Mormon Doctrine

Bruce R. McConkie Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1972-1985)

This work is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The views expressed herein are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church or of Deseret Book Company.

About This Book

1. Teaches the doctrines of the gospel in a plain and simple way.

2. Explains the true principles of revealed religion.

3. Interprets a host of hard and difficult scriptural passages.

4. Digests and outlines the important doctrines of the kingdom.

5. Summarizes the fundamental teachings about Christ, salvation, and the kingdom of God.

6. Analyzes what men must do to gain peace here and eternal life hereafter.

7. Covers the whole field of revealed religion.

Mormon Doctrine is the ideal book for all who seek salvation through the knowledge of Him who said: "Teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you." (D.&C. 88:77- 7.)



This work on Mormon Doctrine is designed to help persons seeking salvation to gain that knowledge of God and his laws without which they cannot hope for an inheritance in the celestial city.

Since it is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance of God and his laws, and since man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, it follows that men are obligated at their peril to learn and apply the doctrines of the gospel.

This gospel compendium will enable men, more effectively, to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom"; to "be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient" for them "to understand." (D.&C. 88:77-78.)

For the work itself, I assume sole and full responsibility. Salt Lake City, Utah June 1, 1958



From the time the first copies came from the press, this compendium of Mormon Doctrine has found a wide and gratifying acceptance among doctrinal students in all parts of the Church. In publishing this Second Edition, as is common with major encyclopedic-type works, experience has shown the wisdom of making some changes, clarifications, and additions.

Salt Lake City, Utah September 1, 1966




Scriptural references are abbreviated in a standard and self-identifying way. Other books are cited by author and title, except that the following oft-cited works are referred to by title only:

Little, James A., & Richards, Franklin D., Compendium; Roberts, Brigham H., Outlines of Ecclesiastical History; Smith, Joseph, History of the Church, vols. 1 to 6; Lectures on Faith;

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (cited as Teachings); Smith, Joseph F., Gospel Doctrine;

Smith, Joseph Fielding, Doctrines of Salvation, vols. 1 to 3;

Essentials in Church History;

Man: His Origin and Destiny;

Progress of Man;

Way to Perfection;

Talmage, James E., Articles of Faith;

Taylor, John, Gospel Kingdom;

Mediation and Atonement;

Woodruff Wilford, Discourses of Wilford Woodruff

Young, Brigham, Discourses of Brigham young (cited as Discourses).

*(A )




To Aaron goes the honor - as a perpetual memorial through all generations - of having his name used to identify the lesser, Levitical, or Aaronic Priesthood. (D. C. 84:18-27; 107:1, 20.) As a possessor of the Melchizedek Priesthood, Aaron held a position of prominence and leadership among the elders. (Ex. 18:12; John Taylor, Items on priesthood, p. 5.) indeed, with Moses, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel, Aaron saw the God of Israel before the existence of the Aaronic order; and when "Moses went up into the mount of God," Aaron and Hur were left in a position of presidency over the other elders. (Ex. 24.) But when the law of carnal commandments was "added" to the gospel "because of transgressions," then Aaron and his sons were chosen to bear that priesthood by which the lesser law was administered. (Gal. 3.) Aaron's position then became comparable to that of the Presiding Bishop of the Church. (John Taylor, Items on Priesthood, pp. 5-6.)

Also before the institution of the Levitical Priesthood, Aaron was chosen by the Lord to act as a minister with and a spokesman for Moses, his younger brother. (Ex. 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 16.) After the beginning of the Aaronic order, Aaron and his sons after him were anointed priests unto Israel. (Ex. 28; 29; 30; Num. 3; 4.)

Aaron's call to the Levitical ministry stands as the perfect example of the choosing of legal administrators to do the Lord's work; ever since that day, the legality of priestly administration has been

determined by whether the professing minister was "called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb. 5:4; D. & C. 27:8; 132:59), that is, by revelation and ordination, and with the full approval of the body of the Lord's true worshipers.

*Aaronic Priesthood

Aaronic Priesthood


When the Lord first gave the law of carnal commandments, the preparatory gospel, to school Israel for a future time when again they could enjoy the gospel fullness, of necessity a lesser order of priesthood was conferred to administer the lesser law. (Heb. 7:12; Inspired Version, Ex. 34:1-2.) This lesser priesthood (D. & C. 85:11) was conferred upon Aaron and his sons after him (Ex. 28; 29; 30; Lev. 1:11; 3:2; 13:2; Num. 18), as "an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations." (Ex. 40:15; Num. 25: 10-13.) It was also conferred upon substantially the whole house of Levi who were between 30 and 50 years of age. (Num. 3; 4.) Hence it is called the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood; the two names are synonymous. (D. & C. 107:1, 6, 10.)

Aaron and his sons after him held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood and acted in the full majesty and power of this Levitical order; many of their functions were comparable to those of bishops and priests in this dispensation. Though the rest of the ordained Levites held the fullness of the Aaronic Priesthood (Heb. 7:5) and participated in the offering of sacrifices, they did not hold the keys of the Aaronic ministry; many of their functions were comparable to those of teachers and deacons in this dispensation. (Num. 3; 4; 2 Chron. 29; Mai. 3:3; D. & C. 13; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 111-114.)

From Aaron to John the Baptist the hereditary nature of the Levitical Priesthood "was in active operation." (Teachings, pp. 318-319; D. & C. 84:18, 26-27, 30; 107:13.) This priesthood in that day was conferred solely upon worthy members of the special lineage chosen to receive it; it came to individuals by descent, because of father and because of mother, as contrasted with the Melchizedek Priesthood which was "without father, without mother, without descent." (Heb. 7:3.) John the Baptist "was a descendant of Aaron" and held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood. (Teachings, pp. 272-273.) There was no Aaronic Priesthood among the Nephites prior to the ministry of the resurrected Lord among them, for none of the tribe of Levi accompanied the Nephite peoples to their promised land.

Few members of the tribe of Levi gathered with the fold of Israel in the meridian of time; few have come back to the fold of their fathers in this dispensation; and there were none among the Nephites to whom our Lord ministered. Consequently, beginning in the day of the primitive Church the lesser priesthood was spread out among the body of the people and was no longer confined exclusively to the chosen lineage. When the latter-day kingdom is perfected, and when the other tribes of Israel are gathered and receive their blessings under the hands of Ephraim, the first to gather (D. & C. 133:26-35), then the sons of Levi again will stand forth in the majesty of their calling and "offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." (D. & C. 13.)

John the Baptist, as a resurrected personage, came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on the 1 5th of May, 1829, and made the first conferral of Levitical Priesthood in this dispensation. (D. Sc C. 13; 27:8.)

Since then, as the needs of the ministry warranted, the offices of bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon, have all been revealed as part of this Aaronic ministry.

The Priesthood of Aaron "is called the lesser priesthood . . . because it is an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering outward ordinances." (D. & C. 107:13- 14.) Though it is a lesser priesthood, it is yet one of great majesty and power. It holds "the keys of the ministering of angels," meaning that those who hold it and are faithful have the key whereby they can open the door to the receipt of visitations from heavenly messengers. (D. & C. 13; 4:26-27; 107:20.) Faith, repentance, and baptism - comprising as they do the preparatory gospel - fall within its province, though the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost is not a prerogative that attends it.

Perfection does not come by the Levitical order, and this lesser priesthood is not received with an oath. (Heb. 7:11, 21; Teachings, p. 323.) But it is a preparatory priesthood, the Priesthood of Elias, the schooling ministry, which prepares its worthy and faithful ministers for the oath and covenant and perfection that appertain to the Melchizedek order. That those who train themselves to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, by magnifying their callings in the Aaronic Priesthood, must be true and faithful and worthy for the final receipt of the greater priesthood is self-evident. Indeed, one of the reasons the Lord destroyed Korah and his band of Levites was that they, being unworthy, sought "the high priesthood also." (Inspired Version, Num. 16.)




Descendants of Aaron, specially honored as the priests of Israel, were called Aaronites. (1 Chron. 12:27; 27:17.) Descent and genealogical proof thereof were of vital importance. "The children of the priests," when the temple was to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, "sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood." (Ezra 2:61-63; Neh. 7:63-65.)




This expression, of Hebrew origin, was used by John as a name for Satan. (Rev. 9: 1 1 .) It is the same as the Greek Apollyon and means literally the Destroyer. It was used anciently to mean hell, as shown in the marginal reading of Psalm 88:11.

*Abominable Church

Abominable Church


*Abomination of Desolation

Abomination of Desolation


Daniel spoke prophetically of a day when there would be "the abomination that maketh desolate" (Dan. 11:31; 12:11), and the phrase was recoined in New Testament times to say, "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet." (Matt. 24:15.) Aside from the prophetic setting and relying solely on the plain meaning of words, we would conclude that this phrase (abomination of desolation) would have reference to some great act or status of corruption and befoulment, of contamination and filthiness, which would bring to pass destruction, ruination, devastation, desolation.

Such is the case. These conditions of desolation, born of abomination and wickedness, were to occur twice in fulfillment of Daniel's words. The first was to be when the Roman legions under Titus, in 70 A.D., laid siege to Jerusalem, destroying and scattering the people, leaving not one stone upon another in the desecrated temple, and spreading such terror and devastation as has seldom if ever been equaled on earth. Of those days Moses had foretold that the straitness of the siege would cause parents to eat their own children and great loathing and evil to abound. (Deut. 28.)

And of the same events our Lord was led to say: "For then, in those days, shall be great tribulation on the Jews, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, such as was not before sent upon Israel, of God, since the beginning of their kingdom until this time; no, nor ever shall be sent again upon Israel. And except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be saved." (Jos. Smith 1:12-20.)

Then, speaking of the last days, of the days following the restoration of the gospel and its declaration "for a witness unto all nations," our Lord said: "And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled." (Jos. Smith 1:31-32.) That is: Jerusalem again will be under siege ("For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle"); again the severity of the siege and the extremities of brutal conflict, born of wickedness and abomination, will lead to great devastation and desolation ("and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity"). (Zech. 14.) It will be during this siege that Christ will come, the wicked will be destroyed, and the millennial era commenced.

In a general sense, this expressive designation, abomination of desolation, also describes the latter-day terrors to be poured out upon the wicked wherever they may be. And so that the honest in heart may escape these things, the Lord sends his missionaries forth to raise the warning voice, to declare the glad tidings of the restoration, lest "desolation and utter abolishment" come upon them. The elders are commanded to reprove "the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days." (D. & C. 84: 1 14, 117.)

Also: "Go forth among the Gentiles for the last time, as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come; That their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world and in the world to come." (D. & C. 88:84-85.)




Those practices which are so vile, hateful, and detestable as to excite and deserve loathing are called abominations. Idolatry and every form of sex immorality, for instance, are so classified. (Lev. 18.)

*Abrahamic Covenant

Abrahamic Covenant


Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant of salvation); then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood, and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal increase; finally he received a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity. (Abra. 2:6- 11; D. & C. 132:29-50.) Included in the divine promises to Abraham was the assurance that Christ would come through his lineage, and the assurance that Abraham's posterity would receive certain choice, promised lands as an eternal inheritance. (Abra. 2; Gen. 17; 22:15-18; Gal. 3.)

All of these promises lumped together are called the Abrahamic covenant. This covenant was renewed with Isaac (Gen. 24:60; 26:1-4, 24) and again with Jacob. (Gen. 28; 35:9-13; 48:3-4.) Those portions of it which pertain to personal exaltation and eternal increase are renewed with each member of the house of Israel who enters the order of celestial marriage; through that order the participating parties become inheritors of all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (D. & C. 132; Rom. 9:4; Gal. 3; 4.)

To fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham - having particular reference to the fact that the literal seed of his body would be entitled to the blessings of the gospel, the priesthood, celestial marriage, and eternal life (Abra. 2:10-11) - a number of specific and particular things must take place in the last days. The gospel must be restored, the priesthood be conferred again upon man, the keys of the sealing power given again to mortals, Israel gathered, and the Holy Ghost must be poured out upon the Gentiles. All this has, of course, already taken place or is in process of fulfillment. (1 Ne. 14:5-7; 15:12-20; 19:14-17; 22:3-25; 2 Ne. 6:6-12; 9:1-2; 10:7-15; 11:5; 29:1; 3 Ne. 15; 20; 21; Ether 13:1-13.) This is the very day when the identity of those "who are heirs according to the covenant" (D. & C. 52:2), who are "lawful heirs, according to the flesh" (D. & C. 86:8-1 1), is being made known.

To the Nephites the resurrected Lord proclaimed: "Ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. The Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant - And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed - unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel. And they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fullness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father. And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father." (3 Ne. 20:25-29.)

As a sign - "that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place" - the Lord said that a free nation would be set up on the American continent, that the gospel would be restored, and that the Book of Mormon would come forth. "And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things - it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel." (3 Ne. 21.)

*Abrahamic Dispensation

Abrahamic Dispensation


*Abraham's Bosom

Abraham's Bosom


Our Lord, in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, uses the term Abraham's bosom to mean paradise. Abraham, the friend of God, not at that time having been resurrected, was continuing his life in the paradise of God, the same place to which the righteous beggar went. (Luke 16:19-31.) The expression connotes the close fellowship and harmony that exists among the righteous in the paradisaical sphere of peace and rest.

*Abraham's Children

Abraham's Children


"We be Abraham's seed," the Jews said; and so they were in the literal sense. But in the gospel sense Abraham's children are those who do the works of Abraham, for their blood is thereby cleansed and purified as was Abraham's, and they are adopted into his lineage. (Abra. 2:8-11; D. & C. 84:33-41; 132:29-33; Teachings, pp. 149-150.) Hence, our Lord replied to the Jews, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. ... Ye do the deeds of your father. ... Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." (John 8:3 1-47.)













Personal accountability for all of one's acts underlies the whole gospel plan and is the natural outgrowth of the law of free agency. Without such personal responsibility free agency could not operate, for neither rewards nor punishments would follow the exercise of agency. And if there were no rewards or punishments, there would be no salvation or damnation, and so the whole plan of salvation would vanish away. (2 Ne. 2:1 1-16.) But contrary to the false doctrine which denies personal responsibility for sin, and says instead that men are predestined to salvation or damnation, the Lord has said that men will be punished for their own sins (Second Article of Faith; Articles of Faith, pp. 52-73), and that they will be judged according to the deeds done in the flesh. (Rev. 20:12.)

Accordingly, men are accountable for all their acts both temporal and spiritual. (D. & C. 42:32; 104:13.) Accountability for civic and governmental acts is included. "We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society." (D. & C. 134:1.) In fact the Lord established the constitution of the United States, "That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment." (D. & C. 101:77-80.)

*Acts of God

Acts of God


Common custom designates the calamities of nature as acts of God. In courts of law, for instance, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hailstorms, and the like, since they apparently are wholly outside the realm of human control, are called acts of God. This view of things is particularly offensive to those branches of modem Christendom which specialize in the false view that Deity is light, love, and goodness and never manifests himself except through attributes of this sort.

In actuality the hand of the Lord is seen in all things including the calamities of nature. He has given laws unto all things, including the forces of nature; and by these laws those forces are operated, governed, and controlled. (D. & C. 88:42-45.) One of these laws is that the righteousness or wickedness of men directly affects the operation of the forces of nature. Crops grow for the righteous who pay tithing. (Mai. 3:7-12.) The rains come and the productivity of the soil is enhanced when men keep the commandments. (Lev. 26:3-5.) By listening to the whisperings of the Spirit, many righteous persons have been led out of the paths of impending calamities; conversely, when the fullness of the Lord's wrath has rested upon wicked cities and nations, the inhabitants of those places have been placed in the way of "acts of God" which would destroy them. These things are seen in the whole record of God's dealings with men.




Our knowledge about Adam, and the exalted station held by him in the eternal providences of the Almighty, begins with an understanding of his preexistent work and mission. By his diligence and obedience there, as one of the spirit sons of God, he attained a stature and power second only to that of Christ, the Firstborn. None of all the billions of our Father's children equaled him in intelligence and might, save Jesus only. He sat in the council of the gods in the planning of the creation of this earth, and then, under Christ, participated in the creative enterprise. (Abra. 3:22-26.) He was foreordained to come to earth as the father of the human race, and when Lucifer and one-third of the hosts of heaven rebelled, Adam (with the exulted title of Michael the Archangel) led the hosts of the righteous in the war in heaven. (Rev. 12:7-9.)

"And the first man of all men have I called Adam," the Lord says, "which is many." (Moses 1 :34; 3:7; 6:45; Abra. 1:3; 1 Ne. 5:11; D. & C. 84:16.) That is, Adam was placed on earth as the first of the human family and given a name which signifies many as pertaining to the greatness of the posterity which should flow from him.

As to the manner in which Adam was placed on earth, the First presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund) has given us this plain statement: "He took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a 'living soul.' . . . All who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner. . . . Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father. True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ or embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man." (Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 354.)

Adam's great part in the plan of redemption was to fall from the immortal state in which he first existed on earth and thus bring mortality and death into the world. This he did, bringing temporal and spiritual death into the world, from the effects of which deaths the atonement of Christ was foreordained as a ransom. After the fall, Adam and Eve became the parents of all living. (Moses 5: 1 1 ; D. & C. 27: 1 1 ; 1Ne. 5:11; 2:23-25.)

We are his descendants and there are no persons who have ever lived on earth who have not had this same ancestry. "He is the father of the human family; . . . [the] head of the human family." (Teachings, p. 157.)

Father Adam was one of the most noble and intelligent characters who ever lived. He began his earth life as a son of God, endowed with the talents and abilities gained through diligence and obedience in pre-existence. He is the head of all gospel dispensations (Teachings, pp. 167-169), the presiding high priest (under Christ) over all the earth; presides over all the spirits destined to inhabit this earth (Teachings, pp. 157-159); holds the keys of salvation over all the earth; and will reign as Michael, our prince, to all eternity. (D. & C. 78:16.) He was baptized (Moses 6:64-66), remained for eternity, for death had not yet entered the world (Moses 3:21-25), had the fullness of the gospel (Moses 5:57-59), and following 930 years of existence after the fall went on to the paradise of God to await a glorious resurrection with Christ and the righteous saints. He has returned to earth in our day, bringing keys and authorities to the Prophet Joseph Smith (D. & C. 128:21); will soon preside at the great Adam-ondi-Ahman council (D. & C. 116); and finally will reign over his righteous posterity in the Patriarchal Order to all eternity. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 90-106.)

*Adam-God Theory

Adam-God Theory


Cultists and other enemies of the restored truth, for their own peculiar purposes, sometimes try to make it appear that Latter-day Saints worship Adam as their Father in heaven. In support of their false assumptions, they quote such statements as that of President Brigham Young to the effect that Adam is our father and our god and the only god with whom we have to do. This statement, and others of a similar nature, is perfectly consistent and rational, when viewed in full gospel perspective and understood in the light of the revelations relative to the patriarchal chain binding exalted beings together. Full and detailed explanations of all important teachings on these points are readily available. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. l,pp. 96-106.)

Faithful members of the Church worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and view Adam in his proper high place as the pre-existent Michael, the first man and presiding high priest (under Christ) over all the earth for all time, and as the one who will again lead the armies of heaven in the final great war with Lucifer. There is a sense, of course, in which Adam is a god. But so also, in the same sense, are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses and all the ancient prophets; Peter, James, and John; and all the righteous saints of all ages, including those of both high and low degree.

All exalted beings become joint-heirs with Christ and inherit the fullness of the Father's kingdom. Having entered in at the gate of celestial marriage, and having pressed forward in righteousness, overcoming all things, they pass by the angels and the gods "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, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods. Because they have all power, and he angels are subject unto them." (D. & C. 132: 19-20.) Of all these Adam is the chief, presiding (under Christ and the Father) in the patriarchal order over all the rest. There is no mystery about this doctrine except that which persons ignorant of the great principles of exaltation and unfriendly to the cause of righteousness have attempted to make.

*Adamic Dispensation

Adamic Dispensation


*Adamic Language

Adamic Language


In the beginning God gave Adam a language that was pure, perfect, and undefiled. This Adamic language, now unknown, was far superior to any tongue which is presently extant. For instance, the name of God the Father, in this original language, is Man of Holiness, signifying that he is a Holy Man and not a vague spiritual essence. (Moses 6:57.)

This first language spoken by mortals was either the celestial tongue of the Gods or such adaptation of it as was necessary to meet the limitations of mortality; and Adam and his posterity had power to speak, read, and write it. (Way to Perfection, pp. 60-69.) In writing of the saints in the day of the first man, Moses says: "And a book of remembrance was kept, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled." (Moses 6:5-6.) The beauty and power of this Adamic language is indicated by a statement made by Moroni to the Lord about the Brother of Jared (who spoke the original and pure language): "Thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art unto the overpowering of man to read them." (Ether 12:24.)

During the millennium, it appears that men will again have power to speak and write the Adamic language. Of that day the Lord says he will "turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." (Zeph. 3:9.) In some instances when the saints speak in tongues, the language impressed upon them by the power of the Spirit is the pure Adamic tongue.




Adam was the first man of all men; Ahman is one of the names by which God was known to Adam. Adam-ondi-Ahman, a name earned over from the pure Adamic language into English, is one for which we have not been given a revealed, literal translation. As near as we can judge - and this view comes down from the early brethren who associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was the first one to use the name in this dispensation - Adam-ondi-Ahman means the place or land of God where Adam dwelt.

Apparently the area included was a large one; at least, the revelations speak of the land, the valley, and the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman. They tell us that Christ himself "established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman" (D. & C. 78:15-16), and that it included the place now known as Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. (D. & C. 116.)

Far West, Missouri, also appears to be included in the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman. On April 17, 1838, the Lord commanded his saints to assemble at Far West, which place, he said, was holy ground; and there they were to build a city. (D. & C. 115.) By July 8 of that year, William Marks and Newel K. Whitney had not left their temporal concerns in Kirtland, Ohio, and were not assembling with the saints coming to Zion. In rebuking them the Lord said this: "Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters? Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion."

William Marks was told that he was to "preside in the midst of my people in the city of Far West," and Newel K. Whitney was told to "come up to the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and be a bishop unto my people." (D.&C. 117.)

The early brethren of this dispensation taught that the Garden of Eden was located in what is known to us as the land of Zion, an area for which Jackson County, Missouri, is the center place. In our popular Latter-day Saint hymn which begins, "Glorious things are sung of Zion, Enoch's city seen of old," we find William W. Phelps preserving the doctrine that "In Adam-ondi-Ahman, Zion rose where Eden was." And in another hymn, written by the same author in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we find these expressions;

This earth was once a garden place.

With all her glories common.

And men did live a holy race.

And worship Jesus face to face.

In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

We read that Enoch walk'd with God,

Above the power of mammon.

While Zion spread herself abroad.

And Saints and angels sang aloud.

In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Her land was good and greatly blest.

Beyond old Israel's Canaan;

Her fame was known from east to west.

Her peace was great, and pure the rest

Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Hosannah to such days to come -

The Savior's second coming.

When all the earth in glorious bloom.

Affords the Saints a holy home.

Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.

One of the greatest spiritual gatherings of all the ages took place in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman some 5,000 years ago, and another gathering - of even greater importance relative to this earth's destiny - is soon to take place in that same location. Our revelations recite: "Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah who were all high priests with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.

"And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel. And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him: I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever. And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation." (D. &C. 107:53-56.)

At that great gathering Adam offered sacrifices on an altar built for the purpose. A remnant of that very altar remained on the spot down through the ages. On May 19, 1838, Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mediation and Atonement pp. 69-70.) At this council, all who have held keys of authority will give an accounting of their stewardship to Adam. Christ will then come, receive back the keys, and thus take one of the final steps preparatory to reigning personally upon the earth. (Dan. 7:9-14; Teachings, p. 157.)







*Administering to the Sick

Administering to the Sick





"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up." (Jas. 5:14-16.) These words of James aptly summarize the practice of the Church in all ages where administrations are concerned. (D. & C. 42:43-44;, 66:9; Mark 5:23; 6:5; 16:18; Luke4:40-41; 13:11-13; Acts 28:8.) Administrations are of two parts: anointings and sealings; both performances are accompanied by the laying on of hands.

It is the policy of the Church that administering to the sick should be done at the request of the sick person or someone vitally concerned, so that it will be done in answer to faith. Those called to perform the ordinance should encourage the sick person to rely on the Lord's promise, "Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you." (Moro. 7:26.) If need be the sick person should be encouraged to keep the commandments so that he can have faith and be entitled to the blessings of the Lord.

In the performance of the administration, one of the elders should anoint the sick person with oil on or near the crown of the head, for the restoration of his health. Ordinarily he should not seal the anointing. Pure olive oil which has been consecrated for the anointing and healing of the sick in the household of faith should be used. Taking consecrated oil internally, or using it for anointing or rubbing afflicted parts of the body, is not part of the ordinance of administering to the sick.

After the anointing two or more elders should lay their hands on the head of the sick person, and with one of them acting as voice, seal the anointing. The one speaking should offer such prayers, pronounce such blessings, give such promises, say such things, and rebuke the affliction - all as the Spirit of the Lord may dictate.

Ordinarily one administration is sufficient for one illness, although in serious cases, or where other circumstances seem to dictate the propriety of such, a sick person may be administered to several times during one illness. It is also the common practice, if a sick person has recently been anointed, for those performing a second administration merely to give the sick person a blessing in the authority of the priesthood, hi an emergency, where only one elder is present or available, he may either give the sick person a blessing or he can both anoint and seal in a formal administration.

Ordinances of administration with actual healings resulting therefrom are one of the evidences of the divinity of the Lord's work. Where these are, there is God's kingdom; where these are not, there God's kingdom is not. Sincere investigators must necessarily beware of the devil's substitutes of the true ordinances.




In the Old Testament record, Christ is frequently referred to under the Hebrew word Adonai - a term having reference to God, meaning literally my Lord, but usually translated as Lord.




By the law of adoption those who receive the gospel and obey its laws, no matter what their literal blood lineage may have been, are adopted into the lineage of Abraham. (Abra. 2: 9-11) "The effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile," the Prophet says, "is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham." Such a person has "a new creation by the Holy Ghost." (Teachings, pp. 149-150.) Those who magnify their callings in the Melchizedek priesthood are promised that they will be "sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham." (D. & C. 84:33-34) Indeed, the faithful are adopted to the family of Christ; they become "the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters"; they are "spiritually begotten," for their "hearts are changed through faith on his name," thus being "born of him," becoming "his sons and his daughters." (Mosiah 5:7.) Paul explained the doctrine of adoption by saying, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God," because they receive "the Spirit of adoption," being or becoming Israelites, "to whom pertaineth the adoption." (Rom. 8:14-24; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5.)







1. "Thou shall not commit adultery." (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18; D. & C. 42:24.) Sex immorality stands next to murder in the category of personal crimes; it is "most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost." (Alma 39:5.) Anciently the penalty therefore was death; "the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Lev. 20: 10; Deut. 22:21-29.)

In the initial day of judgment, at the Second Coming of our Lord, Christ "will be a swift witness . . . against the adulterers," and they shall be burned as stubble. (Mai. 3:5; 4:1.) Adulterers shall be cast down to hell to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire; and their eventual destiny - after suffering the torments of the damned until the second resurrection - shall be that of the telestial kingdom. (D. & C. 76:103-106.) They shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-1 1.) Adultery opens the flood gates of wickedness in general. Physical disease, divorce, illegitimacy, violence, broken homes, and a host of evils always attend adulterous acts. There never was an adulterer, for instance, who was not also a liar; the two always go together. Adulterers are sign-seekers (Matt. 12:39; 16:4); their spirits are diseased so as to hinder them in recognizing and accepting the gospel truths and thus becoming heirs of salvation.

Adulterous acts are born spiritually before they are committed temporally; they proceed out of the heart. (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21.) As a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7.) Therefore, "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28; 3 Ne. 12:17-28.) "He that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear." (D. & C. 63:16.)

When the day comes that men live again - as they did in the golden era of Nephite history - the perfect law of marriage, then "whoso shall marry her who is divorced" shall be guilty of adultery. (3 Ne. 12:31- 32; Matt. 5:31-32.) "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." (Luke 16:18; Matt. 19:9.)

Is it possible to repent of adultery and gain forgiveness of sins so as to be saved in the celestial kingdom of God? Yes in most cases; No in some. Forgiveness with resultant celestial salvation depends upon the light and knowledge of the one guilty of the grossly wicked adulterous relationship. Worldly people who repent with all their hearts, accept baptism, and then conform to the Lord's law shall be saved even though guilty of adultery before accepting the truth. (1 Cor. 6:9- 11; 3 Ne. 30.)

Speaking to members of the Church in 1831 - prior to the restoration of the temple covenants and ceremonies - the Lord said: "Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out. But he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; But if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out." (D. & C. 42:24-26.)

After a person has advanced in righteousness, light, and truth to the point that the fullness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord have been received so that he has been sealed up unto eternal life, and his calling and election has been made sure, then as expressed in the Prophet's language, the law is: "If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom." (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 81; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 92-94.)

2. In a spiritual sense, to emphasize how serious it is, the damning sin of idolatry is called adultery. When the Lord's people forsake him and worship false gods, their infidelity to Jehovah is described as whoredoms and adultery. (Jer. 3: 8-9; Hos. 1:2; 3:1.) By forsaking the Lord, his people are unfaithful to their covenant vows, vows made to him who symbolically is their Husband.







This name for Satan signifies that he is the enemy of all righteousness, opposes every good thing with evil, and is the arch foe of every upright person. Endowed with agency, he came out in open rebellion in pre-existence and has ever since been the chief antagonist of every righteous cause, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." (2 Ne. 2:11.) "Be sober, be vigilant," Peter said, "because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Pet. 5:8.)







Our Lord acts according to the law of advocacy or intercession in pleading the cause of his faithful saints before the tribunals of eternity. (D. & C. 45:3-4.)




Christ is the Advocate with the Father, meaning that he pleads the cause of the righteous in the courts above. (D. & C. 29:5; 32:3; 62:1; 110:4; Moro. 7:28; 1 John 2:1.) "Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him - Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life." (D. & C. 45:3-5.)




Afflictions, including sorrow, adversity, tribulation, calamity, and trouble - all these are the common lot of mankind; they are an essential cart of this probation. "Be patient in afflictions." (D. & C. 31:9; 66:9.)

Frequently afflictions are imposed as a result of disobedience, and they could be avoided by righteousness. If Zion, for instance, "observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her," the Lord said, "I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire." (D. & C. 97:26; 101:1-9.)




Agency is the ability and freedom to choose good or evil. It is an eternal principle which has existed with God from all eternity. The spirit offspring of the Father had agency in pre-existence and were thereby empowered to follow Christ or Lucifer according to their choice. (Moses 4:3; D. & C. 29:36-37.) It is by virtue of the exercise of agency in this life that men are enabled to undergo - the testing which is an essential part of mortality. (Moses 3:17; 4:3; 7:32; Abra. 3:25-28.)

Four great principles must be in force if there is to be agency: 1 . Laws must exist, laws ordained by an Omnipotent power, laws which can be obeyed or disobeyed; 2. Opposites must exist - good and evil, virtue and vice, right and wrong - that is, there must be an opposition, one force pulling one way and another pulling the other; 3. A knowledge of good and evil must be had by those who are to enjoy the agency, that is, they must know the difference between the opposites; and 4. An unfettered power of choice must prevail.

Agency is given to man as an essential part of the great plan of redemption. As with all things appertaining to this plan, it is based on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. As Lehi expressed it: "Because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." (2 Ne. 2:26-30; 10:23; Alma 13:3; Hela. 14:31.)

Agency is so fundamental a part of the great plan of creation and redemption that if it should cease, all other things would vanish away. "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence." (D. & C. 93:30.) Expanding and interpreting this revealed principle, Lehi said: "it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God. "And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away." (2 Ne. 2:11-14; D.&C. 29:39.)

Agency is the philosophy of opposites, and because these opposites exist, men can reap either salvation or damnation by the use they make of their agency. If it were not for the law of agency, there could be no judgment according to works and consequently no rewards or punishments. "Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you" (Moses 6:33), is the voice of the Lord to all people of all ages. (Alma30:8; Josh. 24:15.)

Satan "sought to destroy the agency of man" (Moses 4:3), an eventuality which would have made the attainment of salvation impossible, and accordingly he was cast out of heaven. Two great agencies on earth pattern their courses in accordance with Lucifer's program of compulsion and seek to deny the inalienable right of agency to men. These are the church of the devil and the communistic dictatorship, both of which prosper proportionately as they are able to withhold truth from their adherents and compel them through fear to conform to the "religious" and "party" lines. On the other hand, it is the will of the Lord that all agencies, governments included, should be so ordained "That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment." (D. & C. 101 :78.)

Churches which teach that men are predestined to gain salvation or damnation, according to the election of God, regardless of the acts of the individual, find no place in their theology for the true doctrine of agency. Their reasoning is to this effect: Why is there any need for agency, so as to be able to perform good works leading to salvation, if your salvation is determined by Deity on the basis of predestination regardless of works? Thus the false doctrine of predestination begets the false doctrine that men are not free to work out their own salvation, as such is made possible through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The Church of England, for instance, in its Articles of Religion, under the heading of "Free Will," says: "The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will." (Book of Common Prayer, p. 663.)

Agency, of course, is exercised in accordance with law. Once a final choice has been made, there is no turning back to seek the opposite goal. Men may exercise their agency to repent and turn to the Lord in this life, in which event they will be saved. But if they choose to rebel against the light and work wickedness, they will be damned. And once they are damned, there is no power of choice left whereby they can alter their course and gain salvation. If men choose to commit suicide, for instance, they will continue to have agency in hell, but they will not be able to use it to gain their lives back again. The purpose of this life is to test men, to see if they will take the bodies which have been given them, and by the righteous exercise of agency make those bodies fit abodes for the Spirit of God.

*Age of Accountability

Age of Accountability


*Age of Restoration

Age of Restoration





Agnosticism is the doctrine that God is not known and cannot be known. It is the concept that his existence can be neither proved nor disproved, and hence it neither affirms nor denies that existence. To the agnostics God is unknown and unknowable because they are unwilling to accept as proof the evidence of revelation and spiritual manifestations. Unless this is done no man can come to a knowledge of God, for "the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. . . . The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:11-14.) Similarly agnosticism rejects any knowledge about the ultimate origin of the universe.

From the gospel standpoint, agnostics are properly classified as being in opposition to the truth. However much they may claim to be neutral by neither affirming nor denying eternal truths, yet that very neutrality makes them enemies of God. In the ultimate analysis there is no such thing as neutrality. "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matt. 12:30.)




In the pure language spoken by Adam - and which will be spoken again during the millennial era (Zeph. 3:9) - the name of God the Father is Ahman, or possibly Ah Man, a name-title having a meaning identical with or at least very closely akin to Man of Holiness. (Moses 6:57.) God revealed himself to Adam by this name to signify that he is a Holy Man, a truth which man must know and comprehend if he is to become like God and inherit exaltation. (1 John 3: 1-3; D. & C. 132:19-24.)

"There is one revelation," Orson Pratt said, "that this people are not generally acquainted with. I think it has never been published, but probably will be in the Church History. It is given in questions and answers. The first question is, 'What is the name of God in the pure language?' The answer says, 'Ahman.' 'What is the name of the Son of God?' Answer, son Ahman - the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Ahman.' 'What is the name of men?' sons Ahman,' is the answer. 'What is the name of angels in the pure language?' Angloman.

"This revelation goes on to say that Sons Ahman are the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Son Ahman and Ahman, and that Angloman are the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Sons Ahman, Son Ahman and Ahman, showing that the angels are a little lower than man." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 342.)

Since God revealed himself to Adam by certain names, we might suppose that those names, or variants of them, would be preserved among succeeding generations, even though people coming later developed false religions. It is, also, not uncommon for important names to be earned from one language to another by transliteration rather than translation. Hence, it is of more than passing interest to note that the Egyptians worshiped a deity, considered by them to be supreme, whose name bears a striking resemblance to that of the true God, as his name was recorded in the Adamic language. The Egyptian deity Ammon, or Amon, or Amen (who corresponds to Zeus of the Greeks and Jupiter of the Romans) was first worshiped as the local deity of Thebes; he was shown as a ramheaded god of life and reproduction. Later, united with the sun-god to become a supreme deity, he was known as Amen-Ra, with the other gods as his members or parts.

It is also interesting to note that Amen, a transliterated word which is the same in Egyptian, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Anglo-Saxon, and English, is one of the names of Christ. Speaking to John on the isle of Patmos, our Lord said: "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14.)




Alchemy is the great medieval science which, bordering on magic and sorcery, had as its objectives to transmute base metals into gold, to discover the universal cure for diseases, and to prolong life indefinitely.

*Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic Beverages








*Almighty God

Almighty God


Both the Father and the Son, being omnipotent Gods, are designated by the name-titles. Almighty (Gen. 49:25; Rev. l:8;2Ne. 23:6; Hela. 10: 1 1; D. & C. 84:96; 121:33), Almighty God (Gen. 17:1;28:3; 1Ne. 17:48; D. & C. 20:21; 87:6; 88:106), Lord Almighty (D. & C. 84:118; 2 Cor. 6:18), and Lord God Almighty (Rev. 4:8; 11: 17.; 21:22; D. & C. 109:77; 121:4; 1 Ne. 1:14; 2 Ne. 9:46.) These designations signify that these holy beings have all power and unlimited might. A deep sense of reverence is implicit in the use of each name-title.




Almsgiving is the contribution of free gifts to relieve the poor; the spirit that attends such a course is of God and finds its highest manifestation in the organized charitable enterprises of his earthly kingdom. Paul, for instance, in his day, carried alms to the poor saints in Jerusalem (Acts 24:17), he having first assembled the contributions from the saints in Macedonia and Achaia. (Acts 11:29; Rom. 15:25-28.) In modem times the major portion of the almsgiving of the saints is administered through the great church Welfare Plan.

Giving alms is not an optional thing; it is a command of the Lord. (Luke 11:41; 12:31-34.) "verily, verily, I say that I would that ye should do alms unto the poor," our Lord said to his Nephite saints, "but take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father who is in heaven. Therefore, when ye shall do your alms do not sound a trumpet before you, as will hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly." (3 Ne. 13:1-4; Matt. 6:1-4.)

Prayers are answered for those who freely give alms to the poor, but the heavens are sealed where the petitions of those who do not give alms are concerned. "If ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need - I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith." (Alma 34:28; Acts 10; D. & C. 88:2; 112:1.)

*Alpha and Omega

Alpha and Omega


Christ bears the title Alpha and Omega. (D. & C. 19:1;63:60; 68:35; 75:1; 81:7; 112:34; 132:66; Rev. 1 : 8-17; 21:6; 22:13.) These words, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, are used figuratively to teach the timelessness and eternal nature of our Lord's existence, that is, that from eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail." (D. & C. 76:4.)




One of the name-titles of Christ is Alphus (D. & C. 95:17), a derivative of the Greek Alpha. Use of this title emphasizes our Lord's high status of godhood in pre-existence; he was God from eternity; by diligence and obedience, while yet a Spirit Being, he became "like unto God" the Father. (Abra. 3:22-24.)




In the days when sacrifices were required as part of true divine worship, they were offered on raised earth or stone structures called altars. Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (Gen. 12:7), and Lehi (1 Ne. 2:7), for instance, built altars and offered sacrifices upon them. Altars were also found in the temples and perhaps in other holy structures, at which God was worshiped (Alma 15:17), and where the faithful came "to call on his name and confess their sins before him." (Alma 17:4.) Today, as anciently, temples contain altars at which sacred ordinances, including celestial marriage, are performed. John saw a "golden altar" in heaven before the tin-one of God. (Rev. 6:9; 8:3; 9:13.)




1 . In Hebrew amen means truly, certainly, faithfully; in English it means so be it; and it has always had a distinctively religious usage. Saying amen is a proper means of making solemn affirmation (Rev. 1:18; 22:20); it is an utterance used in confirming agreements (1 Kings 1:36); prayers and sermons are properly so ended (Matt. 6:13); those who hear and concur in prayers and sermons should add their own amen (1 Cor. 14: 16); indeed, by saying amen concurrence is given to any worshipful utterance, sermon, or solemn declaration. (D. & C. 88: 135; Ps. 106:48; Rev. 5:13-14; 19:4.) There are about a score of instances in which the amen is found in the Bible, nearly twice that many in the Book of Mormon, and nearly every revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants is so closed.

As a result of unrighteousness, it is "Amen to the priesthood" of a man, meaning that his priesthood comes to an end, as far as being a power which would assure the bearer of eternal life is concerned. (D. & C. 121:33-46.)

2. One of Christ's names is Amen (Rev. 3:14), a title given to show that it is in and through him that the seal of divine affirmation is placed on all the promises of the Father.




America, meaning the United States of America, is the Gentile nation established on the Western Hemisphere in the last days "by the power of the Father," so that the true Church might be set up and preserved among men. The American nation as such - with all its freedoms, rights, and constitutional guarantees - came into being and continues to exist so that a proper religious climate would prevail for the restoration and spread of the gospel. (3 Ne. 21.)

*American Indians

American Indians


When Columbus discovered America, the native inhabitants, the American Indians as they were soon to be designated, were a people of mixed blood and origin. Chiefly they were Lamanites, but such remnants of the Nephite nation as had not been destroyed had, of course, mingled with the Lamanites. (1Ne. 13:30; 2 Ne. 3:1-3; 9:53; Alma 45:13-14; D. & C. 3:16-19.) Thus the Indians were Jews by nationality (D. & C. 57:4), their forefathers having come out from Jerusalem, from the kingdom of Judah. (2 Ne. 33:8-10.)

Thus also they were of the House of Israel. Lehi was of the tribe of Manasseh (Alma 10:3), Ishmael of the tribe of Ephraim, and Mulek of the tribe of Judah. (Hela. 8:20-22.) We have no knowledge of the tribal affiliation of Zoram, and it is possible that other tribes may have been represented in the colony that accompanied Mulek. It was primarily the tribes of Benjamin and Judah which made up the kingdom of Judah, but there may have been a sprinkling of all the tribes intermingled with them.

The American Indians, however, as Columbus found them also had other blood than that of Israel in their veins. It is possible that isolated remnants of the Jaredites may have lived through the period of destruction in which millions of their fellows perished. It is quite apparent that groups of orientals found their way over the Bering Strait and gradually moved southward to mix with the Indian peoples. We have records of a colony of Scandinavians attempting to set up a settlement in America some 500 years before Columbus. There are archaeological indications that an unspecified number of groups of people probably found their way from the old to the new world in pre-Columbian times. Out of all these groups would have come the American Indians as they were discovered in the 1 5th century.

Since the days of the Spanish conquests and colonizations of Mexico and South America, there has been farther dilution of the pure Lamanitish blood. But with it all, for the great majority of the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, the dominant blood lineage is that of Israel. The Indians are repeatedly called Lamanites in the revelations to the Prophet, and the promise is that in due course they "shall blossom as the rose" (D. & C. 49:24), that is, become again a white and delightsome people as were their ancestors a great many generations ago.










Anathema is a Greek word meaning accursed. Hence, a person or thing cursed by God or his authority, as for instance one who has been excommunicated, is anathema. (Rom. 9:3.) "Wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world." (D. & C. 50:8.)

Paul's statement, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha" (1 Cor. 16:22), probably means, let him be accursed until the Lord comes." Maranatha, an Aramaic word meaning, O our Lord, come, appears to have been used by the primitive saints as a watchword or salutation by which they reminded each other of the promised second Coming. Paul's statement, "The Lord is at hand" (Philip. 4:5), and John's, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20), carry the same hope and encouragement.

*Anathema Maranatha

Anathema Maranatha





*Ancient of Days

Ancient of Days


Having particular reference to his position as the patriarchal head of the human family - the first man, "the first and oldest of all, the great, grand progenitor" - Adam is known as the Ancient of Days. (D. & C. 27:11; Teachings, pp. 157-159, 167-169.) In this capacity he will yet sit in formal judgment upon "ten thousand times ten thousand" of his posterity, and before him at Adam-ondi-Ahman will be brought the Son of Man to receive "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him." (Dan. 7:9-14.)




Our Lord is called The Angel by Jacob in the blessing which he gave to Ephraim and Manasseh. "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads," he said. (Gen. 48: 15-16.) The Inspired Version makes no change in this statement, although a number of other matters in connection with the same occurrences are changed in that more perfect version. Obviously the meaning is that Christ is the Messenger of Salvation, the Messenger of the Covenant (Mai. 3:1), the One carrying out his Father's will. (Moses 4:2.)

It may be that the King James translators were attempting to use language in the same way when they recorded the experience of Moses at the burning bush in these words: "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. . . . And . . . God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, ... I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Ex. 3:2-6.)

It was not an angel in the usual sense of the word but the Lord Jesus who appeared to Moses in the bush. The passage is more meaningful if the term The Angel is interpreted in the same sense in which Jacob used it. In this instance the Inspired Version concurs by changing the account to read, "The presence of the Lord appeared unto him, in a flame of fire in the midst of a bush" (Inspired Version, Ex. 3:2), thus showing that what the King James Version calls The Angel is The Lord.

*Angel of Light

Angel of Light


*Angel of the Bottomless Pit

Angel of the Bottomless Pit


John used this expressive language, angel of the bottomless pit, to describe Satan, having particular reference to his status as the king of hell, the ruling authority over those cast into the pit which is hell. (Rev. 9:11.)




God's messengers, those individuals whom he sends (often from his personal presence in the eternal worlds), to deliver his messages (Luke 1:11-38); to minister to his children (Acts 10: 1-8, 30-32); to teach them the doctrines of salvation (Mosiah 3); to call them to repentance (Moro. 7:31); to give them priesthood and keys (D. & C. 13; 128:20-21); to save them in perilous circumstances (1 Ne. 3:29-31; Dan. 6:22); to guide them in the performance of his work (Gen. 24: 7); to gather his elect in the last days (Matt. 24:31); to perform all needful things relative to his work (Moro. 7:29-33) - such messengers are called angels.

These messengers, agents, angels of the Almighty, are chosen from among his offspring and are themselves pressing forward along the course of progression and salvation, all in their respective spheres. The following types of beings serve the Lord as angels:

1 . Pre-existent Spirits. - Before men were first placed on this earth, there was war in heaven. "Michael and his angel fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels." (Rev. 12:7.) All the angels here involved were the spirit children of the Father. The angel who appeared to Adam, the first man, and asked him why he was offering sacrifices apparently was one of these spirits from pre-existence (Moses 5:6-8), for no angels minister to this earth except those who belong to it (D. & C. 130:5), and up to that time no one had been either translated or resurrected.

2. Translated Beings. - Many righteous Persons in the early days of the earth's history were translated. (Inspired Version, Gen. 14:26-36.) Enoch and the whole city of Zion were among these. (Moses 7:18-69.) These translated Personages became "ministering angels unto many planets." (Teachings, p. 170.) Many of the angels who ministered to righteous men anciently, without question, were translated beings. The Three Nephites, after their translation, became "as the angels of God" (3 Ne. 28:30), and have continued to minister and appear unto mortal men from time to time. John the Revelator ministered as a translated being to the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in connection with the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood. (D. & C. 7; 27:12-13.) It could well be that Paul had translated beings in mind when he said that "some have entertained angels unawares." (Heb. 13:2.)

3. Spirits Of Just Men Made Perfect. - Part of the "innumerable company of angels" in "the heavenly place" are the "spirits of just men made perfect." (D. & C. 76:66-69; Heb. 12:22-24) These are the spirits of men who have worked out their salvation, but are awaiting the day of the resurrection. (D. & C. 129.)

4. Resurrected Personages. - Many instances of ministration by resurrected angels have occurred since the coming forth of our Lord from the tomb. (Matt. 27:52-53; Hela. 14:25.) These angels, having bodies of flesh and bones (D. & C. 129), have played an indispensable part in the restoration of the gospel. Peter, James (D. & C. 27:12-13; 128: 20), John the Baptist (D. & C. 13), Moroni, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael (D. & C. 128:20-21), Moses, Elijah, and Elias (D. & C. 110:11-16; 133: 54-55) all came to earth as resurrected personages to confer their keys, powers, and authorities again upon men. Moses and Elijah, who the first instance had been translated, "were with Christ in his resurrection." (D. & C. 133:55.)

It is of these angels, and others of like righteousness, that the revelation says: "Then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him" (D. & C. 88:107), meaning that these worthy saints and angels shall receive exaltation. They shall be gods. But those angels who did not abide in the fullness of the gospel law shall, after their resurrection, continue as "angels of God forever and ever." Such group shall be "ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory." (D. & C. 132:16-17.)

5. Righteous Mortal Men. - Even certain righteous mortal men are called angels in the revelations. The King James version gives an account of "two angels" rescuing Lot from Sodom. In the account these angels are called "men" and the wicked inhabitants of Sodom so considered them. (Gen. 19.) The Inspired version tells us that actually there were "three angels," and that these "angels of God" in reality "were holy men." (Inspired Version, Gen. 19.)

Also in the King James version, the Lord is quoted as saying such things as, "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write" (Rev. 2:1) such and such, meaning that the message should be written to the bishop or presiding elder, such individual being designated as an angel. (Rev. 2:8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14.) In the Inspired version this rather unusual usage of the name angel is changed so that the quotation reads, "Unto the servant of the church of Ephesus write." (Inspired Version, Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14.) This inspired rendition more accurately accords with the manner in which we ordinarily use words today.

*Angels of the Devil

Angels of the Devil


*Angel's Time

Angel's Time





As with nearly all strong emotions or passions, anger is manifest both in righteousness and in unrighteousness. Always there is a sense of displeasure attending it, and usually this is accompanied by a feeling of antagonism, excited by a sense of injury or insult.

Righteous anger is an attribute of Deity. His anger is everlastingly kindled against the wicked. (D. & C. 1:13; 5:8; 60:2; 63:11, 32; 84:24.) Similarly, an inspired man might speak or act in righteous anger, as when Moses broke the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were written, or as when our Lord drove the money changers from the temple.

But where man is concerned there is peril in anger, and the fear is ever present that the emotion and passion attending it will be exercised in unrighteousness. "Can ye be angry, and not sin?" Paul asked. (Inspired Version, Eph. 4:26.) "Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause," our Lord said in the Sermon on the Mount, "shall be in danger of the judgment." (Matt. 5:22.)




Because angels are of the same race as man and God, it is with perfect logic that in the pure language spoken by Adam, they were designated as Anglo-man. This is in harmony with the Adamic designation of God as Ahman, of the Son as Son Ahman, and of men generally as Sons Ahman.




Both the righteous and the wicked suffer anguish of soul, meaning excruciating distress and extreme pain of body and mind. The righteous suffer anguish in this life because of the sins and rebellion of their brethren. (1 Ne. 17:47; 2 Ne. 26:7; Mosiah 25:11; Alma 8:14; Morm. 6:16.) Christ himself suffered until blood came from every pore, so great was "his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people." (Mosiah 3:7.)

The wicked and rebellious may suffer some anguish of conscience in this life (Alma 38:8; D. & C. 124:52), but the great penalty for their rebellion is in the future. Of such a person, King Benjamin said: "If that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever." (Mosiah 2:38; Rom. 2:9.)

*Animal Magnetism

Animal Magnetism





Animals, birds, fowls, fishes, plants, and all forms of life occupy an assigned sphere and play an eternal role in the great plan of creation, redemption, and salvation. They were all created as spirit entities in pre-existence. (Moses 3:1-9.) When first placed on earth in the Garden of Eden, they were immortal. The revealed record, speaking of the edenic day, specifies: "All things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end." (2 Ne. 2:22.) Such would have been the continuing condition had there been no fall of Adam, but Adam and all forms of life were subject to the fall and have been living on earth in their mortal states ever since.

At the Second Coming, when the earth is taken back to its edenic state, "every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of the heavens, or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed. . . . And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease from before my face." (D. & C. 101:24-26.) Then finally, all these forms of life will come up in the resurrection, "in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity." (D. & C. 77:3.)

*Animal Sacrifices

Animal Sacrifices





There is no such thing as annihilation, no such thing as matter or element of any sort going out of existence. The elements are eternal; they may be organized and reorganized, but they cannot be destroyed. (D. & C. 93:33; Teachings, pp. 350-352.)




Gabriel's appearance to Mary to make solemn announcement of the coming birth of our Lord is referred to as the Annunciation. (Luke 1: 26-38.)

*Anointed One

Anointed One


Literally interpreted the Hebrew Messiah means Anointed One, and accordingly Christ is the Anointed One. (Ps. 2; Acts 4:23-30.) He was the Anointed of the Father to carry the eternal truths of salvation to the living and the dead. (Isa. 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-32; Acts 10:38.)




*Anointing With Oil

Anointing With Oil




See Music.

*Anthropomorphic God

Anthropomorphic God

See GOD.

Strictly speaking anthropomorphism is the conception that God has human attributes and characteristics; hence, people who profess to worship a personal God are sometimes said to believe in an anthropomorphic God. Actually, of course, man was created in God's image, not God in man's. But since man is the inheritor of the physical form and, to some extent, the attributes and characteristics of Deity, it follows that Deity has the same form and the fullness of the attributes enjoyed by men, and so in a rather inaccurate sense it may be agreed that the true God is an anthropomorphic Being.







An antichrist is an opponent of Christ; he is one who is in opposition to the true gospel, the true Church, and the true plan of salvation. (1 John 2:19; 4:4-6.) He is one who offers salvation to men on some other terms than those laid down by Christ. Sherem (Jac. 7:1-23), Nehor (Alma 1:2-16), and Korihor (Alma 30:6-60) were antichrists who spread their delusions among the Nephites.

"Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." (2 John 7.) "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?" John asked. "He is an antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." (1 John 2:22.) Though many modem day religionists profess to believe in Christ, the fact is they do not accept him as the literal Son of God and have not turned to him with the full knowledge and devotion necessary to gain salvation. "Whosoever receiveth my word receiveth me," he said, "and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent, whom I have made counselors for my name's sake unto you." (D. & C. 112:20.)

The saints in the meridian of time, knowing there would be a great apostasy between their day and the Second Coming of our Lord, referred to the great apostate church as the anti-christ. "Little children, it is the last time," John said, "and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." (1 John 2:18.) "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:3.) This great antichrist which is to stand as the antagonist of Christ in the last days, and which is to be overthrown when he comes to cleanse the earth and usher in millennial righteousness, is the church of the devil (Rev. 13; 17), with the man of sin at its head. (2 Thess. 2:1-12.)




Anything viewed as a prophetic revelation is an apocalypse. The name comes from a Greek word meaning revelations; the book of Revelation in the Bible is called the Apocalypse. Much apocalyptic literature is also found in other parts of the Bible as well as in all of the standard works of the Church.

Uninspired scholars theorize that apocalyptic writings are attempts on the part of the prophets to escape from reality, to hold out future and ethereal hopes of better things to people who are presently bound down by the turmoil and strife of this life. Actually, of course, these so-called apocalyptic records are not hidden from the understanding of those who have the same spirit of revelation which rested upon the original prophets. (2 Pet. 1:20-21.) They are part of the Lord's revelation of his eternal plan of salvation.




Scholars and Biblical students have grouped certain apparently scriptural Old Testament writings, which they deem to be of doubtful authenticity or of a spurious nature, under the title of the Apocrypha. There has not always been agreement as to the specific writings which should be designated as apocryphal, but the following are now generally so listed: 1st and 2nd Esdras (sometimes called 3rd and 4th Esdras, because in the Douay Bible, Ezra is 1st Esdras, and Nehemiah, 2nd Esdras); Tobit; Judith; the rest of the chapters of Esther; Wisdom of Solomon; Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus; Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah; additional parts of Daniel, including the Song of the Three Holy Children, the History of Susanna, and the History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon; Prayer of Manasses; 1st and 2nd Maccabees (called in the Douay Version, 1st and 2nd Maccabees).

These apocryphal writings were never included in the Hebrew Bible, but they were in the Greek Septuagint (the Old Testament used by the early apostles) and in the Latin Vulgate. Jerome, who translated the Vulgate, was required to include them in his translation, though he is quoted as having decided they should be read "for example of life and instruction of manners" and should not be used "to establish any doctrine." Luther's German Bible grouped the apocryphal books together (omitting 1st and 2nd Esdras) at the end of the Old Testament under the heading: "Apocrypha: these are books which are not held equal to the sacred scriptures, and yet are useful and good for reading."

The Apocrypha was included in the King James version of 1611, but by 1629 some English Bibles began to appear without it, and since the early part of the 19th century it has been excluded from almost all protestant Bibles. The American Bible Society, founded in 1816, has never printed the Apocrypha in its Bibles, and the British and Foreign Bible Society has excluded it from all but some pulpit Bibles since 1827.

From these dates it is apparent that controversy was still raging as to the value of the Apocrypha at the time the Prophet began his ministry. Accordingly, in 1833, while engaged in revising the King James version by the spirit of revelation, the Prophet felt impelled to inquire of the Lord as to the authenticity of the Apocrypha. From the answer it is clear that the books of the Apocrypha were inspired writings in the first instance, but that subsequent interpolations and changes had perverted and twisted their original contexts so as to leave them with doubtful value.

Speaking of the Apocrypha the Lord says: "There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly; There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. Verily, 1 say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated. Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom; And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated." (D. & C. 91.)

There are certain Oriental Christian churches which have in their Bibles or other ecclesiastical literature some added apocryphal writings of Jewish origin. These books are supposed to have been written between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D. Those written in Hebrew are: Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Psalms of Solomon, Lives of the Prophets. Those written in Aramaic are: Jubilees, Testament of Job, Enoch, Martyrdom of Isaiah, Paralipomena of Jeremiah, Life of Adam and Eve, Assumption of Moses, Syriac Baruch, Apocalypse of Abraham. Those written in Greek are: Letter of Aristeas, Sibylline Oracles three, four, and five; 3rd and 4th Maccabees, Slavic Enoch, Greek Baruch.

Obviously, to gain any real value from a study of apocryphal writings, the student must first have an extended background of gospel knowledge, a comprehensive understanding of the standard works of the Church, plus the guidance of the Spirit.




This is one of the names of Satan. It is of Greek origin and means literally the Destroyer. Abaddon is the Hebrew equivalent. (Rev. 9:1 1.)




From Adam to the present, the whole history of the world has been one recurring instance of personal and group apostasy after another. To Adam the Lord gave the true gospel and the true government so that all matters pertaining to this mortal sphere could be governed and aligned in harmony with the order of heaven. Apostasy consists in the abandonment and forsaking of these true principles, and all those who do not believe and conform to them are in a apostate condition, whether they are the ones who departed from the truth or whether they inherited their false concepts from their apostate fathers.

Apostate peoples were swept off the earth by the universal flood in Noah's day, but immediately the process of apostatizing began again, and soon there were apostate individuals, groups, peoples, nations, and religions. The Lord's hand dealings with men have always been designed to keep the faithful from the treason of apostasy and to encourage those who do not have the fullness of truth to come to the light and reap the blessings of obedience.

Blessings have always attended conformity to true principles, while cursings have been the fruit of apostasy. The scattering of Israel, for example, took place because that people forsook their God and the true principles he had revealed to them. Their gathering takes place as they return to him and begin to live his laws. (Jer. 16:10-21.)

In the meridian of time our Lord personally restored his gospel and, through the ministry of his apostolic witnesses, offered its saving truths to all men. (Mark 1:14-15; 16:14-18.) He did not, however, restore the true order of political government; that was reserved for a future millennial era. (Acts 1:6-8.) Consequently men remained in subjection to man-made governments, but had the opportunity to accept the saving truths of pure religion. The great apostasy which is of importance and concern to men in this day is the one which took place when men departed from the pure Christianity which was restored in the meridian of time.

This universal apostasy began in the days of the ancient apostles themselves (2 Pet. 2:1-2); and it was known to and foretold by them. Paul recorded specifically that the Second Coming would not be until this great falling away took place. (2 Thess. 2:1-12.) He warned of the "perilous times" that should come "in the last days"; times when men would have "a form of godliness," but would deny "the power thereof; times when they would be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:1-7); times in which they would be turned "from the truth . . . unto fables." (2 Tim. 4:1-4.) Our Lord foretold the perplexities, calamities, and apostate wickedness of these same days. (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21.)

With the loss of the gospel, the nations of the earth went into a moral eclipse called the Dark Ages. Apostasy was universal. "Darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face." (D. & C. 1 12:23.) And this darkness still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 265-326.)

No better descriptions are to be found of the conditions of false latter-day churches than those recorded prophetically by Nephite prophets. Nephi said: "In the last days, or in the days of the Gentiles - yea, behold all the nations of the Gentiles and also the Jews, both those who shall come upon this land and those who shall be upon other lands, yea, even upon all the lands of the earth, behold, they will be drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations." (2 Ne. 27:1.) He spoke in detail of the many churches; of their pride, worldly learning, and denial of miracles; of their "envyings, and strifes, and malice"; of the secret combinations of the devil which commit murders and iniquities; of their priestcrafts and iniquities (2 Ne. 26:20-29); of the ministers who "shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance"' and of their "false and vain and foolish doctrines." (2 Ne. 28.)

Moroni described the direful apostasy that would prevail in the day of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. That volume "shall come in a day," he said, "when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches. . . . Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say. Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity. Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.

"O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies - because of the praise of the world? Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not? Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground for vengeance upon your heads?" (Morm. 8:28-41.)

To the extent that worldliness false doctrine, and iniquity are found among the saints, they too partake of the spirit of the great apostasy. Speaking of men in the last days Nephi said: "They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Ne. 28:14.) It follows that if members of the Church believe false doctrines; if they accept false educational theories; if they fall into the practices and abominations of the sectarians; if they use tea, coffee, tobacco or liquor; if they fail to pay an honest tithing; if they find fault with the Lord's anointed; if they play cards; if they do anything contrary to the standards of personal righteousness required by the gospel - then to that extent they are in personal apostasy and need to repent.

Since truth is always in harmony with itself, and since all true saints "speak the same thing," have "no divisions" among them, and are "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10-13), it follows that where there are divisions and contention there apostasy is present.

If modem churches do not conform to the New Testament pattern of the true Church, then the non-conforming organizations are apostate. This simple test of the authenticity of any church claiming to be the Lord's may be made by finding answer to such questions as: Where is there a church that has (according to the New Testament pattern) some combination of the names of Christ as its name? Where is there a church claiming to have priesthood of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek orders, as set forth in the New Testament? Where are there apostles, prophets, seventies, and all the officers put in the Church by our Lord? Where do we find all of the gospel ordinances, among others - baptism for the dead, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and administering to the sick?

Where are the true New Testament doctrines taught: That the plan of salvation consists in faith, repentance, baptism, gaining the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring in good works to the end; that there are degrees of glory in the eternal worlds; that the gospel is preached in the spirit world; that there was to be a universal apostasy, followed by an era of restoration; that the gospel was to be returned to earth by angelic ministration; that Israel was to be gathered in a day subsequent to New Testament times; and so forth? Where are all these New Testament doctrines taught? And above all, where are the gifts of the Spirit, the signs, visions, miracles, and marvelous works that, without respect of persons, "shall follow them that believe"? (Mark 16: 17.) For those who are honest and sincere in their search, it is not difficult to find out whether there has been a universal apostasy, and if so, where the truth is today.

*Apostate Cults

Apostate Cults








Christ is the great Apostle of the Church. (Heb. 3:1.) This means, not that he held the ordained office of apostle in the Melchizedek Priesthood, but that he himself stands as a special witness of his own divine mission. "I am the Son of God" is the witness he bears of himself (John 10:36; D. & C. 45:52.)




1 . An apostle is a Special witness of the name of Christ who is sent to teach the principles of salvation to others. He is one who knows of the divinity of the Savior by personal revelation and who is appointed to bear testimony to the world of what the Lord has revealed to him. Every elder in the Church is or should be an apostle; that is, as a minister of the Lord and as a recipient of personal revelation from the Holy Ghost, every elder has the call to bear witness of the truth on all proper occasions. Indeed, every member of the Church should have apostolic insight and revelation, and is under obligation to raise the warning voice. (D. & C. 88:81; Mosiah 18:9.)

In September, 1832, (nearly two and a half years before there were any ordained apostles in the Church) the Lord said to certain missionaries: "You are mine apostles, even God's high priests." (D. & C. 84:63-64) In fact, Joseph Smith became an apostle in the spring of 1820, as a result of the First Vision, even before priesthood was conferred upon him through the ministration of Peter, James, and John; and after the Church was established, the Lord ordained (meaning decreed) that he continue to serve in this high apostolic station. (D. & C. 20:1-4; 21:1; 27:12; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 144-149.)

Men are saved by giving heed to the words of the prophets and apostles sent among them and are damned for failure to heed the inspired testimony. (D. & C. 1:14.) And as with nearly all things, the devil offers a spurious substitute to deceive men. These "are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." (2 Cor. 11:13.) But faithful members of the Church have the assurance that they shall sit in judgment, "And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known." (D. & C. 64:37-39; Rev. 2:2.)

2. In the ordained sense, an apostle is one who is ordained to the office of apostle in the Melchizedek Priesthood. Ordinarily those so ordained are also set apart as members of the Council of the Twelve and are given all of the keys of the kingdom of God on earth. This apostleship carries the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel in all the world and also of ministering the affairs of the Church. Christ "chose twelve, whom also he named apostles" (Luke 6:13) and upon their shoulders the burden of the kingdom rested after he ascended to his Father. (1 Cor. 12:28.) The original Twelve in latter days were selected by revelation by the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon. (D. & C. 18:26-47)

The Twelve disciples among the Nephites ministered in an ordained apostolic capacity. (3 Ne. 18; 19; 27; 28.) In writing about the Book of Mormon, the Prophet said that it "tells us that our Savior made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection; that he planted the gospel here in all its fullness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had apostles, prophet, pastors teachers, and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings as were enjoyed on the eastern continent." (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 538.)

*Apostles Creed

Apostles Creed


According to tradition - the source of authority for so many false doctrinal and historical conclusions for which there is neither evidence nor proof - this creed dates back to apostolic times. The legend is that it was formulated by the Twelve Apostles "on the day of Pentecost, while still under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost," each of the group contributing to the final result. As to the actual origin of the creed, however, some Catholic historians trace it to a baptismal confession in use in Southern Gaul not earlier than the latter part of the 5th century. Others claim to find indications that an older form of the creed was in use in Rome as early as the middle of the 2nd century.

The creed professes to recite briefly "the fundamental tenets of Christian belief." There have been many versions in many places, all differing somewhat from each other. (Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 1, pp. 629-632.) The modem version, as published in Catholic manuals of devotion is:

"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic Church; the communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; the life everlasting. Amen."




*Apostolic Dispensation

Apostolic Dispensation


*Apostolic Fathers

Apostolic Fathers


Those religious writers who followed closely on the heels of the early apostles are called the apostolic fathers. They did not write by way of revelation or commandment, as the apostles did, and their writings are not scripture. But because they had opportunity to record their views on church government, organization, and doctrine in a day when the apostasy was not yet complete, such views are of real value in the study of primitive Christianity.

"In addition to the New Testament books, a certain number of writings of the first two hundred years of the Christian Era of authors who had known the apostles, the 'Church Fathers,' have survived. They include (1) The Letter of Clement of Rome, anonymous, but attributed to Clement, written about 96 A.D.; (2) The Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, martyred, according to Eusebius, 108 A.D.. in Rome; (3) The Teachings of the Twelve or the Didache, anonymous discovered by Bryennios in 1875 in the Patriarchal Library of Jerusalem at Constantinople; (4) The Letter of Barnabas, really anonymous, written probably during the first century; (5) The Letter of Polycarp, martyred, according to Eusebius, in 166-167 A.D.; (6) The Shepherd of Hermas, written by Hennas, brother of Pius who was bishop of Rome about 148 A.D.; and (7) Fragments of Papias.

"The difference in value between the books of the New Testament and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers is very striking. It is difficult to understand how so great a change could have occurred in so short a time. 'Until the death of the Apostles the deposit of revelation was progressively enriched, as Saint Paul writes: "the mystery of Christ has not been made known in other ages to the sons of man so clearly as it has now been revealed to the holy apostles and prophets (Eph. 3:45)"; after the death of the apostles, no new enrichment will be made.' (Lebreton et Zeiller (Catholique), L'Eglise primitive, p. 321.)" (James L. Barker, Protestors of Christendom, pp. 23-24.)

*Apostolic Letters

Apostolic Letters


*Apostolic Succession

Apostolic Succession


Every apostle who is set apart as a member of the Council or Quorum of the Twelve is given the keys of the kingdom. (D. & C. 1 12: 14-32; Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 71-77.) Since keys are the right of presidency and the kingdom of God on earth is the Church, it follows that each apostle so set apart receives the inherent power and authority to preside over the Church and direct all of its affairs. The fullness of these keys can be exercised only in the event an apostle becomes the senior apostle of God on earth, for unless he does there will always be someone above him to direct his labors. The senior apostle is always chosen and set apart as the President of the Church, and through this system of apostolic succession, the Lord has made provision for the continuation and preservation of his kingdom on earth. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 144-159.)

The quorum of the First Presidency is the supreme governing body of the Church, but the Twelve form a quorum "equal in authority and power" to them, meaning that when there is no First Presidency of three men, then the Twelve become the First Presidency in that they can then exercise all of the power and authority previously reserved to the Presidency. In the same sense the Seventy (meaning the first quorum of the Seventy, a body of 70 men) form a quorum equal in authority to that of the Council of the Twelve. (D. & C. 107:22-30.)

"The duty of the Twelve Apostles of the Church," President Joseph F. Smith said, "is to preach the gospel to the world, to send it to the inhabitants of the earth and to bear testimony of Jesus Christ the Son of God, as living witnesses of his divine mission. That is their special calling, and they are always under the direction of the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when that presidency is intact, and there is never at the same time two equal heads in the Church - never. The Lord never ordained any such thing, nor designed it. There is always a head in the Church, and if the Presidency of the Church are removed by death or other cause, then the next head of the Church is the Twelve Apostles, until a Presidency is again organized of three presiding high priests who have the right to hold the office of First Presidency over the Church." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 177-178.)

Apostolic succession was also the Church order in the meridian of time. The New Testament records, however, are so fragmentary that we cannot trace the events in detail which transpired in that day. But enough has been preserved to give a reasonably clear picture of what took place. Our Lord called and ordained the original Twelve, giving the keys of the kingdom to each member of the quorum. (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; John 15:16.) Paul taught plainly that the apostles were to continue in the true Church until the millennial era, that age in which all men will be converted and in which the necessity will no longer exist for sending the gospel message to the world. (Eph. 4:11-16; Jer. 31:31 -34.)

Matthias replaced Judas in the Council of the Twelve. (Acts 1:15-16.) "Paul was an ordained apostle, and without question he took the place of one of the other brethren in that Council." (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p. 153; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11; Tit. 1:1.) Barnabas (Acts 14:14) and "James the Lord's brother" (Gal. 1:19), neither of whom were numbered among the original Twelve, are also named apostles.

With the coming of the great apostasy, vacancies no longer were filled in the Council of the Twelve, and when the last apostle ceased to minister among mortals, the keys of the kingdom no longer were exercised, and the so-called Christian Church was no longer the Lord's Church. Vacancies were also filled in the Nephite Twelve until the day in which apostasy overtook that branch of the house of Israel. (4 Ne. 14.)




*Appendages to the Priesthood

Appendages to the Priesthood





An archangel is a chief angel. Michael (Adam) is the only one so designated in the scriptures proper. (D.&C. 29:26; 88:112; 107:54; 128:21; 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 9) And certainly he is the chief of all angels, the head (under Christ) of the heavenly hierarchy.

The Hebrew celestial hierarchy, however, is said to consist of seven archangels. The names of two of these, Michael and Gabriel, are found in the Bible and in latter-day revelation. (Jude 9; Luke 1:5-38; D. & C. 128:21.) The name of a third, Raphael, is found in the apocryphal book of Tobias and in the Doctrine and Covenants. (Tob. 12: 15; D. & C. 128:21.) The names of the other four - Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel - are found in the so-called Book of Enoch, a non-canonical apocalyptic work. (Enoch 21.) Apocryphal sources give the names of the last three as Izidkiel, Hanael, and Kepharel.

In reality, we know very little about the organization that exists among angelic beings; that a perfect, proper, and complex organization does exist is obvious, but the positions held by the various ministers in that celestial hierarchy have not been revealed in our day.







*Ark of Noah

Ark of Noah





*Armies of Heaven

Armies of Heaven


Those who follow Christ and fight for righteousness in the great battles of eternity are soldiers in the armies of heaven. Michael led these forces in pre-existence when Lucifer rebelled and there was war in heaven. (Rev. 12:7-8; D. & C. 29:36-38.) Our Lord himself is described by John as leading "the armies which were in heaven" in the great battle of Armageddon. (Rev. 19:11-21.)

It is Michael who "shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven" so they can fight "the battle of the great God," in which Lucifer and his angels shall be cast out eternally. (D. & C. 88:1 1 1-1 16.) In a sense, those who are fighting for righteousness here and now are also soldiers in the armies of heaven; though, for the moment, they are fighting a losing battle against the forces of sin, eventual triumph is assured.

*Article on Marriage

Article on Marriage


As early as 1832 the Lord revealed to the Prophet the doctrine of celestial marriage, including also the principle of plurality of wives. This was before the restoration of the sealing keys, and so the Lord did not command either the practice of eternal marriage or the practice of the added order of plurality of wives at that time. Monogamy and civil marriage remained and were, at that time, the order of the Church. The revelation setting forth the higher law of temple marriage was not recorded; the doctrine was not taught except in private to some of the leading brethren of the Church; and it was not practiced.

In 1835, in connection with the approval of the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants for publication, and in the absence of the Prophet, Oliver Cowdery wrote an article on marriage. The article, dealing with civil and monogamous marriage that is, with the then accepted marriage discipline of the Church - though not particularly a wise and proper presentation of the Church's views even on matters pertaining to civil marriage, was accepted by the people and approved for publication in the same book with the revelations. It was clearly understood by all concerned, however, that the article on marriage was not a revelation, that it contained Oliver Cowdery's views and not necessarily those of the Prophet, and that it was merely a statement of policy bearing on the system of civil marriage then prevailing in the Church and in the world.

When the Prophet returned and learned of the action taken relative to the publication of the article on marriage, he was greatly troubled. However, knowing that up to that date the new and everlasting covenant of marriage had only been revealed in principle, that there was as yet no command to practice it, and that the power and keys had not been restored whereby marriages could be solemnized so they would endure for eternity, he let the action stand. The higher order was to come later.

Then in 1836 Elijah came and restored the sealing power, the power to bind on earth and have it sealed eternally in the heavens. (D. & C. 110:13-16; 132:45-47.) At a still later date, temple endowments and other ordinances were revealed - all of which are a necessary prelude to the performance of an eternal marriage, a marriage between one man and one woman, or between one man and more than one women, as the case may be. After these things the practice of celestial marriage, including plurality of wives, was commanded. In 1843 the previously revealed doctrine of celestial marriage (including plurality of wives) was recorded for the first time; added truths were also stated in the revelation as finally recorded, as for instance a reference to the fact that the keys of sealing now had been given and also special instruction to Emma Smith relative to plural marriage. (D. & C. 132:45-47, 51-55.)

There was, of course, no opportunity to add the revelation on marriage to a new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants until after the saints came west. Temple endowments, celestial marriage, and plural marriage had all been practiced in Nauvoo, but being higher, sacred ordinances their practice had not as yet been announced to the world. After the saints came west the restored order of marriage discipline was taught publicly, and in due course the revelation on marriage was published. Obviously it was good sense to delete from the Doctrine and Covenants the article on marriage because it had application to a lesser order, an order that prevailed before the full law had been restored.

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has tried to make it appear that the article on marriage was the only approved order of the Church and that the revelation on marriage was a spurious one authored by Brigham Young. The facts, of course, destroy their specious claims. An understanding of the historical sequences involved and of the doctrinal principles relative to the sealing power make the truth very clear. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 195-198.)

*Articles of Faith

Articles of Faith


Joseph Smith wrote 13 brief statements which have become known as the Articles of Faith, statements which summarize some of the basic doctrines of the Church. These Articles of Faith are scripture and are published as part of the Pearl of Great Price.

