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- Doctrine and Covenants 14:2 — 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝚒𝚜 “𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚞𝚕.”
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- This week’s LDS Coloring Pages free digital download: Come, Follow Me Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 11: March 8–14 “Strengthen the Church” Doctrine and Covenants 23–26
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- **#ComeFollowMe nugget** | 𝙸𝚏 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚍, 𝙸 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚏𝚎𝚊𝚛.
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Come Follow Me Insights (Doctrine and Covenants 63, Jun 7—13) – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Taylor and I’m Taylor, this is Book of Mormon Central’s Come, Follow Me Insights today, Doctrine and Covenants, Section sixty three.
So this section opens up a new phase where Joseph and the others have turned from their third trip out to independents, back up to Kirtland. They’ve been gone. They left it on June 20th and they now return near the end of August. So two months absence and a lot has happened in Kirtland. Well, a lot has happened along the path as well as in independence to. But the problem is, is when they’ve returned, they recognize that there’s been some pretty serious apostasy starting to set in among some of the members of the church, including some people who have been on this journey with them, who who are struggling with Joseph Smith and his role as the prophet and the promise of Zion being out there in this frontier town, that they were not impressed with some of them.
And the question then comes, why would why would Joseph have taken that incredible effort and time to go clear down to Independence, Missouri, only to turn around fairly quickly and come on this long journey on the way back when there’s so much struggle, both going and coming? Why go? There’s something powerful about just going out, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing when you go out, but to the act of just going out to try to serve can often open those those windows of revelation.
And so I guess we would say this this journey, even though when he comes home, we’re introduced to a lot of problems and a lot of issues with with apostasy. In some cases it’s worth it because now we have the inspiration that has come as the focal point for many of these sections coming up. And for many of the saints coming into the story, it’s going to be this this measured, marked inspiration of who to send to Zion when you’re going to notice they’re not going in a flood.
But Joseph is now knows enough about everything that’s going on out here and what it looks like that over the next five years, he’s going to be able to send people as needed on that journey. But now, before we dove into Section sixty three, let’s talk about some of the roots of apostasy and in some of the causes of what’s going on here.
So we will talk about specific things that happened with Asra Booth and others that they chose to leave the church, rather, to talk about the word apostasy. Let me begin with this word distend. You might think of I’m standing right here, we often use the phrase standee in holy places like as immoveable, the word stand actually comes in the same word that you might be familiar with if we have this country called the United States. And each state is supposed to be immovable, but they’re together, they’re united.
You hear this word in science, Stacie’s, it means a steady state where things are changing. Also in the United States, we have something called the Constitution and it literally means to stand. Together and think about how God wants his people to be one not the same, but to be United Tzion, it means to stand together. So how does apostacy fit into this? So you can see that you got the word Stacie’s or stand in OPO means a way or to leave, so.
So apostacy literally means to stand away from so if God asked you to gather with him and to stand with him in unity with his people, if you decide to walk away from that and to stand away from God’s unity, his oneness, his people, his Zion, that is apostasy. It’s stepping away and it’s standing elsewhere. It’s standing not with God, but standing by yourself or standing with people who choose not to stand with God. And we’ll see this.
And there are many ways that people can choose to no longer want to stand with God. Now, let’s just make it clear to all of us metaphorically stumble or fall or sometimes find ourselves not completely unified. God, it happens. The beauty is every single week we have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and to declare our intention and our purposefulness to stand with God, to be together with him. But if somebody chooses to intently and purposely and permanently stand away from God, that is apostasy.
Stand with God, stand in holy places and you will be saved.
So when you read Section sixty three this week for Come, Follow Me, as you get into it, you’re going to find that some of you will feel like you’re reading more from the Old Testament, where often people look at the Old Testament passages and see a God who is more filled with anger and wrath and justice and judgment and coming down telling the people they’re going to be destroyed because they’re wicked. It’s fascinating when you look at the various swings of a pendulum that goes back and forth.
At times that you have these different attributes that get emphasized sometimes in scriptures, we see the mercy, we see the love, we see the grace of God. And other times we see the justice, we see the judgment, you can see the problem that the profits have to try to find this nice balance where they teach us the seriousness of sin. They cry repentance and they teach God’s justice when it’s needed. But it’s mixed in appropriately, as he would have us do with his mercy, his love, feelings of his grace, which give us hope to say, yeah, I’m not perfect, but it’s OK because I’m striving so to be I’m trusting in God.
