “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works” (Heb. 4:10). In other words, he/she has ceased from doing his/her own will.

    • The Melchizedek priesthood is actually a type of the Order that enables entrance into the rest of the Lord (Alma 13:14-16).

    • And it was through priesthood intercession and the preaching of repentance that the inhabitants of the cities of Enoch and Melchizedek were translated and entered into the rest of the Lord (JST Gen. 14:33-34, Heb. 5:6-7, Alma 13:15).

  11. Calling & Election

    • An ordinance first defined by the Apostle Peter as a guarantee of salvation (2 Pet. 1:10).

    • Calling and election is also known as the “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Pet. 1:19) and also means to be “sealed up unto eternal life…through the power of the Holy Priesthood” (D&C 131:5).

    • Calling and election requires partaking of the “divine nature” and “escaping the corruption of the world” (2 Pet. 1:4).

    • Calling and election also requires virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity (2 Pet. 1:5-7).

    • Church leadership positions are no guarantee of this blessing. “But he that lacketh these things [see 2 Pet. 1:5-7] is blind, and cannot see afar off” (2 Pet. 1:9).

  12. Exaltation

    • Exaltation refers to the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.

    • Personal exaltation for each of His children is the purpose of God’s existence. It is “His work and His glory” (Moses 1:39).

    • It is by the exaltation of His children that God is glorified.

    • Qualifying for exaltation means ultimate personal godhood.

    • It is only those who attain exaltation that will maintain a gender identity.

    • To fail to achieve personal exaltation is to repudiate the Father’s purpose in this creation (Moses 1:39, Moroni 10:32-33).

    • “Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).

  13. The Spirit World

    • The spirit world or realm could be termed a combination of hell and paradise with a spectrum of Light and Darkness in-between.

    • Where our spirit lands in this spectrum upon death depends upon the level of Light and Truth we acquired in our mortal probation.

    • The vast majority of human spirits arrive in the spirit world in a degree of darkness, confusion and preoccupation with unfinished or unresolved feelings.

    • Evil people will generally have obsessions that are impossible to satisfy.

    • The more honest and just people will either go directly to the Light or will gravitate there from the darkness before too long.

    • However, the lower levels of the Light are still levels of bondage that do not allow upward progress except through repentance, service and character change.

    • No character flaw is overlooked.

    • Those in the lower levels of the Light that qualify through obedience are given the opportunity to progress, “that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (2 Pet. 4:6).

    • Such are permitted to progress and advance as they gain and apply knowledge through obedience to commandments and the Spirit of the Lord/revelation.

    • Knowledge and application of attributes of godliness and change of character are the prerequisites to progress in this realm.

    • Within the realm of Light there are 7 gates with angelic sentinels at each one that do not allow passage except to those who qualify according to their personal level of Light and Truth (see The Spirit World & The Gates of Heaven).

    • At a certain level of progress within the Light tasks are offered to the personal spirit. These tasks are designed to teach and develop the missing character traits required for progress.

    • These tasks are revealed to by the Spirit of the Lord to the person's spirit, and will create situations that allow or facilitate personal growth.

    • However, the necessary reaction or participation in the tasks is not obvious. They test for both obedience, inspiration and willingness to learn and change.

    • Many spirits who make it into the Light get stuck at some lower level because they are unable or unwilling to change. Therefore they remain in bondage.

    • The tasks provided to spirits of the dead parallel our own tasks in mortality. It is always a matter of listening to the Spirit of the Lord and doing our tasks accordingly.

    • Those of us who learned to listen and heed the Spirit of the Lord while doing our tasks here in mortality have a distinct advantage in the spirit world.

    • We come to earth life to learn and the more knowledge, particularly saving knowledge, we gain here the greater (more advanced) will be our entrance into the spirit realm and the faster will be our progress there.

  14. Work for the Dead

    • Salvation is both an individual and a family matter (see Why Salvation is a Family Matter).

    • Our family ancestral lines were organized in the premortal realm down to the last person to be born in this dispensation (Joseph Smith, DHC).

    • From among each ancestral line the spirits that were to come to mortality in each dispensation were chosen, the last dispensation being the most important.

    • Those spirits chosen by our family lines for this last dispensation were among the best that they had to offer.