For brevity, clearness, and forthrightness of doctrinal presentation, they are unexcelled. When compared with the muddied creeds formulated by the supposedly greatest religious thinkers of Christendom - creeds born amid the strife, bitterness, and debates of councils that struggled at length over every word and comma - the Articles of Faith, coming forth as the spontaneous and inspired writing of one man, are a marked evidence of the spirit of revelation that rested upon the Prophet.

These articles, of course, do not attempt to summarize all of the basic doctrines of the gospel. Indeed, one of the articles itself specifies that God "will yet reveal many great and important things" pertaining to his kingdom. (Ninth Article of Faith.) For example, the Articles of Faith are silent on such things as celestial marriage, salvation for the dead, temple work in all its phases, the resurrection, and degrees of glory in the eternal worlds.

*Ascension Day

Ascension Day


Since our Lord ascended in dramatic manner to his Father 40 days after his resurrection, it has become traditional among sectarians to celebrate the Thursday, 40 days after Easter, as ascension day. But since Easter is only the traditional day of his resurrection, it follows that ascension day is not the actual day of his formal return to his Father.

*Ascension of Christ

Ascension of Christ


Our Lord, after his resurrection, ascended to his Father and received the glory which was his before the world was. (John 16:28; 17:5.) Immediately following his resurrection, he said to Mary: 'Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17.) Thereafter he appeared to the disciples in the upper room and said, "Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39), from which it is supposed that during the interval he had ascended to his Father.

During the period of 40 days while he continued to minister as a resurrected Being among his disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 1:3), it is presumed that he ascended to his Father many times. But the particular instance which is commonly referred to as the ascension of Christ is that formal occasion on the mount of Olive when he took leave in dramatic form from his disciples. "While they beheld," the record avers, "he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said. Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-1 1.)

It should be noted particularly that he here ascended as a tangible Being, a Personage having that body of flesh and bones which those who beheld him go up had theretofore handled and felt and which had eaten food in their presence. (Luke 24:36-43.) After this formal ascension, our Lord ministered personally again on earth both to Paul and others in the old world and to chosen prophets in modem times. (Acts 9:1-9; 22:6-16; Rev. 1:13-18; Jos. Smith 2:16-20; D. & C. 110:1-10.)

The Book of Mormon record says "that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto" the Nephites. (3 Ne. 10:18; 11:12.) It would appear that from the manner in which Book of Mormon prophets speak of the ascension (Mosiah 18:2; Alma 40:20), that they have reference to his ascension immediately following his resurrection and not to that formal occasion 40 days after which later became known among Christian peoples as the ascension. Viewing the time differences between the old and new worlds, there would be no reason why he should not have ministered as a resurrected Being among the Nephites during the same interval in which he was continuing his resurrected walk with his followers in Jerusalem.




*Ashtoreth (Ashtaroth)

Ashtoreth (Ashtaroth


As Baal was the supreme male deity of the Phoenician and Canaanitish nations, so Ashtoreth (Ashtaroth) was their supreme female deity. She was the so-called goddess of love and fertility, whose licentious worship pleased Israel in her apostate periods. (Judges 2:13; 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:3-4; 12:10.)




*Assistant President of the Church

Assistant President of the Church


Oliver Cowdery was with the Prophet when the priesthood and keys necessary for the full restoration of the gospel and the establishment of the dispensation of the fullness of times were conferred. (D. & C. 13; 27:12; 1 10:1 1-16.) He held the keys jointly with the Prophet. At the formal organization of the Church the Prophet was sustained as the first elder and Oliver Cowdery as the second elder (D. & C. 20:2-3), that is, they were first and second from the standpoint of pre-eminence, or presiding authority. Then as the Church grew, and when the full organization was revealed, Oliver Cowdery was made the Assistant (or Associate) President of the Church.

As the Assistant President, Oliver ranked second in authority to the Prophet. He stood ahead of the Counselors in the First Presidency and ahead of the Council of the Twelve. In explaining the nature of the office of Assistant President, the Prophet said: "The office of Assistant President is to assist in presiding over the whole Church, and to officiate in the absence of the President, according to his rank and appointment viz.: President Cowdery, first; President [Sidney] Rigdon, second; and President [Frederick G.] Williams, third, as they were generally called. The office of this priesthood is also to act as spokesman, taking Aaron for an example. The virtue of the above priesthood is to hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven or of the Church militant." (Manuscript History of the Church, Book A, Chap. 1; Essentials in Church History, pp. 179-180.) Thus if the Prophet had died, Oliver Cowdery would have been the President of the Church.

After Oliver Cowdery fell from his high status, Hyrum Smith the Patriarch was chosen by revelation to succeed to the position of Assistant President and to stand as a joint witness with the Prophet of the truth of the restoration. (D. & C. 124:94-96.) When these two joint Presidents of the Church sealed their testimonies with their blood, the full operation of the keys of the kingdom rested with the Twelve, and Brigham Young, the senior apostle became the ranking officer of the Church. Since the kingdom was then fully established and the two witnesses had left a binding testimony, it was no longer necessary to continue the office of Assistant President. Accordingly the office is not found in the Church today. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 210-222.)

*Assistants to the Twelve

Assistants to the Twelve


From time to time as the needs of the ministry require those holding the keys of the kingdom call worthy and qualified brethren to serve in administrative positions in the Church. Assistants to the Twelve, with appointments to serve as General Authorities have been so called. They are high priests, not apostles, and serve pursuant to the revelation which says: "Other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all nations, but are to travel as their circumstances shall allow, notwithstanding they may hold as high and responsible offices in the church." (D. & C. 107:98.)

*Associate President of the Church

Associate President of the Church








A form of divination and fortune telling akin to sorcery, astrology is a pseudo science that pretends to divulge the influence of the stars upon human affairs; it is a false science that claims to foretell earthly events by means of the positions and aspects of these heavenly luminaries. It is, of course, one of Satan's substitutes for the true science of astronomy and for the true principle of receiving revelation of future events from divine sources.

Ancient uninspired peoples were frequently deluded by the snares of the astrologers among them (Isa. 47; Dan. 1:20; 2:27; 4:7; 5:7), but it is difficult to understand why people in modem and supposedly enlightened and civilized nations should submit to these same stargazing absurdities. Enlightened people in and out of the Church shun them for the abominations they are.




Astronomy is the science which treats of the celestial bodies, their creation, magnitudes, motions, constitution, and the like. It is falsely supposed in the world that this is a modem science, that through our telescopes and by other means we have discovered for the first time some of the great truths relative to the sidereal heavens and the infinite number of spheres that roll through them. In reality the greatest astronomers of all time lived in the early ages of the earth and received their knowledge by revelation from the Creator, Maker, and Organizer of all things.

Moses saw many earths - all created by Deity; all rolling in space at his command; all controlled by his law, "by which they move in their times and their seasons" (D. & C. 88:7-13, 41-50); all inhabited by men and women who are redeemed with immortality and offered eternal life through the power of the Father. (Moses 1:27-39.) Enoch was equally aware of these endless creations and their equally endless inhabitants. (Moses 7:29-36.) Perhaps many prophets and righteous men have known of these things.

But, as far as our records reveal, Abraham stands pre-eminent as the greatest astronomer of all the ages. He saw, recorded, and taught the truths relative to the creation of the earth; of the movements and relationships of the sun, moon, and stars; and of the positions and revolutions of the various spheres in the sidereal heavens. (Abra. 3; 4; 5; History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 286.) When the Lord comes again, he will reveal all things (D. & C. 101 :32-34); then the perfect knowledge of astronomy will be had again, and the faithful will know all things about all the creations of him who is omnipotent.

*Athanasian Creed

Athanasian Creed


Of all the major creeds, the so-called Athanasian is by far the most incomprehensible and difficult to understand. Of it Elder James E. Talmage says: "It would be difficult to conceive of a greater number of inconsistencies and contradictions expressed in words as few." (Articles of Faith, p. 48.)

Strangely, it is the one creed which its defending apologists feel called upon to praise for its clarity, lucidity, and plainness. Their official statement describes it as "a short, clear exposition of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, with a passing reference to several other dogmas." They promulgate it as a "summary of Catholic Faith," and as a document that "is approved by the Church as expressing its mind on the fundamental truths with which it deals." They eulogize "the compactness and lucidity of its statements," which "make it highly prized," and say that it "states in a very plain and precise way what the Catholic Faith is concerning the important doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation." Authorship of the creed is unknown, although Catholic authorities lean to the view that it was written by some less prominent person sometime after the day of Athanasius (296-373 A.D.).

Enlightened persons can judge for themselves whether this creed sheds light upon or blankets with darkness the truths it attempts to define. This is the official Catholic version of the creed:

"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensible but One Uncreated, and One Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

"So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

"So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

"Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

"God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved." (Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, pp. 33-34.)




Atheism is the disbelief in or denial of the existence of God. Such takes various forms, and there are many degrees of atheism. In the absolute sense, it is doubtful if there is such a person as an atheist, for even though one denies the traditionally taught concept of Deity, yet he probably worships at some other shrine as, for instance, the shrine of false intellectuality. At the other extreme, those who profess belief in the sectarian God are in a position at least akin to atheism for their God is defined in effect as an immaterial nothing.

Reasoning along this line Orson Pratt wrote: "There are two classes of atheists in the world. One class denies the existence of God in the most positive language; the other denies his existence in duration or space. One says 'There is no God'; the other says 'God is not here or there, any more than he exists now and then.' The infidel says 'God does not exist anywhere.' The immaterialist says 'He exists nowhere.' The infidel says. There is no such substance as God.' The immaterialist says 'There is such a substance as God, but it is without parts.' The atheist says 'There is no such substance as spirit.' The immaterialist says 'A spirit, though he lives and acts, occupies no room, and fills no space in the same way and in the same manner as matter, not even so much as does the minutest grain of sand.' The atheist does not seek to hide his infidelity; but the immaterialist, whose declared belief amounts to the same thing as the atheist's, endeavors to hide his infidelity under the shallow covering of a few words. The immaterialist is a religious atheist; he only differs from the other class of atheists by clothing an indivisible unextended nothing with the powers of a God. One class believes in no God; the other believes that Nothing is god and worships it as such." (Cited, Articles of Faith, p. 465.)

*Athletic Games

Athletic Games


*Atonement of Christ

Atonement of Christ


Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with that most transcendent of all events, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. It is the most important single thing that has ever occurred in the entire history of created things; it is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest. Indeed, all "things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it," the Prophet said. (Teachings, p. 121.)

The doctrine of the atonement embraces, sustains, supports, and gives life and force to all other gospel doctrines. It is the foundation upon which all truth rests, and all things grow out of it and come because of it. Indeed, the atonement is the gospel. In recording the Vision, the Prophet wrote: "And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us - That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him." (D. & C. 76:40-42.) To the Nephites the resurrected Lord spoke similarly: "Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you - that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross." (3 Ne. 27:13-14.)

Salvation comes because of the atonement. Without it the whole plan of salvation would be frustrated and the whole purpose behind the creating and populating of the earth would come to naught. With it the eternal purposes of the Father will roll forth, the purpose of creation be preserved, the plan of salvation made efficacious, and men will be assured of a hope of the highest exaltation hereafter. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. l,pp. 121-138.)

"Redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah," Lehi taught, "for he is full of grace and truth. Behold he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved." (2 Ne. 2:6-9.)

One of the greatest sermons of all the ages, preached by an angel from heaven on the subject of the atonement, includes these words: "As in Adam, or by nature, they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins. And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; . . . salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his Father." (Mosiah 3:16-19.)

A knowledge of two great truths is essential to an understanding of the doctrine of the atonement: 1. The fall of Adam; and 2. The divine Sonship of our Lord.

Adam's fall brought spiritual and temporal death into the world. Spiritual death is to be cast out of the presence of the Lord (2 Ne. 9:6) and to die as pertaining to things of righteousness, or in other words things of the Spirit. (Hela. 14:15-18.) Temporal death or natural death is the separation of body and spirit, the body going back to the dust from which it was created and the spirit to a world of waiting spirits to await the day of the resurrection.

To atone is to ransom, reconcile, expiate, redeem, reclaim, absolve, propitiate, make amends, pay the penalty. Thus the atonement of Christ is designed to ransom men from the effects of the fall of Adam in that both spiritual and temporal death are conquered; their lasting effect is nullified. The spiritual death of the fall is replaced by the spiritual life of the atonement, in that all who believe and obey the gospel law gain spiritual or eternal life - life in the presence of God where those who enjoy it are alive to things of righteousness or things of the Spirit. The temporal death of the fall is replaced by the state of immortality which comes because of the atonement and resurrection of our Lord. The body and spirit which separated, incident to what men call the natural death, are reunited in immortality, in an inseparable connection that never again will permit the mortal body to see conniption. (Alma 11:37-45; 12:16 18.) Immortality comes as a free gift, by the grace of God alone, without works of righteousness. Eternal life is the reward for "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." (Third Article of Faith.)

"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy," Lehi says. "And the Messiah Cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall." (2 Ne. 2:25-26.) "The atonement," King Benjamin explains, "was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world." (Mosiah 4:7.)

And Moroni taught that God "created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death. And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still." (Morm. 9:12-14.)

And thus the Lord says that because of the atonement, and following the "natural death," man is "raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe; And they that believe not unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not." (D. & C. 29:43-44.)

If there had been no atonement of Christ (there having been a fall of Adam!), then the whole plan and purpose connected with the creation of man would have come to naught. If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection. The body would have remained forever in the grave, and the spirit would have stayed in a spirit prison to all eternity. If there had been no atonement, there never would have been spiritual or eternal life for any persons. Neither mortals nor spirits could have been cleansed from sin, and all the spirit hosts of heaven would have wound up as devils, angels to a devil, that is, as sons of perdition.

Jacob, brother to righteous Nephi, has left us these inspired words: "For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. Wherefore it must needs be an infinite atonement save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself" (2 Ne. 9:6-9; D. & C. 29:39-41.)

Children and others who have not arrived at the years of accountability are automatically saved in the celestial kingdom by virtue of the atonement. "Little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin," the Lord says, "wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them." (Moro. 8:8; D. & C. 29:46-50; Mosiah 15:25; Teachings, p. 107.) The curse of Adam includes both temporal and spiritual death, and accordingly neither of these is binding upon children and those who have "no understanding" (D. & C. 29:50), that is, those who are not accountable. All such will be raised in immortality and unto eternal life.

Christ is the only person ever to be born in the world who had power to bring to pass the resurrection of himself or anyone else and to atone for the sins of any living being. This is because he had life in himself; he had the power of immortality by divine inheritance. The atonement came by the power of God and not of man, and to understand it one must believe that our Lord was literally the Son of God (an immortal Personage) and of Mary (a mortal woman). From his mother he inherited mortality, the power to lay down his life, to die, to permit body and spirit to separate. From his Father he inherited the power of immortality, the power to keep body and spirit together, or voluntarily having permitted them to separate, the power to unite them again in the resurrected state.

This power he exercised, becoming the first fruits of them that slept, and in a way incomprehensible to mortal man, he had the power to pass the effects of this resurrection on to all living creatures. "I lay down my life, that I might take it again," he said. "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:17-18.)

Amulek bore this testimony: "I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will stone for the sins of another. . . . Therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world." (Alma 34:8-12.)

When the prophets speak of an infinite atonement, they mean just that. Its effects cover all men, the earth itself and all forms of life thereon, and reach out into the endless expanses of eternity. "The word atonement," it is written in the Compendium, "signifies deliverance, through the offering of a ransom, from the penalty of a broken law. The sense is expressed in Job 33:24: 'Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.' As effected by Jesus Christ, it signifies the deliverance, through his death and resurrection, of the earth and everything pertaining to it, from the power which death has obtained over them through the transgression of Adam. Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked; for this earth, and for all things created upon it." (Compendium pp. 8-9.)

Because of the atonement and by obedience to gospel law men have power to become the sons of God in that they are spiritually begotten of God and adopted as members of his family. They become the sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ of the fullness of the Father's kingdom. (D. & C. 39:1-6; 76:54-60; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:1-7; 1 John 3:1-4; Rev. 21:7.) Now our Lord's jurisdiction and power extend far beyond the limits of this one small earth on which we dwell. He is, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number. (Moses 1:33.) And through the power of his atonement the inhabitants of these worlds, the revelation says, "are begotten sons and daughters unto God" (D. & C. 76:24), which means that the atonement of Christ, being literally and truly infinite, applies to an infinite number of earths.

Those who have ears to hear, find this doctrine taught in the following scripture: "And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fullness," the Prophet says in recording the Vision, "And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father - That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." (D. & C. 76:20-24.)

In addition to the plain meaning of this passage, we have an explanation of it given by the Prophet Joseph Smith. He paraphrased, in poetical rhyme, the entire record of the Vision, and his words covering this portion were:

"I beheld round the throne holy angels and hosts.

And sanctified beings from worlds that have been.

In holiness worshiping God and the Lamb,

For ever and ever. Amen and amen.

"And now after all of the proofs made of him.

By witnesses truly, by whom he was known.

This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea, he lives!

And sits on the right hand of God on his throne.

"And I heard a great voice bearing record from heaven.

He's the Savior and Only Begotten of God,

By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made.

Even all that careen in the heavens so broad.

"Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last,

Are saved by the very same Savior of ours;

And of course, are begotten Gods daughters and sons

By the very same truths and the very same powers"

Millennial Star, vol. 4, pp. 49-55.

*Attributes of God

Attributes of God


*Austere Man

Austere Man


In the parable of the pounds, the slothful servant who did not put his money to usury justified himself because he feared the Lord who was an austere man. In answer the Lord - who is Christ, the Judge of all the earth - agreed that he was an Austere Man, a man who would mete out justice to all men and impose severe penalties for sins of omission as well as those of commission. (Luke 19: 12-27.)




*Authority in the Ministry

Authority in the Ministry


*Authorized Version of the Bible

Authorized Version of the Bible


*Author of Salvation

Author of Salvation


Christ is the Author of Salvation. This means that he made salvation available to all men in that he worked out the infinite and eternal atonement. Paul's statement that Christ is "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5:9), as the marginal reading shows, means that he is the "cause" thereof; that is, salvation is possible because of his atoning sacrifice; without this sacrifice there would be no salvation. Paul's other statement that Christ is "the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2), also according to the marginal reading, means that he is the "leader" in the cause of salvation.

Christ is not the Author of Salvation in the sense that he created the plan of salvation, nor in the sense that he supposedly presented a plan of his own in the councils in heaven, which plan the Father supposedly adopted in preference to a less desirable one formulated by Lucifer. Rather the Father is the Author of the plan of salvation, a plan which began to operate long before Christ was ever chosen to be the Redeemer.

Thus when the Father presented his own plan in the pre-existent council, he asked for volunteers from whom he could choose a Redeemer to be born into mortality as the Son of God. Lucifer offered to become the Son of God on condition that the terms of the Father's plan were modified to deny men their agency and to heap inordinate reward upon the one working out the redemption. Christ, on the other hand, accepted the Father's plan in full, saying, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." Our Lord was then foreordained to a mission which in due course he fulfilled, which mission enabled him to make salvation available to all men. (Moses 4:1-4; Abra. 3:22-28.)

*Auxiliary Organizations

Auxiliary Organizations


There are in the Church the following auxiliary organizations: Relief Society, Sunday School, Primary, Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association. These units of church government are aids and helps to the priesthood. (1 Cor. 12:28.) They serve in a subsidiary, subordinate, subservient, and ancillary position to the priesthood; their purposes are to supplement the work being done by the priesthood quorums. (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 383-400.)

Auxiliary organizations are created to meet particular needs and problems that exist from time to time. Much of their work is temporary in that it ceases when the particular need ceases, or it will be absorbed in due course by the priesthood organizations. "We expect to see the day, if we live long enough (and if some of us do not live long enough to see it, there are others who will)," President Joseph F. Smith said, "when every council of the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty; will assume its own responsibility, will magnify its calling, and fill its place in the Church, to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it. When that day shall come, there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of the priesthood. The Lord designed and comprehended it from the beginning, and he has made provision in the Church whereby every need may be met and satisfied through the regular organizations of the priesthood. It has truly been said that the Church is perfectly organized. The only trouble is that these organizations are not fully alive to the obligations that rest upon them. When they become thoroughly awakened to the requirements made of them, they will fulfill their duties more faithfully, and the work of the Lord will be all the stronger and more powerful and influential in the world." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 159-160.)

*(B )

*Baal (Baalim)

Baal (Baalim


Numerous Old Testament references recite apostate Israel's worship of Baal and Baalim (plural of Baal). It was the priest of Baal, for instance, with whom Elijah had his dramatic contest in the days of Ahab and Jezebel. (1 Kings 18.) Baal was the supreme male deity of the Phoenician and Canaanitish nation. It is likely that there were, in practice, many Baals or gods of particular places, the worship of whom was licentious in nature, Baalzebub (the same name as Beelzebub or Satan) was the name of the god of one particular group. (2 Kings 1:3.)




*Babe of Bethlehem

Babe of Bethlehem


It is common among Christian people to refer to the Infant Jesus as the Babe of Bethlehem, an appellation applied because of his birth in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:1-10; Luke 2:1-20.)







Anciently Babylon was the chief and capital city of the Babylonian empire. Founded by Nimrod and built astride the Euphrates, it is claimed to have been one of the largest and most magnificent cities of all time. The name is the Greek form of Babel and means confusion. The city was taken by Cyrus and again by Alexander the Great and has now become a desolate heap as prophesied by Isaiah and Jeremiah. (Isa. 13:19-22; Jer. 51.)

As the seat of world empire, Babylon was the persistent persecutor and enemy of the Lord's people. It was to escape the imminent destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian hordes that Lehi and his family were led to the new world. To the Lord's people anciently, Babylon was known as the center of iniquity, carnality, and worldliness. Everything connected with it was in opposition to all righteousness and had the effect of leading men downward to the destruction of their souls.

It was natural, therefore, for the apostles and inspired men of New Testament times to apply the name Babylon to the forces organized to spread confusion and darkness in the realm of spiritual things. (Rev. 17; 18; D. & C. 29:21; Ezek. 38; 39.) In a general sense, the wickedness of the world generally is Babylon. (D. & C. 1:16; 35:11; 64:24; 133:14.)

As Babylon of old fell to her utter destruction and ruin, so the great and abominable church together with all wickedness shall be utterly destroyed when the Lord comes. Before that great day the servants of the Lord are calling, "Go ye out from Babylon" (D. & C. 133:5, 7), for the time is not far distant when "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMMATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. 17:5) shall receive her foreordained doom, and an angel shall proclaim the fateful judgment: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Rev. 14:8.)




To backbite is to slander one who is not present. It is a wicked, evil practice, hated of God and fostered by Satan. (Ps. 15:3; Rom. 1:30; 2 Cor. 12:20.) It is the express appointment of the teachers in the Aaronic Priesthood - as part of their mission to do home teaching - to see that there is no backbiting in the Church. (D. & C. 20:54.)

*Backsliding Israel

Backsliding Israel





Baptism by immersion under the hands of a legal administrator, one empowered to bind on earth and seal in heaven, is the initiatory ordinance into the Church on earth and the celestial kingdom in the world to come. (D. & C. 20:68-74; 2 Ne. 9:23-24.) It is of two kinds: I. Baptism in water by the power of the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood; and 2. Baptism of the Spirit by the power of the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood. (Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:16; Acts 19:1-6; D. & C. 20:38-60; Articles of Faith, pp. 120-170.)

The gospel is the new and everlasting covenant by means of which God, on his own terms, offers salvation to man. Baptism is the formally appointed means and ordinance which the Lord has provided so that man can signify his personal acceptance of all of the terms and conditions of the eternal gospel covenant. Thus in baptism, which as part of the gospel is itself a new and an everlasting covenant (D. & C. 22), man covenants to abide by all of the laws and requirements of the whole gospel.

As summarized by Alma at the waters of Mormon, the contractual obligations assumed by men as part of the covenant of baptism are: 1. "To come into the fold of God," that is, to join the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church which is God's kingdom on earth; 2. "To be called his people," meaning to "Take upon you the name of Christ" (D. & C. 18:17-25); 3. "To bear one another's burdens, that they may be light"; 4 "To mourn with those that mourn"; 5. To "comfort those that stand in need of comfort"; 6. "To stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death"; and 7. To agree to serve God and keep his commandments.

The Lord, as his part of the bargain, covenants that if men will do these things, then he will: 1. "Pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon" them, that is, they will receive the baptism of fire and the companionship of the Holy Ghost; and 2. They shall "be redeemed of God, . . . numbered with those of the first resurrection" and "have eternal life." (Mosiah 18:7-10.)

Baptism serves four purposes: 1. It is for the remission of sins. (D. & C. 13; 19:31; 20:37; 33:11; 49:13; 68:27; 84:27, 64, 74; 107:20.) 2. It admits the repentant person to membership in the Church and kingdom of God on earth. (D. & C. 20:37, 71-74.) 3. It is the gate to the celestial kingdom of heaven, that is, it starts a person out on the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life. (2 Ne. 9:23-24; 31:13-21.) 4. It is the means whereby the door to personal sanctification is opened. "Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name," the resurrected Lord proclaimed to the Nephites, "that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." (3 Ne. 27:20.)

When the Church and kingdom is fully organized and operative, one baptism suffices for any one person. There is no need for and no ordinance of rebaptism in the Church. Excommunicated persons must of course be baptized a second time if they are to be restored to fellowship in the kingdom. If there were no record or proof that a person had been baptized, it would be necessary to perform the ordinance over again. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were, of course, baptized for the remission of sins on May 15, 1829 (Jos. Smith 2:66-75), and were baptized again for admission to the Church on April 6, 1830. (History of the Church, vol. 1, pp. 75-78.) Their first baptism could not admit them to membership in an organization which did not exist at the time the ordinance was performed. A similar situation once prevailed among the Nephites. (3 Ne. 7:18-26; 19:7-15.) Many of the saints in this dispensation were baptized a second time after they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 332- 337.)

Some different reasons exist as to the need for baptism in the case of our Lord, he being without sin and in need of no repentance. His expression to John was, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." (Matt. 3:15.) Nephi explains that Christ did fulfill all righteousness in being baptized in that: 1. He humbled himself before the Father; 2. He covenanted to be obedient and keep the Father's commandment; 3. He had to be baptized to gain admission to the celestial kingdom; and 4. He set an example for all men to follow. (2 Ne. 31:4-11.)

Our Lord's baptism "showeth unto the children of men the straightness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them." (2 Ne. 31:9.) If even the King of the kingdom could not return to his high state of pre-existent exaltation without complying with his own eternal law for admission to that kingdom, how can any man expect a celestial inheritance without an authorized and approved baptism? Indeed, so unvarying is the eternal law which states, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5), that this holy baptismal ordinance must be performed vicariously for accountable persons who departed this life unbaptized but who would have complied with the law had the privilege been afforded them. Hence we have the doctrine of baptism for the dead. (1 Cor. 15:29.)

As an everlasting covenant, baptism began on this earth with Adam (Moses 6:64-67) and has continued ever since whenever the Lord has had a people on earth. (D. & C. 20:23-28; 84:26-28.) It was not a new rite introduced by John the Baptist and adopted by Christ and his followers. The Jews were baptizing their proselytes long before John, as is well attested from secular sources. The Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Moses being a part thereof contains ample evidence of the practice of baptism in Old Testament times. The part of the Book of Mormon of the pre-Christian Era contains some of the best information we have relative to this eternal law.

As with other doctrines and ordinances, apostate substitutes of the real thing are found both among pagans and supposed Christians. Perverted forms of baptism were common among the mystery religions of the old world. (Milton R. Hunter, Gospel Through the Ages, pp. 192-226.) Some of the churches of modem Christendom deny the necessity of baptism and talk in terms of salvation coming by the mere act of confessing Christ with one's lips. Others, not comprehending the mercies of Christ and the power of his atonement, enlarge the doctrine to include children who have not arrived at the years of accountability.

True water baptisms are performed by legal administrators who immerse the candidate in water. The symbolic representation thus adhered to bears record of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (Rom. 6:1-12.) Baptism is also symbolical of a new birth, with the same elements - water, blood, and spirit - being present as are found in the first birth. (Moses 6:59-60) These elements were also present in the circumstances surrounding the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. (John 19:28-37; 1 John 5:5-12.) Thus through this ordinance attention is also focused on that most transcendent of all events. It goes without saying that sprinkling or pouring, where supposed baptisms are concerned, do not conform to the Lord's law.

*Baptismal Fonts

Baptismal Fonts


Any appropriate body of water of sufficient size - be it stream, lake, ocean, or artificial body - may properly be used for baptismal purposes. Baptisms in a bath tub are not proper; there must be ample room for both parties to go down into the water. Many Latter-day Saint church buildings have especially built baptismal fonts. Artistic paintings and archaeological discoveries both in the Americas and in the old world show such fonts as having been in use in ancient times also. (Milton R. Hunter, Archeology and the Book of Mormon, vol. I, pp. 89-92.)

In our day, baptisms for the dead can be performed only in temples. (D. & C. 124:28-35.) Fonts for such purposes should be constructed only in the basements or lower portions of such buildings. (D. & C. 128:12-13.)

*Baptism for the Dead

Baptism for the Dead


Based on the eternal principle of vicarious service, the Lord has ordained baptism for the dead as the means whereby all his worthy children of all ages can become heirs of salvation in his kingdom. Baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom, and except a man be born again of water and of the Spirit he cannot gain an inheritance in that heavenly world. (John 3:3-5.) Obviously, during the frequent periods of apostate darkness when the gospel light does not shine, and also in those geographical areas where legal administrators are not found, lots of people live and die without ever entering in at the gate of baptism so as to be on the path leading to eternal life. For them a just God has ordained baptism for the dead, a vicarious-proxy labor. (D. & C. 124:28-36; 127; 128; 1 Cor. 15:29.)

Baptisms for the dead were not performed in pre-meridian dispensations. But since our Lord preached to the spirits in prison, organizing his kingdom among them, these and other vicarious temple ordinances have been performed. The dispensation of the fullness of times is the great era of vicarious ordinance work, a work which will continue during the millennial era until it has been performed for every living soul entitled to receive it. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 100-196.)

*Baptism of Fire

Baptism of Fire


To gain salvation every accountable person must receive two baptisms. They are baptism of water and of the Spirit. (John 3:3-5.) The baptism of the Spirit is called the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3: 16; 2 Ne. 31:13-14; 3 Ne. 11:35; 12:1-2; Morm. 7:10 D. &C. 20:41; 33:11; 39:6.) By the power of the Holy Ghost - who is the Sanctifier (3 Ne. 27: 1 9-2 1 ) - dross iniquity, carnality, sensuality, and every evil thing is burned out of the repentant soul as if by fire; the cleansed person becomes literally a new creature of the Holy Ghost. (Mosiah 27:24-26.) He is born again.

The baptism of fire is not something in addition to the receipt of the Holy Ghost; rather, it is the actual enjoyment of the gift which is offered by the laying on of hands at the time of baptism. "Remission of sins," the Lord says, comes "by baptism and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost." (D. & C. 19:31; 2 Ne. 31:17.) Those who receive the baptism of fire are 'filled as if with fire" (Hela. 5:45.)

There have been, however, exceptional and miraculous instances when literal fire has attended the baptism of the Spirit. After the baptism of the Nephite disciples, "they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire. And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record." (3 Ne. 19: 13-14.) Similar manifestations occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) and among a group of Lamanite converts. (Hela. 5; 3 Ne. 9:20.)







Since a bastard is an illegitimate child, one born out of wedlock, Paul aptly and pointedly uses the term to describe those who are not sons of God, who have not been adopted into the family of God as joint-heirs with Christ. (Heb. 12:5-8.) According to his terminology there are sons on the one hand and bastards on the other. The sons inherit the fullness of the Father's kingdom; the bastards - never having been born of God - are cast out of the eternal family as though they were illegitimate; they become "servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory." (D. &C. 132:16.)

*Battle of Armageddon

Battle of Armageddon


Some 60 air miles north of Jerusalem lies the ancient city of Megiddo (now called Tell el-Mutesellim). In its north-central Palestinian location, Megiddo overlooks the great plain of Esdraelon, an area of some 20 by 14 miles in which many great battles took place anciently. Megiddo is the older Hebrew form of Armageddon or Har-Magedon meaning the Mount or Hill of Megiddo, or the Hill of Battles; it is "the valley of Megiddon" mentioned in Zechariah. (Zech. 12:1 1.)

At the very moment of the Second Coming of our Lord, "all nations" shall be gathered "against Jerusalem to battle" (Zech. 11; 12; 13; 14), and the battle of Armageddon (obviously covering the entire area from Jerusalem to Megiddo, and perhaps more) will be in progress. As John expressed it, "the kings of the earth and of the whole world" will be gathered "to the battle of that great day of God Almighty, into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Then Christ will "come as a thief," meaning unexpectedly and the dramatic upheavals promised to accompany his return will take place. (Rev. 16:14-21.) It is incident to this battle of Armageddon that the Supper of the Great God shall take place (Rev. 19:1 1-18), and it is the same battle described by Ezekiel as the war with Gog and Magog. (Ezek. 38; 39; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p. 45)

*Battle of the Great God

Battle of the Great God


After the millennium Satan "shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies. And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven. And the devil shall gather together his armies; even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies. 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. 88:1 1 1-115.) This final great battle, in which evil spirits, mortal men, and resurrected personages all participate, will be the end of war as far as this earth is concerned. Then the earth shall be celestialized and become the abode of the righteous forever. (D. & C. 88:16-3 1, 1 16.)

*Bearing False Witness

Bearing False Witness


1. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." (Ex. 20:16.) "Thou shall not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." (Ex. 23:1.) Witnesses who willfully testify falsely are liars and perjurers and will be rewarded accordingly. Many false witnesses came forth to testify against Jesus when the Jews sought his life. (Mark 14:53-65.) Gossiping and the spreading of false and idle rumors about a person is a form of bearing false witness.

2. To testify falsely about the truths of salvation, or to claim truth and verity for a false system of salvation, is also to bear false witness. According to the Lord's system, almost all things are established in the mouths of witnesses. Apostles and seventies, for instance, are given the special calling of standing as especial witnesses of the name of Christ. Every member of the Church is obligated to be a witness of the restoration. Those, however, who teach false doctrines are bearing false witness; and those who claim, falsely, that salvation is found in some system other than the very one ordained by Deity are bearing record of that which is not true - and along with all false witnesses will be rewarded according to their deeds.




This name for Satan signifies his position as the prince or chief of the devils. It is the same name (Baalzebub) as was given to an ancient heathen god. (2 Kings 1:3.) In their rebellion against light, the ancient Jews applied the name Beelzebub to Christ (Matt. 10:25), and also said that he cast out devils by the power of Beelzebub. (Matt. 12:22-30.)




Kindness and help toward bears is a basic principle of pure religion. It frequently happens that temporal prosperity has no relationship to righteousness or the lack of it. Wars, disasters, calamities, prolonged illness, or any of a number of circumstances beyond human control, might turn the most affluent persons into beggars.

In the Lord's view, men are judged by what they are and not what they have. Blind Bartimaeus, who begged on the Jericho road, and the beggar at the pool of Siloam both had faith to receive their sight. (Mark 10:46-52; John 9.) Upon his death the beggar Lazarus was carried by the angels to the paradise of Abraham's bosom. (Luke 16:19-31.) And it was a beggar, lame from his mother's womb, who obeyed Peter's God-given command: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." (Acts 3; 4.) Poor people have ever been the recipients of special prophetic solicitude, and the law made special provision for their poverty and destitute circumstances. (Lev. 19:10; 25:25; Ps. 69:33.)

King Benjamin spoke feelingly to his people of their responsibility to love and serve God and their fellow men, saying that if they did, then, "Ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. Perhaps thou shall say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just - But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain?" (Mosiah 4: 16-20.)




There is no such thing as an ultimate beginning, a time prior to which there was nothing, any more than there ever can be an ending, a time past which there will be nothing. "The elements are eternal." (D. & C. 93:33.) Spirit element (that is, "the intelligence of spirits") always existed. "Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it had a beginning?" the Prophet asked. "The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end." (Teachings, pp. 353-354.)

Such scriptural assertions as, "I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; ... Ye were also in the beginning with the Father" (D. & C. 93:21-23), simply mean that all the spirit offspring of the Father were with him in pre-existence. Spirit entities as such, in their organized form as the offspring of Deity, have not existed as long as God has, for he is their Father, and he begat them as spirits.

Thus there are two principles: 1. That "man was also in the beginning with God," meaning that the spirits of men were created, begotten, and organized, that they came into being as spirits at the time of their spirit birth; and 2. That "intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be" (D. & C. 93:29), meaning that spirit element, "the intelligence of spirits," the substance from which they were created as entities, has always existed and is as eternal as God himself. This is the connect meaning and purport of the scriptures and of the Prophet's explanation of the immortal spirit, as found in the King Follett Sermon. (Teachings, pp. 352-354.)

Similarly, the expression, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1), means there was a time of commencement as far as the earth in its present organized or created form is concerned. But the elements from which the creation took place are eternal and therefore had no beginning.

*Beginning and End

Beginning and End


Christ is the Beginning and the End. (D. & C. 35:1; 38:1; 45:7; 54:1; 61:1; 84:120; Rev. 1:8-17; 21:6; 22:13.) These are English words having substantially the same meaning as the Greek Alpha and Omega. The thought conveyed is one of timelessness, of a being who is the Beginning and the End because his "course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday and forever." (D. & C. 35:1.) He was God "in the beginning" (John 1:1-3); he is God now; he will be God in the "end," that is to all eternity. The beginning is the pre-existent eternity that went before; the end is the immortal eternity that is to come.




Bel was the chief god of Babylon probably the sun god of both the Assyrians and the Babylonians. He was essentially identical with the Phoenician and Canaanitish god Baal, also called Belus. The Lord promised to confound and punish Bel (Jer. 50:2; 51:44) "for I am God, and there is none else. (Isa. 45:22; 46:1-2.)




Belial is one of the names of Satan and has particular reference to the fact that he is the personification of evil and lawlessness. The literal meaning of the term is worthlessness with an especial connotation of recklessness and lawlessness. Paul made use of this name of Satan in this persuasive language: "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" (2 Cor. 6:14-18.)




1. In nearly every instance, the scriptures use belief as a synonym for faith. The two terms are interchangeable they mean the same thing, are gained in the same way, and the same effects flow from them. The prophet adopted this usage in the Lectures on Faith; and accordingly, no one has faith in Christ who does not believe that he is the Son of God, nor does a person believe in Christ in the full sense without having faith in him. Faith is belief, and belief is faith. To illustrate: Two blind men besought Jesus to restore their sight. "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" he asked; and deceiving an affirmative, "Yea, Lord," in reply, "Then touched he their eyes, saying. According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened." (Matt. 9:27-31: Rom. 10:13-17.)

Belief in Christ is essential to salvation. (John 12:34-50; 17:21; Rom. 9:33; 10:8-9; Heb. 10:39; D. & C. 20:29; 29:43-44; 84:74; Moses 6:52.) The gifts of the Spirit come because of belief (Mark 16:16-18; D. & C. 58:64; 68:8-12; 84:64-74); miracles are wrought and the dead are raised because of it (Matt. 8:13; Mark 5:35-43; John 11:1 1-46); and "all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23-24. "He that believeth on me," the Lord said, "the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; 14:12.) In this connection it is important to note the explanation the prophet that "the greater work which those that believed on his name were to do were to be done in eternity, where he was going and where they should behold his glory." (Lectures on Faith, p. 66.)

Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me," Christ said in summarizing the plan of salvation, "and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name; for he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned; and signs shall follow them that believe in my name." (Ether 4: 18.)

Belief in the various truths must be accepted if salvation is to be won, cannot be parceled out in such a way as to accept one essential truth and reject another. All phases of the doctrines of salvation are so intertwined with each other that it is not possible to believe one pai1 without also believing all parts of which knowledge has been gained. Thus no one can believe in Christ without believing in his Father also. (Matt. 11:27; John 5:23; 6:44; 12:44-46; 14:1, 6.) And no one can accept Christ without accepting the prophets who testify of him. "He that believeth not my words believeth not my disciples," the Lord said. "But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. ... He that will not believe my words will not believe me - that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me." (Ether 4:10-12.)

"Had ye believed Moses," he also said, "ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:46-47.) "Believe in Christ and deny him not," Nephi said, "for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law." (2 Ne. 25:28.) To prosper, the saints must both "believe in the Lord" and also "believe his prophets." (2 Chron. 20:20; John 15:1-11.)

No one in our day who has an understanding of the Book of Mormon can believe in Christ unless he also believes the Book of Mormon. Speaking of that record, Nephi says: "If ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ." (2 Ne. 33:10.) Similarly, people who have an understanding of both the Book of Mormon and the Bible cannot believe the one without believing the other also. In speaking of the Bible and Book of Mormon, the Prophet Mormon said, "If ye believe that ye will believe this also." (Morm. 7:8-9.)

The same principle applies to the acceptance of Joseph Smith as a Prophet. President Brigham Young taught: "There is not that being that ever had the privilege of hearing the way of life and salvation set before him as it is written in the New Testament, and in the Book of Mormon, and in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, by a Latter-day Saint, that can say that Jesus lives, that his gospel is true, and at the same time say that Joseph Smith was not a Prophet of God. That is strong testimony, but it is true. No man can say that this book [laying his hand on the Bible] is the, is the word of the Lord, is the way, is the guideboard in the path, and a charter by which we may learn the will of God; and at the same time say, that the Book of Mormon is untrue; if he has had the privilege of reading it, or of hearing it read, and learning its doctrines. There is not that person on the face of the earth who has had the privilege of learning the gospel of Jesus Christ from these two books, that can say that one is true, and the other is false. No Latter-day Saint, no man or woman, can say the Book of Mormon is true, and at the same time say that the Bible is untrue. If one be true, both are; and if one be false, both are false. If Jesus lives, and is the Savior of the world, Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and lives in the bosom of his father Abraham. Though they have killed his body, yet he lives and beholds the face of his Father in Heaven; and his garments are pure as the angels that surround the throne of God; and no man on the earth can say that Jesus lives, and deny, at the same time, my assertion about the Prophet Joseph. This is my testimony, and it is strong." (Discourses, new ed., p. 459.)

2. In a few scriptural instances, belief is used to signify mental assent to a proposition whether the matter assented to is true or false. This usage gives belief no similarity whatever to faith. This kind of belief may or may not be predicated on truth, and salvation does not result from it. Thus the devils "believe, and tremble" (Jas. 2:19), for they know who Christ is and await with awful foreboding their destined fate. And thus also an apostate world has turned to "strong delusion," as for instance by accepting the false doctrines of the day, causing them to "believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thess. 2:11-12.)







1 . Those who believe in Christ, who accept his doctrines, and who cleave unto the disciples whom he sends to declare those doctrines and to administer the ordinances of salvation are called believers. All others are unbelievers or nonbelievers. Believers have views founded on truth; acceptance of apostate doctrines, of false scientific theories, or of error in any field, makes a person a nonbeliever. Believers accept the fullness of the gospel and reject all theories and views inharmonious with it; they are the saints of God, members of the sheepfold of Christ.

There are, of course, many devout people in all churches who believe in Christ and seek to do his will, insofar as their knowledge of him permits them so to do. But until they receive the truth and light revealed in latter-days and until they gain the personal revelation which follows enjoyment of the gift of the Holy Ghost, their belief and understanding cannot be perfected.

Thus, in the full sense, the faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the only true believers in the world today, just as the apostolic converts of the early Christian Era were the only true believers in that day. (D. & C. 74:5.) Similarly, the Nephites in their day (4 Ne. 36) and the saints in the various dispensations have been the true believers. Men are saved by belief, damned by unbelief (D. & C. 68:9; 84:74; 1 12:29), or in other words believers are saved, unbelievers are dammed.

2. As used by so-called Christian people generally, the term believers means those who accept what the world considers Christianity to be without reference to the truth or falsity of the divergent doctrines and views espoused. In a like sense, one could speak of believers in Mohammedanism, or in evolution, or in communism, or in any philosophy which is or serves as a religion to the person accepting it.

*Believing Blood

Believing Blood


This is a figurative expression commonly used to designate the aptitude and inclination of certain persons to accept and believe the principles of revealed religion. In general the Lord sends to earth in the lineage of Jacob those spirits who in pre-existence developed an especial talent for spirituality and for recognizing truth. Those born in this lineage, having the blood of Israel in their veins and finding it easy to accept the gospel, are said to have believing blood.

Since much of Israel has been scattered among the Gentile nations, it follows that millions of people have mixed blood, blood that is part Israel and part Gentile. The more of the blood of Israel that an individual has, the easier it is for him to believe the message of salvation as taught by the authorized agents of the Lord. This principle is the one our Lord had in mind when he said to certain Jews: "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:14, 26-27.]




*Beloved Son

Beloved Son


"This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Jos. Smith 2:17.) These are the words by which the Father introduces the Son and commands men to hearken to his teachings. (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; D. & C. 93:15; 2 Ne. 31:11; 3 Ne. 11:7; 21:20.) Christ is the Beloved Son, which signifies his favored, preferential, Chosen, and Beloved status (Moses 4:2), and also his divine Sonship.
















That portion of the writings of inspired men in the old world which, in the providences of the Almighty, has been handed down from age to age until modern times is called the Bible. These writings in their original form were perfect scripture; they were the mind and will of the Lord, his voice to his chosen people and to all who would hear it. (D. & C. 68:4.) That they have not come down to us in their perfect form is well known in the Church and by all reputable scholars. Only a few fanatics among the sects of Christendom close their eyes to reality and profess to believe in what they call verbal revelation, that is, that every word and syllable in some version or other of the Bible is the exact word spoken by Deity.

"I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers," the Prophet said. "Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors." (Teachings, p. 327; Eighth Article of Faith.) Nephi recorded that the Bible, in its original form, "contained the plainness of the gospel of the Lord." After it had passed through the hands of "a great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches," however, he saw that "many plain and precious things "were deleted, in consequence of which error and falsehood poured into the various churches. (1 Ne. 13.)

Yet with it all, the Bible is a book of books. It has enlightened and influenced the Christian world generally as no other book has ever done. Such measure of truth as was preserved in its pages (as soon as this truth became known to people generally) was instrumental in bringing to pass the Renaissance and of laying the foundation for the restoration of the gospel. When the Bible is read under the guidance of the Spirit, and in harmony with the many latter-day revelations which interpret and make plain its more mysterious parts, it becomes one of the most priceless volumes known to man. "He who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the Hand [of the Lord] wherever he can see it," the Prophet taught. (Teachings, p. 56.)

In its present form, the Bible is divided into Old and New Testaments and has a total of 66 books within its covers. These books contain doctrinal, historical, prophetic, and poetic materials of transcendent worth. Members of the Church are commanded to teach the principles of the gospel "which are in the Bible." (D. &C. 42:12.)

One of the great heresies of modem Christendom is the unfounded assumption that the Bible contains all of the inspired teachings now extant among men. Foreseeing that Satan would darken the minds of men in this way, and knowing that other scripture would come forth in the last days, Nephi prophesied that unbelieving Christians would reject the new revelation with the cry: "A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible."

And then he recorded this answering proclamation from the Lord: "Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even Upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye because that ye shall receive more of my word?" (2 Ne. 29.)

*Bible Versions

Bible Versions








Bigotry - that is, blind, obstinate, intolerant, and unreasoning adherence to a particular view - has no place among the true saints. They have the truth; their doctrines will bear investigation; there is no reason to close the mind against light and inquiry where any principle of the gospel is concerned.

*Bill of Divorcement

Bill of Divorcement


*Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights


The first 10 amendments to the constitution of the United States are called the bill of rights. Their purpose is to protect men in their inalienable rights (such as life and liberty) by guaranteeing civil rights (such as trial by jury). Federal guarantees of freedom of speech, of worship, and of the press are found in the bill of rights. Obviously the establishment and spread of the gospel is facilitated by such legal guarantees.










All men were first born in pre-existence as the literal spirit offspring of God our Heavenly Father. This birth constituted the beginning of the human ego as a conscious identity. By the ordained procreative process our exalted and immortal Father begat his spirit progeny in pre-existence. "All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity," President Joseph F. Smith and his associates in the First Presidency declared. (Improvement Era, vol. 13, pp. 75-81.)

True, as Joseph Smith taught, man "is a self-existent being," for "the intelligence of spirits is immortal," and "had no beginning." (Teachings, pp. 352-354.) That is to say the bodies of Deity's spirit children were created from the existing spirit element just as the spirit bodies of the progeny of future exalted beings will be organized from the same substance. Abraham referred to the spirit children of our Father as "the intelligences that were organized before the world was." (Abra. 3:22.)

Christ, destined to be the Only Begotten Son in mortality, was the first spirit offspring in pre-existence. He "is the Firstborn among all the sons of God - the first begotten in the spirit, and the Only Begotten in the flesh. He is our elder brother." (Improvement Era, vol. 13, pp. 75-81.) "I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; ... Ye were also in the beginning with the Father," he has revealed. (D. & C. 93:21-23.)

When the spirit children of the Father pass from his presence into this mortal sphere, a mortal birth results. Again by the ordained procreative process a body is provided, but this time it is made from the dust of this earth, that is, from the natural elements which appertain to this temporal sphere. Three things are necessary to effect every mortal birth. They are: water, blood, and spirit - the same elements found in every rebirth into the fellowship of God's kingdom. (Moses 6:59.)

Since Adam, all who have been born into the world have come as the offspring of mortal parents, excepting only the Lord Jesus. He came into the world as the Son of a mortal mother and an Immortal Father, thus inheriting the power both to lay down his life and to take it again in immortality. (John 10:10-18.)

Birth into this life is a great blessing in that it furthers the eternal advancement of the obedient. Those who fight the truth and come out in open rebellion against God, however, would have remained better off had they never been born. (D. & C. 76:32.) Their punishment will be so severe that the privilege of progression offered through mortal birth becomes a curse unto them.

"And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day; And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled under feet of men, that thereby salvation might come?" (3 Ne. 28:34-35) These, also, would have been better off to have remained in pre-existence, never chancing the probation of mortality.

*Birth Control

Birth Control


In the beginning the Lord commanded man to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with posterity, thus providing bodies for the hosts of pre-existent spirits. (Gen. 1:28.) "Marriage is ordained of God . . . that the earth might answer the end of its creation; And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made." (D. & C. 49:15-17.)

President Brigham Young stated the position of the Church relative to birth control in these words: "There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty? To prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can." (Discourses, new ed., p. 197.)

President Joseph F. Smith has said in relation to this question: "Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of wedded life should see to it that they do not abuse the course of nature; that they do not destroy the principle of life within them, nor violate any of the commandments of God. The command which he gave in the beginning to multiply and replenish the earth is still in force upon the children of men. Possibly no greater sin could be committed by the people who have embraced this gospel then to prevent or to destroy life in the manner indicated. We are born into the world that we may have life, and we live that we may have a fullness of joy, and if we will obtain a fullness of joy, we must obey the law of our creation and the law by which we may obtain the consummation of our righteous hopes and desires - life eternal." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 276-277.)

Also: "I regret, I think it is a crying evil, that there should exist a sentiment or a feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. I think that is a crime wherever it occurs, where husband and wife are in possession of health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity. I believe that where people undertake to curtail or prevent the birth of their children that they are going to reap disappointment by and by. I have no hesitancy in saying that I believe this is one of the greatest crimes of the world today, this evil practice." (Rel. Soc. Mag., vol. 4, p. 318.)

Today the cry is heard in some quarters that these statements calling upon parents to provide bodies for the spirit hosts of heaven are outmoded. Massive birth control programs are being sponsored on a national and international scale. Fears are expressed that the earth cannot support the number of people that unrestricted births will bring. But God's decree and the counsel of the prophets remain unchanged. The real need is not to limit the number of earth's inhabitants, but to learn how to care for the increasing hosts which the Lord designs should inhabit this globe before the last allocated spirit has been sent here to gain a mortal body. Amid all the cries and pressure of the world, the position of the true Church remains fixed. God has commanded his children to multiply and fill the earth, and the earth is far from full.




The custom of having special celebrations on the anniversaries of one's birth appears to have originated in most ancient times. Biblical reference is made to the birthday celebrations of the Egyptian Pharaoh who honored Joseph (Gen. 40:20) and of King Herod (Matt. 14:6), who ordered the beheading of John the Baptist.

Quite likely the custom of commemorating birthdays started with divine approval in the days of Adam. At least Adam and all the ancient prophets, knowing the importance of man's stepping from pre-existence into mortality, might well have taken occasion to cement family solidarity and renewed desires for righteousness in connection with birthdays. Family reunions - which oft-times serve the same purpose and also are a means of encouraging genealogical research - are frequently and appropriately held on the birthday anniversaries of a prominent member of the family.

Importance of accurate knowledge of the time of one's birth is seen in the command that the saints are to have their children baptized when eight years of age. (D. & C. 68:25.) It is the practice of the Church, also, to ordain worthy young men to certain offices in the priesthood at specified ages. Similarly, in ancient times, the divine order was to name and perform the rite of circumcision on the 8th day after birth. (Gen. 17:11; Luke 2:21.)




It appears that anciently under the Patriarchal Order certain special blessings, rights, powers, and privileges - collectively called the birthright - passed from the father to his firstborn son. (Gen. 43:33.) In later ages special blessings and prerogatives have been poured out upon all the worthy descendants of some who gained special blessings and birthrights anciently. (3 Ne. 20:25-27.) Justification for this system in large part, lies in the pre-existent preparation and training of those born in the lines destined to inherit preferential endowments.

Christ, the Firstborn among all the spirit offspring of the Father attained the eminence of godhood while yet in pre-existence and was there foreordained as the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. Adam, Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith, and all the prophets numbered among the noble and great in the pre- existent eternities, were also foreordained and sent to earth in the lineage and at the times when their talents and abilities were most needed in the furtherance of the plans of the Almighty. Indeed, as taught by Moses, the whole house of Israel was so chosen and so sent to earth. (Deut. 32:7-8.)

From Adam to Noah the presiding representative of the Lord on earth held the joint office of patriarch and high priest - a calling conferred successively from father to son. Similar rights were held by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others of the patriarchs in their respective days. Abraham was promised that from his day on all who would receive the gospel would be accounted his seed and that his descendants after him would have right, by lineage, to the same priesthood he had gained. (Abra. 2:6-11.) Certain righteous persons were thus destined to receive the priesthood because they were "lawful heirs according to the flesh." (D. & C. 86:8-10.) It was their birthright Special birthright blessings and priesthood pre-eminence have remained in the lineage of Jacob. Reuben, his firstborn, lost the birthright because of iniquity, and it passed to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1-2) and through him to Ephraim. "I am a father to Israel," the Lord said, "and Ephraim is my firstborn." (Jer. 31:9.) This preferential status enjoyed by Ephraim among his fellow tribes in Israel has continued to our day. Predominantly Ephraim, among all the tribes of Israel, has so far been gathered into the fold of the true Shepherd. When the lost tribes return, they shall come to the children of Ephraim to receive their crowns of glory. (D. & C. 133:26-34.)

From Aaron to the coming of John the Baptist, the high priests in Israel served in their presiding offices (of the Aaronic order) because they were descendants of Aaron. The office of Presiding Bishop in the Church today is of comparable hereditary nature, although the Lord has not so far designated the lineage in which the right to such office rests. (D. & C. 68:14-24.) The right to hold the Levitical Priesthood anciently was limited to the sons of Levi, who thus gained their priesthood prerogatives by birth. In the meridian of time our Lord altered this system and spread this Aaronic order of authority among worthy male members of the Church generally. (1 Tim. 3:1-13.)

The office of Patriarch to the Church is also a hereditary office. It is conferred upon "the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham" (Teachings, p. 151), that is, the oldest man of the exact patriarchal lineage in Israel. Joseph Smith, Sr., father of the Prophet, was the first to hold this office in latter-day Israel, with Hymn, his oldest living son, gaining the birthright upon his father's death. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 162-169.)

Lineage alone does not guarantee the receipt of whatever birthright privileges may be involved in particular cases. Worthiness, ability, and other requisites are also involved. Jacob prevailed over his older brother Esau because "Esau despised his birthright." (Gen. 25:24-34; 27; Rom. 9:10-12.) The Lord placed Ephraim (the younger) before Manasseh to fulfill his own purposes (Gen. 48); and Nephi, junior in point of birth to Laman and Lemuel, was made a ruler and a teacher over them, a circumstance that became the cause of much contention for many generations. (1 Ne. 2:22; 16:37-38; 18:10; 2 Ne. 5:3; 19; Mosiah 10:11-17.)

Civil and governmental prerogatives have also been determined down through the ages on the birthright principle. Many of the kings of Israel and of Judah rose to their positions of temporal eminence by inheritance from their fathers. King Mosiah, on this continent, prevailed upon his people to adopt a system of rule by judges to avoid the evils of this system of civil rule. (Mosiah 29.) Monarchies and empires in general have had laws of succession patterned after the ancient patriarchal system, and problems of property rights in feudal and caste systems have often been regulated in accordance with laws of primogeniture.




Christ is "the Shepherd and Bishop" of the souls of the saints, by which is meant that he is the Overseer who has led the saints to salvation through his atoning sacrifice. (1 Pet. 2:21-25.)




1. Any office or position of major responsibility in the Church, any office of overseership under the supervision of which important church business is administered is a bishopric. Thus the church affairs administered by a bishop are his bishopric. Thus, also, members of the Council of the Twelve - who hold the keys of the kingdom and are empowered to regulate all the affairs of the Church - serve in their bishopric. (D. & C. 114; Acts 1:20.)

2. A ward bishopric, a quorum of three high priests consists of a bishop and two counselors. They are set apart to preside over and direct the affairs of the kingdom in a particular ward. (D. & C. 107:74) They are "to feed the church of God." (Acts 20:28.) Ward clerks are not members of bishoprics. In the absence of a literal descendant of Aaron, the presiding Bishopric consists of three high priests of the Melchizedek priesthood. (D. & C. 68:14-24; 107:13-17, 68-76.)




One of the ordained offices in the Aaronic priesthood is that of bishop. (D. & C. 20:67.) Those so ordained and set apart to serve either in the Presiding Bishopric or as ward bishops are called to preside over the Aaronic priesthood. A ward bishop is the president of the Aaronic priesthood in his ward and is also the president of the priests quorum. (D. & C. 107:87-88.) The office of a bishop is also an appendage "belonging unto the high priesthood." (D. & C. 84:29.)

In his Aaronic priesthood capacity a bishop deals primarily with temporal concerns (D. & C. 107:68); as the presiding high priest in his ward, however, he presides over all ward affairs and members. A bishop is a common judge in Israel (D. & C. 107:74); it is his right to have the gift of discernment, the power to discern all other spiritual gifts, "lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not God." (D. & C. 46:27.)

"A bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." (Tit. 1:7-9; I Tim. 3:1-7.)

*Bishops Court

Bishops Court


As common judges in Israel, bishops sit in judgment on their ward members. (D. & C. 42:78-93; 64:40; 102:2; 107:71-75.) Not only do they discern the personal righteousness of their ward members - calling them to positions of responsibility, approving them for temple recommends, priesthood ordinations, and the like - but when iniquity arises they are bound to hear confessions and to call in question the fellowship and membership of such members. When a formal bishops court is held, the bishop is the judge, with his counselors concurring in the judgment unless some iniquity is manifest in it.

*Bishops Storehouses

Bishops Storehouses


To help bishops discharge their obligation to care for the temporal needs of the poor the Lord has directed the building, stocking, maintenance, and use of bishops storehouses. (D. & C. 42:30-36; 51:9-20; 58:24, 37; 70; 72:9-16; 78:3-7; 82:15-24; 83; 90:22-23; 101:96.) These are operated as part of the Church Welfare Plan.

*Black Magic

Black Magic





Blasphemy consists in either or both of the following: 1 . Speaking irreverently, evilly, abusively, or scurrilously against God or sacred things; or 2. Speaking profanely or falsely about Deity.

Among a great host of impious and sacrilegious speaking that constitute blasphemy are such things as: Taking the name of God in vain; evil-speaking about the Lord's anointed; belittling sacred temple ordinances, or patriarchal blessings, or sacramental administrations; claiming unwarranted divine authority; and promulgating with profane piety a false system of salvation.

Accordingly blasphemy is a sign of apostasy (2 Tim. 3:2); and the great apostate church which is not the Lord's Church is described as reveling in blasphemy. (Rev. 13:1-8.) When our Lord performed healings (Matt. 9:3) and announced himself as the Son of God, he was accused by the Jews of blasphemy (Matt. 26:63-65; Mark 14:61-64; John 10:22-38) - a charge that would have been true, if his witness had not been true and his power divine.

In ancient Israel blasphemy against the name of the Lord was an offense punishable with death by stoning. (Lev. 24:16.) Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost - which is falsely denying Christ after receiving a perfect revelation of him from the Holy Ghost - is the unpardonable sin. (Matt. 12:3 1-32; Mark 3:28-29; D. &C. 132:27.)

*Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost

Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost


*Blessing of Children

Blessing of Children


"Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name." (D. & C. 20:70.) Ordinarily this command is complied with through the ordinance of blessing of children, although it might also be complied with in connection with confirmation and bestowal of the Holy Ghost. It is the practice of the Church to perform the ordinance of the blessing of children in fast meetings a few weeks after the birth of the child. At that time the child is formally and officially given a name, and the proper church records are made so that the necessary genealogical data will be preserved.

The blessing of children is not an ordinance of salvation; children are saved through the atoning sacrifice of Christ without ordinances. This was fully understood by the ancient apostles, for when the people brought "little children" to Jesus, "that he should put his hands on them and pray, . . . the disciples rebuked them, saying. There is no need, for Jesus hath said. Such shall be saved. But Jesus said. Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid hands on them" (Inspired Version, Matt. 19:13-15.)

*Blessing on the Food

Blessing on the Food





*Block Teachers

Block Teachers





*Blood Atonement Doctrine

Blood Atonement Doctrine


From the days of Joseph Smith to the present, wicked and evilly-disposed persons have fabricated false and slanderous stories to the effect that the Church, in the early days of this dispensation, engaged in a practice of blood atonement where under the blood of apostates and others was shed by the Church as an atonement for their sins. These claims are false and were known by their originators to be false. There is not one historical instance of so-called blood atonement in this dispensation, nor has there been one event or occurrence whatever, of any nature, from which the slightest inference arises that any such practice either existed or was taught.

There are, however, in the sermons of some of the early church leaders some statements about the true doctrine of blood atonement and of its practice in past dispensations, for instance, in the days of Moses. By taking one sentence on one page and another from a succeeding page and even by taking a part of a sentence on one page and a part of another found several pages away - all wholly torn from context - dishonest persons have attempted to make it appear that Brigham Young and others taught things just the opposite of what they really believed and taught.

Raising the curtain of truth on this false and slanderous bluster of enemies of the Church who have thus willfully chosen to fight the truth with outright lies of the basest sort, the true doctrine of blood atonement is simply this:

1 . Jesus Christ worked out the infinite and eternal atonement by the shedding of his own blood. He came into the world for the purpose of dying on the cross for the sins of the world. By virtue of that atoning sacrifice immortality came as a free gift to all men, and all who would believe and obey his laws would in addition be cleansed from sin through his blood. (Mosiah 3:16-19; 3 Ne. 27:19-21; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 5:9-10.)

2. But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins. Murder, for instance, is one of these sins; hence we find the Lord commanding capital punishment. Thus, also, if a person has so progressed in righteousness that his calling and election has been made sure, if he has come to that position where he knows "by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood" that he is sealed up unto eternal life (D. & C. 131:5), then if he gains forgiveness for certain grievous sins, he must "be destroyed in the flesh," and "delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God." (D. & C. 132: 19-27.)

President Joseph Fielding Smith has written: "Man may commit certain grievous sins - according to his light and knowledge - that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved, he must make sacrifice of his Own life to atone - so far as in his power lies - for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail. . . . Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 133-138.) This doctrine can only be practiced in its fullness in a day when the civil and ecclesiastical laws are administered in the same hands. It was, for instance, practiced in the days of Moses, but it was not and could not be practiced in this dispensation, except that persons who understood its provisions could and did use their influence to get a form of capital punishment written into the laws of the various states of the union so that the blood of murderers could be shed.

*Blood of Israel

Blood of Israel





Boasting is of two kinds: either righteous, or unrighteous; either in the arm of flesh, or in the Lord and his gracious goodness and power. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord," Paul said in summing up a sermon on boasting, "For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." (2 Cor. 10:7-18; Ps. 44:8.) Ammon spoke similarly: "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is frill, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things. Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice for our joy is frill; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord?" (Alma 26:8-16, 35.)

Boasting in the arm of flesh, one of the commonest of all sins among worldly people, is a gross evil; it is a sin born of pride, a sin that creates a frame of mind which keeps men from turning to the Lord and accepting his saving grace. When a man engages in self exultation because of his riches, his political power, his worldly learning, his physical prowess, his business acumen, or even his works of righteousness, he is not in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. Salvation itself comes by the grace of God, "Not of works," that is not of the performances and outward display of the law, "lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:4-22; Rom. 3:27.) As King Benjamin asked, after explaining the goodness of God and the comparative nothingness of men, "Of what have ye to boast?" (Mosiah 2: 17-26.)

Even when the righteous glory in the Lord, certain very definite restrictions attend their godly boasting. The elders are to proclaim against evil spirits, but "Not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome, neither with boasting nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith." (D. & C. 50:32-33.) Spiritual gifts are poured out abundantly upon the true saints. "But a commandment I give unto them," the Lord says, "that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation." (D. & C. 84:73.) "Talk not of judgments, neither boast of faith nor of mighty works." (D. & C. 105:24.)




Bondage and captivity of every sort are of the devil; the gospel is "the perfect law of liberty" (Jas. 1:25); it is the truth that makes men free. (John 8:32.) The saints should free themselves from the bondage of debt. (D. & C. 19:35; 104:83-84.) In a perfect Christian society there would be no serfdom or slavery, for "it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another." Bondage curtails free agency, thus interfering with a man's power to work out his salvation. (D. & C. 101:78-79.)

There is no bondage like the bondage of sin and no darkness like the darkness of rebellion against the truth. (John 8:31-46; Gal. 5:1.) "And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin. And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me. For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin." (D. & C. 84:49-51.)




*Book of Abraham

Book of Abraham


*Book of Commandments

Book of Commandments


As early as the summer of 1 830, the Prophet began to copy and prepare the revelations he had received for eventual publication. At a conference held in Hiram, Ohio, on November 1 st and 2nd, 1831, it was decided the revelations should be compiled and published under the title. Book of Commandments. The Lord gave approval to the project by revealing a preface for the book. (D. & C. 1 .)

It was at this conference that some of the elders questioned the language in the revelations, causing the Lord to give the revealed tests whereby the divinity of the revelations might be known. "Seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them," the Lord said, "and appoint him that is the most wise among you; Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true; But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true. For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights." (D. & C. 67:6-9.) William E. McLellin attempted to write a revelation equal to the least of those the Lord had given and failed miserably.

By July 20, 1833, most of the Book of Commandments had been set in type under the direction of W. W. Phelps. On that date the printing plant in Independence, Missouri, was destroyed by a mob, and only a few copies of the forms of the unfinished book were salvaged. Only a score or so copies are known to be in existence now. The last statement in the publication is, "The rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim," thus ending the book in the middle of verse 36 of section 64 of the Doctrine and Covenants as presently published.

Thereafter a committee headed by the Prophet was appointed to continue the work necessary to get the revelations published. Their labors were completed, and they reported to a general assembly of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835. The revelations so compiled and approved, and some other matters, were published under the title Doctrine and Covenants. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 192-198.)

Between the time of the publication of the Book of Commandments in 1833 and the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835, the Prophet, as moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord, installed some additional revealed truths in the revelations and in an instance or two clarified the existing language. This procedure of course, was in perfect harmony with the two principles: 1. That revelations are necessarily given to men "after the manner of their language" (D. & C. 1:24); and 2. That the Lord always reveals line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, adding more light and knowledge as rapidly as that already received is known and practiced. (D. & C. 98:12; 128:21.) The various revelations were divided into chapters in the Book of Commandments and into sections in the Doctrine and Covenants, and some personal revelations were not carried over into the latter publication but are to be found in the History of the Church. Divisions into verses and punctuation was, of course, changed as between the two publications.

*Book of Enoch

Book of Enoch


One of the things yet to come forth in the last days is the Book of Enoch. This record contains the prophecies made by Adam at Adam-ondi-Ahman when he "predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation" (D. & C. 107:56-57.) From the account in the Book of Moses we know that Enoch performed one of the greatest and most spectacular works of any prophet. (Moses 6; 7.) How much the Book of Enoch contains relative to his ministry and teachings we can only speculate. It appears from Paul's writings that he had information about Enoch which is not contained in the Old Testament as we have that document. (Heb. 1 1:5.) Jude recorded in his epistle a prophecy made by Enoch, thus indicating that some of Enoch's writings may have been extant in New Testament times. (Jude 14:15.)

*Book of Joseph

Book of Joseph


Two papyrus rolls were acquired by the Prophet in connection with the Egyptian mummies purchased from Michael H. Chandler. One roll was translated and is now published as the Book of Abraham. Translation of the other roll, which contained the writings of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, apparently was never completed. Enough was known of this Book of Joseph, however, for Oliver Cowdery to write that it contained doctrine relative to the creation, the fall of man, the nature of the Godhead, and the final judgment (Milton R. Hunter Pearl of Great Price Commentary, pp. 1 -40.)

Nephi says that there were not many prophecies greater than those which Joseph wrote; that many of them concerned the Nephites and Lamanites; and that "they are written upon the plates of brass." (2 Ne. 4:1-3.) Some of these prophecies are quoted in the Book of Mormon (2 Ne. 3; 25:21; Alma 46:24); some were restored by the Prophet in the Inspired Version of the Bible. (Inspired Version, Gen. 50:24-38.)

As to the papyrus rolls which the Prophet had, after his death they fell into the hands of apostates and enemies of the Church. As far as is known they were destroyed in the great Chicago fire in 1 87 1 . But the day shall come when the Book of Joseph shall be restored and its contents shall be known again. This we know because the Brass Plates themselves are yet to be translated and sent forth "unto every nation, kindred tongue, and people." (Alma 37:3-5.)

*Book of Life

Book of Life


1 . In a real though figurative sense, the book of life is the record of the acts of men as such record is written in their own bodies. It is the record engraven on the very bones, sinews, and flesh of the mortal body. That is, every thought, word, and deed has an affect on the human body; all these leave their marks, marks which can be read by Him who is Eternal as easily as the words in a book can be read.

By obedience to telestial law men obtain telestial bodies; terrestrial law leads to terrestrial bodies; and conformity to celestial law - because this law includes the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost - results in the creation of a body which is clean, pure, and spotless, a celestial body. (D. & C. 88:16-32.) When the book of life is opened in the day of judgment (Rev. 20: 12-15), men's bodies will show what law they have lived. The Great Judge will then read the record of the book of their lives; the account of their obedience or disobedience will be written in their bodies.

2. In a literal sense, the book of life, or Lamb's book of Life, is the record kept in heaven which contains the names of the faithful and an account of their righteous covenants and deeds. (D. & C. 128:6- 7; Ps. 69:28; Rev. 3:5; 21:27.) The book of life is the book containing the names of those who shall inherit eternal life; it is the book of eternal life. (Dan. 12:1-4; Heb. 12:23; D. & C. 76:68; 132:19.) It is "the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world." (D. & C. 88:2.) Names of faithful saints are recorded in the book of life while they are yet in mortality. (Luke 10:20; Philip. 4:3; Teachings, p. 9.) But those names are blotted out in the event of wickedness. (Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 22:19.)

*Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon


That holy document known as the Book of Mormon is a volume of sacred scripture which was known anciently and has been revealed anew in modem times. It contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel (D. & C. 20:9; 42:12; 135:3) and an abridged account of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American continents from about 2247 B.C. to 421 A.D.

The original records, which were compiled and abridged to form the Book of Mormon as presently constituted, were written on metallic plates by prophets who were commanded to keep records of God's dealings with them and their peoples. These records preserved a true knowledge of God, of the mission and ministry of his Son, and of the doctrines and ordinances of salvation. Incidental to these gospel truths much information was also preserved relative to the history and the social, economic, cultural, educational, governmental, and other conditions that existed among Book of Mormon peoples.

During the latter part of the 4th century A.D., Mormon, a prophet-general, made a compilation and abridgment of the records of the people of Lehi, a Jew who led a colony of his family and friends from Jerusalem to their American promised land in 600 B.C. Mormon's son Moroni added a few words of his own to the record and also abridged, in very brief form, the records of a nation of Jaredites who had migrated to America at the time of the confusion of tongues when the tower of Babel was built. The records of these two great peoples, preserved on the Gold Plates, were translated by Joseph Smith and are known as the Book of Mormon. The main part of the work deals with the period from 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. during which the Nephite, Lamanite, and Mulekite civilizations flourished.

Moroni, the last prophet to possess the ancient and sacred writings, hid them up in the hill Cumorah. Then in modem times, in fulfillment of John's apocalyptic prophecy (Rev. 14:6-7), Moroni, now resurrected, delivered the plates to Joseph Smith. Miraculously, by means of the Urim and Thummim in not to exceed two months translating time, the Prophet put the ancient record into English. Since then it has been translated and published in scores of other languages. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 209-226.)

Purposes of the Book of Mormon are: 1. To bear record of Christ, certifying in plainness and with clarity of his Divine Sonship and mission proving irrefutably that he is the Redeemer and Savior; 2. To teach the doctrines of the gospel in such a pure and perfect way that the plan of salvation will be clearly revealed; and 3. To stand as a witness to all the world that Joseph Smith was the Lord's anointed through whom the foundation was laid for the great latter-day work of restoration.

Almost all of the doctrines of the gospel are taught in the Book of Mormon with much greater clarity and perfection than those same doctrines are revealed in the Bible. Anyone who will place in parallel columns the teachings of these two great books on such subjects as the atonement, plan of salvation, gathering of Israel, baptism, gifts of the Spirit, miracles, revelation, faith, charity, (or any of a hundred other subjects), will find conclusive proof of the superiority of Book of Mormon teachings.

On November 28, 1841, following a meeting with the Twelve Apostles, the Prophet wrote in his journal "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461.) On another occasion he said: "Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none." (Teachings, p. 71.)

We "believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." (Eighth Article of Faith.) The book is true and was translated correctly. By revelation the Lord said of Joseph Smith: "He has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true." (D. & C. 17:6.) "We have seen the plates," the three witnesses testified, "and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true." (Testimony of Three Witnesses, Book of Mormon.)

There are numerous Biblical and other ancient prophecies foretelling the coming forth of and various things pertaining to, the Book of Mormon. (Moses 7:59-62; Ps. 85:11; Isa. 29: 45:8; Ezek. 37:15-28; John 10:16; Rev. 14:6-7; 2 Ne. 3; Inspired Version, Gen. 50:24-38.) Since its publication many archaeological discoveries have been made, particularity in Central and South America, which bear out some known facts relative to ancient Book of Mormon civilizations. (Milton R. Hunter, Archeology and the Book of Mormon.)

But the great and conclusive evidence of the divinity of the Book of Mormon is the testimony of the Spirit to the honest truth seeker. Moroni promised: "When ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." (Moro. 10:4.)

*Book of Moses

Book of Moses


*Book of Remembrance

Book of Remembrance


Adam kept a written account of his faithful descendants in which he recorded their faith and works, their righteousness and devotion, their revelations and visions, and their adherence to the revealed plan of salvation. To signify the importance of honoring our worthy ancestors and of hearkening to the great truths revealed to them, Adam called his record a book of remembrance. It was prepared "according to the pattern given by the finger of God." (Moses 6:4-6, 46.)

Similar records have been kept by the saints in all ages. (Mai. 3:16-17; 3 Ne. 24:15-16.) Many of our present scripture have come down to us because they were first written by prophets who were following Adam's pattern of keeping a book of remembrance. The Church keeps similar records today (D. & C. 85) and urges its members to keep their own personal and family books of remembrance.

*Book of Revelation

Book of Revelation


*Book of the Law of God

Book of the Law of God


Those records kept by the Church showing the names, genealogies, and faith and works of those to be remembered by the Lord in the day when eternal inheritances are bestowed upon the obedient are, taken collectively called the book of the law of God. Such records contain both the law of God and the names of those who keep that law. They are in effect a church book of remembrance. (D. & C. 85.)

