Introduction

My intent with this blog is to share my thoughts, understanding, and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the events that are currently unfolding and will soon come to pass, with my family and friends (anyone who wants to read these musings). We are living in a time that has been seen and prophesied by all the prophets from Adam till now, it is an exciting and tumultuous time. In the scripture references I use there are two citations; one is referenced with "RE" meaning Restoration Edition scriptures, the other is "LE" meaning LDS Edition scriptures. Jeff Carter

Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Monday, April 25, 2022

 

Repentance.

The Lord commands us repeatedly to repent and not only that but to teach nothing but repentance.  After baptizing 204 souls in the waters of Mormon, the prophet Alma: “…having authority from God, ordained priests…to preach unto them (the 204 souls) and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were…repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.” (Mosiah 9:9 RE, Mosiah 18:18-20 LE)  In a revelation given to Joseph in Kirtland: “Behold, thus says the Lord unto you my servants: It is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called to gather from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south…And it shall come to pass that they shall go forth unto the regions round about and preach repentance unto this people.” (T&C 30:1-2 RE, D&C 44:1-3 LE)  The Lord has commanded us to preach repentance, furthermore, He has commanded us individually to repent. “Yea, open your mouth and it shall be filled, saying, repent, repent and prepare the way of the Lord, and make his path straight, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Yea, repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins. Yea, be baptized even by water, and then comes the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.”  (T&C 16:2 RE, D&C 33:10-11 LE)

It seems we individually know so little about repentance.  Let’s see if we can get a better handle on what the Lord requires of us.

We are required to be obedient to the Lord’s commandments and repentance is a requirement.  The Lord told Joseph Smith: “Keep my commandments and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.” (JSH 14:10 RE, D&C 11:9 LE) The commandments He is talking about are the Sermon on the Mount/Sermon in Bountiful, but also those commandments the Lord gave to Joseph personally.  The same is true for each of us, we are to live the commandments from the sermons stated above in addition to those He gives to us personally.  The Lord has given me a commandment to share a message with each person I meet.  That message is “THE LORD LOVES YOU! HE WANTS YOU TO REPENT! WE ARE TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”  As I pondered on those words the Lord allowed me to soften the “REPENT!” command to “he wants you to turn towards Him”.  So that is a personal command the Lord has given to me.  Have you asked the Lord what He requires of you? That is not a rhetorical question. You may want to give that some considerable thought. But, let’s continue our conversation on repentance.

Repentance has claim on so much more than just sin.  In the Bible Dictionary (LE) we find a definition of “Repentance”, it says: “…denotes a change of mind, i.e., a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.”  In the “Glossary of Gospel Terms” (RE, it is found in the appendix of the Teachings and Commandments) it describes repentance as “A “change” requiring believers to turn away from the world and toward God. It is the change in life that follows from seeing things in a better, truer light. Repentance is abandoning a foolish error, a vain tradition, or a false belief and replacing it with truth. Penitence is another way to describe repentance (or the process of change and growing beyond sins that limit your happiness). It comes as you allow Christ to “succor” you through the power of the atonement. Through penitence, people do away with the darkness in their lives and add light instead.  Repentance is turning away from all other distractions to face God.” True repentance means we must change our actions, attitudes, and perceptions to bring us into alignment with the Lord, or “turn towards Him”.

The pathway to God is through repentance, as we identify actions, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, traditions, beliefs, fears, emotions, etc. that are not in alignment with Him, and leave those behind us (literally they are now in our past) we turn towards The Lord with new actions, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, emotions, etc., that are in alignment with Him.  The scriptures refer to it as a Change in Heart”. Alma asked “…have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your own countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you?” (Alma 3:3 RE, Alma  5:14-15 LE)  All too often as we repent and change we are like Lot’s wife who turned back toward Sodom and Gomorrah with longing and was turned to a pillar of salt.  We are not familiar with the new us and we allow the old to come back instead of turning toward Christ and forsaking the past which caused us pain.

