Tag Archives: temple

Photos this morning


I think if I were to gather these together and name the group, the name would have something to do with the Heavens, playing on heaven as the sky and heaven as the place God lives. Here are a few ideas:

“May I Reflect Thy Glory?”

“Heavens Reflected”

“Pattern of Heaven”

“Heavens Within the Temple”

“The Heavens Between Brick Walls”

“Heaven In Glass”

“Through a Glass, at Dawn”

“Glass Stained With Heaven”

or even’

“Glass and Bricks Stained With Heaven”

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Let the dead — and the living — speak forth anthems of eternal praise


My friend and I had a wonderful conversation yesterday about covenants and sealing and all sorts of things. We had just been in the temple and had a lot of those things on our minds. This morning I was going to share some of our thoughts, but seeing as my little 2 year old doesn’t want me to do so, I am going to simply copy over a few verses from D&C 128 that I think I could read weekly without them ever losing their enthusiasm.

From Joseph Smith:

18 I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curseunless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed untobabes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.

 19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!

 20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah!Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!

 21 And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope!

 22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.

 23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!


Abraham’s Chosen “family” or “people” vs. “the chosen seed”


Here is how I see the relationship now.

There <i>is</i> one chosen line that has the promise that their seed will be preserved until the end of the earth. This is also the family line that has the <i>right</i> to the priesthood by lineage. (Others have the priesthood too, but this one line has a right to it, they are “lawful heirs.”)

This promise went from Adam to Seth to Enos, down to Enoch, then on to Noah, and finally to Abraham. Then it was given to Isaac, then to Jacob. I had wondered if it broadened out at that point to include all of his 12 sons. We call all of Israel a “chosen people” and Isaiah reminds them that God will never destroy them completely. However, Genesis 45 and 2 Ne 25:21 make it clear enough to me that Joseph inherited this blessing next. From there I’m not sure where it goes, but I think there is still one father-to-son line. Well, more than “think” there is, I think it’s clear from scriptures on Joseph Smith that he is of that line too (D&C 86:8-11 for example). I just don’t have any idea if that line is mentioned in scripture between Joseph and Joseph! Though I’m sure it is. I just need to go look and see. 🙂

So there is one “chosen line” still that must remain until the end of the world. Why, exactly? I’m not sure yet. I’m working on that. 🙂

How do we fit into that? Well, I used to wonder if the sealing ordinance, or even baptism itself, meant that we were receiving the blessings originally meant only for the chosen line. I don’t think that is the case anymore. I think that we receive <i>some</i> of those blessings, but not all of them. Just like the whole house of Israel was a chosen people, but Joseph still received THE promise. I think when we are baptized we become counted Abraham’s seed, but he had lots of children even in his lifetime who were his seed but not the chosen son. We are seed like that. We are his seed that fulfills the promise he had that his posterity would number like the stars or the sand. We fulfill that. And we <i>are</i> part of the promise then. We are Abraham’s family. And that comes with blessings. But, we are not the one chosen line that will remain until the end of the world. There is still one family that is fulfilling <i>that</i> part of the promise.

But what is it that we receive? Why are we part of Abraham?

Well I’m thinking back to Abraham 2:9-11:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;

And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.

All of Abraham’s seed, whether the chosen line or not, will “bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations.”

And, all who receive this Gospel are accounted Abraham’s seed.

So, when we are baptized we become Abraham’s seed, whether we were before that or not.

We have a duty and a right to bear this ministry and Priesthood to everyone not (yet) of Abraham’s family.

When we are sealed, what changes? I am not sure, but if nothing else we increase Abraham’s family because when we bear children they are already “born in the covenant.” Or, I wonder if sealing is not a “sealing up” of the family relationship formed first in baptism. Just as birth into a family is not permanent until sealed, I wonder if baptism into the church and therefore into Abraham’s family is not sealed until the sealing ordinance? In addition, I think the sealing ordinance opens up the potential for us to be like Abraham – not in that we have a chosen seed, like him and others in that line – but in that we can have seed that number like the stars and sand (and remember that this is talking about those “in the world and out of the world” as D&C 132 puts it). It also means perhaps that we become like Abraham in that we have the Priesthood and we teach it to our own kids, who then teach it to the world and also enter the temple to be like Abraham, and then they teach it to their kids who preach it to the world but also enter the temple to become like Abraham, and so on…

 


Post at Beginnings New on marriage, Abraham, and the endowment


Some weighty topics these days! 🙂 I really enjoy thinking about the Abrahamic Covenant, so my posts definitely reflect my interests there. Please feel free to add to the discussion! (But, as always, if you are a friend or relative please comment, but please don’t mention your relation to me. Thank you!)

http://beginningsnew.blogspot.com/2011/04/teaching-about-endowment-yw-lesson-16.html

http://beginningsnew.blogspot.com/2011/04/from-adam-to-abraham-blessings-of-house.html (and the longer version at: http://forthestrengthofyouth.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/the-abrahamic-covenant-from-adam-to-abraham/)

http://beginningsnew.blogspot.com/2011/04/marriage-question-continued.html