Could these missionaries in Nauvoo be a testimony to the fulfillment of promises given by the Lord in Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants?
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We were just in Nauvoo a few days ago leading a tour. On Sunday morning we attended Church with all the missionaries serving there. It was a beautiful sight to see! They were full of joy, enthusiasm, radiance, happiness and just plain excitement for being there. We talked to a number of the senior couples for a few minutes. “Oh, this is our seventh mission,” one sister said. “We love this work so much.” Another said, “Our only regret is we only get to serve here for two years. We so wish it could be longer!” Could these missionaries in Nauvoo be a testimony to the fulfillment of promises given by the Lord in Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants? We’ll talk about that in just a few minutes.
Hello dear friends! We are Scot and Maurine Proctor and this is Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast. This week’s lesson is entitled “The Power of Godliness” and includes Section 84, the third longest section in the Doctrine and Covenants. The Prophet Joseph designated this as a revelation on priesthood and it contains perhaps one of the greatest kept secrets in the Church—the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. We will talk about that in detail in this podcast. In the meantime, let’s get back to that scene of hundreds of missionaries in Nauvoo and their enthusiasm and their effervescence. There was something pretty obvious about them—even our Baptist bus driver noticed it.
Yes, these are choice people, but they are being blessed by the Lord because of their service to Him. Let’s look at verse 80 for a moment, in section 84:
80 And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.
Now, this may seem like a small thing we’re talking about, but it is not. These dear missionaries, both young and old gathered in such great numbers at Nauvoo were clearly being blessed. They are full of the Spirit of the Lord and they are not weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint. Now, some of the older men had lost a few hairs of their head, but that hadn’t gone unnoticed!
We wanted to talk about this briefly because it was so clearly obvious as we were around all these missionaries, that they were being blessed and this is a fulfillment of the promise in Section 84 and we are witnesses of this!
And we are also witnesses of verse 88 in Section 84:
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
I have to say, it wasn’t but about three years ago we were leading a tour and we attended Church on the first Sunday of the trip, as we always do, in the Fayette, New York ward. It was a particular Sunday when a group of six young service missionaries were giving their farewell talks. Each one struggled to say much, but the Spirit was with them and we all were moved to tears. These were young men who had each served in various capacities that they could and were now on their way home.
After the meeting, one of our tour participants came up to us and said, “Did you see them? Did you see them?” We said, “Yes, they were wonderful, weren’t they?” “No! Did you see the angels round about them? In all my life I have never seen angels, but I saw them all around these precious missionaries.”
Then another tour participant, independent of the first one came up to us and said, “Did you see them?” We said, “Who?” She said, “The angels that were all around these dear missionaries? I’ve never seen angels before, but I saw them clearly today!”
That was a wonderful experience and so we stand as witnesses, not only in this one instance in Fayette, New York, but in multiple instances in the history of the Church and in our midst today.
Now, let’s look at verses three, four and five, speaking here of the New Jerusalem:
3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.
4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.
Now, don’t get hung up on the word “generation”—it is interchangeable with the word “dispensation.” So, this very special temple, or complex of temples as the Prophet Joseph envisioned, will be built in this dispensation…
5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.
This is ancient Israel talk, here; it is covenant language—and I always like to look for covenant language:
“And a cloud shall rest upon [the temple], which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord…”
This is part of the covenant promises—to have the presence of the Lord in our midst. In ancient Israel this was the divine Shekinah—the presence of the Holy One of Israel. The Jews believe that this presence has never left the sacred and holy temple mount in Jerusalem. As you approach the temple mount, there is a sign that reads: “Dear Visitors. You are approaching the holy site of the Western Wall where the Divine Presence always rests. Please make sure you are appropriately and modestly dressed so as not to cause harm to this holy place or to the feelings of the worshippers. Sincerely, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites.
They believe that this Divine Shekinah continues to this day.
There is even a special place of worship, underground, near the foundation of the Western Wall that some feel is the closest to the Divine Shekinah of anywhere in this ancient place. Women especially go to this spot to worship.