In Proverbs, Solomon the King of Israel, said “He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.” (Prov. 4:82 RE, Prov. 28:13 LE) W.W. Phelps was instructed by the Lord:  “Behold, he that has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord remember them no more. By this you may know if a man repents of his sins: behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (T&C 45:9 RE, D&C 58:42-43 LE) Let’s see if we can bring this a little closer to home.  It seems easy to repent of stealing and then forsaking that sin by never stealing again.  However, when we are talking about emotions, hurts, betrayals, abuse, etc. it takes on a little different light.  You may say “I didn’t do those things they were done to me!” “Yes but I was/am the victim!” Those thoughts may be warranted but what part do you play in accepting, internalizing, or hanging on to the pain and anger associated with those feelings? Or perhaps you were the perpetrator; do you still hang onto the guilt and regret?  When the Lord says when you repent by confessing then forsaking, that He will remember it no more, shouldn’t you do the same?  Do you continue to bring it up in conversation?  Do you rehash it in your thought trying to justify your behavior? When something happens that triggers those memories do you wallow in that pain and misery for a while? When you have repented of and forsaken your meanness, or judgment toward someone do you continue to beat yourself up for being mean and judgmental?  When we choose to repent, to TURN TOWARD CHRIST not only do we turn and face Him or the path that He has shown but we must turn our back on all of the things of the world including past pain, suffering, hurts, attitudes, behaviors, traumas, etc. and remember them no more.

Alma in the Book of Mormon, and a number of his cohorts including Amulek, travel to the land of the Zoramites to preach.  At one point Alma and Amulek are together teaching a group, Amulek gets up and is preaching about Christ, the Atonement, faith, repentance, all the important stuff.  He says: “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God. Yea, behold, the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end. For after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say when ye are brought to that awful crisis that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this, for the same spirit you hearken to obey while living in the flesh shall, upon your death, have the same power to influence you to hearken unto that spirit in the next life.” (Alma 16:37 RE, Alma 34:32-34 LE) So profound, however, I would like you to look closely at the phrase “…for the same spirit you hearken to obey while living in the flesh shall, upon your death, have the same power to influence you to hearken unto that spirit in the next life.”  I’m going to give that spirit a name, “the Spirit of Past Pain and Regrets”.  The idea of course is that we need to move forward not dwell in the past.

Part of repentance is to turn away from the lies of the adversary as to who we are and to turn away from our past that continues to plague us and leave all of the lies behind, never bring it up again. Too often we turn back to those things that have caused us pain in the past. We continue to dwell on them which brings all of the pain, confusion and  energy of those hurts right back into our mind and heart and the “Spirit of Past Pain and Regrets” has a hold on us again.

In meditation I asked the Lord how we bring the full power of the atonement into our lives for healing (repenting) from past hurts, He said that we should ask what we needed to learn from the experience. Once we have ascertained what we needed to learn, then we can ask for the pain to be taken away through the atonement.  All of our experiences in this life are for our learning, to understand God and to “come unto Him”.

Something else we have learned recently is that when we give up our stuff to the Lord, (all that we are currently repenting of) He then has a gift to give us in exchange.  We recently had an experience helping a friend through a guided visualization.  The idea is that we visualize, putting our stuff (whatever aspect of repentance we are currently working on) and placing it in a box and giving the box to the Lord.  The Lord takes it in His hands then absorbs the box and its contents into Himself through the power of His atonement. We went through this visualization with this friend and although it seemed beneficial it didn’t feel complete.  A while later we were working with this person again and it was impressed upon me that the Lord wanted to give a gift in return, so we walked through the visualization again and this time as the box was given to the Lord, we waited, and He then gave a box in return.  That box the Lord gave was brought to the chest and absorbed it into the heart.  His box was full to overflowing with His love and light and healing.  The resulting feeling was profound for our friend.  The Lord loves us more than we can imagine.  He wants to give us all that He has.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Out of Obscurity

 

First and foremost I want to testify of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He loves us and is very cognoscente of each one or us and wants us to turn toward Him in all of our thoughts and actions.  He also wants us to learn to love one another.  It is of the utmost importance.

The Lord works in patterns every time He reaches out to reclaim His people.   In the post-deluvian (after the flood) world, the human catalyst for change has come from obscurity. What am I talking about?  From the time of Adam through Noah the leadership of the Lord’s people has come through an obvious uninterrupted patriarchal line and there were at least a percentage of His children that were obedient to His commandments.  However, after the flood we see a recurring pattern of apostasy then restoration.  Each time the Lord redirected His people after a time of apostasy, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through a prophet/servant who came out of obscurity.

The first major change (New Dispensation) came with Abraham.  Abraham was a descendent of Shem/Melchizedek although nine generations removed.  The vast majority of the descendents of Shem/Melchizedek had become idol worshipers, save for those few in the city of Salem.  The main religion of the time was Idolatry and it was almost 300 years before Abram (his name was later changed to Abraham by the Lord) was born.  Abram was 75 yrs old when the Lord commanded him to Leave Haran and travel to Canaan.  It was at that time the Lord covenanted with Abram (which we now know as the Abrahamic Covenant) “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get yourself out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you. And in you shall the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 7:1 RE, Gen. 12:1-3 LE)  The Gospel of Jesus Christ had been abandoned by the majority of the descendants of Noah after the flood. It was not long before Abram that Nimrod, a descendent of Ham, and his people built the tower of Babel to reach unto heaven and as a result of their conspiracy to prevent heaven from destroying mankind again the Lord corrupted the speech of the whole world.