*Book of the Names of the Sanctified

Book of the Names of the Sanctified


*Born Again

Born Again


To gain salvation in the celestial kingdom men must be born again (Alma 7: 14); born of water and of the Spirit (John 3:1-13); born of God, so that they are changed from their "carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness" becoming new creatures of the Holy Ghost. (Mosiah 27:24-29.) They must become newborn babes in Christ (1 Pet. 2:2); they must be "spiritually begotten" of God, be born of Christ, thus becoming his sons and daughters. (Mosiah 5:7.)

The first birth takes place when spirits pass from their pre-existent first estate into mortality; the second birth or birth "into the kingdom of heaven" takes places when mortal men are born again and become alive to the things of the Spirit and of righteousness. The elements of water, blood, and Spirit are present in both births. (Moses 6:59-60.) The second birth begins when men are baptized in water by a legal administrator; it is completed when they actually receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost, becoming new creatures by the cleansing power of that member of the Godhead.

Mere compliance with the formality of the ordinance of baptism does not mean that a person has been born again. No one can be born again without baptism, but the immersion in water and the laying on of hands to confer the Holy Ghost do not of themselves guarantee that a person has been or will be born again. The new birth takes place only for those who actually enjoy the gift or companionship of the Holy Ghost, only for those who are fully converted, who have given themselves without restraint to the Lord. Thus Alma addressed himself to his "brethren of the church," and pointedly asked them if they had "spiritually been born of God," received the Lord's image in their countenances, and had the "mighty change" in their hearts which always attends the birth of the Spirit. (Alma 5 : 14,3 1 .)

Those members of the Church who have actually been born again are in a blessed and favored state. They have attained their position, not merely by joining the Church, but through faith (1 John 5:1), righteousness (1 John 2:29), love (1 John 4:7), and overcoming the world. (1 John 5:4.) "Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue to sin, because he is born of God having received that holy Spirit of promise." (Inspired Version, 1 John 3:9.)

*Born in Sin

Born in Sin


*Bottomless Pit

Bottomless Pit


In an attempt to convey in imperfect, mortal language the infinite intensity of the sufferings of those cast into the pit (that is, into hell), John spoke not simply of the pit, but of the bottomless pit. (Rev. 9: 1-2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1-3.) The bottomless pit is the depths of hell. It is not a literal pit without a bottom, for such is a contradiction in terms. But it is a pit or prison where the inhabitants suffer, as mortals view suffering, to an infinite, unlimited, or bottomless extent. Referring to finite inability to comprehend the vastness of the suffering of those reaping the fall measure of this status, the revelation says: "The end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation." (D. & C. 76:48.)

*Bowing Down

Bowing Down








Christ is the Branch, a name applied in ancient Israel to point attention to the great truth that the promised Messiah would come in the lineage of Israel and of David, that he would be a branch or part of that illustrious line. Through Jeremiah the Lord said: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-17; Isa. 11:1-5; Zech. 3:8-10; 6:12-15.)




In the stakes, congregations of saints which are not large and stable enough to form wards are organized into branches, presided over by a branch president. The larger and more powerful branches, those with considerable stability and local leadership, are called independent branches. They operate as nearly like a regular ward as their circumstances permit. Dependent branches are usually smaller and less endowed with local leadership; they receive help in their programs from some other ward or branch, upon which they are dependent.

All the congregations of saints, no matter how strong and stable, which are located within the districts of missions are called branches. Several branches comprise a district. When one or more mission districts are chosen as an area in which to form a stake, the main branches involved become wards, while the lesser branches remain as either independent or dependent branches.

*Branch Presidency

Branch Presidency


*Branch Presidents

Branch Presidents


Presiding officers in branches are branch presidents. They hold the keys of their ministry, are assisted by two counselors (thus forming a branch presidency), and are comparable to bishops in their sphere of service.

*Branch Teachers

Branch Teachers


*Branch Teaching

Branch Teaching


*Brass Plates

Brass Plates


When the Lord led Lehi and his colony out from Jerusalem, they were required to take with them the Brass Plates of which Laban had been the custodian. These plates - which Nephi acquired through his faith, works, and zeal (1 Ne. 3; 4) - were a volume of sacred scripture. They contained a record of God's dealings with men from the beginning down to that day. They were "the record of the Jews" (1 Ne. 3:3.), a record of many of the prophecies from the beginning down to and including part of those spoken by Jeremiah. On them was the law of Moses, the five books of Moses, and the genealogy of the Nephite forbears. (1 Ne. 3:3, 20; 4:15-16; 5:1 1-14.)

There was more on them than there is in the Old Testament as we now have it. (1 Ne. 13:23.) The prophecies of Zenock, Neum, Zenos, Joseph the son of Jacob, and probably many other prophets were preserved by them, and many of these writings foretold matters pertaining to the Nephites. (1 Ne. 19:10, 21; 2 Ne. 4:2, 15;3Ne. 10:17.)

The value of the Brass Plates to the Nephites cannot be overestimated. By means of them they were able to preserve the language (1 Ne. 3:19), most of the civilization, and the religious knowledge of the people from whence they came. (1 Ne. 22:30.) By way of contrast, the Mulekites, who were led out of Jerusalem some 1 1 years after Lehi's departure, and who had no record equivalent to the Brass Plates, soon dwindled in apostasy and unbelief and lost their language, civilization, and religion. (Omni 14-18.)

From prophet to prophet and generation to generation the Brass Plates were handed down and preserved by the Nephites. (Mosiah 1:16; 28:20; 3 Ne. 1:2.) At some future date the Lord has promised to bring them forth, undimmed by time and retaining their original brightness, and the scriptural accounts recorded on them are to "go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." (Alma 37:3-5; 1 Ne. 5:18-19.)

*Brazen Sea

Brazen Sea


In Solomon's Temple a large molten sea of brass was placed on the backs of 12 brazen oxen, these oxen being symbolical of the 12 tribes of Israel. (1 Kings 7:23-26,44; 2 Kings 16:17; 25:13; 1 Chron. 18:8.) This brazen sea was used for performing baptisms for the living. There were no baptisms for the dead until after the resurrection of Christ.

It must be remembered that all direct and plain references to baptism have been deleted from the Old Testament (1 Ne. 13) and that the word baptize is of Greek origin. Some equivalent word, such as wash, would have been used by the Hebrew peoples. In describing the molten sea the Old Testament record says, "The sea was for the priests to wash in." (2 Chron. 4:2-6.) This is tantamount to saying that the priests performed baptisms in it.

In this temple building dispensation the Brethren have been led by the spirit of inspiration to pattern the baptismal fonts placed in temples after the one in Solomon's Temple.

*Brazen Serpent

Brazen Serpent


To typify Christ and point attention to the salvation which would come because he would be lifted up on the cross, Moses (as commanded by the Lord) made a brazen serpent and lifted it up on a pole. Then those of the children of Israel who were bitten by poisonous serpents were healed by looking upon the serpent, while those who refused to look died of the poisonous bites. (Num. 21:4-9.) This performance was a ceremony in Israel which was intended to show the people that by looking to Christ they would be saved with eternal life, but by refusing to look to him they would die spiritually (John 3:14-15; Alma 33:1922; Hela. 8:14-15) The brazen serpent was kept as a symbol in Israel until the time of Hezekiah, who broke it in pieces to keep apostate Israel of his day from burning incense to it. (2 Kings 18:4.)

*Bread and Water

Bread and Water


*Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine


*Bread of Life

Bread of Life


Christ is the Bread of Life. Just as manna was showered down as bread from heaven to save ancient Israel from starvation and temporal death, so Christ came down from heaven to give living bread and living water to all men so that they might gain everlasting life. (John 4: 10-38; 6:30-65.)




*Breath of Life

Breath of Life


Literally, the breath of life is the air we breathe, for without this man and all air-breathing creatures would die. The Mosaic account of the creation says that "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Gen. 2:7; Moses 3:7.) Similarly, when the Lord created the beasts and fowls, he "breathed into them the breath of life," and they also became "living souls." (Moses 3:19; Gen. 6:17.)

In a figurative sense the expression breath of life is frequently used to mean the life of man. Ezekiel says, in speaking of the resurrection of the house of Israel, "Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live." (Ezek. 37:5-10.) This is a figurative way of saying that the spirit will again enter the body. Actually, as Abraham's account of the creation points out, there is a distinction between the spirit and the breath of life. "And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground," this record states, "and took his spirit (that is, the man's spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." (Abra. 5:7.) Paul also speaks of God's giving both "life, and breath" (Acts 17:25) to all, thus making an apparent distinction between the two things.




All men are brothers in the sense of being the spirit offspring of Deity. But those who join the true Church, who take upon themselves the name of Christ, who are adopted into the family of Jesus Christ, becoming his sons and his daughters, thus become brothers and sisters in a special spiritual sense. (Mosiah 5:7.) Hence, all believers collectively or any group of them in particular are called the brethren. (Acts 14:2; 15:33, 40.) They are members of the great brotherhood of Christ. In a spirit of love and fellowship members of the Church commonly and properly call each other brother and sister.

Our Lord gave graphic expression to this spiritual usage of the term brethren when, being told that his mother and literal brothers desired to see him, he asked: "Who is my mother? and who are my brothers?" In answer, "He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said. Behold my mother and my brethren for whosoever shall do the will my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matt. 12:46-50.)







Christ is the Bridegroom (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34; John 3:29), who shall take the Church as his bride and celebrate the glorious occasion at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Our Lord's parable of the 10 virgins teaches the need of the saints to be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom. (Matt. 25:1-13.) Similarly, he has said in this day: "Be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom - For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that 1 come quickly." (D. & C. 33:17-18; 88:92; 133:10, 19.)

*Bride of the Lamb

Bride of the Lamb


Both the New Jerusalem, which shall come down from God out of heaven, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called the Bride of the lamb and the Lamb's wife. (Rev. 21:2, 9-10; 22:17; D. & C. 109:72-74.) The bride celebrates the marriage supper with the Bridegroom, her Husband, and is cherished and honored by him. To the millennial saints the Lord promises: "As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." (Isa. 62:5.)




*Bright and Morning Star

Bright and Morning Star


Christ is the Bright and Morning Star. (Rev 22:16.) In speaking of a man as a star the meaning is that he is a person of brilliant qualities, who stands out pre-eminently among his fellows. Thus to single out our Lord as the Bright and Morning Star, the last bright luminary of the night to give way before the rising sun, is to testify that he is pre-eminent over all his brethren, that he is the Son of God in whom all fullness and perfection dwell.

In this connection, and having in mind that those who gain eternal life shall be joint-heirs with Christ, it is interesting to note that such exalted persons are promised that they shall receive the morning star that is, reach a state of pre-eminence and perfection themselves. (Rev 2:26-28.) "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) Peter's statement about the day star arising in the hearts of certain of the saints, has reference also to those who shall inherit the fullness of all things. (2 Pet. 1:19.)







From the generally accepted and worldly standpoint, broad-mindedness consists in entertaining liberal opinions and in having tolerant views, particularly on religious matters. Those who so classify themselves take pride in not accepting any particular creed or following any selected dogma; they suppose that theirs is a broad perspective which makes them receptive to all truth; invariably they reach the conclusion that all religions are equally true and equally false and that salvation if there is such a thing, is not found in, through or because of any one of them in particular.

It is not difficult to see how this sort of broad-mindedness comes into being. When inquiring and scientific minds delve into the narrow and bigoted creeds of the apostate sects of Christendom it is not surprising that they rebel against those dogmas falsely set forth as the tenets of true religion. If this modem broad-mindedness leads to an open-minded state in which men investigate and receive the true principles of revealed religion, it has served a beneficial purpose. But if it results in an aversion and contempt for all religions, the restored Church of our Lord included, it leaves the scientific-minded person no better off than the bigoted adherent to the narrow creeds of the apostate world.

In a very real sense this worldly broad-mindedness is of the devil, not of God. Lucifer is willing and anxious that men believe any and every conceivable notion so long as they do not accept Joseph Smith and the restoration. The devil is the most broad-minded person in all eternity; he is tolerant to every view, particularly those leading to ungodly practices. "Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." (Matt. 7: 13.)

In the true gospel sense of the word, however, broad-mindedness is the state of mind of those who know the truths of the gospel, who reject the false creeds of the day, and who walk in the light of revealed truth. The broad-minded man is the one who knows that baptism is essential to salvation and celestial marriage to exaltation; he is the one who knows the truth. In the eternal sense it is narrow-minded to reject the laws and ordinances of the gospel, for they are the way and means whereby men can go on without limit, restraint, or curtailment in attaining perfection and enjoying eternal progression.

*Broken Heart

Broken Heart


*Brotherhood of Man

Brotherhood of Man


*Brotherly Love

Brotherly Love


*Brother of Jared

Brother of Jared


*Buffetings of Satan

Buffetings of Satan


To be turned over to the buffetings of Satan is to be given into his hands; it is to be turned over to him with all the protective power of the priesthood, of righteousness and of godliness removed, so that Lucifer is free to torment, persecute, and afflict such a person without let or hindrance. When the bars are down, the cuffs and curses of Satan, both in this world and in the world to come, bring indescribable anguish typified by burning fire and brimstone. The damned in hell so suffer.

Those who broke their Covenants in connection with the United Order in the early days of this dispensation were to "be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption." (D. & C. 78:12; 82:20-21; 104:9-10.) A similar fate (plus destruction in the flesh) is decreed against those who have been sealed up unto eternal life so that their callings and elections have been made sure and who thereafter turn to grievous sin. (D. & C. 131:5, 132:19-26.)







*(C )




Though he was a rebel and an associate of Lucifer in pre-existence and though he was a liar from the beginning whose name was perdition, Cain managed to attain the privilege of mortal birth. Under Adam's tutelage, he began in this life to serve God. He understood the gospel and the plan of salvation, was baptized, received the priesthood, had a perfect knowledge of the position and perfection of God, and talked personally with Deity. Then he came out in open rebellion, fought God, worshiped Lucifer, and slew Abel.

Cain's sacrifice was rejected because it was offered at Satan's command, not the Lord's; it was not and could not be offered in faith for "he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven." (Teachings, pp 58-59.)

As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed and told that "the earth" would not thereafter yield him its abundance as previously. In addition he became the first mortal to be cursed as a son of perdition. As a result of his mortal birth he is assured of a tangible body of flesh and bones in eternity, a fact which will enable him to rule over Satan. The Lord placed on Cain a mark of a dark skin, and he became the ancestor of the black race. (Moses 5; Gen. 4; Teachings, p. 169.)




*Calling and Election Sure

Calling and Election Sure


Those members of the Church who devote themselves wholly to righteousness, living by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, make their calling and election sure. That is, they receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life. Peter summarized the course of righteousness which the saints must pursue to make their calling and election sure and then (referring to his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration with James and John) said that those three had received this more sure word of prophecy. (2 Pet. 1.)

Joseph Smith taught: "After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him. Son, thou shall be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter." To receive the other Comforter is to have Christ appear to him and to see the visions of eternity. (Teachings, pp. 149-151.)

Thus, as the prophet also said, "The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy through the power of the Holy Priesthood." (D. & C. 131:5.) Those so favored of the Lord are sealed up against all manner of sin and blasphemy except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood. That is, their exaltation is assured; their calling and election is made sure, because they have obeyed the fullness of God's laws and have overcome the world. Though such persons "shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation." (D. & C. 132:26.)

The Lord says to them: Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; . . . and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths." (D. & C. 132:19.) The prophet, for one, had this seal placed upon him. That is, he knew "by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood," that he would attain godhood in the world to come. To him Deity said: "I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father with Abraham your father." (D. & C. 132:49.)

It should be clearly understood that these high blessings are not part of celestial marriage. "Blessings pronounced upon couples in connection with celestial marriage are conditioned upon the subsequent faithfulness of the participating parties." (Doctrines of Salvation vol. 2, pp, 46-47.)




*Cancellation of Sealings

Cancellation of Sealings


Properly speaking there is no such thing as a temple divorce; divorces in this day are civil matters handled by the courts of the land. But following a civil divorce of persons who have been married for eternity in the temples, if the circumstances are sufficiently serious to warrant it, the President of the Church has power to cancel the sealings involved. He holds the keys and power both to bind and loose on earth and in heaven. (Matt. 16:19; D. & C. 132:46; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, p. 84.)

*Canon of Scripture

Canon of Scripture


Such Biblical writings as are accepted by any substantial part of Christianity, as inspired and authentic, are considered by their acceptors as the canon of scripture. Other supposedly sacred Biblical writings which are not so accepted are designated as apocryphal by those who reject them. What is accepted as canonical by one group may be thrust aside as apocryphal by another. Books of the Apocrypha itself may be listed as canonical by those who accept them as authentic and inspired writings. Canonizing is generally considered as complete when some formal council, convention, or other official church assemblage officially adopts a particular work. Thus, applying Biblical standards to revelations in general, the standard works of the Church may be said to be canonical books.

Canonizing, as understood and practiced in the Christian world, has nothing whatever to do with the tnith of falsity of a particular writing. A revelation is true if it came from God, false if it did not. If a true revelation is deleted from the body of compiled revelations, yet the discarded truths remain in force, and those who reject them are condemned.

Inspired writing is true if the Holy Ghost rests upon its author at the time of the writing, and unless that spirit authors or inspires the choice of words used, the resultant language is not scripture. Any true document may subsequently be changed and perverted by uninspired men. But if the spirit of revelation is present in the body of the priesthood or of the Church, and if that inspired body votes to accept a writing as true and binding upon its members, then that action is a witness on earth and in heaven of the validity of the scriptural writing involved.

*Captain of Salvation

Captain of Salvation


Christ is the Captain of Salvation (Heb. 2:10), meaning that he is the leader, chief officer, and agent who made salvation available to his brethren through his atoning sacrifice.

*Captain of the Lord's Host

Captain of the Lord's Host


1 . Christ himself is the chief soldier in his own army; as Commander, he carries the title captain of the Lord's Host. By this name he appeared to Joshua, who seeing "him with his sword drawn in his hand," and hearing him say, "As captain of the host of the Lord am I now come, . . . Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, what saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy." (Josh. 5:13-15.) What further direction was then given has not been preserved for us.

It is profitable to compare this appearance of our Lord to Joshua with his appearance to Moses in the burning bush at which time the ground also was hallowed by the personal presence of Deity (Ex. 3) and also to compare it with the ministry of the angel whom John attempted to worship but was restrained with the command: "See thou do it not: worship God." (Rev. 19:9-11.) Among righteous messengers from the spirit realms, none but Deity will accept worship from mortals, and none but the Lord himself hallows a spot so that mortals are commanded to remove their shoes.

2. Although not in those words so named in the scriptures, Michael or Adam may also properly be designated, captain of the Lord's Host, for he, under Christ, led the armies of heaven when Lucifer rebelled (Rev. 12:7-9), and he, under Christ, will again lead the hosts of heaven in "the battle of the great God," when Lucifer and his hosts are cast out eternally. (D. & C. 88: 1 11-116.)

*Card Playing

Card Playing


President Joseph F. Smith has stated the position of the Church with reference to card playing in these words: "Card playing is an excessive pleasure; it is intoxicating and, therefore, in the nature of a vice. It is generally the companion of the cigarette and the wine glass, and the latter lead to the poolroom and the gambling hall. . . . Few indulge frequently in card playing in whose lives it does not become a ruling passion. ... A deck of cards in the hands of a faithful servant of God is a satire upon religion. . . . Those who thus indulge are not fit to administer in sacred ordinances. . . . The bishops are charged with the responsibility for the evil, and it is their duty to see that it is abolished. . . . No man who is addicted to card playing should be called to act as a ward teacher; such men cannot be consistent advocates of that which they do not themselves practice.

"The card table has been the scene of too many quarrels, the birthplace of too many hatreds, the occasion of too many murders to admit one word of justification for the lying, cheating spirit which it too often engenders in the hearts of its devotees. . . .

"Card playing is a game of chance, and because it is a game of chance it has its tricks. It encourages tricks; its devotees measure their success at the table by their ability through devious and dark ways to win. It creates a spirit of cunning and devises hidden and secret means, and cheating at cards is almost synonymous with playing at cards." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 328-332.)

Members of the Church should not belong to bridge or other type of card clubs, and they should neither play cards nor have them in their homes. By cards is meant, of course, the spotted face cards used by gamblers. To the extent that church members play cards they are out of harmony with their inspired leaders. Innocent non-gambling games played with other types of cards, except for the waste of time in many instances, are not objectionable.




Since the fall, all men have become carnal, sensual and devilish by nature. (Moses 5:13; 6:49; Alma 42:10; Mosiah 16:1-4; D. & C. 20:20.) In this fallen state they are subject to the lusts, passions, and appetites of the flesh. They are spiritually dead, having been cast out of the presence of the Lord; and thus "they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God." They are in a "carnal state" (Alma 41:10-11); they are of the world. Carnality connotes worldliness, sensuality, and inclination to gratify the flesh.

To be saved men must forsake carnality and turn to the things of the spirit. They "must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters," (Mosiah 27:25.) All accountable persons who have not received the truth and the spiritual re-birth that attends such reception are yet in a carnal state. (Mosiah 4:2; 16: 1-4; 26:4; Alma 22: 13; 4: 10-15.)

Even members of the Church who have not forsaken the world, and who have not bridled their passions (Alma 38: 12), are yet in a carnal state. "Ye are yet carnal," Paul said to the Corinthian saints, "for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Cor. 3:3; Mosiah 3:19.) "To be carnal minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God." (Rom. 8:6-7; 2 Ne. 9:39.)

*Carpenter's Son

Carpenter's Son


In a spirit of unbelief and derision, the citizens of our Lord's own community referred to him as the carpenter's son. (Matt. 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6; Luke 4:16-29.) Joseph, his foster father, earned his daily bread through carpentry, and Jesus himself was schooled in that trade.

*Caste System

Caste System


In one sense of the word, caste systems - that is, the formation of hereditary classes within the social organization - are contrary to gospel principles of equality and fair treatment. This is so when these systems impose restrictions, slavery, and denial of natural rights upon members of any caste.

God is no respecter of persons, and inalienable rights are the natural heritage of all mankind (D. & C. 98:5); persons in every nation, caste, and class of society are entitled, as of right, to be put in a position where they can exercise the "moral agency" which the Lord has given them, so that they can be accountable for their "own sins in the day of judgment." (D. & C. 101:78.) Certainly the caste systems in communist countries and in India, for instance, are man made and are not based on true principles.

However, in a broad general sense, caste systems have their root and origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the Lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry. (Gen. 4; Moses 5.) The whole house of Israel was chosen as a peculiar people, one set apart from all other nations (Ex. 19:5-6; Deut. 7:6; 14:2); and they were forbidden to marry outside their own caste. (Ex. 34:10-17; Deut. 7:1-5.) In effect the Lamanites belonged to one caste and the Nephites to another, and a mark was put upon the Lamanites to keep the Nephites from intermixing with and marrying them. (Alma 3:6-11.)

All this is not to say that any race, creed, or caste should be denied any inalienable rights. But it is to say that Deity in his infinite wisdom, to carry out his inscrutable purposes, has a caste system of his own, a system of segregation of races and peoples. The justice of such a system is evident when life is considered in its true eternal perspective. It is only by a knowledge of pre-existence that it can be known why some persons are born in one race or caste and some in another.

Segregation and caste systems will continue on in a future eternity; the righteous will go to paradise and the wicked to hell; and finally all men will be segregated into kingdoms - each separate from the others - according as their works have been.

*Casting Lots

Casting Lots





In some churches of the world the particular church building containing the cathedra, or chair of the bishop, is called a cathedral. Since these houses of worship have nominally been the largest, most ornate, and by far the most costly of all places of religious assembly, it has become common in the sectarian world to refer to all large and important church buildings as cathedrals. The Latter-day Saints, however, do not build cathedrals; indeed, the erection and inordinate adorning of expensive and elaborate meeting houses for church worship is one of the signs of the great apostasy. (Morm. 8:37.)

*Cave Man

Cave Man


*Celestial Bodies

Celestial Bodies


By obedience to celestial law men gain celestial bodies, bodies which are sanctified by the spirit. (D. & C. 84:33; 88:16-32; Alma 13:12; 3 Ne. 27:19-21.) They become new creatures of the Holy Ghost, having been born again. (Alma 5.) Their renewed bodies are just as different from bodies still in their carnal state as the bodies of the various animals, fowls, and fishes differ from each other. (1 Cor. 15:39- 42.) Those who have gained celestial bodies will, in the resurrection, receive back "the same body which was a natural body" (D. & C. 88:28), that is their celestial bodies will be immortalized and then they will gain admission to the celestial kingdom.

*Celestial City

Celestial City


*Celestial Day

Celestial Day

See DAY.

*Celestial Earth

Celestial Earth


*Celestial Glory

Celestial Glory


If a man obeys celestial law in this life, he obtains a celestial body and spirit. In the resurrection these are received back again quickened by a celestial glory thus qualifying him to go to a celestial kingdom where alone celestial glory is found. (D. & C. 88:16-32.) Mortal man has no concept of the glory of that world. Those who finally attain it are persons "whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical." (D. & C. 76:70; 1 Cor. 15:40-42.)

Exaltation consists in gaining a fullness of celestial glory. (D. & C. 132:19-20.) Those so attaining will receive "a fullness of the glory of the Father" and be glorified in Christ as he is in the Father. (D. & C. 93:16-20.) The Prophet said that in the resurrection the righteous "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." (Teachings p. 347.)

*Celestial Kingdom

Celestial Kingdom


Highest among the kingdoms of glory hereafter is the celestial kingdom. It is the kingdom of God, the glory thereof being typified by the sun in the firmament. (D. & C. 76:50-70, 92-96; 1 Cor. 15:39-42.) The Prophet has left us this record of a glorious occurrence that took place in the Kirkland Temple on January 21, 1836: "The heavens were opened upon us, and 1 beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold." (Teachings, p. 107.)

An inheritance in this glorious kingdom is gained by complete obedience to gospel or celestial law. (D. & C. 88:16-32.) By entering the gate of repentance and baptism candidates find themselves on the strait and narrow path leading to the celestial kingdom. By devotion and faithfulness, by enduring to the end in righteousness and obedience, it is then possible to merit a celestial reward. (2 Ne. 31:17-21.)

No unclean thing can enter this kingdom, and the plan of salvation is the system whereby men are washed and cleansed, whereby they are "sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost," and thus enabled to stand spotless before the Lord. (3 Ne. 27:19-21.) "The sanctified" are "them of the celestial world." (D. & C. 88:2.)

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees," and in the same sense that baptism starts a person out toward an entrance into the celestial world, so celestial marriage puts a couple on the path leading to an exaltation in the highest heaven of that world. (D. & C. 131 : 1-4; 132.)

*Celestial Law

Celestial Law


That law by obedience to which men gain an inheritance in the kingdom of God in eternity is called celestial law. It is the law of the gospel, the law of Christ, and it qualifies men for admission to the celestial kingdom because in and through it men are "sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost," thus becoming clean, pure, and spotless. (3 Ne. 27:19-21.)

"And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ," the Lord says, "must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom. For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory." (D. & C. 88:21-22.) Those who have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and are guided thereby in their lives are "able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom," including the law of consecration or anything else the Lord might ask of them. They are the ones who - "united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom" (D. & C. 105: 1-5) - will build up Zion in the last days.

*Celestial Marriage

Celestial Marriage


Marriages performed in the temples for time and eternity, by virtue of the sealing keys restored by Elijah, are called celestial marriages. The participating parties become husband and wife in this mortal life, and if after their marriage they keep all the terms and conditions of this order of the priesthood, they continue on as husband and wife in the celestial kingdom of God.

If the family unit continues, then by virtue of that fact the members of the family have gained eternal life (exaltation), the greatest of all the gifts of God, for by definition exaltation consists in the continuation of the family unit in eternity. Those so inheriting are the sons and daughters of God, the members of his family, those who have made their callings and elections sure, They are joint-heirs with Christ to all that the Father hath, and they receive the fullness of the glory of the Father, becoming gods in their own right. (D. & C. 132; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 58-99.)

Baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom; celestial marriage is the gate to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world. (D. & C. 131:1-4.) To gain salvation after baptism it is necessary to keep the commandments of God and endure to the end (2 Ne. 31:17-21); to gain exaltation after celestial marriage the same continued devotion and righteousness is required. Those who have been married in the temples for eternity know that the ceremony itself expressly conditions the receipt of all promised blessings upon the subsequent faithfulness of the husband and wife.

Making one's calling and election sure is in addition to celestial marriage and results from undeviating and perfect devotion to the cause of righteousness. Those married in the temple can never under any circumstances gain exaltation unless they keep the commandments of God and abide in the covenant of marriage which they have taken upon themselves.

Celestial marriage is a holy and an eternal ordinance; as an order of the priesthood, it has the name the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. Adam was the first one on this earth to enter into this type of union, and it has been the Lord's order in all ages when the fullness of the gospel has been on earth. Its importance in the plan of salvation and exaltation cannot be overestimated. The most important things that any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever does in this world are: 1. To marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority; and 2. To keep the covenant made in connection with this holy and perfect order of matrimony - thus assuring the obedient persons of an inheritance of exaltation in the celestial kingdom.

*Celestial Spirits

Celestial Spirits


Those who by full obedience to gospel requirements develop celestial bodies, gain at the same time celestial spirits. Then in the resurrection, when "the same body which was a natural body," (that is, the renewed body, the body sanctified by the spirit, the celestial body) is received back again, "they who are of a celestial spirit" are quickened by a celestial glory and go on to an inheritance in a celestial kingdom. (D. &C. 88:28.)

*Celestial Time

Celestial Time





Some persons in some of the churches in the world are bound by vows of celibacy where under they agree to remain unmarried. Celibacy is not of God, whose law is that "Marriage is honorable in all" (Heb. 13:4), and that men should "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Gen. 1:28.)

Many who practice celibacy do so out of an excessive religious devotion and with the idea in mind that they are serving their Maker. In reality they are forsaking some of the most important purposes of their creation for a man-made, uninspired system. Indeed, Paul says of this practice of celibacy that it consists in "giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." (1 Tim. 4:1-3.)

In this connection it is interesting to note that it is to Paul that advocates of celibacy turn in a fruitless search to find scripture justifying their unnatural mode of living. Paul himself was married. Of this there is no question. He had the sure promise of eternal life; his calling and election had been made sure (Teachings p. 151) - which, according to God's eternal laws, could not have been unless he had first entered into the order of celestial marriage. (D. & C. 131; 132.)

However, Paul wrote some things to the Corinthian saints which have been interpreted by some to mean that he was unmarried and that he thought it preferable if others did not many. It may well be that his expressions on marriage, as found in the King James Version of the Bible (1 Cor. 7), have come to us in changed and perverted form, as compared to what he originally wrote. Some changes and clarifications have been made in the Inspired Version. But even as the record stands, it does not support celibacy; and when it is read in harmony with the rest of the scriptures (which always should be done in interpreting passages), it is found to teach quite the reverse.

It is apparent that the Corinthians had written Paul and had said to him, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." Paul replied, in the Lord's name, writing by way of commandment, "Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." Then he announced that the Lord had ceased to speak and that he would give some personal opinions, in an attempt to solve some difficult cases. He does not record what the cases were; obviously they had been in the letter the Corinthians wrote him; and to get a fair perspective of his answer, we would need to know the exact questions involved. However, from latter-day revelation we do know that the questions pertained to circumcision, the law of Moses, marrying out of the Church, and the false tradition that little children are conceived in sin and hence are unholy. (D. & C. 74.)

Paul then gives it as his opinion (plainly saying that it is a personal view and not the voice of the Lord) that certain persons should not many. It may be that he was referring to some particular persons for whom it would have been unwise to contract marriages. Knowing what he did about the doctrine of celestial marriage and exaltation, it is unthinkable that he would have counseled against marriage, except in some peculiar circumstance. There might be cases today in which individuals should not marry, but it is not the general rule, and the principle of not marrying is not the doctrine of the Church now any more than it was in his day. (Inspired Version, 1 Cor. 7.) If we knew the situation about which Paul wrote, and had a full transcript of his actual words, there would be no ambiguity as to his meaning and doctrine.

Indeed, it is to some of Paul's other writings that we turn for direct confirmation of the everlasting principle of eternal marriage, as for instance his epigrammatic statement, "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:11.)




*Chains of Hell

Chains of Hell


Those who "harden their hearts" against gospel truth soon become engulfed in total spiritual darkness in which "they know nothing concerning" God and "his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell." (Alma 12:9-11.)

When persons are thus finally bound, there is no longer hope of reprieve; they suffer the second death and are "chained down to an everlasting destruction" (Alma 12:17), "from whence there is no deliverance." (2 Ne. 28:19, 22.) But as these chains begin to encircle the mind, closing out light and truth degree by degree, there is still the chance of escape through repentance and righteousness. (2 Ne. 1:13, 23; 9:45; Alma 5:7, 9; 13:30; 26:14.)

The angels who kept not their first estate are destined to inherit everlasting darkness; for them there is no escape from the chains of hell. (D. & C. 38:5; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.)



See LAW.




Strictly speaking a chapel is a subordinate place of worship in a more elaborate church building; it is a room, recess, or cell containing an altar and located in a cathedral or other church building. The assembly halls in which services of worship are held in Latter-day Saint meetinghouses are commonly called chapels, though the term does not fully apply. To speak of the ward chapel when ward meetinghouse is meant is not the best usage of terms.

Clergymen on official duty with the armed services or who are employed by public institutions are commonly called chaplains. The title is not one that pertains to the Church or the gospel, and those who so serve are appointed by military or civil power and have no divine commission, unless, as occasionally happens, one of the elders of Israel serves in such a capacity.




Above all the attributes of godliness and perfection, charity is the one most devoutly to be desired. Charity is more than love, far more; it is everlasting love, perfect love, the pure love of Christ which endureth forever. It is love so centered in righteousness that the possessor has no aim or desire except for the eternal welfare of his own soul and for the souls of those around him. (2 Ne. 26:30; Moro. 7:47; 8:25- 26.)

"Above all things," the Lord says, "clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace." (D. & C. 88:125; Col. 3:14.) "Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves," Peter said to the saints, "for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." (1 Pet. 4:8.) Charity is the crowning virtue, "the end of the commandment" (1 Tim. 1:5); "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." (1 Cor. 13:13.)

Charity is an essential qualification for the ministers of Christ (D & C. 4:5); no one can assist in the Lord's work without it (D. & C. 12:8; 18:19); and the saints of God are commanded to seek and attain it. (D. & C. 121:45; 124:116; 2 Ne. 33:7-9; Alma 7:24; 1 Cor. 16:14; 1 Tim. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:22; Tit. 2:2; 2 Pet. 1:7.) Charity is a gift of the Spirit which must be gained if one is to have salvation. "There must be faith," Moroni writes, "and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity. And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope." (Moro. 10:20-21.)

To Moroni the Lord said: "Faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me - the fountain of all righteousness," and Moroni replied to the Lord (being, of course, moved upon by the Holy Ghost): "I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men. And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father." (Ether 12:28, 33-34.)

Both Paul and Mormon wrote of charity in similar language. Either they both had the same words of some earlier prophet before them or the Holy Ghost revealed the same truths to them in almost the same words. Mormon's language included these statements: "If a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of ah for all things must fail - But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure." (Moro. 7:44-48.)







By a process of chastening the Lord helps prepare his saints for salvation. It is one of his ways of turning erring souls to paths of righteousness. As varying situations require, chastening may include rebukes for misconduct or subjection to trials and afflictions. It may even take the form of chastisement, meaning corporal punishment.

Men are chastened for their sins (D. & C. 58:60; 61:8; 64:8; 75:7; 93:50; 97:6; 103:4; 105:6; 1 Ne. 16:25), to bring them to repentance (D. & C. 1:27; 98:21), because the Lord loves them. (D. & C. 95:1-2; Hela. 15:3; Rev. 3:19.) Chastening is designed to try the faith and patience of the saints (Mosiah 23:21), and those who endure it well gain eternal life.

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Heb. 12:6-11; Job 5:17; Prov. 3:11.)

Chastening is both mental and physical. The Lord and his prophets may rebuke and counsel people for their benefit. (1 Ne. 16:39.) And the Lord may send calamities upon the people to soften their hearts so they will become more receptive to his will. "Except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence they will not remember him." (Hela. 12:3; D. & C. 87:6.) "And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer." (D. & C. 101:6.)

"Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance - the Lord is speaking of those driven from their homes in Jackson County by the mobs - "I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions. Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels. Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son. For all those who will not endure chastening but deny me, cannot be sanctified." (D. & C. 101:1-5.)




When the chastening of the Lord takes the form of corporal punishment, it is called chastisement. (D. & C. 95:1; 103:1-4; Lev. 26:28.) Those who will not bear chastisement are not worthy of salvation. (D. & C. 136:31)

One of the great Messianic prophecies foretold that our Lord would bear in his own body the wounds of chastisement. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isa. 53:5.)




Chastity, meaning virtue and sexual purity, is that state of moral purity which is "most dear and precious above all things." (More. 9:9.) On the other hand, sexual sins are "most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost." (Alma 39:5.)

Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of one's life - better dead clean, than alive unclean. Many is the faithful Latter-day Saint parent who has sent a son or a daughter on a mission or otherwise out into the world with the direction: "I would rather have you come back in a pine box with your virtue than return alive without it." "I the Lord God delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts." (Jac. 2:28.)




One of the frequent bits of counsel, comfort, and solace coming from God to his people is, "Be of good cheer." (John 16:33; Acts 27:22, 25; 2 Ne. 10:23; Alma 17:31; 3 Ne. 1:13; D. & C. 61:36; 68:6; 78:18; 1 12:4.) That is, the saints are exhorted to raise their spirits, to increase their hope of better days, to be comforted in their sorrows, gladdened in their successes, and made to rejoice in general. True cheerfulness is born of righteousness, for in right living there can be no remorse of conscience.







Apparently a cherub is an angel of some particular order or rank to whom specific duties and work are assigned. That portion of the Lord's word which is now available among men does not set forth clearly either the identity or work of these heavenly beings. The concept of sectarian scholars that they are "mythological living creatures," who filled for the Hebrew people the same position that the griffins did for the Hittites, is utterly false. (Griffins were supposed to be winged sphinxes having the bodies of lions and the heads and wings of eagles, and they were in fact mythological creatures.)

In English, the plural of cherub is cherubs; in Hebrew, the plural is cherubim except that the King James Version of the Bible erroneously translates the plural as cherubim. The Book of Mormon (Alma 12:21; 42:2-3), the Pearl of Great Price (Moses 4:3 1), and the Inspired Version of the Bible (Ex. 25:20-22) give the plural as cherubim when Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden, it was "cherubim and a flaming sword" which kept them from partaking of the tree of life so they would have lived forever in their sins. (Moses 4:31.)

As seen in the vision of Ezekiel (Ezek. 1; 10; 11); as placed over the mercy seat in the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex. 25:17-22; 37:6-7); as decorations on the curtains and veil of this tabernacle (Ex. 21:1, 31); as embroidered on the veil of Solomon's temple (2 Chron. 3:14); as decorating the base whereon the molten sea rested (1 Kings 7:23-29); and as placed in the holy of holies of that magnificent temple (1 Kings 6:23-30; 8:6-7; 2 Chron. 3:10; 5:7-8; Heb. 9:1-5)- the cherubim were shown with wings. There are, of course, no angels (cherubim included) who have wings. Their usage in these instances was symbolical; as with certain beasts seen in vision by John, the presence of wings was "a representation of power to move, to act, etc." (D. & C. 77:4.)

The statement that the Lord "rode upon a cherub" is figurative it means, as the balance of the sentence explains that "he was seen upon the wings of the wind." (2 Sam. 22:1 1; Ps. 18:10.) Cherubs and the wind both have wings in the same sense and in no other.

*Chief Shepherd

Chief Shepherd





*Children of Abraham

Children of Abraham


*Children of Belial

Children of Belial


*Children of Christ

Children of Christ


*Children of Disobedience

Children of Disobedience


Those persons who walk after the manner of the world, following their carnal, sensual, and devilish desires, are referred to as the children of disobedience. (Eph. 2:2.) They are followers or disciples of disobedience and are also variously designated as "children of transgression" (Isa. 57:4), "children of this world: (Luke 16:8; 20:34), "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3), "children of the kingdom of the devil" (Alma 5:25), and "the children of them which killed the prophets." (Matt. 23:31.) They revel in the lusts of their "father the devil." (John 8:33-56.) As servants of sins themselves, they fight the living oracles (D. & C. 121:17), and the wrath of God will in due course rest upon them. (Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6.)

*Children of Ephraim

Children of Ephraim


*Children of God

Children of God


*Children of Israel

Children of Israel


*Children of Jacob

Children of Jacob


*Children of Judah

Children of Judah


*Children of Light

Children of Light


By accepting the gospel and thus coming out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ (I Pet. 2:9) men become the children of light. (John 12:36; Col. 1:12.) They are then followers or disciples of light and truth. The saints are commanded to "walk as children of light." (Eph. 5:8.) If they do, they have the promise that the great and dreadful day of the Lord will not overtake them as a thief in the night. ( 1 Thess. 5:1-6; D.&C. 106:4-5.)

*Children of the Covenant

Children of the Covenant


According to the terms of the covenant which God made with Abraham, all of the literal seed of that great prophet are entitled to receive the gospel, the priesthood, and all of the ordinances of salvation and exaltation. (Abra. 2:9-11; D. & C. 86:8-11.) When any of those descendants do receive all of these things, "They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God." (D. & C. 84:34.) They are then children of the covenant, that is, they are inheritors of the fullness of the blessings appertaining to the new and everlasting covenant which is the gospel. "Ye are the children of the covenant" (3 Ne. 20:24-27), our Lord told the Nephites among whom he ministered, a distinction which the faithful saints of this dispensation also enjoy. Rebellious descendants of Abraham are not his children in the special sense that is intended by the designation children of the covenant. (John 8:33,59.)

*Children of the Kingdom

Children of the Kingdom


Our Lord's Church is the kingdom of God on earth. Faithful members of that Church, those who adhere to the standards of the kingdom, are the children of the kingdom. (Matt. 13:38.) They are followers or disciples of the Master because they believe the gospel of the kingdom. Special blessings are reserved for them (D. & C. 41:6), and they are commanded to bring forth fruit mete for the Father's kingdom. (D. & C. 84:58-59.) Children of the kingdom eventually "shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 8:1 1-12.)

*Children of the Prophets

Children of the Prophets


Those who follow in the footsteps of the prophets, who believe as they believed and live as they lived, are the children of the prophets. (D. & C. 84:33-34.) They are children in the sense of being followers or disciples, and they may also be their literal seed. (3 Ne. 20:25-27; Acts 3:25.) However, the rebellious literal seed cut themselves off from the blessings of their fathers, and they become the children of the devil rather than the children of the prophets. (John 8:33-59.)

*Children of Zion

Children of Zion


Those who seek the welfare of Zion, whose desires and strivings are that Zion may be built up and her glory spread through all the earth, are the children of Zion. Since the great latter-day Zion is to be built up by the Church and kingdom of God on earth, it follows that the children of Zion are members of that divine institution. (D. & C. 84:56-58; 101:41, 81-85; 103:35.)




*Chosen One

Chosen One


Christ is the Chosen One. (Moses 4:2; 7:39.) By this is meant that from the beginning, because of devotion, obedience, and righteousness, he was chosen by the Father to play the chief part in the great creative and redemptive enterprises of Deity.

*Chosen Seed

Chosen Seed





As far as man is concerned, all things center in Christ. He is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state. As such he became, under the Father, the Creator of this earth and of worlds without number; and he was then chosen to work out the infinite and eternal atonement, to come to this particular earth as the literal Son of the Father, and to put the whole plan of redemption salvation, and exaltation in operation.

Through him the gospel, all saving truths, and every edifying principle have been revealed in all ages. He is the Eternal Jehovah the promised Messiah, the Redeemer and Savior, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By him immortality and eternal life become realities, and through his grace and goodness salvation is possible for all who will believe and obey.

He was born into this world as the Son of Mary (inheriting from her the power of mortality) and as the Son of Man of Holiness (inheriting from him the powers of immortality). In this life he received not of the fullness at the first, but went from grace to grace until, in the final triumph of the resurrection, he gained the fullness of all things; and all power was given him both in heaven and on earth. He has all truth, all power, all knowledge; he comprehends all things, is infinite in all his attributes and powers; and he has given a law unto all things.

In due course he will come again, in power, dominion, and glory to reign with righteous men on earth a thousand years. Thereafter, with the righteous saints, he shall reign to all eternity as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and God of Gods. To his holy name, both now and forever, be ascribed glory and honor, power, riches, and dominion, and an eternal fullness of all things for endless ages.

If the sectarian world, or even the spiritually unenlightened in the Church, had the slightest concept of the dominion, exaltation, and pre-eminence of our Lord both in pre-existence, during his mortal ministry, and now that he has returned to his Father, it would seem little short of direful and presumptuous blasphemy to them. Words, either written or spoken, cannot convey such a realization; it can only come by the revelations of the Spirit. This work on Mormon Doctrine deals in a most fragmentary way with him, his laws, and his doctrines. The well over 200 separate articles cross-referenced under the heading Christ deal briefly with his names, ministry, mission, and exalted position in the eternal scheme of things.

*Christ As the Father

Christ As the Father


Although Christ - the Firstborn in the spirit and the Only Begotten in the flesh - is the Son of God the Father, and as such is a separate and distinct personage from the Father, yet there are three senses in which Christ is called the Father. These are clearly set forth in a document entitled, "The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve." (Articles of Faith, pp 465-473; Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp 1 17-129.)

1 . Christ is the Father in the sense that he is the Creator, the Maker, the Organizer of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are. (Isa. 9:6; 2 Ne. 19:6; Mosiah 15:4; 16:15; Alma 11:38-39; Ether 4:7.)

2. He is the Father of all those who are born again (Mosiah 27:24-29), who "are begotten sons and daughters unto God" through his atoning Sacrifice (D. & C. 76:24), who are "spiritually begotten" through faith, thus becoming "his sons and his daughters." (Mosiah 5:7.)

3. He is the Father by what has aptly been termed divine investiture of authority. That is since he is one with the Father in all of the attributes of perfection, and since he exercises the power and authority of the Father, it follows that everything he says or does is and would be exactly and precisely what the Father would say and do under the same circumstances.

Accordingly, the Father puts his own name on the Son and authorizes him to speak in the first person as though he were the Father. This is similar to the situation in which Christ puts his name on an angel so that the designated heavenly ministrant can speak in the first person as though he were Christ himself. (Rev. 1:1; 19:9-10; 22:8-14.) Thus it is that our Lord can begin a revelation by saying, "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ," and shortly thereafter speak of "mine only Begotten" (D. & C. 29:1, 41-46), such latter expression being made by Christ, but under that divine investiture of authority which permits him to speak as though he were the Father. (D. & C. 93:3-5; Mosiah 15:1-5.)

*Christ Child

Christ Child


Among Christian people it is common to refer to the youthful Son of Deity as the Christ Child, he of course having been born and having grown to maturity as other men do. (Matt. 2:19-23; Luke 1:76.) Though as a youth he had unusual mental and spiritual capacity (Luke 2:41-52), yet according to the customs and laws of the time he was in subjection to his parents. The Prophet inserted this revealed truth in the Inspired Version of the Bible. "Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come. And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him." (Inspired Version, Matt. 3:24-25.)




That portion of the world in which so-called Christianity prevails - as distinguished from heathen or Mohammedan lands - is called Christendom. The term also applies to the whole body of supposed Christian believers; as now constituted this body is properly termed apostate Christendom.




In modem Christendom the ceremony of baptizing and naming a child is called christening. Obviously this practice, including as it does the false practice of infant baptism, is contrary to revealed truth. In the Lord's Church infant children are named in blessings given by the elders, but this is not accompanied by infant baptism and is not properly called christening.




There is only one Christ, because there is only one Son of God, only one Only Begotten, only one person ever born into the world with life in himself with the power to lay down his life and to take it up again. (John 10:11-18.) False doctrines found in some cults to the effect that a number of persons have attained Christhood or the state of being a Christ are direful perversions of the truth. They are the devil's substitute for the true doctrine which teaches that men may become joint-heirs with Christ.

*Christian Era

Christian Era


On the false assumption that Christianity had its beginning with our Lord's mortal ministry, his birth was chosen to mark the beginning of the so-called Christian Era. Though there is considerable controversy and uncertainty among scholars of the world as to the actual year of Christ’s birth, the revelation given on the day the Church was organized in this dispensation apparently intends to convey the thought that he was born April 6, B.C. 1. (D. & C. 20:1.)




Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fullness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom. In these circles it is believed and taught that Christianity had its beginning with the mortal ministry of our l;Lord. Actually, of course, Adam was the first Christian, for both he and the saints of all ages have rejoiced in the very doctrines of salvation restored to earth by our Lord in his ministry.




The believers in Christ, both in America among the Nephites and in the old world beginning in apostolic times, were called Christians. (Alma 46:13-16; 48:10; Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16.) Probably the name was applied first in derision, but it found ready acceptance among the members of the Church because they rejoice in the privilege of taking upon themselves "the name of Christ, or Christians" (Alma 46:15.)

As the day of the great apostasy set in, the term Christian continued to be applied to the supposed followers of Christ, even though in reality they had departed from the true doctrines. Today those who purport to believe in Christ though they may not actually accept him as the Son of God, are called Christians.

The first Nephite reference to Christians in the Book of Mormon is dated about 73 B.C. in what the sectarian world would call the pre-Christian era. But since the doctrine of Christ has been taught in successive dispensations from the days of Adam to the present, either the very name Christian or some equally expressive synonym has been applied to the saints of the Most High of all ages.




Modem day Christians celebrate December 25th as an annual church festival and as the traditional day of our Lord's mortal birth. Special gifts and greetings are common, and both Christmas itself and the whole yuletide season often take on an air of commercialism and worldliness. Apparently Christ was born on the day corresponding to April 6 (D. & C. 20:1), but the saints nevertheless join in the wholesome portions of the Christmas celebration. Christmas becomes to them an ideal opportunity to renew their search for the true Spirit of Christ and to center their attentions again on the true doctrine of his birth as the son of an Immortal Father, a fact that enabled him to work out the infinite and eternal atonement.

*Christ's Passion

Christ's Passion





Our Lord's true Church is the formal, official organization of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ by baptism, thus covenanting to serve God and keep his commandments. (D. & C. 10:67-69; 18:20-25.) It is literally the kingdom of God on earth (D. & C. 65; 84:34; 136:41), and as such its affairs are administered by apostles, prophets, and other legal administrators appointed by Christ the King. (1 Cor. 12:27-29.) It is the congregation or assembly of saints who have forsaken the world by accepting the gospel, formal society of converted persons and not the unorganized spiritual vagary called the Christian church by sectarianism.

The church was first organized on earth in the days of Adam, with that great patriarch standing as its first president, the presiding high priest over God's earthly kingdom. The common sectarian notion that the day of Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian Church is a false heresy. Whenever the gospel has been on earth, it has been taught and administered in and through Christ's church. The Church or kingdom as organized in the meridian of time by our Lord and his apostolic ministers was a restored Church.

With the coming of the great apostasy the primitive Church was lost, and the various churches or societies which have since grown up bear no particular similarity to the original. This reality is frankly accepted by impartial theologians whether in the Church or out of it. One eminent author has written: "As God permits men to mar the perfection of his designs in their behalf, and as men have both corrupted the doctrines and broken the unity of the Church, we must not expect to see the Church of Holy Scripture actually existing in its perfection on earth. It is not to be found, thus perfect, either in the collected fragments of Christendom, or still less in any one of these fragments; though it is possible that one of those fragments more than another may approach the scriptural and apostolic ideal which existed only until sin, heresy, and schism, had time sufficiently to develop themselves to do their work. " (Smith's Bible Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 458.)

It has always been common to refer to the Church as the kingdom. Matthew so speaks more than a score of times. (Matt. 13:24.) But the term Church itself has also always been used, though possibly more frequently in some ages than in others. "The church, in ancient days," for instance, chose to call the higher priesthood after the name of Melchizedek. (D. & C. 107:3-4.) Some 600 years before Christ, Nephi spoke of "the brethren of the church" (1 Ne. 4:26), though the name Church is not found in the Old Testament as we now have that document.

Matthew is the only gospel author in whose writings the term has been preserved, and it appears over 100 additional times in the balance of the New Testament. It is found about 230 times in the Book of Mormon with about 191 of these occurring between 600 B.C. and 34 A.D. and the other two score or so being in the period after the ministry of the resurrected Lord among the Nephites. The Doctrine and Covenants contains about 500 references to the Church or churches.

Those who join the true Church and keep their covenants gain salvation in the celestial kingdom of God. (D. & C. 10:55, 69.) In the true Church there will be apostles, prophets, the doctrinal teachings, revelation, visions, miracles, healings, the ministering of angels, and all of the gifts of the Spirit. (Mark 16:14-20; 1 Cor. 12; 13; 14; 3 Ne. 27; Morm. 8; 9; Moro. 7; 8; D. & C. 46.) Where these things are found, there is the true Church; where these things are not found, there the true Church is not.

*Church Courts

Church Courts


Being the kingdom of God on earth and having a perfect organization, provision is made in the Church for the trial of transgressors against church standards and for the settlement of disputes between church members and groups. It is the practice of the Church for home teachers (or other specially assigned brethren) to investigate alleged transgression and then, if necessary, bring charges against accused persons, either before a bishops court or a stake presidency and high council. Both of these courts have original jurisdiction in all cases, but a bishops court may not impose a penalty of excommunication upon a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Persons tried by a bishops court may appeal to the stake presidency and high council, and from there appeals may be taken to the First Presidency of the Church.

In practice most church trials deal with alleged transgression, excommunication being the supreme penalty that may be imposed. (D.& C. 134:10.) On occasion, however, temporal matters have been decided by church courts as in the case of President John Taylor's calling a Common Council of the Church to decide water disputes between persons living in different stakes. (Gospel Kingdom, pp. 201- 202.) Indeed, the framework is so formed that all types of cases might be handled by church courts.

*Church Hierarchy

Church Hierarchy


*Church Historian and Recorder

Church Historian and Recorder


Record keeping and the writing of history is so essential a part of the gospel plan that it would be done automatically by prophets and others even if there were no commandments requiring it. From the very beginning, whenever prophets received revelations, such necessarily were recorded and preserved so they could be studied and obeyed. Joseph Smith kept a daily journal, which of course included the revelations he received, and this journal has become the six volume History of the Church.

On the very day the Church was organized in this dispensation the Lord commanded his people to keep records. (D. & C. 2 1 : 1 .) Oliver Cowdery, who already had been acting as amanuensis to the Prophet, became the first Church Historian and Recorder. When he was called to other work, John Whitmer was chosen by revelation to "keep a regular history" of the Church (D. & C. 47:1), "a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know concerning my church," the Lord said. Also: "Let my servant John Whitmer travel many times from place to place, and from church to church, that he may the more easily obtain knowledge - Preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for the rising generations that shall grow upon the land of Zion, to possess it from generation to generation, forever and ever." (D. & C. 69; 85.)

This gathering, recording, compiling, and collecting of historical data is continuing in the Church today. The Church Historian's Office is a great repository of original journals and documents; of books about the Church and its affairs; of the historical records of ward, stakes, missions, and quorums; of statistical data revealing the faith and works of the saints; and of the sermons and doctrinal teachings of church members. Church histories are the most important and accurate in existence. It is interesting to note that pursuant to revelation and commandment this office keeps copies of the scurrilous, false, and libelous histories that are published about the Church and the Lord's people. (D. & C. 123; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp 197-204.)

*Church Historian's Office

Church Historian's Office


*Church of Christ

Church of Christ


One or more of the names of Christ has always been used in the formal name of the Church. The revelation commanding the Prophet to organize the Church in this dispensation speaks of it as the Church of Christ. (D. & C. 20:1.) Similar usage is found in the Book of Mormon. (Mosiah 18:17; 3 Ne. 26:21; 28:23; 4 Ne. 26, 29; Moro. 6:4.) In due course, however, the Lord giving his revelations line upon line and precept upon precept, the official and formal name of the Church was specified, that is, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (D. & C. 1 15:3-4.)

*Church of Enoch

Church of Enoch


All the inhabitants of Zion - being devoted members of the Lord's Church, with Enoch at their head - were translated and taken to heaven. (Moses 7:69.) Their callings and elections were made sure, and they were all assured of membership in the Church of the Firstborn and of an inheritance of exaltation in the eternal worlds. Those so favored were, of course, with Christ in his resurrection. (D. & C. 133:54-56.) They are spoken of as "the general assembly and church of Enoch" (D. & C. 76:67) and all those who gain exaltation will be joined with them.

*Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


To his earthly kingdom in the dispensation of the fullness of times the Lord has given the formal name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (D. & C. 115:3-4.) This Church is "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" (D. & C. 1:30), the only organization authorized by the Almighty to preach his gospel and administer the ordinances of salvation, the only Church which has power to save and exalt men in the hereafter. Membership in this divine institution is a pearl of great price.

With the appearance of the Father and the Son to the Prophet in the spring of 1820, the final great gospel dispensation had its beginning. Thereafter angels ministered to the Prophet, he received many revelations, the Book of Mormon (which itself contains the fullness of the gospel) was translated, and the keys and power of the priesthood were restored.

In about June, 1829, Peter, James, and John conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the Melchizedek Priesthood, the keys of the kingdom of God (meaning the Church), and the keys of the dispensation of the fullness of times. (D. & C. 27:12-13; 65; 128:20.) Acting by revelation and commandment, in the power and authority of the priesthood and keys so conferred upon them, and in the name of Him whose we are, on the 6th day of April, 1830, the Prophet and his associates organized again on earth the Lord's own Church. (D. & C. 20.)

The Lord's hand was in the work, and he decreed the ultimate and final triumph of the work so begun. (D. & C. 65; Dan. 2:44.) From that day the Church began to grow and the gospel message to roll forth. Guidance and direction was received line upon line and precept upon precept. Each part of the doctrine and of the organization was made manifest as occasion required.

After every key, power, and authority had been restored, after the foundation of the great latter-day work was securely laid, the Prophet and Patriarch sealed their testimony with their own blood and were taken on to continued glory and dominion in the realms of the Spirit. (D. & C. 135.) But the work they had commenced continued to progress carrying with it the assurance that eventually the knowledge of God would cover the earth as the waters cover the sea and every living soul would be converted to the truth. (Isa. 11:9.)

This newly organized Church is the same in every essential particular as the Church of the Lamb has been in all ages past when it has been found among men. It conforms for instance to the New Testament pattern of the Lord's Church. In it is found the same authority the same organization the same ordinances the same teachings and doctrines that were found in the primitive Church. And the same gifts of the Spirit - revelations, visions, miracles, healings, the ministering of angels, tongues, and a host of others - as were poured out upon the ancient saints are again showered in equal measure upon the modem saints, the members of the Lord's own Church and kingdom.

*Church of the Devil

Church of the Devil


The titles church of the devil and great and abominable church are used to identify all churches or organizations of whatever name or nature - whether political, philosophical, educational, economic social, fraternal, civic, or religious - which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God.

Salvation is in Christ, is revealed by him from age to age, and is available only to those who keep his commandments and obey his ordinances. These commandments are taught in, and these ordinances are administered by, his Church. There is no salvation outside this one true Church, the Church of Jesus Christ. There is one Christ, one Church, one gospel, one plan of salvation, one set of saving ordinances, one group of legal administrators, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Eph. 4:5.)

Any church or organization of any kind whatever which satisfies the innate religious longings of man and keeps him from coming to the saving truths of Christ and his gospel is therefore not of God.

Hence we find our Lord saying, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matt. 12:30.) And hence we find Alma inviting the wicked to repent and join the true Church of Christ and become the sheep of the Good Shepherd. "And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd of what fold are ye?" he asks. "Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil." (Alma 5:39; Jos. Smith 2: 19.)

Iniquitous conditions in the various branches of the great and abominable church in the last days are powerfully described in the Book of Mormon. (2 Ne. 28; Morm. 8:28, 32-33, 36-38; D. & C. 10:56.) Nephi saw the "church which is most abominable above all other churches" in vision. He "saw the devil that he was the foundation of it"; and also the murders, wealth, harlotry, persecutions, and evil desires that are part of this organization. (1 Ne. 13:1-10.)

He saw that this church took away from the gospel of the Lamb many covenants and many plain and precious parts; that it perverted the right ways of the Lord; that it deleted many teachings from the Bible; that it was "the mother of harlots"; and finally that the Lord would again restore the gospel of salvation. (1 Ne. 13:24-42.)

Similar visions were given to John as recorded in the 1 7th and 1 8th chapter's of Revelation. He saw this evil church as a whole ruling over peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues; as being full of blasphemy abominations, filthiness, and fornication; as having the name, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH"; as drunken with the blood of the saints; as reveling in wealth and the delicacies of the earth; as making merchandise of all costly items and of "slaves, and souls of men." And then John, as did Nephi, saw the fall and utter destruction of this great church whose foundation is the devil.

In this world of carnality and sensuousness, the great and abominable church will continue its destructive course. But there will be an eventual future day when evil shall end, "and the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire." (D. & C. 29:21; Ezek. 38; 39; 1 Ne. 22:23; Rev. 18.) Before that day, however, desolations will sweep through the earth and the various branches of the great and abominable church "shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood." (1 Ne. 22:13-14; 14:3.)

The resurrected Christ gave to the Nephites this test whereby they might distinguish the true Church from any other: 1. It would be called in his name, for "how be it my church save it be called in my name?" he said. 2. It would be built upon his gospel, that is, the eternal plan of salvation with all its saving powers and graces would be had in it. 3. The Father would show all his works in it, meaning that miracles, righteousness, and every good fruit would abound in it. 4. It would not be hewn down and cast into the fire as must surely come to pass with the great and abominable church. "If it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return." (3 Ne. 27:4-12.)

*Church of the Firstborn

Church of the Firstborn


Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who so devote themselves to righteousness that they receive the higher ordinances of exaltation become members of the Church of the Firstborn. Baptism is the gate to the Church itself, but celestial marriage is the gate to membership in the Church of the Firstborn, the inner circle of faithful saints who are heirs of exaltation and the fullness of the Father's kingdom. (D. & C. 76:54, 67,71,94, 102; 77:11; 78:21; 88:1-5; Heb. 12:23.)

The Church of the Firstborn is made up of the sons of God, those who have been adopted into the family of the Lord, those who are destined to be joint-heirs with Christ in receiving all that the Father hath. "If you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fullness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; . . . And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn." (D. & C. 93:20-22; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 9, 41-43.)

*Church Organization

Church Organization


Basically, church organization is the same in all ages; the same organization that existed in the primitive Church prevails now. (Sixth Article of Faith.) Whenever the Church has been fully established on earth, the priesthood, the keys of the kingdom, and the apostolic power have been manifest. In such periods there have always been prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. (Eph. 4: 11-14.)

But God's earthly kingdom is always organized in such a manner as to serve most ideally the needs of the people under the conditions that exist in the particular age. Hence, provision is made for "helps, governments," quorums, auxiliary organizations, committees, boards, and special administrative units to satisfy special needs. (1 Cor. 12:28.) In the last days, worldly conditions and the complexities of civilization being what they are, the church organization is probably more extended and intricate than in any previous dispensation.

Church organization is always given by revelation. One of the great evidences of the need of contemporary revelation is the fact that changing social, economic, industrial, and other conditions, warrant changes in the helps and governments appended to the great basic and unchanging church organization.

Over the whole Church the First Presidency presides; each group of General Authorities acts under the direction of the Presidency in an assigned sphere. From time to time special auxiliaries, committees, and organizations are set up to serve the whole church.

For administrative purposes the Church is divided into stakes and missions. Each stake (composed of wards and branches) is so organized as to carry on the full program of the Church; each mission (composed of districts which in turn are composed of branches) adapts itself to the circumstances prevailing in it and carries on as much of the church program as possible. Priesthood quorums and the auxiliary organizations function within the stakes, wards, branches, missions, and districts. Groups of stakes are combined to form regions or districts, for the purpose of administering various programs, as for instance the welfare program and the work in the temples.

The Church maintains an extensive educational program that includes universities, colleges, schools, seminaries, and institutes of religion. Since the kingdom of God on earth is concerned with temporal as well as eternal salvation, there are of course banking, insurance, industrial, agricultural and other business enterprises in which the Church has an interest.

*Church Security Program

Church Security Program


*Church Standards

Church Standards


*Church Welfare Plan

Church Welfare Plan


The Church Welfare Plan is that part of the gospel which is designed under our present economic circumstances to care for the temporal needs of the saints and to do it on the basis of gospel principles. Welfare work and principles as such are not new; in every dispensation there have been tithes, offerings cooperative enterprises united orders or whatever arrangements were needed under conditions as they then existed.

But the Present organization for handling welfare matters, first set up in 1936, is the particular one geared to the present needs and faith of the saints. Indeed, the fact that the saints do have adequate procedures for caring for the temporal well-being of the poor among them is one of the evidences of the divinity of the great latter-day work. Modem revelation is required to apply the eternal welfare principles to the intricacies of modem civilization.

"Our primary purpose," said the First Presidency with reference to the newly formulated welfare arrangement, "was to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the main principles of the lives of our Church membership." (Conf Rep., Oct., 1936, p. 3.)

The doctrine of Church Welfare is that "the responsibility for one's economic maintenance rests (I) upon himself (2) upon his family, and (3) upon the Church, if he is a faithful member thereof" (Welfare Handbook, pp. 1-2.)

Man has been placed on earth to work out his salvation both temporally, and spiritually. If all that had been needed for his eternal progression was spiritual in nature, this earth life would not have been necessary. Accordingly, "No the Latter-day Saint will, while physically able, voluntarily shift from himself the burden of his own support. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Almighty and with his own labors, he will supply himself with the necessities of life." (Welfare Handbook, p. 2.)

In keeping with this principle, the saints are counseled to get out of debt, free themselves from mortgages, live within their incomes, save a little, have on hand enough food and clothing and where possible fuel also for a least a year ahead, plant gardens, farm lands, and use wisdom and inspiration in all their temporal pursuits.

When a member of the Church is unable to care for his own temporal needs, the responsibility for such falls upon his relatives. "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Tim. 5:8.) But if the just wants and needs of a church member cannot be supplied through his own efforts or by his family, then the Church itself steps in, draws on the bishops storehouses and the fast offering contributions, and cares for the temporal needs of the poor person. Wherever possible those receiving welfare assistance work for what they receive. The necessary food, clothing, fuel, and other items are almost all produced by the Church on the hundreds of great welfare projects operated by various wards, stakes, and welfare regions.




In token and remembrance of the everlasting covenant made by God with Abraham, Deity instituted the law of circumcision. As revealed to Joseph Smith, the circumstances and conditions calling forth the revelation of this law of circumcision were these: "My people have gone astray from my precepts, and have not kept mine ordinances, which I gave unto their fathers," the Lord said to Abraham, "And they have not observed mine anointing, and the burial, or baptism wherewith I commanded them; But they have turned from the commandment, and taken unto themselves the washing of children, and the blood of sprinkling; And have said that the blood of the righteous Abel was shed for sins; and have not known wherein they are accountable before me.

"But as for thee, behold, I will make my covenant with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. And this covenant I make, that thy children may be known among all nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be called Abraham; for, a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come of thee, and of thy seed. And I will establish a covenant of circumcision with thee, and it shall be my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations; that thou mayest know for ever that children are not accountable before me until they are eight years old. And thou shalt observe to keep all my covenants wherein I covenanted with thy fathers; and thou shalt keep the commandments which I have given thee with mine own mouth, and I will be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee and thy seed after thee, a land wherein thou art a stranger; all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

"And God said unto Abraham, Therefore thou shalt keep my covenant, thou and thy seed after thee, in their generations. And this shall be my covenant which ye shall keep between me and thee and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations; He that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised, and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people, he hath broken my covenant." (Inspired Version, Gen. 17:4-20.)

One of the provisions of this law of circumcision was that it should be practiced by the chosen seed, to identify and distinguish them, until the day of the mortal ministry of Christ. From Abraham to the meridian of time, the gospel and such of the laws of salvation as were revealed in any period were reserved almost exclusively for the seed of Abraham in whose flesh the token of circumcision was found.

But beginning in the meridian of time the Lord's eternal plans called for sending the gospel to all the world; the Gentile nations were to be invited to come to Christ and be heirs of salvation. The laws of salvation were to be offered to those in whose flesh the token of the everlasting covenant was not found. Christ himself limited his ministry to the house of Israel; "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel," he said. (Matt. 15:24.) But he sent his apostolic ministers to preach to all men (Mark 16:15), it being pointedly revealed to Peter that the gospel was for Gentiles as well as Jews. (Acts 10.) Accordingly, the need for the special token in the flesh no longer existed, and so circumcision as a gospel ordinance was done away in Christ.

Mormon received this revelation: "Little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me." (Moro. 8:8.) The disciples in the Old World received a similar revelation and with the approval of the Holy Ghost discontinued the practice of circumcision, rejecting the doctrine of those who claimed that circumcision was still essential to salvation. (Acts 15.) Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, of necessity had to write and teach much about circumcision so that his converts would understand that it was done away in Christ. (Rom. 2; 3; 4; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:6; 6:15; Col. 2: 1 1; 3: 11.)

By the, time of Paul the apostate Jews, as with the people of Abraham's day, had lost the knowledge "that children are not accountable . . . until they are eight years old." (Inspired Version, Gen. 17:11.) Rather they had a tradition that little children were unholy and that circumcision was essential to their cleansing. Those thus circumcised were then "brought up in subjection to the law of Moses," and giving "heed to the traditions of their fathers," they "believed not the gospel of Christ, wherein they became unholy." (D. & C. 74.) It was while struggling to solve this difficult problem that Paul gave some of his counsel on marriage, which counsel can only be understood in the light of the then existing circumcision difficulties. (1 Cor. 7.)

*City of Enoch

City of Enoch


*City of Zion

City of Zion


*Civil Governments

Civil Governments


The first government on earth was a theocracy. But as apostasy set in and men rejected the direct rule of God through his prophets, governments of men were created. Except for short periods of time and among limited groups of people, civil governments have held sway ever since. These earthly governments have had varying degrees of merit, depending on the manner in which they have been organized and the integrity and ability of their rulers.

But all nations have been used by the Lord to accomplish his inscrutable purposes. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 313-326.) Egypt saved the house of Jacob in an age of famine. (Gen. 46; 47; 48; 49; 50.) Cyrus the unbelieving Persian ruler was called of God to accomplish a particular work with ancient Israel. (Isa. 44:28; 45:1-4.) The constitution of the United States was established by the Lord as an aid to the perpetuation of freedom among the American people. (D. & C. 101:76-80.)

With the restoration of the gospel, however, the government of God began again to be established on earth. So far that government operates only in spiritual things, but in due course the Lord will make a full end of all nations. (D. & C. 87:6.) Then civil government as found in all the kingdoms of this present world will cease, and the theocratic millennial administration will begin in which the government of God will be both spiritual and temporal. (D. & C. 38:20-22.) Pending that glorious day the saints are commanded to obey the laws of the land, to be subject to the powers that be (D. & C. 58:20-22), and to uphold, sustain, and support constitutional laws and wise leaders. (D. & C. 98:4-10.)




As part of the false educational theories of the day, it is generally believed and taught that civilization has reached its highest point in the 20th century and that the civilizations of the past were far beneath present standards. Measured solely from the standpoint of inventions, engineering achievements, and industrial development, this is true. But when every form of social development and culture, of arts, letters, and refinement, and of moral uprightness is included in the meaning of civilization, then it becomes apparent that many of the civilizations of the past have far exceeded our own.

Adam began his mortal life as a son of God. (Moses 6:22.) He and Eve and their posterity wrote and spoke the pure Adamic language, a language far more perfect and powerful than any now had on earth. (Moses 6:5-8.) They had the gospel, celestial marriage, a perfect government, communion with God and angels, and they walked in the light of continual revelation. Similar conditions prevailed for 365 years in the City of Zion; indeed, so perfect was the civilization of that people that the Lord came and dwelt with them. (Moses 7.) Among the Nephites for 200 years a godly society prevailed. There is no question but what literature, art, culture, refinement, morality, and every form of social intercourse in these ancient times far exceeded anything that has evolved among worldly kingdoms. During the millennium the most advanced social development ever known on earth will take place; civilization will then reach its zenith as far as mortal beings are concerned.

But even among worldly kingdoms, there have been civilizations of the past which have surpassed ours in selected fields. Can we equal today the literary excellence of the King James Bible or of Shakespeare? What art are we producing that compares with the paintings of the old masters? Do we have musicians today that excel Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Mozart?

*Civil Law

Civil Law


*Civil Marriage

Civil Marriage


Among Latter-day Saints the term civil marriage means a marriage performed solely by civil authority as distinguished from an eternal or a celestial marriage, which is performed both by civil authority and by that power which binds on earth and seals eternally in the heavens. Civil marriages are performed by man's authority and last until death or divorce separates the parties; celestial marriages are by God's authority, and the unions endure in time and in eternity.

For those who are not qualified and worthy to enter into the Lord's order of matrimony, civil marriages are proper and honorable and there is no sin attached to the relationship that results from them. But for a true saint, one who loves the Lord and has in his heart the hope of eternal life, no marriage will prove satisfactory but one that is eternal. President Joseph F. Smith expressed the feelings of those who believe and know the truth when he said that he would rather go himself to the grave than associate with a woman outside the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.




Since no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven (Alma 1 1 :37; 3 Ne. 27:19-21; Moses 6:57), and since all accountable men have committed sin and are therefore unclean (Rom. 3:23; 5:12), it follows that all who gain salvation must undergo a cleansing process. This process is one of repentance and baptism (D. & C. 76:52; Alma 7:14), one that enables the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost to transform the human soul from an unclean to a clean state (Moro. 6:4), one that enables the penitent person to wash his garments in the blood of the Lamb. (Alma 5:21-27.)

Our Lord came into the world for the purpose of cleansing and sanctifying men through the power of his atoning sacrifice. (D. & C. 76:41; Morm. 9:6.) This cleaning power is offered only on conditions of obedience to his laws. (D. & C. 29:17.) "If we walk in the light, as he [God] is in the light," John said, "we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his on cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:6-9.)

After their baptism the Lord commands his saints to continue to seek cleanliness of life and spirit with all their power. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." (D. & C. 38:42; 133:5; 3 Ne. 20:41; Isa. 52:1 1.) "Let all things be done in cleanliness before me." (D. & C. 42:41.) "Entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes." (D. & C. 88:86.) "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded." (Jas. 4:8.)

Those who love the Lord desire to cleanse and perfect their lives: To themselves they say: "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor. 7:1.) "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me," is their cry. (Ps. 51:10.) They desire to worship God with pure hearts and clean hands (2 Ne. 25:16); to work miracles among their fellowmen in this life (3 Ne. 8:1); to be clean in the day of judgment (Alma 5:19; 24:15); to be cleansed from mortality to immortality (3 Ne. 28:36); to enjoy the eternal presence of their God (Ps. 24:1-5); to be possessors of all things. (D. & C. 50:28-29.) They know that the Lord is pleased only with the clean. (D. & C. 38:8-10; 66:3.)

When men accept the truth and embark on the Lord's errand, acting as his ministers, they thereby assume the responsibility for the blood and sins of those over whom they preside or to whom they are sent with the Lord's message. This burden is removed from the Lord's agents only on the condition that they magnify their callings and faithfully discharge the duties imposed upon them. (Ezek. 33; 34.) Thus through their faithfulness the elders have power to become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. (D. & C. 88:74-75, 85; 109:42; 112:33; 135:5; Ether 12:37.)




In the sectarian world, the clergy is the whole body of so-called ordained ministers; those ordained to the ministry (as they suppose) are called clergymen. The ministry involved differs so radically from the Lord's true ministry that the terms clergy and clergymen are not ordinarily applied by the Church to its own ministers.







Since record keeping is such an important part of church operation, qualified and able persons are chosen and set apai1 to serve as clerks and secretaries in all of the organizations of the Church. Among others, stake clerks assist stake presidencies ward clerks and bishoprics, quorum secretaries carry much of the priesthood load, and auxiliary organization secretaries preserve the records of those units.

*Clinic Baptisms

Clinic Baptisms


"Baptisms by pouring or sprinkling were exceptional in the early ages of the Christian Church. They were called clinic baptisms, because administered as a rule to the sick, who could not be taken from their beds to be immersed; but they were rare, and were regarded only as quasi-baptisms." (Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, pp. 252-253.)