Back to the Temple in Independence, Missouri, or the complex of temples, the promise is that His presence, the cloud—even the glory of the Lord or the blessing of His divine presence will come and rest there. This is a wonderful and powerful promise and has not yet been fulfilled in this location.
Now, Scot, you keep referring to a complex of temples in Independence. Will you help our listeners understand this?
Of course. In June 1833, the Prophet Joseph and his counselors in the First Presidency, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, prepared a plat map of the city of Zion—a layout of the City. Edward Partridge had purchased the original temple lot which was 63.27 acres. The plat for the City of Zion was for a square mile of land—640 acres. The center of the plat showed a complex of 24 temples, oriented north and south, twelve of which corresponded to quorums and functions of the Melchizedek Priesthood and twelve of which corresponded to the Aaronic Priesthood. Each temple had the inscription “Holiness to the Lord” engraved upon it. In August 1833, just two months later, a revised plat was drawn and the temples were re-oriented East and West and the plat called for 1 and one-half square miles—or 960 acres. Both plats called for a certain temple to be built first—this temple was to be a “house of the Lord for the First Presidency” and it was to be built on the spot of ground on the 2 acres which is now designated as the “temple lot.”
Now the reason we are going over these things in a little more detail than usual is because it has been 188 years since those plats were drawn and we are certainly getting close every day to the time when these prophecies will be fulfilled.
That’s right. The way President Nelson says it is, “You and I get to participate in the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is wondrous! It is not man-made! It comes from the Lord, who said, “I will hasten my work in its time” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:73).
He also said: Remember that the fulness of Christ’s ministry lies in the future. The prophecies of His Second Coming have yet to be fulfilled. We are just building up to the climax of this last dispensation—when the Savior’s Second Coming becomes a reality.
In our time, a whole, complete, and perfect union of all dispensations, keys, and powers are to be welded together (see Doctrine and Covenants 128:18). For these sacred purposes, holy temples now dot the earth. I emphasize again that construction of these temples may not change your life, but your service in the temple surely will.
The time is coming when those who do not obey the Lord will be separated from those who do (see Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7). End quote. (Nelson, Russell M. The Future of the Church: Preparing the World for the Savior’s Second Coming, Ensign, April 2020).
We are living in exciting times. It was fun, Scot, to stand on that Temple Lot in Western Missouri with you just a few days ago. These things are real. All the prophecies will be fulfilled.
They certainly will.
Now, let’s jump to verse 33 and talk for a few minutes about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that “Every person upon whom the Melchizedek Priesthood is conferred receives his office and calling in this higher priesthood with an oath and a covenant. The covenant is to this effect:
“1. Man on his part solemnly agrees to magnify his calling in the priesthood, to keep the commandments of God, to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of Deity, and to walk in paths of righteousness and virtue; and
“2. God on his part agrees to give such persons an inheritance of exaltation and godhood in his everlasting presence. The oath is the solemn attestation of Deity, his sworn promise, that those who keep their part of the covenant shall come forth and inherit all things according to the promise.” (McConkie, Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1966, p. 480)
Perhaps an easier way to remember this great and almost overwhelming covenant is thinking of it as “the oath and covenant of the Father to His faithful sons.” But let’s put this in perspective, speaking as a woman. As we read in Doctrine and Covenants, section 131:
1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
So, for a man to obtain eternal life, or the life that the Father lives and all that He has, he cannot do so unless he, with his wife, has entered into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.
Yes, when a man obtains the Melchizedek Priesthood and the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and is faithful, he can obtain all that the Father has, but he is not doing this alone.
So, we might say The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood is an all-encompassing and eternal power that rests upon the worthy sons AND daughters of our Heavenly Father. It includes all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph AND the commensurate blessings of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Asenath.
This kind of expands our view a bit. This is not a do-it-yourself program, it is a couple and all that we are talking about, including exaltation is as couples. But what of all the single sisters and single brothers in the Church? Or just you precious souls who are listening to the podcast today? All the blessings of the Father are promised to those who are true and faithful to His commandments. It brings us back to the great pre-mortal Council in Heaven when it was said:
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; (Abraham 3:25)
The ‘they’ there is not just sons of the Father, it is daughters and sons! We are all to be faithful and true, and as we are, all the blessings of the oath and covenant of the Father will be extended to each of us.
