When the Holy Spirit of Promise places his ratifying seal upon a baptism, or a marriage, or any covenant, except that of having one's calling and election made sure, the seal is a conditional approval or ratification; it is binding in eternity only in the event of subsequent obedience to the terms and conditions of whatever covenant is involved. But when the ratifying seal of approval is placed upon someone whose calling and election is thereby made sure — because there are no more conditions to be met by the obedient person — this act of being sealed up unto eternal life is of such transcendent import that of itself it is called being sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, which means that in this crowning sense, being so sealed is the same as having one's calling and election made sure.
Thus, to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is to be sealed up unto eternal life; and to be sealed up unto eternal life is to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. And of this usage of terms, a usage which is wholly misunderstood unless the whole concept of the sealing power of the Spirit is understood, the scriptures and other prophetic utterances bear repeated witness.
Thus Joseph Smith says that when Peter "exhorts us to make our calling and election sure," it is the same thing as "the sealing power spoken of by Paul in other places. The illustrative quotation from Paul which the Prophet then quotes is: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory," that we may be sealed up unto the day of redemption.
That is, the calling and election of Ephesian Saints had been made sure because they were sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Those who gain exaltation in the celestial kingdom are described in the Vision of the degrees of glory in these words: "They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given — That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
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That is, they first believed the gospel, received all the conditional promises of eternal life, including the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then having "overcome by faith," having kept the commandments, having proved themselves worthy, they finally had their calling and election made sure. How is this to be done? It is to be done by this sealing power, and the other Comforter spoken of, which will be manifest by revelation. The scriptural passage alluded to by the Prophet in this statement is from Jeremiah and is as follows: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Complete realization of the blessings here promised is Millennial, and the knowledge of God spoken of shall be manifest by the receipt of the Second Comforter, as the Prophet then proceeds to state, and as we shall now consider.
It is the privilege of those who have their calling and election made sure, meaning those who are sealed up unto eternal life, meaning those who are "sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" Eph. The first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham.
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That man that has none of the blood of Abraham naturally must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands , which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted.
When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses.
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The Prophet then quotes verses 16, 17, 18, 21, and 23, and asks that they be noted in particular. In a revelation to certain selected saints in this dispensation, the Lord said that the alms of their prayers were "recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world" D. This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son.
These saints, like their Ephesian Brethren before them, had been called and chosen "before the foundation of the world" that they "should be holy and without blame" before the Lord, through baptism and obedience Eph. They had then earned the right by faith and devotion to have the seal of divine acceptance placed on the conditional promises which they had theretofore made. They now had the sure "promise. As set forth by the Lord Jesus himself to the ancient Twelve, in one of his most loving and gracious sermons, the doctrine of the Second Comforter, noting particularly the verses quoted by the Prophet, is this:.
Verse 17 : "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
John But as spoken by Jesus, as recorded by the Beloved John, and as interpreted by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the verse has application to Jesus himself. Thus the Lord Jesus is telling his ancient apostles that he will dwell in them in the figurative sense stated three sentences later in the same sermon: "I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Verse 18 : "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. The Lord Jesus Christ himself will do it! He will appear to them and be with them! And what an eternal comfort it will be, in days and years to come, to see the face of their Beloved Lord!
And verses 19 and 20 then reaffirm that when the world no longer sees him, yet because he continues to live in glorious immortality, his beloved disciples shall continue to see him — "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Verse 21 : "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
And then, one of the Twelve, hearing the words but not comprehending the deep spiritual truths they convey, asks Jesus: "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Verse 23 : "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Such seems almost beyond comprehension, but so gracious and infinite is God's grace that such is verily the case, and so we find the Prophet, writing by the spirit of prophecy and revelation: "John — The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.
Having thus set forth the doctrine that he and his Father will manifest themselves to those who are sealed up unto eternal life — and for that matter, why should they not come to such persons, since all who gain eternal life shall dwell in their presence and be like them? But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost" — the First Comforter, the initial Comforter, the one "that all saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism," the one that "has no other effect than pure intelligence" Teachings , p. After quoting the named verses from the 14th chapter of John, the Prophet continues his own inspired analysis: "Now what is this other Comforter?
