There is only but one family. This thought has played upon my mind again and again.
We believe that family is essential and important to God but do we really know it? The family is so very sacred that He has ordained both men and women in marriage, to share in this together with Him the creation of the family. We yet grasp the full view of what this really means to be a family, let alone His family or the sacrifice involved. It started with Adam, and then it was made possible because of Eve (Gen. 1:28). We have been co-opted by God in the council of Gods into this His great plan (Abr. 3:22-28). This brings great blessings and also great responsibilities.
The greatest advent of the scriptures is the coming and return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53 & Zechariah 14:4). The second is like unto the first, it is the knowledge that we may come to know the Father and the Son for ourselves personally (John 17:3, 2 Nep. 31-32, D&C 93:1). But, there is another advent taking place that is as intimate as these two. It is detailed throughout the scriptures and that perhaps, because it is really so simple and commonplace, it is easily overlooked without giving it much more thought. When it does, in fact, merit more thought and further contemplation and study (Mosiah 5:7, Psalm 82:6, Gen. 1:27).
It is this that I hope to draw your attention to. To the more intimate details of your potential relationship with God. Everything is contingent on your diligence to and the obedience of, the commandments of God. He has set forth the conditions required for each one of us to come in and join together with Him, in the family of God and be counted as one of His.
Those who have His words contained in the holy scriptures and who are familiar with His commandments are accountable to Him for what they do with that knowledge. What He has said to one, He has said to all (Mark 13:32-37). For these instructions are given to us in these sacred text’s and preserved from generation to generation that we might know who God is, what He expects of those who will be called His children and how we might come to know Him and obtain for ourselves promises and blessings.
We must first learn how to be obedient to His written word, we have the commandments and having read them we need to begin to obey them and as we grow and are obedient we begin to be moved upon by the spirit and as it moves upon us and directs us aright as we continue to hearken and obey we obtain the voice of God for ourselves and receive instruction, promises, and blessings from Him. If you will not keep His sayings and do His works, nor follow in His footsteps then you cannot come where He is, you have no promise, and He will not come and administer to you those blessings.
It takes a being of greater knowledge, light and truth, to come down and administer to those of us here for us to be able to ascend where they are and Christ being the greatest of them all comes to those who will keep His commandments these are those who hold nothing back from Him, who lay their name and fortune down to follow Him. And to them, He administers salvation, truth, and eternal life (D&C 76:86-88). Angels also are sent to administer to the heirs of salvation “Are they not all [Angels] ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14). And who are the heirs of salvation? Paul answers this: “The [Holy] Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)
Who are the children of God: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27) and also: “because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters” (Mosiah 5:7).
These are the children of Christ, His Sons, and Daughters. Those who have repented, come unto Christ, exercised faith unto repentance and were baptized, who kept the commandments; these received a changed heart and are His family (this so happens also to be what His church is: Mosiah 26:22, D&C 10:67-68). Hence the saying you are “children of God” or “ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters” these He has baptized with fire and of the Holy Ghost. Which anointing by the Spirit gives you a new name, and the name by which you shall be called by is Christ (Mosiah 5:9). In consequence of having been baptized with fire and of the Holy Ghost not only can you speak with a new tongue, which is to speak the words of Christ, i.e. teaching the commandments, but not just teaching the commandments but also giving understanding to His commandments, but not just teaching and giving understanding to His commandments but by your demonstration and your daily walk, you keep the commandments,
Another sign of your repentance and having been spiritually begotten of Him – is that you receive a new heart or a changed heart. In other words, you NO LONGER desire to do that which is evil, but desire to do good continually. You do not return evil for evil. You do not withhold your substances from the poor and needy, and you seek not only to bring relief, but you seek that others too may also come unto Christ and partake. These are the children of Christ and heirs of salvation – these are Sons and Daughters of God. They are believing, faithful, patient, long-suffering, quick to forgive, slow to anger, do not bear false witness, and so forth. This is His family. This is where the priesthood is eternal, is without beginning or end. It is NOT those who make excuses or justify their disobedience to the commandments of God, who justify themselves in their sins before men (Luke 16:15).
Everything we do is symbolic of the gospel of Jesus Christ in some fashion or the other. It is also literal at the same time. What do I mean by this? I mean that your daily life, your daily walk is symbolic of His great eternal plan. It is the plan of your salvation. Most people have a basic understanding of the following concept: when you lay down at night, it is symbolic of your eventual death; you enter into a restful state, His rest – this while you sleep. The next morning at the first light, you awake and are renewed in mind, body, and spirit – this having symbolism of your eventual resurrection. This basic concept of life, death, and the resurrection is lived out each and every day. This is what I mean by being both symbolic and also literal.
All aspects of life, every day, live out the creation, death, and resurrection. As well, as the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, and also of Christ and His coming into mortality and His return in eternal glory. His triumph over death and hell are foretold in the setting of the cosmos, the stars, rotation, the sun, and alignment. As well, as your own triumph over death and hell through the blood and atonement of Christ through your repentance and obedience to His commandments, are testified of. There are many more things, as indicated in the Book of Moses 6:61-62 to be discovered:
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. 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.
