Editor’s Note: The following is part two of a two-part series. To read part one, CLICK HERE.
Author’s Note: Foot notes are essential reading.
In Part one, after noting twelve questions that this section answers, we considered several of these questions whose answers are found only by noting the proposed chiastic structure of this section, such as: (Answered questions from part 1 are lined out.)
Why is there another comforter or Holy Spirit of Promise before the 2nd comforter?
- Why speak so absolutely about being perfected by law when we are saved by grace?
- Why overwhelm us with space and matter??
- Why is the great and last promise repeated (v67, 74)?
- Is there a key message God desires us to capture?
- Why are the signs of his coming, listed as trumps, different from the trumps of The Book of Revelation?
Why is the school of the prophets detailed when it is currently discontinued? Why is the washing of feet even mentioned?
These eight questions find explanatory insight in the paired elements of what seems to be a whole section chiasm:
CHIASM PAIRINGS #3: Resurrection and law vs27-51– resurrection and law vs96-116
The third pairing focuses on resurrection and its connection to law and its effect in transforming us.
28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
There is some question of the difference between sanctification and justification. Most discussion centers on which word describes which of the processes of the Atonement of Christ which allows us imperfect beings to enter God’s glorious presence without being consumed, cleanses us from sin, and then perfects us so we can dwell in His presence. However, it is done, we know that both the redemptive and enabling powers of Christ’s atonement operate to cleanse us of the natural-man weeds of our mortal learning-curve, and grow the flowers of our divine nature. We must be both cleansed of sin and transformed from sinfulness or the desires to sin. It is interesting that Nephi instructed that sinfulness is cleansed from our being or remitted by fire and the Holy Ghost, a purifying process that changes our appetite for sin. Remission is then more than just forgiveness. Forgiveness is most often immediate, but remission seems to imply a change of nature so that sinfulness or the appetite to sin is removed.
17…then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. 2 Nephi 31
Enoch taught that the action of the Spirit is to justify us while the blood of Christ sanctifies or cleanses us.
60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified; Moses 6
Justification is a process that begins with a cleansing absolution but then continues through transforming, perfecting interaction with the nature of Christ through the Holy Ghost.
The confusion still abounds because of Paul’s expression on justification as the absolution of all the guilt and responsibility for our sins through Christ’s atonement followed by cleansing the effects of those sins on our nature through sanctification, again by the atonement. Reconciling this with Enoch’s teachings in the Pearl of Great Price leads to this understanding, expressed in the diagram and helps see the functional unity of the second and third members of the Godhead.
2 Nephi 31:17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter.
Moses 6:59…ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.
62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.
DC 88 helps us see that all processes of the Atonement operate through the power and “physics” of the Law resulting from the Light of Christ, including all the power and function of the Holy Ghost, and the principles of justice and mercy. To be governed by this law, resulting from the light of Christ, culminates in being both perfected and sanctified by law. We are perfected IN Christ not solely by Christ. The interactive synergy required by the yoke of Christ engages us in the process of salvation of each other as we incrementally are capacitated to live in harmony with His nature through the light of Christ.
CHIASM PAIRINGS #4, #5, #6:
The fourth and fifth pairings contextualize our proffered personal relationship with Christ and His invitation for us to draw near and learn to discipline the mind, so He can sanctify it. The pairing helps us see that this prepares us not only for personal divine experiences but also to become instruments engaged in the saving process that then transforms us so we can experience “the great and last promise,” of the 6th.
68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
69 Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
Paired in the 6th with:
74 And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean;
75 That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.
Isn’t it interesting that in verses 77-79 that, in the interest of engaging us, yoking us, that he commands us to teach each other as the means of learning? Normally learning precedes teaching but here it comes in tandem, catalyzed by the willingness to teach by the Spirit.
77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may 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 you to understand;
79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms
As we teach and He instructs us, learning by the Spirit, there seems to be an order to that learning; He starts us with theory. Why would an omniscient being start students who yearn for whole truth, with theories? The order is interesting as we progress in our understanding, through the Spirit, as we learn, from theory to principle, then to doctrine, then law, and finally just after a continually expansive order, a limitation comes…some truths are more important to the Kingdom as expediencies, than others. He taught us in DC 76 that somethings need to be learned but not taught. But the process of learning in this way, transforms us so that we become capable of abiding His presence.
114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;
115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;
116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;
117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;
118 That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. DC 76
THE CENTER OF THE CHIASM:
Do we sense a crescendo as we read this section chiasmatically? To the Hebrew mind, the center of the chiasm was the focal point, the pinnacle of the crescendo! And, this single sentence (v73) would remain a simple single sentence were it not placed in the center of such a chiasm, built carefully around complex concepts, events, and timing. As such, it should now thunder in our minds and hearts calling us to action and divine interdependence.
73 Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
This exact phrase appears nowhere else in holy writ. But the footnote takes us to Isaiah 60 where “my work” is detailed in a similar context. Wow, what a chapter! Imagine what it would feel like to look back from a millennial reality with this detailed description of what it will be like when all the prophecies, promises and gathering is fulfilled.