The next major change came at the time of Moses.  Moses was also not from the current ruling body of the Lords people, the tribes of Israel. The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who had gone to Egypt to obtain food, were in captivity by Pharaoh.  The ruling body of the Israelites was a council of the tribal leaders.  Both of Moses’ birth parents were of the tribe of Levi, so Moses had  priestly birthright. When Moses was born, the Pharaoh had commanded that all male children born to the Hebrews should be thrown into the river: “And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives…And he said, When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women and see them upon the birth stools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said unto them, Why have you done this thing and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women, for they are lively and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them. Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and waxed very mighty…And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born to you (the Hebrews) shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.” (Exodus 1:3 RE, Exodus 1:15-22 LE)

Moses’ mother conceived and bore a male child: “And when she saw that he was a peculiar child, she hid him three months. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of papyrus, and smeared it with tar and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the reeds by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off to know what would be done to him.  And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river, and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child; and behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children…And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.” (Exodus 1:4-5 RE, Exodus 2:2-10 LE)  Moses was raised in the household of Pharaoh as his grandson. 

When the Lord called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, he was tending the flocks of the priest of Midian.  Of course you all know the story of the Lord calling upon Moses from a bush. I find it interesting in the account in Exodus the narration says the “and again the presence of the Lord (Joseph Smith changed “angel” to “presence”) appeared unto him.” (Exodus 2:2 RE, Exodus 3:2 LE) So it seems that this was not the first time Moses had some interaction with the Lord. He was obviously being prepared for what the Lord would ask of him.

John the Baptist was also someone who came out of obscurity.  Like Moses, he had the birthright to do what he did but he was not part of the mainstream leadership of the time.  Also like Moses, both his father and mother were of the tribe of Levi, descendents of Aaron.  John’s father Zacharias was performing his duties in the temple when an angel appeared to him to inform him of his wife’s coming expectancy.  His wife Elizabeth had been barren and was now past the child baring years. “And while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his priesthood, according to the law…there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and fear fell upon him; but the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” (Luke 1:3 RE, Luke 1: 8-13 LE)  John was sent out of obscurity to prepare the way of the Lord, his roll was that of an Elias (a for-runner): “And in those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand, for I am he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.” (Matt 2:1 RE, Matt 3:1-3 LE)  “The next day, John sees Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And John bore record of him unto the people, saying, This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me, and I knew him, and that he should be made manifest to Israel. Therefore have I come baptizing with water.” (John 1:5 RE, John 1:29-31 LE) It was not long after that John was executed by Herod.

The Lord Himself is another example of how God brings about change through obscurity.  Before His ministry began John was given the responsibility to identify Christ as the long awaited Messiah: “And John bore record…I saw the spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abided upon him…And I saw and bore record that this is the Son of God. (John 1:5 RE, John 1:32-34 LE)  Jesus was not of the reigning hierarchy of the time.  He did not come through the Sadducees or the Pharisees, who were the Jewish sects that held the most seats in the Sanhedrin, the primary Jewish leadership council.  The Lord had no credentials or had no bonifides of men: “Yea, even doth not Isaiah say, Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Mosiah 8:3 RE, Mosiah 14:1-2 LE)  In chapter 4 of his book “Come Let Us Adore Him”, Denver Snuffer writes “As Isaiah put it: “there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isa. 53: 2.) Or, to paraphrase Isaiah: “He was not bonafide. He did not have credentials deserving respect.” He was nobody.”  I agree with Denver in his definition of “beauty that we should desire him”, He began as a nobody in the eyes of the people. When He condescended from the realms of Heaven in the meridian of time He came out of obscurity He had no standing among the people to promote respect.

Joseph Smith was not a leader in any of the many organized religions of his day.  He was not even a licensed or trained preacher.  He was just an obscure boy of 14 when the Lord called him to do a great work: “And though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age or thereabouts, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world…how very strange it was that an obscure boy of a little over fourteen years of age… should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, so as to create in them a spirit of the bitterest persecution and reviling.” (JSH 2:8 RE, JSH 1:22 LE) Where the previously mentioned men could track their birthright to do what they did, we don’t have that information about Joseph, although I would bet that he did have the birthright, remember the Lord works in patterns.