And I believe that being sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of our bodies, which is one of the first blessings mentioned in verse 33, is not the culmination of blessings but the beginning of many that come unto the truly faithful. And all of this is given so that we can better do His work and fulfill His purposes. We become joint heirs because all that we do, all that we think, all that we purpose is for Him and His work. It is like unto Nephi the Disciple, who was given power over the heavens because the Lord knew he would only do His will.
Drs. Robert Millet and Kent Jackson have written:
“Bearing the Holy Priesthood is a sacred obligation, a trust that must not be taken lightly. From the beginning of time the Lord has bestowed the rights of priesthood upon his worthy sons, and at the same time he has counseled that the priesthood—like a double-edged sword—is the instrument for blessing as well as cursing. The worthy and pure recipient qualifies himself and his family for transcendent blessings; the man who receives God’s authority and then proves unwilling to assume the consequent commitments lays the foundation for unhappiness and punishment. God will not be mocked!…
Millet and Jackson continue:
“The Oath which accompanies the reception of the priesthood is an oath that God swears to man. Just as the Father swore that the Beloved Son should be a priest forever (Ps. 110:4), so also does God swear with an oath that every priesthood holder who abides by his part of the two-way promise (the covenant) shall receive incomprehensible blessings. The Covenant which accompanies the reception of the Melchizedek Priesthood…consists of: (1) those things man promises to do; and (2) those blessings God promises the faithful priesthood bearer. As given in verses 33-44, the Covenant might be represented as follows:
1. Obtain the Priesthood (v. 33)
2. Magnify Callings in the Priesthood (v. 33)
3. Receive the Lord’s Servants (v. 36)
4. Beware Concerning Himself (v. 43)
5. Give Diligent Heed to the Words of Eternal Life (v. 43)
6. [And] Live by Every Word of God (v. 44)
[And] GOD PROMISES, Millet and Jackson continue:
1. Sanctify Man to the Renewal of the Body (v. 33)
2. Man to Become a Son of Moses and Aaron (v. 34)
3. Man to Become the Seed of Abraham (v. 34)
4. Man to Become a Part of the Church and Kingdom of God (v. 34)
5. Man to Become the Elect of God (v. 34)
6. Man to Receive Christ and the Father (vv. 36-37)
7. Man to Receive All the Father Has (v. 38)
“Man’s promises to God are penetrating but quite straight-forward. Faithful observance of those promises leads to remarkable blessings. Alma taught the people of Ammonihah that righteous priesthood bearers of the past had magnified their callings to such an extent that they “were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” (Alma 13:11-12). Faithful priesthood service thus leads to the purification of the soul.” End of quote. (Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 1: The Doctrine and Covenants, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1989, pp. 316-17.)
And, of course, we learn from the prophet Melchizedek and from Enoch himself that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. (JST Genesis 14: 30-31)
We’re talking tremendous power that is loaned to man from God. This is all part of the Oath and the Covenant of the Priesthood. I believe it is the assurance of revelation when revelation is needed—living by every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. It is going beyond the reliance of the things of this world to the reliance, assurance and trust of Him Who is the Advocate with the Father. It is the trust of Enos who prayed all day and into the night and then he trusted all things that were said to him.
It is the power and faith of Enoch and all the blessings outlined in Moses 7:13:
13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
I believe all of this is according to the oath of the covenant of the priesthood.
And I think we underutilize this power in our lives. I believe we often live in the shallows. We often shy away from all that the Father and the Son have given to us here in this life—for whatever reason.
I agree. And I think we see glimpses and snatches of these blessings throughout the scriptures and sometimes we don’t recognize that these are all part of the oath and covenant of the priesthood.
I believe that the blessings of the four sons of Mosiah are part of this as enumerated in Alma 26:22:
22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance. (Alma 26:22)
Exactly! The blessings of knowing the thoughts and minds of others is included as with Alma and Amulek. I think it’s that same covenantal power where we see Joseph of Egypt rising from every situation, breaking every bond, being clothed upon with power and authority and wealth.