So as we jump in, look at verse one, Hakin. Oh ye people and open your hearts, give ear from afar and listen you that call yourselves the people of the Lord and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you. Yay, verily, I see hear the word of him whose anger is kindled against the wicked and rebellious God doesn’t want them thinking that he he’s not aware of what they’re doing to break the covenants that they’ve made with him and the commandments that he’s given them.
He’s basically saying, I know exactly what you’re doing and I don’t like it because that’s not leading the direction that you need to go.
And what’s interesting, if we often hear the phrase great are the words of Isaiah. If you turn to Isaiah, chapter one, this is what it says here. Oh, heavens. And give Erro Earth for the Lord has spoken. I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against me. So the greater the words of Isaiah, and it’s the same thing God’s like, I have done all this mercy and unfortunately, because you guys have chosen to stand away from me, I need to talk about this to invite you back into my mercy.
I want you to my mercy. And you can only get it if you choose to stand with me. And if you’re not, stay with me. You may hear a louder voice asking you to come back and you can’t force us. We see something similar. It doesn’t. I’m here in this pattern shows up not just in Isaiah Chapter one, but in multiple Isaiah chapters. One of the classic examples of this is first Nephi 20, which happens to be the first time that Nephi introduces us to some of the words of Isaiah.
So right out of the starting gate, look what he says. The very first quote For me, that’s a direct where this whole chapter is from Isaiah. Forty eight, the first one given to us in our book, Mormon, was the first words Hakin. And here, this house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel and are come forth out of the waters of Judah and then the parents that say we’re out of the waters of baptism.
That was added later for clarification. Now, listen to this. Who swear by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness. Nevertheless, they call themselves the holy city, but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel. Who is the Lord of hosts? The Lord of hosts is his name. It’s exactly that they’re saying, I’ve been baptized, I’m a member of the church, I’m a covenant Israel, but it’s in name only.
They’ve they’ve strayed from him, his righteousness from all of his commandments. And so they’ve got the label. They’ve got the show. Look at me. I’m a member of the church or I’m a good Christian, but at the core they’ve strayed.
It’s interesting, he says they take this strength as because they believe that because they’re part of the city, Jerusalem, that makes them safe. And he’s like, just because you’re inside the walls of Jerusalem does not mean you will not suffer the consequences of your choices. It also significantly talks about swearing in the name of the Lord. The words swear in the past actually meant to make a covenant. We will hear hear in doctrine cover sixty three. God talks about people who take his name in vain.
They make empty promises and it’s all here. God says if you’re going to do something in my name, you have to live it. Stand where I expect you to stand. And if you don’t, then I may have to come out in judgment and invite you back in. So it’s just interesting how all these things just play out over and over the scriptures and it really comes down to God is all of this. And he wants us right there standing in the middle with him.
So it’s interesting if you look at the concept that the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ is this steadying and and balancing influence and power here to the point where somebody who is struggling over in this moving away from God realm can have hope that there’s a there’s a reason to come back into the safety of that covenant connection with Christ. But the reality is, is when people sin, as we’re going to see later on in this section, it often affects a lot more than just them.
It affects other people. And those other people need to know when they’ve been hurt by others, poor use of agency, that the atonement of Jesus Christ gives them just as much hope as the sinner. Everyone needs the infinite atonement equally for different reasons, perhaps, but we all desperately need the infinite atonement. So now you can start seeing this this beautiful comparison that takes place all the time in general conference where they’ll teach the leaders of our church will teach the covenants and the commandments and the expectations, but they’ll also give lots of hope and they’ll give lots of of motivation for us to get up and move forward, whether we’ve sinned or been sinned against.
All of us need this help to move forward. Now, look at verse six. Wherefore verily, I say, let the wicked take heed and let the rebellious fear and tremble and let the unbelieving hold their lips for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind and all flesh shall know that I am God. Are you noticing Joseph is? Is getting this revelation and he’s speaking for the Lord and first person here, but we really are getting more of that Isaiah, Old Testament, voice of the Lord coming out here, not because God has changed, not because he woke up and he’s in a bad mood on that particular day up in heaven.