14… they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15…I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation…
22…I the Lord will hasten it in his time. Isaiah 60
These verses are the antecedent for “it” and define “my work” in DC88. Our modern prophet illustrated how this includes all of us and is being fulfilled in our day:
“Today, the Lord’s work in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is moving forward at an accelerated pace. The Church will have an unprecedented, unparalleled future.“
President Russell M. Nelson, April 2020 General Conference, The Future of the Church: Preparing the World for the Savior’s Second Coming
“This last year has been one for the record books. No doubt we have each learned things we did not know previously. Some lessons that I knew before have been written on my heart in new and instructive ways.
For example, I know for sure that the Lord directs the affairs of His Church. He said, “I will show [you] that I am able to do mine own work.” (2Nephi 20:21)
Often, my counselors and I have watched through tear-brimmed eyes as He has interceded in extremely challenging circumstances after we had done our best and could do no more. We do indeed stand all amazed.
I also understand better now what He meant when He said, “Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.” Over and over again I have rejoiced as He has directed and executed the hastening of His work—even during a global pandemic.
My dear brothers and sisters, the strength of the Church lies in the efforts and ever-growing testimonies of its members. Testimonies are best cultivated in the home. During this past year, many of you have dramatically increased the study of the gospel in your homes. I thank you, and your children will thank you.” President Russell M. Nelson, April 2021 General Conference, “A Welcome Message”
But “hasten” must mean more than “hurry” for it to be a crescendo! The olive leaf, “plucked from the tree of paradise” or the tree of life is indeed that; it is a poetical offering from the Lord that culminates (v73) with God expressing His excited anticipation to fulfill all His covenant promises to the faithful, even that of eternal life.
 See Guide to the Scriptures:
To be pardoned from punishment for sin and declared guiltless. A person is justified by the Savior’s grace through faith in Him. This faith is shown by repentance and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Jesus Christ’s Atonement enables mankind to repent and be justified or pardoned from punishment they otherwise would receive.
- In the Lord shall all Israel be justified, Isa. 45:25.
- Not the hearers but the doers of the law shall be justified, Rom. 2:13.
- Man is justified through the blood of Christ, Rom. 5:1–2, 9.
- Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 6:11.
- Being justified by his grace, we shall be made heirs, Titus 3:7.
- Was not Abraham our father justified by works, James 2:21.
- By works a man is justified, and not by faith only, James 2:14–26.
- By the law no flesh is justified, 2 Ne. 2:5.
- My righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities, Mosiah 14:11 (Isa. 53:11).
- Could ye say that your garments have been cleansed through Christ, Alma 5:27.
- Justification through the grace of Jesus Christ is true, D&C 20:30–31 (D&C 88:39).
- By the Spirit ye are justified, Moses 6:60.
The process of becoming free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Moses 6:59–60).
- God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thes. 2:13.
- We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus, Heb. 10:10.
- Jesus suffered that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, Heb. 13:12.
- High priests were sanctified and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb, Alma 13:10–12.
- Sanctification cometh to those who yield their hearts unto God, Hel. 3:33–35.
- Repent that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, 3 Ne. 27:20.
- Sanctification through the grace of Jesus Christ is just and true, D&C 20:31.
- Jesus came to sanctify the world, D&C 76:41.
- Sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, D&C 88:68.
 We grow in two ways—removing negative weeds and cultivating positive flowers. The Savior’s grace blesses both parts—if we do our part. First and repeatedly, we must uproot the weeds of sin and bad choices. It isn’t enough just to mow the weeds. Yank them out by the roots, repenting fully to satisfy the conditions of mercy. But being forgiven is only part of our growth. We are not just paying a debt. Our purpose is to become celestial beings. So, once we’ve cleared our heartland, we must continually plant, weed, and nourish the seeds of divine qualities. And then as our sweat and discipline stretch us to meet His gifts, “the flowers of grace appear.” Elder Bruce C. Hafen, Conference April 2004
 Our spiritual purpose is to overcome both sin and the desire to sin, both the taint and the tyranny of sin. Elder David A. Bednar; Conference, Oct 2007
 Both justice and mercy are attributes of Deity, not laws from some code book to which God is subject.
“Justice is not just an abstract principle, not merely some eternal ideal, some mystical regulation in a law-driven universe. Justice is an attribute of Deity, a condition and requirement of God. It is the justice of God which rewards righteousness. It is the justice of God which punishes sin.” (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4 vols., 3: 315.)
 Thus, in letting go of the world and then passing through the gate of repentance and baptism, all is not done. There are still old reflexes to be mastered, familiar thoughts that must be turned away, and feelings to be tamed. Our personality must be both gentled and emboldened…. There is always time to be managed in order to obtain from our hours the highest and best use… Neal A. Maxwell; Wherefore ye must press forward; p18
 “The only way for you to progress in your gospel adventure is to help others progress as well.” Elder Uchtdorf, Conf. 10/19
 The word appears in two places in the Old Testament that contextually seems to match the intent of this verse in the DC. The Hebrew origin is:
חוּשׁ (chuwsh=koosh), Verb, a primitive root, found in Isaiah 60; to hurry; figuratively, to be eager with excitement or enjoyment.
שָׁקַד (shaqad=shaw-kad), Verb, a primitive root, found in Jeremiah 1:12; to be alert, i.e. sleepless; hence to be on the lookout (whether for good or ill; watch (for).