*Cola Drinks

Cola Drinks








The Holy Ghost is the Comforter. (John 14:26-27; Teachings, pp. 149-150.) This name-title is given to the third member of the Godhead to signify his mission of bringing solace, love, peace, quiet enjoyment, and comfort to the saints. Scriptures setting forth the consolation and encouragement which spring up in the hearts of the righteous by the power of the Holy Ghost frequently speak of him as the Comforter. Moroni, writing of "the visitation of the Holy Ghost," says that this "Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love." (Moro. 8:26.)

By gaining the testimony of Jesus men find peace, rest, and comfort. This testimony comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. Thus it is the Comforter who testifies of Christ (John 15:26); it is the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world" (D. & C. 21:9); it is "the Comforter" which is "shed forth upon" men "for the revelation of Jesus Christ" (D. & C. 90:11); it is "the Comforter" who "knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and of the Son." (D. & C. 42:17.)

By gaining light and knowledge from heaven, men attain a prelude of that peace and quiet enjoyment which is found in a future heaven. Thus it is "the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom" (D & C. 39:6; 36:2); it is the Comforter who gives revelation and guidance to the disciples (D. & C. 24:5; 31:11; 52:9; 79:2; 90:14); it is by the power of the Comforter that the Lord's agents teach the gospel, even being given in the very hour the words they shall speak (D. & C. 28:1; 50:14, 17; 75:10; 124:97); and it is by the Comforter that inspired men write (D. & C. 47:4) and speak and prophesy. (D. & C. 42:16.) Our Lord's promise to his ancient disciples was that the Comforter would "bring all things" to their "remembrance" (John 14:26), and it was by this power that the scriptures were written.







Those things which men are directed to do to attain peace in this life and gain eternal life in the world to come are collectively called the commandments. They are the laws, ordinances, covenants, contracts, statutes, judgments, decrees, revelations, and requirements which come to man from God. They are "the words of eternal life," with reference to which it is proclaimed: "You shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God." (D. & C. 84:43-44.)

It is God's right to command; he is not restricted to sending requests or petitions. He made us; we belong to him; in his infinite wisdom he orders us to do what will further our interests and his. By obedience we are blessed. Failure to obey denies us the blessing and makes us guilty of the additional sin of ingratitude.

"If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments," was our Lord's succinct statement to the rich young man. (Matt. 19:17.) "If ye love me, keep my commandments," he said to his disciples. (John 14:15.) "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous," John wrote. (1 John 5:3.) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Eccles. 12:13.)

*Common Consent

Common Consent


Administrative affairs of the Church are handled in accordance with the law of common consent. This law is that in God's earthly kingdom, the King counsels what should be done, but then he allows his subjects to accept or reject his proposals. Unless the principle of free agency is operated in righteousness men do not progress to ultimate salvation in the heavenly kingdom hereafter. Accordingly, church officers are selected by the spirit of revelation in those appointed to choose them, but before the officers may serve in their positions, they must receive a formal sustaining vote of the people over whom they are to preside. (D. & C. 20:60-67; 26:2; 28; 38:34-35; 41:9-11; 42:11; 102:9; 124:124-145.)

Revelations given of God through his prophets, however, are not subject to an approving or sustaining vote of the people in order to establish their validity. Members of the Church may vote to publish a particular revelation along with the other scriptures, or the people may bind themselves by covenant to follow the instructions found in the revealed word. But there is no provision in the Lord's plan for the members of the Church to pass upon the validity of revelations themselves by a vote of the Church; there is nothing permitting the Church to choose which of the revelations will be binding upon it, either by a vote of people or by other means.

Revelation is revelation. When the Lord speaks, he has spoken. His word is to be accepted and obeyed if men expect to receive salvation. To reject the word of the Lord is to reject the Lord himself to that extent. This is the case with members of the so-called Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They have selected, by a vote of their people, which of the revelations they will accept and which they will reject. Naturally revelations dealing with salvation for the dead, temple work, and celestial marriage find no part in their philosophy, and in consequence they deny themselves the blessings offered in these revelations.

*Common Council of the Church

Common Council of the Church


The supreme tribunal in the Church is the Common Council of the Church, which consists of the First Presidency of the Church and 12 high priests chosen by them to assist as counselors. "This is the highest council of the church of God, and a final decision upon controversies in spiritual matters. There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church. And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood; And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness. (D. & C. 107:76-84.)

Presumably the First Presidency would choose the Council of the Twelve to serve as the 12 high priests, but in one case in the days of President John Taylor, they chose brethren who were not among the General Authorities but who were experts in the matters scheduled to come before the Council. In that case water rights were involved. (Gospel Kingdom, pp. 201-202.)

*Common Enemy

Common Enemy


This designation of Satan describes his position as the general enemy of all mankind. No accountable persons are free from his wiles. (D. & C. 29:47.)

*Common Judge in Israel

Common Judge in Israel


*Common Property

Common Property








Basically and chiefly, communism is a form of false religion; it is one of the major divisions of the church of the devil. It denies God and Christ; belittles Christianity; runs counter to the moral and ethical standards of religion and decency; denies men their agency; wrenches from them their inalienable rights; and swallows the individual and his well-being up in the formless mass of the state.

Communism is also a political movement, one that fosters and promotes world revolution, and has as its aim the subjugation of all free peoples and nations. It necessarily is a dictatorship of the severest and most ruthless type.

The position of the Church relative to communism is stated by the First Presidency in these words: "With great regret we learn from credible sources, governmental and others, that a few Church members are joining, directly or indirectly, the communists and are taking part in their activities.

"The Church does not interfere, and has no intention of trying to interfere, with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of its members, under and within our Constitution which the Lord declared: T established ... by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose," (D. & C. 101 :80) and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet dedicating the Kirkland Temple, prayed should be 'established forever.'

"But communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government, and it would be necessary to destroy our government before communism could be set up in the United States.

"Since communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a communist or supporter of communism.

"To our Church members we say: Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto; communism is based upon intolerance and force, the United Order upon love and freedom of conscience and action; communism involves forceful despoliation and confiscation, the United Order voluntary consecration and sacrifice.

"Communists cannot establish the United Order, nor will communism bring it about. The United Order will be established by the Lord in his own due time and in accordance with the regular prescribed order of the Church.

"Furthermore, it is charged by universal report, which is not successfully contradicted or disproved, that communism undertakes to control, if not indeed to proscribe the religious life of the people living within its jurisdiction, and that it even reaches its hand into the sanctity of the family circle itself, disrupting the normal relationship of parent and child, all in a manner unknown and unsanctioned under the Constitutional guarantees under which we in America live. Such interference would be contrary to the fundamental precepts of the gospel and to the teachings and order of the Church.

"Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a communist.

"We call upon all Church members completely to eschew communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that communism shall have no place in America." (Improvement Era, vol. 39, p. 488.)




True compassion for one's fellow men is a mark of a true saint. It consists in sorrow for their sufferings, in having pity and sympathy for them, and in exhibiting mercy, tenderness and kindness towards them. Indeed, one of the specific covenants taken by those who accept fellowship with the saints is to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and bear the burdens of each other. (Mosiah 18:8-9.) Standing counsel to the saints is: "Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." (1 Pet. 3:8.) "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Eph. 4:32.)

Jesus himself set the perfect example of compassion; as James said, "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (Jas. 5:11.) This was in no instance better illustrated than in his ministry among the Nephites. "Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you," he told them. "Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy." (3 Ne. 17:6-7.)




Compulsion involves the use of coercion or force. It is the opposite of free agency. Neither salvation, the attainment of godly virtues, nor eternal progression can be forced upon an individual. In the pre- existent counsels, Lucifer sought to deny men their agency and compel them to be saved, a proposal that would not and could not work. God deals in agency, Lucifer in compulsion. To the extent that men are not free to choose their own governments, beliefs, faiths, associates, employment, and the like, the will of Satan is overruling the will of Deity in the world.

*Conceived in Sin

Conceived in Sin


Are all little children conceived in sin? Such is the teaching of those churches which practice infant baptism, such baptism being performed, as they contend, to free the newborn infant from the taint of original sin. It is true that there are scriptures which say that children are conceived in sin. But do they mean what those who practice infant baptism claim they do?

When David was groaning under the crushing burden of those personal sins which caused him to lose his exaltation (D. & C. 132:39), he pleaded for mercy with such cries as: "Have mercy upon me. . . My sin is ever before me. . . Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. . . . Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. . . . Deliver me from blood guiltiness." (Ps. 51.) From the entire context it should be clear that David is not teaching that he came into this world burdened with the sin of Adam, so that without the cleansing of infant baptism his soul would be lost, but rather that he had been born into a world of sin and temptation that was greater than he could bear, and hence he seemed to think that the Lord should act leniently toward him.

Perhaps when David wrote the expression, "conceived in sin," he was familiar with a more ancient scripture which used the same words. In any event, the expression is found in scriptures that date back to Adam's day - found, however, in a context that makes the whole doctrine involved stand out clearly.

"And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden. Hence came the saying abroad among the people. That the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world. And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter that they may know to prize the good. And it is given unto them to know good from evil wherefore they are agents unto themselves, and I have given unto you another law and commandment. Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God." (Moses 6:53-57.)

In other words, though children are born into a world where sin is present so that they can be tried and tested and use their own agency, yet there is no "original guilt" attaching to them, and the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon their heads.

It is a false and unholy perversion of the the doctrine to suppose that innocent children come into the world with any taint of original sin. "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled." (Heb. 13:4.) Parents are commanded to multiply and fill the earth with posterity. (D. & C. 49:15-17.) "Children are an heritage of the Lord." (Ps. 127:3.) "Little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me," the Lord said, with Mormon adding, "Little children are alive in Christ." (Moro. 8:8, 12.)




In modem times a concubine is a woman who cohabits with a man without being his wife. But "from the beginning of creation," all down through the history of God's dealings with his people, including those with the house of Israel, concubines were legal wives married to their husbands in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. (D. & C. 132:1, 37-39, 65.)

Anciently they were considered to be secondary wives, that is, wives who did not have the same standing in the caste system then prevailing as did those wives who were not called concubines. There were no concubines connected with the practice of plural marriage in this dispensation, because the caste system which caused some wives to be so designated did not exist.







*Condescension of God

Condescension of God


After asking the question, "Knowest thou the condescension of God" an angel showed Nephi the virgin who was to be "the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh." Nephi saw that "she was carried away in, the Spirit for the space of a time," and that she then appeared "bearing a child in her arras, . . . even the Son of the Eternal Father." Then with the exclamation, "Look and behold the condescension of God," the angelic ministrant showed Nephi many of the major incidents in the mortal ministry of the Lamb of God, including the fact that "he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world." (1 Ne. 11:13-36.)

Thus the condescension of God (meaning the Father) consists in the fact that though he is an exalted, perfected, glorified Personage, he became the personal and literal Father of a mortal offspring born of mortal woman. And the condescension of God (meaning the Son) consists in the fact that though he himself is the Lord Omnipotent, the very Being who created the earth and all things that in it are, yet being born of mortal woman, he submitted to all the trials of mortality, suffering "temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death" (Mosiah 3:5-8), finally being put to death in a most ignominious manner.




1. Latter-day Saints assemble periodically in various conferences "to worship the King, the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 14:16-19); to be built up in faith, testimony, and desires of righteousness; to transact the business of the Church; to sustain the officers whom the Lord has appointed to administer the affairs of his kingdom; and to receive, from those appointed so to serve, the counsel, inspiration, and revelation needed in both temporal and spiritual fields.

Conferences are far more than religious conventions in which views are expressed, differences resolved, and policies adopted. Rather they consist in a series of meetings at which the mind and will of the Lord is manifest to the people by the mouths of his servants. The Church being a kingdom, not a democracy, instruction and direction comes from above; it does not originate with the citizens but with the King. Songs, prayers, sermons, testimonies, reports, and sometimes recreational undertakings are woven into conference schedules.

2. In the early days of this dispensation, the ecclesiastical units in missions, which units are now called districts, were called conferences.







In the name of Christ and the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, baptized persons are confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As part of this ordinance of confirmation the gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed. (D. & C. 20:38-43; 33:15.) It is also proper for the legal administrators performing the ordinance to give expression, as led by the Spirit, to a few brief words of blessing, promise, counsel, and exhortation.




*Confusion of Tongues

Confusion of Tongues








*Conjure Man

Conjure Man


In some localities, particularly the West Indies and Southern United States, a witch, practitioner of magic, or witch doctor is called a conjure man or woman. Conjuration includes the practice of magic and the summoning of evil spirits by invocation or incantation.




Every person born into the world is endowed with the light of Christ (Spirit of Christ or of the Lord) as a free gift. (D. & C. 84:45-48.) By virtue of this endowment all men automatically and intuitively know right from wrong and are encouraged and enticed to do what is right. (Moro. 7:16.) The recognizable operation of this Spirit in enlightening the mind and striving to lead men to do right is called conscience. It is an inborn consciousness or sense of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's conduct, intentions, and character, together with an instinctive feeling or obligation to do right or be good.

Members of the Church are entitled to the enlightenment of the light of Christ and also to the guidance of the Holy Ghost. If they so live as to enjoy the actual gift of the Holy Ghost, then their consciences are also guided by that member of the Godhead. (Rom. 9:1.)

Every man's conscience is pure and clean at birth. (D. & C. 93:38.) But after an individual arrives at the years of accountability his conscience begins to be blackened by his sins. Because of disobedience one's conscience is "seared with a hot iron" (1 Tim 4:2); it becomes weak and defiled. (1 Cor. 3:7; Tit. 1:15.)

Wickedness invariably leads to remorse of conscience (Alma 29:5; 42:18), and those so smitten tremble under a consciousness of their own guilt and filthiness before the Lord. (Alma 12:1; 14:6; Morm. 9:3-4; John 8:9.) But men are commanded to purge their consciences from dead works (Heb. 9:14), to gain "peace of conscience" through "a remission of their sins." (Mosiah 4:3.) Paul (Acts 23:1; 2 Tim. 1:3 Heb. 13:18), King Benjamin (Mosiah 2:15, 27), and Joseph Smith (D. & C. 135:4), list themselves among those whose consciences were not burdened with regret or remorse.

"The free exercise of conscience" is one of the inalienable rights of man, and governments are obligated to enact and administer such laws as will preserve this right. (D. & C. 134:2-5.)







Righteous saints in all ages have consecrated their time, talents, strength, properties, and monies to the Establishment of the Lord's work and kingdom in their respective days. As circumstances have required, these saints - having set their hearts on righteousness and having actually put first in their lives the things of God's kingdom - have been and are called upon to serve on missions, colonize wilderness areas, build temples, go to the ends of the earth on the Lord's errand, magnify calls in the ministry, and contribute of their means in the great welfare and building projects of the Church.

In practice and as a general thing, church members now are being called upon to consecrate only portions (usually relatively small portions) of their total substance for use in the furtherance of the Lord's interests. However, an attempt was made in the early days of this dispensation to live the law of consecration in full. The vehicle through which the attempt was made to live the financial and monetary portions of this law was called the United Order.

As then attempted, practice of the foil law of consecration called for the saints to consecrate, transfer, and convey to the Lord's agent all of their property "with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken." (D. & C. 42:30; 58:35.) They were then given stewardships to use for their own maintenance, with all surpluses reverting back to the Lord's storehouses. Because of greed, avarice, and the worldly circumstances in which they found themselves, the saints did not achieve great success in the practice of this law, and in due course the Lord withdrew from them the privilege of so conducting their temporal affairs.

Many of the underlying principles which were part of the law of consecration, however, have been retained and are still binding upon the Church. Those touching church finances, as summarized by President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., are: "1. Worldly riches should not be sought for. 2. Every man should esteem his brother as himself. 3 . The Church should care for the temporal needs of those whom the Lord called into church service. 4. The worldly goods of the members, beyond family necessities, should be made available for the Lord's work. 5. The Church should see that its poor were cared for." (Albert E. Bowen, The Church Welfare Plan, p. 6.)

Practice of the law of consecration is inextricably intertwined with the development of the attributes of godliness in this life and the attainment of eternal life in the world to come. "The law pertaining to material aid is so formulated that the carrying of it out necessitates practices calculated to root out human traits not in harmony with requirements for living in the celestial kingdom and replacing those in harmonious traits with the virtues and character essential to life in that abode." (Bowen, The Church Welfare Plan, p. 13.) "For if you will that I give you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you." (D. & C. 78:7.)

That the full law of consecration will yet again be practiced is well known. It is a celestial law, "And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I can not receive her unto myself" (D & C. 105:5.) In this connection it should be remembered that man cannot live a higher law until he is first able to abide a lesser law; he will not consecrate all of his properties, unless he is first willing to consecrate a portion; and he cannot live the perfect law of consecration unless he first abides perfectly the law of tithing.

*Consecration of Oil

Consecration of Oil


Before oil is used in administering to the sick it should be consecrated, dedicated, and set apart, by those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, for the anointing of the sick in the household of faith. (Jas. 5:14-16.) It is the oil and not the container that is being consecrated, and there is no impropriety in consecrating the oil in a large container and thereafter pouring it into smaller vessels. A good grade of pure olive oil should be used, and after it has been consecrated, it should not be commingled with any ointments or used indiscriminately.

*Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law


*Constitution of the United States

Constitution of the United States


Our federal constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is the written instrument embodying the fundamental organic laws and principles governing the American nation, and it has the following essential characteristics:

1 . The constitution was ordained and established by the people, not by the states, not by a select group of autocrats who seized power, not by any outside governmental power. The whole philosophy of constitutional government is that all sovereign power rests with the body of the people and that by the free exercise of their agency they elect to delegate certain powers and functions to the governmental bodies set up by them.

2. It is a written document not an accumulation of traditions, customs, or legal interpretations. It is capable of specific interpretation and encourages a course of stability and uniformity of action where governmental affairs are concerned.

3. A framework of government is established by it. Powers are divided between legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, thus creating an ideal system of checks and balances where the possible exercise of autocratic powers is concerned.

4. In the constitution are listed the specific powers and authorities delegated to the government and to the particular branches of the same. The government has no rights; it has duties only. It is ordained to serve the people. The constitution contains the written instructions of the sovereign people to their chosen servants; it is the circuit by which the people transmit part of their power to their government.

5. Express provision is made in the constitution for the preservation of the natural rights of man: (a) by specifically delegating to the national government the things it can do; (b) by pointedly reserving to the people all rights and the performance of all acts not 50 delegated; and by expressly denying the federal government power to interfere with the people's use of certain named rights such as freedom of speech.

6. Means are, of course, provided for the constitution's own change and amendment.

In the providences of the Almighty the constitution of the United States was established to serve an even greater purpose than that of setting up a stable government under which freedom would prevail. It was designed to do far more than guarantee the preservation of natural and inalienable rights to the American people. The constitution came forth to prepare the way for the restoration of the gospel, the fulfilling of the covenants God made with ancient Israel, and the organization of the Church and kingdom of God on earth in the last days.

America was to be a land of liberty upon which no kings should rule. (2 Ne. 10: 11- 14.) The nation to possess it was to "be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations." (Ether 2:12.) The Gentiles were to "be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father," so that the Book of Mormon might come forth to the people and the covenants made with ancient Israel be fulfilled. (3 Ne. 21:4.) "And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." (D. &C. 101:80; 109:54)

"The constitution of the United States is a glorious standard," the Prophet said, "it is founded in the Wisdom of God. It is a heavenly balm; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.

"We say that God is true; that the constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; that the Book of Mormon is true; that the Book of Covenants is true; that Christ is true; that the ministering angels sent forth from God are true, and that we know that we have an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God." (Teachings pp. 147-148.)




Contention consists in debating, quarreling and disputing about some contested matter. Disputation, debates, dissensions, arguments, controversies, quarrels, and strife or contention of any sort have no part in the gospel; they are of the devil. The gospel is one of peace, harmony, unity, and agreement. In it argument and debate are supplanted by discussion and study. Those who have the Spirit do not hang doggedly to a point of doctrine or philosophy for no other reason than to come off victorious in a disagreement. Their purpose, rather, is to seek truth by investigation, research, and inspiration. "Cease to contend one with another," the Lord has commanded. (D. & C. 136:23; Tit. 3:9.)

The Nephite disciples had disputed among themselves about the doctrine of baptism. To them the Lord revealed the true doctrine and then said: "Thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away." (3 Ne. 11:28-30.)




*Continuation of the Lives

Continuation of the Lives


*Continuation of the Seeds

Continuation of the Seeds





*Contrite Spirit

Contrite Spirit


To have a broken heart and a contrite spirit is to be broken down with deep sorrow for sin, to be humbly and thoroughly penitent, to have attained sincere and purposeful repentance. Such a status is a condition precedent to a valid baptism and consequent membership in the earthly kingdom of God. (D. & C. 20:37; 3 Ne. 9:20; 12:19; Moro. 6:2.) Acquirement of a broken heart and a contrite spirit is thus essential to salvation. (Hela. 8:15; Ps. 34:18; D. & C. 97:8.) Indeed, it was primarily for those in this condition of heart and mind that the very atoning sacrifice of Christ was worked out. (2 Ne. 2:7; D. & C. 21:9.) And the sacrifice the Lord, in turn, requires of his saints is that they offer him a broken heart and a contrite spirit. (D. & C. 59:8; 3 Ne. 9:20; Ps. 51:17.)

The Lord's Spirit is sent forth to enlighten the contrite (D. & C. 136:33), and they are the ones who gain the gift of the Holy Ghost. (D. & C. 55:3.) In fact, special blessings are repeatedly showered forth upon them. (D. & C. 52:15; 56:7, 17-18; Isa. 66:2; Ether 4:15.) The wicked on the other hand, are condemned because they do not "come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits." (Morm. 2: 14.)










1 . In a broad, general sense conversion consists in changing one's views or beliefs to conform to a pattern of thinking which was unacceptable prior to the time of the conversion. There is one Biblical instance of such usage. (Acts 3:19.)

2. In the full gospel sense, however, conversion is more - far more - than merely changing one's belief from that which is false to that which is true; it is more than the acceptance of the verity of gospel truths, than the acquirement of a testimony. To convert is to change from one status to another, and gospel conversion consists in the transformation of man from his fallen and carnal state to a state of saintliness.

A convert is one who has put off the natural man, yielded to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and become "a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." Such a person has become "as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19.) He has become a new creature of the Holy Ghost: the old creature has been converted or changed into a new one. He has been born again: where once he was spiritually dead, he has been regenerated to a state of spiritual life. (Mosiah 27:24-29.) In real conversion, which is essential to salvation (Matt. 18:3), the convert not only changes his beliefs, casting off the false traditions of the past and accepting the beauties of revealed religion, but he changes his whole way of life, and the nature and structure of his very being is quickened and changed by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Peter is the classic example of how the power of conversion works on deceptive souls. During our Lord's mortal ministry, Peter had a testimony, born of the Spirit, of the divinity of Christ and of the great plan of salvation which was in Christ. "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," he said, as the Holy Ghost gave him utterance. (Matt. 16:13-19.) When others fell away, Peter stood forth with the apostolic assurance, "We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69.) Peter knew, and his knowledge came by revelation.

But Peter was not converted, because he had not become a new creature of the Holy Ghost. Rather, long after Peter had gained a testimony, and on the very night Jesus was arrested, he said to Peter: "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." (Luke 22:32.) Immediately thereafter, and regardless of his testimony, Peter denied that he knew Christ. (Luke 22:54-62.) After the crucifixion, Peter went fishing, only to be called back to the ministry by the risen Lord. (John 21:1-17.) Finally on the day of Pentecost the promised spiritual endowment was received; Peter and all the faithful disciples became new creatures of the Holy Ghost; they were truly converted; and their subsequent achievements manifest the fixity of their conversions. (Acts 3; 4.)

It is interesting to note also that the Latter-day Twelve, long after they had testimonies of the gospel, and more than two years after their calls to the apostleship, were promised that if they would be faithful they would yet be converted. (D. & C 112:1 2- 13.)




1. Mortal bodies are corruptible bodies; that is, they are subject to physical change and decay, corruption means mortality; incorruption means immortality. Speaking of the resurrection, Abinadi said, "This mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption." (Mosiah 16:10; 2 Ne. 9:7; Alma 40:2; 41:4; 1 Cor. 15:42-54.)

2. Corruption is also used to signify the decay and change that will take place after death. Thus David recorded the Lord's promise that he would not suffer his Holy One to see corruption (Ps. 16:10), a promise amply fulfilled in Christ as both Peter (Acts 2:27) and Paul (Acts 13:30-37) testified.

3. The term is further used with reference to the wicked, depraved, and dissolute acts of those who are steeped in iniquity. "He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting," Paul says (Gal. 6:8); and it is by thus sowing to the Spirit that the saints have "escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Pet. 1:4.)

*Council in Heaven

Council in Heaven


There were many meetings, conferences, councils and schooling sessions held among the Gods and their spirit offspring in pre-existence. Among other things, at these various assemblages, plans were made for the creation and peopling of this earth and for the redemption and salvation of the offspring of Deity. The spirit children of the Father were then taught the terms and conditions of the plan of salvation and were given opportunity to accept or reject the Father's proposals.

Joseph Smith speaks of "the head of the Gods" calling "a council of the Gods" to arrange for the creation and peopling of the earth. (Teachings, pp. 348-349.) He also speaks of "the grand council of heaven" in which those destined "to minister to the inhabitants of the world" were "ordained" to their respective callings. (Teachings, p. 365.)

Ordinarily, perhaps, when the saints speak of the council in heaven, they have in mind the solemn session (at which, apparently, all of the pre-existent hosts were present) when the Father made formal announcement of his plan of redemption and salvation. It was then explained that his spirit children would go down to earth, gain bodies of flesh and blood, be tried and tested in all things, and have opportunity by obedience to come back again to the Eternal Presence. It was then explained that one of the spirit children of the Father would be chosen to be the Redeemer and work out the infinite and eternal atonement. And it was then that the Father sent forth the call which said in substance and effect: Whom shall I send to be my Son in mortality? Who will go down, be born with life in himself and work out the great atoning sacrifice by which immortality will come to all men and eternal life be assured to the obedient?

Two mighty spirits answered the call and volunteered their services. Christ said, in effect; Here am I, send me; I will be thy Son; I will follow thy plan; and "thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." But Lucifer sought to amend the plan of the Father and to change the proffered terms of salvation. "Behold, here am I, send me," he said, "I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor." (Moses 4:1-4.) When the Father said, "I will send the first," then Lucifer was angry, kept not his first estate, rebelled and he and one-third of the hosts of heaven were cast out down to earth to become the devil and his angels. (Abra. 32528; D. & C. 29:36-40.)

*Council of the Twelve

Council of the Twelve





Christ, the Son of Man of Counsel (Moses 7:35), bears the name-title Counselor. Isaiah so designates him in one of the great Messianic prophecies. (Isa. 9:6-7.) The name bears record of his pre-eminent position among men where the exercise of deliberate judgment and prudence are concerned. His counsel is: Come unto me and be saved.




In nearly all instances of presidency, the Lord vests the keys and power in a president who is assisted, aided, and counseled by two counselors. Such is the case with the First Presidency, with stake presidencies ward bishopric, branch presidencies, quorum presidencies (except in case of seventies), auxiliary organizations, and the Presiding Bishopric (except when a literal descendant of Aaron holds the keys of this ministry).

The keys of presidency center in the president; counselors are set apart to aid him, to give him their views and judgment on all matters that properly come before the presidency. But the final decision rests with the president, and counselors are obligated to sustain and support that decision (no matter what counsel they have given prior to the final determination), unless some iniquity is manifest which requires an appeal to higher authority.

In reaching decisions, however, full weight should be given to the views of counselors. President Joseph F. Smith said: "I propose that my counselors and fellow presidents in the First Presidency shall share with me in the responsibility of every act which I shall perform in this capacity. I do not propose to take the reins in my own hands to do as I please; but I propose to do as my brethren and I agree upon, and as the Spirit of the Lord manifests to us. . . . The Lord never did intend that one man should have all power, and for that reason he has placed in his Church, presidents, apostles, high priests, seventies, elders and the various officers of the lesser priesthood, all of which are essential in their order and place according to the authority bestowed on them. The Lord never did anything that was not essential or that was superfluous. There is a use for every branch of the priesthood that he has established in his Church. We want every man to learn his duty, and we expect every man will do his duty as faithfully as he knows how, and carry off his portion of the responsibility of building up Zion in the latter-days." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. pp. 176-177.)

*Counsels of God

Counsels of God


The counsels of God include: 1. His purposes and plan, the great system he has ordained whereby men may gain immortality and eternal life; and 2. Such commandments admonitions, warnings, advice, and instruction as he gives to enable men to gain peace here and salvation hereafter.

Speaking of God's counsels as synonymous with his purposes and plans, Peter said that "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God," was crucified and slain "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." (Acts 2:22-23.) That is, as the primitive saints said in a prayer to God, those who crucified Christ had done what God's hand and his "counsel determined before to be done." (Acts 4:23- 30.)

Speaking of Deity's counsels, having reference to his commandments, our Lord said "the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves" because they did not submit to John's baptism. (Luke 7:30.)

All of the Lord's counsels are eternal and immutable. (Heb. 6:17.) They stand forever. (Ps. 33:11.) Those who reject them "shall perish." (2 Ne. 9:28.) "Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and injustice, and in great mercy, over all his works." (Jac. 4:10; Alma 29:8; 37:12.) "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good." (Alma 37:37.)




Courtesy is a natural outgrowth of the refining influence of the Spirit of the Lord. It presupposes the presence of kindness and an inherent consideration for the comfort and well-being of others. Peter summed up the doctrine of the Church in this field by saying simply: "Be courteous." (I Pet. 3:8.)




In the gospel sense, a covenant is a binding and solemn compact, agreement, contract, or mutual promise between God and a single person or a group of chosen persons. (D. & C. 5:3, 27-28; 54:4.) Since God is a party to every gospel covenant, it follows that his mind and will must be known with respect to the particular contractual relationship involved. Hence, covenants come only by revelation, and no person or group of persons enters into a gospel covenant except on the basis of direct revelation from God.

It follows that, as far as men now living are concerned, the only ones who have entered into covenants with the Lord are the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their prophets are the only spiritual leaders receiving revelation for the Church and the world, and the saints themselves are the only ones enjoying the companionship of the Holy Ghost so that personal revelation may be received. Ancient and modem scriptures contain a record of many of the covenants of the past and the present. ( 1 Ne. 13:23-26; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 152-156.)

The new and everlasting covenant is the fullness of the gospel and embraces within its terms and conditions every other covenant that Deity ever has made or ever will make with men. (D. & C. 132:5-7; 133:57.) The provisions of this covenant are that if men will believe, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in righteousness to the end, they shall have an inheritance in the celestial world.

All of the terms and conditions of the new and everlasting covenant are accepted by individual men incident to their baptism under the hands of a legal administrator. In effect, by baptism, an individual signs his name to the contract of salvation. If, after the baptism, a person keeps the covenant of baptism (which is to endure in faith to the end), his salvation is assured. (2 Ne. 31; Mosiah 18:8-10.)

In the ordinance of the sacrament men renew the covenant made in the waters of baptism, receiving again the assurance that they shall have the Spirit to be with them in this life (D. Sc C. 20:77-79), as well as an inheritance of eternal life in the world to come. (John 6:54.) They, on their part, agree again to keep the commandments.

Ordination to office in the Melchizedek priesthood and entering into that "order of the priesthood" named "the new and everlasting covenant of marriage" are both occasions when men make the covenant of exaltation, being promised through their faithfulness all that the Father hath. (D. & C. 131:1-4; 84:39- 41; 132; Num. 25:13.)

Tithing is a covenant by conformity to which men are assured temporal and spiritual blessings. (Mai. 3:7-12; D. & C. 119.) Sabbath observance is a covenant between God and his people through all their generations. (Ex. 31:16; D. & C. 59:9-20.) The word of wisdom is a covenant, conformity to which assures both strength of body and a special spiritual endowment. (D. & C. 89.) The United Order with its principles of consecration was and is to be entered by the saints by covenant (D. & C. 42:30; 78: 11; 82:1 1, 15, 21; 104:4), a covenant assuring the faithful of a celestial reward. (D. & C. 105:3-5.) In the temples the faithful enter into many covenants pertaining to exaltation. And so it goes, the more faithful and devoted a person is, the more of the covenants of the Lord he is enabled to receive, until he receives them in full and his calling and election is made sure.

Special covenants have often been made for special purposes to particular persons or groups. The Lord covenanted with Noah never to destroy the earth again by flood, and he set the rainbow as a token of such covenant. (Gen. 9:12-13.) To Abraham he gave the covenant of circumcision to remain in force with the chosen lineage until it was fulfilled in Christ. (Gen. 17:11-14; Moro. 8:8.) To Lehi the covenant was vouchsafed that America should be a land of inheritance for his seed forever. (2 Ne. 1.) A similar promise came to the saints this day. (D. & C. 38:20.) As part of the great Abrahamic covenant, a special land inheritance was offered Israel. (Gen. 17.) The Book of Mormon is a new covenant binding upon the Latter-day Saints, that is, having received this ancient record as a divine book, they are bound to conform to its teachings and follow its counsels. (D. & C. 84:57.)

To remember and keep the covenants is a standing obligation resting upon the Lord's people. (D. & C. 33:14; 35:24; 42:13, 78; 97:8.) nothing is ever appointed or required of any of the saints which is "contrary to the church covenants." (D. & C. 28:12; 68:24; 107:63.) All gospel beaching is to be "according to the covenants." (D. & C. 107:89.) Those who keep their covenants have the Lord's promised given with "an immutable covenant" that all things shall work together for their good. (D. & C. 98:3.) Every member of the Church should subscribed without any mental reservation whatever, to this revealed statement: "And this shall be our covenant - that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord." (D. & C. 136:2-4.) "Blessed are they who have kept the covenant and observed the commandment, for they shall obtain mercy. (D. & C. 54:6.)




1. To covet is to have an eager, extreme and ungodly desire for something. The presence of covetousness in a human soul shows that such person has not overcome the world and is not living by gospel standards of conduct. Coveting is such a serious offense, and it is so imperative that man overcome all tendencies thereto, that the Lord condemned it in the Ten Commandments. (Ex. 20: 17; Mosiah 13:24.)

Many other revelations also condemn covetousness. "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife; thou shall not covet thine own property." (D. & C. 19:25-26; 88:123; 136:20.) "Beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15.) In commanding men to repent "of all their covetous desires," the Lord asked, "What is property unto me? saith the Lord." (D. & C. 117:4, 8.) For leaders in his earthly kingdom the Lord seeks men who hate covetousness. (Ex. 18:21.)

Covetousness on the part of the saints in the early days of this dispensation was one of the reasons the Lord permitted persecutions to come upon them. (D. & C. 98:20; 101:6; 104:4, 52-53.) The covetous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-1 1; Eph. 5:5.)

2. Paul used the term covet in an approved and righteous sense in connection with his counsel relative to the gifts of the Spirit. To signify the intense, eager desire the saints should have to attain these gifts, he commanded: "Covet earnestly the best gifts" (1 Cor. 12:31) and, "Covet to prophesy." (1 Cor. 14:39)




To create is to organize. It is an utterly false and uninspired notion to believe that the world or any other thing was created out of nothing or that any created thing can be destroyed in the sense of annihilation. "The elements are eternal." (D. & C. 93:33.)

Joseph Smith, in the King Follett sermon, said: "You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing; and they will answer, 'Doesn't the Bible say He created the world?' And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing. Now, the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos - chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end." (Teachings, pp. 350-352.)

Christ, acting under the direction of the Father, was and is the Creator of all things. (D. & C. 38:1-4; 76:22-24; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:1-3; Moses 1; 2; 3.) That he was aided in the creation of this earth by "many of the noble and great" spirit children of the Father is evident from Abraham's writings. Unto those superior spirits Christ said: "We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell." (Abra. 3:22-24.) Michael or Adam was one of these. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Peter, James, and John, Joseph Smith, and many other "noble and great" ones played a part in the great creative enterprise. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1 , pp. 74-75.)

This earth was not the first of the Lord's creations. An infinite number of worlds have come rolling into existence at his command. Each is an earth; many are inhabited with his spirit children; each abides the particular law given to it; and each will play its part in the redemption, salvation, and exaltation of that infinite host of the children of an Almighty God. The Lord has said that his work and glory is to bring to pass immortality and eternal life for his children on all the inhabited worlds he has created. (Moses 1 :27- 40; 7:29-36; D.&C. 88:17-26.)

Such details of the creative process and of the order of events in it as have been revealed pertain only to this earth. (Moses 1:35.) In the temple we receive the clearest understanding of what took place and how it was accomplished. Abraham has left us an account of the planning and decisions of the Creators "at the time that they counseled among themselves to form the heavens and the earth." (Abra. 4; 5.)

In the books of Moses and Genesis we have revealed accounts of the actual physical creation of the earth. The 2nd chapter of Moses and the 1st chapter of Genesis give the events which occurred on the successive creative days. (Ex. 20:8-11.) Then the 3rd chapter of Moses and the 2nd chapter of Genesis - by way of interpolation, simplification, and parenthetical explanation - recount the added truth that all things were created spiritually "before they were naturally upon the face of the earth."

There is no revealed account of the spirit creation, only this explanatory interpolation that all things had been created in heaven at a previous time. That this prior spirit creation occurred long before the temporal or natural creation is evident from the fact that spirit men, men who themselves were before created spiritually, were participating in the natural creation. (Doctrines of Salvation vol. 1, pp. 72-78.)




Both the Father and the Son bear the title. Creator. (Moses 1; 2; 3; Teachings, p. 190.) The creative work itself is actually done by the Son, as he is directed by and uses the power of the Father. Hence the scriptures speak of Christ as the Creator of this world and of worlds without number. (Moses 7:29; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:1-3; D. & C. 38:1-4; 76:22-24.) In his creation of this earth he was assisted by Michael and other noble and great spirits. (Abra. 3:22-24.)




From the earliest era of apostate Christianity, the leaders of the then existing church - no longer finding revelation available and incapable of speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost so as to have the resultant record vouchsafed as authoritative scripture - sought other ways of settling religious and philosophical disputes and of establishing authoritative doctrine. By the 4th century formal documents called creeds had been formulated, adopted by councils, and the dogmas expressed in them imposed upon the church, insofar as the political power of the moment was able to enforce such an imposition.

These creeds - modified and changed from time to time to suit the whims and views of various emperors, philosophers, and politically powerful segments of the apostate church - eventually became the accepted standards and guides in religious matters. They are considered authoritative declarations of belief Numerous versions have been preserved to this day which form in large part the present doctrinal foundation upon which the Catholic and protestant churches rest.

The most charitable thing that can be said of them is that they are man made. Neither their authors, the councils which adopted them, nor those who presently accept them, make any claim that revelation or inspiration was present in their formulation and promulgation, although attempts are made to show that the various articles in them conform to the teachings of the scriptures.

Actually the spirit which imposed them on the people in early days was from beneath. Joseph Smith, writing by way of inspiration concerning the persecution, tyranny, and oppression imposed upon the saints in his day said that such was "supported and urged on and upheld by the influence of that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion." (D. & C. 123:7.)

The major creeds, in large measure, deal with the Godhead; they describe the members of that holy trinity as being three-in-one, incomprehensible, unknowable, uncreated, incorporeal, and without body, parts, or passions. Names of the members of the Godhead are applied to vague forces or essences that have little resemblance to the true Beings whom men are commanded to worship.

In prophetic vision Jeremiah foresaw this forsaking of the truth about God and recorded that those in the latter-days who would return to the truth would say: "Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit." Then he summed up what men had done in their creeds by saying: "Shall a man make gods unto himself and they are no gods?" (Jer. 16:19-20.)

When the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the young prophet asked which of all the sects was right and which he should join. In answer he was told to "join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me," he explained, "said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight." (Jos. Smith 2:19.)

"I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations," the prophet once said, "though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, 'Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further,' which 1 cannot subscribe to." (Teachings, p. 327.) Each creed, he said on another occasion, "was conceived in ignorance, and brought forth in folly - a cobweb of yesterday!" (Teachings, p. 203.)




Cremation of the dead is no part of the gospel; it is a practice which has been avoided by the saints in all ages. The Church today counsels its members not to cremate their dead. Such a procedure would find gospel acceptance only under the most extraordinary and unusual circumstances. Wherever possible the dead should be consigned to the earth, and nothing should be done that is destructive of the body; that should be left to nature, "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Gen. 3:19.)










1. Among the Assyrians, Persians, Phoenicians of Carthage, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, the cross was an instrument of execution. From earliest times the eventual crucifixion and death of our Lord upon the cross was revealed to holy prophets. (Moses 7: 55; 1 Ne. 11:33; 19:10-13; 2 Ne. 6:9; 10:3-7; 25:13; Mosiah 3:9: 15:7.) The gospel authors detail many of the events and circumstances incident thereto. (Matt. 26; 27; 28; Mark 14; 15; 16; Luke 22; 23; 24; John 18; 19; 20; 21.) And after his resurrection, our Lord said that the very reason he came into the world was to fulfill the will of the Father in being lifted up upon the cross. (3 Ne. 27:13-15.)

2. Because of its association with our Lord, the cross has come to have symbolic meanings for those who profess belief in his atoning blood. Paul properly used the cross of Christ to identify to the mind the whole doctrine of the atonement, reconciliation, and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:17-18; Gal. 6:12-14; Eph. 2: 8- 21; Philip. 2:5-9; 3:18; CoL 1:20; 2:14; Heb. 12:2.)

In succeeding centuries, the churches which came into being through an intermingling of pagan concepts with the true apostolic Christianity developed the practice of using symbolic crosses in the architecture of their buildings and as jewelry attached to the robes of their priests. Frequently this practice of dwelling on the personal death struggle of our Lord has caused these churches to put sculptured representations of Christ on their crosses, thus forming so called crucifixes. All this is inharmonious with the quiet spirit of worship and reverence that should attend a true Christian's remembrance of our Lord's sufferings and death. In fact, the revealed symbolism to bring these things to the attention of the worshipers is found in the ordinance of the sacrament.

3. Growing out of the crucifixion of Christ is the concept that any great affliction or trial that comes upon the saints does in itself constitute a cross they must bear as part of their obligation to overcome the world. Thus the saints - knowing that Christ "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2) - are themselves strengthened to withstand all trials and persecutions which come upon them in the gospel cause. Such afflictions or trials are regarded as crosses which test Christian patience or virtue. (2 Ne. 9:18; Jac. 1:8.)

4. Similarly the gospel cause commands every man to take up his cross and follow him who carried his own cross to Golgotha. That is, the saints are to carry the cross of service and consecration, the cross of devotion and obedience. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me," our Lord said. "And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust and keep my commandments." (Inspired Version, Matt. 16:25-26.)

*Cross of Christ

Cross of Christ





Those who gain exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world shall wear crowns. Perhaps literal crowns may be worn on occasion - emblematic of their victory over the world and signifying that they rule and reign as kings and queens in the eternal house of Israel. But at all times they will be "crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life." (D. & C. 75:5.)

In the gospel sense, a crown is the sign and symbol of eternal exaltation and dominion, of godhood in the kingdom of God. Our Lord has been seen in vision wearing "a golden crown" (Rev. 14:14; 6:2; 19: 12), and those surrounding the throne of Deity have been seen similarly identified. (Rev. 4:4, 10.) Paul speaks of such persons as having "an incorruptible" crown (1 Cor. 9:25) and as inheriting "a crown of righteousness" (2 Tim. 4:8); James says they "shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (Jas. 1:12); John records a similar affirmation (Rev. 2:10); and Peter speaks of receiving "a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (1 Pet. 5:4.) The crowns so spoken of are crowns of eternal life (D. & C. 66:12), of eternal lives (D. & C. 132:55), of celestial glory. (D. & C. 101:65.)

By keeping the commandments and enduring in righteousness to the end the saints overcome the world and gain crowns of glory in eternity. Hence the counsel: "Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. " (Rev. 3:11.)

*Crucified One

Crucified One


Christ is the Crucified One - a title used by Christians generally when they desire to point attention to the horrible and painful death by crucifixion which he suffered on the cross.







Few if any forms of execution are or could be more painful and agonizing than that of crucifixion - a form of taking life in which the condemned person has his hands and feet nailed or bound to a cross of execution, after which he is left to suffer inexpressible pain and torture until the spirit finally leaves the mangled and broken body. When crucified persons were nailed rather than bound to the cross, the nails ordinarily were driven through the feet and wrists (or both hands and wrists) so that the weight of the body could be sustained. Our Lord was, of course, nailed rather than tied to the cross. (Isa. 22:21-25.)

Crucifixion was the form of death chosen from the beginning for Christ, that in his death, having descended below all things, he might in his resurrection ascend above all things. (D. & C. 88:6; 122:8; Eph. 4:9-10.) Long before his earthly ministry, holy prophets foresaw his crucifixion on the cross. (Moses 7: 55; 1 Ne. 19: 10-13; 2 Ne. 6:9; 10:3-5; 25: 13; Mosiah 3:9; 15:7.)

After his resurrection our Lord showed his disciples in Jerusalem and the host of Nephite Saints on this continent the nail marks in his hands and in his feet. (Luke 24:36-43; 3 Ne. 1 1: 14-19.) At the Second Coming these same wounds will stand as a witness to the Jews that he is the Crucified One, their King whom they rejected in the meridian of time. (D. & C. 45:51-52; Zech. 12: 10; 13:6.)







*Crystal Balls

Crystal Balls See PEEP STONES.







Both the Nephite and Jaredite civilizations fought their final great wars of extinction at and near the Hill Cumorah (or Ramah as the Jaredites termed it), which hill is located between Palmyra and Manchester in the western part of the state of New York. It was here that Moroni hid up the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. (Morm. 6; Ether 15.) Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and many of the early brethren, who were familiar with all the circumstances attending the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in this dispensation, have left us pointed testimony as to the identity and location of Cumorah or Ramah. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 232-241.)




Just as obedience and righteousness bring blessings, so wickedness and rebellion result in cursings. (D. & C. 104:1-8.) "Instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord." (D. & C. 124:48.) As Moses explained in great detail to ancient Israel, the curses flowing from disobedience pertain to both temporal and spiritual matters. Famine, pestilence, plague, disease, slavery, poverty, war, and death are all sent of God as curses upon Israel for failure to keep the commandments. (Deut. 27; 28; 29; 30)

Cursings are the opposite of blessings, and the greater the opportunity given a people to earn blessings, the more severe will be the cursings heaped upon them, if they do not measure up and gain the proffered rewards. Failure to pay tithing, for instance, brings condemnation upon the covenant people, whereas the people of the world - not being specifically obligated to keep this law - do not suffer the same penalties for non-tithe paying. (Mai. 3:7-12.) "Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all blessings, ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my named with the heaviest of all cursings." (D. & C. 4 1 : 1 .)

Those who persecute the saints shall be cursed with the damnation of hell. (D. & C. 121:11-25.) To those on his left hand the Lord shall say: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." (D. & C. 29:28, 41; Matt. 25:40.)

Cursings as well as blessings may be administered by the power and authority of the priesthood (D. & C. 124:93), but the Lord's earthly agents are sent forth primarily to bless and not to curse, and no curse should ever be decreed except by direct revelation from the Lord commanding such to be done. The true spirit of the gospel is exemplified in the counsel, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44.) "Bless, and curse not." (Rom. 12:14.)

President Joseph F. Smith explained, when speaking of the priesthood: "It is the same power and priesthood that was committed to the disciples of Christ while he was upon the earth, that whatsoever they should bind on earth should be bound in heaven, and that whatsoever they should loose on earth should be loosed in heaven, and whosoever they blessed should be blessed, and if they cursed, in the spirit of righteousness and meekness before God, God would confirm that curse; but men are not called upon to curse mankind; that is not our mission; it is our mission to preach righteousness to them. It is our business to love and to bless them, and to redeem them from the fall and from the wickedness of the world. This is our mission and our special calling. God will curse and will exercise his judgment in those matters. 'Vengeance is mine,' saith the Lord, and 'I will repay.' (Rom. 12:19.) We are perfectly willing to leave vengeance in the hands of God and let him judge between us and our enemies, and let him reward them according to his own wisdom and mercy." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 140.)

To curse in unrighteousness is in itself a serious crime. Through Moses the Lord decreed: "He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." (Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9; Prov. 20:20; Matt. 15:4; Mark 7:10.)

*(D )




1. Those who are thrust down to hell to await the day of the resurrection of damnation; 2. Those who fail to gain an inheritance in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of God; 3. Those who become sons of perdition; and 4. Those who fail to gain exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world, even though they do gain a celestial mansion in one of the lower heavens of that world.

Accordingly, we find the Lord saying of the wicked and those who persecute his saints that, "a generation of vipers shall not escape the damnation of hell." (D. & C. 121:23; Matt. 22:33.) The disobedient are damned (D. & C. 42:60; Hela. 12:26; 3 Ne. 26:5); likewise those who reject Christ (D. & C. 49:5); those who do not believe the gospel (D. & C. 68:9; Mark 16:16); those who, having believed, are not baptized (D. & C. 84:74; 1 12:29); and those who having been baptized do not endure in faith unto the end. "If they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it." (2 Ne. 9:24.) Believers in the doctrines of modem Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Morm. 8; Moro. 8), as will also members of the Church who partake unworthily of the sacrament. (3 Ne. 18:28-29; 1 Cor. 11: 29.) The rejection of any covenant, the gospel, celestial marriage, or any other, assures the rebellious person of damnation. (D. & C. 132: 4, 6, 27.)

It is very evident that church membership alone will not keep an individual from one degree of damnation or another. It was of his saints, members of his kingdom or Church on earth, that the Lord said: "Behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness, for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is dammed." (D. & C. 58:26-29.)




Two extreme and opposite views are held by people of the world with reference to dancing. In some sects of Christendom even the most circumspect and wholesome dancing is banned as immoral and ungodly; in other circles, dancing is so twisted and perverted as to make it a vulgar caricature of the wholesome recreational pursuit that should result from friendly association between the sexes.

Under proper circumstances and supervision dancing is a wholesome, edifying, and clean amusement having the specific approval of the Lord. By the mouth of Brigham Young the Lord revealed: "If thou ai1 merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving." (D. & C. 136:28.) "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." (Eccles. 3:1-8.)

Dances should be properly conducted, supervised, and chaperoned. Church standards of dress and conduct must prevail. It is unwise to dance a whole evening (or a major part of it) with the same person. Dating by the very young and immature is discouraged. Attendance at public dances as distinguished from those sponsored by the Church, schools, or other private organizations often lead to disastrous consequence. Prolonging dances past midnight when the next day is the Sabbath or to the early hours of the morning on any day should not be permitted. Tobacco and liquor have no place at a proper dance. Church dances should be opened and closed with prayer.

*Dark Ages

Dark Ages


That period of about 1000 years which lasted from the fall of the Roman Empire to the age of the Renaissance is called the Dark Ages. During this near-millennium the light of learning and truth almost went out. Progress was nil. Men and nations sank into illiteracy and ignorance.

Why should such universal retrogression take place? Historians struggle without success to find an explanation. Plainly and simply put, the fact is that the pall of darkness that overcast the earth during all those years was part of the great apostasy from the truth. The gospel brings light and truth, fosters learning, encourages education, promises scientific research, grants freedom of thought and word - all for the very reason that the gospel is true and has nothing to fear either from error or from any new truth that may be learned or discovered. But when churches, governments, or organizations of any nature come into power, which are founded on falsehood and error rather than on truth, such organizations must impose restraints upon learning and education, otherwise men might become enlightened and end up throwing off their shackles.

The hold of Lucifer is always more secure when truth and light are rejected, when men forget how to read and write, and when they can be held in bondage to those who practice priestcrafts. It was not until the age of the Renaissance that light, truth, and learning again began to prevail on earth (Progress of Man, pp. 178-195.)




In the gospel sense, darkness - the opposite of light - reigns where there is ignorance, iniquity, and apostasy. Light is of God, darkness of the devil; Christ is the true light, Lucifer the fountain of gross darkness and apostasy. "I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not," our Lord said. (D. & C. 6:21; John 1:5.) "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (I John 1:5.)

Where the true gospel of Christ is, there is light; and where that gospel is not found, darkness reigns. "The whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin, . . . because they come not unto me," the Lord said. (D. & C. 84:49-54.) "Darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people," (D. & C. 1 12:23.) The kingdom of the devil is "fall of darkness," (Rev. 16: 10.) And men "love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." (D. & C. 10:21; John 3:19.) But when men repent and heed the call of Christ, they thereby come out of darkness into his marvelous light." (I Pet. 2:9; 1 Thess. 5:4; 1 John 2:9.)

By following Christ men have power to chase darkness from their midst and to come to the fullness of

By following Christ men have power to chase darkness from their midst and to come to the fullness of the light, (D. & C. 50:23-29.) "I am the light of the World: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12.) "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:35, 46.)

If after receiving the truth, men then apostatize and tarn to unrighteousness, the darkness that envelopes them is deeper than it was before they came into the light. If "the light that is in thee be darkness!" (Matt. 6:22-23; Luke 11:33-36; D. & C. 88:67.) Similarly, though they do not apostatize, the saints who do not magnify their callings "are walking in darkness at noon-day." Further: "If you keep not my commandments, the love of the Father shall not continue with you, therefore you shall walk in darkness." (D. & C. 95:6, 12.)

*Daughters of God

Daughters of God


All women are the daughters of God because of their pre-existent birth as female spirits. However, the designation daughters of God as used in the revelations, has a far more pointed meaning than this. Just as men who pursue a steadfast course toward exaltation become the sons of God while in this life, so women who walk hand-in-hand in obedience with them become the daughters of God. (D. & C. 25:1; 76:24; Mosiah 5:7.)

The temple ordinances, including celestial marriage, precede attainment of that membership in the household of God which makes one a daughter. Those who are adopted as daughters in this life will, if they continue faithful, gain exaltation in the world to come. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 64-65.)




1. One period of the earth's revolution on its axis (24 hours) is called a day. (Gen. 7:24.) Hebrew days were calculated "from even unto even" (Lev. 23:32), meaning from sunset to sunset. The Lord's day is the first day of the week. (D. & C. 59:9-14.)

2. That period between dawn and dark is the day as distinguished from the night. (Gen. 8:22; Ps. 19: 2.) "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 1 1:9.)

3. A day is a specified age, time, or period. (Job 19:25.) "Now is the time and the day of your salvation. . . . For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God." (Alma 34:31-32.) We are fast approaching "the day when the Lord shall come." (D. & C. 1:10.)

4. The Mosaic and Abrahamic accounts of the creation recite that this earth was created in six days and that on the 7th the Lord rested. (Gen. 1; 2; Moses 2; 3; Abra. 4; 5.) Several revelations throw light upon the meaning of the term day as it is used in connection with the Lord's great creative enterprises. The Lord told Abraham, "by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof: that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lords time, according to the reckoning of Kolob." (Abra. 3:4.)

Following this revealed definition of a day unto the Lord, Abraham recorded the events of the successive days of the creation of the earth. Then he wrote: "Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord's time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning." (Abra. 5:13.) Thus the celestial day (which was used in the creation) was 1000 years in length measured in terms of time as it is reckoned on this earth. This accords with Peter's recitation that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet. 3:8), and also with revealed time-periods as these have been made known through Joseph Smith. (D. & C. 77.)

5. That period of time between the loss of the true Church in the early part of the Christian Era and its restoration in modem times is scripturally measured in what have been termed prophetic days. John specified that this period of prolonged apostate darkness would prevail for 1260 days (Rev. 12:6), that is for 42 months (Rev. 13:5), or in other words "for a time, and times, and half a time." (Rev. 12:14; Dan. 7:25.) Obviously these 1260 days ended when the Church was restored in the latter-days. Interesting attempts have been made by some scholars to identify the exact period covered by these 42 months. (J. M. Sjodahl The Reign of Antichrist, pp. 70-71.)

*Day of Burning

Day of Burning


*Day of Indignation

Day of Indignation


*Day of Judgment

Day of Judgment


*Day of Pentecost

Day of Pentecost


In ancient Israel "the feast of weeks" (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10) or "the feast of harvest" (Ex. 23:16), or "the day of the first-fruits" (Num. 28:26), was celebrated 50 days after the Passover. This occasion, from the Greek word Pentekoste (meaning 50th) was known as the day of Pentecost. It was on this day of Jewish celebration, in the year our Lord was resurrected, that the promised endowment of the Holy Spirit was first enjoyed in the Christian Era. Some sects of Christendom observe Pentecost or Whitsuntide as a solemn feast seven weeks or 50 days after Easter, counting both Easter and Pentecost in the 50.

During his mortal ministry our Lord gave his disciples the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead based on faithfulness. (John 20:22.) But as long as Jesus was with them, the actual enjoyment of the gift was withheld. (John 7:39; 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8.) Fulfillment of the promise came on the day of Pentecost; with miraculous majesty attending, the gift of tongues and of interpretation was poured out upon a great multitude and many conversions were made. (Acts 2:1-17.)

This occasion is falsely considered by the sectarian world generally to be the beginning of the Christian Church. In reality the Church had existed in previous dispensations, but even as pertaining to the meridian of time, the Church had been an organized and formal body during the lifetime of the Master.

Pentecostal outpourings of the Spirit have occurred many times in many dispensations. One of these great latter-day Pentecostal periods was in connection with the dedication of the Kirkland Temple. For a period of weeks, the visions of eternity were opened to many, angels visited in the congregations of the saints, the Lord himself was seen by many, and tongues and prophecy were multiplied. (History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 379-436.) On Sunday, March 27, 1836, in the dedicatory service itself, an almost exact repetition of the events of the New Testament day of Pentecost took place. "Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy," the prophet recorded, "when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place." (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 428.)

*Day of Redemption

Day of Redemption


*Day of Rest

Day of Rest


*Day of the Lord

Day of the Lord


*Day of Transfiguration

Day of Transfiguration


*Day of Vengeance

Day of Vengeance


*Day of Visitation

Day of Visitation


*Day of Wrath

Day of Wrath





In some branches of modem Christendom a woman who is chosen or assigned to assist in church work is called a deaconess. In reality there is no such office either in the priesthood or in the Church, and the designation is not so much as found in the scriptures. Its usage by some Christian churches of the day is on of the evidences of the great apostasy.




One of the ordained offices in the Aaronic Priesthood is that of a deacon. (D. & C. 20:60.) This office, the lowest in the priesthood hierarchy (D. & C. 88: 127), is an appendage to the lesser priesthood. (D. & C. 84:30.) Deacons are "appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church." (D. & C. 84:1 1 1.) They are to assist the teachers in all their duties (which includes home teaching), and are "to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ," although they can neither "baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands." (D. & C. 20:57-60.) Among other things, it is the practice of the Church to assign them to pass the sacrament, perform messenger service, act as ushers, keep church facilities in good repair, go home teaching, and perform special assignments at the direction of the bishopric. Many of their assigned functions are comparable to those performed by the Levites of old. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 1 11-1 14.)

It is the practice of the Church in this dispensation - a practice dictated by the needs of the present day ministry and confirmed by the inspiration of the Spirit resting upon those who hold the keys of the kingdom - to confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon worthy young men who are 12 years of age and to ordain them to the office of a deacon in that priesthood. Notwithstanding the fact that this is the lowest priesthood office, it is yet a high and holy one in God's kingdom. In the meridian of time the needs of the ministry were such that adult brethren were ordained deacons.

"The deacons," Paul wrote, must "be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 3:8-13.)

*Dead Works

Dead Works


Dead works are those unauthorized religious acts which men do in the false hope of gaining salvation through their performance. They are works without life, works which never gain the ratifying seal of approval from the Spirit and which do not lead to eternal life. They are not of God. All apostate ordinances and performances are of this sort.

After the law given to Moses was fulfilled in Christ, every ordinance or ritual imitative of what legal administrators had done in righteousness when the law was in force became a dead work. Ordinances - such as baptism (though it may imitate the true mode, immersion) - are dead works when performed by sectarian churches. (D. & C. 22.) Believing in and relying on infant baptism is "putting trust in dead works." (Moro. 8:23.) The religious performances of those outside the true Church of Christ are dead works, from which they are commanded to repent. (Heb. 6: 1; 9:14.)




Spiritual deafness describes the state of those who are lacking in spirituality, whose spirit ears are not attuned to the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit. Similarly, spiritual blindness is the identifying mark which singles out those who are unable to see the hand of God manifest in the affairs of men. Such have "unbelief and blindness of heart" (D.& C. 58:15); they are "hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds." (3 Ne. 2: 1.)

Of the unbelieving Jews our Lord said, "They seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.... For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." (Matt. 13:10-17.) "And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish. Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also." (2 Ne. 9:31-32.)

The gathering of Israel in the last days shall consist in bringing together "the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears," that is, the spiritually blind and deaf shall come to a knowledge of the things of God and they shall see and hear. (Isa. 43.) In large pai1 the opening of the eyes of the blind and the unstopping of the ears of the deaf shall take place by means of the Book of Mormon. "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness." (Isa. 29:18.)




There is no such thing as death in the sense of annihilation, in the sense that matter ceases to exist or that living things cease to have a conscious identity. Death is merely a change from one status or sphere of existence to another. In a sense the spirit children of God die (as pertaining to their life in the presence of the Father) when the transition from the pre-existent sphere to this life is made. That is, they die as pertaining to their pre-mortal life, but they are born as pertaining to mortality.

When the scriptures speak of death, however, they ordinarily mean the natural or temporal death. (D. & C. 29:42-43; Alma 11: 42; 12:16, 24; 42:8; Morm. 9:13.) This death consists in the separation of the eternal spirit from the mortal body so that the body is left to go back to the dust or element from which it was created (meaning organized), and the spirit is left to sojourn in a world of waiting spirits until the day of the resurrection. (Rev. 20:13; 2 Ne. 9:10-15.)

In the case of translated beings and the righteous persons who shall live during the millennial era, death and the resurrection shall take place instantaneously. They shall be changed from mortality to immortality in the twinkling of an eye, the spirit never having occasion to separate from the body, and in their cases this change is called death. (D. & C. 63:49-52; 3 Ne. 28.) But it is not death according to the most common usage of the word. (D. & C. 101:29-31; Isa. 65:20.)

"Death hath passed upon all men, to fulfill the merciful plan of the great Creator." (2 Ne. 9:6.) It is one of the most important and desirable events that can transpire in the eternal existence of the spirit offspring of Him who ordained the great plan of mercy of which it is a part. It is just as important to die as to be born, for the spirit to leave the body as for it to enter that same body. Mortality is a necessary prelude to immortality; it is by passing the test of this life that men obtain eternal life in the world to come. If there had been no creation, there could have been no fall. If there had been no fall, there could have been no birth into mortality. If there were no mortality, there would be no death. And without death there would be no resurrection, and hence no immortality or eternal life. Thus to do away with death would frustrate the whole plan of redemption. (2 Ne. 9:6-16.)

Death began, as far as this earth is concerned, after and as a result of the fall of Adam. There was no death for man or for any form of life until after Adam transgressed. (2 Ne. 2:22; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 107-120.) Death will cease, as far as this earth is concerned, when every person and created thing has been raised in immortality and when the earth itself has become an immortal sphere. (D. & C. 29:22-29; 77:1-3; 88:16-32; 130:9.)

By faith the dead are sometimes raised, meaning that the spirit is called back to inhabit again the mortal body. (3 Ne. 7:19; 19:4; 4 Ne. 5; 1 Kings 17:17-23; Matt. 9: 8-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 7:11-17, 2; 8:41-56; John 11:1-46; Acts 9: 6-43; 20:9-12.) Such persons pass through the natural or temporal death twice. In due course, also, all men will be raised from the dead and live in an immortal state. (Alma 11:41; 12:8.)

There is no fear of death in the hearts of the righteous. True, they properly seek to live as long as the Lord will permit them so to do, when the time of departure comes they go in peace. But with the wicked it is not so, for "the sting of death is sin." (1 Cor. 15:56.) "Those that die in me shall not taste of death," the Lord says, "for it shall be sweet unto them; And they that die not in me, wo unto them, for their death is bitter." (D. & C. 42:46-47; Alma 40:23-26.)




Except under very unusual circumstances, debates play no part in the approved system of presenting the message of salvation to the world or of persuading members of the Church to accept a particular doctrine or view. Almost always a debate entrenches each contestant and his sympathizers more fully in the views already held. "Debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults" - all these Paul describes as evil. (2 Cor. 12:20; Rom. 1:29.)

Rather, the Lord has directed, the elders are to "declare glad tidings," that is, explain, expound, and teach the message of the restoration. "And thou shalt do it with all humility," he directs, "trusting in me, reviling not against revilers. And of tenets thou shalt not talk." (D. & C. 19:29-31.) There are to be no arguments about peculiar doctrinal concepts that people may have; the elders are simply to explain their message and bear testimony of its truthfulness.

If a situation arises in which the elders cannot in honor refuse a challenge to debate an issue, as when by withdrawing from the discussion they would lose their investigators, then it may be proper to go ahead and engage in the debate or discussion, hi such instances, if the elders are as informed as they should be, they always come off victorious. The truth is with the saints, and truth will stand of its own self.




1 . Speaking of the eternal plan of salvation, all men are and ever will be indebted to Christ for all that they have and are. As King Benjamin said: "In the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and there fore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are and will be, forever and ever." (Mosiah 2:23-24.)

In lesser degrees, men are indebted for various great blessings to their parents, to the church officers who serve them, to the missionaries who brought them the gospel, to friends who succor them in time of need, to the martyrs of freedom, and to all those who have poured out their strength and energy in marking this wicked world a better place in which to live.

2. Speaking of financial indebtedness to other men, the standing counsel of the Church is that the saints, ever and always, should seek to be free from debt.

Financially indebted persons usually are yoked down with the burden of interest payments. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., said in a General Conference of the Church: "Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours; it never has short crops nor droughts; it never pays taxes; it buys no food; it wears no clothes; it is unhoused and without home and so has no repairs, no replacements, no shingling, plumbing, painting, or whitewashing; it has neither wife, children, father, mother, nor kinfolk to watch over and care for; it has no expense of living; it has neither weddings nor births nor deaths; it has no love, no sympathy; it is as hard and soulless as a granite cliff. Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you." (Conf. Rep., Apr., 1938, p. 103.)

President Joseph F. Smith gave this direction as to how to get out of debt: "One of the best ways that I know of to pay my obligations to my brother, my neighbor, or business associate, is for me first to pay my obligations to the Lord. I can pay more of my debts to my neighbors, if I have contracted them, after I have met my honest obligations with the Lord, than I can by neglecting the latter; and you can do the same. If you desire to prosper, and to be free men and women and a free people, first meet your just obligations to God, and then meet your obligations to your fellowmen." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 259-260.)
















*Dedication of Buildings

Dedication of Buildings


It is the practice of the Church to dedicate to the Lord all temples, meetinghouses, schools, welfare buildings, and other structures which are prepared for use in carrying out the great programs of the Church. Not infrequently individual members of the Church also dedicate to the cause of righteousness their own homes, and occasionally even their business enterprises.

The essential part of any dedicatory service is the formal prayer of dedication. In general the purpose to hallow and consecrate the building for the particular purpose for which it was constructed. Temples and meetinghouses, being houses of worship, are given to the Lord as his houses. Dedication of private homes normally includes petitions for special blessings upon the members of the family and covenants on their part to serve the Lord and use the means at their disposal for the rolling forth of his work. No building is ever dedicated unless it is free from debt.

*Dedication of Graves

Dedication of Graves


It is the accepted practice of the Church - based on precedent and guided by the spirit of revelation in those whom God has chosen to lead the Church to dedicate the graves of faithful saints who depart this life. Dedication of graves is an ordinance of the gospel and is performed in the name of Christ and in the authority of the Melchizedek priesthood. The dedicatory prayer should contain such expressions of thanksgiving, such words of comfort to the bereaved, such assurances (or petitions) for the protecting care of Divine providence over the grave as the Spirit may indicate to the one performing the dedication.

Graveside prayers, involve the exercise of the Melchizedek priesthood, and which merely recite expressions of thanksgiving and request such petitions as seem proper, are sometimes offered instead of dedicatory prayers. If bodies are cremated - funeral services may of course be held, but the disposition of the ashes would normally make unnecessary the offering of either a dedicatory or grave prayer.

*Dedicatory Prayers

Dedicatory Prayers


*Degrees of Glory

Degrees of Glory





Deism is the partial acceptance of God, that is, deists profess to believe in him as the Creator of the world and the final judge of men, but they reject the idea that he rules over or guides men during the interval between the creation and the judgment. Deists assert a disbelief in Christianity.




As commonly used by Christian peoples. Deity means God, with no attempt being made to distinguish between the personages of the Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. The word deity itself connotes a condition of divinity, or of divine nature or rank. References to other than the true and living God are ordinarily couched in such expressions as pagan deities, false deities, or tribal deities.




SAVIOR. Christ is the Deliverer (2 Sam. 22:1-4; Ps. 18:1-3; 40:17; 70:5), a designation akin to Savior or Redeemer. Some references to him as the Deliverer lay stress on temporal deliverance from present enemies (Ps. 144:1-2), and this seems to have been the concept firmly lodged in the popular mind in the day of his mortal ministry. What the ancient Jews failed to realize was that any temporal deliverance effected by him was but symbolical of the far greater spiritual redemption to be effected when the great Deliverer through his atoning sacrifice turned away ungodliness from those in Jacob who accepted him as their Redeemer. (Isa. 59:20-21; Rom. 1 1:25-26.)




Almost the whole modem world is enveloped in a state of apostasy, darkness, and delusion. This is the day of which Paul wrote: "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thess. 2: 11-12.)

Modern delusion is not limited to what is generally classified as the religious field; it is found in social, philosophical, political, and governmental realms, and in the speculative and theoretical parts of modem sciences. Every false belief no matter where found, is a delusion; every belief and philosophy of whatever nature that leads men away from God, the gospel, and the principles of freedom which appertain to these, is a delusion.



See GOD.

By adding the prefix demi, meaning half, to the word God gives us the title demigod, leaning literally half-god. Accordingly in pagan religions a demigod is assumed to be a divine or semi-divine being who is the offspring of a deity and a mortal. The interesting thing about this is that there are so many pagan legends in which gods are supposed to have cohabited with mortals with offspring of one kind or another being brought forth. Obviously these beliefs, encountered among apostate peoples, had their origin in the true account, first revealed to Adam, that God in due course would father his Only Begotten in the flesh.

*Democracy in the Church

Democracy in the Church





Devils are demons, the spirit beings cast out of heaven for rebellion. (Rev. 12:7-9.) "We are surrounded by demons," the wicked Nephites cried, "yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls." (Hela. 13:37.) Demonism is belief in demons; a demoniac is one thought to be possessed of an evil spirit.







*Dependent Branches

Dependent Branches








Deseret is the Jaredite name for honey bee. (Ether 2:3.) Brigham Young and his followers first named their new intermountain empire the territory of Deseret after this unique Book of Mormon name. The name has since been applied to many businesses and enterprises in the Utah area, and the beehive, as symbol of industry, is part of the great seal of the state of Utah.

*Deseret Industries

Deseret Industries


One of the agencies of the Church Welfare plan, Deseret Industries is a business enterprise designed to provide employment and aid in the economic rehabilitation and support of persons who have suffered economic reverses, commercial items are manufactured, repaired, and sold on the retail market through various Deseret Industry stores.

*Deseret Sunday School Union

Deseret Sunday School Union


*Desire of All Nations

Desire of All Nations


Christ is the Desire of All Nations. "For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come." (Hag. 2:5-9; Heb. 12:25-29.) This prophecy has reference to the Second Coming of Christ. It is true that there may be a few righteous saints in all nations who will be looking forward to the return of their Lord, but the nations of peoples as a whole will not have any such desires. The leaning of the promise, as the marginal reading shows, is that our Lord's return will bring desirable things for the nations.




In the eternal perspective, men are rewarded according to their desires. Righteous desires lead to peace here and salvation hereafter; lustful desires guarantee sorrow, remorse of conscience and final damnation. (2 Chron. 15:1-15; Ps. 37:4; Eph. 2:3; Alma 29:4-5; 41:5-6.)

The whole doctrine of salvation for the dead is based on the principle that men will be judged according to the desires of their hearts; that is, if in this life they do not have opportunity to live a law and gain a blessing, yet by virtue of certain vicarious performances the blessing will be gained by those whose desires are right. (Teachings, p. 107.)







Despair is a feeling of hopelessness and futility, a feeling that there is no chance for continued progression or forgiveness, or salvation. The Spirit of the Lord sheds forth cheerfulness and hope; the spirit of the devil casts men into despair and despondency. "And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity." (Moro. 10:22.) Though the saints may be perplexed they are not in despair. (2 Cor. 4:8.)










This name for Satan signifies that his great labor is to destroy the souls of men. Incident thereto he rejoices in bringing to pass temporal, spiritual, and mental ruin and waste of all degrees. William W. Phelps, in daylight vision, saw the destroyer riding in power upon the face of the Missouri River; and thereupon the Lord revealed to the Prophet the perils to be wrought upon the waters in the last days by the destroyer. (D. & C. 61.)

*Destruction of the Soul

Destruction of the Soul


Souls of the wicked are destroyed, meaning that they enter the wide gate and traverse the broad way leading to hell. (Matt. 7:13-14; 10:28; Rom. 9:22; Philip. 3:19; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:1; 3:16; Alma 5:7; 12:6, 16, 36; 3 Ne. 14:13-14.) The destruction of the soul consists in the inheritance of spiritual death in hell and not in the annihilation of the spirit. There is no such thing in all the economy of God as a soul or spirit ceasing to exist as such (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 227-228.)

By definition, "the death of the spirit is for the spirit to die as to things pertaining to righteousness and consequently reap the damnation of hell. (2 Ne. 9:10-12.) Utter spiritual ruin is thus imposed upon the soul; it is a lost soul, one that has not filled the measure of its creation. Lucifer's self-imposed mission is to destroy the souls of men (D. & C. 10:27), and his own ultimate destruction will come when he and his angels are cast into the lake of fire. (D. & C. 19:3; 2 Ne. 9:16.)




The devil (literally meaning slanderer) is a spirit son of God who was born in the morning of pre- existence. (D. & C. 76:25-26.) Endowed with agency, the free power of choice, he chose the evil part from the beginning, thus placing himself in eternal opposition to the divine will. He was "a liar from the beginning." (D. & C. 33:25.)

Obviously he gained for himself great executive and administrative ability and had a sufficiently compelling personality to influence for ill a myriad host of other spirit offspring of the Father. His position was one of great power and authority. He was "an angel of God" who "became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God." (2 Ne. 2:17; D. & C. 76:25.)

When the plan of salvation was presented - the plan where under the spirit children of the Father would be enabled to gain tangible bodies and, if faithful in all things progress to a like status with their Father - and when the need for a Redeemer was explained, Satan offered to come into the world as the Son of God and be the Redeemer. "Behold, here am I, send me," he said. "I will be thy Son." But then, as always, he was in opposition to the full plan of the Father, and so he sought to amend and change the terms of salvation; he sought to deny men their agency and to dethrone God. "I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor," he continued. (Moses 4: 1-4.)

With the rejection of his offer and the choosing of the Beloved Son to be the Redeemer, Satan made open warfare against the Lord. "Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice." (Moses 4:3-4.) "A third part of the hosts of heaven" joined the rebellion; "And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels." (D. & C. 29:36- 38; Rev. 12:4-9; Abra. 3:27-28.)

Those thus cast out are denied bodies forever. They are sons of perdition, and with Lucifer, their father, they are in eternal opposition to all righteousness. By them all men are tempted, enticed, and encouraged to leave the paths of truth, walk in darkness, and become carnal, sensual, and devilish. (Moses 6:49.) This opposition is used by the Lord, as part of his plan, to test and try men. In mortality the overcoming of opposition is an essential part of progression and advancement. (2 Ne. 2.)

One of Satan's greatest aims, as he works his nefarious schemes among men, is to get them "to worship him." (Moses 1:12; 6:49.) His success in this venture is phenomenal. As the god of this world, he has the support and, though they may not consciously realize it, the adoration and worship of all those who live after the manner of the world. God our Father is worshiped in and through compliance with his commandments and in no other way. The same is true of Satan.