And the blessings and promises of Doctrine and Covenants Section 100, verses five through 8 are 5-8 are all part of this:
5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
7 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
8 And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.
And I believe that handbooks, if you will, and instructions for the oath and covenant of the priesthood have been given by President Boyd K. Packer, President Russell M. Nelson, President Gordon B. Hinckley, Elder Kim B. Clark and the Prophet Joseph and many others have been given. These seminal talks all point back to and guide righteous men and women to this Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. For those of you who only listen to the podcast, you can come to the transcript at latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast and find the references to these various landmark talks.
(See for example the following talks:
The Powers of Heaven
David A. Bednar
The Power of the Priesthood
Boyd K. Packer
Ministering with the Power and Authority of God
Russell M. Nelson
The Price of Priesthood Power
Russell M. Nelson
Personal Priesthood Responsibility
Russell M. Nelson
We Can Do Better and Be Better
Russell M. Nelson
Look Unto Jesus Christ
Kim B. Clark
The Doctrine of the Priesthood
Bruce R. McConkie
The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood
Bruce R. McConkie
The Melchizedek Priesthood and the Keys
Dallin H. Oaks
The Powers of the Priesthood
Dallin H. Oaks
A Plea to My Sisters
Russell M. Nelson
We have listed a dozen talks in the podcast transcript with links. These seminal talks are just samples of what is available to lead us to a deeper understanding of the oath and covenant of the priesthood. We cannot give too much study, time and pondering to this deepest of topics.
I find it interesting, Scot, in this great section 84 that Joseph designates as a revelation on priesthood, that the priesthood line is given for the great Prophet Moses. I think this is no accident. Of course, the Jews look upon Moses as the greatest of all the Prophets. Perhaps someday these twelve verses will play a role in their deeper understanding of the Restoration. And I’ve always found it wonderful that you, Scot, can just tell your priesthood lineage right off the top of your head.
I can. I was ordained a high priest by my father, Paul Dean Proctor. He was ordained by Mark E. Petersen. He was ordained an apostle by Heber J. Grant. He was ordained an apostle by George Q. Cannon who was ordained an apostle by Brigham Young who was ordained an apostle by the Three Witnesses who received their priesthood under the hands of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who were ordained by Peter, James and John who received the holy apostleship from Jesus Christ.
That’s really not that far from me to the source of priesthood power. It’s very humbling.
19 And this greater priesthood [or the Melchizedek Priesthood] administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. (See D&C 84:19-22)
And, Maurine, I think the next two verses are very interesting, verses 23 and 24:
23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
So, God was inviting his people in the wilderness to come before Him and to see His face. What an amazing invitation!
And they rejected the invitation! In the Kirtland period the Lord issued a similar invitation:
15 And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it;
16 Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God.
This is not a metaphor or symbolic language. It is about as clear as it can be. And, did this come to pass in anyone’s life? Yes! It did!
That’s right. We have numerous accounts of the saints having visions of the Savior during the Kirtland period, one of which was from John Murdock:
The visions of my mind were opened, and the eyes of my understanding were enlightened, and I saw the form of a man, most lovely! The visage of his face was sound and fair as the sun. His hair, a bright silver grey, curled in most majestic form, His eyes, a keen penetrating blue, and the skin of his neck a most beautiful white, and He was covered from the neck to the feet with a loose garment, pure white, whiter than any garment I have ever before seen. His countenance was most penetrating, and yet most lovely! And while I was endeavoring to comprehend the whole personage, from head to feet, it slipped from me, and the Vision was closed up. But it left on my mind the impression of love, for months, that I never before felt, to that degree. (Vision of John Murdock in the room of the School of the Prophets, Newel K. Whitney Store, March 18, 1833)
I love that description he gives. And I love this account from the same day:
Zebedee Coltrin related that he also saw the Savior, following which he saw God the Father, who “was surrounded as with a flame of fire, which was so brilliant that I could not discover anything else but His person. I saw His hands, His legs, his feet, his eyes, nose, mouth, head and body in the shape and form of a perfect man. . . . This appearance was so grand and overwhelming that it seemed I should melt down in His presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones.” (Anderson, Karl Ricks, Joseph Smith’s Kirtland, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1989, p. 110).