It’s because people have changed. God changes not. That’s one of his attributes. Everything he does is for the benefit of God’s children. So what you’re seeing here is more of a reflection of the state of being and the state of mind in the state of heart of his saints and the people on the earth than it is a changing temperament of God. Look at verse seven, he the seeker signs see signs, but not under salvation. Isn’t it fascinating that the farther you get away from God, the more you want science, you want physical proof, you it’s this idea of prove it.
Show me then. I’ll believe. So if you look at the at the scientific method, the scientific method when seeking for physical evidence and physical proof to to make sense of this world of ours, what do they do? They they run experiments based on hypotheses that they may have. They run the experiments and then if they see certain results, then they draw certain conclusions. And we can say now they changed the way they believe something is supposed to work.
Brothers and sisters, this is a beautiful pattern, and quite frankly, we we are invited to do this type of thing in the scriptures on occasion. But the reality is that’s a really good thing for seeking certain portions of truth, but when you’re seeking eternal truth, we’re told in the scriptures, we receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. But he’s inviting you to run a trial, a trial of your faith. So you choose to believe and then you receive the evidence, you receive the witness after to use the ether 12 flow and.
To talk about this further, even if you consider scientists, they actually believe that if they follow a particular process of going out and getting experience and running a test, like the word experiment and experience, an expert all come from the same word. So it is true that the data suggests what they should think. But in advance, they say, I believe if I’m rigorous about doing this, I will get to a conclusion that would give me more experience.
It’s exactly what got us. The whole purpose of this life is to get experience, which means go run some tests. Some of them you might fill out, some of them may blow up in your face. But guess what? God’s got you covered, but you should keep practicing. But could you imagine any scientist who sits around and says, yeah, I know about the scientific method, but I going to sit here in my lab and wait for the data to show up.
And I just if I wait long enough, I’ll become an expert. God doesn’t want us to sit around waiting to become experts. He wants us to do and he wants us to be experts at loving him and loving our neighbor. The only way to do it is to run the experiment.
Yes. Which is a trial or an experiment of our faith. We move forward not knowing at all times what the end result is going to be. But we we studied the scriptures, the words of the prophets. We do the best we can to move forward in that experiment. And as we do things unfold and we do mess up sometimes, but because our intent is to move forward, that’s not a failure. It’s not a tragedy. We learn from that and we move forward.
Just last night and our home, we were working on a little project painting some big panels, four by eight, four feet by eight feet, sheets of wood. And my little Jenna, age 12, was helping us paint. And she was standing on one side of the four foot panel and she wanted to get to the other side to finish painting that side. And she’s holding her paint brush. And she said, I’m going to jump over the panel.
I thought she was joking. Jenna wasn’t joking. She tried to jump over this four foot panel and made it about three and a half feet and landed with her bare feet, one foot on this painted board and jumped off very quickly and then stepped down with that wet paint on her foot, but now got on our regular floor. And this was not a great dad moment for me. I, I didn’t laugh. I didn’t say a hole that that was a failed experiment.
Jenna, what did you learn from that? No, I treated it like it was a tragedy. I’m like, oh, Jenna, what did you do? I thought you were joking, but you you can’t jump four feet. Are you serious? You thought you could make it over, Jenna. Now, look, you’ve got to go and get this floor. And it was a terrible moment. She went and she she hopped over to get a rag with some water on it to fix up the mess.
And after she fixed it up, she quietly put her brush with the others and started walking away. And my other daughter said, Jenna, where are you going? She says, I’m going to go brush my teeth and go to bed now. And then it hit me what I had done. I had communicated to her that the project really was more important than her, and I called her back and I said, OK, and I come here and she came back and each step that she came towards me, she started crying more and more.
And I just held that little 12 year old and I hugged her and I let her cry and in my heart I thought, Oh, Tyler. You’ve you’ve got to do better. So it became this learning opportunity, not just for my Jenny Dye I was so focused on what did you learn from this in the future? What are you not going to do? And you all you had to do is walk around the board rather than trying to jump at.
You learned that lesson, right? OK, now we’re good if you learn that lesson. The fact of the matter is, brothers and sisters, last night, the most important lesson that was learned in the Griffin home wasn’t learned by Jenna. It was learned by me that I need to focus more on people and on building them rather than on having perfected projects and programs and procedures of life. And to work with this process of when you try things and it doesn’t work, learn from it and move on and do better.