I bring up all of these significant events to identify an established pattern in how the Lord works.  As shown whenever there is a great event about to take place it does not come through the current/traditional leadership of a prominent organization.  The Lord is working to bring about Zion in our day.  My belief is that the first step is establishing the New Jerusalem and building a temple for the Lord to come to.  That work has begun.  You are probably asking “who is going to build it” and that is a question I will address in another post.  But for now keep your eyes and heart open to the work the Lord is currently doing.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

 

Come Unto Christ

First let me set the record straight, I’M A NOBODY.  But the Lord has asked me to share some of my experiences.  “O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me, ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (3 Nephi 4:7 RE; 3 Nephi 9:13-15 LE)  Repeatedly the Lord has asked us to “come unto me”.  I am finding that this request is very literal as well as spiritual.

From a spiritual perspective the admonition to “come unto me” is a request to repent, to turn to face Him.  We often think of repentance as turning from sin, but that is only a small part of it.  Repentance means to turn and face Christ.  We must turn from our worldly, self-centered, and petty ways of looking at our circumstances.  The scriptures refer to this time in the world’s history as a time of vengeance, “Wherefore, I ask you if you will not come again on the earth. And the Lord said unto Enoch, As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfill the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah.” (Gen 4:22 RE; Moses 7:60 LE) A time where men’s hearts shall fail them and turn cold, “And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion. And men’s hearts shall fail them and shall say that Christ delays his coming until the end of the world, and the love of men shall wax cold and iniquity shall abound. (T&C 31:6 RE; D&C 45:26-27 LE)  Repentance today means that we must change the way we perceive our world, the way we interact with others, and paths we choose to follow.  We must align our thoughts, and our hearts, and our perceptions with those of the Lord’s.  He has shown us the path, which is the same path that His Father trod, we must choose to follow that path or we face destruction.

The more literal meaning to “come unto me” is to meet Him face to face “Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord face to face, as one man talks with another…” (Abraham 5:3 RE; Abraham 3:11 LE) The timing for us to see our Lord face to face is up to Him, we can’t really follow a check list to get to that point and say “OK I have done everything on your list now where are you!” However, He has shown me a way that I can come unto Him.  I have a couple of friends that shared their experiences of sending their spirit to find Christ.  One of them would ask his spirit to connect with “Mother Earth” then go to God and make a connection.  He did this every morning to make a spiritual connection for the day.  Another friend told me about his experiences meeting Christ in a garden.  So, I thought “I can do that”. In meditation (relaxed, with my mind free of all thought), I send my spirit to find Christ (I get permission from Heavenly Father first since we are to pray unto the Father through Christ).  The results have been very interesting as I let my thoughts go wherever they will.  I have found the Lord (I asked Him what He would like me to call Him and He said “Lord” is most appropriate) in His rose garden, in His workshop, sitting on a rock at the sea shore, walking along a road, in His sitting room, etc. Once I found Him at the feet of steps leading up to very official looking governmental type building with large columns and huge brass clad doors.  He led me into the “council room” where I saw all of the Fathers from Adam through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as well as Joseph and Hyrum sitting around a large conference table.  I don’t remember specifics of the conversation but it was about us (those living at this time who are prophesied about) who are tasked with building The New Jerusalem and Zion). The conversation stemmed around the question of whether we will be able to accomplish this task. Another time I met Him in His office, I asked “you have an office?” He said “Shouldn’t the King of the Universe have an office?” Each time I meditate and send my spirit to find the Lord He calls me by name and greets me with an embrace, then we have a conversation.

You may say that this is all in my head and you would not be wrong, however, many of things I have witnessed and experienced I believe were directed by the Holy Spirit.  Additionally, some of the things I have learned did not come from my little pea brain.  I do not share this lightly.  In my last meditation I was instructed to share this with you.  I have received other instruction from time to time.  For example the Lord instructed me to begin this blog.  Also, He gave me an assignment to share a message with everyone I meet.  The message is simple: The Lord loves you, He wants you to turn toward Him, and He wants us to love one another.  Simple right?  The execution is not so easy, but I’m working on it.

I know the Lord wants us to come to Him.  This example may not be for everyone but I think it is worth the expenditure of effort. The rewards are worth it.