As the organization through which formal adoration may be given him Satan has founded his own church, the church of the devil, the "church which is most abominable above all other churches. (1 Ne. 13; 14; Rev. 17; 18.) Nephi says: "I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the foundation of it." (1 Ne. 13:6.) Of those adhering to this apostate organization John says, "They worshiped the dragon" (Rev. 13:4), that is, the devil. False worship is worship of devils, as Paul said, "The things which the Gentiles sacrificed they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and 1 would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." (1 Cor. 10:20; Rev. 2:9; 9: 20.)

Satan's influence is also manifest in the world through governmental powers, particularly those in which dictatorship and compulsion are the rule. Political philosophies, as those which spread communistic and socialistic ideologies, are his propaganda vehicles. Those educational philosophies which deny Christ, and the divine origin of man as an offspring of God, are spawned and sponsored by Satan. Secret combinations, evil oath-bound organizations, criminal gangs, and groups of every sort which run counter to the principles of the gospel of salvation are organizations founded, sponsored, and used by the devil.

Unfortunately, because even the worst and most evil organizations have some truth and good in them (otherwise they could not continue to prosper even under worldly conditions), even some of the "very elect" are deceived to the point that they support aims and programs of these devil-born groups. But "God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil," (Moro. 7:5-20.)

In decrying the teachings of false ministers, "false apostles, deceitful workers," Paul said, "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (2 Cor. ll:13-15;2Ne. 9:9.)

Korihor is an illustration of such false ministers. After being confounded by Alma, he said: "Behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me." (Alma 30:53.)

As part of the testing incident to mortal existence, man for the moment has forgotten the great truths which were commonplace to him in pre-existence. Thus Satan's power over men is a result of his superior knowledge. He does not, however, have intelligence. "Light and truth," which is intelligence, "forsake that evil one." (D. & C. 93:37.)

Shortly, when the millennial era arrives, Satan will be bound, and for a thousand years he will "deceive the nations no more." Thereafter, he will "be loosed a little season" (Rev. 20:2-3) to gather together the hosts of hell preparatory to "the battle of the great God," as a result of which he "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.)

In eternity, "they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end." (2 Ne. 9: 16.)




All forms of wickedness, all rebellion and evil, are sponsored by the devil. Any degree of wickedness is a degree of devilishness. "He that committeth sin is of the devil." (I John 3:8; Moro. 7:17.) Any persons over whom the devil has power, who subject themselves to him, who submit to his enticements (following the carnal and sensual allurements of the world), are devilish. Such was the status of Adam after his spiritual death and before he was born again to righteousness. When "he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation." (D. & C. 29:40.)

Abinadi defined the status of the wicked by saying: "They are carnal and devilish, and the devil has power over them; yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil." (Mosiah 16:3.)




Devils are the spirit beings who followed Lucifer in his war of rebellion in pre-existence. They comprise one-third of those spirit children of the Father who were destined to pass through a mortal probation on this earth. (D. & C. 29:36-41; Rev. 12:3-9.) They were cast down to earth, and have been forever denied physical bodies, a fact which causes them to seek habitation in the bodies of other persons. By the power of faith and the authority of the priesthood, devils are frequently cast out of such afflicted persons. (Mark 1:23-34; 16:15-17.)

As followers of Satan, who is Perdition, they are sons of Perdition; they are demons, angels of the devil, his evil ministers and servants. (2 Ne. 9:9.) Their ultimate destiny is to go away into everlasting fire where "their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end." (2 Ne. 9:16; D. & C. 29:28.)




Devolution is the opposite of evolution; in the biological sense it means the degeneration of species. According to God's law there is no such thing as the development of higher forms of life from lower orders of creation anymore than lower orders degenerate from higher. In each instance living things bring forth after their own kind (Moses 2), each form of life remaining "in the sphere" in which God created it. (Moses 3:9.)

Speaking of the degrees of civilization and decency found within nations in successive ages, it is clear that there have been instances of great national devolution or degeneracy. The American Indians, in their tribal and degenerate state, were the descendants of the highly civilized Nephite civilization that prevailed on the American continent for nearly 200 years after the ministry of Christ in the Western Hemisphere. So-called cave men and the like were all degenerate descendants of the highly civilized men who peopled the earth beginning with Adam, the father of civilization.




True devotion consists in a man loving and worshiping Deity with all his heart, and with all his might, mind, and strength. It presupposes that he will keep the commandments, walk uprightly, serve in the Church with an eye single to the glory of God, and put first in his life the things of God's kingdom. True devotion to the end gives an absolute guarantee of eternal salvation.













To endure to the end requires diligence - that is, pure dogged determination, perseverance, application to duty, zeal, industry, heed to counsel. Continuing diligence in church service is a mark of testimony, conversion, and spiritual stability. "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." (Jas. 1:22.)




*Discerning of Spirits

Discerning of Spirits





To all men in some degree and to the faithful saints in particular is given the spirit, gift, and power of discernment. This ability is conferred upon people generally by the operations of the light of Christ (Moro.7:12-18), but in addition the faithful saints receive discerning power through revelation from the Holy Ghost. (D. &C. 63:41.)

In its most important aspect, discernment is used to distinguish between good and evil (Moro. 7:12-18), between the righteous and the wicked (D. & C. 101:95; Mai. 3:18; 3 Ne. 24:18), between the false or evil spirits and those spirits who truly manifest the things of God. (D. & C. 46:23; 1 Cor. 12:10.) In its fullest manifestation the gift of the discerning of spirits is poured out upon presiding officials in God's kingdom; they have it given to them to discern all gifts and all spirits, lest any come among the saints and practice deception. (D. & C. 46:27.)

There is no perfect operation of the power of discernment without revelation. Thereby even "the thoughts and intents of the heart" are made known. (D. & C. 33:1; Heb. 4:12.) Where the Saints are concerned - since they have received the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost - the Lord expects them to discern, not only between the righteous and the wicked, but between false and true philosophies, educational theories, sciences, political concepts, and social schemes. Unfortunately, in many instances, even good men hearken to "the tradition of their fathers" (D. & C. 93:39) and rely on the learning of the world rather than the revelations of the Lord, so that they do not enjoy the full play of the spirit of discernment.




1 . Anyone who believes the doctrine, teachings, or philosophy of another and who follows that teacher is his disciple. He stands as a learner, a devotee of the one whose concepts he accepts. Thus we read of the disciples of John the Baptist (Mark 2:18; Luke 11:1; John 1:35; 3:25), of Moses (John 9:28), and of the Pharisees. (Mark 2: 18.)

2. All the saints from the day of Adam to the present have been disciples of Christ. (Isa. 8:16; Matt. 27:57; John 19:38; Acts 9:36; 11:26.) Those who believe the false doctrines of Christendom consider themselves to be true disciples yet by their false beliefs and evil works they are not so classed by Him whose judgment shall prevail.

Scriptural tests establishing true discipleship include: 1. Believing the true doctrines of Christ (Ether 4:10-12); 2. Obeying the principles of the gospel (John 8:31); 3. Having "love one to another" (John 13:35); 4. Accepting the message and aiding the work of the missionaries (D. & C. 84:87-91); and 5. Bringing forth works of righteousness (John 15:4-8.)

3. The apostolic ministers chosen to labor among the Jews, and also those who rendered similar service among the Nephites are called "the twelve disciples." (Matt. 20: 17; 3 Ne. 19:4.)










Since the fall, man's body has been subject to sickness and disease, these being essential parts of the probationary experiences that go with mortality. We may suppose that for the first 2000 years of man's sojourn on earth that diseases and bodily illness were far less prevalent than has been the case since. During that early period man enjoyed a higher degree of physical perfection than he does now; his body was then so constituted as to resist plague, infection, and corruption, and to live for near 1000 years. (Moses 6; D. & C. 107:43-53.)

But since the day in which man's age was set by the Lord at threescore and ten (Ps. 90:10), disease germs and physical ills have been more effective in their attacks. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon give many accounts of diseases and of healings by the power of faith. During the dark ages disease frequently reached plague proportions.

These same ills are still with us, and as medical science provides a cure for one affliction another takes its place. Indeed, one of the final great signs of the times, an event just preceding the Second Coming, is that "an overflowing scourge, ... a desolating sickness shall cover the land." (D. & C. 45:31.) During the millennium however, disease will be utterly banned from the earth; man's body will then be changed so that no germ or plague can affect it; and there will be no death as we now know it. (D. & C. 101 :23-31.)

Disease comes both because of failure to obey the laws of health and because of failure to keep the other commandments of God. Righteous persons frequently become ill and suffer bodily afflictions simply because they have been exposed to disease, and the contaminating germs have power over their bodies. Sometimes by faith the righteous escape plagues that are sweeping the land; and often, having become sick, the gift of healing restores the obedient to full physical well-being.

But when the Lord's people rebel, he sends diseases upon them. To disobedient Israel came this curse: "The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness and astonishment of heart.... The Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed, (Deut. 28:27-28, 59-61; Mosiah 17:16; Alma 15:3-5.) On the other hand, the promise was that by obedience all this would be avoided. (Ex. 15:26; Deut. 7: 15; 28.)




Transgressions which do not seem in mercy and justice to warrant excommunication may properly result in the lesser punishment of disfellowshipment. Under these circumstance the transgressor retains his membership in the Church, but the hand of fellowship is withdrawn, and the offender is denied full participation in the Church and the full blessings of the gospel. He is not admitted to priesthood meetings or to an assembly of church officers. He cannot hold any office in the Church or exercise his priesthood in any way. He may attend the public meetings of the Church (the same as a nonmember may), but he is not entitled to speak, pray, partake of the sacrament or otherwise participate in any meeting. Following repentance and conformity to the standards of the Church, a disfellowshiped person may again receive the full blessings of the Church.







Nonconformity to divine standards of personal righteousness constitutes disobedience. All men are either obedient or disobedient; they either keep the commandments or fail to do so; either neglect or refusal to conform to gospel standards classifies a person as a rebel.

Disobedience is of the devil, "That wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the traditions of their fathers." (D. & C. 93:39.) By disobedience men gain membership in the kingdom of the devil, as he operates it on earth, in the spirit world, and among the resurrected rebels of eternity. The most violent and destructive of all disobedience is the complete and open rebellion against light and truth which makes a person a son of perdition. Those who love darkness rather than light, their deeds being evil, "receive their wages of whom they list to obey." (D. & C. 29:45.)

*Dispensation of the Fullness of Times

Dispensation of the Fullness of Times


The final great dispensation of the gospel is known as the dispensation of the fullness of times, or in other words the time of the fullness of times, or the dispensation of the fullness of dispensations. That is, as rivers flow into an ocean, all the dispensations of the past flow into this final great dispensation. It is the time, age, or era which is made up of all the dispensations of the earth's history. It is the age in which the Lord will "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." (Eph. 1:10; D.&C. 27:13.)

Every key, power, and authority ever dispensed from heaven to men on earth, which is necessary for their eternal salvation, has already been restored in this dispensation. (D. & C. 110:11-16; 112:14-32; 128:18-21.) All of the knowledge that has ever been revealed (plus some held in reserve to be revealed initially in the last days) will in due course come to light in this final dispensation. (D. & C. 101:32-34; 121:26-32; 124:41; 128:18.)




Gospel dispensations are those periods of time during which the Lord reveals or dispenses the doctrines of the gospel to men so that reliance need not be placed on past ages for this saving knowledge. If the priesthood and keys have not come down by proper descent from a previous dispensation, these also must necessarily be conferred upon men again by the opening of the heavens.

Since the gospel, "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16), was first revealed to Adam, we speak of the Adamic dispensation as the first from the standpoint of time. (Moses 5:57-59.) Thereafter, the saving knowledge and powers of the gospel, as Paul expressed it, were "revealed from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17), that is from era of faith to era of faith or from dispensation to dispensation.

In the providences of the Almighty, Adam stands at the head of all dispensations, he being the presiding high priest (under Christ) over all the earth. (Teachings, pp. 157-158.) "Adam holds the keys of the dispensation of the fullness of times; i.e., the dispensation of all the times have been and will be revealed through him from the beginning to Christ, and from Christ to the end of the dispensations that are to be revealed. This, then, is the nature of the priesthood; every man holding the presidency of his dispensation, and one man holding the presidency of them all, even Adam; and Adam receiving his presidency and authority from the Lord." (Teachings, pp. 167-169.) It appears that Abel, acting under the direction of his father Adam, held the keys of the first dispensation. (Teachings, p. 169.)

When we speak of the great gospel dispensations, we generally have in mind those given to Adam, Enoch (Moses 6; 7), Noah (Moses 8), Abraham (Abra. 2:6-11; Gal. 3:6-8, 18) Moses (D. & C. 84:17-28); the apostles in the meridian of time (Matt. 16:18-19; 18:18; D. & C. 27:12-13; 128:20), and to Joseph Smith and his associates, (D. & C. 112:14-32.) The keys and powers exercised by the Lord's prophets in each of these ancient dispensations have been conferred upon men in this final dispensation, for in "the fullness of times," the Lord says, "I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." (D. & C. 27:13; Eph. 1:10.)

But there have also been many other gospel dispensations in the course of the Lord's dealings with his children. It is very evident that John the Baptist (Luke 7:24-30; John 1:19-37; D. & C. 84:26-28), the Jaredites (Ether 1:41-43; 3:6-16), the Nephites (1 Ne. 2:2-4), Lehi and Nephi who lived at the time of the coming of the Savior (Hela. 10:3-17; 11:19-23; 3 Ne. 7:15-19; 9:15-22; 11:7-40), and the Ten Tribes whom Christ visited after his resurrection (3 Ne. 16: 1-4) all had dispensations of the gospel. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. l,pp. 160-164.)

We know that Esaias, Gad, Jeremy, Elihu, Caleb, and Jethro all lived between Abraham and Moses and all enjoyed the fullness of the blessings of the gospel. (D. & C. 84:6-13.) What peoples they ministered to and whether they had dispensations of the gospel are truths yet to be revealed. Paul speaks of having a dispensation of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 3:2; Col. 1:25), but apparently this is only in the sense that present day apostles have received one, in that the Lord has given them revelation of his mind and will, and in that they hold the keys of the dispensation in which they live. (D. & C. 1 12: 14-32.)










*District Presidency

District Presidency


*District Presidents

District Presidents


Presiding officers in foreign mission districts are district presidents. They hold the keys of their ministry, are assisted by two counselors (thus forming a district presidency) and are comparable to stake presidents in their sphere of service. In the stake missions, those chosen to preside over areas of the mission and to supervise the labors of their fellow missionaries are also called district presidents.




Missions are divided into ecclesiastical areas called districts. In stake and regional missions these areas are merely locales in which the proselyting work is carried forward. In foreign missions they are comparable to stake areas and are presided over by a district president. The church programs normally carried on in the stakes are, insofar as possible, made available to the saints living in the districts.

Temple districts are church areas made up of a number of stakes and/or missions whose members are asked to perform their temple ordinances in an assigned temple.




True religion provides for a revelation of future events by prophets sent of God. False religions - whose ministers have no communion with Deity - frequently imitate the true practice by engaging in divination. This practice is an attempt to foretell the future by auguries, omens, presages, or forebodings. Among primitive peoples it frequently meant interpreting dreams or other signs or seeking peculiarities in the entrails of sacrificial victims. A diviner is one who attempts to foretell the future by divination. Soothsayers act by the "spirit of divination." (Acts 16:16-18.) The Lord's people are commanded not to engage in divination of any sort. (Deut. 18:9-14.)










In the gospel view all marriages should be eternal, and divorce should never enter the picture. But since all men - as a result of apostasy and iniquity are not living (and in their present states cannot live) the full and perfect gospel law, the Lord permits divorce and allows the dissolution of the marriage union. Under the law of Moses, divorce was permitted because the people were not able to live the high gospel standard which would abolish it. (Lev.21:7, 14; Deut. 24:1-4.)

As revealed both to the Jews and to the Nephites the terms of the perfect marriage system include this teaching: "It hath been written, that whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whoso shall marry her who is divorced committeth adultery." (3 Ne. 12:31-32; Matt. 5:31-32.)

When the Pharisees raised the divorce issue to tempt him, our Lord taught them the eternity of the marriage covenant, ("What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"), told them that Moses permitted divorce because of the hardness of their hearts, but explained that from the beginning it had not been so ordained. Then it appears he went into the house and gave special and added instruction to "his disciples." For them the law was: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. Add if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." (Mark 10:2-12.) Also to his disciples he said: "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.... He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matt. 19:3-12; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 80-85.)

Even in the Church today the saints do not abide by the full and perfect law. It is somewhat as it was in the days of Moses; divorce is permitted because of the hardness of the hearts of the people, and the Lord permits his agents to exercise the power to loose as well as the power to bind. Under our circumstances divorced persons who remarry are not always guilty of the crimes they would be if the highest gospel standards were in force.







Doctrines are teachings. They are classified as true or false. True doctrines come from God, the source and fountain of all truth, and are the teachings and concepts found in the gospel. False doctrines are from beneath. Their effect is to pervert, change, and alter revealed truth, so that by obeying false directions men will fall short of salvation in the celestial world.

True doctrines are always found in the Lord's true Church because the channel of communication between God and his people is open. False doctrines abound in churches which deny contemporary revelation and consequently have no sure way of checking various views and concepts to see if they conform to the mind and will of Deity. There is, of course, much truth in all churches, but those churches which do not have the fullness of the gospel, have much error and falsehood intermingled with such truths as they happen to have. And the fullness of salvation can come to those only who believe and conform to the fullness of the Lord's revealed doctrines.

Gospel doctrine is synonymous with the truths of salvation. It comprises the tenets, teachings, and true theories found in the scriptures; it includes the principles, precepts, and revealed philosophies of pure religion; prophetic dogmas, maxims, and views are embraced within its folds; the Articles of Faith are part and portion of it, as is every inspired utterance of the Lord's agents.

The doctrines of salvation are recorded in the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14-17.) The Book of Mormon has come forth in this day so that men might "learn doctrine." (Isa. 29;24; 2 Ne 27:35.) The Bible and the Book of Mormon "shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines." (2 Ne. 3:12.) So that the "true points" of the Lord's doctrine might be known again, the gospel has been restored (D. & C. 10:62); and these true points of doctrine are now found in the true Church. (D. & C. 11:16.) The true doctrine of Christ is that all men must come unto him, gain faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in faith to the end in order to gain salvation. (2 Ne. 31:17-21; 3 Ne. 11:29-41; D. & C. 10:67; 68:25.)

Conversion to the truth comes by accepting the doctrine. (1 Ne. 15: 15; 3 Ne. 21:6.) Those so converted are expected to "speak ... by doctrine" (1 Cor. 14:6); to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom" (D. & C. 88:77); to "be perfected in the understanding of their ministry, in theory, in principle, and in doctrine" (D. & C. 97:14); to "act in doctrine" (D. & C. 101: 78); and to learn more doctrine by revelation from heaven. (D. & C. 121:45-46.)

In the final analysis the truth of doctrine can only be known by revelation gained as a result of obedience. "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me," our Lord proclaimed. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:16-17.)

Apostles and prophets have been set in the Church for the purpose of teaching and identifying the doctrine, lest men be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." (Eph. 4: 1 1-14.) If a church has no prophets and apostles, then it has no way of knowing whether its doctrines are the or false. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9.)

False doctrine is of the devil (1 Tim. 4:1; D. & C. 10:63; 46:7), and men who preach it do so "for the sake of riches and honor." (Alma I: 16.) There is no salvation in believing or teaching false doctrines. "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9; Mark 7:7; Jos. Smith 2:19.) An apostate age is identified as one in which men "will not endure sound doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:3.)

Apostasy is born of the teaching of false doctrine. Nephi described our present religious world by saying, "There shall be many which shall teach ... false and vain and foolish doctrines," and by specifying that "Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted." Speaking of the whole world, he said: "They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." Then he added this awful interdiction: "And all those who preach false doctrines, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!" (2 Ne. 28:8-15.)

*Doctrine and Covenants

Doctrine and Covenants


That volume of latter-day scripture which contains selections from the revelations given to Joseph Smith and his successors in the Presidency of the Church is called the Doctrine and Covenants. Certain parts of these revelations were published in Independence, Missouri, in 1833 under the title Book of Commandments, but mob violence destroyed the printing press and stopped the work at that time. By 1835, however, a new and enlarged selection of revelations had been made by the Prophet, and the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants came off the press.

Thereafter, of course, written revelations continued to be received. After the saints came west. Elder Orson Pratt was commissioned and directed by the First Presidency to prepare an up-to-date edition of the Doctrine and Covenants for publication. This volume the one now in use, containing additional revelations and being divided into sections and verses, was first published in 1876.

As now constituted the Doctrine and Covenants contains 136 sections or chapters to which are appended an Official Declaration commonly called the Manifesto. Most of these sections came to Joseph Smith by direct revelation, the recorded words being those of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. (D. & C. 29.) The power of the Holy Ghost was manifest in the receipt of all the revelations. Some came by the whisperings of the Spirit to the Prophet (D. & C. 20); some were received by means of the Urim and Thummim (D. & C. 3); others are the recorded words of angelic ministrants (D. & C. 2); others are accounts of visions (D. & C. 76); a few are inspired epistles of the Prophet (D. & C. 128); a few others contain inspired items of instruction (D. & C. 131); one is an article setting forth church beliefs relative to governments and laws in general (D. & C. 134); one is an inspired announcement of the martyrdom of the Prophet and patriarch (D. & C. 135); and, since its adoption in 1890, the Official Declaration (or Manifesto) of President Wilford Woodruff has been published in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Early editions of the Doctrine and Covenants also contained the Lectures on Faith and an article on marriage by Oliver Cowdery. These items were not revelations, were never so considered, and are no longer published in the same volume as the revelations. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 192-202.)

Perhaps no other book is of such great worth to the saints as is the Doctrine and Covenants. It is their book, the voice of God in their day. The revelations therein are true, and men are commanded to search them. (D. &C. 1:37-39.)

But all of the written revelations received in this day are not in this volume. The revelations setting forth the temple ordinances and other sacred matters are not published to the world. Many revelations were received by the Prophet for individuals, and these are not included in the published record. There are some accounts of visions and revelations recorded in the History of the Church which are not published with the Doctrine and Covenants. On January 21, 1836, for instance, the Prophet saw in vision the Father and the Son in the celestial kingdom and heard the voice of God make the great proclamation relative to salvation for the dead. (Teachings, p. 107.) President Joseph F. Smith and others of the Presidents of the Church have received written revelations since the day of the Prophet which have been accepted by their brethren but never ordered published with the Doctrine and Covenants. (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 472-477.)

*Doctrine of Elias

Doctrine of Elias








Attempts to gain one's temporal livelihood by means of a dole - that is, through charitable gifts of money or food - either from the government, the Church, or some other social organization, violate the divine command that men should work for what they get and that the idler should not eat the bread nor wear the garment of the laborer. (Gen. 3:19; D. & C. 42: 42) The practice of supporting the poor by means of a dole is not the Lord's way of caring for their temporal needs.







*Door of the Sheep

Door of the Sheep


Christ is the door or the Door of the Sheep. By so designating himself, he teaches that no one can enter his sheepfold either in time or in eternity without his approval He personally stands ever on guard to reject the ungodly. (2 Ne. 9:41-43.) He is the Way. "By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture," he said. (John 10:7-9.)

*Douay Version of the Bible

Douay Version of the Bible





Where the gospel is concerned, doubt is an inclination to disbelieve the truths of salvation, a hesitancy to accept the revealed will of the Lord; it is a state of uncertainty in mind with reference to the doctrines of the gospel. Faith and belief are of God; doubt and skepticism are of the devil.

There is no excuse for not knowing and believing true principles for the Lord has ordained the way whereby all may come to a knowledge of the truth. Doubt comes from failure to keep the commandments. "O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things whatsoever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him." (Morm. 9:27; Matt. 21:21.)




Dragons belong to the serpent family; they are fabulous monsters - often represented as winged serpents breathing fire. Traditionally fierce and relentless in combat, it is possible that later-age concepts of them grew from memories of the pre-flood dinosaurs, In any event, the term dragon was applied with great propriety by John to Satan. (Rev. 12; 13:2-4; 16:13; 20:2.) As the fiercest and most dreaded of serpents, the name is certainly appropriate for the most fierce and relentlessly wicked of all beings.




An inspired dream is a vision given to a person while lie sleeps. "Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision," Lehi said. (1 Ne. 10:2.) All inspired dreams are visions, but all visions are not dreams. Visions are received in hours of wakefulness or of sleep and in some cases when the recipient has passed into a trance; it is only when the vision occurs during sleep that it is termed a dream. (Isa. 29:17; Dan. 2; 7; 1 Ne. 1:16; Alma 30:20.)

As with other visions, inspired dreams foretell future events (Gen. 37:5; 40:5, 8; 41:15); the Lord appears to men in dreams (Gen. 28:10-22; 31:24; 1 Kings 3:5; 1 Ne. 2:1-2; 3:2); angels appear and minister to faithful persons in their dreams (Gen. 31:11; Matt. 1:20; 2:13, 19); prophetic warnings are given by this means (Ether 9:3) and symbolic representations portrayed in dreams teach marvelous truths. (1 Ne. 8; 9; 10; 15:21.) Inspired dreams are the fruit of faith they are not given to apostate peoples. (1 Sam. 20:6, 15.)







Druidism is one of the ancient apostate religions which, as far as is known, specialized in magic, conjuration, and the like. It prevailed during the dark ages in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul.




Drunkenness, or intoxication in any degree, is an evil abomination in the sight of the Lord. "Cease drunkenness," is his decree. (D. & C. 136: 24.) "Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies." (D. & C. 89:7.) The Second Coming shall catch the drunkards unawares to their destruction. (Luke 21:34.) They shall not be saved in the kingdom of God, unless, as is the case where all evils and abominations are concerned, they repent and walk soberly and uprightly before the Lord. (Gal. 5:19-21.) In a spiritual sense drunkenness means apostasy. (Isa. 29:9-10; Rev. 17:2; 18:3.)




Those natural elements that make up the physical earth are sometimes referred to in the scriptures as dust. Thus Adam was created from the dust of the ground meaning that the physical body which he received was created from the elements of the earth. (Gen. 2:7; Moses 3:7; Abra. 5:7; D. & C. 77:12.) Similarly all men are created from the dust of the earth; that is, the elements organized into a mortal body are assembled together through the birth process. (Moses 6:69.)

Figuratively, dust means the grave or death as in such expressions as: "By the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground - for thou shall surely die - for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou wast, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Moses 4:25; Gen. 3:19.) "Sleep in the dust." (D. & C. 63:51; Job 7:21.) David's Messianic prophecy foretelling our Lord's death, says he should be brought "into the dust of death" (Ps. 22:15), though, as elsewhere prophesied (Ps. 16:10), the body of the Lord did not see corruption, that is, did not go back to the dust in the literal sense.

The Book of Mormon is, of course, repeatedly referred to in the scriptures as a voice from the dust. (Isa. 29:4; 2 Ne. 3:19-20; 26:15-16; 27:9; 33:13; Morm. 8:23-26; Moro. 10:27.) Such statements as, "Awake! and arise from the dust" (2 Ne. 1:14, 21, 23; Mosiah 4:2), are figures of speech, signifying that those addressed should rise above carnal, petty, groveling things and stand forth in the strength of the Spirit as men of character. Similar prophetic calls to Jerusalem to shake herself from the dust (2 Ne. 8:25; 3 Ne. 20:37; Moro. 10:31) are calls for her to come back from her downtrodden position of obscurity to the high eminence she should occupy in the eternal scheme of things. The Book of Mormon expression that men are "less than the dust of the earth," as the context shows, has reference to the fact that the dust is obedient to the commands of the Creator, whereas men rebel against his will.

*Dust Storms

Dust Storms





In consequence of the innumerable blessings showered upon them by their Creator and Redeemer, men are morally bound to conform their lives to the divine will. It is their duty to keep the commandments. (Eccles. 12:13; Luke 17:10.)

By entering into the various gospel covenants and accepting positions in the Church, they also assume specific obligations and duties in the performance of which they are enabled to work out their salvation. "Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence." (D. & C 107:99-100.)

*(E )




This earth or planet which we inhabit was created as a place where we could gain our physical bodies and undergo the probation of mortality. Not only does it play an important part in the plan where under men may work out their salvation but the earth itself is subject to certain laws of progression and salvation because of which it eventually will become a fit abode for exalted beings. This earth was created as a living thing, and the Lord ordained that it should live a celestial law. It was baptized in water and will receive the baptism of fire; it will die, be resurrected and attain unto a state of celestial exaltation. In the course of its eternal existence, it is destined to pass through certain stages of existence. (Doctrine of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 72-89; Parley P. Pratt, Voice of Warning, ch. 5.)

1 . SPIRIT EARTH. - We may suppose, as is the case with all other forms of life, that this earth was created first as a spirit, and that it was thereafter clothed upon with tangible, physical element. We know that the Creators planned all things incident to the creation in advance; and that all things were created "spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth." (Moses 3:5-9; Abra. 4:3 1; 5:3-5.)

2. EDENIC EARTH. - Following its physical creation, the earth was pronounced good. It was in a terrestrial or paradisaical state. There was no death either for man or for any form of life, and "all the vast creation of animated beings breathed naught but health, and peace, and joy." (2 Ne. 2:22; Voice of Warning, pp. 89-91.)

3. TELESTIAL EARTH. - When Adam fell, the earth fell also and became a mortal sphere, one upon which worldly and carnal people can live. This condition was destined to continue for a period of 6,000 years, and it was while in this state that the earth was baptized in water. (D. & C. 77:6-7, 12; Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 415-436, 460-466.)

4. TERRESTRIAL EARTH. - "We believe ... that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory." (Tenth Article of Faith.) Thus, the earth is to go back to the primeval, paradisaical, or terrestrial state that prevailed in the days of the Garden of Eden. Accompanying this transition to its millennial status the earth is to be burned, that is, receive its baptism of fire. It will then be a new heaven and a new earth, and again health, peace, and joy will prevail upon its face. (D. & C. 101:23-32; Isa. 65:17-25; Mai. 3:1-6; 4:1-6; Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 380-397)

5. CELESTIAL EARTH. - Following the millennium plus "a little season" (D. & C. 29:22-25), the earth will die, be resurrected and become like a "sea of glass" (D. & C. 130:7), attain unto "its sanctified, immortal, and eternal state." (D. & C. 77:1-2.) Then the poor and the meek - that is, the god fearing and the righteous - shall inherit the earth; it will become an abiding place for the Father and the Son and celestial beings will possess it forever and ever. (D. & C. 88:14-26, 111.)




Since the earth has been in its present fallen or telestial state, it has been subject to earthquakes. These are part of the Lord's plan; they come by his power and fulfill his purposes. By them he delivers his servants from perils, destroys the wicked, and leaves a sign that his hand has been in transcendent events. (Hela. 12:7-17.)

Earthquakes attended the delivery from prison of Paul and Silas in the old world, of Lehi and Nephi in the new. (Acts 16:25-26; Hela. 5:27.) Both the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord were attested by earthquakes. (Matt. 27:54; 28:2.) Among the Nephites the quakings and destructions at the time of the crucifixion were so extensive that the whole face of the land was changed and the wicked and rebellious were destroyed. (3 Ne. 8; 9:1-14; 10:9-10.)

Earthquakes are given as one of the signs of the times; they foreshadow the Second Coming. (Matt. 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11; D. & C. 45:33; 87:6.) By them the testimony of the Lord's power is borne to the people of the earth. (D. & C. 43:25; 88:89), and when the glorious Second Coming itself arrives there will be "a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." (Rev. 16:18-20; 6:12-17; 8:5; 11:12-15, 19;Zech. 14:4-5; D. & C. 133:22-25.)




We are blessed with the knowledge that ours is not the only inhabited earth. Rather, Christ acting under the direction of the Father is the Creator of worlds without number. Moses was permitted to see many of these earths, to learn that they are inhabited by the spirit children of the Father, and to receive the revelation that it is the Lord's work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of the inhabitants of all these earths. (Moses 1:27-41; D. & C. 76:22-24; John 1:1-5; Heb. 1:1-4; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 72-74.) Our particular earth, the one to which Christ was sent to work out the infinite and eternal atonement, has seen greater wickedness among her inhabitants than has been the case on any earth. (Moses 7:29-36.)




Easter is the church festival celebrated by Christians in commemoration of the resurrection of our Lord. The lone scriptural reference to it (Acts 12:4) should have been translated Passover from the Greek pascha found in the original. The name Easter comes from the Norse goddess Eastre whose festival was observed at the vernal equinox, hi 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea determined that Easter among Christians should be celebrated the first Sunday after the full moon on or following the vernal equinox.

Obviously, Easter as now celebrated has come into being as a compromise between pagan and apostate Christian views, and obviously it does not pretend to be the anniversary of the actual resurrection of Christ. Nonetheless the true saints gladly take it as an appropriate occasion on which to turn their attentions to the infinite and eternal atonement of Christ as such was climaxed by his coming forth as the firstfruits of them that slept.




*Economic Turmoil

Economic Turmoil








Edification is education in uplifting and enlightening things. To edify a person is to teach, instruct, and benefit him in the moral and religious fields. Gospel principles and practices are designed to mellow and edify true believers so that they may become saints in very deed. It is the duty of the saints to "instinct and edify each other." (D. & C. 43:8; 84:106, 110; 136:24; 1 Thess. 5:11.)

Those who teach in church organizations are specifically commanded to speak so that "all may be edified." (D. & C. 88:122, 137.) Quorum officers are to edify those over whom they preside. (D. & C. 107:85.) indeed, apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, teachers, and all church officers, have been appointed of God, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Eph. 4:1 1-16, 29.)

Things that are edifying are of God and lead to salvation; unedifying things are from beneath and lead to damnation. When the Spirit of the Lord is present, then "he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness." (D. & C. 50:22-23.) "Charity edifieth." (1 Cor. 8:1.) "He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church." (1 Cor. 14:3-4.) Unfortunately, there is much in the world in the way of teaching, doctrine, literature, music, art, and recreation that is not edifying and in consequence leads men away from righteousness.




In the broad sense of the word, the process of living on earth, of seeking to work out one's salvation with fear and trembling before God, is in itself a course of education; it is a system of training, study, and discipline whereby the mental and moral powers are schooled and prepared for graduation into the eternal realms.

Also in the gospel sense, education consists in gaining a knowledge of God and the saving truths of the gospel. No man can be saved in ignorance of Jesus Christ and the laws of salvation. (John 17:3; D. & C. 131:6.) Accordingly, the saints are under command to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom," to learn all expedient "things that pertain unto the kingdom of God," and to gain a knowledge of countries, kingdoms, sciences, arts, and every form of learning, so that they can both work out their own salvation and carry the message of salvation to the Lord's other children. (D. & C. 88:77-81.)

Education is gained primarily from the Spirit of the Lord by revelation and secondarily from study, research, and investigation. Those who lack wisdom are commanded to ask of God who giveth liberally to all the faithful. (D. & C. 46:7; Jas. 1:5-7.) "Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly." (D. & C. 136:32-33)

In view of the Latter-day Saint perspective of the importance of education in the eternal scheme of things, it has inevitably followed that schools, colleges, universities, and secular learning have prospered wherever the influence of the saints has been felt. Many surveys and studies have shown that there is a higher degree of literacy and high scholastic attainment among members of the Church than among any other similar group in the world.







Two women of note, a mother and her daughter, both carried the name Egyptus. The mother, a descendant of Cain, was the wife of Ham; the daughter was the mother of Pharaoh, the first ruler of Egypt. Abraham says that in the Chaldean tongue Egyptus "signifies that which is forbidden," meaning apparently that Ham married outside the approved lineage. (Abra. 1 :20-27; Gen. 6:2.)

*Eight Witnesses

Eight Witnesses


*Elder Brother

Elder Brother


Christ is literally our Elder Brother. Since all men are the personal spirit children of the Father, and since Christ was the Firstborn spirit offspring, it follows that he is the Elder Brother of all men.




1 . In ancient times when tribal governmental affairs were more fully centered in the family, and when those affairs were partly and sometimes wholly regulated according to a patriarchal system, especial deference was given to the older men, and they were referred to as the elders. No special priesthood endowment or office was involved. Rather, the designation singled out those whose maturity, experience, and judgment made them natural leaders whose counsel and direction was highly esteemed.

People both in and out of the earthly kingdom of God designated their mature leaders and rulers as elders. Thus when Joseph went up to bury his father, Jacob, there went with him "the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt." (Gen. 50:7.) This usage of the term elders was common among the Jews in the meridian of time. There are more than a score of such references in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. (Matt. 15:2; Mark 7:3; Luke 9:22; Acts 4:5.)

2. One of the ordained offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood is that of an elder. (D. & C. 20:60; 55:2; 107:7; Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5.) This office grows out of and is an appendage to the higher priesthood. (D. & C. 84:29; 107:5.) As far as we know, there were no ordained elders in the Church until the day of Moses, just as there was no Aaronic Priesthood until that day.

There were, of course, ordained elders in ancient Israel (Ex. 24:9-11; Num. 11:16), among the Nephites both in their early and latter history (Alma 4:7, 16; 6:1; Moro. 3:1; 4:1; 6:1, 7), and among the meridian saints. In New Testament usage the term is a translation of the Greek presbyter. (1 Tim. 5:1, 17, 19.) The ordination of elders in modem times began with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 6, 1830. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 146-147.)

Elders are ministers of Christ; they are called to administer in spiritual things (D. & C. 107:12), "To teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church; And to confirm the church by the laying on of the hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost. ... The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God." (D. & C. 20:42-45; 46:2.) They are to preach the gospel (D. & C. 53:3), teach from the scriptures (D. & C. 42:12), administer to the sick (D. & C. 42: 43-52; Jas. 5:14-15), function in the church court system (D. & C. 42: 80), and perform any duty that can be done by a holder of the lesser priesthood. (D. & C. 20:38-67.)

3. Elder is the title given all holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood whether the individuals concerned are or have been ordained to the office of elder or not. (D. & C. 20:38; 1 Pet. 5:1; 2 John 1; 3 John 1.) Thus if a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood had the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred upon him and was ordained a seventy or high priest, though he would never be ordained to the office of an elder, yet he would be known by that title.

*Elders Courts

Elders Courts


In the missions of the Church where there are no bishoprics or regularly organized high councils to try transgressors against the Lord's laws, the proper church officers form elders courts by appointing several Melchizedek Priesthood holders so to serve. These courts exercise jurisdiction similar to that of high councils in the stakes.

*Elders of Israel

Elders of Israel





*Election of Grace

Election of Grace


As part of the new song the saints will sing when they "see eye to eye" and the millennial era has been ushered in will be these words, "The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel, According to the election of grace. Which was brought to pass by the faith And covenant of their fathers." (D. & C. 84:98-102; Rom. 11:1-5.) This election of grace is a very fundamental, logical, and important part of God's dealings with men through the ages. To bring to pass the salvation of the greatest possible number of his spirit children the Lord, in general, sends the most righteous and worthy spirits to earth through the lineage of Abraham and Jacob. This course is a manifestation of his grace or in other words his love, mercy, and condescension toward his children.

This election to a chosen lineage is based on pre-existent worthiness and is thus made "according to the foreknowledge of God." (1 Pet. 1:2.) Those so grouped together during their mortal probation have more abundant opportunities to make and keep the covenants of salvation, a right which they earned by pre-existent devotion to the cause of righteousness. As part of this election, Abraham and others of the noble and great spirits were chosen before they were born for the particular missions assigned them in this life. (Abra. 3:22-24; Rom. 9.)

As with every basic doctrine of the gospel, the Lord's system of election based on pre-existent faithfulness has been changed and perverted by an apostate Christendom. So absurd have been the false conclusions reached in this field that millions of sincere though deceived persons have devoutly believed that in accordance with the divine will men were pre-destined to receive salvation or damnation which no act on their part could change. (Teachings, p. 189.)

Actually, if the full blessings of salvation are to follow, the doctrine of election must operate twice. First, righteous spirits are elected or chosen to come to mortality as heirs of special blessings. Then, they must be called and elected again in this life, an occurrence which takes place when they join the true Church. (D. & C. 53:1.) Finally, in order to reap eternal salvation, they must press forward in obedient devotion to the truth until they make their "calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1), that is, are "sealed up unto eternal life." (D. & C. 131:5.)

*Elect Lady

Elect Lady


An elect lady is a female member of the Church who has already received, or who through obedience is qualified to receive, the fullness of gospel blessings. This includes temple endowments, celestial marriage, and the fullness of the sealing power. She is one who has been elected or chosen by faithfulness as a daughter of God in this life, an heir of God, a member of his household. Her position is comparable to that of the elders who magnify their callings in the priesthood and thereby receive all that the Father hath. (D.&C. 84:38.)

In the early days of this dispensation Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife, was in such complete harmony with the Lord's program that he forgave her of her sins and addressed her as an elect lady. (D. & C. 25:1-3; History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 552.) John the Beloved used a similar salutation to certain chosen women in his day. (2 John 1, 13.) Just as it is possible for the very elect to be deceived, and to fall from grace through disobedience, so an elect lady, by failing to endure to the end, can lose her chosen status.

*Elect of God

Elect of God


The elect of God comprise a very select group, an inner circle of faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are the portion of church members who are striving with all their hearts to keep the fullness of the gospel law in this life so that they can become inheritors of the fullness of gospel rewards in the life to come.

As far as the male sex is concerned, they are the ones, the Lord says, who have the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred upon them and who thereafter magnify their callings and are sanctified by the Spirit. In this way, "They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God." They keep "the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood," and are rewarded with the fullness of the Father's kingdom. (D. & C. 84:33-41.)

To gain this elect status they must be endowed in the temple of the Lord (D. & C. 95:8), enter into that "order of the priesthood" named "the new and everlasting covenant of marriage" (D. & C. 131:1-4), and overcome by faith until, as the sons of God, they merit membership in the Church of the Firstborn. (D.&C. 76:50-70, 94-96.) The elect of God are the chosen of God; and he has said: "There are many who have been ordained among you, whom I have called but few of them are chosen." (D. & C. 95:5; 121 :34-40.)

This is the day in which the Lord is gathering his elect, those who hear his voice and harden not their hearts (D. & C. 29:7), from the four quarters of the earth (D. & C. 33:6), so that if they continue to abide in his word, they shall have an eventual salvation in his presence. This is the day of which the Lord spoke: "I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there." (Isa. 65:9.) The coming millennial day is one in which the "elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands" (Isa. 65: 22), for the earth and the fullness thereof shall then be theirs.




Those natural or earthy substances of which the earth in all its parts is composed and which make up the physical or temporal bodies of all created things are called elements. They are of the earth, earthy (1 Cor. 15:44-48); they are to be distinguished from the more pure and refined substance of which spirit matter is composed. (D. & C. 131: 6-7.) "The elements are eternal," the Lord says; and when they are organized into a mortal body, those elements become the tabernacle of the eternal spirit that comes from pre-existence. Also, "The elements are the tabernacle of God," meaning that the Spirit of the Lord will dwell in the hearts of righteous men. In the resurrection "spirit and element" are inseparably connected," thus assuring immortality to the soul. (D. & C. 93:33-35.) It follows that elements which are mortal now are destined to become immortal elements hereafter.

One of the signs of the times is that the elements (meaning weather conditions and such things as bring about earthquakes and the like) shall be in commotion in the last days. (D. & C. 88:87-92.) When the Lord comes, the elements (meaning the earth itself and all that composes it) shall melt with fervent heat, and all things shall be made new. (D. & C. 101:25; 2 Pet. 3:10-12; 3 Ne. 26:3; Moral. 9:2.) And finally, when this earth becomes a celestial sphere, the natural elements of which it is composed will become immortal and eternal. (D. & C. 77:1; 88:16-32; 130:9.)

*Eleventh Hour

Eleventh Hour


Based on the common verity that there are 12 hours in the day (John 11:9), the expression eleventh hour, used figuratively to apply to the earth's history, has reference to the latter-days. In the vineyard, those who were employed during the 11th hour were paid the same as those whose services had commenced with the rising sun. (Matt. 20:1-16.) One application of this parable is that those called to Christ's service in the latter-days will inherit equally with Adam and Abraham though those ancient prophets have long since gone to their exaltation. (D. & C. 132:29-37; 133:54-56.) In sending forth his ministers in this dispensation the Lord said: "It is the eleventh hour, and the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard." (D. & C. 33:3.)




Many scriptures use the term Elias in connection with vital doctrinal explanations. Some of these passages have come to us in garbled and fragmentary form. Various of them use the word to mean wholly different and divergent things. Much confusion and uncertainty would be avoided if gospel students would note carefully the distinguishable differences in the various usages of this important though unusual word. The following different meanings of the designation Elias are of scriptural record: 1. ELIAS OF ABRAHAM'S DAY. - As part of the restoration of all things, a prophet named Elias came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836, and committed unto them the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. The scriptural account of this glorious event specifies: "Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed." (D. & C. 110:12.)

Now what was the gospel of Abraham? Obviously it was the commission, the mission, the endowment and power, the message of salvation, given to Abraham. And what was this? It was a divine promise that both in the world and out of the world his seed should continue "as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them." (D. & C. 132:30; Gen. 17; Abra. 2:1-12.)

Thus the gospel of Abraham was one of celestial marriage (including plurality of wives); it was a gospel or commission to provide a lineage for the elect portion of the pre-existent spirits, a gospel to provide a household in eternity for those who live the fullness of the celestial law. This power and commission is what Elias restored, and as a consequence, the righteous among all future generations were assured of the blessings of a continuation of the seeds forever, even as it was with Abraham of old. (D.&C. 132.)

This committing to man of the gospel of Abraham, of the great commission which he had, should not be confused with the spirit of Elias or the doctrine of Elias. The commission which the man Elias conferred was not an authorization either to operate in the spirit of Elias or to preach the gospel. The spirit of Elias had been manifest long before the man Elias came. The commission to preach the gospel was restored by Peter, James, and John in 1829, and the gospel had been preached for nearly seven years before Elias came. In their mortal ministry, Peter, James, and John had been given this commission: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15.) In other words, the gospel of Peter, James and John, their great commission, was to preach the gospel of salvation. When they came in modem times that, among other things, was what they restored.

We have no information, at this time, as to the mortal life or ministry of Elias. Apparently he lived in the days of Abraham, but whether he was Abraham, or Melchizedek, or some other prophet, we do not know.

2. ELIAS A NAME FOR ELIJAH. - Elias is the Greek form of Elijah. This leads to some confusion and the necessity of determining whether Elijah or someone else is meant in each passage where the name Elias appears. Such a determination is not difficult, however, when the full doctrine of Elias and Elijah is understood.

3. SPIRIT AND DOCTRINE OF ELIAS. - Joseph Smith taught that a preparatory work, one that lays a foundation for a greater work, one that goes before to prepare the way for a greater which is to come, is a work performed by the spirit of Elias. This principle is called the doctrine of Elias. The Prophet explained that the spirit and doctrine of Elias pertain to the Aaronic Priesthood only. He used himself as an example, saying that he worked by the spirit of Elias from the time he received the Aaronic Priesthood (which is a preparatory priesthood) until the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored. In the same way John the Baptist, he explained, served in the spirit and power of Elias; that is, as our Lord's forerunner, serving in the lesser priesthood, he prepared the way for a greater work.

Work done by authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood is not performed in accordance with the spirit of Elias. To distinguish between the spirit of Elias and a higher power, the Prophet said that a man could be baptized by the spirit of Elias, but he could not receive the Holy Ghost by that power, and "any man that comes, having the spirit and power of Elias, he will not transcend his bounds." (Teachings, pp. 335-341.)

4. ELIAS OF THE RESTORATION. - According to the plan and program of the Lord, the dispensation of the fullness of times is "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21.) This restoration is to be effected by Elias. Before the winding up of the Lord's work, the promise is: "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." (Matt. 17:11.) With these ancient scriptures before us, these questions arise: Who is the promised Elias who was to come and restore all things? Has this work of restoration taken place? Or is it something that is yet future?

Correcting the Bible by the spirit of revelation, the Prophet restored a statement of John the Baptist which says that Christ is the Elias who was to restore all things. (Inspired Version, John 1:21-28.) By revelation we are also informed that the Elias who was to restore all things is the angel Gabriel who was known in mortality as Noah. (D. & C. 27:6-7; Luke 1:5-25; Teachings, p. 157.) From the same authentic source we also learn that the promised Elias is John the Revelator. (D. & C. 77: 9, 14.) Thus there are three different revelations which name Elias as being three different persons. What are we to conclude?

By finding answer to the question, by whom has the restoration been effected, we shall find who Elias is and find there is no problem in harmonizing these apparently contradictory revelations. Who has restored all things? Was it one man? Certainly not. Many angelic ministrants have been sent from the courts of glory to confer keys and powers, to commit their dispensations and glories again to men on earth. At least the following have come: Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, Moses, Elijah, Elias, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael. (D. & C. 13; 110; 128:19-21.) Since it is apparent that no one messenger has carried the whole burden of the restoration, but rather that each has come with a specific endowment from on high, it becomes clear that Elias is a composite personage. The expression must be understood to be a name and a title for those whose mission it was to commit keys and powers to men in this final dispensation. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 170-174.)

5. JOHN THE BAPTIST AN ELIAS. - No better illustration is found in the revelations of one who acted in the spirit and power of Elias - and yet who expressly disavowed any claim to being the Elias who was to restore all things - than that seen in the ministry of John the Baptist. Gabriel foretold that John would go before the Lord "in the spirit and power of Elias" (Luke 1:17); and the skeptical and unbelieving Jews - knowing that Elijah was to come again and that Elias was to restore all things - made pointed inquiry of John to determine if he claimed to fulfill ancient predictions in this field.

"And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not that he was Elias; but confessed, saying: I am not the Christ. And they asked him, saying: How then art thou Elias? And he said, I am not that Elias who was to restore all things. And they asked him, saying. Art thou that prophet? And he answered. No. ... And they asked him, and said unto him: Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias who was to restore all things, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose, or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire, and with the Holy Ghost." (Inspired Version, John 1:21-28.)

After Moses and Elijah (Elias) had appeared on the Mount of transfiguration our Lord's "disciples asked him, saying. Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?" That is, the scribes knew that Elias (Elijah) was to precede the coming of the Lord, and yet here Peter, James, and John had seen the heavenly visitant come after the Lord had been manifest among the people.

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, as the prophets have written. And again I say unto you that Elias has come already, concerning whom it is written. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and they knew him not, and have done unto him, whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them. But I say unto you. Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets." (Inspired Version, Matt. 17:9-14; Doctrines Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 108-1 12.)

*Elijah the Prophet

Elijah the Prophet


For dramatic manifestations and the visible exhibition of divine power, the ministry of Elijah the Prophet scarcely has an equal. He sealed the heavens, was fed by the ravens, extended the widow's barrel of meal and cruse of oil, raised the dead, destroyed the priests of Baal, called down fire from heaven on at least three occasions, fasted 40 days and nights, was attended frequently by angelic ministrants, and finally was translated and taken up into heaven without tasting death. (1 Kings 17; 18; 2 Kings 1; 2.)

Centuries later Malachi prophesied that Elijah would return before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mai. 4:5-6.) With Moses, another translated being, he appeared to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration to give those apostolic ministers the keys of the kingdom. (Matt. 17:1-13; Teachings, p. 158.) During the night of September 21st-22nd, 1823, Moroni told Joseph Smith that the Lord would soon reveal unto him the priesthood by the hand of Elijah the Prophet (Jos. Smith 2:29-39); and on April 3, 1836, Elijah came (in fulfillment of the promises of Malachi and Moroni) to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, in the Kirkland Temple, and conferred upon them the keys of the sealing power. (D.&C.110:13-16.)

Because Elijah has come in this dispensation, the fullness of salvation is again available for the living and the dead. He "was the last prophet that held the keys of the priesthood" in ancient Israel, the Prophet said. His latter-day mission was to "restore the authority and deliver the keys of the priesthood, in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. . . . Why send Elijah? Because he holds the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances of the priesthood; and without the authority is given, the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness." (Teachings, p. 172.)

"The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is," the Prophet also taught, "that ye have power to hold the key of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven. . . .

"This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah." (Teachings, pp. 337-338.)

"How shall God come to the rescue of this generation?" the Prophet asked. "He will send Elijah the Prophet. . . . Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers. The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected, and made sure." (Teachings, p. 323.)




1 . El, as the Hebrew word for God or Divine Being, is used in various Hebrew word combinations to identify Deity and to reveal particular things about him. Thus El Elyon means the Highest God, the Possessor or Creator of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19); El Shaddai signifies God Almighty (Gen. 17:1); El Elohe Yisrael is the God of Israel (Gen. 33:20.)

Elohim is the plural of the Canaanite El or the Hebrew Eloah; consequently, its literal meaning is Gods. Accordingly, as the Prophet pointed out, such Old Testament passages as, "In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1), should more properly be translated, "In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods," and they created the heavens and the earth. (Teachings, pp. 370-371.)

2. Elohim, plural word though it is, is also use as the exalted name-title of God the Eternal Father, a usage that connotes his supremacy and omnipotence, he being God above all Gods. (The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve, cited. Articles of Faith, pp. 465-473; 1 Cor. 8:6.)







According to Greek mythology, Elysium or the Elysian Fields is the name given the abode of the blessed after death. This concept, found among an apostate people, was obviously an outgrowth of the time gospel doctrine, taught from the beginning, relative to paradise.













As part of man's mortal probation, he is being tested with reference to temporal things. The obligation to earn his bread in the sweat of his face necessitates employment. (Gen. 3:19.) The gospel requires that man work in temporal as well as spiritual pursuits to gain salvation. Flocks and herds, farms and vineyards, industries and business ventures, are all part and portion of the gospel plan; the manner in which man acts with reference to them affects not only his temporal well-being but his eternal salvation. "Thou shall not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." (D.&C. 42:42.)

Provision is made in the great Welfare Plan of the Church for priesthood quorums and other church organizations to aid their members in finding employment and in bettering inadequate existing employment.








1. That which goes on forever and has no end is endless. For instance: The eternal, unending duration of time is endless time; the infinite, limitless expanse of space is endless space. Similarly there is no end to matter, element, or any of the attributes of perfection which make up the personalities of exalted beings. In the hymn, "If You Could Hie to Kolob," Elder William W. Phelps teaches very effectively the endless nature of all good things:

If you could hie to Kolob

In the twinkling of an eye.

And then continue onward

With that same speed to fly.

D'ye think that you could ever.

Through all eternity.

Find out the generation

Where Gods began to be?

Or see the grand beginning,

Where space did not extend?

Or view the last creation,

Where Gods and matter end?

Methinks the Spirit whispers,

"No man has found 'pure space,'

Nor seen the outside curtains

Where nothing has a place."

The works of God continue.

And worlds and lives abound;

Improvement and progression

Have one eternal round.

There is no end to matter.

There is no end to space;

There is no end to spirit;

There is no end to race.

There is no end to virtue;

There is no end to might;

There is no end to wisdom;

There is no end to light.

There is no end to union;

There is no end to youth;

There is no end to priesthood;

There is no end to truth.

There is no end to glory;

There is no end to love;

There is no end to being;

There is no death above.

There is no end to glory;

There is no end to love;

There is no end to being;

There is no death above.

2. Endless, used as a noun and not as an adjective, is one of the names of God and signifies his unending, eternal continuance as the supreme, exalted ruler of the universe. "Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name," he said, "for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?" (Moses 1:3; 7:35.) "Endless is my name" he said to the Prophet (D. & C. 19:10.) By using his name Endless and by combining it with other terms, the Lord has revealed some very significant truths in the scriptures. For instance: Endless life means God's life; "Endless punishment is God's punishment." (D. & C. 19:12.)

*Endless Damnation

Endless Damnation


*Endless Father

Endless Father


*Endless God

Endless God


*Endless Hell

Endless Hell


*Endless Life

Endless Life


*Endless Punishment

Endless Punishment


*Endless Torment

Endless Torment


*End of the Earth

End of the Earth


*End of the World

End of the World





Certain special, spiritual blessings given worthy and faithful saints in the temples are called endowments, because in and through them the recipients are endowed with power from on high. They receive an education relative to the Lord's purposes and plans in the creation and peopling of the earth and are taught the things that must be done by man in order to gain exaltation in the world to come. They place themselves in a position to receive the sanctifying and cleansing power of the Holy Ghost, thus becoming clean and spotless before the Lord. So sacred and holy are the administrations performed that in every age when they have been revealed, the Lord has withheld them from the knowledge of the world and disclosed them only to the faithful saints in houses and places dedicated and selected for that purpose. (D.& C. 95:8-9; 124:25-41; Luke 24:59.)

All temple ordinances, except baptism for the dead, pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom and not merely to admission to that world. When the Prophet first administered the endowment in this dispensation he said it embraced "all those plans and principles by which anyone is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn." (Teachings, p. 237.) These sacred ordinances are administered for the living and on a proxy basis for the dead also. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 252-257.)

Elder James E. Talmage, in The House of the Lord, a work published by the Church in 1912, gives the following data on endowments "The temple endowment as administered in modem temples comprises instruction relating to the significance and sequence of past dispensations, and the importance of the present as the greatest and grandest era in human history. This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period, the condition of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience and consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned, the period of the great apostasy the restoration of the gospel with all its ancient powers and privileges the absolute and indispensable conditions of personal purity and devotion to the right in present life, and a strict compliance with gospel requirements. . . .

"The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant, and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King, the Lord Jesus. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions.

"No jot, iota, or title of the temple rites is otherwise than uplifting and sanctifying. In every detail the endowment ceremony contributes to covenants of morality of life, consecration of person to high ideals, devotion to truth, patriotism to nation, and allegiance to God. The blessings of the House of the Lord are restricted to no privileged class; every member of the Church may have admission to the temple with the right to participate in the ordinances thereof, if he comes duly accredited as of worthy life and conduct." (The House of the Lord, pp. 99-101.)

*Endowments for the Dead

Endowments for the Dead


*Enduring to the End

Enduring to the End

See OBEDIENCE, PLAN OF SALVATION, SALVATION, STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH. Baptism is the gate which puts the converted Christian on the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life. To gain the promised inheritance in the celestial world it is necessary to travel the length of the path, a course of travel which consists in obedience to the laws and principles of the gospel. This process is called enduring to the end, meaning the end of mortal life. (D. & C. 20:29; 3 Ne. 27: 19-2 L)

Speaking to members of the Church who have already repented and been baptized, Nephi says: "Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God." (2 Ne. 31:20-21.)

*Enochian Dispensation

Enochian Dispensation


*Ensign to the Nations

Ensign to the Nations


Many ancient prophecies foretold that in the last days the Lord would set up an ensign to the nations, a standard to which Israel and the righteous of all nations might gather. (Isa. 5:26; 11:10-12; 18:3; 30:17-26; 31:9; 49:22; 62:10; Zech. 9:16.) This ensign is the new and everlasting covenant, the gospel of salvation (D. & C. 49:9); it is the great latter-day Zion (D. & C. 64:41-43); it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.







Two obligations face the saints where the matter of environment is concerned: 1. To create for themselves and their families the most wholesome and edifying environment possible, so there will be less chance of any member of the family circle being lost through transgression; and 2. To rise above every unwholesome environmental situation that may be encountered during the course of this mortal probation.

When the spirit offspring of God pass from pre-existence to mortality, they bring with them the talents, capacities, and abilities acquired during a long existence and experience in their first estate. At the time of mortal birth all children are innocent and pure. Then as they begin to become accountable, they are swayed by "the tradition of their fathers." (D. & C. 93:38-39.) Their lives and destinies are shaped and altered by their environment - the circumstances, external surroundings, and influences in which they find themselves. The command to bring up children in light and truth includes a requirement to create for them a wholesome environment.

One of the great purposes of this mortal probation is to test and try men, to see if they will keep the commandments and walk in the light no matter what environmental enticements beckon them away from the straight and narrow path. (1 John 2:15-17.) The prayer, "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matt. 6:13), is a petition that we may be kept from such unwholesome environmental circumstances as to be overcome by them.

It is axiomatic that the saints should establish peace and love in their families; engage in wholesome recreation only; perform their daily labors in the cleanest and most wholesome environment possible; associate with proper companions always; and seek to live under those surroundings and influences that breathe the spirit of righteousness and faith. Constant association with that which is low and vulgar inevitably leads to the debasement of the human soul.







According to tradition it is supposed that the wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and found the newly born Son of God 12 days after his birth. Hence portions of the sectarian world celebrate Epiphany (Twelfthtide or Twelfth-day) on January 6. This is the traditional and customary end to the Christmas season.

It appears from Matthew's account however, that in reality the wise men came two or three years after the birth of our Lord. It was a "young child," not a baby they were seeking; he was found in a "house, not a manger; and Herod "sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." (Matt. 2.) Those who had not reached the third anniversary of their births were "two years old and under." The true Church, of course, pays no heed to Epiphany and conducts no celebration thereon.




In the New Testament there are 21 epistles or letters written by inspired writers to persons or groups. In their original forms they were perfect scripture, and they were written by the authors whose names they bear, the specious speculations of higher criticism to the contrary notwithstanding. Their authorship and inspiration are attested to by references made to them and quotations taken from them in the sermons of the prophet and in latter-day revelation itself.

Purpose of the epistles is to bear record of Christ (and in this sense they are apostolic letters), to teach the principles of the gospel, and to exhort the saints to that personal righteousness which leads to salvation. As with the other books of the Bible, they were preserved by Divine Providence to come forth and from a part of that book of books.

Sections 121, 122, 123, 127, and 128 of the Doctrine and Covenants are epistles written under the spirit of inspiration by the Prophet. Sidney Rigdon was commanded by revelation to write an epistle to the Church to solicit funds "to purchase lands for an inheritance for the children of God." (D. & C. 58:51.) The First Presidency has taken frequent occasion, particularly in the early days of the Church, to send epistles to portions or all of the Latter-day Saints. Frequent Book of Mormon reference is found to epistles, which were formal letters dealing with affairs of state and of the Church. (Alma 54:4; 55:3; 56:1; 57:1.)

*Epistles of Commendation

Epistles of Commendation


It appears from 2 Cor. 3 : 1 that the practice prevailed among the primitive saints of introducing faithful members of the Church from one group of saints to another by means of epistles of commendation or letters of commendation. That is, the saints were commended, introduced, or recommended to the various local churches by these written certifications. These would correspond to "recommends" in modem times.




1 . Under conditions of full gospel equality perfect fairness and equity would prevail in every sphere of life. All persons similarly situated would be treated exactly the same as all other such persons; all would enjoy and possess the same things. Perfect impartiality would reign, for "there should be an equality among all men." (Mosiah 27:3; Alma 1 :26.) By way of illustration, the gospel message itself is and should be freely available to all men. (Third Article of Faith.) The Lord "inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Ne.26:33.)

Perfect equality does not now prevail either in the world or in the Church. But when life is perfected among the saints and when the highest gospel law is lived, then both temporal and spiritual equality will prevail. Temporal adjustments under the principles of consecration will make "every man equal according to his circumstances and his wants and needs." (D. & C. 51:3; 82:17.) "In your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld." (D. & C. 70:14.) "For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things." (D. & C. 78:3-7.)

2. Exalted beings will enjoy eternal equality in their high celestial status. "And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion." (D. & C. 76:95.) "And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him." (D. & C. 88:107.) In other words, they all enjoy exaltation; all live the same kind of life; all exercise the same power, the power of God; all are possessed of the same Spirit, the Spirit of truth; all are gods and have eternal increase; all are joint-heirs with Christ, possessing all things with him, and being inheritors of all that the Father hath.




Equity is the principle which tempers the harshness of justice. Equity dictates that the law shall be administered according to its spirit and not merely its letter. (D. & C. 102:16; 134:3; Hela. 3:20; 3 Ne. 6:4.) It is an attribute of Deity (Ps. 98:9; 99:4; Alma 9:26), the companion of justice and mercy, and the friend of righteousness. One of the great Messianic prophecies says of our Lord: "With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth." (Isa. 1 1 :4.)




*Era of Restoration

Era of Restoration








Under the pretense of studying eschatology - doctrines concerning the ultimate destiny of mankind - uninspired Biblical scholars speculate, quibble and deny the plain meaning of the revelations about death, immortality, the resurrection, the day of judgment, the Second Coming of Christ, and related matters. It is common among these sectarian scholars to attempt to show the evolution of these doctrines from prophet to prophet; to point out the supposedly contradictory and confusing views expressed by prophets in different ages, by Jesus himself, and by the New Testament writers; and finally to conclude their mental and theological flights of fantasy without reaching any sound conclusion about things which are to them impenetrable mysteries.

The fact is, of course, that all of these so-called eschatological doctrines have been known and taught from the beginning; the gospel of salvation is not something that has been formulated in the minds of men item by item as new light has dawned in succeeding ages. One prophet did not modify or change what a previous inspired man had uttered. And the spiritually enlightened have no difficulty in determining the meaning of all that God has revealed about the ultimate destiny of his children.

*Especial Witnesses

Especial Witnesses





Ancient marriage customs in Israel provided for a formal espousal or betrothal which preceded the marriage proper. In effect the espousal marked the beginning of the marriage ceremony, though as much as a year might elapse between it and the marriage proper. Though the espoused woman was still dependent on her father, she was considered as consecrated to her future husband, was denied to all others, and was virtually regarded as his wife. (Deut. 22:23-24.) Thus Joseph being espoused to Mary and finding her with child planned to put her away privily until Gabriel commanded otherwise. (Matt. 1: 18-25; Luke 1:27; 2:5.) Unfaithfulness on the part of an espoused woman was adultery (D. & C. 132:63), punishable anciently by death. (Deut. 22:23-24.)

In a figurative sense, the saints are espoused to Christ. "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ," Paul wrote to the Corinthians. (2 Cor. 11:1-4.) By keeping the vows of their espousal, the saints become the bride of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9), who is the Bridegroom (D. & C. 33:17) and Husband. (Isa. 54:5.)

*Estates of Man

Estates of Man





1. One of the names of God is Eternal; to Enoch the Lord said, "Eternal is my name" (Moses 7:35), using this designation as a noun and not as an adjective. This name of Deity signifies that he is "infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God." (D. & C. 20:17.) In fact, members of the godhead, possessing the same characteristics and attributes, are "infinite and eternal, without end." (D. & C. 20:28, 77, 79; 121:32; 128:23.)

The Lord uses his name Eternal to teach with specific accurateness certain great principles of revealed truth. Thus the kind of life he lives (which, of course, is God's life) is called eternal life (meaning exaltation); and the kind of punishment which is dealt out to transgressors by him is called eternal punishment, a name having reference to the type and not the duration of the penalty imposed.

2. That which is of infinite duration, which goes on forever and has no end is eternal, endless, everlasting. Using the term in this sense the revelations teach that "The elements are eternal" (D. & C. 93:33), and that there are such things as eternal glory (D. & C. 76:6), eternal felicity (D. & C. 77:3), and eternal joy. (D. & C. 109:76.)

3. Eternal is also used to mean the opposite of temporal, the opposite of that which pertains to time and mortality. This is a temporal world in which we now live; hereafter we shall gain places in the eternal worlds. (D. & C. 76:86; 121:2; 132:55, 63.) The earth itself is now passing through "its temporal existence"; hereafter it is to be sanctified, become immortal, and gain an "eternal state." (D. & C. 77:1-6.) Any views expressed by man through his own power consist of natural or mortal words; in contrast, words spoken by the power of the Holy Ghost, being the Lord's words (D. & C. 68: 1-4), are "eternal words." (D.&C. 85:7.)

*Eternal Damnation

Eternal Damnation


To denote the severity and extent of the condemnation falling upon those whose feet slip from the straight and narrow path, and who do not repent and return to righteousness, the Lord couples the word eternal with the tern damnation. There are three distinct senses in which the expression eternal damnation is used.

1. Eternal damnation is the opposite of eternal life, and all those who do not gain eternal life, or exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial kingdom, are partakers of eternal damnation. Their eternal condemnation is to have limitations imposed upon them so that they cannot progress to the state of godhood and gain a fullness of all things.

They "remain separately and singly, without exaltation, to all eternity and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever." (D. & C. 132:17.) Their kingdom or progress has an "end," and they "cannot have an increase." (D. & C. 13 1:4.) Spirit children are denied to them to all eternity, and they inherit "the deaths" leaning an absence of posterity in the resurrection. (D. & C. 132:16-25.)

They are never redeemed from their spiritual fall and taken back into the full presence and glory of God. Only the obedient are "raised in immortality unto eternal life." The disobedient "they that believe not," are raised in immortality "unto eternal damnation for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not." (D. & C. 29:42-44.)

2. Eternal damnation is also used to specify the punishment of those who come forth in the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29), meaning those who are destined to inherit the telestial kingdom and those who will be cast out to reign with the devil and his angels as sons of perdition. (D. & C. 76:30-49, 81-112; 88:100-102.)

After the angel had taught King Benjamin the basic truths relative to Christ's atoning sacrifice and the salvation that flows therefrom, these words were spoken relative to the teachings given: "They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people, at the judgment day; whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil. And if they be evil they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can no more return; therefore they have drunk damnation to their own souls. And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever." (Mosiah 3:24-27.)

Abinadi uses the term endless damnation similarly, to refer to the resurrected state of all the rebellious, those who come forth in the resurrection of the unjust, those who refused to repent when the gospel was offered to them but who chose to go their own carnal ways, receiving eventually an inheritance in the telestial kingdom. Though they attain a kingdom of glory, yet to all eternity they are damned, cannot go where God and Christ are (D. & C. 76:1 12), and are never completely free from the lingering remorse that always follows the loss of opportunity.

These are Abinadi's words: "This mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil - If they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation - Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent." (Mosiah 16:10-12.)

The last persons to come forth in the resurrection of damnation will be the sons of perdition. "They shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment - 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; Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again; Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation." (D. & C. 76:44-49.)

3. Eternal damnation is used further to specify the torment and anguish to which the spirits of the wicked are heir in the spirit prison as they await the day of their resurrection. This type of eternal damnation ceases when the offender has finally come forth in the resurrection. In this sense, eternal damnation is the type, kind, and quality of torment, punishment, or damnation involved rather than the duration of that damnation. In other words, eternal is the name of the kind of punishment involved, just as it is the name of the kind of life referred to in the expression eternal life. Eternal punishment is, thus, the kind of punishment imposed by God who is Eternal, and those subject to it may suffer therefrom for either a short or a long period. After their buffetings and trials cause them to repent, they are freed from this type of eternal damnation.

"And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless," the Lord says. "Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand. Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name's glory. Behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore Eternal punishment is God's punishment. Endless punishment is God's punishment." (D. & C. 19:4-12.)

*Eternal Deaths

Eternal Deaths


*Eternal Father

Eternal Father


On very formal occasions, as in the revealed sacramental prayers. Deity is addressed as, "God, the Eternal Father." (D. & C. 20:77-79) This exalted and sacred name-title combines in one expression the concept of God as an Eternal, exalted Being and his position as the personal Father of the spirits of all men. In the sense in which Christ is called the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6), he is also the Eternal Father for he is both Eternal and (in special ways) the Father.

*Eternal Fire

Eternal Fire


*Eternal God

Eternal God


Both the Father and the Son carry the exalted name-title. Eternal God. Both are exalted Beings and as such are Eternal; both are from everlasting to everlasting, with all that this phrase connotes; both are beyond finite comprehension in power, dominion, godly attributes and eternal glory. (D. & C. 121 :32.) By their eternal grace men have been created, redeemed, and placed as possible heirs of all things.

*Eternal Hell

Eternal Hell


*Eternal Increase

Eternal Increase


*Eternal Judge

Eternal Judge


*Eternal King

Eternal King


*Eternal Life

Eternal Life


As used in the scriptures, eternal life is the name given to the kind of life that our Eternal Father lives. The word eternal as used in the name eternal life, is a noun and not an adjective. It is one of the formal names of Deity (Moses 1:3; 7:35; D. & C. 19:11) and has been chosen by him as the particular name to identify the kind of life that he lives. He being God, the life he lives is God's life; and his name (in the noun sense) being Eternal, the kind of life he lives is eternal life. Thus: God's life is eternal life; eternal life is God's life - the expressions are synonymous.

Accordingly, eternal life is not a name that has reference only to the unending duration of a future life; immortality is to live forever in the resurrected state, and by the grace of God all men will gain this unending continuance of life. But only those who obey the fullness of the gospel law will inherit eternal life. (D. & C. 29:43-44.) It is "the greatest of all the gifts of God" (D. & C. 14:7), for it is the kind, status, type, and quality of life that God himself enjoys. Thus those who gain eternal life receive exaltation; they are sons of God, joint-heirs with Christ, members of the Church of the Firstborn; they overcome all things, have all power, and receive the fullness of the Father. They are gods.

*Eternal Lives

Eternal Lives


Those who gain eternal life (exaltation) also gain eternal lives, meaning that in the resurrection they have eternal "increase," "a continuation of the seeds," a "continuation of the lives." Their spirit progeny will "continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them." (D. & C. 131:1-4; 132:19-25,30,55.)

"Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation by the power and authority of the holy priesthood," the prophet says, "they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection." Then with reference to those who have been properly sealed in marriage and who have thereafter endured in righteousness until their callings and elections were made sure by revelation he adds: "But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, [their callings and elections having been made sure through perfect devotion to the truth, they] will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory. (Teachings, pp. 300-301.)

The opposite of eternal lives is eternal deaths. Those who come up separately and singly in the resurrection and who therefore do not have spirit children eternally are said to inherit "the deaths." (D. &C. 132:16-17,25.)

*Eternal One

Eternal One


*Eternal Progression

Eternal Progression


Endowed with agency and subject to eternal laws, man began his progression and advancement in pre-existence, his ultimate goal being to attain a state of glory, honor, and exaltation like the Father of spirits. During his earth life he gains a mortal body, receives experience in earthly things, and prepares for a future eternity after the resurrection when he will continue to gain knowledge and intelligence. (D. & C.130: 18-19.) This gradually unfolding course of advancement and experience - a course that began in a past eternity and will continue in ages future - is frequently referred to as a course of eternal progression.

It is important to know, however, that for the overwhelming majority of mankind, eternal progression has very definite limitations. In the full sense, eternal progression is enjoyed only by those who receive exaltation. Exalted persons gain the fullness of the Father; they have all power, all knowledge, and all wisdom; they gain a fullness of truth, becoming one with the Father. All other persons are assigned lesser places in the mansions that are prepared, and their progression is not eternal and unlimited but in a specified sphere. There will be truths such persons never learn, powers they never possess. They are "ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory," and they so continue "to all eternity, and ... forever and ever." (D. & C. 132: 16-17.)

Those who gain exaltation, having thus enjoyed the fullness of eternal progression, become like God. It should be realized that God is not progressing in knowledge, truth, virtue, wisdom, or any of the attributes of godliness. He has already gained these things in their fullness. But he is progressing in the sense that his creations increase, his dominions expand, his spirit offspring multiply, and more kingdoms are added to his domains. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 5-10.)

*Eternal Punishment

Eternal Punishment


*Eternal Round

Eternal Round


*Eternal Torment

Eternal Torment





In general, eternity refers to the eternal worlds, to the spheres of existence outside the realm of time, those outside the temporal limitations circumscribing mortal life on this earth. Spirit beings and immortal persons live in eternity; mortal man lives in time. Eternity goes on forever and is of infinite duration; time is of finite proportions, beginning for each person at birth and ending at death. (D. & C. 38:12, 20; 39:22; 72:3; 109:24; 132:17.) Properly performed priesthood ordinances are binding in time and in eternity. (D.& C. 132:7, 18-19, 49.) Faithful saints are promised the riches and the wonders of eternity (D.&C. 38:39; 67:2; 68:31; 76:8; 78:18); the sons of perdition are destined to go "with the devil and his angels in eternity." (D. & C. 76:33, 44.)

Because he is an eternal Being, God dwells "in the high and holy place" in eternity. He is "the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy." (Isa. 57:15.) He "sitteth upon his throne, is in the bosom of eternity, in the midst of all things." (D. & C. 88:13.) And it is he who "looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made." (D. & C. 38:1.)

*Eternity to Eternity

Eternity to Eternity


As men view things from their mortal perspective, there was a past eternity and there will be a future eternity. The past eternity embraced the sphere of eternal existence which all men had as the spirit offspring of exalted parents in pre-existence. The future eternity will be that eternal sphere in which the righteous, having gained both immortality and eternal life, will themselves become exalted parents and have a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D. & C. 132:19-25.) In this sense, eternity becomes a measure of eternal "time." Those past ages when all men dwelt in the presence of their Eternal Father were one eternity, and those future ages when these spirit children will have gone on to exaltation, having spirit children of their own, will be another eternity.