C.S. Lewis in his book The Problem of Pain, he said this. We can ignore pleasure, but pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. And sometimes when we’ve strayed too far from him, he will allow painful experiences to come. But, oh, they’re sweet when it actually served its purpose of having gotten our attention to refocus us and get us back centered in Christ.
So as we go through scriptures and we see some of the correction and we see some of the joys recognize God is shaping us, he’s helping us to see some things like this. You have the kingdom of God in heaven. This this amazing place that we always talk about that is our eternal home that we left to come down to the earth and on the earth, he asks us to help him build the kingdom of God on the earth. It’s patterned after what’s going on up in heaven.
Brothers and sisters. Now we get to it. We get to the for me the core of section sixty three, the core of Isaiah, the core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s this. God is giving us everything he can to help us to become like him, so as we go through the rest of the section, see it through the lens of God saying Kingdom of God on the Earth, you’re becoming less and less like the kingdom of God in heaven.
You’re you’re straying further and further from me. And my kind, gentle extensions of love and expressions of love aren’t bringing you back. So I’m going to bring some pretty hefty words against you to get your attention, and it’ll probably hurt. So look at verse look at verse seven. He’s he the he signs shall see signs but not under salvation villus into you. There are those among you who seek signs and there have been such even from the beginning.
But behold, faith comes not by signs but signs. Follow those that belief. So you want to see signs, you will see signs, but it won’t cause you to become more like God. Can you think of some scriptural examples where people saw incredible things, whether it be and Lemuel seeing an angel hearing the voice of God, whether it be a whole group of of wicked Nephites who said if we don’t see the sign by this day that Samuel Eliminate prophesied, we’re going to kill all of you believers.
And then they do see this incredible sign that they all of a sudden come to Nephi and say, I believe I want to be baptized. I want to change my life. Scriptures are loaded with examples of people who saw incredible signs and down towards the end of The Book of Mormon and towards the end of the Book of Ether, lots of signs are being given, but it’s not helping people draw closer to Christ that only comes through through sincere repentance.
Now, he’s going to make a comparison later on where he says those who seek signs Jesus is going to use this phrase. It is a wicked and an adulterous generation that seeks after signs. Let’s pull out apart for a little bit, let’s dissect that, what does that mean? Asylum seeker, what do they have in common with, say, a wicked and an adulterous generation? Science seekers and adulterers want something right now, but they don’t want to work for it.
They want all of the the fruits and the pleasure and the the momentary gratification that comes. But they don’t want any of the work. So back to the experiment. They don’t want to experiment on the word in order to become expert and in order to know and to be settled. A sign seeker doesn’t want the effort or the work. They just want the results. They’re like the scientists that Taylor was talking about sitting in her or his office saying, I’m just going to sit here and wait for the data to come to me.
And then I will know they don’t want to have to go through forty five experiments, all of which fail until they get to the one that actually does work. That’s that’s a lot of money and time and energy and effort. They want it right now without having to to have cost them anything. Think about the root of adultery. Wait a minute. Think about the route of lying, of cheating, of stealing. It’s of it’s all the same route, a sign seeking it’s rooted in I don’t want to have to work to get this thing brothers and sisters.
In the kingdom of God. We’re not afraid of work. In fact, he tells us my work and my glory is to bring to pass the immortality, eternal life of men and brothers and sisters. I’ll just speak for myself. But, my goodness, that must be a lot of work. Must be a lot of effort on God’s part, because I’m so thick, Skold. Sometimes I’m so hard to to understand and to learn and to to do the right thing the right way for the right reasons.
But God keeps working with me. He’s not taking the quick route, which would be to come down and hardwire my heart and my mind like a robot to say I will never again I will be perfect from here on out. That wouldn’t be work. That would be easy. So as we go through the rest of this section, understand God is is trying to help these people understand your discipleship is going to cost you something. It’s going to require that you put your heart and your mind into this effort, knowing that the infinite atonement Jesus Christ gives us hope and enables us to do all of this.