    • Upon them (us) was the obligation to receive and apply the true gospel and its ordinances and to become Saviors on Mount Zion for them.

    • Satan has in many cases disrupted the original ancestral lineage orders.

    • There has been a great deal of work on the other side of the veil to restore the original orders as much as possible.

    • Any failure on our part to provide the saving ordinances required and to the degree required for each of us by the Lord reflects badly upon our lineage and they may suffer for it.

    • Our obedience in this dispensation is a reflection of and upon our forebearers.

    • For example, those members who broke the covenant of consecration in the early Church ere not to have their genealogy on the official records.

    • And if the saints failed to complete the Nauvoo temple by the deadline given they were to “be rejected as a church, with [their] dead” (see D&C 124:32).

  15. Saviors on Mount Zion

    • Being a Savior on Mount Zion requires more than doing genealogy and temple work.

    • Generally speaking our ancestors require more than the availability of the ordinances.

    • Whether having lived during a dispensation of the gospel or not, very few of our ancestors have advanced sufficiently to qualify for exaltation.

    • The majority still have the weight of weaknesses and sins which also come down to us as generational chains.

    • Our repentance and the breaking of these chains is critical to our salvation and theirs.

    • We may also bear their spiritual burdens and pay the price of sin for them as well as others as directed by the Lord (JS WofJS, p. 323, 12 May 1844).

    • Obadiah prophesied that “Saviors would arise upon mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau” (Obed. 1:21). The mount of Esau are those who have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage.

    • Saviors on Mount Zion will be judges of the people including those saints who failed to live up to their privileges.

    • Saviors on Mount Zion are intercessors.

  16. Intercession

    • Intersession is defined as an action of intervening on behalf of another for their benefit.

    • Intercession is a basic gospel principle and a requirement of the righteous.

    • Intercession may take several forms:

      • Prayer offered on behalf of others.

      • Service rendered on behalf of and for others.

      • Carrying spiritual and emotional burdens of others as directed by the Lord.

      • Suffering in some measure for other’s sins.

      • Suffering afflictions because of other’s sins.

    • Intercession inspired by the Spirit of the Lord constitutes an offering in the "similitude of the Only Begotten" (D&C 138:12-14).

    • Christ is the exemplar (John 17:1-26).

    • Intercession is a general requirement of the righteous (Alma 34:27).

    • Intercession and offerings of righteousness as directed by the Spirit of the Lord are also the particular obligation of holders of the Melchizedek priesthood (Heb. 5:1-2).

    • Includes prayer for others as directed by the Spirit of the Lord (D&C 50:29-30).

    • Bearing of others' burdens that they may be light (Mosiah 18:8, see Bearing of Burdens).

    • Includes praying for your enemies and those who “despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

    • Intercession can also mean suffering afflictions on behalf of others (Alma 7:5, 26:27, 31:31-38).

    • This was the means by which the inhabitants of cities of Enoch and Melchizedek were transformed and translated (Heb. 5:6-7, Alma 13:17-18, JST Gen. 14:33-34, see also Oath & Covenant and Intercession, a Case Study).

  17. It Shall be Given

    • In the economy of the Lord there is a unique path for each and every person.

    • There is a time of trial and probation designed to arrive at the personal conclusion that the God of heaven and earth knows what is best for us and is willing to guide us by His Spirit (2 Ne. 32:2-5).

    • As we shift from my will to Thy will, we will find our path prepared before us. There is no challenge that we must endure alone or without sufficient power to deal with it.

    • It is when we put our will (agency) on the altar that the Lord can change us and work with us and through us (see Milk vs Meat).

    • If we are in tune with the Spirit of the Lord and are called upon to testify or to teach it shall be given us in the very moment what to impart (D&C 24:6,100:6-8).

  18. In the Time Appointed

    • There is a perfect order in the heavens and the cosmos. The planets and stars are governed by law and give light to each other in their [set] times and seasons (D&C 88:41-45).

    • Planets and stars in the heavens are symbolic of people.

    • Like the stars and planets, we also give Light and Truth to each other in the set times and seasons of our lives.