Having in mind this eternal, unending repetition of the eternal plan of creation, redemption, and salvation, it is plain what our Lord meant when he said he was "from all eternity to all eternity" (D. & C. 39:1), and also when he said of himself, "From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail." (D. & C. 76:4.) In other words Christ, as an eternal, exalted Being, never varies; from one eternity to the next he is the same. From pre-existence to pre-existence his course goes on in one eternal round, and so will it be with all exalted beings. Those who become gods will then be from eternity to eternity, everlastingly the same, always possessing the fullness of all things and multiplying their race without end. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. l,pp. 10-12.)




Principles of right conduct are called ethics. Ethical principles grow out of the teachings of Christianity; some of them are instilled into the consciences of men by the light of Christ. The only real superiority of the apostate sects of Christendom over their more openly pagan counterparts is the fact that the Christian sects (though rejecting the doctrines, ordinances, and powers of the gospel) have nonetheless preserved many of the ethical teachings of Christ and the apostles.

The more gospel doctrines accepted by a particular people, the higher are their ethical standards. Thus the highest manifestation of ethical achievement is found among the true saints.




One of the sacraments of the Catholic Church is the Eucharist. As administered by them this is not the correct form of the true ordinance of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The chief feature of the Eucharist - according to their teaching - is that bread and wine, on the principle of transubstantiation, turn literally into the flesh and blood of our Lord. (James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, pp. 235-250.)




In a passage of uncertain accuracy and meaning, our Lord said: "There are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake." (Matt. 19:12.) Apparently those who made themselves eunuchs were men who in false pagan worship had deliberately mutilated themselves with the expectancy that such would further their salvation. It is clear that such was not a true gospel requirement of any sort. There is no such thing in the gospel as willful emasculation; such a notion violates true principles of procreation and celestial marriage.

Eunuchs who are righteous and keep the commandments are heirs of the fullness of the Father's kingdom. (Isa. 56:1-8.) One of the most dramatic conversions and baptisms recorded in the scripture is that of the eunuch by Philip. (Acts 8:26-39.)

*Evangelical Ministers

Evangelical Ministers





1. "An evangelist is a patriarch," the Prophet said, "even the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham. Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the saints, as it was with Jacob in giving his patriarchal blessing unto his sons." (Teachings, p. 151; Gen. 49; Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11-14; 2 Tim. 4:5.)

Stake patriarchs are chosen pursuant to the following revelation: "It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation." (D. & C. 107:39.) The office of Evangelist or Patriarch to the Church is hereditary; it "was confined to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seeds, to whom the promises were made. (D. & C. 107:40-53.)

2. Having lost the true knowledge of the priesthood and its of offices, and knowing nothing of patriarchal blessings as a necessary part of church administration, the false traditions of the sectarian world have applied the designation evangelist to traveling preachers, missionaries, and revivalists. The sectarian theory is that evangelists travel to spread the gospel. This usage of the term is so widespread that even in the Church it is not inappropriate to speak of the evangelical work of missionaries.




Scant knowledge is available to us of Eve (the wife of Adam) and her achievements in pre-existence and in mortality. Without question she was like unto her mighty husband Adam in intelligence and in devotion to righteousness during both her first and second estates of existence. She was placed on earth in the same manner as was Adam, the Mosaic account of the Lord creating her from Adam's rib being merely figurative. (Moses 3:20-25.)

Eve was the first woman; she became the mother of the whole human race, her very name signifying "mother of all living." (Moses 4:26; 1 Ne. 5:11.) Strictly speaking it was she who first partook of the forbidden fruit, with the resultant change in the physical body from a state of immortality to mortality. Adam thereafter partook in order to comply with the command to multiply and fill the earth with posterity. "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Tim. 2: 14.)

Before the fall Eve was sealed to Adam in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, a ceremony performed by the Lord before death entered the world and therefore one destined to last forever. (Moses 3:20-25.) After the fall the Lord said to her: "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." (Moses 4:22.)

One of the most perfect summaries of the plan of salvation ever given fell from the lips of Eve: "Were it not for our transgression," she said, "we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." (Moses 5:11.) Indeed, Eve is a joint-participant with Adam in all his ministry, and will inherit jointly with him all the blessings appertaining to his high state of exaltation.




1 . In the same sense in which one of the Lord's names is Endless and another Eternal, so Everlasting is also an appellation of Deity. (Moses 1:3; 7:35; D. & C. 19:10.) He is called the Everlasting God (Gen.21:33; Isa. 9:6; 40:28; Jer. 10:10; Rom. 16:26; D. & C. 133:34), signifying that he endures forever, for "his years never fail." (D. & C. 76:4.)

Everlasting, used thus, is a noun and not an adjective; it is the name of the kind, status, and quality of existence enjoyed by an everlasting Being. Accordingly, everlasting life (a synonym for endless life and eternal life) is the name of the kind of life that God lives, or in other words everlasting life is exaltation. (Matt. 19:29; John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47)

2. Everlasting is also used to signify the eternal, lasting, and enduring nature of some particular thing. For instance: the "everlasting covenant" (D. & C. 1:15), "the everlasting gospel" (D. & C. 36:5), "songs of everlasting joy" (D. & C. 45:71), "an everlasting inheritance" (D. & C 57:5), "the everlasting hills." (D.&C. 133:31.)

*Everlasting Covenant

Everlasting Covenant


*Everlasting Damnation

Everlasting Damnation


*Everlasting Father

Everlasting Father


One of Isaiah's great Messianic prophecies names Christ as "The everlasting Father" (Isa. 9:6), an expression having reference both to our Lord's everlasting godhood and to the special senses in which he stands as the Father. Since God the Father is both an everlasting Being and the Father of the spirits of men, he also may properly be called the Everlasting Father.

*Everlasting God

Everlasting God


Both the Father and the Son are known by the sacred name-title, Everlasting God. (Gen. 21:33; Isa. 9:6; 40:28; Jer. 10:10; Rom. 16:26; D. & C. 133:34.) Carrying as it does a connotation of eternal continuance and unending existence, this designation of Deity points up the sharp contrast between the living Gods and the false and temporary gods of the world.

*Everlasting Gospel

Everlasting Gospel


*Everlasting Hell

Everlasting Hell


*Everlasting King

Everlasting King


*Everlasting Life

Everlasting Life


*Everlasting Punishment

Everlasting Punishment


*Everlasting to Everlasting

Everlasting to Everlasting


By gaining exaltation - which includes the fullness of the Father and "a continuation of the seeds forever and ever" - men become "gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue." (D. & C. 132:19-20.) That is, those who gain eternal increase, who have unending spirit children in the resurrection, have thereby become from everlasting to everlasting. Because of their eternal progeny they continue everlastingly without end; from eternity to eternity they are the same; and being perfected and exalted beings, their course never varies, nor is there shadow of turning to the right or the left.

Our Eternal Father, of course, now has this kind of an existence. "There is a God in heaven," the revelation says, of him "who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God." (D. & C. 20:17; 109:77.) Christ also describes himself as being "from everlasting to everlasting." (D. & C. 61:1; Ps. 90:2; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 10-12.)

*Everlasting Torment

Everlasting Torment





Evil is the opposite of good; it consists in disobeying the laws of God. It is of the devil. Everything which is fostered, inspired, and spread forth by the power of the Evil One is in its nature evil. Accordingly, evil is that which is morally corrupt, wicked, and bad; which neither edifies nor enlightens; which chooses darkness and secrecy to cover its doings; which is destructive of faith, good morals, and godly virtues; which is in opposition to all righteousness; which leads away from God and from salvation. Evil is sin, transgression, unrighteousness, wickedness.

Philosophers and certain religionists are forever seeking to find the origin and purpose of evil, but until they accept the gospel truths, they will never succeed. To understand the nature and source of evil, together with its place in the eternal scheme of things, it is necessary to know the basic truths of the great plan of salvation.

As far as men on this earth are concerned, evil had its beginning in pre-existence. The Eternal Father begat spirit children, ordained laws to enable them to progress and endowed them with agency. Disobedience to those laws was in its nature evil, and consequently without the possibility of committing evil there could be no hope of progression toward exaltation. Lucifer and one-third of the spirit hosts of heaven chose evil rather than good, failed to exercise their agency in righteousness, and finally coming out in open rebellion against the Lord, they were cast out onto the earth and denied bodies. (Moses 4:1-4; Abra. 3:24-28; D. & C. 29:36-40; Rev. 12:7-13.)

Continuing their rebellion against God, their self-appointed mission is to entice men to violate the laws of God and thereby commit evil and be damned. Thus, as far as this mortal life is concerned, Lucifer is the author and creator of evil. "That which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually." (Moro. 7:12.) "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (Jas. 1:13.)

The presence of evil in this world, with the ever present possibility that each accountable person may do that which is evil, becomes a basic reality without which the great plan of salvation would not operate. "It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things," Lehi said. (2 Ne. 2:11.) Without virtue in contrast to vice, good as the opposite of bad, and evil as the opponent of righteousness, men would not be able to overcome the lusts of the flesh and thus work out their own salvation in the kingdom of God. Thus the existence but not the partaking of evil is essential to the attainment of salvation.

As part of the gospel plan, men are commanded: "Forsake all evil and cleave unto all good" (D. & C. 98: 1 1); "cease to do evil" (D. & C. 124: 116); "Keep yourselves from evil." (D. & C. 136:21.) "Deliver us from evil," is the approved petition for divine grace as it is found in the Lord's prayer. (Matt. 6:13.)

"The wicked," those "who are evil," those who choose "evil works rather than good," shall be thrust down to hell to suffer the torments of the damned until they have paid the penalty for their evil deeds. (Alma 40:13-14.) At the end of their imprisonment they shall come forth in the resurrection of the unjust to receive a telestial inheritance. (D. & C. 76:17, 105-106.)

*Evil One

Evil One


Satan is the Evil One, a name-title signifying that he is the embodiment of all evil and all wickedness, that he is in opposition to all righteousness, and that he is the father of lies and the author of evil. (2 Ne. 4:27; 9:28; Alma 46:8; Hela. 12:4; Ether 8:25.) "Light and truth forsake that evil one." (D. & C. 93:37.) His mission is "to destroy the souls of men." (Hela. 8:28.) Sorceries, witchcrafts, magics, and every form of evil abomination are wrought by "the power of the evil one." (Mom. 1:19.)

*Evil Spirits

Evil Spirits


Lucifer is not alone; one-third of the spirit hosts of heaven, having been cast out with him, stand at his side to do his bidding. Their mission is to make war with the saints and to destroy the souls of all men. (Rev. 12.) Obviously there are many evil spirits available to seduce and lead astray each person on earth.

Acting in conformity with laws which exist, evil spirits have power to tempt men, to entice them to work wickedness, and to induce them to do those things which are carnal, sensual, and devilish. Revelations come to men just as easily from devils as they do from holy sources. By rebellion and wickedness men may commune with evil spirits, whereas by obedience and righteousness they might have seen angels and had the communion of the Holy Spirit. All these things are governed by law.

Evil spirits control much of the so-called religious worship in the world; for instance, the great creeds of Christendom were formulated so as to conform to their whispered promptings. They have played a substantial part in the formulation of the philosophies of the world; so-called scientific theories have been influenced by them. By hearkening to their promptings, leaders of nations have led their peoples into wars and every sort of evil.

Whether they know it or not, Satan is and has been the master of all who live after the manner of the world. Stalin, for instance (though he may not have been aware of the source of his ideas), seemed to have been influenced by evil spirits in the direction of the murderous and barbarous course he pursued both in his home Russia and in the nations of the earth.

To his saints the Lord says; "Ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils." (D. & C. 46;7.)




Of the several theories, postulated in one age or another to explain (without the aid of revelation) the origin of man and the various forms of life, none has taken such hold or found such widespread acceptance as the relatively modem so-called theory of organic evolution. Stated generally, this theory assumes that over long periods of times, and through a series of changes, all present living organisms or groups of organisms have acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish them. The theory assumes that all present animals and plants have their origin in other pre-existing types, the distinguishable differences being due to modifications in successive generations. One or more common origins for all forms of life are assumed.

From the day of their first announcement, these theories of organic evolution found themselves in conflict with the principles of revealed religion as such are found recorded in the scriptures and expounded by inspired teachers. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. I, pp. 139-151.)

President John Taylor wrote as follows; "The animal and vegetable creations are governed by certain laws, and are composed of certain elements peculiar to themselves. This applies to man, to the beasts, fowls, fish and creeping things, to the insects and to all animated nature; each one possessing its own distinctive features, each requiring a specific sustenance, each having an organism and faculties governed by prescribed laws to perpetuate its own kind. So accurate is the formation of the various living creatures that an intelligent student of nature can tell by any particular bone of the skeleton of an animal to what class or order it belongs.

"These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. ... If we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God; and being his son, he is, of course, his offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryotic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father - a God; being indeed his offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate his.

"Paul, in speaking on the resurrection, refers to the different qualities of flesh as follows: 'But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, and another of fishes, and another of birds.' (1 Cor. 15:38-39.)

"These different qualities seem to be inherent in the several species, as much so as the properties of silver, gold, copper, iron, and other minerals are inherent in the matter in which they are contained, whilst herbs, according to their kind, possess their specific properties, or as the leading properties of earth, air, and water, are distinct from one another; and hence, on physiological grounds, this principle being admitted, and it cannot be controverted, it would be impossible to take the tissues of the lower, or, indeed, of any order of fishes, and make of them an ox, a bird, or a man; as impossible as it would be to take iron and make it into gold, silver, or copper, or to produce any other changes in the laws which govern any kind of matter. And when the resurrection and exaltation of man shall be consummated, although more pure, refined and glorious, yet will he still be in the same image, and have the same likeness, without variation or change in any of his parts or faculties, except the substitution of spirit for blood." (Mediation and Atonement, pp. 160-161.)

This aptly expressed and plainly worded statement from President John Taylor expresses the same views and perspective found in the writings and sermons of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, Parley P. Pratt, Charles W. Penrose, and many of our early day inspired writers. (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 1-563.)

The First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund), in November, 1909, issued a formal pronouncement under the title, "The Origin of Man," in which, as they expressed it, is set forth "the position held by the Church" upon the subject of evolution. After explaining the scriptural passages relative to the creation and pre-existence, this document concludes:

"Adam, our great progenitor, 'the first man,' was, like Christ, a pre-existent spirit, and like Christ, he took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a 'living soul.' The doctrine of the pre-existence, revealed so plainly, particularly in latter-days, pours a wonderful flood of light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of man's origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body to undergo an experience in mortality. It teaches that all men existed in the spirit before any man existed in the flesh, and that all who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner.

"It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was 'the first man of all men' (Moses 1:34), and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of the race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; and whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our heavenly Father.

"True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ or embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man.

"Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam's race - God alone can reveal them. Some of these facts, however, are already known, and what has been made known it is our duty to receive and retain.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modem, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. God himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By his almighty power he organized the earth, and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist co-eternally with himself. He formed every plant that grows, and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally - 'that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal, and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual.' He made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant; but he did not make them in his own image, nor endow them with Godlike reason and intelligence. Nevertheless, the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the hereafter, each class in its 'destined order or sphere.' and will enjoy 'eternal felicity.' That fact has been made plain in this dispensation. (D. & C. 77:3.)

"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." (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 354-355.)

Obviously there never will be a conflict between truths revealed in the realm of religion and those discovered by scientific research. Truth is ever in harmony with itself. But if false doctrines creep into revealed religion, these will run counter to the discovered truths of science; and if false scientific theories are postulated, these ultimately will be overthrown by the truths revealed from Him who knows all things.

Sometimes persons having a knowledge of the revealed truths of salvation and of the evolutionistic theories of the day keep these two branches of knowledge divided between separate mental compartments. Their purpose seems to be to avoid resolving the obvious conflicts which otherwise would arise. Truth, however, is truth, and ultimately every believing person must channel his mental processes so that proper choices are made as between the truths of salvation and the theories of men. Perhaps it will be profitable to list a few of the basic, revealed truths concerning the origin and destiny of man and of all life - truths which are not taken into consideration by evolutionists in their theorizing and which, in most instances, are diametrically opposed to the speculative conclusions reached by them.

1. GOD: CREATOR AND RULER OF MANY WORLDS. - While it is true that evolutionists may be divided between theistic and atheistic groups, yet most of those professing belief in God consider him to be an indefinable force, essence, or power of an incomprehensible nature. According to revelation, however, he is a personal Being, a holy and exalted Man, a glorified, resurrected Personage having a tangible body of flesh and bones, an anthropomorphic Entity, the personal Father of the spirits of all men. (D. & C. 130:22-23; Moses 6:51, 57; Abra. 3:22-24; Jos. Smith 2: 16-19.)

This Person, in whose image and likeness man is created, has ordained the same plan of creation and salvation for this earth, and all the varieties of life on its face, that he has ordained with reference to the infinite number of worlds elsewhere created by him. (Moses 1; D. & C. 76:22-24.) Obviously the eternal truths concerning the nature of the true God and his creative enterprises have received no consideration in the formulation of the theory of organic evolution.

2. PRE-EXISTENCE. - Life did not originate on this earth; it was transplanted from other and older spheres. Men are the literal spirit children, spirit offspring, of the Eternal Father; they were born to him as his spirit progeny, as spirit entities having bodies made of a more pure and refined substance than that comprising these mortal tabernacles.

Further, every form of life had a spirit existence in that eternal world before it came to dwell naturally upon the face of the earth; and that prior existence, for all forms of life, was one in which the spirit entity had the exact form and likeness of its present temporal body. Animals, plants, fowls, fishes, all forms of life existed as spirit entities in pre-existence; their number, extent, variety, and form were known with exactitude before ever the foundations of this earth were laid. They were all destined to live in their time and season upon this particular globe. (Moses 3:1-9; D. & C. 77:1-2.) There was no chance whatever connected with the creative enterprises. All things were foreknown to that God who fathered man in his own image and who created all other forms of life for the benefit and blessing of man. Evolutionary speculation takes no account of any such revealed knowledge as this.

3. EARTH CREATED IN A PARADISIACAL STATE. - This earth, when first it rolled forth from the Creator's hand, was in a paradisaical or terrestrial state. This condition, which does not now prevail, will be restored when the earth is "renewed" (made new again) and receives its paradisaical glory. (Tenth Article of Faith.)

In its primeval, edenic state all of the earth's surface was in one place (Moses 2:9); thorns, thistles, briars and noxious weeds had not yet begun to grow on it; rather, all plant and animal life was desirable, congenial, and designed to provide for man (earth's crowning inhabitant) a fruitful, peaceful garden in which to dwell. It was not a condition attained by progressive, creative evolvement from less propitious situations; it was creation in its glory, beauty, and perfection; hence, the Lord God pronounced it "very good." The fall to present conditions was to come later. (Parley P. Pratt, Voice of Warning, chapter 5.)

Bearing on this general theme that the earth was created in its glory and perfection, in a higher type of existence than it now enjoys, is the revealed fact that, as is the case with man, the earth itself is passing through a plan of salvation. It was created (the equivalent of birth); it fell to its present mortal or telestial state; it was baptized by immersion, when the universal flood swept over its entire surface (Ether 13:2-1 1); it will be baptized by fire (the equivalent of baptism of the Spirit) in the day when it is renewed and receives its paradisaical glory; it will die; and finally it will be quickened (or resurrected) and become a celestial sphere. Evolutionary theories take no account of any of this.

4. TEMPORAL CREATION OF MAN AND ALL LIFE. - Adam and Eve and all forms of life, both animal and plant, were created in immortality, that is, when first placed on this earth, all forms of life were in a state of immortality. There was no death in the world; death entered after the fall. All things existed in a state of primeval innocence. If conditions had not changed, death would not have entered the picture. Instead, as the revelations express it, "All things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end." (2 Ne. 2:22.)

The recorded teachings of many of the early brethren of the Church bear this same testimony. Orson Pratt, for instance, has left us such apt expressions as these: "When the Lord made the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, to people the atmospheric heavens, or the watery elements, these fowls and fishes were so constructed in their nature as to be capable of eternal existence. . . . Man, when he was first placed upon this earth, was an immortal being, capable of eternal endurance; his flesh and bones, as well as his spirit, were immortal and eternal in their nature; and it was just so with all the inferior creation - the lion, the leopard, the kid and the cow; it was so with the feathered tribes of creation, as well as those that swim in the vast ocean of waters; all were immortal and eternal in their nature; and the earth itself as a living being, was immortal and eternal in its nature. . . . The earth was so constructed that it was capable of existing as a living being to all eternity, with all the swarms of animals, fowls, and fishes that were first placed upon the face thereof ... If there had been no sin, our father Adam would at this day have been in the Garden of Eden, as bright and as blooming, as fresh and as fair, as ever, together with his lovely consort Eve, dwelling in all the beauty of youth." (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 388-396.)

After this temporal creation, this creation of all forms of life in a state of immortality, the Lord God issued the decree that all created life should remain in the sphere in which it was after it was created. Further, having in mind the coming fall and consequent entrance of death and mortality into the world, the Lord in that first primeval day commanded that all forms of life, after mortality entered the picture, should bring forth posterity, each after its own kind. (Moses 2; 3.) These principles accord with the one announced by Paul that "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." (1 Cor. 15:39.)

If the revelations are true which say that all life was created in immortality, then evolutionary theories which necessarily assume there was always death in the world are false.

5. FALL OF ADAM AND ALL THINGS. - Before the fall there was neither death nor procreation. Plants, animals, and man would have continued living forever unless a change of condition overtook them; and in their then immortal condition they could not have reproduced, each after its own kind. Death and procreation pertain to mortality, that is, to the status and type of existence attained by all forms of life subsequent to the fall.

Lehi said: "If Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall." (2 Ne. 2:22-26.)

Eve expressed the same truth in this language: "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." (Moses 5:1 1.)

Adam's fall brought temporal (natural) and spiritual death into the world. The temporal or natural death means that body and spirit separate, the spirit going to a world of waiting spirits to await the day of the resurrection, the body returning to the dust, the primal element, from which it was taken. The effects of this fall passed upon all created things. "Adam was appointed Lord of this creation," Orson Pratt says, "a great governor, swaying the scepter of power over the whole earth. When the governor, the person who was placed to reign over this fair creation, had transgressed, all in his dominion had to feel the effects of it, the same as a father or a mother, who transgresses certain laws, frequently transmits the effects thereof to the latest generations." (Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 395.)

Thus when man fell the earth fell together with all forms of life on its face. Death entered; procreation began; the probationary experiences of mortality had their start. Before this fall there was neither mortality, nor birth, nor death, nor - for that matter - did Adam so much as have blood in his veins (and the same would be true for other forms of life), for blood is an element pertaining only to mortality. (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 362-365; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 76-77.)

Obviously, the whole doctrine of the fall, and all that pertains to it, is diametrically opposed to the evolutionary assumptions relative to the origin of species.

6. ATONEMENT OF CHRIST. - Our Lord's atoning sacrifice is the cornerstone on which the whole gospel of salvation rests. For this atonement to come to pass, two things were necessary: 1. Christ had to come into the world as the literal Son of an immoral, personal Father, a Father who had life in himself and from who in his offspring in mortality would inherit power over death (John 10:7-18); 2. The fall of Adam had to introduce temporal and spiritual death into the world, for the atonement in its very nature was designed to ransom all things that fell from the effects of that fall. All forms of life are ransomed from the temporal effects of the fall in that they are resurrected and become immortal.

Now if Adam did not fall and bring death into the world, there would be no need for the atoning sacrifice of Christ. If there were no atonement to ransom fallen beings and creatures from the effects of the fall, there would be no resurrection, no immortality, no salvation, no eternal life; and if all these things should vanish away, we could discard God himself and our faith would be vain.

7. ADAM'S PLACE IN PLAN OF SALVATION. - Father Adam was the mightiest and most intelligent spirit son of God, save Jesus (Jehovah) only, among all the pre-existent hosts destined to come to this earth. (D. & C. 78:15-16.) When there was war in heaven following Lucifer's rebellion, Adam led the armies of the righteous in casting out the rebels. (Rev. 12:7-10.) When the populating of the earth was to commence, Adam came to fill his foreordained mission and stand as the first man of all men. He was placed in the Garden of Eden, fell in due course from his state of immortality and innocence, and became the first mortal flesh on earth. (Moses 2; 3.) There were no pre-Adamites.

Any assumption to the contrary runs counter to the whole plan and scheme of the Almighty in creating and peopling this earth.

As a mortal man, Adam held the priesthood, had the fullness of the gospel, heard the voice of God and saw his face, received the ministration of angels, held the keys of the kingdom, enjoyed the gifts of the Spirit, was an intelligent and wise as any man (save Jesus only) who has ever lived; and, finally, having filled the full measure of his creation, he has gone on to his exaltation and glory in all things, and he will reign as a prince and ruler over his posterity forever. He and other men of his day enjoyed abundant spiritual endowments and possessed physical bodies superior to those of any men now on earth. Many, including Adam, lived nearly a thousand years on earth. (Moses 6; D. & C. 107:40-52.)

It is vain to belittle Adam and attempt to place him but a step ahead of some lower form of creature. Revelation speaks to the contrary. And, of course, the reasoning that concerns us here is: No Adam, no fall; no fall, no atonement; no atonement, no true religion, no purpose in life.

8. AGE OF THE EARTH. - Evolutionary theories assume that hundreds of millions of years were involved, first in the creation of the earth as a habitable globe, and again in the evolution of spontaneously generated, single celled forms of life into the complex and multitudinous forms of life now found on its face. We have rather specific scriptural indications that the creative period was of relatively short duration. The record says: "It was after the Lord's time, which was after the time of Kolob" (one day on which planet is equal to a thousand years of our time); "for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning." (Abra. 5:13.)

However, for our present purposes, it is sufficient to know that the time element since mortal life began on earth is specifically and pointedly made known. We are now nearing the end of the 6th thousand years of this earth's "continuance, or its temporal existence," and the millennial era will commence "in the beginning of the seventh thousand years." (D. & C. 77.) That is, we are approaching the end of the 6th of the periods of one thousand years each, all of which periods have occurred since the fall, since the earth became temporal, since it gained its telestial status, since it became the natural earth that we know, since death and mortality entered the scene. Thus the period during which birth, and life, and death have been occurring on this earth is less than 6,000 years.

9. FUTURE DESTINY OF THE EARTH AND LIFE THEREON. - According to evolutionary theories, life will continue on this sphere with such changes, mutations, and developments as circumstances and environments require. Actually, however, future events involving the earth and all living things thereon will be as dramatic and divergent from what finite intellects might assume as past events have been. Our knowledge of these future events - events in no sense harmonious with progressive evolutionary development - gives us an entirely different perspective relative to the origin and development of species than the one assumed by evolutionists.

For instance: Evolutionary theories have no place in them for the imminent Second Advent of our Lord, a coming which will usher in the millennial era of peace. These theories give no consideration to the revealed facts that the elements are to melt with fervent heat when Christ comes; that "every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of the heavens, or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed" (D. & C. 101:24); that the earth will then be renewed, returning again to that paradisaical state which prevailed before the fall; that the enmity of man and of beasts will cease; and that there will be no more death as we know it, men living instead (freed from disease and sickness) until they are an hundred years old when they will be changed to immortality in the twinkling of an eye. (D. & C. 101:23-32.)

Further: These theories take no account of the resurrection from the dead, that eventual status when all men (and all forms of life, every living thing that has ever breathed the breath of life, every animal, fish, fowl, or what have you!) will come forth as immortal, resurrected beings and creatures. (D. & C. 29:22-26; 77:1-3.) Nor do these theories give consideration to the fact that this earth itself is to pass through changes equivalent to death and resurrection, finally becoming a celestial sphere which will burn like the sun in the firmament, a planet on whose surface only celestial beings will then be able to live. (D. & C. 88:14-28; 130:7-9.)

How weak and puerile the intellectuality which, knowing that the Lord's plan takes all forms of life from a pre-existent spirit state, through mortality, and on to an ultimate resurrected state of immortality, yet finds comfort in the theoretical postulates that mortal life began in the scum of the sea, as it were, and has through eons of time evolved to its present varieties and state! Do those with spiritual insight really think that the infinite Creator of worlds without number would operate in this way?

10. EVOLUTION AND SPIRITUAL THINGS IN GENERAL. - Merely to list the basic doctrines of the gospel is to point out the revealed truths which are inharmonious with the theories of organic evolution and which were to taken into account by those who postulated those theories, hi addition to the considerations so far mentioned attention might be given to revelation, visions, and angelic ministrations; to miracles, signs, and gifts of the Spirit; to the enjoyment of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the faithful; to the truths comprising the plan of salvation; to the decreed judgment according to works, and the ultimate assignment of all resurrected men to kingdoms or degrees of glory hereafter.

There is no harmony between the truths of revealed religion and the theories of organic evolution.




Celestial marriage is the gate to exaltation, and exaltation consists in the continuation of the family unit in eternity. Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life which God lives. Those who obtain it gain an inheritance in the highest of three heavens within the celestial kingdom. (D. & C. 131:1-4.)

They have eternal increase, a continuation of the seeds forever and ever, a continuation of the lives, eternal lives; that is, they have spirit children in the resurrection, in relation to which offspring they stand in the same position that God our Father stands to us. They inherit in due course the fullness of the glory of the Father, meaning that they have all power in heaven and on earth. (D. & C. 76:50-60; 93:1-40.) "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power and the angels are subject unto them." (D. & C. 132:16-26; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 35-79.)

Although salvation may be defined in many ways to mean many things, in its most pure and perfect definition it is a synonym for exaltation. This was the way in which the Prophet used it when he left us this inspired explanation: "Where shall we find a prototype into whose likeness we may be assimilated, in order that we may be made partakers of life and salvation? or, in other words, where shall we find a saved being? for if we can find a saved being, we may ascertain without much difficulty what all others must be in order to be saved. We think that it will not be a matter of dispute, that two beings who are unlike each other cannot be saved; for whatever constitutes the salvation of one will constitute the salvation of every creature which will be saved; and if we find one saved being in all existence, we may see what others must be, or else not be saved.

"We ask, then, where is the prototype? or where is the saved being? We conclude, as to the answer of this question, there will be no dispute among those who believe the Bible, that it is Christ: all will agree in this, that he is the prototype or standard of salvation; or, in other words, that he is a saved being. And if we should continue our interrogation and ask how it is that he is saved, the answer would be - because he is a just and holy being; and if he were anything different from what he is, he would not be saved; for his salvation depends on his being precisely what he is and nothing else; for if it were possible for him to change, in the least degree, so sure he would fail of salvation and lose all his dominion, power, authority, and glory, which constitute salvation; for salvation consists in the glory, authority, majesty, power and dominion which Jehovah possesses and in nothing else; and no being can possess it but himself or one like him."

After quoting many passages of scripture the record of the Prophet's teachings continues: "These teachings of the Savior most clearly show unto us the nature of salvation, and what he proposed unto the human family when he proposed to save them - that he proposed to make them like unto himself, and he was like the Father, the great prototype of all saved beings; and for any portion of the human family to be assimilated into their likeness is to be saved and to be unlike them is to be destroyed and on this hinge turns the door of salvation." (Lectures on Faith, pp. 63-67.)

*Exaltation for the Dead

Exaltation for the Dead


*Exaltation of Children

Exaltation of Children


*Exalted Man

Exalted Man








Whenever, as is presently the case, there is a separation of Church and state, then the highest punishment which the Church can impose upon its members is excommunication. This consists in cutting the person off from the Church so that he is no longer a member. Every blessing of the gospel is thereby lost, and unless the excommunicated person repents and gains his church status again, he cannot be saved in the celestial kingdom. (1 Tim. 1:20; Matt. 18:15-19; 1 Cor. 5:1-5.)

Apostasy, rebellion, cruelty to wives and children, immorality, and all crimes involving moral turpitude, are among those which warrant excommunication. The Lord imposes upon church officers the responsibility to handle every such case of transgression. If there is honest contrition of soul, frank confession of sin, and complete repentance therefrom, the transgressor's membership is not taken from him. But "him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them not," the Lord says, "ye shall bring before the church and do with him as the scripture saith unto you, either by commandment or by revelation. And this ye shall do that God may be glorified - not because ye forgive not, having no compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver - Verily I say, for this cause ye shall do these things." (D. & C. 64:12-13.)

"The way of transgressors is hard." (Prov. 13:15.) When they turn from the light, their curse is far worse than it would have been had they never known the truth. (D. & C. 41: 1; 76:29:37; 82: 1-7; 104:8-9; 121:13-25.) But if they have not sinned unto death, and if they do repent, there is yet hope. By baptism, entrance can again be gained into the Church of our Lord, and following testing and faithfulness all their former blessings may be restored.




Christ is the great Exemplar. With reference to "all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations" (D. & C. 132:7) - that is, in all things - he leads the way and sets an example for his brethren. "Follow thou me," is his cry. (2 Ne. 31:10.) "What manner of men ought ye to be?" he asked; and then answered: "Verily I say unto you, even as I am." (3 Ne. 27:27.)







In imitation of the true order whereby devils are cast out of people, false ministers (having no actual priesthood power) attempt to cast them out by exorcism. This ungodly practice was probably more common anciently than it is now, because few people today believe either in miracles or in the casting out of literal devils. But over the years it has not been uncommon for so-called priests to attempt to expel evil spirits from persons or drive them away from particular locations by incantations, conjuration, or adjuration. Commonly some holy name is used in these false rituals.

Having seen Paul cast out devils in the power and majesty of his priesthood, "certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took" it upon themselves to imitate the divine practice. Commanding the devil to come out of a possessed person, they said: "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth." Thereupon the devil said to the seven sorcerers who so acted: "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?" Then "the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." (Acts 19:11-16.) This scriptural account is symbolical of the final overthrow of all those who practice exorcism.







Our Lord's atoning sacrifice complied with the law of expiation in that, through his suffering and death, a way and means was provided so that the guilt and sins of the faithful might be extinguished. Expiation is the act of making satisfaction or atonement for sin; it is the extinguishing of guilt by suffering or penalty. This is the very thing which Christ did for all men, on conditions of repentance, when he took upon himself the sins of the world.




Christ is the great Expiator the one whose sufferings and death paid the penalty for the sins of those who believe and obey the laws of the gospel. An expiator is one who expiates or extinguishes guilt by suffering the prescribed penalty, thus atoning or making complete satisfaction where the broken law is concerned.

*Extreme Unction

Extreme Unction


One of the sacraments of the Catholic Church is called Extreme Unction. It is administered by a priest to one in danger of death and includes both the application of oil to his organs of sense and the recital of prayers. It is a false form of the true ordinance of administering to the sick, which true ordinance is effective in healing the sick in the household of faith. But this substitute practice is in a very real sense an anointing unto death and not unto life. According to the official Catholic explanation, it is "spiritual medicine which diminishes the terrors of death, comforts the dying Christian, fortifies the soul in its final struggle, and purifies it for its passage from time to eternity." (James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, pp. 314-316.)




*(F )




All false doctrines are fables. That is, they are stories which have been imagined, fabricated, and invented as opposed to the gospel which is real and true. (2 Pet. 1:16.) Apostasy consists in turning from true doctrine to fables. Paul said: "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim. 4: 1-4; 1 Tim. 1 :3-4; 4:7.)










In teaching the laws and principles surrounding the subject of faith, Joseph Smith outlined his presentation under three heads: L "Faith itself - what it is"; 2. "The object on which it rests"; and 3. "The effects which flow from it."

By way of definition, the Prophet taught that faith is "the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness." After quoting Paul's affirmation, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 1 1:1), he said, "From this we learn that faith is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen, and the principle of action in all intelligent beings." Continuing his analysis, the Prophet affirmed: "Faith is . . . the moving cause of all action in . . . intelligent beings. And as faith is the moving cause of all action in temporal concerns, so it is in spiritual. . . . But faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth. . . . Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God. Without it there is no power, and without power there could be no creation nor existence. . . . How would you define faith in its most unlimited sense? It is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things." (Lectures on Faith, pp. 1-8.)

Faith is based on truth and is preceded by knowledge. Until a person gains a knowledge of the truth he can have no faith. Alma said, "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." (Alma 32:21; Ether 12:6.) Thus faith is a hope in that which is not seen which is true, and accordingly it can enter the heart of man only after he has received the truth.

Faith unto life and salvation centers in Christ. There is no salvation in that general principle of faith alone, that moving cause of action, which causes the father to plant his seed with the unseen hope that it will bear grain. But there is faith unto salvation when Christ is the focal point in which the unseen hope centers. Accordingly the Prophet explained "that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation." These he named as: 1. "The idea that he actually exists"; 2. "A correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes"; and 3. "An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to his will."

It follows that a knowledge of the true and living God is the beginning of faith unto life and salvation, "for faith could not center in a being of whose existence we have no idea, because the idea of his existence in the first instance is essential to the exercise of faith in him." (Lectures on Faith, p. 33.) So a belief in a false god can engender no faith in the human breast. If a person believes that an idol is God, or that Deity is a power or essence that fills the immensity of space, or if he has any other false concept, he stops himself from gaining faith, because faith is a hope in that which is not seen which is true. Faith and truth cannot be separated; if there is to be faith, saving faith, faith unto life and salvation, faith that leads to the celestial world there must first be truth.

Not only is a true knowledge of God a condition precedent to the acquirement of this faith, but faith can be exercised only by those who conform to the principles of truth which come from the true God who actually exists. For instance, the Prophet, discoursing upon the great plan of redemption and the sacrifices offered to typify the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, explained that Abel's sacrifice was accepted because it conformed to the true pattern. Then he said: "Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. ... As the sacrifice was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared, to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of the atonement instituted after that order; consequently, Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin." (Teachings, p. 58.) On this same principle no one can exercise faith, saving faith, faith unto life and salvation, in infant baptism, or in any ordinance or performance that does not conform to revealed truth, for no faith can be exercised "contrary to the plan of heaven."

The Prophet summarizes the character of God under six headings: 1. "He was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was after it was created"; 2. "He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and ... he was so from everlasting, and will be so to everlasting"; 3. "He changes not, neither is there variableness with him, and . . . his course is one eternal round"; 4. "He is a God of truth, and cannot lie"; 5. "He is no respecter of persons"; and 6. "He is love." (Lectures on Faith, p.39.) And any ideas men have relative to these characteristics must be true, if faith is to result.

As pertaining to the attributes of God, the Prophet said: "The real design which the God of heaven had in view in making the human family acquainted with his attributes, was, that they, through the ideas of the existence of his attributes, might be enabled to exercise faith in him, and, through the exercise of faith in him, might obtain eternal life; for without the idea of the existence of the attributes which belong to God the minds of men could not have power to exercise faith in him so as to lay hold upon eternal life. The God of heaven, understanding most perfectly the constitution of human nature, and the weakness of men, knew what was necessary to be revealed, and what ideas must be planted in their minds in order that they might be enabled to exercise faith in him unto eternal life." The attributes of God are listed as: Knowledge; Faith or Power; Justice; Judgment; Mercy; and Truth. (Lectures on Faith, pp. 42-49.)

Relative to the perfections of God, the record says: "What we mean by perfections is, the perfections which belong to all the attributes of his nature." (Lectures on Faith, p. 50.) That is, the perfection of God consists in his possession of all knowledge, all power, all truth, and the fullness of all good things. (D. & C. 93:6-34.) Accordingly, if a person accepts the false heresy that God is progressing or increasing in any of these attributes, that is, does not now possess them in their fullness and perfection, he places a bar across the path leading to a full measure of faith. "Without the knowledge of all things," for instance, as the Prophet expresses it, "God would not be able to save any portion of his creatures; for it is by reason of the knowledge which he has of all things, from the beginning to the end, that enables him to give that understanding to his creatures by which they are made partakers of eternal life; and if it were not for the idea existing in the minds of men that God had all knowledge it would be impossible for them to exercise faith in him." (Lectures on Faith, p. 44; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 1-17.) Obviously those who suppose there is a power or being greater than God (a necessary corollary of the false notion that God is gaining new knowledge or new truth or more power), cannot have full faith in God because there is always the chance that the new knowledge will reverse the order of the past or that the greater power will rescind the eternal decrees of God.

Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God's laws the greater will be the endowment of faith. Hence the Prophet says that to acquire faith men must gain the actual knowledge "that the course of life which they pursue is according to the will of God, in order that they may be enabled to exercise faith in him unto life and salvation. This knowledge supplies an important place in revealed religion; for it was by reason of it that the ancients were enabled to endure as seeing him who is invisible. An actual knowledge to any person, that the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God, is essentially necessary to enable him to have that confidence in God without which no person can obtain eternal life. It was this that enabled the ancient saints to endure all their afflictions and persecutions, and to take joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing (not believing merely) that they had a more enduring substance." (Lectures on Faith, p. 57; Heb. 10:34.)

Miracles, signs, the gifts of the Spirit, the knowledge of God and godliness, and every conceivable good thing - all these are the effects of faith; all of these come because faith has become the ruling force in the lives of the saints. Conversely, where these things are not, faith is not.

In Moroni's language, the reason why God "ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth. For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should any, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned; And these signs shall follow them that believe - in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth." (Morm. 9: 20-25; Mark 16:15-20.)

Mormon taught similarly: "By the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ. And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as sure as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you." Mormon then says that Christ "claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing."

Then, after showing that miracles and the ministering of angels are an eternal part of the gospel of Christ, he asks: "Have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you. Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man. ... If ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church." (Moro. 7:25-39.)

"When faith comes," the Prophet said, "it brings its train of attendants with it - apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth; for these are the effects of faith, and always have, and always will, attend it. For where faith is, there will the knowledge of God be also, with all things which pertain thereto - revelations, visions, and dreams, as well as every necessary thing, in order that the possessors of faith may be perfected, and obtain salvation; for God must change, otherwise faith will prevail with him. And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom, until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent - whom to know is eternal life." (Lectures on Faith, pp. 70-71.)

Again: "Because faith is wanting, the fruits are. No man since the world was had faith without having something along with it. The ancients quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, women received their dead, etc. By faith the worlds were made. A man who has none of the gifts has no faith; and he deceives himself, if he supposes he has. Faith has been wanting, not only among the heathen, but in professed Christendom also, so that tongues, healings, prophecy, and prophets and apostles, and all the gifts and blessings have been wanting." (Teachings, p. 270.)

"Miracles are the fruits of faith," the Prophet said on another occasion. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God. If a man has not faith enough to do one thing, he may have faith to do another: if he cannot remove a mountain, he may heal the sick. Where faith is there will be some of the fruits: all gifts and power which were sent from heaven, were poured out on the heads of those who had faith." (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 355.)

Showing that miracles and signs follow faith and do not precede it, Moroni said: "Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world. But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith. Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God. Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled. For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith. . . . And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." (Ether 12:6-18; Heb. II.)

To gain faith men must first have knowledge; then as their faith increases, they come to a state where it is supplanted by perfect knowledge; and in any field in which perfect knowledge has been gained, "faith is dormant." (Alma 32:21-34.) For instance, a man first comes to a knowledge of the nature and kind of being that Christ is, and he thereby is enabled to gain faith in him. As a result he gains further knowledge about Christ as an effect of faith and by revelation from the Holy Ghost. This knowledge and this faith both increase, supplementing each other, until by the power of faith the veil is rent, the man sees Christ and gains a perfect knowledge of him. Then, as Alma expresses it, "in that thing" his "faith is dominant" (Alma 32:34), although in other things his faith may not yet have blossomed foi1h into perfect knowledge.

The Brother of Jared is one who followed this course until he saw the Lord. As Moroni explained it, "Because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil, therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him." Indeed, "The Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things." (Ether 3: 19-26.)

"And there were many whose faith was so exceeding strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad." (Ether 12:19.) Today as anciently the same effects flow from faith. "It is the privilege of every elder to speak of the things of God," the Prophet said, "and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time." (Teachings, p. 9; D. & C. 93:1.)

*Faith and Works

Faith and Works





*Fallen Man

Fallen Man


After the fall of Adam, man became carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature; he became fallen man.(Moses 5:13; 6:49; Mosiah 16:1-4; Alma 42:10; D. & C. 20:20.) All accountable persons on earth inherit this fallen state, this probationary state, this state in which worldly things seem desirable to the carnal nature. Being in this state, "the natural man is an enemy to God," until he conforms to the great plan of redemption and is born again to righteousness. (Mosiah 3:19.) Thus all mankind would remain lost and fallen forever were it not for the atonement of our Lord. (Alma 42:4-14.)

*Fall of Adam

Fall of Adam


Adam, our first parent (I Ne. 5:11), a "son of God" (Moses 6:22), was first placed on earth as an immortal being. His coming was the crowning event of the creation; and as with him, so with every department of creation - immortality reigned supreme. (2 Ne. 2:22.) There was no death, no mortality, no corruption, no procreation. Blood did not flow in Adam's veins, for he was not yet mortal, and blood is an element that pertains exclusively to mortality. (Gen. 9:2-6; Lev. 17:10-15; Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 362-364; Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, vol. 1, p. 231.) Radical changes were in the offing for man, the earth, and all forms of life when the fall came.

In that first edenic day, Adam was still in the presence of God, with whom he walked and talked and from whom he received counsel and commandments (Moses 3; 4.) He had temporal life because his spirit was housed in a temporal body, one made from the dust of the earth. (Abra. 5:7.) He had spiritual life because he was in the presence of God and was alive to the things of righteousness or of the Spirit. He had not yet come to that state of mortal probation in which are found the testings and trials requisite to a possible inheritance of eternal life. As yet the fall knowledge of good and evil had not been placed before him; and, what was tremendously important in the eternal scheme of things, he could have no children.

But all these conditions, in the providences of the Almighty, were soon to change. According to the foreordained plan, Adam was to fall; that is, "in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things" (2 Ne. 2: 24), Adam was to introduce mortality and all that attends it, so that the opportunity for eternal progression and perfection might be offered to all the spirit children of the Father.

In conformity with the will of the Lord, Adam fell both spiritually and temporally. Spiritual death entered the world, meaning that man was cast out of the presence of the Lord and died as pertaining to the things of the Spirit which are the things of righteousness. Temporal death also entered the world, meaning that man and all created things became mortal, and blood became the life preserving element in the natural body. In this mortal condition it became possible for the body and the spirit to separate a separation which by definition is the natural or temporal death. (Alma 42:6-12; D. & C. 29:40-42.)

In this state of mortality, subject to both spiritual and temporal death, man thus was in a position to be examined relative to his worthiness to inherit eternal life. He became subject to corruption, disease, and all the ills of the flesh. Spiritually he was required to walk by faith rather than by sight; a knowledge of good and evil could now come to him by actual experience; and being mortal he could now have children, thus providing bodies for the pre-existent hosts. "Adam fell that men might be." (2 Ne. 2:19-25; Moses 5:11; 6:45-48; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 107-120.)

*False Christs

False Christs


Our Lord during his ministry foretold that in the coming eras of apostate darkness there would arise false prophets and false Christs who would deceive many, even if it were possible the very elect. Then he counseled: "If they shall say unto you. Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold he is in the secret chambers believe it not." (Matt. 24: 23-27; Mark 13:21-23; Jos. Smith 2:21-26.)

Since then untold millions have worshiped before the thrones of false Christs. Some deluded fanatics have bowed before persons professing to be saviors or to have the power to confer salvation. Other hosts of misguided souls have trekked to desert monasteries, to mountain hermitages, to Jesuit retreats, and to the meeting places of secret cults - all acting under the specious assumption that in the place of their choice they would find Christ. Still others have made money, power, worldly learning, political preferment, or the gratification of sensual lusts their God. And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit.

*False Doctrine

False Doctrine


*False Doctrines

False Doctrines


*False Gods

False Gods


As pertaining to this universe, there are three Gods: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. All other supposed deities are false gods.

However, the mere worship of a god who has the proper scriptural names does not assure one that he is worshiping the true and living God. The the names of Deity, for instance, are applied to the false concepts of God found in the apostate creeds of the day. "There is but one only living and true God who is infinite in being and perfection," the Presbyterian Confession of Faith correctly recites, and then proceeds to describe a false god who is "without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible" and so forth. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 2.)

From the beginning of history the great masses of men have worshiped false gods. Those who believe the creeds of Christendom profess to worship an incomprehensible, unknowable, immaterial essence that fills the immensity of space and is everywhere and nowhere in particular present. Heathen and pagan peoples in all ages have worshiped idols; the liberal Athenian philosophers paid homage to what they called, "The Unknown God." (Acts 17:22-31.) There are those who set their whole hearts on learning, money, power, and the like, until these things become in effect their god. There is no salvation in the worship of false gods. For such false worship the Lord imposed the death penalty in ancient Israel. (Deut. 13:6-11.)

*False Gospels

False Gospels





*False Preachers

False Preachers


*False Prophets

False Prophets


*False Religions

False Religions


*False Spirits

False Spirits


Two spirits are abroad in the earth - one is of God, the other of the devil. The spirit which is of God is one that leads to light, truth, freedom, progress, and every good thing; on the other hand, the spirit which is of Lucifer leads to darkness, error, bondage, retrogression, and every evil thing. One spirit is from above, the other from beneath; and that which is from beneath never allows more light or truth or freedom to exist than it can help. All religion philosophy, education science, governmental control - indeed, all things - are influence and governed by one or the other (in some cases, part by one and part by the other) of these spirits. (Moro. 7.)

It should be understood that these two influences in the world are manifest through the ministrations of actual spirit personages from the unseen world. The power and influence wielded by Satan is exercised through the host of evil spirits who do his bidding and who have power, according to laws that exist, to impress their wills upon the minds of receptive mortals. On the other hand, much of the power and influence of Deity is exercised by and manifest through spirit beings who appear and give revelation and guidance as the Lord's purpose may require. In general, the more righteous and saintly a person is, the easier it will be for him to receive communications from heavenly sources; and the more evil and corrupt he is, the easier will it be for evil spirits to implant their nefarious schemes in his mind and heart.

The problem that most men have is to discern the spirits, so that they may know what is of God and what is not. The gift of discernment, that is the "discerning of spirits," is itself one of the gifts of the Spirit which comes from God. (1 Cor. 12: 10; D. & C. 46:23.) "Believe not every spirit," John counseled, "but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1.)

How can we try the spirits? By what tests shall it be known whether they are of God or the devil? If a messenger appears from the unseen world, how shall we know whether he is a good spirit or an evil spirit? When a revelation is received is it one born of light or darkness? When trances, visions, tongues, enchantments, miracles, and related things come to view, are they from above or beneath? When a philosophy is taught, a doctrine preached, a religion proclaimed, an educational theory espoused, how shall we know whether it is true or false?

"We may look for angels and receive their ministrations," the Prophet said, "but we are to try the spirits and prove them, for it is often the case that men make a mistake in regard to these things. God has so ordained that when he has communicated, no vision is to be taken but what you see by the seeing of the eye, or what you hear by the hearing of the ear. When you see a vision pray for the interpretation; if you get not this, shut it up; there must be certainty in this matter. An open vision will manifest that which is more important. Lying spirits are going forth in the earth. There will be great manifestations of spirits, both false and true. Not every spirit, or vision, or singing, is of God." (Teachings, pp. 161-162.)

As part of a long discussion of true and false spirits, and in explaining how they may be distinguished, the Prophet also said: "No man can do this without the priesthood, and having a knowledge of the laws by which spirits are governed; for as no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God, so no man knows the spirit of the devil, and his power and influence, but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices.

"A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. Long pilgrimages have been undertaken, penances endured, and pain, misery and ruin have followed in their train; nations have been convulsed, kingdoms overthrown, provinces laid waste, and blood, carnage and desolation are habiliments in which it has been clothed.

"As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; if it requires the Spirit of God to know the things of God; and the spirit of the devil can only be unmasked through that medium, then it follows as a natural consequence that unless some person or persons have a communication, or revelation from God, unfolding to them the operation of the spirit, they must eternally remain ignorant of these principles; for I contend that if one man cannot understand these things but by the Spirit of God, ten thousand men cannot; it is alike out of the reach of the wisdom of the learned, the tongue of the eloquent, the power of the mighty. And we shall at last have to come to this conclusion, whatever we may think of revelation, that without it we can neither know nor understand anything of God, or the devil; and however unwilling the world may be to acknowledge this principle, it is evident from the multifarious creeds and notions concerning this matter that they understand nothing of this principle, and it is equally as plain that without a divine communication they must remain in ignorance." (Teachings, pp. 204-206.)

It follows that the discerning of spirits is and can be practiced in righteousness only where the true Church and kingdom of God is found. In the final analysis, it takes apostles, prophets, priesthood, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and a knowledge of God's laws and the manner in which he operates, in order to separate the spirits into their two opposing camps. Only where these things are found can error be segregated from truth, because only there are the channels of revelation open.

*False Teachers

False Teachers


*False Witnesses

False Witnesses


*False Worship

False Worship


*Familiar Spirits

Familiar Spirits





Among the saints the family is the basic unit of the Church and of society, and its needs and preservation in righteousness take precedence over all other things. True family organization is patriarchal in nature; it is patterned after that organization which exists in heaven (Eph. 3:15); it always consists of a husband and wife who have entered into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage; and if the couple so united are blessed with children, they too become members of the family.

Adam and Eve set a proper and righteous pattern for all of their descendants. As husband and wife, married by God himself while yet in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:22-25), they became the first family - an eternal family, for there was no death. Then came the fall, mortality began, the power of procreation was given, and Adam and Eve added children to their family. They and such of their children as abode in the truth have since gone on in immortality and glory, and now as resurrected beings, parents and children together, comprise an eternal family unit in celestial glory. The same is true of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the faithful saints who were with Christ in his resurrection. (D. & C. 132: 29-37.)

Eternal families have their beginning in celestial marriage here in mortality. Faithful members of them continue in the family unit in eternity, in the highest heaven of the celestial world, where they have eternal increase. (D. & C. 131: 1-4; 132:16-32.) Perfect peace and a full endowment of all good graces attend such eternal families. By obedience to the laws of the gospel (which are celestial laws). Latter-day Saint families begin here and now to enjoy much of that peace, joy, love, and charity which will be enjoyed in eternal fullness in the exalted family unit.

It is also common to speak of the descendants of a common ancestor as members of a family; the descendants of president Joseph F. Smith, through all their generations, for instance, make up his family. Similarly, there is the family of Israel and of Abraham. The Church itself, composed of a gathered remnant of Israel, is a family. And as with individual families, so with these great patriarchal groups, faithful members of them will continue on as members of these great patriarchal families in eternity.

*Family Organizations

Family Organizations


Church members who are descendants of common ancestors should form family organizations. These organizations serve four particular purposes:

1 . They create family solidarity and honor the patriarchal system. Desires to work righteousness are enhanced and members of the rising generations are encouraged to keep the commandments and look forward to temple marriages and the fullness of the blessings of the priesthood.

2. They make it possible for large groups of saints, having a common purpose, to pool their skills and means in organized genealogical research. Incident to this research the preparation of family histories is a proper and desirable enterprise.

3. They keep current family genealogical data.

4. They make recreational opportunities available to groups bound together by a common tie.

*Family Prayer

Family Prayer


*Family Reunions

Family Reunions


In keeping with the spirit of love and unity which should always exist in Latter-day Saint families, it is proper for families, both large and small, to hold frequent family reunions. Regular family organizations, as an aid in carrying out their important work, should hold these affairs from time to time. Sunday is not a proper day for family reunions.




1. Famines involving general scarcity of food and resulting in hunger and starvation, have been of frequent occurrence among nearly all peoples. Such are among the probationary experiences ordained for the testing and trial of man. Sometimes they have come upon the rebellious; often both the righteous and the wicked have suffered under their curse.

They are one of the ways the Lord has of humbling his children so they will seek him and his help in their temporal concerns. "How oft have I called upon you ... by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind," he says. (D. & C. 43:25.) Famines are among the signs of the times, and the great Church Welfare Plan is designed to help free men from the effects of them.

2. Spiritual famines are periods of apostasy from the truth. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8: 11-12.)




Fanaticism is the devil's substitute for and perversion of true zeal. It is exhibited in wildly extravagant and overzealous views and acts. It is based either on unreasoning devotion to a cause, a devotion which closes the door to investigation and dispassionate study, or on an over emphasis of some particular doctrine or practice, an emphasis which twists the truth as a whole out of perspective.

Through the ages religious fanatics have fought and died on the field of battle in false causes; in the Church there are those who became fanatics on such things as the Word of Wisdom, even to the point that they teach against the use of white bread, white flour, refined sugar, chocolate, and sometimes even milk, eggs, and cheese. Stable and sound persons are never fanatics; they do not ride gospel hobbies.

*Fast Day

Fast Day


In partial compliance with the Lord's command that his saints are to continue in fasting and prayer (D. & C. 88:76), the Church designates one day each month (ordinarily the first Sunday of the month) as a fast day. "The law to the Latter-day Saints, as understood by the authorities of the Church," President Joseph F. Smith said, "is that food and drink are not to be partaken of for 24 hours, 'from even to even,' and that the saints are to refrain from all bodily gratification and indulgences. Fast day being on the Sabbath, it follows, of course, that all labor is to be abstained from." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 243.) Most members of the Church when fasting eat the evening meal on Saturday and then abstain from food and drink until the evening meal on Sunday.




As President Joseph F. Smith expressed it, fasting consists in the complete abstinence from "food and drink." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 243.) Fasting, with prayer as its companion, is designed to increase spirituality; to foster a spirit of devotion and love of God; to increase faith in the hearts of men, thus assuring divine favor; to encourage humility and contrition of soul; to aid in the acquirement of righteousness to teach man his nothingness and dependence upon God; and to hasten those who properly comply with the law of fasting along the path to salvation.

Many specific reasons for fasting are found in the scriptures. It is a general obligation imposed by revelation upon church members in good standing. (D. & C. 59:13-14; 88:76; Luke 5:33-35; 2 Cor. 6:5; II: 27.) It is itself a form of the true worship of God. (Luke 2:37; Acts 9:9; Alma 45:1; 4 Ne. 12.) It is proper to fast for the sick (2 Sam. 12:16); for special blessings (Mosiah 27:22-23); to gain a testimony (Alma 5:46); to gain revelation (Alma 17:3; 3 Ne. 27:1; Ex. 34:28; Deut. 9:9, 18); for the conversion of nonmembers to the truth, (Alma 6:6; 17:9); for guidance in the choice of church officers (Acts 13: 3); as an accompaniment of righteous mourning and sorrow (Alma 28:2-6; 30:2; Hela. 9:10); as a means of sanctifying one's soul (Hela. 3: 35); and for guidance along the path leading to salvation. (Omni 26.) Temples are houses of fasting. (D. & C. 88: 1 19; 95:16; 109:8, 16.) To be acceptable fasting must conform to the Lord's law and not be done for hypocritical reasons. (Matt. 6: 16-18; 3 Ne. 13:16-18.)

"Compliance with the law of the fast," President Joseph F. Smith said, "would call attention to the sin of over eating, place the body in subjection to the spirit, and so promote communion with the Holy Ghost, and insure a spiritual strength and power which the people of the nation so greatly need. As fasting should always be accompanied by prayer, this law would bring the people nearer to God, and divert their minds once a month at least, from the mad rush of worldly affairs and cause them to be brought into immediate contact with practical, pure, and undefiled religion - to visit the fatherless and the widow, and keep themselves unspotted from the sins of the world." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 237-238.)

Extended fasts are proper on some special occasions. Moses (Ex. 34:28), Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), and Christ (Matt. 4:2) each fasted for 40 days and nights. But ordinarily 24 hours should suffice, and those called upon to fast should be of such an age and in such a sound condition of health that no impairment of mental or physical well-being will result.

President Joseph F. Smith explained: "The Lord has instituted the fast on a reasonable and intelligent basis, and none of his works are vain or unwise. His law is perfect in this as in other things. Hence, those who can are required to comply thereto; it is a duty from which they cannot escape; but let it be remembered that the observance of the fast day by abstaining 24 hours from food and drink is not an absolute rule, it is no iron-clad law to us, but it is left with the people as a matter of conscience, to exercise wisdom and discretion. Many are subject to weakness, others are delicate in health, and others have nursing babies; of such it should not be required to fast. Neither should parents compel their little children to fast. I have known children to cry for something to eat on fast day. In such cases, going without food will do them no good. Instead, they dread the day to come, and in place of hailing it, dislike it; while the compulsion engenders a spirit of rebellion in them, rather than a love for the Lord and their fellows." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 244.)

*Fast Meetings

Fast Meetings


In every gospel dispensation it has been the practice of the saints to "meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls." (Moro. 6:5.) In this dispensation, it is the practice of the Church to designate one sacrament meeting a month as a fast meeting. In these meetings it is proper to invite members of the congregation to express themselves by way of testimony, doctrine, confession, exhortation, or the like, each member arising to speak as he may be led by the Spirit. Special fasts are held by families, groups of missionaries, or others as special occasions require.

*Fast Offerings

Fast Offerings


One of the chief purposes of organized fasting by the Church is to enable the saints to contribute the food thus saved, or its equivalent in money, to the care of the poor. Isaiah decried the ostentatious and hypocritical fasting practices of ancient Israel, and then gave them this word from the Lord: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? ... Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" (Isa. 58:6-8.) "It is, therefore, incumbent upon every Latter-day Saint," President Joseph F. Smith said, "to give to his bishop, on fast day, the food that he or his family would consume for the day, that it may be given to the poor for their benefit and blessing; or, in lieu of the food, that its equivalent amount, or, if the person is wealthy, a liberal donation, in money, be so reserved and dedicated to the poor." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 243; Mai. 3:8.)

*Fatherhood of God

Fatherhood of God


*Father in Heaven

Father in Heaven


God the Eternal Father, our Father in Heaven, is an exalted, perfected, and glorified Personage having a tangible body of flesh and bones. (D. & C. 130:22.) The designation Father is to be taken literally; it signifies that the Supreme Being is the literal Parent or Father of the spirits of all men. (Heb. 12:9.) All men, Christ included, were born as his children in pre-existence. (D. & C. 93:21-23; Moses 1; 2; 3; 4; Abra. 3:22-28.) This is the reason men are commanded to approach Deity in prayer by saying, "Our Father which art in heaven." (Matt. 6:9.)

It is only by understanding the real and literal sense in which God is our Father that we are able to understand what is meant by the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. In addition to the fact that all men are brothers in the sense that all have descended from Adam, they are also brothers in that they have the same personal Father who begat them in the spirit. Our Lord had reference to this when he said, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20: 17.)

*Father of Lies

Father of Lies


Both Satan and Cain bear the title father of lies, both having been liars from the beginning. (2 Ne. 9:9; Moses 5: 18-27.) The name signifies authorship and sponsorship of all that is dishonest and which leads away from the truth. In a similar sense Satan is the master of sin (Mosiah 4:14) and the father of secret combinations and every evil thing. (2 Ne. 26;22; Hela. 6:26; Moro. 7:12.)

*Father of Lights

Father of Lights


"God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5.) That is, he is the embodiment, author, and source of light, or in other words the Father of Lights. (Jas. 1:17.) Similarly, Lucifer is the Father of Darkness, of apostasy, iniquity, and every evil thing.

*Father of Spirits

Father of Spirits


*Feast of the Passover

Feast of the Passover





*Figurative Expressions

Figurative Expressions





*Filthy Lucre

Filthy Lucre





Use of fire in a miraculous manner has often attended the Lord's dealings with men. "Cherubim and a flaming sword" (Moses 4:31; Gen. 3:24) barred Adam from returning to his edenic home. A pillar of fire guided ancient Israel by night (Ex. 13:21-22; Ps. 78:14), and the fires on her sacrificial altars were never permitted to go out. (Lev. 6:13.) Elijah called down fire from heaven in his contest with the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18), and also to consume the soldiers sent by Ahab to arrest him. (2 Kings 1.) And at the time of Elijah's translation, "a chariot of fire, and horses of fire," appeared to transport him "by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 Kings 2:11.)

Heavenly fire has often been used by the Lord in giving miraculous manifestations to his prophets. (Gen. 15:17; Ex. 3:2; 24:17; 1 Ne. 1:6.) Lehi and Nephi, sons of Helaman, "were encircled about as if by fire, . . . and were not burned," as a means of protecting them in their ministry, a miracle soon expanded to embrace "about three hundred souls." (Hela. 5:23-49.) Fire from heaven encircled groups of worshipers in connection with the ministry of the resurrected Lord among the Nephites (2 Ne. 17:23-24; 19:13-14), and the Three Nephite disciples were cast into fiery furnaces and came out unharmed. (3 Ne. 28:21; 4 Ne. 32; Morm. 8: 24.) Similar protection was given Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when Nebuchadnezzar had them cast into a fiery furnace so hot that it slew the handlers who carried out the deed. (Dan. 3.)

Indeed the power of God is so abundantly manifest through fiery demonstrations that Paul wrote, "Our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:29; Deut. 4:24.) And the Prophet taught that God dwells in everlasting burnings, as will all the righteous who gain exaltation. (Teachings, p. 347; Isa. 33:14-16.)

As pertaining to the righteous, the term fire is used to indicate a purifying, cleansing agent, but where the wicked are concerned it is used to signify destruction and the severity of eternal torment. The scriptures speak of the receipt of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a baptism of fire, meaning that sin and iniquity are burned out of the repentant person as though by fire. (3 Ne. 9:20.)

The revelations also speak of the day when the Lord's vineyard shall be burned, a day when the righteous shall be preserved, but one in which every corruptible thing shall be consumed, in which the elements shall melt with fervent heat and all things shall become new. (D. & C. 101:23-25; Mai. 3; 4.) That is the day in which the tares shall be burned (D. & C. 101:66), in which the Lord will "consume the wicked with unquenchable fire." (D. & C. 63:32-34, 54; Matt. 3:12; Luke 3: 17.) Finally, all those who suffer the second death shall suffer the vengeance of eternal fire (D. & C. 63: 17; 76:44, 105); their torment shall be "as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever." (Alma 12:17.)

*Fire and Brimstone

Fire and Brimstone


1. In ancient days the wickedness and abominations practiced in Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim became so great that the Lord utterly destroyed those cities by raining fire and brimstone upon them. (Gen. 10:19; 19:24-25; Hos. 11:8; Luke 17:29.) Similar destruction awaits the wicked in the day of vengeance, the great and dreadful day of the Lord, for the Lord will again rain upon the ungodly fire and brimstone from heaven. (Ezek. 38:22; Rev. 9:17-18; D. & C. 29:21.)

Brimstone is sulfur, an easily melted, very inflammable mineral which bums with a blue flame and emits a suffocating odor. "It is found in great abundance near volcanoes. The soil around Sodom and Gomorrah abounded in sulphur [sulfur] and bitumen." (Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, p. 100.) Nothing is quite so destructive of present mortal life as fire and brimstone. Living things as we know them cannot exist where these elements are found. Nor is productivity thereafter to be found in soil cursed with brimstone. Indeed, when the Lord sought to impress upon ancient Israel the curse of disobedience, he said that plagues and sickness would come upon their land until "the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath." (Deut. 29:22-23; Job 18:15; Ps. 11:6; Isa. 30:33.)

2. The nature of burning brimstone is such that it perfectly symbolized to the prophetic mind the eternal torment of the damned. Accordingly we read that the wicked are "tormented with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 14:9-11; 19:20; 20:10), or in other words that "their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end." (2 Ne. 9:16; Alma 12:17.) This burning scene, a horrifying "lake of fire and brimstone," symbolizes "endless torment" (2 Ne. 9:19, 26; 28:23; Jac. 6:10; Alma 14:14; D. & C. 76:36); those who find place therein are subject to the second death. (Jac. 3:1 1; D. & C. 63:17.) They suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. (D. & C. 29:28; 43:33; 76: 44, 105) When the sons of perdition come forth in the resurrection, they "rise to that resurrection which is as the lake of fire and brimstone." (Teachings, p. 361.)







As used in the scriptures, firmament means expanse. The firmament of heaven is the expanse of heaven; it refers, depending upon the context, to either the atmospheric or the sidereal heavens. (Gen. 1; Moses 2; Abra. 4.) It is not true, as has been falsely supposed, that the ancient prophets believed that the firmament was a solid arch between the lower and upper waters in which the stars were set as so many stones in gold or silver. Such was rather the false view of the church in the dark ages. (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 468-474.)

*First and Last

First and Last


Christ is the First and the Last. (D. & C. 110:4; Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 1:8-17; 2:8; 22:13.) These terms are descriptive of his eternal timelessness; he is God everlastingly. As the First, the thought is conveyed that he is pre-eminent above all the earth's inhabitants, both from the standpoint of time (he being the Firstborn in the spirit), and from the standpoint of power and dominion (he having become a God in the beginning). As the Last, the concept is revealed that he will go on as God, continuing to enjoy his full pre-eminence, to all eternity, everlastingly without end.




Christ is the Firstborn, meaning that he was the first Spirit Child born to God the Father in pre-existence. (D. & C. 93:21; John 1:1-5; Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15.) He is also the Firstborn from the Dead, which signifies that he was the first person resurrected. (Col. 1:18.)

*Firstborn From the Dead

Firstborn From the Dead


*First Comforter

First Comforter


*First Council of the Seventy

First Council of the Seventy


Each quorum of seventy is presided over by seven presidents called a council. The First Council of Seventy (sometimes called the First Seven Presidents of Seventy) presides over the first quorum of seventy and in addition over all quorums and all seventies. Members of the First Council hold the keys of presidency over the seventies, are General Authorities of the Church, and act under the direction of the Council of the Twelve. As with all councils of seventy, all members are equal in responsibility and presidency though the 7th president (meaning the senior of the group) presides over the others. (D. & C. 107:93-97)

*First Estate

First Estate


Both Abraham and Jude speak of pre-existence as our first estate, that is, it was the first time we lived as conscious identities. The spirits who were faithful in that first estate earned the right to be born into this world and get mortal bodies, bodies which would become the eternal habitation of the spirit after the resurrection. (Abra. 3:22-28.) But the rebellious pre-existent spirits, "the angels which kept not their first estate" (Jude 6), have been denied bodies and the probationary experiences of this second estate of mortality.

*First Flesh

First Flesh


Animals, fowls, fishes, and all forms of life were created by the Lord with tangible, physical bodies of flesh and bones and were duly placed on this earth. (Moses 2; 3.) When all other forms of life had been created naturally upon the face of the earth, and when all things were in readiness, the crowning creative enterprise of the Almighty was undertaken. Man was formed from the dust of the earth and placed here in a physical body of flesh and bones to rule as governor over all other creatures.

Yet the revealed account of the creation specifies that man was "the first flesh upon the earth." (Moses 3:7.) The meaning of this is clear when two things are remembered: 1. That all things, man included, were first created in immortality. There was no death in the world either for man or for any form of life until after the fall. (2 Ne. 2:22.) 2. That the word flesh, as used by the Lord and his prophets in scores of scriptures, means mortality. Adam fell and brought mortality into the world. Thereafter the effects of his fall passed on all created things. Adam thus became literally, not only the first man, but the first flesh (meaning mortal flesh) on earth. (Doctrines of salvation, vol. 1, pp 77-78; 107-120.)

*Firstlings of Flock

Firstlings of Flock


*First Man

First Man


"Adam, who was the son of God" (Moses 6:22), was "the first man of all men." (Moses 1:34; 3:7; 6:45; Abra. 1:3; D. & C. 84:16; 1 Ne. 5:11; 1 Cor. 15:45; Inspired Version, Luke 3:45; Man: His Origin and Destiny, PP 348-355.) There were no pre-Adamites; the great archangel Michael, who descended from the courts of glory to be the father of the human race, was appointed to be the father of all living. Indeed, Adam and Eve were not able to have children and provide bodies for the spirit children of the Father until after the fall. (2 Ne. 2:22; Moses 5:11.)

This first man, from the standpoint of ancestry and lineage, is also first in point of pre-eminence, power, and position. He stands next to Christ; holds the "keys of salvation" (D. & C. 78:16); and (under Christ) is the presiding high priest over all the earth. (Teachings, p. 158.)

*First Presidency

First Presidency


From ancient times the supreme, directing power and authority over the Church and kingdom has rested with "a quorum of three presidents . . . who were ordained after the order of Melchizedek, and were righteous and holy men." (D. & C. 107:29.) "Three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church." (D. & C. 107:22.)

As "the Presidency of the High Priesthood," they "always" hold "the keys of the kingdom" (D. & C. 81:2), and "have a right to officiate in all the offices in the church." (D. & C. 107:9.) They are "the highest council of the church of God and a final decision upon controversies in spiritual matters. There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church." (D. & C. 107:80-81 .)

Death of the President of the Church dissolves the First Presidency, his two counselors then ceasing to function as members of that supreme body. As Joseph Smith expressed it: "The Twelve are not subject to any other than the First Presidency, viz., myself, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who are now my Counselors, and where I am not, there is no First presidency over the Twelve." (Teachings, pp 105-106.)

*First Principles of the Gospel

First Principles of the Gospel


"It is the first principle of the gospel," the Prophet taught, "to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another." (Teachings, p. 345) After this principle comes that of the divine mission and atoning sacrifice of our Lord, and out of these two grow faith and repentance and all of the basic and fundamental truths which must be accepted and lived to gain peace in this life and eternal reward in the life to come.

The Prophet also said: "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the apostles and prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth." (Teachings, p. 121.)

Thus the first principles of the gospel, the basic doctrines of salvation, are the fundamental truths that have been revealed in plainness as distinguished from the mysteries, those things which have not as yet been unfolded in their clarity and perfection to mortal man. The Articles of Faith contain a summarization of some, but not all, of the basic and first principles of the gospel.

Speakers and teachers are obligated to confine their expressions to the doctrines that have been revealed in plainness. They are to "preach Jesus Christ and him crucified" (Teachings, p. 109), and to "declare the first principles, and let mysteries alone." (Teachings, p. 292.)

*First Resurrection

First Resurrection


*First Seven Presidents of Seventy

First Seven Presidents of Seventy


*First Vision

First Vision


That glorious theophany which took place in the spring of 1820 and which marked the opening of the dispensation of the fullness of times is called the First Vision. It is rated as first both from the standpoint of time and of pre-eminent importance. In it Joseph Smith saw and conversed with the Father and the Son, both of which exalted personages were personally present before him as he lay enwrapped in the Spirit and overshadowed by the Holy Ghost.

This transcendent vision was the beginning of latter day revelation; it marked the opening of the heavens after the long night of apostate darkness; with it was ushered in the great era of restoration, "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21.) Through it the creeds of Christendom were shattered to smithereens, and because of it the truth about those Beings whom it is life eternal to know began again to be taught among men. (John 17:3.) With this vision came the call of that Prophet who, "save Jesus only," was destined to do more "for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it." (D. & C. 135:3.) This vision was the most important event that had taken place in all world history from the day of Christ's ministry to the glorious hour when it occurred.

Our knowledge of God's dealings with his children from the days of Adam to the present leads us to believe that both the Father and the Son have been manifested to other prophets in other ages. Joseph Smith, himself, on at least two other occasions saw these heavenly Beings in vision (D. & C. 76:22-24; Teachings, p. 107), and Stephen beheld them as the murderous mob stoned him to death. (Acts 7:54-60.) Indeed, it is the privilege of those who attain the Second Comforter to have the Son "manifest the Father" unto them. (Teachings, pp. 149-151; John 14:23; D. & C. 130:3.) But our account of the First Vision is the only plain scriptural record now extant which details the personal appearance of the Father and the Son to mortal man.

"Believing the word of God," the Prophet wrote in the Wentworth Letter, "I had confidence in the declaration of James - 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.' (Jas. 1:5.) I retired to a secret place in a grove, and began to call upon the Lord; while fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious Personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon day. They told me that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his Church and kingdom: and I was expressly commanded 'to go not after them,' at the same time receiving a promise that the fullness of the gospel should at some future time be made known unto me." (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 536.)

"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me," the Prophet also wrote. "When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right - and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me." (Jos. Smith 2:16-20.)

When Joseph Smith, then but a youth in his 15th year, went into the Sacred Grove to seek answer to the Spirit-inspired question, "which of all the sects was right," he carried with him the mental vagaries taught in the creeds of the day as to the personality of God. He supposed, as was then universally taught in apostate Christendom, that God was a three-in-one Spirit that filled the immensity of space, incorporeal, uncreated, immaterial, without body, parts, or passions. When he returned from that sacred spot, he had the sure knowledge - for his eyes had seen and the Holy Ghost (whose power had also been felt on that sacred occasion) had born record to his soul - that the Father and the Son were two glorified Personages in the express image of each other. (D. & C. 130:22.)