But it is going to require that I that I give the Lord that degree of my my desire, my will as I move forward now. Jump down to verse 12, where for I, the Lord, am not pleased with those among you who have sought after signs and wonders. For faith and not for the good of men and my glory, look at verse 13. Nevertheless, I give commandments and many have turned away from my commitments and have not kept them.
It’s this I told you how to be happy. You’ve turned aside and you’re not happy. And you’re saying, well, show me a sign and then I’ll believe. Then I’ll do the commandments, Jesus tells a group in the The Gospel of John. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctor. He didn’t say. You should know of the doctrine, and then once you know of the doctrine, clearly and surely, then you do the will of God.
The. The gaining of a testimony of a principle of the gospel is most profoundly built and rooted in living that principle of the gospel, not in listening to people talk about that principle of the gospel. Now, let’s look at verse 14. There were among you adulterers and adulteresses, some of whom have turned away from you and others remain with you. That hereafter shall be revealed to be saying some have already left, but there are actually some in Kirtland who are still here.
Verse 15. Let such beware and repent speedily, lest judgment shall come upon them as a snare and their folly shall be made manifest and their work shall follow them in the eyes of the people. And then he describes the struggle with verse 16, verily, I sing to you, as I’ve said before, he that look isn’t a woman to lust after her or if any, shall commit adultery in their hearts. They shall not have the spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear.
Once again, brothers and sisters, we live in a world that is saturated with this particular problem, and you’ll notice that God isn’t telling the people. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do for you. There’s no hope for you. You’re lost and you’re forever gone if you struggle with with these kinds of sins or with pornography or associated issues. He says that you’ve you’ve gone to this place, but there’s hope now the thing that he doesn’t talk about here is the fact that in our world today, something we mentioned before is there are people who are affected by those kinds of decisions that people make, their loved ones who are hurt deeply.
By people who are making these these decisions. Both groups need the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ. And that promise is sure. Look at verse 17 or four, I, the Lord, have said that the fearful and the unbelieving and all liars and whosoever love us and make us a lie in the whoremonger and the saucers shall have their part in that lake, which bernath with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Are you noticing something here, are you noticing that God has given a pattern, he’s given his covenant connection, the kingdom of God has revealed to the kingdom of God on the Earth that the celestial blueprint this is how to build a truly enduring joy, life on the covenant path.
But you’ll notice that there’s this opposing we always point downward to represent hell, there’s this opposing set of directions that has come from the adversary. And he’s just giving you a nice list there. But brothers and sisters. The person who ultimately loves and makes a lie is Satan, the person who is the ultimate whoremonger or sorcerer or the one who believes falsehoods, that Satan, he’s inviting you and me and our loved ones to become more like him. You have this you have this perfect contrast coming one, the commandments that are inviting you to become more like God and other, the temptations inviting you to become more like the devil.
Whoever we decide, whichever team we decide to stand next to, that’s the side that we’re going to get paid by. The the check is going to be signed. Our paycheck is going to be signed by either the Lord or the devil in this in this dichotomy that we’ve set up. And God is making it very clear that the wage of sin is death. It’s this lake of torment, the second death. Now let’s go to the Hope section first, 19 and 20, and now behold, I, the Lord saying to you that you are not justified because these things are among you.
Nevertheless, heathered endurance and faith and do with my will. The same shall overcome and shall receive an inheritance upon the Earth when the Drave transfiguration shall come. And he talks about the Earth being transfigured even after the pattern which I have shown you and transfiguration.
We we get this. And third Nephi chapter twenty eight four thirty eight. It says that they make that they might not taste death, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow. And that’s what I was talking about. There’s going to be a blink of the eye. That’s right. That will be transition to the state of being physically more like him. Beautiful.
Now, there is a notion that among some some Christian faiths out there of this doctrine called the rapture, that is kind of alluded to in in this section here, the event of the Lord’s coming the way some people interpreted this from First Thessalonians, chapter four, verse 17 is that when Christ comes for his second coming, the righteous will be taken up off of the Earth. They’ll go up to meet him. And then the the teaching or the idea is he’ll take them off to heaven and everybody else will be left behind in a in a wicked state without any righteousness on the earth.