Monday, January 17, 2022

 

We hear of Zion coming forth in the last days but Zion is not just a last day’s idea. Enoch from the Old Testament was the first to talk about Zion.  He was seven generations removed from Adam who was still alive when Enoch was preaching and died only 57 years before the city of Zion was taken off the Earth by the Lord.  The City of Enoch was translated in the 987th year from when Adam was cast out of Eden and Enoch was 365 yrs old. Enoch was 65 when he begat Methuselah and Methuselah died in the 1656th year, the same year of the Great Flood.  The Lord showed Enoch all of the generations of the earth and promised him that the Messiah, which should come in the meridian of time, would come forth from his seed.  Noah was the son of Methuselah and of course Christ came from the seed of Shem the son of Noah.

 When you read the account of Enoch written by Moses (The book of Moses in the LDS scriptures and Genesis in the Restoration Edition of the scriptures) one can only imagine the tragedy and the heart ache Enoch felt as he watched the generations of wickedness unfold, to be swept away by the flood, then to see the descendents of Noah falling into the same wickedness as before.  “When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of The Righteous be shed that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?” asked Enoch.  (Moses 7:45 LE; Gen. 4: 18 RE)  When you read that passage from Moses you may consider a different meaning of the word “mourn” than what you may have before. May he be talking about those who, like Enoch, feel sorrow and empathy, and weep for the wicked and those who suffer because of them? And what of mother earth of her sorrow and pain because of the wickedness of men?  Mother earth lamented to Enoch: “When shall I rest and be cleansed from the filthiness which has gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?”   (Moses 7:48 LE; Gen. 4:20 RE) Enoch asked the Lord if He would come again and give mother earth her well deserved rest, and was shown the events of the last days.  As a result of the Lord showing Enoch all of these things and Enoch asking and pleading for the children of Noah, the Lord covenanted with him:

Wherefore, I ask you if you will not come again on the earth. And the Lord said unto Enoch, As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfill the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah. And the day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day, the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth. And great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve. And righteousness will I send down out of Heaven. Truth will I send forth out of the earth to bear testimony of my Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead, yea, and also the resurrection of all men. And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out my own elect from the four quarters of the earth unto a place which I shall prepare, a holy city, that my people may gird up their loins and be looking forth for the time of my coming. For there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Then shall you and all your city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom. And they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; and there shall be my abode. And it shall be Zion which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made, and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest. (Moses 7:59-64 LE; Gen. 4:22 RE)

The Lord will prepare a city of refuge for His elect (the faithful followers of Christ) who will be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.  This will eventually be called The New Jerusalem/Zion.  In order to get there we must become as the Lord described “And the Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart, and of one mind, and dwelled in righteousness, and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18 LE; Gen. 4:14 RE)

The purpose of brining again Zion is to restore what was lost at the beginning, and to vindicate the promises and covenants the Lord made with the Fathers.  The magnificence of the Garden of Eden was not the perfection; it was that man, Adam, walked and talked with God.  Zion will be a place where God will again be in the midst of men.   Joseph Smith was given the task of preparing a people to bring Zion, three times he was commanded to build a temple that the Lord could come to.  The Kirtland temple was completed and much was experience and revealed, however, the people were so caught up in the opportunity to make money that they would not accept what was offered to them.  The Lord was forgiving and gave them another chance in Missouri but again they would not do as the Lord commanded; …”behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people… they might have been redeemed, even now. But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I require at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil…” (D&C 105:2-3 LE; T&C 107:1 RE).  Again the Lord would bring Zion to Nauvoo if they would build a temple that He could come to and perform His ordinances for the living and the dead; …”build a house unto my name for the Most High to dwell therein. For there is not place found on the earth that he may come and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he has taken away, even the fullness of the Priesthood.  For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they my saints may be baptized for those who are dead; for this ordinance belongs to my house and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty wherein you are not able to build a house unto me. But I command you, all you my saints, to build a house unto me, and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me, and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable to unto me.  But behold, at the end of this appointment, your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me. And if you do not these things, at the end of the appointment you shall be rejected as a Church with your dead, says the Lord your God”. (D&C 124:27-32 LE; T&C 141:10-11 RE)  The Lord was giving His people an opportunity to get it right this time.  In the two previous attempts the Lord had given them the opportunity but they failed, after which the Lord reproved them telling them what they lacked in the effort. This time He was being even more specific regarding baptisms for the Dead and later refers to their washings and anointings.  The Lord even goes on to say their baptisms “…”cannot be acceptable unto me, for therein are the keys of the Holy Priesthood ordained that you may receive honor and glory.” (ibid) He cannot bless them with honor and glory and the Holy Priesthood after they have been disobedient.  But these things would return in Zion and Jerusalem after they have been set up as holy places.

The Lord is still waiting for a people to step up and be obedient and at His command build a house for Him to come to.