Monday, August 19, 2013

"The" Will of the Father Part 4

"The" will of the Father is that you receive the Son.  "And this is the will of him who hath sent me, that ye receive the Son; " (JST John 6: 44)
(JST John 6:44) What then, exactly is meant by the phrase, "receive" the Son? According to the words of the Master, there will be many who will be under the mistaken impression that because they did "many wonderful works" in His name during their mortal life, they will be able to simply cry Lord! Lord! and thereby be saved in the Kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 7: 21-23) Because The Lord personally pointed out there will be "many" that will be mistaken about what is required to actually be admitted into the Kingdom of heaven, we ought to be sure we know and not just suppose we think we know what is required of us. Otherwise, we may find ourselves among the "many" who have been deceived under the mistaken idea that a few miracles and "many wonderful works" done in His name will provide entry for us into the Kingdom of heaven. The criteria for entry is not as broad and as wide as "many wonderful works" done in His name during our mortal lives. The criteria is instead strait and narrow. It is as simple and strait as doing "the will of the Father" which is "that ye receive the Son; (JST JOHN 6: 44)

The Lord revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith:

"For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know meBut if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. (D&C 132: 22-23)

"Knowing" The Lord depends on you receiving Him in the world. Knowing Him is eternal life because "...this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)  Therefore, we can say, that doing the will of the Father, which is, that you receive the Son in this world, is the way in which you come to actually know Him, and the way in which you receive eternal life from Him.  If you have received the Son in this world there will be no need for The Lord to profess to you in that day, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7: 23) because He will "know" you and you will likewise "know" Him. You will then "see as (you) are seen, and know as (you) are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; (D&C 76: 94)

Joseph Smith was speaking about receiving the Son in this world when he recorded this in the Doctrine and Covenants about John 14: 23

"The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false." (D&C 130: 3)

On Sunday morning May 21, 1843 Joseph Smith taught a sermon at the Nauvoo Temple stand. Joseph had taught this doctrine on several occasions around this date. On this Sunday morning, he continued to declare great and eternal truths regarding the manner in which we are to receive the Son of God in the world.  Several people recorded their recollections of this particular sermon and preserved the truths Joseph put forth on that occasion. Howard and Martha Coray recorded the prophet as follows:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy whereunto give heed until the day star arise in your hearts. It is one thing to receive knowledge by the voice of God, (this is my beloved Son &c.) & another to know that you yourself will be saved, to have a positive promise of your own Salvation is making your calling and election sure. Viz the voice of Jesus saying my beloved thou shalt have eternal life. Brethren never cease struggling until you get this evidence." (Words of the Prophet Joseph Smith Ehat and Cook page 208)

James Burgess recorded from the sermon:

"There are three grand keys to unlock the whole subject. First what is the knowledge of God, second what is it to make our calling and election sure. Third and last is how to make our calling and election sure. Ans, it is to obtain a promise from God for myself that I shall have eternal life. That is the more sure word of prophecy. (Words of the Prophet Joseph Smith Ehat and Cook page 209)

Joseph Smith's own Diary entry from the sermon on May 21, 1843 kept by Willard Richards records:

"After all this make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lay largely on those to whom it was spoken. How much more then to them of the 19. Century.-
1 Key knowledge is the power of Salvation
2 Key Make his calling and election sure
3. It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice &c &c. and another to hear the voice declare to you you have a part & lot in the kingdom.- (Words of the Prophet Joseph Smith Ehat and Cook page 205-206)

It is the will of the Father that we receive the Son in this world because by so doing our calling and election, which is the promise of eternal life and a place in the kingdom of heaven, is made sure by the personal declaration of the only Being who possesses the right and power to bestow such blessings upon an individual. He is the Holy One of Israel and He employs no servant in these matters. (2Nephi 9: 41) This is the more sure word of prophecy. (D&C 131: 5)

We must receive the Son in this world in order to do the will of the Father and gain entry into the Kingdom of heaven. For "not everyone that saith unto me Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 7: 21)  

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