Paul in the three heavens, and all the saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn. Speaking in November, , to those whose calling and election would in due course be made sure, and whose "privilege" it would then be to receive the Second Comforter, the Lord said: "Verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me.
Suppose they backslide and walk in the ways of wickedness?
Doctrine of Calling and Election
Or fight the truth and rebel against God — what then? That all men commit sin, before and after baptism, and for that matter, before and after their calling and election is made sure, is self-evident.
Thus in the revelation announcing the setting up of the restored church in this day, the Lord says: "There is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God; Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation; Yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also. The prophets and apostles from Adam and Enoch down, and all men, whether cleansed and sanctified from sin or not, are yet subject to and do in fact commit sin.
This is the case even after men have seen the visions of eternity and been sealed by that Holy Spirit of Promise which makes their calling and election sure. Since these chosen ones have the sure promise of eternal life, and since "no unclean thing can enter into" the Father's "kingdom" 3 Ne. Obviously the laws of repentance still apply, and the more enlightened a person is, the more he seeks the gift of repentance, and the harder he strives to free himself from sin as often as he falls short of the divine will and becomes subject in any degree to the Master of Sin who is Lucifer.
The Sanctification of the Soul
It follows that the sins of the godfearing and the righteous are continually remitted because they repent and seek the Lord anew every day and every hour. And as a matter of fact, the added blessing of having one's calling and election made sure is itself an encouragement to avoid sin and a hedge against its further commission.
By that long course of obedience and trial which enabled them to gain so great a blessing the sanctified saints have charted a course and developed a pattern of living which avoids sin and encourages righteousness. Thus the Lord said: "I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you, to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you. But suppose such persons become disaffected and the spirit of repentance leaves them — which is a seldom and almost unheard of eventuality — still, what then?
The answer is — and the revelations and teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith so recite!
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Or if they commit murder or adultery, they lose their promised inheritance because these sins are exempt from the sealing promises. Or if they commit the unpardonable sin, they become sons of perdition. As we have already seen, making one's calling and election sure comes after and grows out of celestial marriage. Eternal life does not and cannot exist for a man or a woman alone, because in its very nature it consists of the continuation of the family unit in eternity. Thus the revelation on marriage speaks both of celestial marriage in which the conditional promises of eternal life are given and of making one's calling and election sure in which the unconditional promise of eternal life are given in one and the same sentence — which sentence also says that those who commit sins except "murder whereby to shed innocent blood" after being sealed up unto eternal life shall still gain exaltation.
This is the language: "Then" — that is, after their calling and election has been made sure — "shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
Then shall they be gods," because they have eternal life. Then the revelation speaks of that obedience out of which eternal life grows, and still speaking both of celestial marriage and of making one's calling and election sure says: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment" — that is, if they are both married and have their calling and election made sure — "and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
This matter of being destroyed in the flesh and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption is the doctrine of blood atonement, whereunder those here involved are not cleansed by the blood of Christ, but must pay the penalty for their own sins. This principle can only operate in a day, as that of Moses, when there is no separation of Church and state and when the Church has power to take life.
Of conditions in our day, and as to how this law applies to us, President Joseph Fielding Smith says: "We cannot destroy men in the flesh, because we do not control the lives of men and do not have power to pass sentences upon them which involve capital punishment. In the days when there was a theocracy on the earth, then this decree was enforced. What the Lord will do in lieu of this, because we cannot destroy in the flesh, I am unable to say, but it will have to be made up in some other way.
As to the shedding of innocent blood, within the meaning of this revelation, the Lord says: "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord. That is, the innocent blood is that of Christ; and those who commit blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which is the unpardonable sin Matt.
They are, in other words, people who would have crucified Christ, having the while a perfect knowledge that he was the Son of God.