    • Everything happens in its “set time” or in “the time appointed” (Gen. 18:9, 21:2, Ex. 9:5, 2 Sam. 24:15, Psalm 27:5, 102:13, Isa. 28:19, Dan. 2:19-23, 8:19, 10:1, 11:27, 29, 35, Gal 4:2, Alma 40:4-5, 9).

    • All important junctures on this earth and in our lives have their appointed times. This timing works best for us if we are following the Spirit of the Lord (see Milk vs Meat).

  19. The Former Rain & the Latter Rain

    • Rain is critical for both physical and spiritual life (Deut. 11:13, Job 29:23, Jer. 3:3, Joel 2:23, Zech. 10:1, James 5:7).

    • Rain can symbolize revelation—personal and community.

    • It is the spring rain that causes the seeds to germinate and begin to grow.

    • Symbolically the spring rain is the revelation that brings initial personal conversion.

    • The latter rain is the rain that comes in the summer and causes the plants and crops to mature, that they may be harvested.

    • Symbolically the latter rain is the revelation that causes one's personal testimony to mature and result in doing the will of the Lord, becoming the Lord’s servant.

    • Without latter rain there is no harvest of celestial souls (James 5:7).

  20. How Stars Become Untimely Figs (Rev. 6:13)

    • The Lord’s leaders for this critical dispensation were chosen in the beginning from among the “noble and great ones” in the pre-mortal existence (Abr. 3:22-23).

    • These and other people are represented symbolically by the stars in our heaven (Rev. 1:20, 3:1, 9:1, 12:4).

    • Some people are described as “wandering stars” (Jude 1:13).

    • Before the Savior returns the heavens shall be shaken by the Lord through the instrumentality of the Anti-Christ and some stars shall fall (Dan. 7:21, 25, 8:10, 24, Rev. 6:13).

    • This is because the end-time Anti-Christ shall make “war with the saints” and prevail “against them” (Dan. 7:21, 12:7).

    • Under persecution, affliction and lack of sanctification foreordained leaders or “stars” shall become “exceedingly angry” and “cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree” (D&C 88:87).

    • “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind” (Dan. 6:13). Untimely figs are fruit that never ripened to maturity and remained on the tree until winter winds came and shook them off the tree.

    • As “many are called but few are chosen,” many will fall (D&C 121:34-40).

    • Latter day apostasy will include church leadership (Dan. 11:30, 12:10).

    • “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Dan. 12:10).

    • “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2).

    • "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

    • The stars in heaven represent the foreordained order of human spirits (family lines and leadership).

    • The stars falling from heaven represent individual and collective apostasy from the foreordained order, leaving behind the final order of faithful stars (persons) remaining upon Christ’s return.

  21. Trust in the Lord

    • Trust in the Lord is the only true security in life (Psalm 9:10, 34:22, 62:8, 125:1).

    • In order to have trust in God we must understand His divine attributes—including that He is all powerful, all knowing and unchangeable (see JS Lectures on Faith).

    • Included in this understanding of trust is the fact that Heavenly Father always and perpetually has our personal best interests at heart (Hel. 12:1, Mosiah 7:19, D&C 184:16).

    • In order to have trust we must keep the Lord’s commandments (Psalm 32:3, 64:10).

    • In order to have trust in the Lord it is necessary to know where we stand with Him (see JS Lectures on Faith, 6:7).

    • It is impossible to know where we stand with the Lord without receiving personal revelation (1 John 2:28, 3:19, D&C 121:45).

    • There is no statistic or endless check-box law of Moses performance that can substitute for the personally revealed knowledge necessary to put our trust in Him (Psalm 9:10).

    • It is also necessary to know that the course we are pursuing in life is one that has Heavenly Father's approval (see JS Lectures on Faith, 6:4-5).

  22. Watchman, What of the Night? (Isa. 21:11)

    • We are to be our own watchman and always ready to receive divine reproof (Habak. 2:1, Isa. 21:8).

    • The members of the Lord’s church have been carried captive into Babylon (Micah 4:8-10).

      • Because of the love of the world (Isa. 3:11-24)

      • Because they have no knowledge (Isa. 5:13-15)

      • Because their watchmen have not sounded the warning voice (Ezek. 3:17-21, 33:6, Isa. 56:9-10)

      • Because the members want to hear “smooth” things (see Isa. 30:8-17)

    • The members of the Lord’s church generally have the quality of watchmen they deserve (Ps. 23:1,127:1, Jer. 6:17).