If this inexperienced youth had been seeking to fabricate some great spiritual experience, he never in the world would have come back with a story that struck irreconcilably at all the creeds of Christendom and all the teachings he himself had so far received from his parents and others. In an attempt to deceive he might have said that an angel appeared, or that some other miraculous event transpired, but never would it have occurred to him to rock the whole religious foundation of the Christian world with such a startling claim as that which he did make. And now - wonder of wonders! - those who have attained greater spiritual enlightenment than was then prevalent discover that the new revelation about God's personality is the same which was from the beginning it is the same truth to which all the prophets bear record.

But even if, by some inconceivable miracle, this one youth - in defiance of all the learning and teachings of the religious world had stumbled upon the truth that God was a personal Being, yet no rational mind would expect him to record the events incident to the First Vision so that those occurrences would be in perfect harmony with the laws of mediation, intercession and advocacy. For instance if he had said that the Father taught him certain truths (rather than saying that the Father introduced the Son and that the Son gave the actual direction to him) such would have shown his story to be false. Inexperienced as he was, he could not have known that by God's eternal law it is everlastingly ordained that all revelation comes through Christ and that the Father never does more than introduce and bear record of the Son.

Evidences of the reality of the First Vision might be multiplied but the greatest proofs that it took place are the whisperings of the Spirit to the devout truth seekers and the establishment and triumph of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church which is founded and grounded on the testimony that Joseph Smith saw God and was in literal reality chosen to be his mighty latter-day Prophet.







Flattery is the act of ingratiating oneself into another's confidence by excessive praise, or by insincere speech and acts. It includes the raising of false and unfounded hopes; there is always an element of dishonesty attending it.

Flattery is a tool of Satan (D. & C. 10:25-29); he uses it to lead souls to destruction. (2 Ne. 28:22.) Ministers of false religions obtain the support of their congregations in large measure by flattery, in that by appeals to vanity and through other means they hold out false hopes of salvation to their worshipers. For instance: Certain saved-by-grace-alone fanatics flatter their followers into believing they can be saved through no act other than confessing Christ with their lips. Other professors of religion flatter their adherents into believing there will be a final harmony of all souls with God and that none will be damned. Still others flatter their disciples with the false belief that forgiveness of sins comes from confession alone, or that souls may be redeemed from so-called purgatory by purchased prayers. "Flattery," the Prophet said, is "a deadly poison." (Teachings, p. 137.)




Since flesh as we know it is all mortal flesh, and since fallen or mortal man is carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature (Moses 5:13; Mosiah 3:19), the prophetic mind has always chosen the term flesh to signify the carnality and sensuality common to unregenerate human kind. "The works of the flesh," as Paul lists them, "are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:19-21.)

"Though we walk in the flesh," Paul also says, "we do not war after the flesh" (2 Cor. 10:3), that is, though we are in the world (of mortality), we are not of the world. Manifestly the saints are to "abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Pet. 2:11), "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (Jude 23.)

*Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood


"The life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11), that is, the mortal body lives only so long as the blood is present. Spill the blood and mortality ceases. Hence, flesh and blood bans mortality. Our Lord's statement to Peter, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17) meant that no mortal person or power had given Peter his testimony; it had come from the Father by revelation. "Flesh and blood," Paul says, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (1 Cor. 15:50.) In other words: Mortality cannot inherit a celestial world, for that is the dwelling place of immortal, incorruptible beings.

*Flesh and Bones

Flesh and Bones


In the same sense that flesh and blood is used to signify mortality, flesh and bones is the scriptural phrase meaning immortality, the state after the resurrection when all men will have spiritual bodies. Thus, appearing to his disciples after his resurrection, our Lord said: "Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39.) In exactly the same sense, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" (D. & C. 130:22), for he too is a resurrected, immortal Being.

*Flood of Noah

Flood of Noah


In the days of Noah the Lord sent a universal flood which completely immersed the whole earth and destroyed all flesh except that preserved on the ark. (Gen. 6; 7; 8; 9; Moses 7:38-45; 8; Ether 13:2.) "Noah was born to save seed of everything, when the earth was washed of its wickedness by the flood." (Teachings, p. 12.) This flood was the baptism of the earth; before it occurred the land was all in one place, a condition that will again prevail during the millennial era. (D. & C. 133:23-24.)

There is no question but what many of the so-called geological changes in the earth's surface, which according to geological theories took place over ages of time, in reality occurred in a matter of a few short weeks incident to the universal deluge. (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 414-436.)




*Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit


Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were first created in a state of immortality; there was no death in the world as things were then organized. (2 Ne. 2:22.) While in their immortal state they were commanded to multiply and fill the earth with posterity. (Moses 2:28.) They were also told that of every tree in the Garden of Eden they might eat excepting only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

For disobedience to this command, death (or in other words mortality) was to enter the world. (Moses 3:17.) In order to have children it was necessary that they become mortal; and so in accordance with the divine plan they partook of the forbidden fruit, death and mortality entered the world, and the bodies of our first parents were so changed as to permit them to have offspring and thus fulfill the purposes of the Lord in the creation of the earth. (D. & C. 29:40-44; Moses 5:1 1; 2 Ne. 2:22-25.)

What the real meaning is of the expression forbidden fruit has not been revealed, and it is profitless to speculate. It is sufficient for us to know that Adam and Eve broke the law which would have permitted them to continue as immortal beings, or in other words they complied with the law which enabled them to become mortal beings, and this course of conduct is stated as eating the forbidden fruit.

One thing we do know definitely: The forbidden fruit was not sex sin. The view that immoral indulgence on the part of our first parents constituted the forbidden fruit is one of the most evil and wicked heresies in apostate Christendom. Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord himself before the fall, and the command given them to have children was one directing the begetting of children in legal and lawful wedlock. (Moses 3:20-25.)

*Foreign Missions

Foreign Missions





To carry forward his own purposes among men and nations, the Lord foreordained chosen spirit children in pre-existence and assigned them to come to earth at particular times and places so that they might aid in furthering the divine will. These pre-existence appointments made "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" ( 1 Pet. 1 :2), simply designated certain individuals to perform missions which the Lord in his wisdom knew they had the talents and capacities to do.

The mightiest and greatest spirits were foreordained to stand as prophets and spiritual leaders, giving to the people such portion of the Lord's word as was designed for the day and age involved. Other spirits, such as those who laid the foundations of the American nation, were appointed beforehand to perform great works in political and governmental fields. In all this there is not the slightest hint of compulsion; persons foreordained to fill special missions in mortality are as abundantly endowed with free agency as are any other persons. By their foreordination the Lord merely gives them the opportunity to serve him and his purposes if they will choose to measure up to the standard he knows they are capable of attaining.

Alma taught the great truth that every person who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood was foreordained to receive that high and holy order in the pre-existent councils of eternity. "This is the manner after which they were ordained," he says. They were "called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works [while yet living in pre-existence]; in the first place [that is, in pre-existence] being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceeding great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such." Thus, he explains, Melchizedek Priesthood holders have been "prepared from the foundation of the world" for their high callings. The Lord has prepared them "from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things." (Alma 13:3-9.)

Speaking of foreordination to spiritual callings, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council." (Teachings, p. 365.) Abraham saw the hosts of pre-existent spirits. "And among all these," he recorded, "were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born." (Abra. 3:22-23.)

Jeremiah records a similar truth relative to his foreordination to be "a prophet unto the nations" (Jer. 1:5), and Moses taught that the whole host of spirits born in the lineage of Jacob were before appointed to come through that chosen line. (Deut. 32:7-8.) It was because of their pre-existent training, election, and foreordination that Christ was able to say of certain chosen ones, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27.)

There is scriptural record of many other instances of specific foreordination. Christ, himself, was before chosen to come to this life as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world (Moses 4:1-4; Abra. 3:27; 1 Pet. 1:19-20), "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8.) Mary, the mother of our Lord, was before named for her sacred mission (1 Ne. 11:18-20; Mosiah 3:8; Isa. 7:14), and John the Baptist received a pre-mortal commission to prepare the way for the first coming of the Son of Man. (1 Ne. 10:7-10; Isa. 40:3; Matt. 3:3.) The Twelve who in their mortal life were destined to follow our Lord were seen in vision by Nephi nearly 600 years before the assigned day of their mortal missions. (1 Ne. 11:29, 34-36.)

Joseph who was sold into Egypt spoke prophetically of Moses, and Joseph Smith, and others, both by name and by describing the foreordained missions to be performed by them, hundreds of years before the destined birth of those concerned into mortality. (2 Ne. 3.) John the Beloved's name, apostolic call, and mission as the great Revelator were revealed to Nephi long before John's birth. (1 Ne. 14:19-29.) In pre-existence, before Jacob or Esau were born as mortal beings, the Lord decreed, "The elder shall serve the younger." (Rom. 9:10-12.) The temporal rule of Cyrus and the mission he was to perform as it affected the Lord's Israel, was foretold by Isaiah long before the birth of that earthly ruler. (Isa. 44:28; 45.) The mission of Columbus to bring the American nations to the knowledge of the old world, and the Lord's dealings with the Gentile nations which should inhabit the areas thus re-discovered, was all foreknown and foreordained. (1 Ne. 13.)

And what is true of these great leaders and episodes in the history of the Lord's religious and civic dealings with mankind is also true of other political and religious leaders and other great historical events. "I am God," the Lord said, "and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." (Isa. 46:9-10.)




Forgiveness, which includes divine pardon and complete remission of sins, is available, on conditions of repentance, for all men except those who have sinned unto death. (D. & C. 42:18, 79; 64:7.) For such there is no forgiveness, neither in this world nor in the world to come. (D. & C. 76:32-34; 132:27; Matt. 12:31-32.) To accountable persons in the world, remission of sins comes by repentance and baptism of water and of the Spirit. For those who have once been cleansed in this way and who thereafter commit sin - but not unto death - (and all members of the Church are guilty of sin, in either greater or lesser degree) the law of forgiveness embraces the following requirements:

1. GODLY SORROW FOR SIN. - This includes an honest, heartfelt contrition of soul, a contrition born of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. It presupposes a frank, personal acknowledgment that ones acts have been evil in the sight of Him who is holy. There is no mental reservation in godly sorrow, no feeling that perhaps one's sins are not so gross or serious after all. It is certainly more than regret either because the sin has been brought to light or because some preferential reward or status has been lost because of it. Paul said: "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (2 Cor. 7:10.)

2. ABANDONMENT OF SIN. - This means to stop doing what is wrong, to cease completely from one's evil acts, to flee from iniquity both of thought, word, and deed. "Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes," saith the Lord, "cease to do evil; Learn to do well." (Isa. 1:16-17.) "By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins - behold, he will confess them and forsake them." (D. & C. 58:43.)

3. CONFESSION OF SIN. - To gain forgiveness all sins must be confessed to the Lord. The sinner must open his heart to the Almighty and with godly sorrow admit the error of his ways and plead for grace. "I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death." (D. & C. 64:7.)

Further, those sins which involve moral turpitude - meaning serious sins for which the court procedures of the Church could be instituted so that a person's fellowship or membership might be called in question - such sins must be confessed to the proper church officer. "To whom should confession be made?" President Stephen L. Richards asked. "To the Lord, of course, whose law has been violated. To the aggrieved person or persons, as an essential in matting due retribution if that is necessary. And then certainly to the Lord's representative, his appointed judge in Israel, under whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction the offender lives and holds membership in the kingdom.

"Is the offender justified in bypassing his immediate church authority and judge, and going to those who do not know him so well to make his confession? Almost universally, I think the answer should be No, for the local tribunals are in position to know the individual his history and environs far better than those who have not had close contact with him, and in consequence the local authorities have a background which will enable them to pass judgment with more justice, and also mercy, than might be reasonably expected from any other source. It follows that it is the order of the Church for confession to be made to the bishop, which entails heavy and exacting responsibilities on the part of the bishop, the first of which is that every confession should be received and held in the utmost confidence. A bishop who violates such a sacred confidence is himself guilty of an offense before God and the Church. Where it becomes necessary to take counselors into his confidence, as it frequently does, and where it is necessary to organize tribunals, the bishop should inform the confessor, and if possible obtain his permission so to do.

"Why is confession essential? First, because the Lord has commanded it, and secondly, because the offender cannot live and participate in the kingdom of God, to receive the blessings therefrom, with a lie in his heart.

"Now the confessed offender is not left without hope, for he can obtain forgiveness by following the course outlined, and by forsaking sins comparable to that committed, as well as all other sin, and living before the Church and the Lord in such manner as to win approbation of both. The offender who has brought stigma and affront to the ward, the stake or the mission should seek the forgiveness of those he has thus offended. That may be had at times through the presiding authorities of the various divisions of the Church. At other times it may be appropriate and quite necessary to make amends for public offenses and seek forgiveness before organizations of the people. The judges of Israel will determine this matter. (Conf Rep., Apr., 1954, pp. 10-13.)

It should be clear that bishops and other church officers, when confessions are made to them, do not forgive sins except in the sense that they forgive them as far as the Church is concerned; they remit any penalty which the Church on earth might impose; they adjudge that repentant persons are worthy of full fellowship in the earthly kingdom.

Normally a period of probation is involved before the earthly agent determines to refrain from instituting the procedures where under church penalties are imposed. "This probation serves a double purpose," President Richards says. "First, and perhaps most important, it enables the offender to determine for himself whether he has been able to so master himself as to trust himself in the face of ever-recurring temptation; and secondly, to enable the judges to make a more reliable appraisement of the genuineness of repentance and worthiness for restored confidence." (Conf Rep., Apr., 1954, p. 12.)

Actual and ultimate forgiveness comes only from the Lord in heaven. He of course on occasions forgave sins during his ministry (Matt. 9:2-8), and he has by revelation in modem times announced that certain persons were free from sin. (D. & C. 29:3; 31:5; 36:1; 50:36; 60:7.) The Prophet Enos received a personal revelation telling him his sins were forgiven. (Enos 4-8.) Similar revelations might come at any time to the Lord's earthly agents, in which instances they could and would remit the sins of the repentant persons. But in the true sense it would be the Lord forgiving the sins, though he acted through the agency of his servants the prophets. (D. & C. 132:46-47; John 20:23.)

Unless practiced and regulated in strict harmony with the divine will, the gospel requirement of confession can easily degenerate into a system which has the practical effect of inviting and enticing men to commit sin. By leaving the impression in men's minds that mere vocal recitation of past sins to the appointed church officer - without the attendant contrition of heart and the future righteousness of life - will suffice to cleanse the sinner, it is obvious that many persons will not be restrained from the commission of sin. Further, this true doctrine and law of confession stands in sharp contrast to the customs and practices found in the world in which churches say to their adherents, as Moroni expressed it: "Come unto me, and for your money you shall be for given of your sins." (Morm. 8:32.)

4. RESTITUTION FOR SIN. - Restitution means restoration; it is to return the stolen property, to make amends for the offense committed, to repair the damage done, to compensate for hardships imposed by one's acts. Ordinarily restitution is made to the aggrieved party, but full compliance with this requirement is not always possible; virtue destroyed cannot be brought back. Where literal and actual restitution cannot be made, still all possible compensation must be given so that the one seeking forgiveness will have complied with the law to the extent of his ability.

5. OBEDIENCE TO ALL LAW. - Complete forgiveness is reserved for those only who turn their whole hearts to the Lord and begin to keep all of his commandments not just those commandments disobeyed in the past, but those in all fields. "He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven." (D. & C. 1:32.) "I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you." (D. & C. 84:61.)

Necessarily a part of this full compliance with divine law includes forgiveness of one's neighbor of his trespasses. (Luke 11:1-4; 3 Ne. 13:9-15.) "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matt. 6:9-15.) "Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." (Luke 6:37.) "My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened. Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And ye ought to say in your hearts - let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds." (D. & C. 64:8-11.)

At what times and under what circumstances do men gain forgiveness of their sins? Manifestly, they attain this reward at any time when they are in complete harmony with the divine will, that is at any time when they have complied with the Lord's law where under they are enabled to become pure and spotless before him.

Initially and primarily, accountable and worthy persons gain forgiveness of their sins when a valid and authoritative baptism is performed for them. The very ordinance of baptism is ordained, among other reasons, so that men may gain a remission of their sins through it. Thus the resurrected Lord taught the Nephites: "And no unclean thing can enter into his [the Father's] 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. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." (3 Ne. 27:19-20.)

Mere performance of the formal rite or ordinance of baptism, standing alone and without full compliance with the law on the part of the converted persons, does not put the Lord's cleansing power into operation. No blessing ever accrues to men except as a result of full compliance with the law upon which its receipt is predicated. (D. & C. 130:20-21.) Accordingly, Moroni counseled: "See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out." (Morm. 9:29.) Ordinances and performances are performed in worthiness when the recipients of the blessings have so lived that the ratifying seal of the Spirit attends what is done. (D. & C. 132:7.)

Thus baptisms performed for worthy persons and in accordance with the revealed law, actually cleanse the baptized persons. Their sins are washed away in the waters of baptism; they are burned out of their souls through the baptism of fire. The revealed law governing baptismal worthiness is this: "All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church." (D. & C. 20:37.)

When converted persons are baptized for the remission of sins, the sacred baptismal ordinance is designed to free them from past and future sins. Those sins committed after baptism are forgiven whenever members of the Church, by full compliance with the law of forgiveness, again get themselves in the same state of righteousness and purity previously attained in connection with their baptisms.

Provision, accordingly, is found in the gospel for worthy members of the Lord's Church to renew the covenants made in the waters of baptism and to receive again into their lives the promises of peace in this life and eternal life hereafter that were given them when they accepted membership in the kingdom.

In the covenant of baptism, among other things, men promise:

1. To remember the death, burial, and resurrection of their Lord - the very ordinance itself being so ordained as to symbolize these things; 2. "To take upon them the name of Jesus Christ"; and 3. To "serve him and keep his commandments." In return. the Lord on his part promises: 1. That he will "pour out his Spirit more abundantly" upon such persons; and 2. That they shall "have eternal life." (Mosiah 18:8-10; D. & C. 20:37.)

Now precisely and identically this same covenant is made by persons who partake of the sacrament. In other words, if they have been baptized (thus making the covenant of baptism), and if they then partake of the sacrament, they are renewing or making again the very covenant which brought remission of sins to them. Each time baptized members of the Church partake of the bread and water of the Lord's Supper, they most solemnly promise: 1. To remember the body of the Son of God which was crucified for them; 2 .To take upon them the name of the Son; and 3 . To "always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them."

In return, as his part of the covenant, the Lord promises: 1. That the saints shall "have his Spirit to be with them"; and 2. That they shall have "eternal life at the last day." (D. & C. 20:75- 79; John 6:54.)

It is an axiomatic gospel verity that the Spirit of the Lord will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; Mosiah 2:37; Alma 7:21; 34:36; Hela. 4:24.) The Spirit will not come to a man unless and until he is prepared by personal righteousness to have the companionship of that member of the Godhead. Thus to be worthy of baptism men must "witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins" (D. & C. 20:37), and precisely the same thing is involved in their preparation to partake worthily of the sacrament. In other words, as a result of worthy baptism men stand clean before him if they fulfill the foil law involved in partaking of the sacrament, for in each instance they are rewarded with the companionship of the Spirit, which companionship they cannot have unless they are cleansed and purified from sin.

There are also other sacred occasions on which men are privileged to ascend to those spiritual heights where they gain the justifying approval of the Spirit for their conduct and as a consequence are forgiven of their sins. James named the ordinance of administration to the sick as one of these. "Is any sick among you?" he asked, "let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." (Jas. 5:14-15.) That is, the person who by faith, devotion, righteousness, and personal worthiness, is in a position to be healed, is also in a position to have the justifying approval of the Spirit for his course of life, and his sins are forgiven him, as witnessed by the fact that he receives the companionship of the Spirit, which he could not have if he were unworthy.

In principle, what is here stated with reference to the sacrament and the ordinance of administration to the sick, applies to any other course of spiritual preparation which persons undergo, if that course of life is such as to get them in harmony with the Spirit of the Lord. One of the beauties of this doctrine is that in and through it repeated opportunities are given to sinners - and all men are sinners to a greater or lesser degree, whether they are in the Church or out of it - to repent and get their lives in such accord with the divine will that they may become heirs of salvation.

In the final analysis, men are not saved unless they have struggled and labored through repentance and the attainment of forgiveness to the point that they stand clean and spotless before the judgment bar, for "no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven." (Alma 11:27.)




1 . Illicit sexual intercourse on the part of an unmarried person is called fornication. It is one of the grossest types of sex immorality, ranking close to adultery in wickedness. Men are commanded to abstain therefrom (1 Thess. 4:3), with the dire decree that unrepentant fornicators shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11.) The saints are "not to company with fornicators" (1 Cor. 5:9-13), unless such a person has repented with all his heart and gained forgiveness for his debasing crime. (D. & C. 42:74-77)

2. In a spiritual sense, infidelity to and a forsaking of the true God for false gods is also called fornication. (2 Chron. 21:5-1 1.)

*Fortune Tellers

Fortune Tellers


*Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling


As practiced in modem times, fortune telling falls into two categories: I. Frivolous attempts to amuse by pretending to foretell the future under circumstances which are recognized by all concerned as mere entertainment; and 2. Serious attempts to foretell and prognosticate future occurrences by using occult or hidden powers, or at least, through devious and concealed means, to make recipients of the messages believe such have come from sources or through arrangements by which the future can be made known.

These serious attempts at fortune telling are of the devil and are in effect often accepted as a substitute for the true principle and practice of receiving revelation and guidance from a divine source. Frivolous fortune telling games played at parties are relatively innocent past-times, but real attempts to foretell the future and to delineate the destiny and fate of persons or groups by palmistry, phrenology, cards, tea leaves, horoscopes, or any other astrological device - all these are contrary to revealed truth.

To Babylon the Lord sent this message: For thy crime of self-exaltation, and "for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments," thou shalt be destroyed. Then, in mocking vein, he challenged: "Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from thy youth. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee." Then the Lord decreed that these fortune tellers "shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame." (Isa. 47) True it is that serious fortune telling has no part in God's kingdom.




*Free Agency

Free Agency





Freedom is the power and ability to choose for oneself the course one will follow in all fields of activity. It is an inalienable right with which man has been endowed by his Creator. (D. & C. 98:4-8.)

Freedom is based on truth, and no man is perfectly free unless he has knowledge of and abides in the truth. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32.) As long as man's beliefs, or any part of them, are based on error, he is not completely free, for the chains of error bind his mind. Freedom also results from righteousness because the captivity of sin is bondage. "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34), "for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." (2 Pet. 2:19.)

Freedom of conscience, the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of one's own conscience, is the greatest of all freedoms. (Eleventh Article of Faith; Alma 1:17; 21:22; 30:9.) The gospel gives freedom to men (Gal. 5:1), and the gospel itself is free. (Matt. 10:8; Rev. 21:6; 22:17; 2 Ne. 26:25-28.)

This American nation has been established by the Lord as the champion of freedom in the last days. (D. & C. 101:76-80.) The ancient promise was that the inhabitants of this land should "be set up as a free people by the power of the Father" (3 Ne. 21:4), so that the gospel could be restored and the Lord's great latter-day work accomplished. The freedoms guaranteed under our constitutional government should belong "to all mankind." (D. & C. 98:4-10.) Eventually they will, for freedom shall be enthroned during the millennial era. "Ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come" (D. & C. 38:22), the Lord says, and his law is "the perfect law of liberty." (Jas. 1:25.)

*Friends of God

Friends of God





*Fullness of the Father

Fullness of the Father


The expression fullness of the Father has reference to his position of power, glory, perfection, and godhood. The "fullness of the glory of the Father" consists in the possession of "all power, both in heaven and on earth." (D. & C. 93:16-17.) God is an exalted Man, and exaltation consists in having the fullness of all powers, all attributes, and all perfections. (D. & C. 76; 93; 132.)

The plan of exaltation is one whereunder those who fill the full measure of their creation are able to progress to that state wherein they will gain the fullness of the Father. Christ is the Exemplar; he went from grace to grace until finally after the resurrection he gained the fullness of all things, including the fullness of truth, knowledge, and power. (Matt. 28:18; D. & C. 93:6-30.)

Obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel, including the crowning ordinance of celestial marriage, is the way whereby the fullness of the Father may be gained. Those so named, who keep their covenants, shall go on "to their exaltation and glory in all things, . . . which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods." (D. & C. 132:6, 19-20; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 24, 44-45, 62-63.)

Joseph Smith taught: "All those who keep his [the Father's] commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all; being filled with the fullness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.... As the Son partakes of the fullness of the Father through the Spirit, so the saints are, by the same Spirit, to be partakers of the same fullness, to enjoy the same glory; for as the Father and the Son are one, so, in like manner, the saints are to be one in them. Through the love of the Father, the mediation of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, they are to be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ." (Lectures on Faith, pp. 50-52; 3 Ne. 28:10-11.)

*Fullness of the Gentiles

Fullness of the Gentiles


*Fullness of the Gospel

Fullness of the Gospel


*Fullness of Times

Fullness of Times





Religious services or funerals held in connection with death are designed for the comfort, blessing, and edification of the living; they have no effect whatever on the reward or condemnation of the departed. They are proper occasions on which to preach the truths of salvation; to testily of the reality of the resurrection; to give comfort, solace, and counsel to the bereaved; to hold forth the assurance of immortality for all men and the hope of eternal life for those who have kept the faith; to mention the good qualities and achievements of the departed. The practice of wiping out every fault and magnifying every seeming virtue of faithless persons, as soon as they are dead, however, leaves the false impression that acceptance of the gospel and complete obedience to its standards while in this life are not important. Extravagant statements, promises, or assurances - unless clearly dictated by the Spirit - should not be made at funerals.

*(G )




To play his part in the great restoration of all things, Gabriel came in modem times and conferred the keys of his dispensation upon Joseph Smith. As with other angelic ministrants to this earth, Gabriel also spent his mortal probation here. He is Noah, the one who stands next to Michael or Adam in the priesthood hierarchy. (Teachings, p. 157.)

We have Biblical evidence that Gabriel ministered to Daniel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21); and that he appeared to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the mother of our Lord. (Luke 1:5-38.) There is no foundation for the common sectarian tradition that it is he who will blow his horn to herald the resurrection. Rather, as appears from latter-day revelation, it will be Michael the archangel who shall sound the trump at the great and coming day. (D. & C. 88: 106-1 16.)

*Gadianton Robbers

Gadianton Robbers





Christ is called the Galilean (Matt. 21:11; Luke 23:5-7; John 7:41-42), because he lived in the city of Nazareth in the Roman province of Galilee. His prophetic powers were belittled by the Jews on the specious contention that "out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." (John 7:52.)




Gambling is the playing or gaming for money or other stakes with a view to getting something for little or nothing; elements of luck and chance are always present - all of which, when taken together, form a system which is not of God.

Gambling is in opposition to the divine will; it is a wicked, evil practice, destructive of the finer sensitivities of the soul. No matter how cloaked or disguised, and no matter how professedly worthy an accompanying money raising scheme may be, gambling is morally wrong and will be avoided by all who are saints in deed.

Clubs, civic organizations, fraternal groups, governments, and sometimes even some churches, sponsor, support, approve, or conduct various gambling enterprises as part of their fund raising programs. Such sponsorship has no sanctifying or transforming power. Gambling is gambling, and is to be shunned, no matter where it is found.

In every concern of life the element of chance is present, and this fact of itself does not classify an enterprise as gambling. "The element of chance enters very largely into everything we undertake," President Joseph F. Smith said, "and it should be remembered that the spirit in which we do things decides very largely whether we are gambling or are entering into legitimate business enterprise." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 326.)

*Games of Chance

Games of Chance





*Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden


Adam and Eve, when first created, were placed in the Garden of Eden, by which is meant they were given a home "eastward in Eden," in a garden which the Lord had planted on an earth which was paradisaical in nature. (Gen. 2; 3; Moses 3; 4.) As things were then constituted, death had not entered the world either for Adam and Eve or for any living creature; there was no procreation; and all things were in a state of pristine innocence and beauty. (2 Ne. 2:19-25.) It was the fall which brought death, mortality, and all the present vicissitudes of life to man on earth. This glorious garden was located on the American continent "where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built." (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p. 74.)

At the Second Coming of our Lord, "the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory" (Tenth Article of Faith), that is, it will return again to the edenic state and millennial conditions will exist. Of this restoration Isaiah said: "For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." (Isa. 51:3; Ezek. 36:35.)



Garments are various articles of clothing used to dress the body. They may be worn for utilitarian or religious purposes or both. The Lord made "coats of skins" for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness. (Gen. 3:21.) Special ceremonial and "holy garments" were worn by Aaron and the priests. (Ex. 28; Lev. 16; Ezek. 42:14.) Garments worn by angels are "pure and white above all other whiteness." (D. & C. 20:6.) To avoid pride, garments of mortals should be "plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands." (D. & C. 42:40-42.)

Much that is sacred and symbolical is taught by reference to garments. Kings and rulers were identified anciently by their robes of scarlet and purple; such a robe was placed on Christ in mocking derision by the soldiers. (Matt. 27:28-31; John 19:2-5.) When our Lord comes again, as a sign of impending judgment, he "shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat." (D. & C. 133:46-51; Isa. 63:1-6.) It was the ancient custom to tear one's garments as a token of great sorrow or abject humility, a custom so hypocritically abused that Joel commanded: "Rend your heart, and not your garments." (Joel 2:13.) It was also the practice to sit in sackcloth and ashes as a token of great sorrow and mourning. (Gen. 37:34.)

It was an ancient practice for the Lord's prophets to take off their garments and shake them as a sign that they were rid of the blood and sins of those to whom they had been sent to testify. (2 Ne. 9:44; Jac. 1:19; 2:2; Mosiah 2:28; Morm. 9:35.) Similar symbolism is used in latter-day revelation: "Cleanse your hearts and your garments, lest the blood of this generation be required at your hands," the Lord says. (D.&C. 112:33; 88:85; 135:5.)

Clean garments are a sign of cleanliness, perfection, and salvation. To gain salvation men must wash their garments in the blood of the Lamb. (I Ne. 12:10; Alma 5:21-27; 7:25; 13:11-12; 3 Ne. 27:19; Rev. 6:11; 7:9-17.) Speaking of the saints, at the dedication of the Kirkland Temple, the Prophet prayed: "That our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands, and crowns of glory upon our heads, and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings." (D. & C. 109:76.)

"Thou hast a few names . . . which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment." (Rev. 3:4-5.) "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Rev. 16:15.)

*Gates of Hell

Gates of Hell


Lucifer leaves the gates of hell wide open so that all who will yield to his enticements can enter that abode of darkness and sorrow. The path of sin leads to the gates of hell; unrepentant persons carry their own sins which are the tickets of admission granting entrance through those mammoth gates.

Figuratively, these gates beckon to the unwary, inviting them to enter, and these gates of hell are said to prevail against those who by sin cast their lot with Lucifer and thus go to hell. But those who accept the gospel, join the Church, live in righteousness and faith, and endure to the end, have the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. (D. & C. 10:69; 17:8; 18:5; 21:6; 33:13; 98:22; 3 Ne. 11:39.) To Peter the Lord said that the gates of hell should never prevail against the rock of revelation, (Matt. 16:18.)

*Gate to Exaltation

Gate to Exaltation


*Gate to Salvation

Gate to Salvation


*Gathering of Israel

Gathering of Israel


Through her establishment as a nation, her ancient dispersion among all the peoples of the earth, and her latter-day gathering together again, the world is viewing the miracle that is Israel. Scattered when she forsook the Lord, rejected his statutes, and turned to unrighteousness, Israel is now being gathered as she turns back to the true God of her fathers, stands fast again in the everlasting gospel covenant, and turns her heart to righteousness. (Teachings, pp. 84-85, 92-93, 183, 231-232; Articles of Faith, pp. 328-344.)

"As general as was the scattering of Israel so must the gathering be. If the dispersion was over all the earth, and among all nations, so the gathering must be out of all nations, and from all parts of the earth.

"When we reflect that it is 32 centuries since the enemies of Israel began to oppress them in the land of Canaan; that about one-third of the time they were a people in that land, they were, more or less, in bondage to their enemies; that 700 years before the coming of Christ the Ten Tribes were scattered throughout western Asia; that we have no record that any have as yet returned to the land of their inheritance; that nearly 600 years before Christ the Babylonish captivity took place, and that, according to the Book of Esther only a part of the Jews ever returned, but were scattered through the 127 provinces of the Persian empire; that Asia was the hive from which swarmed the nomadic tribes who overran Europe; that at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans the Jews were scattered over the known world; we may well ask the question. Does not Israel today constitute a large proportion of the human family? With this comprehensive view of the subject of the scattering, we the better understand such passages as the following: I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them.' (Jer. 23:3.)" (Compendium, p. 90.)

The gathering of Israel is first spiritual and second temporal. It is spiritual in that the lost sheep of Israel are first "restored to the true church and fold of God," meaning that they come to a true knowledge of the God of Israel, accept the gospel which he has restored in latter-days, and join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is temporal in that these converts are then "gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and . . . established in all their lands of promise" (2 Ne. 9:2; 25:15-18; Jer. 16:14-21), meaning that the house of Joseph will be established in America, the house of Judah in Palestine, and that the Lost Tribes will come to Ephraim in America to receive their blessings in due course. (D. & C. 133.)

However, the temporal gathering of Israel will not be completed before the Second Coming of the Son of Man. "I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God," Nephi recorded relative to the last days, "were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore." (1 Ne. 14:12.) The erection by the Church of temples in distant lands is further evidence that all the hosts of Israel who are gathered into the spiritual fold will not be assembled temporally. But in due course "the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Jos. Smith 1 :37.)

The purpose of the gathering of Israel is twofold: I. To put the peoples of living Israel in that environment where they may the better work out their salvation, where they may have the Gentile and worldly views erased from them, and where they may be molded into that pattern of perfect righteousness which will please the Almighty; and 2. To enable the gathered remnants of the chosen lineage to build temples and perform the ordinances of salvation and exaltation for their Israelitish ancestors who lived when the gospel was not had on earth.

"It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was," the Prophet taught, "that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered, and he therefore poured out curses upon them. Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.

"It is for the same purpose that God gathers together his people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings, etc. One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for the dead. God decreed before the foundation of the world that that ordinance should be administered in a font prepared for that purpose in the house of the Lord." (Teachings, p. 308.)

That Israel cannot be gathered in the latter-days, in fulfillment of the host of ancient prophecies, without revelation and direction from on high is evident to every thoughtful person. Accordingly the Lord restored the ancient

covenants again and sent Moses to deliver the keys of the gathering of Israel and the leading of the Ten Tribes from the land of the north. (D. & C. 1 10:11.) By virtue of these keys the prophet and his successors, each in turn, have held the directive and presiding authority relative to this great work. The Lord has set his hand the second time to gather his people (D. & C. 133), and they are now beginning to assemble from all nations at the mountain of the Lord's house. (Isa. 2:2-4.) In due course all Israel will be gathered and the other tribes will receive their blessings from Ephraim whose status is that of the firstborn. (D. & C. 133; Jer. 31:9.)

The fact of the gathering of Israel, under the direction of the president of the Church who holds the keys, is one of the great evidences of the divine calling of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Any church which does not understand the doctrine of the kingdom being restored to Israel in an age after New Testament times (Acts 1:6) cannot be the Lord's Church.

The glory of Israel's latter-day gathering is beginning to appear, and it will not be long before the Ten Tribes will return (D. & C. 133) and all things incident to this great work will be fulfilled. Then the Lord's promise as given by Jeremiah will find complete fulfillment: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said. The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." (Jer. 16:14-15.)




Strange and unusual names were placed by the Prophet in some of the early revelations so that the individuals whom the Lord was then addressing would not be known to the world. The purpose for keeping these identities secret from their enemies having long since passed, the true names are now found in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Two of the names which identified the Prophet himself were Gazelam and Enoch. (D. & C. 78:9; 82:11; 104:26, 43, 45, 46.) Presumptively these and other names used at the same time have particular meanings, which are not now known to us.

With reference to the name Gazelam, it is interesting to note that Alma in directing Helaman to preserve both the Urim and Thummim and the plates containing the Book of Ether, says that such record will be brought to light by the Lord's servant Gazelem, who will use "a stone" in his translation work. (Alma 37:21-23.) It may be that Gazelem is a variant spelling of Gazelam and that Alma's reference is to the Prophet Joseph Smith who did in fact bring forth part at least of the Ether record. Or it could be that the name Gazelem (Gazelam) is a title having to do with power to translate ancient records and that Alma's reference was to some Nephite prophet who brought the Book of Ether to light in the golden era of Nephite history.




Outside Jerusalem, to the south and west, lies the Valley of Hinnom or Gehenna. In the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah, infants were sacrificed to Molech at a Topheth or high place built in this valley, causing it to take on a sinister significance and be called "the valley of slaughter." (2 Kings 23:5, 10; 2 Chron. 28:3; 33:6; Isa. 30:33; Jer. 7:31-34; 19:6, 11-15.) Thereafter Gehenna was further desecrated as a garbage and rubbish heap and as a place where bodies of criminals were thrown out; to help prevent pestilence, over burning fires were kept smoldering in this infested refuse.

Under these conditions, it was natural for the prophetic mind to use the term gehenna to signify the burnings, torment, anguish, and unspeakable horrors of hell. Our Lord himself made frequent use of gehenna to signify hell and its attendant horrors. (Matt. 5:22; 29:30; Mark 9:43-47; Luke 12:5; Jas. 3:6.) His statement, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48), becomes even more expressive when viewed in the light of the numerous crawling things and perpetual burnings of that Gehenna of which his hearers had personal knowledge.

*Genealogical Research

Genealogical Research


Before vicarious ordinances of salvation and exaltation may be performed for those who have died without a knowledge of the gospel, but who presumably would have received it had the opportunity come to them, they must be accurately and properly identified. Hence, genealogical research is required.

To aid its members in intelligent and effective research, the Church maintains in Salt Lake City one of the world's greatest genealogical societies. Much of the genealogical source material of various nations of the earth has been or is being microfilmed by this society; millions of dollars is being spent; and a reservoir of hundreds of millions of names and other data about people who lived in past generations is available for study.

*Genealogical Society

Genealogical Society


*General Authorities

General Authorities


In order of their precedence, beginning at the top, the general authorities of the Church include members of: The First Presidency, Council of the Twelve, the Patriarch to the Church, Assistants to the Twelve, First Council of the Seventy, and Presiding Bishopric. These brethren are all delegated general administrative authority by the President of the Church. That is, they are called to preach the gospel, direct church conferences, choose other church officers, perform ordinations and settings apart, and handle the properties and interests of the Church generally. The labors of their ministries are not confined to stake, ward, or regional areas, but they have general jurisdiction in all parts of the Church.

Some general authorities are empowered to do one thing and some another. All are subject to the strict discipline the Lord always imposes on his saints and those who preside over them. The positions they occupy are high and exalted. But the individuals who hold these offices are humble men like their brethren in the Church. So well qualified and trained are the members of the Church that there are many brethren who could - if called, sustained, and set apart - serve effectively in nearly every important position in the Church.

Though general authorities are authorities in the sense of having power to administer church affairs, they may or may not be authorities in the sense of doctrinal knowledge, the intricacies of church procedures, or the receipt of the promptings of the Spirit. A call to an administrative position of itself adds little knowledge or power of discernment to an individual, although every person called to a position in the Church does grow in grace, knowledge and power by magnifying the calling given him.

*General Auxiliary Officers

General Auxiliary Officers


Heads of the various auxiliary organizations are sustained as the general auxiliary officers of the Church. The Relief Society, Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association, and Primary Association are each presided over by a president and two counselors, forming a general presidency; the Deseret Sunday School Union and the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association are each presided over by a general superintendent and two assistants, forming a general superintendency. These offices are filled with qualified and worthy brethren and sisters who are called, for a time and a season, to preside over and govern the affairs of their respective organizations. The keys of such presidency are conferred upon them for the periods of their calls.

*General Boards

General Boards


Each auxiliary organization is supervised by its general officers, assisted by a general board. These boards, made up of specialists in the various fields of auxiliary organization work, help initiate, plan, and prepare the programs which are put into operation in the various stakes. The boards are counseling and advisory bodies. They train and encourage stake and ward workers, but do not preside over or direct the church service of these local officers.




Since generation means the act of producing or begetting offspring, a generation of people is composed of those who descend from the same parents. The statement, "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Gen. 5:1), means in effect, "This is the book of the descendants of Adam," or "This is the genealogy of those who sprang from Adam."

In the sense of reproducing itself, a generation is about 30 or 40 years. (Job 42:16; 1 Ne. 12:11-12.) In the sense of measuring time by the lives of men, a generation, since the Abrahamic day, has been about 100 years. (Gen. 15:13-16; Ex. 12:40; 4 Ne. 18,22.) From this standpoint of measurement, a generation from the time of Adam to the flood would have been nearly 1000 years. (Gen. 5.) A generation may be measured in terms of the life of the oldest persons who live in a particular period. (D. & C. 45:30-31; 84:4-5.) It may also refer to all contemporary people living in a given age. (D. & C. 5:8-10.)

*Gentile Fullness

Gentile Fullness





Various meanings have been attached to the name Gentiles in different ages, depending on the historical setting or the doctrinal teachings involved. Literally the meaning is, "of the same clan or race," and Biblical revisions frequently substitute the word nations in its place.

The descendants of Noah's son Japheth were called Gentiles (Gen. 10:1-5), and in this sense the descendants of Shem (ancestor of Abraham) and of Ham (father of the negro race) would not be Gentiles. In the days of Abraham, the term was used to refer to those nations and peoples who had not descended from him, with the added assurance that all Gentiles who should receive the gospel would be adopted into the lineage of Abraham and be accounted his seed. (Abra. 2:9-11.) The Prophet taught that those so adopted became literally of the blood of Abraham. (Teachings, pp. 149-150.) In the days of ancient Israel, those not of the lineage of Jacob were considered to be Gentiles, although the Arabs and other races of Semitic origin who traced their lineage back to Abraham would not have been Gentiles in the strict Abrahamic use of the word.

After the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the Ten Tribes were led away into Assyrian captivity, those of the Kingdom of Judah called themselves Jews and designated all others as Gentiles. It is this concept that would have been taught to Lehi, Mulek and the other Jews who came to the Western Hemisphere to found the great Nephite and Lamanite civilizations. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the Book of Mormon repeatedly speaking of Jew and Gentile as though this phrase marked a division between all men; to find the United States described as a Gentile Nation (1 Ne. 13; 3 Ne. 21); and to find the promise that the Book of Mormon would come forth "by way of the Gentile." (Title page of Book of Mormon; D. & C. 20:9.)

Actually, of course, the house of Israel has been scattered among all nations, and Joseph Smith (through whom the Book of Mormon was revealed) was of the Tribe of Ephraim. At the same time the Prophet was of the Gentiles, meaning that he was a citizen of a Gentile Nation and also that he was not a Jew. Members of the Church in general are both of Israel and of the Gentiles. Indeed, the gospel has come forth in the last days in the times of the Gentiles and, in large measure, will not go to the Jews until the Gentile fullness comes in. (D. & C. 45:28-30.)

Having in mind the principle that Gentiles are adopted into the lineage of Israel when they accept the gospel, and that those who fail to believe the truths of salvation (no matter what their lineage) lose any preferential status they may have had, it is not inappropriate in our day to speak of members of the Church as Israelites and unbelievers as Gentiles.




1 . Properly, a ghost is a spirit. In death the spirit leaves the body, or in other words the body gives up the ghost. (Gen. 49:33; Acts 5:10; Jac. 7:20-21.) Of our Lord's death, the scripture says he "yielded up the ghost." (Matt. 27:50; Hela. 14:21.) In referring to the third member of the Godhead the Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit are used interchangeably.

2. As part of the mythology and false worship of apostate Christendom - particularly during the dark ages - the true concept of ghosts was perverted so that disembodied spirits (ghosts) were conceived of as being hideous and horrible denizens of an unseen world who occasionally appeared in bodily likeness to torment and frighten mortals.

Along with this twisting of the truth, concepts arose relative to apparitions goblins, specters, spooks, sprites elves, fairies, and the like. Though these various mythological phantoms do not exist in reality, belief in them arose initially out of the true doctrine of ghosts and other actual beings of the unseen world. Such appearances of spirit beings (supposed to be goblins, specters and the like) as have actually occurred, probably, have been appearances of devils who never had a body rather than of disembodied ghosts.

*Gift of Prophecy

Gift of Prophecy


*Gift of the Holy Ghost

Gift of the Holy Ghost


"There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost," the Prophet taught. (Teachings, p. 199.) As the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost is a Personage of Spirit; the gift of the Holy Ghost, however, is the right, based on faithfulness, to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead. It is the right to receive revelation, guidance light, and truth from the Spirit. "The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost," President Joseph F. Smith said, "simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 60-61.)

Joseph Smith explained: "Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the gospel but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him. Until he obeyed these ordinances and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, according to the order of God, he could not have healed the sick or commanded an evil spirit to come out of a man, and it obey him." (Teachings, p. 199.)

In similar manner, in this day, many nonmembers of the Church, "by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moro. 10:4-5), learn that the Book of Mormon is true, or that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, but unless they repent and are baptized that flash of testimony leaves them. They never receive the continuing, renewed assurance that comes from the companionship of that Spirit Being whose mission it is to whisper truth to the spirits within men. (Teachings, pp. 198-199.)

Further, the fact that a person has had hands laid on his head and a legal administrator has declared, "Receive the Holy Ghost," does not guarantee that the gift itself has actually been enjoyed. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to have the constant companionship of the Spirit; the actual enjoyment of the gift, the actual receipt of the companionship of the Spirit, is based on personal righteousness; it does not come unless and until the person is worthy to receive it. The Spirit will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19.) Those who actually enjoy the gift or presentment of the Holy Ghost are the ones who are born again, who have become new creatures of the Holy Ghost. (Mosiah 27:24-26.)

Even a righteous person is often left to himself so that he does not at all times enjoy the promptings of revelation and light from the Holy Ghost. "Every elder of the Church who has received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, by one having authority, has power to confer that gift upon another; it does not follow that a man who has received the presentation or gift of the Holy Ghost shall always receive the recognition and witness and presence of the Holy Ghost himself; or he may receive all these, and yet the Holy Ghost not tarry with him, but visit him from time to time (D. & C. 130:23); and neither does it follow that a man must have the Holy Ghost present with him when he confers the Holy Ghost upon another, but he possesses the gift of the Holy Ghost, and it will depend upon the worthiness of him unto whom the gift is bestowed whether he receives the Holy Ghost or not." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 61.)

*Gift of Tongues

Gift of Tongues


*Gifts of God

Gifts of God


*Gifts of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit


By the grace of God - following devotion, faith, and obedience on man's part - certain special spiritual blessings called gifts of the Spirit are bestowed upon men. Their receipt is always predicated upon obedience to law, but because they are freely available to all the obedient, they are called gifts. They are signs and miracles reserved for the faithful and for none else.

Moroni says that the gifts of God come from Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost and by the Spirit of Christ. (Moro. 10.) In other words, the gifts come by the power of that Spirit who is the Holy Ghost, but the Spirit of Christ (or light of Christ) is the agency through which the Holy Ghost operates.

Their purpose is to enlighten, encourage, and edify the faithful so that they will inherit peace in this life and be guided toward eternal life in the world to come. Their presence is proof of the divinity of the Lord's work; where they are not found, there the Church and kingdom of God is not. The promise is that they shall never be done away as long as the earth continues in its present state, except for unbelief (Moro. 10:19), but when the perfect day comes and the saints obtain exaltation, there will be no more need for them. As Paul expressed it, "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (I Cor. 13.)

Faithful persons are expected to seek the gifts of the Spirit with all their hearts. They are to "covet earnestly the best gifts" (I Cor. 12:31; D. & C. 46:8), to "desire spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 14:1), "to ask of God, who giveth liberally." (D. & C. 46:7; Matt. 7:7-8.) To some will be given one gift; to others, another; and "unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby." (D. & C. 46:29.)

From the writings of Paul (1 Cor. 12; 13; 14), and of Moroni (Moro. 10), and from the revelations received by Joseph Smith (D. & C. 46), we gain a clear knowledge of spiritual gifts and how they operate. Among others, we find the following gifts named either in these three places or elsewhere in the scriptures: the gift of knowing by revelation "that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world" (D. & C. 46:13), and also the gift of believing the testimony of those who have gained this revelation; the gifts of testimony, of knowing that the Book of Mormon is true, and of receiving revelations; the gifts of judgment, knowledge, and wisdom; of teaching, exhortation, and preaching; of teaching the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge; of declaring the gospel and of ministry; the gift of faith, including power both to heal and to be healed; the gifts of healing, working of miracles, and prophesy; the viewing of visions, beholding of angels and ministering spirits, and the discerning of spirits; speaking with tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the interpretation of languages, and the gift of translation; the differences of administration in the Church and the diversities of operation of the Spirit; the gift of seership, "and a gift which is greater can no man have." (Mosiah 8:16; Alma 9:21; D. & C. 5:4; 43:3-4; Rom. 12:6-8.) And these are by no means all of the gifts. In the fullest sense, they are infinite in number and endless in their manifestations.



See JOY.







*Gnashing of Teeth

Gnashing of Teeth


In the literal sense, the gnashing of teeth consists in grinding and striking the teeth together in anger. This expressive act, indicative of hate and violent animosity, was adopted by the prophets as the proverbial way of portraying the intensity of the weeping, wailing, and sorrow of the ungodly. Wicked men gnash their teeth at the anointed of the Lord in this life. (Job 16:9; Ps. 35:16; 37:12; 112:10; Mark 9:18; Acts 7:54; Alma 14:21.) Then in eternity the wicked are cast into hell where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (Mosiah 16:2; Alma 40:13; D. & C. 19:5; 85:9; 101:9; 124:8, 52; 133:73; Matt. 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28.)




In what appears to be a case of transliteration from the Egyptian of the Book of Abraham, the prophet Joseph Smith has added the word gnolaum to the English language. Its meaning is substantially synonymous with our word eternal. Speaking of "two spirits" the Lord said to Abraham, as the Prophet has translated it, that they "have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal." (Abra. 3:18.)

The Lord revealed a similar truth to the Prophet by saying: "Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." (D. & C. 93:29.) And the prophet taught the same truth when he said that "the mind or the intelligence which man possesses is coequal [coeternal] with God himself . . . The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end." (Teachings, p. 353) Thus, intelligence, or the light of truth, that is the spirit element which Abraham says was organized to form intelligences or spirit children, was not created or made. (Abra. 3:23.) It has existed forever, and will exist to all eternity, for it is gnolaum, or eternal.




Joseph Smith used this word in his famous King Follett sermon in describing the punishment of those who commit the unpardonable sin. Like gnolaum, it is peculiar to Latter-day Saint theology, and appears to have the same root origin.

The Prophet said: "There have been remarks made concerning all men being redeemed from hell; but I say that those who sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world or in the world to come; they shall die the second death. Those who commit the unpardonable sin are doomed to Gnolom - to dwell in hell, worlds without end. As they concoct scenes of bloodshed in this world, so they shall rise to that resurrection which is as the lake of fire and brimstone. Some shall rise to the everlasting burnings of God; for God dwells in everlasting burnings, and some shall rise to the damnation of their own filthiness, which is as exquisite a torment as the lake of fire and brimstone." (Teachings, p. 361.)




Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era. Its chief interest to the gospel student lies in the fact that the gnostic concept of God, in large part, was the one adopted by the early church councils, with the result that modem Christians, as acceptors of these early creeds, are worshiping with a false concept of God to which Christian names have been given.

"The Gnostics taught that there existed from eternity," Elder B. H. Roberts explains, "a Being that embodied within himself all the virtues; a Being who is the purest light and is diffused throughout boundless space which they called Pleroma." In due course a celestial family was created, the members of which were called Aeons. One of these Aeons created the earth, formed man with a vicious body, and tried to overthrow "the authority of the supreme God." Salvation to the Gnostics consisted in restoring liberty to the "spirits now imprisoned in bodies," by dissolving the "fabric of the world."

"When the followers of this philosophy became converted to Christianity, they looked upon Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost as the latest Aeons or emanations from the Deity, sent foi1h to emancipate men from the tyranny of matter by revealing to them the true God, to fit them - through perfect knowledge - to enter the sacred Pleroma. In connection with this, however, some of these Christian Gnostics held that Jesus had no body at all, but was an unsubstantial phantom that constantly deceived the senses of those who thought they associated with him. Others of them said there doubtless was a man called Jesus, born of human parents, upon whom one of the Aeons, called Christ, descended at his baptism, having quitted the Pleroma for that purpose; but who, previous to the crucifixion of the man Jesus, withdrew from him and returned to Deity." (Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, pp. 183-194.)







There are three Gods - the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - who, though separate in personality, are united as one in purpose, in plan, and in all the attributes of perfection. Thus anything, in these fields, which is revealed with reference to any of them is equally true of each of the others; and hence no attempt need be made in these fields to distinguish between them.

By definition, God (generally meaning the Father) is the one supreme and absolute Being; the ultimate source of the universe; the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. Of him, when considering the object upon which faith rests, the Prophet observes "that God is the only supreme governor and independent Being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings centers for life and salvation." (Lectures on Faith, p. 9.)

"There is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them." (D. & C. 20:17.) He is not a progressive being in the sense that liberal religionists profess to believe; he was not created by man; and he was not a God of vengeance and war in Old Testament times and a God of love and mercy in a later New Testament era. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God is known only by revelation; he stands revealed or remains forever unknown. He cannot be discovered in the laboratory, or by viewing all immensity through giant telescopes, or by cataloging all the laws of nature that do or have existed. A knowledge of his powers and the laws of nature which he has ordained does not reveal his personality and attributes to men in the true gospel sense. Certainly a knowledge of these laws and powers enables man to learn truths which are faith promoting and which help him to understand more about Deity; but saving knowledge of God comes only by revelation from the Holy Ghost as a consequence of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

Man's purpose in life is to learn the nature and kind of being that God is, and then, by conformity to his laws and ordinances, to progress to that high state of exaltation wherein man becomes perfect as the Father is perfect. (Matt. 5;48; Teachings, pp. 342-362.)

*God Almighty

God Almighty


*God As a Spirit

God As a Spirit


False creeds teach that God is a spirit essence that fills the immensity of space and is everywhere and nowhere in particular present. In a vain attempt to support this doctrine, formulated by councils in the early days of the great apostasy, it is common for apologists to point to the statement in the King James Bible which says, "God is a Spirit." (John 4:22-24.) The fact is that this passage is mistranslated; instead, the correct statement, quoted in context reads: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth." (Inspired Version, John 4:25-26.)

However, it is true that God may be said to be a Spirit, but this statement must be understood to mean that he is a Spirit in the same sense that a resurrected man is a spirit. When the apostles, beholding the resurrected Lord, "were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit" (Luke 24:36-43), there was not the slightest intimation that the "spirit" was a vaporous nothingness that filled immensity. Spirits are personages. God the Father is a glorified and perfected Man, a personage of flesh and bones (D.& C. 130:22) in which tangible body an eternal spirit is housed. It is in this sense that God is a Spirit.




Three glorified, exalted, and perfected personages comprise the Godhead or supreme presidency of the universe. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 1-55.) They are: God the Father; God the Son; God the Holy Ghost. (First Article of Faith.) "Everlasting covenant was made between three personages" the Prophet said, "before the organization of this earth, and relates to their dispensation of things to men on the earth; these personages according to Abraham's record, are called God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the witness or Testator." (Teachings, p. 190.)

Though each God in the Godhead is a personage separate and distinct from each of the others, yet they are "one God" (Testimony of Three Witnesses in Book of Mormon), meaning that they are united as one in the attributes of perfection. For instance, each has the fullness of truth, knowledge, charity, power, justice, judgment, mercy, and faith. Accordingly they all think, act, speak, and are alike in all things; and yet they are three separate and distinct entities. Each occupies space and is and can be in but one place at one time, but each has power and influence that is everywhere present. The oneness of the Gods is the same unity that should exist among the saints. (John 17; 3 Ne. 28:10-11.)

Perhaps no better statement defining the Godhead and showing the relationship of its members to each other has been written in this dispensation than that given by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Lectures on Faith. "There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme, power over all things, by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible, whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space. They are the Father and the Son - the Father being a personage of spirit [meaning that he has a spiritual body which by revealed definition is a resurrected body of flesh and bones (1 Cor. 15:44-45; D.& C. 88:27)], glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness; the Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man or being in the form and likeness of man, or rather man was formed after his likeness and in his image; he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father, possessing all the fullness of the Father, or the same fullness with the Father; being begotten of him, and ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh, and descended in suffering below that which man can suffer; or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be.

"But, notwithstanding all this, he kept the law of God, and remained without sin, showing thereby that it is in the power of man to keep the law and remain also without sin; and also, that by him a righteous judgment might come upon all flesh, and that all who walk not in the law of God may justly be condemned by the law, and have no excuse for their sins.

"And he being the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fullness of the glory of the Father, possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one; or, in other words these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme, power over all things; by whom all things were created and made that were created and made, and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one; the Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power, and fullness - filling all in all; the Son being filled with the fullness of the mind, glory, and power; or, in other words, the spirit, glory, and power, of the Father, possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom, sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father, mediator for man, being filled with the fullness of the mind of the Father; or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father, which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments.

"And all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all; being filled with the fullness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one." (Lectures on Faith, pp. 50-51.)




That exaltation which the saints of all ages have so devoutly sought is godhood itself. Godhood is to have the character, possess the attributes, and enjoy the perfections which the Father has. It is to do what he does, have the powers resident in him, and live as he lives, having eternal increase. (D. & C. 132: 17-20, 37.) It is to know him in the full and complete sense, and no one can fully know God except another exalted personage who is like him in all respects. Those attaining the supreme height are sons of God (D.& C. 76:50-60); they receive the fullness of the Father and find membership in the Church of the Firstborn (D. & C. 93: 17-22); they are joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:14-18), inheriting with him all that the Father hath. (D. & C. 84:33-51.) They are gods. (Ps. 82:1, 6; John 10:34-36; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 35-79; Gospel Kingdom, pp. 27-30.)

Joseph Smith said: "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. 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; and I will show it from the Bible.

"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, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, 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. . . . [Such persons are] 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." (Teachings, pp. 345-347.) Again: Every man who reigns in celestial glory is a god to his dominions." (Teachings, p. 374)

*God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob

God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

See Christ, God, God Of Israel, Great I Am, Jehovah.

1. Christ is the God of our Fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (D. & C. 136:21-22; Ex 3:1-16.) It was he who appeared to and covenanted with Abraham (Abra. 2:6-11), who was the one by whom salvation should come (1 Ne. 6:4), and who was destined in due course to come into the world and be crucified for the sins of the world. (1 Ne. 19:7-17.)

2. Since Abraham who had the fullness of the gospel, worshiped both the Father and the Son, Peter and others have taken occasion, quite properly, to refer to the Father also as the God of our Fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Acts 3:13; 5:30; 22:14.)

*God of Battles

God of Battles


Christ is the God of Battles. (D. & C. 98:23-48; 105:14.) Anciently he commanded his people to engage in righteous wars (Ex. 23:27-33; 1 Sam. 15:2-3), and whenever they were so engaged, he was entreated of them and fought their battles. (1 Chron. 5:20; 2 Chron. 20:15; 32:7-8.) The whole Nephite history is one of the Lord giving frequent direction to them in their battles, whenever they sought such guidance in faith. In the day of his Second Coming the promise is that he again will fight the battles of his saints, "as when he fought in the day of battle." (Zech. 14:1-5; Ezek. 38; 39; Zeph. 3:8.) Despite the false sensitivities of those who cannot conceive of the meek and lowly Nazarene as a Man of War (Ex. 15:3), yet the inspired answer to the query: Who is the King of Glory? is, "The Lord strong and mighty, and Lord mighty in battle." (Ps. 24:8.)

*God of Gods

God of Gods


"Every man who reigns in celestial glory is a god to his dominions," the Prophet said. (Teachings, p. 374.) Hence, the Father, who shall continue to all eternity as the God of exalted beings, is a God of Gods. Further, as the Prophet also taught, there is "a God above the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father you may suppose that he had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? . . . Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that he had a Father also?" (Teachings, pp. 370, 373.) In this way both the Father and the Son, as also all exalted beings, are now or in due Course will become Gods of Gods. (Teachings, pp. 342-376.)

*God of Hosts

God of Hosts


*God of Israel

God of Israel


Christ is the God of Israel (1 Ne. 19:7-17; 3 Ne. 11:7-17), the God of Jacob (Ps. 146:5; Isa. 2:3; D. & C. 136:21), the Lord God the Mighty One of Israel (D. & C. 36:1), the Lord God of the Hebrews. (Ex. 3:18.) These names signify both that he came of Israel himself and also his personal, attentive care toward that chosen race. They point to his "great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his long kindnesses." (Isa. 63:7-9; D. & C. 133:52-53.)

*God of Jacob

God of Jacob


*God of Jeshurun

God of Jeshurun


Christ is the God of Jeshurun (Deut. 33:26), meaning that he is the God of Israel. Jeshurun or Jesurun, translated as upright one, is used by Moses and Isaiah as a symbolical name for Israel. (Deut. 32:15; 33:4-5; Isa. 44:2.)

*God of Nature

God of Nature


Many who do not profess belief in God as he is revealed in the scriptures, or even as he is described in the false creeds of sectarianism, yet recognizing that law prevails in the universe and among all forms of life, speak of the manifestations of this law as the God of Nature. In reality, Christ is the God of Nature (1 Ne. 19:12), for it is in and through his almighty power that all things are created, upheld, governed, and controlled.

*God of Our Fathers

God of Our Fathers


*God of Spirits

God of Spirits


Our Father in Heaven (Matt. 6:9) is the God of Spirits (Num. 16:22; 27:16) or the Father of Spirits (Heb. 12:9), meaning that he is the literal Parent of the Spirit Christ and of all other spirits. Inasmuch, however, as Christ attained Godhood while yet in pre-existence, he too stood as a God to the other spirits, but this relationship was not the same one of personal parenthood that prevailed between the Father and his offspring.

*God of the Whole Earth

God of the Whole Earth


Christ is the God of the Whole Earth (Isa. 54:5; 3 Ne. 1 1 : 14), an appellation he carries to bear record of his universal interest in all men and their salvation. He is not alone the God of the Jews, or of Israel, or of the Latter-day Saints, but of the whole earth and all life on its face.

*God of This World

God of This World


This world of carnality and lust, of every lascivious and evil thing, belongs to Satan. He created it; he is its father and its god. All those who belong to it - all those who are carnal, sensual, and devilish - are his children, the children of disobedience. The earth itself is the Lord's, and he is its ruler; but the world (the corrupt society on earth) is under the rule of him who is the god of this world. "If our gospel be hid," Paul wrote, "it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Cor. 4:3-4.)

*God of Truth

God of Truth


Christ is a God of Truth (Ex. 34:6; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 31:5), meaning he is the embodiment and personification of truth. In the same sense he is the God of grace, mercy, love, righteousness, charity, integrity, and all of the attributes of godliness.




*God's Life

God's Life


*God's Time

God's Time





*God the Lord

God the Lord


*Gog and Magog

Gog and Magog


1. Our Lord is to come again in the midst of the battle of Armageddon, or in other words during the course of the great war between Israel and Gog and Magog. At the Second Coming all the nations of the earth are to be engaged in battle, and the fighting is to be in progress in the area of Jerusalem and Armageddon. (Zech. II; 12; 13; Rev. 16:14-21.) The prophecies do not name the modem nations which will be fighting for and against Israel, but the designation Gog and Magog is given to the combination of nations which are seeking to overthrow and destroy the remnant of the Lord's chosen seed.

The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel record considerable prophetic detail relative to this great war. It should be noted that it is to take place "in the latter years"; that it will be fought in the "mountains of Israel" against those who have been gathered to the land of their ancient inheritance; that the land of Israel shall be relatively unprotected, a "land of unwalled villages"; that Gog and Magog shall come "out of the north parts" in such numbers as "to cover the land" as a cloud; that the Lord will then come, and all men shall shake at his presence; that there will be such an earthquake as has never before been known, which will throw down the mountains; that there will be pestilence, blood, fire, and brimstone descend upon the armies; that the forces of Gog and Magog will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel; that the Supper of the Great God shall then take place as the beasts and fowls eat the flesh and drink the blood of the fallen ones (Rev. 19:17-18; D. & C. 29:18-21); and that the house of Israel will be seven months burying the dead and seven years burning the discarded weapons of war.

In the light of all this and much more that is prophetically foretold about the final great battles in the holy land, is it any wonder that those who are scripturally informed and spiritually enlightened watch world events with great interest as troubles continue to foment in Palestine, Egypt, and the Near East?

2. Gog and Magog, those nations which combine as the assailants of God's plans and purposes, will also come up in war and rebellion in the final battle of the Great God which is to take place at the end of the millennium plus a short season of preparation. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p. 45.) John describes this war as follows: "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." (Rev. 20:7-9; D. & C. 88:111-116.)






"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matt. 7: 12; 3 Ne. 14: 12.) This perfect code for personal conduct, taken from our Lord's sermon on the mount, is commonly referred to as the Golden Rule, a name which attempts to point up the transcendent wisdom of the counsel involved. Sometimes the Golden Rule is paraphrased to say: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

*Golden Text

Golden Text


"What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Mic. 6:8.) To signify the inherent beauty and worth of these words they are often referred to as the golden text of the Old Testament. Unfortunately they are interpreted by many to mean that it is not necessary to believe any particular principles of the gospel or to submit to baptism and the ordinances of salvation. The real truth is, of course, that no man can walk humbly with his God unless he keeps the counsels of that God including the direction to repent and join the true kingdom; and no one is even subject to the terms and provisions of the law of mercy until he has first attained that saving grace which is offered through the atoning sacrifice of our Lord.

*Gold Plates

Gold Plates


As we now have it, the Book of Mormon is a translation of a portion of the Gold Plates. These plates came into being in the following way: Nephi made two sets of plates which are known as the Large Plates of Nephi and the Small Plates of Nephi. Upon the Large Plates he abridged the records of his father, Lehi, and began a detailed history of his people, including their wars, contentions, the reign of their kings, and their genealogy. The Small Plates he reserved for sacred writings, prophecies, and things pertaining to the ministry. (1 Ne. 1:17; 9; 19:1-6; 2 Ne. 4:14; 5:30, 33; Jac. 1:1-4.) These plates were handed down from prophet to prophet, and by about 130 B.C., some 370 years after Lehi left Jerusalem, the Small Plates were fall. (Omni 30.)

Mormon made the Plates of Mormon on which he abridged the Large Plates of Nephi and to which he added without abridgment the Small Plates of Nephi. (Words of Morm. 1-11.) Both Mormon and Moroni wrote some things of their own on the Plates of Mormon, and Moroni also wrote on them an abridgment of Jaredite history taken from the Plates of Ether. Thus when the Gold Plates were placed in the Hill Cumorah, they contained a record of both the Nephites and the Jaredites.

Joseph Smith said that "each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin," that they were "filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters," and that they were bound together with three rings, forming a volume "something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed." (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 537; Morm. 9: 32-34.) Orson Pratt says two-thirds of the volume was sealed (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 347) George Q. Cannon that only one-third was sealed. (George Q. Cannon, Life of Joseph Smith, new ed., p. 45.)

Moroni deposited the plates in the Hill Cumorah in about 421 A.D., and then as a resurrected being revealed the hiding place to the Prophet on September 22, 1823. Four years later the Prophet was permitted to obtain possession of them, but the actual translation of the portion we now have as the Book of Mormon did not take place until between April 7 and June 11, 1829. Thereafter the plates were returned to the custody of Moroni. (Jos. Smith 2:27-65; D. & C. 27:5; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 215-226.) In the Lord's own due time the plates shall be returned and the sealed portion translated and published to the world. This shall not take place, however, until men exercise faith to the extent that the Brother of Jared did. (Ether 4.)




Golgotha is the Hebrew name of the place outside of Jerusalem where our Lord was crucified; it corresponds to Calvary which was taken from the Greek. The apparent literal meaning of both names is, place of a skull. Matthew, Mark, and John speak of Golgotha (Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17) as the place of crucifixion; Luke names it as Calvary. (Luke 23:33.) Each of the gospel accounts speaking of Golgotha is so worded in the Inspired Version as to show that the name means a place of burial. (Inspired Version, Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:25; John 19: 17.) The inference is that Golgotha or Calvary may have been in an elevated location, but none of the accounts name it as either a hill or a mount. (Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49.) The actual location is unknown.




Good is the opposite of evil. It is of God and consists in obedience to his laws and conformity to his mind and will. hat is good which is edifying, enlightening, and uplifting; which furthers the cause of liberty and truth; which speeds the spread of revealed truth to the peoples of the world; which leads to the acquirement of faith, hope, charity, love, and all godly virtues; which is harmonious with the moral order of the universe; which guides men to keep the commandments of God, to grow in grace, and to work out their salvation. The opposites of all these things are evil.

"All things which are good cometh of God. ... That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." (Moro. 7:12-13.)

*Good Book

Good Book


*Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd


Christ is the Shepherd (Gen. 49:24; Ps. 23; 1 Pet. 2:25; Morm. 5:17), the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4), the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20), the True Shepherd (Hela. 15:13), the Shepherd of Israel (Ps. 80:1), the Good Shepherd. (D. & C. 50:44; John 10:7-18; Alma 5:38-60; Hela. 7:18.) His saints are the sheep; his sheepfold is the Church of Jesus Christ; and the day will come when there will be "one God and one Shepherd over all the earth" (1 Ne. 13:41), "and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture." (1 Ne. 22:25.)

For a pastoral people the symbolism attending all this is perfect. "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his hand shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his hand, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Isa. 40: 10-11; Jer. 31:10.)

The parable of the lost sheep (Matt. 18:12-13; Luke 15:3-7) and the commands: "Feed my lambs. ... Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17) exemplify the standing orders he has given his other shepherds.

*Good Works

Good Works


By believing the truths of salvation, repenting of his sins, and being baptized in water and of the Spirit, the seeker after salvation places himself on the strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life. (2 Ne. 31.) Thereafter his progress up the path is achieved by the performance of good works.

After joining the Church, the commandment is: "Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Ne. 31:20.) None attain salvation "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" was Christ’s message to the Nephites. (3 Ne. 27: 19.)

Salvation comes in and through and because of the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. It is through his grace that all men are redeemed from death and offered the chance to "work out," in addition, an inheritance in the celestial world. (Philip. 2:12.) Thus it is that men are not saved in "the kingdom of heaven" by merely confessing the Lord Jesus with their lips, but rather by doing the will of the Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 7:21-22.) And thus it is that they must be "doers of the word, and not hearers only." (Jas. 1:22.)

Remission of sins comes in the first instance by repentance and baptism, but it is retained by continued good works. King Benjamin taught: "For the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God - I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants." (Mosiah 4:26.) Indeed the very religion of the saints consists in visiting the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and in keeping oneself unspotted from the world. (Jas. 1:26.)

Peter counseled the baptized saints: "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." (2 Pet. 1:5-7.) The immortal sermon of James on good works includes these statements: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. ... For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (Jas. 2: 14-26.)

Joseph Smith taught: "Let truth and righteousness prevail and abound in you; and in all things be temperate; abstain from drunkenness, and from swearing, and from all profane language, and from everything which is unrighteous or unholy; also from enmity, and hatred, and covetousness, and from every unholy desire. Be honest one with another." (Teachings, p. 129.)

Again: "If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses, for if we are not drawing towards God in principle, we are going from him and drawing towards the devil. ... If God should speak from heaven, he would command you not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to covet, nor deceive, but be faithful over a few things. As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved, and while our hearts are filled with evil, and we are studying evil, there is no room in our hearts for good, or studying good. Is not God good? Then you be good; if he is faithful, then you be faithful. Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and seek for every good thing." (Teachings, pp. 216-217.)

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Gal. 6:7-10.)

This doctrine of good works - a doctrine that men, based on the atoning sacrifice of Christ, must work out their own salvation in the kingdom of God - though abundantly attested to in the Bible, is flatly rejected by many churches in modem Christendom. In its place they teach such things as that men are saved through the ordinances of the church alone; or by the mere act of confessing with the lips the divinity of the Lord Jesus; or that they are justified through faith alone, without works, though good works are then said to follow as a fruit of faith; or that they are predestined to salvation by the election of grace regardless of the presence or absence of good works, though here again good works are said to be pleasing to God in the case of those already justified, but not in the case of those not so chosen and favored.

Some of these false concepts, about good works and the obtaining of salvation because of righteousness and obedience, are formally and ponderously set forth by the Church of England, for instance, in three of its Articles of Religion.

Article 2, entitled, "Of the Justification of Man," reads: "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings: Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith alone is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort." It should be remembered that those who believe this doctrine also believe that men are predestined by God's election to salvation or damnation, regardless of any act of their own.

Article 12, entitled, "Of Good Works," states the case further in these words: "Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's Judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit."

Then in Article 14, entitled, "Of Works before Justification," this strange and unusual doctrine is presented: "Works done before the grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin." (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 663-664.)

In other words, according to this teaching, men are elected to salvation by the grace of Christ, through no act of their own; they are thereby received into a so-called state of justification, meaning that their status and condition meets God's approval; their righteousness or good works plays no part in this; if after they are justified, they perform good works, such is pleasing to God; if not, no matter, for they will be saved anyway; and if they should live upright lives and perform good works when they are not among those elected to salvation, but among those predestined to be damned, then the very good works which they perform partake of "the nature of sin." In effect, this teaching is that righteousness is sin in the lives of those predestined to be damned. It is difficult to imagine how the pure doctrines of Christ could be more completely garbled and perverted than they have been in this instance.




The gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan of salvation. It embraces all of the laws, principles, doctrines, rites, ordinances, acts, powers, authorities, and keys necessary to save and exalt men in the highest heaven hereafter. It is the covenant of salvation which the Lord makes with men on earth.

Literally, gospel means good tidings from God or God-story. Thus it is the glad tidings or good news concerning Christ, his atonement, the establishment of his earthly kingdom, and a possible future inheritance in his celestial presence. "And this is the gospel," the Prophet recorded by way of revelation, "the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us - That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him." (D. & C. 76:40-42.)

Ministering among the Nephites after his resurrection our Lord proclaimed: "Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you - that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil - And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

"And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father. And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.

"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. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel." (3 Ne. 27:13-21; D. & C. 39:5-6.)

In the broadest sense, all truth is part of the gospel; for all truth is known to, is ordained by, and comes from Deity; and all truth is aidful to progression and advancement. But in the high spiritual sense in which the term is used in the revelations, the gospel is concerned with those particular religious truths by conformity to which men can sanctify and cleanse their own souls, thus gaining for themselves salvation in the eternal worlds.

Gospel principles were first made known to men in pre-existence, and the progression made there was as a result of obedience to them. Then beginning with Adam, the first man, gospel dispensations have been given to men from time to time by the Almighty. Two true gospels are spoken of in the revelations and have been revealed to men as occasions have warranted; one is the fullness of the everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6; D. & C. 14: 10), the other is the preparatory gospel. (D. & C. 84:26-27.)

The fullness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fullness of salvation. Those who have the gospel fullness do not necessarily enjoy the fullness of gospel knowledge or understand all of the doctrines of the plan of salvation. But they do have the fullness of the priesthood and sealing power by which men can be sealed up unto eternal life. The fullness of the gospel grows out of the fullness of the sealing power and not out of the fullness of gospel knowledge.

On the other hand, the preparatory gospel is a lesser portion of the Lord's saving truths, a portion which prepares and schools men for a future day when the fullness of the gospel may be received, a portion which of itself is not sufficient to seal men up unto eternal life or assure them an inheritance in the celestial world. The preparatory gospel "is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments." (D. & C. 84:27.) It is a gospel system administered by the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood. When the power to bestow the Holy Ghost is enjoyed, which power is reserved for holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood, then the fullness of the gospel is manifest. John the Baptist administered the preparatory gospel; Christ came with the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and restored the fullness of the gospel. (John 1:26-27; Acts 19:1-6.)

Our revelations say that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel. (D. & C. 20:9; 27:5; 42:12; 135:3.) This is true in the sense that the Book of Mormon is a record of God's dealings with a people who had the fullness of the gospel, and therefore the laws and principles leading to the highest salvation are found recorded in that book. In the same sense the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants contain the fullness of the gospel.