And it’ll be terrible. The reality is, if you look at the the biblical teachings on this, when Jesus comes again, indeed the righteous will be caught up to meet him in the clouds. But the irony is he won’t take you away from this earth and go off to heaven or off into the clouds, the wicked will be burned. It is coming. And we’ll talk about that in the next week’s lesson in Section sixty four. But then once the earth has been purified and purged, he’ll then bring us back down with him and begin his millennial reign.
Brothers and sisters, God isn’t trying to save you from this world, he’s trying to help us create heaven on earth. The same thing could be said of our body, your body is not evil, your flesh is not horrible. It’s a gift. The devils would give anything to have one of these physical bodies, even with major mental or emotional or physical disabilities. This physical body is amazing. God’s not trying to save you from your physical body.
He’s trying to help you refine your appetites, your passions, your desires. He’s trying to work with us to make them become more heavenly. That’s what the commandments are. So we do it with our physical body, we do it with our physical world, he’s trying to help us become an extension of heaven. So look now at verse twenty three under him, that keeps my commandments, I will give the mistress of my kingdom and the same shall be in him as well, of living water springing up unto everlasting life that well, of living water and everlasting life.
Those are things the devil can never promise. Well, he can. And he does promise you those, but he can never deliver on that promise. It’s a lie. It’s all part of his life and his deception. Look at verse twenty six. Nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. So now he’s shifting focus and shifting his attention in the section to the building up of Zion in Independence, Missouri. And he says, you’re going to have you’re going to have to buy the land.
So he’s saying we’re going to follow the laws of the land. I am going to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. He’s clearly alluding here to the statement that he made in Matthew, chapter 22, verse twenty one. Some of you will remember that Jesus is right here in his final week. He’s he’s a few days away from from Gethsemani in the cross when this group comes to him, tempting him to see if they can trap him.
And they say, Master, we know you’re your wise and you don’t you’re not a respecter of persons. So is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Rome, to Caesar and Jesus instead of saying yes or no, which was the trap they hoped he would fall into? He said, show me the tribute money. And they showed him the tribute money. And he said, Whose image is on that coin? And they said it’s Caesar’s image, which is very well render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.
And under God, that which is God’s brothers and sisters, often in scriptures, when we learn, when we see a connection, we stop there. The connection that is made is Jesus. Didn’t fall into their trap, he turned it back on them and he said that image has or that coin has Caesar’s image on it, therefore render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. But then we often stop there. My favorite part of that whole statement is and render unto God.
That which is God’s, huh? Now, that’s interesting. The coin is supposed to go to Caesar because it has Caesar’s image on it, render it to him, but render what to God, what has God’s image on it? That was an invitation from Jesus to devote our whole life, our whole soul to God, the God who gave us life, rather than squandering it by giving it to the devil’s temptations, who hates us with an eternal hatred, but rather render unto God that which is God’s, because we have his image in our countenance.
So even though he didn’t finish that off here in twenty six, the implication is still there because of what happened in Matthew to. And then in this next phase, he he’s discussing the purchasing of that land and pick up 30 to. I the Lord, I’m angry with the wicked, I am holding my spirit from the inhabitants of the Earth. He’s saying there are consequences for decisions. It’s the law of the harvest. You can’t plant weeds and then pick fruit.
It doesn’t work that way. I’m going to withhold my spirit. Verse thirty three. I have sworn in my wrath and decreed war is upon the face of the earth than the wicked shall slay the wicked and fear shall come upon every man and the saints shall also shall hardly escape. Nevertheless, now put greater emphasis here. I, the Lord am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father, and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire and behold.
This is not yet, but by and by. So he tells the Saints to assemble upon the Land of Zion in 36. And to be look at verse 37, that every man should take righteousness in his hands and faithfulness upon his loins and left a warning voice upon the inhabitants of the earth, he’s he’s pleading with them to just trust him and to start building more of a heaven on earth and in the way we we live our life. Go down to verse 40, let all the moneys which can be spared, it matters not to me whether it be little or much be send up until the Land of Zion.
Have you noticed from last week, Section 60, 61 and 62? All three sections had the phrase, it matter is not under me now you get it again in sixty three, it matters not under me. The phrase it matters not. Appeared seven times in the doctor and covenants, but here in these four sections, one after the other after the other, God really is empowering their agency to see just just move forward. And he will help Joseph to discern who needs to go first.