    • This lack leadership quality will have to be rectified before the members can build Zion (see Latter-day Timeline).

    • The deliverance from Babylonian (worldly) captivity will come via an Assyrian (likely a Russian alliance) invasion of America (Isa. 10:5-6,13:1-10,19, Micah 4:3, Rev. 18:20-24).

    • Because they are not accustomed to listening and following the Spirit of the Lord:

      • Many people will die including LDS Church members (Isa. 3:25-26,4:1).

      • Many will take up arms unwisely and unnecessarily (Isa.10:24-27,26:20-21, Zeph. 2:3).

      • There will be mobocracy and breakdown in law and order (D&C 87:4-7, 101:89).

      • There will be pestilence and disease (D&C 5:19, 45:31, 97:23-26).

    • Jackson County will be swept by the “besom of destruction” (see Joseph Smith, 2nd V., 2:323-24; B H Roberts, , Vol. 1, p. 298).

    • The righteous, the elect according to the covenant, shall leave spiritual Babylon early (Isa. 48:20-21,D&C 54:10,88:83).

    • They will be spared in the day of travail; they shall stand in “holy places and be not moved” (D&C 45:32, 87:8, 97:21).

    • If we seek meekness and righteous judgment we may be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger (Zeph. 2:3).

  23. Requirement of Works

    • Grace and works are both required (Heb. 12:1, Jas. 2:17-26, Hel. 12:1,24).

    • Our works are to be directed by the Spirit or they are of no eternal merit (Matt. 7:19, D&C 132:7).

    • "Thou [the Lord] hast wrought all our works in us," that is, all our works that have eternal merit (Isa 26:12, 64:8).

    • Our works are of no efficacy unless sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise (D&C 132:7-11).

    • In the coming days our works and their effects shall be “shaken” and tried by “fire” to see if they are worthy of eternal merit (1 Cor, 3:13, Heb. 12:26-29).

  24. How to Survive the Coming Tribulations

    • Put our whole soul on the altar—follow the Lamb “withersoever He goeth” (Rev. 14:4, PofGP Joseph Smith, , 6:7-12).

    • Study the word of the Lord in order to know the  the word of the Lord, in order to do the will of the Lord (Matt. 6:10, Rev. 19:10, WofM 1:7, Hel. 10:4, D&C 63:20).

    • Sanctify ourselves (Hel. 3:35, Moses 6:59-60, D&C 20:31).

    • Develop the ability to receive daily revelation through daily repentance (2 Ne. 28:30, Hel. 11:23, D&C 42:61, 76:5-8).

    • Maintain a remission of our sins from day-to-day (Mosiah 4:26).

    • Learn through personal revelation how and when to stand in your “holy places” (D&C 45:32, 87:8).

    • Deliverance in time of trouble:

      • Keep all our covenants: Baptism, temple and other personal covenants made as directed by the Spirit of the Lord (D&C 54:6, 97:8-9, 105:10-12 ).

      • Exercise the gift of the Holy Ghost (Jhn. 14:26, Moro. 8:26, 10:5, D&C 8:3-4).

      • Set in order your own house (D&C 93:42-43)..

      • Be willing to receive divine correction (Heb. 12:5-10, D&C 95:1).

      • Be patient in affliction (Luke 21:19, 1 Pet. 2:20-22, Jas. 5:11, Mosiah 24:15, Alma 38:4-5).

      • Use our afflictions to learn and to endure them “well”  (D&C 121:7-8).

      • Praise the Lord in and for our afflictions.

      • Pray for others including our enemies (Matt. 5:44-48).

      • Pay our debts (D&C 104:80,82-83).

      • Strengthen our brethren in all our conversation, prayers, and doings (D&C 108:7-8).

      • Be innocent of any offense (Matt. 18:7-9, Acts 24:16).

      • "Blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are  contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance" (D&C 56:18).

    • Live the Law of Consecration (D&C 38:22, 78:5-7, 85:3-4). All our assets belong to the Lord for Him to use as He directs.

“I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.” (Ezra Taft Benson)