As President John Taylor expressed it, the scriptures "are simply records, histories, commandments, etc. The gospel is a living, abiding, eternal, and unchangeable principle that has existed co-equal [i.e. coeval] with God, and always will exist, while time and eternity endure, wherever it is developed and made manifest." (Gospel Kingdom, p. 88.) The fullness of the gospel cannot be preserved in the written word. The scriptures bear record of the gospel, but the gospel itself consists in the power of the priesthood and the possession of the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Just as there are false teachers, false religions, false prophets and false christs, so there are false gospels. Paul proclaimed that all who preached any gospel except that received "by the revelation of Jesus Christ" should be accursed. (Gal. 1 :6-12.) And the revealed test whereby the the gospel may be identified is that revelations, visions, miracles, signs, apostles, prophets, and all the gifts of the Spirit will always be found in connection with it. (Mark 16:14-20.) Where these signs are found, there is the gospel of Christ; where these signs are not found, there the gospel of Christ is not.

"And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel," the Lord says, "then will the Father show forth his own works in it. But if it be not built upon my gospel and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end Cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return." (3 Ne. 27:10-11.) The true gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to earth in the last days through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith. It is found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

*Gospel Covenants

Gospel Covenants


*Gospel Dispensations

Gospel Dispensations


*Gospel Hobbies

Gospel Hobbies


Salvation is won in and through conformity to the whole gospel plan and not by specializing and centering on some chosen field as though that field were the gospel. Religious or gospel hobbies are dangerous signs of spiritual instability; they lead to fanaticism and sometimes even to apostasy and the consequent loss of eternal life.

"Don't have hobbies," President Joseph F. Smith counseled. "Hobbies are dangerous in the Church of Christ. They are dangerous because they give undue prominence to certain principles or ideas to the detriment and dwarfing of others just as important, just as binding, just as saving as the favored doctrines or commandments.

"Hobbies give to those who encourage them a false aspect of the gospel of the Redeemer; they distort and place out of harmony its principles and teachings. The point of view is unnatural. Every principle and practice revealed from God is essential to man's salvation, and to place any one of them unduly in front, hiding and dimming all others is unwise and dangerous; it jeopardizes salvation, for it darkens our minds and beclouds our understandings. Such a view, no matter to what point directed, narrows the vision, weakens the spiritual perception, and darkens the mind, the result of which is that the person thus afflicted with this perversity and contraction of mental vision places himself in a position to be tempted of the evil one, or, through dimness of sight or distortion of vision, to misjudge his brethren and give way to the spirit of apostasy. He is not square with the Lord.

"We have noticed this difficulty - that saints with hobbies are prone to judge and condemn their brethren and sisters who are not so zealous in the one particular direction of their pet theory as they are. The man with the Word of Wisdom only in his brain, is apt to find unmeasured fault with every other member of the Church who entertains liberal ideas as to the importance of other doctrines of the gospel.

"There is another phase of this difficulty - the man with a hobby is apt to assume an I am holier than thou position, to feel puffed up and conceited, and to look with distrust, if with no severer feeling, on his brethren and sisters who do not so perfectly live that one particular law. This feeling hurts his fellow servants and offends the Lord." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 116-117.)

*Gospel of Abraham

Gospel of Abraham


*Gospel Ordinances

Gospel Ordinances


*Gospel Principles

Gospel Principles





Our Lord promised certain of his disciples that the Holy Ghost would teach them all things and would bring to their remembrances all that the Master had taught them. (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15.) Under this spirit of inspiration and revelation, portions of our Lord's teachings and some of the historical events attending his birth, life, ministry, and death were recorded. Accounts written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have been preserved, and because they deal with the gospel or glad tidings which Christ preached, they are known as the gospels. The first three, dealing in general with the same teachings and historical events, are called the synoptic gospels. The book of Third Nephi in the Book of Mormon is sometimes called the fifth gospel.

Many volumes have been written by the scholars of the world analyzing, comparing, dissecting, and criticizing the gospels. As is always the case when "the things of God" are subjected to evaluation by "the spirit of man" (1 Cor. 2:11-16), the conclusions reached are, in the main, false, speculative, and destructive of faith.

It is true that the four New Testament gospels do present different aspects of our Lord's personality and teachings. It appears that Matthew was directing his gospel to the Jews. He presents Christ as the promised Messiah and Christianity as the fulfillment of Judaism. Mark apparently wrote with the aim of appealing to the Roman or Gentile mind. Luke's gospel presents the Master to the Greeks, to those of culture and refinement. And the gospel of John is the account for the saints; it is preeminently the gospel for the Church, for those who understand the scriptures and their symbolisms and who are concerned with spiritual and eternal things. Obviously such varying approaches have the great advantage of presenting the truths of salvation to people of different cultures, backgrounds and experiences. But the simple fact is that all of the gospel authors wrote by inspiration and all had the same purposes: 1. To testify of the divine Sonship of our Lord; and 2. To teach the truths of the plan of salvation.

None of the gospels profess to do more than present a fragmentary account of the life and teachings of Christ. But such matters as were recorded were true and correct as they first came from the pens of the inspired authors. The gospels, as first written, were perfect scripture because they were inspired of the Holy Ghost. (D. & C. 68:4.) But since that primitive day, some of their beauty has been lost by translation from language to language, and also "many plain and precious things" (1 Ne. 13:23-35) have been deleted and changed by evil and uninspired persons. Yet, with it all, for literary excellence and the preservation of inspired teachings, the gospels as they now stand in the King James Version of the Bible, excel almost all other written matters.

*Gospel Scholarship

Gospel Scholarship


*Gospel Standards

Gospel Standards





Gossip ordinarily consists in talebearing, in spreading scandal, in engaging in familiar or idle conversation dealing personally with other people's affairs. Frequently the reports are false; almost always they are so exaggerated and twisted as to give an unfair perspective; and in nearly every case they redound to the discredit of the persons under consideration. It follows that gossip is unwholesome, serves no beneficial purpose, and should be shunned.

*Government of God

Government of God


Adam and his posterity were subject to the government of God. They had the priesthood, the Church of Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God on earth - the officers of which administered in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs. In those days God made the laws, revealed them to his servants, and they administered them by the spirit of inspiration. As man began to fall away from the truth, however, various groups usurped the powers of government; the rule that had been legitimate and righteous became illegitimate, and errors and weaknesses crept in. The righteous saints, however, from Adam to the flood continued in subjection to Him whose right it is to rule and enjoyed the protection and blessings of God's own government.

After the flood God again commenced administering the affairs of men through his own government, but again apostasy was the order of the day; soon the governments of men prevailed in all parts of the earth. But among selected portions of men the Lord continued to rule. The patriarchs, the house of Israel, and the Nephites - all these from time to time enjoyed theocratic government.

Since the final Nephite degeneracy and destruction, as far as we know, there has been no people on earth who have been under direct civil and ecclesiastical control of the true government of God. Rather Church and state have been separated and administered by separate agencies, except in instances when apostate priesthoods have imposed false religions and governments upon nations.

However, in a limited degree God has continued to govern in and through the existing and recognized powers of the various nations. Kings have been exalted to thrones and then thrust from their high positions to further his eternal purposes. Nations have risen and fallen; floods, famines, and desolations have been sent to alter the course of history; groups of people have been guided to discover and populate new lands and continents; and all things have been so arranged that the Lord's purposes would prevail. Israel was freed from Egyptian bondage; the nations of Canaan were driven out; the Roman Empire was overthrown; Columbus was led to American soil; the hand of Deity was over the American colonists; the American nation was set up with its constitutional guarantees of freedom; and nations rose and fell as directed by an omnipotent power. Indeed, Daniel in revealing and in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream had forecast both the history of nations and the final setting up, in the last days, of the kingdom of God again on earth. (Dan. 2; Progress of Man, pp. 9-519.)

With the restoration of the gospel and the setting up of the ecclesiastical kingdom of God on earth, the restoration of the true government of God commenced. Through this Church and kingdom a framework has been built through which the full government of God will eventually operate. With the ushering in of the millennial era the present ecclesiastical kingdom will be expanded into a political kingdom also, and then both civil and ecclesiastical affairs will be administered through it. Then there will be two great world capitals, and the law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isa. 2: 1-4.)

Pending that glorious day, the Lord's plan calls for a complete separation of Church and state; no religious organization, whether true or false, is to dictate affairs of state; if such were permitted, false religions would prevail, for they are in the majority and will continue to be until the wicked are swept off the earth by the millennial cleansing.




Christ is the Governor, the Ruler, the King, the One whose right it is to reign. Micah prophesied that in Bethlehem would "he come forth" who was "to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (Mic. 5:2.) This prophecy as understood and quoted by the Jews was that out of Bethlehem "shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matt. 2:6.) When the government of God is perfected during the millennium, he shall indeed stand as Governor, and "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." He shall reign "upon the throne of David," and shall order and establish his kingdom "with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever." (Isa. 9:7.)

*Grace of God

Grace of God


God's grace consists in his love, mercy, and condescension toward his children. All things that exist are manifestations of the grace of God. The creation of the earth, life itself, the atonement of Christ, the plan of salvation, kingdoms of immortal glory hereafter, and the supreme gift of eternal life - all these things come by the grace of him whose we are.

Grace is granted to men proportionately as they conform to the standards of personal righteousness that are part of the gospel plan. Thus the saints are commanded to "grow in grace" (D. & C. 50:40), until they are sanctified and justified, "though the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (D. & C. 20:30-32.) Grace is an attribute of perfection possessed by Deity (D. & C. 66:12; 84:102), and Christ himself "received grace for grace" until finally he gained the fullness of the Father. The same path to perfection is offered to man. "If you keep my commandments," the Lord says, "you shall receive of his fullness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace." (D. & C.93:6-20.)




*Graven Images

Graven Images





Since the grave is the resting place of the mortal remains of deceased loved ones, common Christian decency and respect for the tender feelings of the mourners dictate that the site be chosen wisely and that it be properly maintained. This feeling seems to have been in the hearts of inspired men of old. Abraham selected and purchased a burial place for Sarah with great care and ceremony. (Gen. 23; 25:8-10.) Joseph of Arimathea apparently had his own tomb selected and prepared in advance, and into it the body of our Lord was lain. (Luke 23:50-56.)

But a grave site is not, and was never intended by the Lord to be, a monument or a shrine or a place of recurring religious meditation. It is not a locale for worship or a place to pay inordinate devotion to the memory of the departed. These things breed ancestor worship and other apostate misconceptions as to the real position of death and burial in the plan of salvation. Repeated and excessive placing of flowers on graves partakes of this spirit. Obviously the Egyptian pyramids, apparently built as tombs for powerful Pharaohs, went far beyond any reasonable reverence or respect which should have been paid to deceased rulers.

There is, of course, nothing in a grave except the dust, the element, from which the mortal body was made. The spirit continues to live and is in a world of spirits awaiting the day of the resurrection. In that glorious day the graves will be opened, and the bodies of all men will be rescued from death. (2 Ne. 9:6-16.)

*Graveside Prayers

Graveside Prayers


*Great and Abominable Church

Great and Abominable Church


*Greater Priesthood

Greater Priesthood


*Great I Am

Great I Am


Christ is the Great I AM, the I AM, the I AM THAT I AM, meaning that he is the Eternal One, the One "who is from all eternity to all eternity" (D. & C. 39: 1 ; Ex. 3:14), the God who is "from everlasting to everlasting" (Ps. 90:2), whose course is one eternal round and who never varies or changes. (1 Ne. 10:17-20.) "From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail" (D. & C. 76:4), for he is the I AM. When he said to the Jews, for instance, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8: 58), it was the same as saying, "Before Abraham, was I AM, the Everlasting God, he 'whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."' (Mic. 5:2.)

*Great Judge

Great Judge


*Great Shepherd

Great Shepherd


*Great Spirit

Great Spirit


According to Lamanite traditions, God is the Great Spirit. It is obvious that by this designation the Lamanites had in mind a personal being, for King Lamoni mistakenly supposed that Ammon was the Great Spirit. (Alma 18:2-28; 19:25-27.) Both Ammon and Aaron, using the same principle of salesmanship applied by Paul on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-31), taught that the Great Spirit was the God who created the heavens and the earth. (Alma 18:8-29; 22: 8-11.) This same Lamanite concept that God is the Great Spirit has existed among the American Indians in modem times.




Since mortal man is being tested to see if he will seek the riches of eternity rather than the transitory wealth of the world, it follows that greediness - the avaricious grasping for an unreasonable amount of this world's goods - is a sin. (Prov. 1:19; 15:27; 21:26; Ezek. 22:12; Eph. 4: 19; 1 Tim. 3:3, 8; Judge 11.) The idle poor who lay hold on other men's goods because their "eyes are full of greediness" are condemned by the Lord. (D. & C. 56:17.) Similar condemnation rests upon the saints who "seek not earnestly the riches of eternity but their eyes are full of greediness." (D. & C. 68:31.)

Perhaps the most scathing denunciation of greediness ever written is found in Isaiah's excoriation of the wickedness of apostate ministers. He describes them as blind watchmen, "greedy dogs which can never have enough, ... shepherds that cannot understand," ignorant ministers interested only in "gain." (Isa. 56:9-12.) This description accords perfectly with the angelic pronouncement to Nephi: "Behold the gold and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing and the harlots are the desires of this great and abominable church." (1 Ne. 13:8.)




All men, as a necessary part of their mortal training suffer grief (D. & C. 123:7), our Lord himself being no exception. (Isa. 53:3-4; Mosiah 14:3-4.) Grief is a poignant sorrow for some definite cause, as for instance the grief of righteous parents because of the waywardness of their children. (1 Ne. 18:17.) "This is thankworthy," in Peter's wise language, "if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." (1 Pet. 2: 19-20.)

*Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels


There is an old and false sectarian tradition to the effect that all men - or if not that, at least the righteous - have guardian angels, heavenly beings of some sort who attend them and exercise some sort of preserving and guarding care. It is true that there are many specific instances in which angels, by special assignment, have performed particular works whereby faithful people have been guarded and preserved. The angel of the Lord's presence saved Israel (Isa. 63:7-9), and an angel preserved Daniel when he was cast into the den of lions, for instance. (Dan. 6:22.)

But to suppose that either all men or all righteous men have heavenly beings acting as guardians for them runs counter to the basic revealed facts relative to the manner in which the Lord exercises his benevolent watchfulness over his mortal children. The fact that angels have intervened to preserve someone in a particular peril does not establish the fact that all people generally have guardian angels, anymore than the fact that angels have ministered to selected prophets would prove that angels have ministered to all men.

Actually the preserving care of the Lord is exercised through the Light of Christ. (D. & C. 84:44-48; Moro. 7:12-19.) Every person born into the world is endowed with the guidance and enlightenment of this power. By following its promptings God-fearing persons frequently are guarded against evils. Members of the Church, in addition, have the gift of the Holy Ghost, a special heavenly endowment whereby they may receive such guidance and enlightenment as will result in their being guarded and preserved in perilous circumstances. (D. & C. 8:2-4.)

Expressions of patriarchs or others relative to guardian angels must be interpreted either as figurative statements or as utterances having reference to special instances of guarding care of a miraculous nature, instances comparable to Daniel's experience in the lion's den. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 49-54.)

*(H )




In Greek the word for hell is hades; it is a place of outer darkness where the spirits of the wicked go at death to await the day of their eventual resurrection. Sorrow, anguish, and "the fiery indignation of the wrath of God" attend those cast down to this fate. (Alma 40:13-14; Luke 16:23.)







Hallelujah (also rendered, hallelujah, alleluia, alleluiah) is a Hebrew word meaning praise Jah, or praise ye Jehovah, or, when anglicized, praise ye the Lord. It is a liturgical ejaculation urging all to join in praise of Jehovah, as in the Christian hymn, "Christ the Lord is risen today. Alleluia," or as in such scriptural exultations as, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." (Rev. 19:1-6.) Many of the Psalms begin or end with Hallelujah, translated, "Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 104; 106; 111; 112; 113; 115; 116; 117; 135; 146; 147; 148; 149; 150.)




Opponents of gospel truths sometimes deride the saints with the false charge that the visions and spiritual manifestations received by the prophets are hallucinations, that is, that as a result of disordered nerves or mental derangement the manifestations, though seen, do not in reality exist. Actually a spiritual manifestation could be an hallucination; or either Deity or the devil could give an actual vision; or in the absence of anything at all, still a false claim to spiritual communion could be made. Man's problem, at the peril of his own salvation, is to determine the reality and source of spiritual communications.




Through Ham (a name meaning black) "the blood of the Canaanites was preserved" through the flood, he having married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain. (Abra. 1:20-27.) Ham was cursed, apparently for marrying into the forbidden lineage, and the effects of the curse passed to his son, Canaan. (Gen. 9:25.) Ham's descendants include the Negroes, who originally were barred from holding the priesthood but have been able to do so since June, 1978.



See JOY.




Under Moslem practices the wives and female relatives of a Mohammedan are a harem. From the Christian standpoint harems are frequently associated with sensuality and excess - a perspective that no doubt was and is justified in many instances. But harems have no part in the gospel. The Mohammedan practice of plural marriage is an apostate perversion of a true principle once properly in force among their ancestors.




Literally an harlot is a prostitute; figuratively it is any apostate church. Nephi, speaking of harlots in the literal sense and while giving a prophetic description of the church of the devil, recorded that he "saw the devil that he was the foundation of it," that he "saw many harlots," and that among other things "the harlots" were "the desires of this great and abominable church." (1 Ne. 13:6-8.) Then, speaking of harlots in the figurative sense, he designated it as "the mother of harlots." (1 Ne. 13:34; 14:15-17.)

John saw and recorded similar things. He wrote of the great and abominable church as "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters," and specified that "upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Rev. 17:1-5.)




Gospel harmony consists in that agreement in belief, action, feeling, and sentiment which - born of the Spirit - unites the saints as one. It is a gift of the Spirit, a special endowment to the saints. The gospel does not bring and is not intended to bring either peace or harmony to the world in its present telestial state. "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth," our Lord said. "I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against the mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matt. 10:34-36.) But the gospel is designed to bring and does in fact bring inner peace and harmony to the believing soul - a harmony which enables the convert to unite perfectly in spirit with the saints of all ages. Righteous harmony in the full godly sense prevails only in the congregations of the saints and in the homes of the faithful families of Israel.




Hate is the opposite of love; in its full force it is to abhor, abominate, and detest; in lesser degree it is merely to dislike or regard with displeasure. Hatred is a proper and holy emotion when channeled properly. "Hate the evil, and love the good." (Amos 5:15.)

Manifestations of perfect hatred are shown forth by Deity himself "I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery," he says. (Isa. 61:8.) One of the best statements in the Proverbs is: "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that Be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Prov. 6: 16-19.)

Like persecution, hatred is the heritage of the faithful. Our Lord told the Twelve: "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." (Matt. 10:22; 24:9.) Such a reaction to the Lord's ministers should cause no surprise, as he said: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18-19; 17: 14.)

Proper hatred on the part of the saints must be against evil and not people. The gospel standard is: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27.)

*Haunted Houses

Haunted Houses





1. Miracles whereby diseases are cured and whereby physical and mental health are conferred by divine power are called healings. For instance, our Lord in his mortal ministry went "forth amongst men, working mighty miracles such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases." (Mosiah 3:5.)

Faithful men in all ages - deriving their power from that God who is "the same yesterday today, and forever," in whom "there is no variableness neither shadow of changing," who is "a God of miracles" (Morm. 9:9-10) - have wrought as Christ did, healing the sick, raising the dead, and curing all manner of diseases, for the Lord works "by healings." (3 Ne. 29:6.)

Healings come because of faith. (D. & C. 35:9.) They are gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:9, 28, 30), some persons having "faith to be healed," others being endowed with "faith to heal." (D. & C. 46:19-20.) Healings are among the signs that follow true believers (D. & C. 84:68; 124:98), and the faithful elders have power to perform healings whenever it is required of them by those who have faith to be healed. (D.& C. 24:13-14.) As with other signs and miracles, if there are no healings among church members, such people are not the saints of God. And as with certain other miracles, the devil has power to perform some acts in imitation of the Lord's power.

2. Even more important than the healing of mentally and physically afflicted persons is the spiritual healing of those who have been dead to the things of righteousness. Those so healed are restored to a state of purity, integrity, and righteousness. Their healing comes about through conversion to the truth and adherence to the principles of righteousness. Thus there is the scriptural promise that Christ "shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God." (2 Ne. 25:13; 26:9; Mai. 4:2.) That is, spiritual sickness and spiritual death vanish for those who turn to him through whose atoning sacrifice all men have power to become whole spiritually or in other words to be healed from every spiritual malady that would keep them out of the celestial world. Thus the Lord's call to all men is, "Return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you." (3 Ne. 9:13; Hos. 14:4.)




Joseph Smith taught that "it is the will of God that man should repent and serve him in health, and in the strength and power of his mind, in order to secure his blessings." (Teachings, p. 197.) Ordinarily a healthy, vigorous person is in a far better position to work out his own salvation and to be an effective instrument in rolling forth the great purposes of Deity. Accordingly the Lord has given the Word of Wisdom and many other laws of health by obedience to which diseases may be avoided, health secured, and strength of mind and body increased. Many of the requirements of the Mosaic law were specifically revealed in order to enable a people, situated as the Israelites then were, to enjoy health and avoid plagues. (Lev. 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; Deut. 23:10-14.)

In addition to obeying the laws of health, however, physical well-being comes as a result of obedience to all of the commandments. To Israel the Lord promised: "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee." (Ex. 15: 26; Deut. 7:15; Alma 9:22; D. & C. 89:18-21.) On the other hand, it is by disobedience to God's laws that diseases and afflictions come. (Deut. 28:27-28, 59-61; Mosiah 17:16; Alma 15:3-5.)

Those who keep the commandments, in addition to being thereby preserved in health and strength, will have power, by faith, when disease comes to be healed by the power of God.







Frequent Biblical passages speak of the heathen nations, meaning in general those peoples and nations worshiping idols and false gods. The term is used similarly in latter-day revelation. The Lord speaks of redeeming the heathen nations during the millennium (D. & C. 45:54); of the tolerable status of the heathen in the day of judgment (D. & C. 75:22); and of teaching the gospel to "the heathen nations, the house of Joseph" in that future day when his arm is revealed in power. (D. & C. 90:9-11.)

The heathens are those who do not even profess a knowledge of the true God as record is borne of him in the scriptures. They worship idols or other gods that are entirely false as distinguished from so-called Christian peoples who attempt to worship the Lord, but who have totally false concepts of the nature and kind of being that he is.




1. Scriptural usage applies the term heaven to the atmospheric heavens that surround the earth or planet on which mortal man lives. Thus we read of "the thunder of heaven" (D. & C. 87:6), "the fowls of heaven" (D. & C. 89:14; 117:6), and the "new heavens and a new earth" at the beginning of the millennium (Isa. 65:17) and again in that day when the earth becomes an abode for celestial beings. (D. & C. 29:23.)

2. In an infinitely broader sense heaven, the area surrounding our globe, is expanded to include the sidereal heavens which fill the immensity of space. Thus we find frequent reference to the stars of the heaven (Gen. 22:17), and also such inspired statements as: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy work." (Ps. 19:1.)

3. Obviously the place where God dwells is heaven, for he is our Father in Heaven. (Matt. 6:9.) Accordingly all men, being his spirit offspring in pre-existence came down from heaven when their earth lives began. (John 6:38.) There was, of course, "war in heaven" (Rev. 12:7-9) when Lucifer and "a third part of the hosts of heaven" (D. & C. 29:36) rebelled, were cast out, and did "as lightning fall from heaven." (Luke 10:18.)

4. The place where translated beings dwell is called heaven, although they are not in the presence of God. (D. & C. 110:13; 2 Kings 2:11.) "Their place of habitation is that of a terrestrial order" where they perform certain assigned duties pending the time when they shall be taken "into the presence of God and into an eternal fullness." (Teachings, p. 170.)

5. Paradise may be said to be heaven in the sense that heaven is a place of peace, rest, and solace where the righteous go at death. (Alma 40: 11-14; Luke 16:19-31.) Paradise is not heaven, however, in the sense of being an ultimate and eternal abode of the righteous for those in paradise are awaiting the day of their resurrection and assignment to a mansion of glory in the eternal world.

6. All of the kingdoms of glory - whether celestial, terrestrial, or telestial - are sometimes called heaven. Thus, prefacing his record of the vision of the degrees of glory, the Prophet wrote: "From sundry revelations which had been received, 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." (D. & C. 76, section heading.)

7. In its most important sense, heaven is the celestial kingdom of God. This is the sense in which it is used, without exception, by prophets and inspired men when they teach the doctrines of salvation and exhort their fellow men to conform to those laws whereby salvation may be won. Amulek, for example, said: "No unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven?... And these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else." (Alma 11:37-40.) "hi the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees." (D. & C. 131:1.) Those who gain the highest are inheritors of exaltation.

*Heavenly City

Heavenly City


*Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father





Two postulates are suggested as to the origin of the name Hebrew: one, that it is derived from eber, "beyond, on the other side," Abraham and his posterity being so named to distinguish them from the races living on the other side of the Euphrates River; the other, that it embraces the descendants of Eber or Heber, one of the ancestor's of Abraham. (Gen. 10:24.)

Abraham and Joseph were called Hebrews (Gen. 14:13; 39:14-18), and then during the entire pre- Christian Era the whole house of Israel, including the members of all the tribes, were so designated, Thus the Nephites were Hebrews, and if the same terminology were considered apt today, the Latter-day Saints would bear the same title. Since the Jews were the chief known portion of Israel at the dawn of the Christian Era, and since most people consider them to be the house of Israel itself, it has become common in modem times to use the name Hebrew as a synonym for Jew.

*Heir of God

Heir of God


Christ is the Heir of God. (Matt. 21:33-41; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-18; Rom. 4:13-14; Heb. 1:1-4.) By virtue thereof he was entitled to inherit and he did receive all that the Father had. He gained every endowment, quality, attribute, perfection, power, and possession so that "in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Col. 2:9.) He has received the "fullness of the glory of the Father." (D. & C. 93:4-20; Col. 1:19.)




*Heirs of Promise

Heirs of Promise





1 . That part of the spirit world inhabited by wicked spirits who are awaiting the eventual day of their resurrection is called hell. Between their death and resurrection, these souls of the wicked are cast out into outer darkness, into the gloomy depression of sheol, into the hades of waiting wicked spirits, into hell. There they suffer the torments of the dammed; there they welter in the vengeance of eternal fire; there is found weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; there the fiery indignation of the wrath of God is poured out upon the wicked. (Alma 40:11-14; D. & C. 76:103-106.)

Hell will have an end. Viewing future events, John saw that "death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." (Rev. 20:13.) Jacob taught that this escape from death and hell meant the bringing of the body out of the grave and the spirit out of hell. "And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death," he said, "shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other." (2 Ne. 9:10-12.) It was in keeping with this principle for David to receive the promise: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." (Ps 16: 10; Acts 2:27.)

After their resurrection, the great majority of those who have suffered in hell will pass into the telestial kingdom; the balance, cursed as sons of perdition, will be consigned to partake of endless wo with the devil and his angels. Speaking of the telestial kingdom the Lord says: "These are they who are thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fullness of times." (D. & C. 76:84-85, 106.) As to the sons of perdition, the revelation says that after their resurrection "they shall return again to their own place" (D. & C. 88:32, 102), that is, they shall go back to dwell in the lake of fire with Perdition and his other sons. Thus those in hell "are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth." (D. & C. 88:101.)

Statements about an everlasting and endless hell (Hela. 6:28; Moro. 8:13), are to be interpreted in the same sense as those about eternal and endless punishment. (D. & C. 19:4-12; 76:44, 105.)

Who will go to hell? This query is abundantly answered in the scriptures. Since those going to a telestial kingdom travel to their destination through the depths of hell and as a result of obedience to telestial law, it follows that all those who live a telestial law will go to hell. Included among these are the carnal, sensual, and devilish - those who live after the manner of the world. Among them are the sorcerers, adulterers, whoremongers (D. & C. 76:103), false swearers, "those that oppress the hireling in his wages," the proud, "and all that do wickedly." (Mai. 3; 4; 2 Ne. 9:27-39; 26: 10.)

Several specific groups of wicked persons are singled out to receive the prophetic curse that their destination is the fires of hell. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God," David proclaimed. (Ps. 9:17.) Sex sin is rewarded with the torments of hell. (2 Ne. 9:36 Prov. 7:6-27.) "Wo unto all those that discomfort my people, and drive, and murder and testify against them, saith the Lord of Hosts; a generation of vipers shall not escape the damnation of hell." (D. & C. 121:23.) Such also is the fate of liars (2 Ne. 9:34), of "all those who preach false doctrines" (2 Ne. 28:15), of those who believe the damnable doctrine of infant baptism (Moro. 8:14, 21), of the rich who will not help the poor (D. & C. 104:18; Luke 16:19-31), and of those who heap cursings on their fellow men. (Matt. 5:22; 3 Ne. 12:22.) "The sectarian world are going to hell by hundreds, by thousands and by millions," the Prophet said. (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 554.)

To catch souls in his snares and then drag them down to hell is the plan and program of the devil. (D.& C. 10:26; Alma 30:60.) One of his latter-day wiles is to persuade men that there is neither a devil nor a hell and that the fear of eternal torment is baseless. (2 Ne. 28:21-23.) But Christ, who holds "the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:18), and can therefore control and abolish them, has power to save and redeem men from hell. (2 Ne. 33:6; Alma 19:29; 26:13-14.) This he does on conditions of repentance and obedience to his laws. But the unrepentant "would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of their "filthiness before him, than" they "would to dwell with the damned souls in hell." (Morm. 9:4.)

2. After death and hell have delivered up the bodies and captive spirits which were in them, then, as John foresaw, "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:14.) This lake of fire, a figure symbolical of eternal anguish and wo, is also called hell, but is a hell reserved exclusively for the devil and his angels which includes the sons of perdition. (D. & C. 29: 38; 88:1 13; 2 Pet. 2:4.)

Speaking of this hell, and writing of events to take place after the resurrection and the judgment, and thus of a day after those going to a telestial kingdom have come out of their hell, Jacob says: "And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end." (2 Ne. 9:16.)

Thus, for those who are heirs of some salvation, which includes all except the sons of perdition (D. & C. 73:44), hell has an end, but for those who have wholly given themselves over to satanic purposes there is no redemption from the consuming fires and torment of conscience. They go on forever in the hell that is prepared for them.




Henotheism is the belief in and worship of one God without at the same time denying that others can with equal truth worship different gods. It is falsely taught in the sectarian world that Abraham, for instance, was a henotheist that is, that he worshiped the Almighty, but that at the same time he considered that other nations could worship their own gods with equally beneficial results. This apostate view is erroneously considered to be one step advanced from polytheism and one step behind the final type of monotheism that was in process of evolving.




In his eternal providences and omniscient wisdom, an Almighty Deity has ordained laws whereby the characteristics and qualities of parents are transmitted to their descendants. From a mortal viewpoint this is called heredity. From an eternal perspective it is the Lord's way of sending through particular lineages the very spirits who have developed the mental, spiritual, and other qualifications entitling them so to be born. The complexities and intricacies of the laws prevailing in this field are beyond finite capacity to comprehend.




In the true gospel sense, any opinion or doctrine in opposition to the revealed word of the Lord as recorded in the standard works of the Church and as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an heresy. The issue is not how many people may believe a teaching; it is whether the doctrine is true or false. (2 Pet. 2:1.) The whole Christian world, in the days of the Prophet, believed falsely that God was a mystical spirit essence that filled the immensity of space and was everywhere and nowhere in particular present - all of which proved only that they were all heretics, that the apostasy was universal. Heresy is false doctrine.

Even members of the true Church are guilty of the crime of heresy to the extent that they accept false views which do not accord with the revealed word. "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20.) One of the purposes of this mortal probation is to see how much of the truth men will believe when they walk by faith rather than by sight. There is no salvation in a false doctrine.




The saints of God, the house of Israel, his chosen and peculiar people are the Lord's heritage. He has chosen them as his inheritance, as "a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." (Deut. 7:6; Ex. 19:6; I Pet. 2:5, 9.) Peter counseled the elders: "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." (1 Pet. 5:2-3; D.&C. 58:17.)







Among the saints of God perfect brotherhood and equality in all things does or should exist. (D. & C. 78:3-7; 105:3-6.) There are no low or mean persons; all are the children of a loving Father; all are candidates for salvation; and the Almighty is no respecter of persons. Yet the Church is a kingdom, a theocracy, a complex organization operated by many officers serving in divers capacities.

To maintain discipline and carry the work forward, of necessity there must be high and low offices; seniority must exist between those holding the same office; and the decisions of those holding higher positions must prevail over the views of their brothers who hold lesser positions. Each General Authority has his own rank and position; ward bishops are subject to and give due deference to their stake presidents; counselors in presidencies do not rank with those whom they assist; and so it is throughout the whole organization of the Church. The great body of administrative officers - each successive group serving according to rank and precedence - form a complex and perfect hierarchy. (D. & C. 107.)

This same system prevails in heavenly realms. A great celestial hierarchy prevails. God stands at the head, with spirits, angels, and exalted personages each ranking in their respective, assigned positions and spheres.

*High Council

High Council


In each stake a high council composed of 12 high priests is organized to serve as a judicial and administrative body. With the stake presidency directing their considerations, high councilors assist in the trial of cases properly brought before them. (D. & C. 102; 107:37.) Their work in the administrative field is to aid and assist the stake presidency in regulating the various church affairs and programs in the stake.

*High Councilors

High Councilors


*Higher Criticism

Higher Criticism


In modem times, the uninspired Biblical scholars of the world - men without faith, without revelation, without the gift of the Holy Ghost, without a knowledge of the plan of salvation; men who do not accept Christ as the literal Son of God - have studiously dissected the Bible so as, in effect, to destroy its divine authenticity. Their work is called higher criticism, though as has aptly been said it should more accurately be called destructive criticism.

Theories of the higher critics - based as they are on speculative evolution, on speculative archeological deductions, and on pure imagination - include such conclusions as:

That the books of the Bible (particularly the earlier Old Testament books) are not the revealed mind and will of the Lord, but rather they are the compilations of various authors and scribes who edited and wove together the myths of prehistoric peoples;

That the Pentateuch or five books of Moses were compiled long after the day of Moses from four earlier (and now unavailable) accounts - the "J" (Jehovistic), the "E" (Elohistic) the "P" (Priestly), and "D" (Deuteronomistic);

That the Book of Isaiah, for instance, was authored by two, three, or four different person living at different times;

That as a result of the manner in which the Bible came into being, it abounds in errors, contradictions, and recorded myths, and that it is not inspired in the sense that it came by revelation from God;

That early man could neither read nor write and was not endowed with the same intellectual capacity which the evolutionary processes have now given him;

That such Biblical accounts as pertain to the creation, fall of Adam, Garden of Eden, flood of Noah, and confusion of tongues grew out of Assyrian and Babylonian myths and were incorporated into the Hebrew scriptures by ignorant or unenlightened scribes who thereby gave to myths the sanctity of revelation;

That the earliest religion came into being as part of the evolutionary development of man, that it included the worship of many gods, and that the concept of one supreme Deity was only gradually accepted by the Hebrew peoples.

To a greater or lesser extent these false theories are accepted and taught in every sectarian church in Christendom. They are interwoven in nearly every article found in the Bible dictionaries commonly used by sectarian Christians. They are part and portion of the promised universal apostasy which the prophets specified would prevail in the last days. Occasionally some of these views are even found in the true Church and creep into lessons and class discussions. In the final analysis they are doctrines of the devil, doctrines which destroy faith and prevent acceptance of the full gospel of salvation.

Latter-day Saints who have gained testimonies of the divinity of the Lord's great latter-day work know that the theories of the higher critics are false. Scores of direct revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith deny, categorically and bluntly, the theories of these critics. For instance, the Book of Mormon establishes the divinity of Isaiah's writings; the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham set forth the truth about God's ancient dealings with the people from the days of Adam down; and many sections in the Doctrine and Covenants pointedly refute the specific claims of the higher critics. An excellent analysis of higher criticism is found on pages 490-515 of Man: His Origin and Destiny by President Joseph Fielding Smith.

*Higher Priesthood

Higher Priesthood





To the Father, "the highest of all" (D. & C. 76:70), is ascribed the name, the Highest (Ps. 87:5; Luke 1:32-35, 76; 2:14; 6:35; 19:38), thus signifying that he is exalted above all others in standing, rank, dignity, power, and all things. Of the Father, he who is "the Son of the Highest" (Luke 1:32) proclaimed: "My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28.)

*High Priest

High Priest


"Christ is the Great High Priest." (Teachings, p. 158; Heb. 3:1.) "Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek," are the words of one of the great Messianic prophecies. (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:5-11; 7:14-17.) The designation of our Lord as the great High Priest points to his position as the chief minister of salvation, as the author of salvation in the sense of having worked out the infinite and eternal atonement. (Heb. 2:1-18; 5.)

*High Priestesses

High Priestesses


There is no such thing in the true Church as a high priestess. Where this office is found in a church, it is an unauthorized and apostate innovation. Women do not hold the priesthood.

*High Priestly Prayer

High Priestly Prayer


*High Priests

High Priests


1 . God's chief representative on earth, the one who holds the highest spiritual position in his kingdom in any age, is called the high priest. This special designation of the chief spiritual officer of the Church has reference to the administrative position which he holds rather than to the office to which he is ordained in the priesthood. When these high priests served under the law of Moses, they were ordained priests of the Aaronic order. (Lev. 21:10; 2 Kings 22:4.) However, since there were times in ancient Israel when the Melchizedek Priesthood was on earth - as in the days of Elijah - there may have been instances when the high priests held the higher priesthood. Among the Nephites (Alma 4:4, 18), and in the Church today this presiding high priest holds the ordained office of high priest of the Melchizedek order. (D. & C. 107:22, 66.) In the meridian of time the apostate Jews were in subjection to their self-appointed high priests. (Matt. 26:3, 51, 57; Acts 23:4.) In accordance with the governmental arrangements existing in particular periods, some of the high priests would have exercised secular as well as ecclesiastical powers.

2. One of the ordained offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood is that of a high priest. (D. & C. 20:67.) This office grows out of and is an appendage to the higher priesthood. (D. & C. 107:5.) Beginning in Adam's day, whenever the Church has been organized and the fullness of the gospel has been had by men, there have been high priests. (D. & C. 107:53; Alma 13.) These brethren have been called to minister in spiritual things (D. & C. 107:18), to travel and preach the gospel (D. & C. 84:111), to perfect the saints and do all the things that a seventy, elder, or holder of the Aaronic Priesthood can do. (D. & C. 68: 1 9.)

*Hill Cumorah

Hill Cumorah





History is a written account of past events, a record of human progress and experience; it generally deals with those events affecting nations and peoples; and it is usually accompanied by a philosophical explanation of the causes behind the events. It is a guide to progress and an aid to civilization. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 197-200.)

Contrary to what is generally assumed and notwithstanding the fact that our libraries bulge with countless volumes of so-called history, very little is actually known of much of the real history of the world. Many historical events are nearly or completely unknown to modem scholars. From the standpoint of profane records, almost nothing is known of man's origin; of his early life on earth; of the nations, kingdoms, and peoples that lived more than three or four thousand years ago; of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent; or even of the peoples of northern Europe and of the orient in ancient and medieval times.

Laying revealed history aside - where do we find the true story of the creation? Where is the record that identifies Adam and Eve as intelligent, superior beings who are the actual progenitors of all men? who knows anything of the 365 year history of the City of Enoch, or of the fact it was taken up into heaven? What is known of the fact that the continents and islands were all in one place until some 4000 or so years ago and that they were then divided? Who knows about the universal flood? The confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel? What of the great Jaredite and Nephite nations that flourished on the American continent for some 2500 years? And what was taking place on this continent 1000 years before Columbus? Where are the lost tribes of Israel? Where did our Lord go when he ministered to them in the meridian of time? How many times have the Father and the Son appeared to men? What visions and revelations have been lost to our knowledge?

Indeed, what is the real truth about what is going on in some communist countries today? And such histories as we do have, are they slanted as communists slant history? What histories shall we believe where Mormon history is concerned? Those written by the enemies of the saints or by their friends? Shall we accept civil war histories by northern or southern sympathizers?

From the beginning to now, the real history of the world has either been lost or so twisted and perverted that our present knowledge falls far short of the real truth about past events. When the real history of the world is written - as it will be by the spirit of inspiration - it will show God's dealings with men, the place the gospel has played in the rise and fall of nations, and how eras of darkness and degeneracy have resulted from apostasy from the way of the Lord.







By compliance with the laws and ordinances of the gospel, the saints have power to attain a state of perfect holiness before the Lord. (D. & C. 60:7.) Such a state is one of spiritual life, of godliness, of unimpaired innocence and proved virtue. "Through the shedding of the blood of Christ," the obedient gain a remission of their sins and "become holy, without spot." (Moro. 10:32-33; 3 Ne. 28:39; D. & C. 133:35.)

"Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God." (Lev. 20:7.) "Practice virtue and holiness before me." (D. & C. 38:24.) "Bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me." (D. & C. 43:9.) "Continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." (1 Tim. 2:15; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 12:10-14; D. & C. 20:69; 21:4; 46:7.)

Scores of different things pertaining to the Church and kingdom are referred to in the scriptures as being holy, including lands, laws, prophets, performances, priesthoods, and the like. Sacred and holy mysteries of the kingdom are offered to men only when they have shown by a holy walk and conversation that they are prepared to receive them. (Alma 12:9-1 1.) Strict command is laid upon the Lord's ministers to "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs." (Matt. 7:6; 3 Ne. 14:6.)




One of Christ's names is Holy, using the designation in the noun sense and not as an adjective. Thus Isaiah entoned: "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy." (Isa. 57:15.) Obviously the purpose of the name is to convey to man the concept of the supreme holiness and perfection embodied in him who is the Son of Man of Holiness. (Moses 6:57.)

*Holy City

Holy City


*Holy Father

Holy Father


1 . This sacred title. Holy Father, is an appropriate and proper way to address God the Father. In the revealed dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple, the Father is so designated seven times. (D. & C. 109:4, 10, 14, 22, 24, 29, 47.) The title bears record both of Deity's holy and perfected status and his position as the Parent of the spirits of men.

2. In the Catholic Church the designation Holy Father is a title applied to the Pope. Such usage is inappropriate.

*Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost


1 . The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Personage of Spirit, a Spirit Person, a Spirit Man, a Spirit Entity. He can be in only one place at one time and he does not and cannot transform himself into any other form or image than that of the Man whom he is, though his power and influence can be manifest at one and the same time through all immensity. (D. & C. 130:22-23; Teachings, p. 190, 275-276; Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 59-62.)

He is the Comforter, Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit of Promise, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of the Lord, and Messenger of the Father and the Son, and his companionship is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy. His mission is to perform all of the functions appertaining to the various name-titles which he bears. Because he is a Spirit Personage, he has power - according to the eternal laws ordained by the Father - to perform essential and unique functions for men. In this dispensation at least, nothing has been revealed as to his origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless.

2. Sometimes the designation Holy Ghost is used to mean, not the Individual or Person who is a member of the Godhead, but the power or gift of that Personage. After Philip had baptized some converts in Samaria, Peter and John were sent unto them, "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." (Acts 8:12-17.) Similarly Paul found some converts in Ephesus who supposed they had been baptized by a legal administrator. To them Paul said, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" Finding they were misinformed as to their church status, Paul arranged for a proper baptism. Then "when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." (Acts 19:1-7.) In both of these instances the scriptures speak of receiving the Holy Ghost, meaning the receipt and enjoyment following baptism of the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. Nephi spoke similarly when he said that the Holy Ghost "is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men." (1 Ne. 10:17.)

*Holy Interpreters

Holy Interpreters


*Holy Kiss

Holy Kiss


*Holy Messiah

Holy Messiah


Christ is called by his name, the Holy Messiah, when the purpose is to bring to mind both his holy and perfected state and his position as Deliverer and King. (2 Ne. 2:6, 8.)

*Holy One

Holy One


Christ is the Holy One, a designation signifying that he is a holy, pure, sanctified Person, One who was and is without sin, who had no need for repentance, and who stands perfect in all things. "I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King." (Isa. 43:15; 49:7; Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27; 3:14; 13:35; 2 Ne. 9:20, 41; 3 Ne. 26:5; Morni. 9:5, 14; D. & C. 78:16.) "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isa. 6:3.) "Holiness unto the Lord" will be emblazoned on useful items of every sort in that millennial day when the Holy One reigns personally upon the earth. (Zech. 14:20-21.)

*Holy One of God

Holy One of God


To couple the concept of Christ's holiness with the pointed realization that he came forth from and is the Son of God, he is called the Holy One of God. It was by this name that a devil addressed him, when that unclean spirit was commanded to leave his enforced tenancy in a stolen tabernacle. (Mark 1 :24; Luke 4:34.)

*Holy One of Israel

Holy One of Israel


Christ is the Holy One of Israel, an appellation signifying that he is both the embodiment of holiness and the God of Israel who came into the world through the lineage of that chosen people. This particular name was in constant and popular usage anciently. It is found 40 times in the Book of Mormon and over 30 in the Old Testament, but it is not found of record in either the New Testament or the Doctrine and Covenants. (2 Ne. 25:29; 30:2; Omni 26; Ps. 89:18; Isa. 43:14; Ezek. 39:7.)

*Holy One of Jacob

Holy One of Jacob


References to Christ as the Holy One of Jacob have substantially the same meaning as those which designate him as the Holy One of Israel. (Isa. 29:23; 2 Ne. 27:34.) They invite attention to our Lord's holiness and his position as the God of Jacob, a God who was born in the flesh as the literal descendant of that ancient patriarch.

*Holy One of Zion

Holy One of Zion


To speak of Christ as the Holy One of Zion is to point attention both to his holiness and to the especial and personal relationship that exists between him and his Zion. (D. & C. 78:15.) When the perfect Zion - composed solely of the pure in heart (D. & C. 97:21) - is again established on earth, then the presence of the Lord will be felt there as his presence was found in the ancient city of that name. (Moses 7:16-19, 62-64.)

*Holy Order of God

Holy Order of God


*Holy Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God

Holy Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God


*Holy Scriptures

Holy Scriptures


*Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit


*Holy Spirit of Promise

Holy Spirit of Promise


The Holy Spirit of Promise is the Holy Spirit promised the saints, or in other words the Holy Ghost. This name-title is used in connection with the sealing and ratifying power of the Holy Ghost, that is, the power given him to ratify and approve the righteous acts of men so that those acts will be binding on earth and in heaven. "All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations," must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, if they are to have "efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead." (D. & C. 132:7.)

To seal is to ratify, to justify, or to approve. Thus an act which is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is one which is ratified by the Holy Ghost; it is one which is approved by the Lord; and the person who has taken the obligation upon himself is justified by the Spirit in the thing he has done. The ratifying seal of approval is put upon an act only if those entering the contract are worthy as a result of personal righteousness to receive the divine approbation. They "are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true." (D. & C. 76:53.) If they are not just and true and worthy the ratifying seal is withheld.

When any ordinance or contract is sealed by the Spirit, it is approved with a promise of reward, provided unrighteousness does not thereafter break the seal, remove the ratifying approval, and cause loss of the promised blessing. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 55; vol. 2, pp. 94-99) Seals are placed on contracts through righteousness.

The operation and power of the Holy Spirit of Promise is best illustrated by the ordinance and contract of baptism. An unworthy candidate for baptism might deceive the elders and get the ordinance performed, but no one can lie to the Holy Ghost and get by undetected. Accordingly, the baptism of an unworthy and unrepentant person would not be sealed by the Spirit; it would not be ratified by the Holy Ghost; the unworthy person would not be justified by the Spirit in his actions. If thereafter he became worthy through repentance and obedience, the seal would then be put in force. Similarly, if a worthy person is baptized with the ratifying approval of the Holy Ghost attending the performance, yet the seal may be broken by subsequent sin.

These principles also apply to every other ordinance and performance in the Church. Thus if both parties are "just and true," if they are worthy, a ratifying seal is placed on their temple marriage; if they are unworthy, they are not justified by the Spirit and the ratification of the Holy Ghost is withheld. Subsequent worthiness will put the seal in force, and unrighteousness will break any seal.

Even if a person progresses to that state of near-perfection in which his calling and election is made sure, in which he is "sealed up unto eternal life" (D. & C. 131:5; 132:18-26), in which he receives "the promise ... of eternal life" (D. & C. 88:3-4), in which he is "sealed up unto the day of redemption" (D. & C. 124:124; Eph. 1:13) - yet with it all, these great promises are secured only if the "performances" are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

*Holy Writ

Holy Writ








It is common to speak of the Latter-day Saint home, meaning not just the dwelling place of the family, but the family institution itself This usage considers a Mormon home to be one bound together for eternity by the sealing power of the priesthood; one in which love abounds because all members of the family believe and obey the gospel law; one in which the father holds the priesthood, blesses his wife and children, and stands as a true patriarch to his posterity; one where there are daily family prayers, where charity, faith, and devotion abound, where there is chastity and perfect cleanliness of mind and body; one from which young men go forth as missionaries to carry the message of salvation to our Father's other, children; one in which all the members serve in the Church, keep the commandments of God, and enjoy the rich outpourings of the Spirit. It is in and through the eternal family (or as is colloquially said, the home) that men gain perfect peace in this life and a hope of eternal life hereafter.

*Home Teachers

Home Teachers


Upon the priesthood bearers rests the obligation "to preach, teach, expound, exhort"; to "visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties; ... To watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking." (D. & C. 20:42-54.)

To aid them in the discharge of these responsibilities, it is the practice of the Church to send priesthood brethren out as home teachers to visit the homes of all church members each month. These brethren go out two by two, frequently one holding the lesser priesthood going with a possessor of the Melchizedek Priesthood. When this home teaching is done properly, it complies with all phases of the revelation, brings about conversion to the truth, increases righteousness among the saints, and leads souls to eternal salvation.










Perfect honesty is one of the invarying characteristics exhibited by all who are worthy to be numbered with the saints of God. Honest persons are fair and truthful in speech, straightforward in their dealings, free from deceit, and above cheating, stealing, misrepresentation, or any other fraudulent action. Honesty is the companion of truth, dishonesty of falsehood; honesty is of God, dishonesty of the devil, for he was a liar from the beginning. (D. & C. 93:52; 2 Ne. 2:18.)

All men are commanded to be honest as one of the requisites for working out their salvation. (D. & C. 51:9; 97:8; Rom. 13:13; 2 Cor. 13:7; Philip. 4:8; 1 Thess. 4:12; Heb. 13:18; I Pet. 2:12; Thirteenth Article of Faith.) Those who are honest in heart readily accept the gospel and its truths. (D. & C. 8:1; 11:10; 135:7.) Honest men should be sought for to administer the civil law. (D. & C. 98:10.)




To honor another person is to hold him in high esteem, to accord him respectful regard because of his high worth; in the case of Deity these feelings are coupled with reverential worship and necessarily presuppose that God is desiring of all glory and adulation because he has almighty power. His honor is his power. (D. & C. 29:36.)

Who is deserving of honor? Paul answers: "Unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever." (1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16.) And with his view all the prophets accord. (Rev. 5:13; 7:12; 19:1; D. & C. 20:36; 65:6; 76:119; 84:102; 109; 77.) Further: "All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him." (John 5:23.)

Exalted beings who become like God shall inherit all the honors of his kingdom. (D. & C. 43:25; 75:5; 124:55; 128:12, 23.) Those who serve as his prophets among men are deserving of attention and honor. (Matt. 13:57; Mark 6:4; John 4:44.) "Honor thy father and thy mother"; such is a divine decree that has been repeated over and over again by the Lord's prophets. (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Matt. 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Eph. 6:2; 1 Ne. 17:55; Mosiah 13:20.) "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." (1 Pet. 2:17; Rom. 13:7.)

Men receive honors either from God or from their fellow men. As far as the recipients are concerned, in the eternal perspective, the honors of men count for nothing. They may result in some transitory glory in this world, but in eternity no honors will remain except those conferred by Deity. "1 receive not honor from men," our Lord said. (John 5:41; Alma 60:36.) "If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God." (John 8:54.) Similarly, no man is able to take any honor of the priesthood or the gospel unto himself; they are gift bestowed by the Almighty. (Heb.5:4.)

How is it possible to gain honor from God? "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor." (John 12:26.) "I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end." (D. & C. 76:5.) Honor is the reward of obedience.




As used in the revelations, hope is the desire of faithful people to gain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God hereafter. It is not a flimsy, ethereal desire, one without assurance that the desired consummation will be received, but a desire coupled with fiill expectation of receiving the coveted reward. Paul, for instance, was not hesitant in affirming that he lived, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Tit. 1:2), and Peter assured all the elect that "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," their "lively hope" of "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" for the saints, had been renewed or "begotten" again. (1 Pet. 1 : 1-5.)

Hope is always centered in Christ (Ps. 31:24; 42:5, 11; 43:5; 146:5); it always pertains to salvation in the kingdom of God (Lam. 3:21; Acts 24:15; Rom. 8:24-25; Heb. 11:1; Col. 1:5, 23); and without hope there can be no salvation. Speaking to the Lord, Moroni said: "Thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared." (Ether 12:32.)

There is only one true hope (Eph. 4:4), "that blessed hope" (Tit. 2:13), and the saints are commanded to acquire it. (D. & C. 6:19; Alma 7:24.) It is one of the essential qualifications for those who labor in the ministry (D. & C. 4:5); none can assist in the Lord's work without it. (D. & C. 12:8; 18:19); those who have it are not ashamed of the testimony they bear (Rom. 5:5); rather, they are commanded to "be ready always to give an answer to every man" for the hope that is in them. (1 Pet. 3:15.)

Hope is born of righteousness. "The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish." (Prov. 10:28; 14:32.) The hope of the wicked "shall be as the giving up of the ghost." (Job 11:20.) Hope is found through the gospel; the scriptures themselves have been recorded that men "might have hope" (Rom. 15:4); and angels minister unto man to confirm that hope. (D. & C. 128:21.) And those who gain the full hope of eternal life purify themselves even as Christ is pure. (1 John 3:1-3.)

Faith and hope are inseparable. Hope enables men to have faith in the first instance and then because of faith that hope increases until salvation is gained. "How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?" Mormon asks. "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart." (Moro. 7:40-44.)

Moroni quoted the words of Ether who said: "By faith all things are fulfilled - Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." Then Moroni explained that "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen," and said that Christ had revealed himself to men, "that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith." (Ether 12:3-9.) Hope thus is one of the gifts of the Spirit. "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing," Paul prayed for the Roman Saints, "that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 15:13.)




*Hope of Israel

Hope of Israel


An eternal inheritance in an eternal promised land was the hope of Israel. Paul, who found himself persecuted and in chains "for the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20), said to King Agrippa: "I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope [in a day yet future] to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" (Acts 26:6-8.)

The hope of Israel, from olden days and through all her generations, was that the house and people and nation of Israel would be eternal, that through the resurrection they would inherit their promised land forever. (Acts 23:6; 24:15, 21.) Abraham, Israel's father, was promised the land of Canaan for himself and his posterity forever (Gen. 12:1-10), but during his lifetime Abraham never actually received his inheritance. (Acts 7.) The hope of Israel was that Abraham and his posterity would yet enter into their promised inheritance.

David kept Israel in remembrance of their future hope by saying: "Evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Ps. 37:9-11.) Our Lord renewed this same promise during his mortal ministry. (Matt. 5:5.) Isaiah recorded the words of the Lord Jehovah, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." (Isa. 26:19.)

The Lord set Ezekiel "down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones," and had him foretell in detail relative to the resurrection. "Son of man," the Lord then said to him, "these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say. Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves. And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord." (Ezek. 37:1-14.)

Paul said of Abraham and the prophets that they "looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God," but that "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they meek a country,... a better country, that is, an heavenly." (Heb. 1 1:8-16.)

The triumph and hope of Israel is yet future. In part it will be realized during the millennial era, but the final inheritance, the fulfillment of the hope in the eternal sense, will come after this earth becomes a celestial sphere, for in that day "the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it." (D. & C. 88: 17.)







Hosanna - a word of Hebrew origin, meaning literally, save now, or save we pray, or save we beseech thee - is both a chant of praise and glory to God and an entreaty for his blessings. It is taken from the 1 1 8th Psalm, and was the exulting cry of the multitude as our Lord rode triumphantly into Jerusalem over the palm branches of his well-wishers. "Hosanna to the son of David," they cried, "Blessed is he that Cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." (Matt. 21:9-15; Mark 11:9-10; John 12:13.) Their song of prayer and praise thus rendered was almost verbatim what their forbears had sung in Messianic vein of the "stone which the builders refused" who yet became "the head stone of the comer." (Ps. 118:22-26.)

*Hosanna Shout

Hosanna Shout


At the dedicatory services of temples and in certain other solemn assemblies, the saints follow the pattern set by the Prophet Joseph Smith at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple and give the hosanna shout. (History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 427-428.) While standing, ordinarily with faces toward the east, and while waving white handkerchiefs with each word or phrase of praise, the united congregation exults:

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna, To God and the Lamb; Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna, To God and the Lamb; Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna, To God and the Lamb; Amen, Amen, Amen!

*Hot Drinks

Hot Drinks


What is meant by the expression hot drinks as such is found in the revealed command: "Hot drinks are not for the body or belly"? (D. & C. 89:9.) Many of the early Brethren in this dispensation have left statements indicating that tea and coffee were the drinks involved. Joseph Smith, himself, is quoted as having taught: "I understand that some of the people are excusing themselves in using tea and coffee, because the Lord only said 'hot drinks' in the revelation of the Word of Wisdom. Tea and coffee are what the Lord meant when he said 'hot drinks.'" (John A. Widtsoe, The Word of Wisdom, pp. 75-92.)

Speaking of the meaning of hot drinks, Hyrum Smith made this explanation: "There are many who wonder what this can mean - whether it refers to tea, or coffee, or not. I say it does refer to tea and coffee. Why is it that we are frequently so dull and languid? It is because we break the Word of Wisdom, disease preys upon our system, our understandings are darkened, and we do not comprehend the things of God; the devil takes advantage of us, and we fall into temptation." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 800.)

Elder James E. Talmage has left us this very excellent analysis: "We are consistent and in harmony with the spirit of the revelation in affirming that hot drinks as specified in the Word of Wisdom comprised the common beverages then and, less exclusively, since, taken hot. The commonest of these were and are tea and coffee, but the inhibition applies further to the drinking of any liquids at a high temperature. It should be remembered that the Lord's warning against the use of these drinks antedated by many years the discovery of the really injurious nature of them and caffeine, which are the poisonous alkaloids present in tea and coffee, and of the specific physical derangements from divers other physiological effects of these beverages.

"Tea and coffee, therefore, are the principal substances forbidden in the Word of Wisdom as hot drinks, just as alcoholic liquors are interdicted as strong drinks. Modem science has demonstrated that tea and coffee are bad for the body whether imbibed hot or cold, and also that alcoholic beverages are injurious whether malted, vinous, or distilled. The comprehensiveness of the terms used in the revelation is definite and effective.

"As demonstrated by chemical and medical science today, tea and coffee are harmful to the body on account of their poisonous nature, and, when drunk hot, on account of positive interference with the digestive processes, and lasting injury to the tissues of the stomach. Under normal conditions of eating, digestion begins in the mouth. By mastication saliva is mixed with the food, and the particular effect is that of eventually transforming certain insoluble substances, notably starch, into soluble compounds such as dextrose and glucose, which belong to the family of sugars. Within the stomach other chemical changes are wrought through the agency of the gastric juice. Now, it has long been known, and is today accepted as an undisputed fact, that high temperature hinders, and boiling heat destroys the efficacy of the ptyalin of the saliva and the pepsin of the gastric juice. It should be noted in this connection that temperatures far below the heat of the body also interfere with the action of both ptyalin and pepsin; and therefore the taking of iced drinks with meals is to be deprecated." (Improvement Era, vol. 20, p. 556.)

*House of Israel

House of Israel


*House of Jacob

House of Jacob


*House of Prayer

House of Prayer


*House of the Lord

House of the Lord


*Human Sacrifices

Human Sacrifices


*Human Slavery

Human Slavery





All progress in spiritual things is conditioned upon the prior attainment of humility. Pride, conceit, haughtiness, and vainglory are of the world and stand as a bar to the receipt of spiritual gifts.

We are commanded to be humble. (D. & C. 105:23; 112:10; 124:97, 103; Jas. 4:6, 10.) "Always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures," King Benjamin taught, "and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith." (Mosiah 4: 11.)

Humility must accompany repentance to qualify a person for baptism (D. & C. 20:37); it is required of all engaged in gospel service (D. & C. 12:8); is an essential attribute for all who embark in the service of God (D. & C. 4:6); precedes the acquiring of wisdom from the Spirit (D. & C. 136:32-33); is needed to qualify the righteous to see God (D. & C. 67: 10); and without it no one can gain entrance to the kingdom of God hereafter. (2 Ne. 9:42.)




Christ (the Bridegroom) shall claim his bride (the Church), celebrate the marriage supper, and become the Husband of his wife. (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 31:32; Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2.) As a Husband he shall deal intimately, with tenderness and compassion, toward the remnant of his people who have returned to enjoy millennial rest with him.










In answer to the question, "Shall we practice hypnotism," President Francis M. Lyman of the Council of the Twelve wrote: "Hypnotism is a reality, and though some who claim to have this mysterious power are only tricksters, yet others do really hypnotize those who submit to them. From what I understand and have seen, I should advise you not to practice hypnotism. For my own part I could never consent to being hypnotized or allowing one of my children to be. The free agency that the Lord has given us is the choicest gift we have. As soon, however, as we permit another mind to control us, as that mind controls its own body and functions, we have completely surrendered our free agency to another; and so long as we are in the hypnotic spell - and that is as long as the hypnotist desires us to be - we give no consent in any sense whatever to anything we do. The hypnotist might influence us to do good things, but we could receive no benefit from that, even if we remembered it after coming out of the spell, for it was not done voluntarily. The hypnotist might also influence us to do absurd and even shocking, wicked things, for his will compels us." (Era, vol. 6, p. 420.).

Reputable doctors sometimes use hypnotherapy, a limited form of hypnotism, in connection with the practice of their profession. Their sole apparent purpose is to relieve pain and aid patients in perfecting their physical well-being. It is claimed that there are many people who have been benefited materially by this practice and that the ills normally attending hypnotical practices have not resulted. This medical practice of hypnotism obviously does not carry the same opprobrium that attaches to hypnotism in general.




In the true gospel sense, hypocrisy consists either in the false assumption of virtue, righteousness, and goodness, or in the false assumption of the right and power to preach the principles of the gospel.

Thus if a person knows what is right and makes open profession of conforming thereto and yet does not in reality live the gospel law, he is a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is to profess religion and not practice it. If a teacher advocates the payment of tithing, but does not himself pay an honest tithing, he is a hypocrite. If a person prays and seeks temporal and spiritual blessings from the Lord, and then turns away the naked and needy and fails to visit the sick and afflicted, he is a hypocrite. He has professed religion, but not practiced it. (Alma 34: 17-29.)

Our Lord said: "Wo unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt. 23:27-28; Isa. 32:6.)

Thus also those who profess to be lights to the world and to lead people in the paths of righteousness, but who are not in reality the Lord's true legal administrators, are hypocrites, in consequence of their false assumption of authority. In other words, as specified in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, ministers in the false churches of Christendom are called hypocrites. (Moral. 8:38; 1 Tim. 4: 1-4.)

Hypocrites shall be damned. "Wo unto them that are deceivers and hypocrites, for, thus saith the Lord, I will bring them to judgment. The hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will." (D. & C. 50:6-8; 101:90; 124:8.)

*(I )

*I Am

I Am


*I Am That I Am

I Am That I Am











Neither temporal nor spiritual salvation can be gained without work, and idleness is a grievous sin. Idlers - those who waste time in doing nothing, who are lazy, indolent, slothful - "shall be had in remembrance before the Lord." (D. & C. 68:30-31.) "Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways." (D. & C. 75:29.) One of the reasons the Lord destroyed Sodom was for her sin of "abundance of idleness." (Ezek. 16:49.) Idleness and abominable practices always go together; for such the Lamanites were cursed. (1 Ne. 12:23; 2 Ne. 5:24.) Idleness breeds idolatry. (Alma 1:32.)

Idleness in both temporal and spiritual pursuits must be overcome by those who seek salvation. "Thou shall not idle away thy time," the Lord says, "neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known." (D. & C. 60:13; 90:31.) "Cease to be idle." (D. & C. 88:124.) "Refrain from idleness." (Alma 38:12.) Those called to the ministry are not to be idle, but are to labor with their might. (D. & C. 75:3.)




*Idle Thoughts

Idle Thoughts


*Idle Words

Idle Words


Man will be judged by his words. (Alma 12:14.) They reveal what is in his heart, "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you. That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matt. 12:34-37; Luke 6:45.)

Idle words take many forms: foolish talking and jesting (Eph. 5:4), light speeches (D. & C. 88:121), curses (Jas. 3:9), profane and vain babblings (1 Tim. 6:20), fables and endless genealogies (1 Tim. 1:6), profanity, vulgar stories, blasphemy, and the like.

"How vain and trifling," the Prophet said, "have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations - too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God." (Teachings, p. 137.) "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body .... Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." (Jas. 3:2-13.)







Idol worship prevails among nearly all uncivilized, pagan peoples and also to a degree and in a sense among portions of those who are supposedly enlightened by Christianity and modem civilization. Pagans and others frequently worship graven images, or idols of wood, stone, or metal.

However sincere men may be in their views, they cannot gain salvation by worshiping idols, images, or false gods of any kind. Eternal life is attained through a knowledge of "the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom" he hath sent. (John 17:3.) Men are commanded "that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship." (D. & C. 20:19.) "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." (Ex. 20:4-5.)

Akin to these most obvious types of idolatry is the worship of money, power, worldly learning, the gratification of lust, and the like.







Idumea or Edom, of which Bozrah was the principal city, was a nation to the south of the Salt Sea, through which the trade route (called the King's Highway) ran between Egypt and Arabia. The Idumeans or Edomites were a wicked non-Israelitish people; hence, traveling through their country symbolized to the prophetic mind the pilgrimage of men through a wicked world; and so, Idumea meant the world.

In two graphic passages outlining the destructions incident to the Second Coming, Isaiah speaks of the sword of judgment falling upon Idumea or Edom, and in one of them he specifies that the Lord's garments shall be red as he comes from Bozrah (Isa. 34; 63), all of which destructions are confirmed by latter-day revelation (D. & C. 133), as also is the fact that Idumea is the world. (D. & C. 1:36.)




An ignorant person is one who is uninformed and lacking in knowledge. Ignorance is both general and specific. A person who lacks the common knowledge that everyone should possess is ignorant in the general sense; if he is merely uninformed on some particular matter, he is ignorant in the particular sense. Where the gospel is concerned, though everyone is ignorant on many specific doctrinal points yet none of the saints should be ignorant of the general, basic truths of salvation. Where the opportunity to gain knowledge exists, ignorance is a sin.

In large part the worship of apostate Christendom is performed in ignorance, as much so as was the worship of the Athenians who bowed before the Unknown God, and to whom Paul said: "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." (Acts 17:22-34.) But where the sectarians are concerned they have the Bible, and in spite of the creeds of their fathers they have an obligation to replace ignorance with light and truth. Unless they do so, they are not blameless before God. (Mosiah 3:20-22.)

Joseph Smith's inspired statement, "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance" (D. & C. 131:6), means in ignorance of Jesus Christ and the saving truths of the gospel. It has no reference whatever to ignorance of specialized scientific or historical truths. Salvation comes through the knowledge of God and his laws and not through the learning of the world. (John 17:3; 1 Cor. 1:17-31; 2.)

An especial obligation rests upon the saints to overcome ignorance and gain knowledge of the truth. "Let him that is ignorant," the Lord said through Brigham Young, "learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly." (D. & C. 136:32-33.)
















*Immaculate Conception Theory

Immaculate Conception Theory


From the moment of her conception, Mary, the mother of our Lord, in this false Catholic view of things, is deemed to have been free from the stain of original sin. This supposed miraculous event is called the doctrine of the immaculate conception. After reciting the universal prevalence of so-called original sin. Cardinal Gibbons says: "The Church, however, declares that the Blessed Virgin Mary was exempted from the stain of original sin by the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ; and that, consequently, she was never for an instant subject to the dominion of Satan. This is what is meant by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception." (James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 220.) The virgin birth has reference to the birth of Christ and is a true doctrine; the immaculate conception has reference to the birth of Mary and is a false doctrine.




*Immanent God

Immanent God





Christ is Immanuel, Emmanuel the King Immanuel (D. & C. 128:22), signifying literally, God is with us. This designation used by Isaiah in a great Messianic prophecy (Isa. 7:14), alluded to by Micah as referring to the birth of our Lord (Mic. 5:3), and specifically named by Matthew as having reference to the Virgin Birth (Matt. 1:18-25), signifies that Christ as God would be born into mortality of a virgin and would be with men to save and redeem them.
















1 . Adam and all forms of life were first created in immortality. There was no death in the world until after the fall. (2 Ne. 2:22-24.) When Adam fell, becoming the first mortal flesh on earth (Moses 3:7), mortality and the consequent death that flows from such a status of existence passed upon all forms of life. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 72-127.) This original immortality was designed to continue only until the fall; it was not to be of unending duration; it ceased when mortality began.

2. Immortality is to live forever in the resurrected state with body and spirit inseparably connected. The Lord's work and glory is to bring to pass both the immorality and the eternal life of man (Moses 1 :39): all are resurrected to a state of immorality, those who believe and obey the gospel plan go on "in immortality unto eternal life." (D. & C. 29:42-43.) Immorality is a free gift which comes by grace alone without works on man's part; eternal life, "the greatest of all the gifts of God" (D. & C. 14:7), results from "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." (Third Article of Faith; 1 Cor. 15:42-54; 2 Tim. 1:10; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 4-10, 24, 309-310.)

Immortality is not a gift reserved for man alone. Every living thing will come forth in the resurrection with immortality (D. & C. 29:22-25), and even the earth itself, when quickened with a celestial glory, will become an immortal globe. (D. & C. 77:1; 88:16-26.)

*Immortal Soul

Immortal Soul











*Inalienable Rights

Inalienable Rights


As a natural and automatic inheritance from their Creator, all men are born into the world with certain inalienable rights, rights which cannot be surrendered, transferred, or alienated. The Declaration of Independence lists life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as among these. In the full sense they include every natural and inherent right necessary for the working out of one's salvation in the kingdom of God. Freedom of thought and of worship, freedom of speech and of preaching the gospel, freedom to investigate the truth, to worship God according to the dictates of one's own conscience, to earn a temporal livelihood - these are among our inalienable rights.

In its declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, the Church has put its official stamp of approval upon the political philosophy of inalienable rights. (D. & C. 134:5.) These rights belong to all mankind, no matter under what government they live, and as far as the American nation is concerned, the constitution of the United States is designed to protect men in their rights and privileges. (D. &C. 98:4-10.)




By incantations is meant the use of spells or verbal charms, which are chanted, spoken, or sung, as part of the ritual of magic. They are in effect the formula by which devils are supposed to be exorcised and by which sorceries are practiced. (Rev. 18:23.)

*Incarnate God

Incarnate God


Christ is the Incarnate God. That is, he is the Lord Omnipotent, a God "from all eternity to all eternity," and yet he came down from heaven and dwelt "in a tabernacle of clay." (Mosiah 3:5.) Though he had attained Godhood, yet he was thereafter invested with flesh and took upon himself the bodily nature and form of a mortal man. (Mosiah 15.) "I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men," he said. (D. & C. 93:4; John 1:1-5, 14.)




*Incommunicable Name

Incommunicable Name








As used in the scriptures, incorruption is descriptive of the status of physical perfection enjoyed by immortal beings. Mortal bodies are corruptible; they are subject to change and decay, eventually deteriorating and going back to the mortal element from which they were created. Thus in the resurrection they will be raised from an earthly state of corruption to a heavenly state of incorruption. Disease, pain, decay, and physical deformity will all vanish away. (2 Ne. 9:7; Mosiah 16:10; Alma 40:2; 41:4; 1 Cor. 15:42-54.)







Temporal and economic independence is essential if there is to be absolute freedom of worship. (D. &C. 44.) Anyone whose support comes from another person or agency is to a greater or lesser degree subject to the will and control of the supporting power. Hence the Lord revealed the principles of consecration, stewardships, storehouses, and the united order, so that, as he said, "the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world." (D. & C. 78:14.)

*Independent Branches

Independent Branches








Righteous indignation is an attribute of Deity. It consists in a deep, intense, and righteous anger aroused by the mean, shameful, petty, and wicked acts of men. For instance: "It shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent; for the cup of mine indignation is full." (D. & C. 29:17; 35:14; 43:26; 56:1; 87:6; 88:88; 97:24; 101:10-11; 109:52; 124:52.) Indignation is poured out as a rush of wickedness (D. & C. 124:48); it is avoided when men keep the commandments. (D. & C. 98:22, 47.)

Righteous indignation also swells up in the hearts of the prophets because of the wickedness of the world and because professing saints partake of the spirit of rebellion of the world. Indignation coming from anger, which has been aroused in unrighteousness, is to be shunned; it is a passion to be bridled.




*Infant Baptism

Infant Baptism


Infant baptism (pedo-baptism) is the practice of performing what is considered to be the ordinance of baptism for children, ordinarily for babies, who have not arrived at the years of accountability. Few practices constitute so gross a perversion of true Christian doctrine as does infant baptism, because the philosophical basis upon which it rests is one that denies the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Infant baptism assumes that all men are born in sin and that to be cleansed from this original sin they must be baptized; that is, its practice denies one of the most basic of all gospel truths, "That the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world." (Moses 6:54.)

Actually, baptism is a spiritual rebirth into the kingdom of God (meaning both the Church on earth and the celestial kingdom in heaven), and since little children are already alive in Christ because of his atoning sacrifice, they do not need to born again to spiritual things. Further: Baptism follows repentance and is for the remission of sins, and because little children cannot sin and have no need of repentance, the false practice of infant baptism is of no avail. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 49-57.)

Among a host of pointed denunciations of infant baptism. Mormon said: "It is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children. ... He that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell. For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism. Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. He that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption. Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment." (Moro. 8:5-26.)







Those who do not belong to an accepted system of religion are classed as infidels. Thus to Christians all non-Christians are infidels; and to Mohammedans all non-Mohammedans are so designated. Unfaithfulness to Christianity or to the marriage vows of chastity are also classed as infidelity.

*Infinite God

Infinite God








Among all sins, none is so prevalent as the sin of ingratitude. It consists in failure to keep the commandments of God. Men have been "bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; 2 Pet. 2:1), the price of the blood and suffering of our Lord. Because they have been so purchased they are redeemed from death and have opportunity to gain eternal life. Since they now belong to the Lord, he having paid so great a price for them, it is his right to expect them to keep the commandments. By failing to do so they manifest gross ingratitude for all that has been done for them. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 13 1-133.)




Iniquity is sin, wickedness, unrighteousness; it results from disobedience, is of the devil, leads to hell, destroys men's souls; it is the great chain which keeps men in the prison of darkness, away from the saving light of the gospel.

This is the day when "the world is ripening in iniquity" (D. & C. 18:6), when the promise is being fulfilled that "iniquity shall abound" (D. & C. 45:27), when "the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity." (D. & C. 123:7.) "And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed." (D. & C. 1:3.)




Initiative, the self-reliance and energy to undertake new enterprises and to do the work ahead, is a wholesome and uplifting characteristic. It is not meet that men should be commanded in all things. They are expected to make such wise use of their agency as to "be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness." (D. & C. 58:26-29.)




In the gospel sense, innocence is the state of purity and freedom from sin which men must possess to gain salvation in the kingdom of God. (Alma 1 1:37.) Little children live in a state of perfect innocence and consequently are saved without works on their part. "Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God." (D. & C. 93:38.) But "those who are accountable and capable of committing sin, ... they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children." (Moro. 8:10.)




In the Roman Catholic Church the systematic pursuit of heresy and the punishment of heretics is called inquisition. "The Inquisition," as defined in the Encyclopedia Britannica, is "the name given to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction dealing both in the middle ages and in later times with the dete