And when they need to go look at verse 47, he that is faithful and Duris shall overcome the world. Thank heaven that he didn’t say he did is perfect. He never messes up, he either always treats people with perfect kindness and love and gentleness and meekness and persuasion. He will overcome the world and he will be saved. He didn’t say that, he said he that his faith in Duris. Notice for 50, he delivers when the Lord shall come and have kept the faith blessed is he.
Nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man. So then he describes this. You’ll grow up to the age of man, and then you’ll be changed in fifty one in the twinkling of an eye. So your mortality will die and you’ll be changed in the twinkling of an eye. But you won’t have to be buried in the grave if you live into the millennium. So twinkling isn’t some some different concept, it’s just the English word, a blink, a twinkling of an eye, a flash.
It’s a it’s in a moment that change is going to come over these people. Now go down to verse fifty four, and until that hour, there will be foolish virgins among the wise and at that hour comes an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked. And in that day, will I send my angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire?
The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is a standard bearer for what it means to be wise and particular. If you look at chapters one through nine, all sorts of great principles about what God expects of wise people, we might ask ourselves, are we somebody who seeks to be wise or do we delight in foolishness? Do we do wise people embrace lies? The wise people embrace misinformation to the wise who trust in God, encourage misinformation and misunderstanding, do they?
Glory in misinformation and lies. Now, what I love about what God has asked all of us is to be wise, is to be grounded in the truth. God is a God of truth. And if we want to experience joy, we seek after and fully embrace all truth, not just the salvific truth or the truth that saves us in the Kingdom of God, but also the truths that make our world function. An invitation from God is to be like him.
We can choose to be wise, and I love this encouragement of that. We should not be like any of the foolish virgins. And the time is now to choose verse fifty eight. The Lord makes a pretty profound statement now for this is a day of warning and not a day of many words. So saying this is this is intended to be a warning that the time is far spent for I the Lord. I am not to be mocked in the last days.
And then he describes who he is in fifty nine and sixty. And you can mark this with his attributes, his characteristics, his perfections, its profound of the ways he describes himself with his power and his knowledge. Where four, verse 63, let the church repent of their sins and I, the Lord will own them, otherwise they shall be cut off. Now, brothers and sisters, I know what he meant here in 63, that if we repent of our sins, the Lord will own us.
I think that’s what he meant. But I think in a symbolic way, you could have the Lord saying if you repent of your sins, then I the Lord will own them. Your sins. I will own them. In other words. You don’t have to carry those sins anymore because I’m going to take them from you, I will own your sins so you can move forward on the covenant path and I will own you as as my adopted son or daughter in this covenant covenant connection.
Verse 64. Remember that that which comes from above is sacred and must be spoken with care and by constraint of the spirit, and in this there is no condemnation and you receive the spirit through prayer. Wherefore without this, there remain a condemnation. Notice he’s giving you this connection with God through prayer, talk to him, you don’t have to stand apart. You don’t have to keep going further into apostasy at any point. Somebody can say, wait a minute, I don’t like the fruits of this standing apart.
I need help. And as we turn to him, he will help. He is merciful. He will own us. Verse 66. These things remain to overcome through patients that such may receive a more exciting and eternal weight of glory, otherwise a greater condemnation. Amen. Now, in closing. Many of us probably feel much of the time, like my little Jenna last night with tears in her eyes saying. I thought I could do it. I thought it would be fun.
I thought I was capable. Turns out I wasn’t I I didn’t make it. And I made a mess. But there’s a big difference, you and I have a savior and we have a god in heaven who isn’t rebuking us in moments like that, but rather helping us clean the paint off of our foot and off of the floor and fixing the project with a smile on on his face. Because he owns us or his. And he loves us way more than he loves the projects that we’re working on, brothers and sisters ultimately.
These lessons, they’re not about building up Zion. They’re about building up you and in the process, you and I collectively are going to help him build up Zion, which by definition is to make others or to help others to come in so they’re not standing apart, but they’re standing with the Lord as one. That’s what Zion is, to bring us all to become one in this glorious project of God, which is to bring to pass your immortality and eternal life.
He lives. He loves you and he loves you with a perfect love. And sometimes because of that perfect love, we need some discipline. But there is always hope for anyone who turns to God. And that is our testimony that we leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. You know that your loved.