What this says from these two witnesses is that the Savior issues invitations to His people to come into His presence and to see His face and many have done just that. And the invitation is issued a number of times in the Doctrine and Covenants to each one of us. (See D&C 67:10; D&C 93:1; D&C 38:8; D&C 88:68; D&C 101:23; D&C 130:3)
Now, this would be a good time to access the podcast script at latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast because we have listed six references that will enhance your studies.
When we came to this earth, the Lord dropped a veil of forgetfulness in our minds and yet, he invites us to pierce the veil with our faithfulness, obedience and our becoming pure in heart. That is one of the great teachings of the Restoration.
On another topic, Maurine, I just have to say how wonderful it is that the Lord gives us little truths and tidbits of knowledge all throughout the Doctrine and Covenants. For example, here in Section 84, in verses 27 and 28 we gain insights into John the Baptist that we have no other place in the scriptures:
27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.
28 For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power. (D&C 84:27-28, emphasis added)
Now, that’s a story we don’t have in the New Testament. We can ascertain from the practices of the Jews that John was brought to the temple at 8 days old to be circumcised and then was blessed by an angel of the Lord, most likely Gabriel, who is Noah and is also named Elias, unto this power to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and to make straight the way of the Lord. That is a wonderful, tender scene to think about with aged Elizabeth and humbled Zacharias holding their little 8-day-old infant son and having this experience together with the angel of the Lord coming down from the presence of God. I’m sure they were never the same.
Speaking of powerful pieces of truth in the revelations, we see another one starting in verse 54 (and you will recognize this one from the administration of President Ezra Taft Benson):
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written. (D&C 84:54-57)
Can you imagine taking the Book of Mormon lightly? I guess that means if we don’t incorporate it into our daily studies and study and ponder it and immerse ourselves in it to draw closer to Jesus Christ.
I remember when President Benson said:
My beloved brethren and sisters, today I would like to speak about one of the most significant gifts given to the world in modern times. The gift I am thinking of is more important than any of the inventions that have come out of the industrial and technological revolutions. This is a gift of greater value to mankind than even the many wonderful advances we have seen in modern medicine. It is of greater worth to mankind than the development of flight or space travel. I speak of the gift of the Book of Mormon…
“By His own mouth He has borne witness (1) that it is true (D&C 17:6), (2) that it contains the truth and His words (D&C 19:26), (3) that it was translated by power from on high (D&C 20:8), (4) that it contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:9, D&C 42:12), (5) that it was given by inspiration and confirmed by the ministering of angels (D&C 20:10), (6) that it gives evidence that the holy scriptures are true (D&C 20:11), and (7) that those who receive it in faith shall receive eternal life (D&C 20:14).
President Benson continued:
“A second powerful testimony to the importance of the Book of Mormon is to note where the Lord placed its coming forth in the timetable of the unfolding Restoration. The only thing that preceded it was the First Vision…
“Think of that in terms of what it implies. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon preceded the restoration of the priesthood. It was published just a few days before the Church was organized. The Saints were given the Book of Mormon to read before they were given the revelations outlining such great doctrines as the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, or work for the dead. It came before priesthood quorums and Church organization. Doesn’t this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?
He then said:
“Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not.”
And finally from President Benson:
“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”
We can testify that this is true in our own lives. We love the Book of Mormon. We have made it an integral part of our family culture. The first scripture we ever taught to all of our children was from the Book of Mormon: “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” (1 Nephi 4:6). The Book of Mormon blesses our lives each and every day.
And the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants point us to the Book of Mormon and the Bible, which, taken together, contain the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
That’s all for today. We have loved being with you. Obviously, with a revelation like Section 84 we could go on for hours—and you can do that in your own homes! Next week the lesson will cover Section 85-87 and is entitled: “Stand Ye in Holy Places.”
Thanks for to our good friend Paul Cardall for the music and to our daughter, Michaela Proctor Hutchins, who produced this show. Have a wonderful week and see you next time.