What is then the record of heaven that is in you? In part, as I just explained a portion of that record in you is displayed throughout your daily life. When you lay down at night to sleep, symbolic of your death, and your awakening renewed the next morning, symbolic of your resurrection. These are “the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things” (Moses 6:61). These things are in you, as your need for physical nourishment so is your need for spiritual nourishment, these things are sewn into the very fabric of your own existence and being even at the genetic level. You live out each day the great plan of your salvation. Told in a dramatic scene of this creation and all things that are in your day-to-day life. The fall of mankind in the garden, the death, and resurrection and of all things which are of “immortal glory” and so forth.
Your very life is a living testament of His plan, the record of heaven. The journey you have embarked upon in this mortality is a testament to His very existence. In other words, the record of heaven is in you, it is you-you are the record of heaven. You testify of the death and resurrection each time you lay down to sleep and arise awake and invigorated. You are restored, renewed, and thus you also will be in the resurrection. There are many, many more things to discover even eternal “truths” that are sewn into your own bodies.
All these things are given and set to testify of Him and of the plan of salvation which is available to all. His gospel is structured into your life, breathing, eating, sleeping, pain, joy, cell division, and so on. Do you get it yet? You are a temple, for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Cor. 3:16). You are the very record of heaven – of all things that are truth, your own corporal physical being tells the story of the creation, this great drama that has and is unfolding before you and of eternal life. This truth and many more truths are all around you at all times in some fashion or another. Testifying of Him continually, unceasingly and without end.
All that He does is for the benefit of mankind – it is for our enjoyment, to take joy in His creation and also to take joy in Him who is our creator. Who is the giver of all things and of all life – which life is sustained by and through Him. All of creation testifies of Him – continually, as do you. Your own bodies and daily life you live testify of heaven and hell and will stand as a testament for or against you at the last day, You are the very record of heaven, you are His temple for His spirit to dwell. Make yourselves holy!
Can you not understand that you are the centerpiece of His great plan. You are the most important of all of Gods works and creations! You are His masterpiece. It is you that required a Savior and great sacrifice to bring about your redemption. That a God, the Son of God in the flesh came down for YOU – and offered Himself for a sacrifice that you if you will believe upon His name, that you may be saved in His kingdom! You are the one that He has taken the greatest of care to cultivate of all His creations. His work is not finished with you, it is not, you are not beyond His ability to save. No matter where you find yourself, no matter where you have walked, God is very aware of you if even you are not yet keenly aware of how involved He is with you, even now, He is – do not doubt it.
There is a particular scripture that comes to my mind that this is all centered on. That my thoughts have been framed around. The scripture has a warning of things to come that is the obvious message of this passage. There is also another message that cannot be read by reading words. It is a profound truth hidden in plain sight within the texts of this passage.
Some might say, then why reveal it or teach it – why not let people find it out themselves. I ask, then why do we send messengers, teachers, and missionaries to teach, expound the scriptures and to reveal the word of God to those who do not have it. Should we not by that same token and logic, just let people be, to flounder in darkness, finding their own way, NO?! Of course not, that would be silly. So it is with this in that same concept and vain. Whether or not you accept something to be true or not, is between you and God – but here it is:
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [a]nd knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (KJV Matthew 24:37-39).
The obvious message here is that the world (worldly) will be cut off. There will be great evils upon the earth prior to His Second Coming, and the earth shall be visited with great destruction because of the wickedness of mankind. Yet Noah and his family were prepared. Noah, was familiar with God and was warned by God and He prepared Him with specific instruction by His own voice, and he was told when to take refuge in the Ark and to close it up. He knew that the flood was soon to come upon the inhabitants of the earth and he was thus spared and not cut off, and the world knew not until it came and was too late, but Noah, knowing God and having walked and talked with Him, he knew – while the world did not, was able to escape Gods judgments upon mankind.
That passage can be read and understood that the condition of the world in our day will be similar to that of Noah’s day – this is foretold. The words of Christ that cannot be read with your own eyes in the passage of scripture is that He is telling us that as it was with Noah that only “one family” was spared, so shall it be again. And whose family do you suppose that is?! It is Gods family, His family will be spared, it will be a small few, and so shall it be again at the time of His coming as it was in the days of Noah. One family will be preserved. These are they who are heirs of salvation. These are His children, His Sons, and Daughters, and He will provide refuge for them. Your own families need to become a covenant family, each one of you must come unto Christ and become a Son and Daughter. This is about preserving His family (Jacob 5).
Keep His commandments, be obedient to His every word. Make yourselves worthy of salvation, that you may be His Sons and Daughters (Mosiah 5:7). These are they who are the elect or who have been called and chosen, see that you have your election made sure by your answering unto Him, “Lord. Here am I, thy servant heareth, speaketh Lord” and then do His will, be faithful, keep His every command at all hazards. EVEN offering up your own lives if it should please Him and speedily repenting should you error and trespass against another. Never stop clothing yourselves with the cloak of charity that He may find you clean and speedily come to you (Matthew 24:22).
Repent. Be His church, be His family – I invite all to come unto Christ and to know Him.