Come Follow Me with Casey Paul Griffiths (Doctrine and Covenants 88, August 9-15) – powered by Happy Scribe
It can be really stressful to live in the last days with all the tumult and upheaval and everything that surrounds us at all times, and if you’ve ever felt worried about the state of the world and the direction it’s going, you’re not alone. In 18 30 to Joseph Smith and some of his closest friends were deeply worried over what was going to happen on a revelation received on Christmas Day of eighteen thirty to Joseph Smith was told that there would be a huge war in the country.
He was living in the United States and that that war would spread to all other countries as well. Well, this bothered them and worried them so much that a few days later the Lord gave them a second revelation, which is now Section 88 of the doctrine covenants. And I want to point out one thing. The prophecy on war or Section 87 of the doctrine covenants is only about eight verses long. The revelation on peace, or Section eight of the doctrine covenants is around one hundred and forty two verses long.
So there’s more good stuff in the last days to look forward to than bad stuff that we’re going to have to overcome. In fact, Joseph Smith was so excited after section eighty eight was given and it was given in several segments over a period of several days that he enclosed it in a letter to the Saints in Missouri. And he gave it a title. He said it was the olive leaf which we have plucked from the Tree of Paradise and the Lord’s message of peace to us.
This message of peace, like we said, is one hundred and forty one verses long. It’s a lot of good stuff and a lot to make us hopeful. So what do we have to hope for? Well, section eighty eight is the revelation of the doctrine covenants about how powerful and majestic Jesus Christ is. Jesus has power over all things. He’s in all things and he’s through all things. That’s how Section eighty eight starts out with the savior designating what the light of Christ means and the light of Christ in shorthand is the power that Jesus Christ has.
So Jesus says a few things here. He that ascended on high and descended below all things, and he comprehends all things that he might be in and all through things. The light of truth. Which truth, Shina? This is the light of Christ. Also, he’s the sun, the light of the sun and the power thereof by which it is made. In other words, the light of Christ is this force that emanates throughout the universe. It’s not just the power of the sun.
It’s the light of the sun. The warmth and energy that comes from the sun and allows us to stay alive is connected to the light and power of Jesus Christ. Jesus has power over all things. And one of the first things he assures the disciples of in this revelation is that they are going to be OK because he has power over all things. If they have to lay down their lives for the gospel, they’ll be resurrected. If they have to endure persecutions, the savior will give them a reward.
And the revelation quickly moves from explaining how powerful Jesus Christ is to explaining the different ways that Jesus is going to bless and help them. For instance, one of the things that Jesus explains in this revelation is that he not only came to save men and women, but to save the entire world that they lived in. Section eighty eight of the doctrine covenants actually talks extensively about the Earth and what’s going to happen to the Earth. It says this that the earth that obeys the law of the celestial kingdom notwithstanding, it shall die.
It shall be quickened or resurrected again, and the righteous shall live there. The Earth is going to become the celestial kingdom. And what the Savior did when he came to Earth was not only saved men and women, but saved the very world in which we live in all things around us, whether it’s the plants or the trees or the animals. If you’ve ever had a dog or a cat that you lost and you wondered what was going to happen to them, Section eighty eight says they were all accounted for in the plan of redemption and the same work that the savior is going to make sure that everybody gets exactly what they need and that he’s going to bless people according to the laws that they were willing to keep here on Earth.
So a person that lives a celestial law is going to go to a celestial kingdom where they’ll be happy. A person who lives a terrestrial law goes to a terrestrial kingdom, personal lives a lot, goes to a celestial kingdom and so on and so forth. The savior even go step by step through the resurrection and explains that all people, all men and women, no matter how good or bad they were, will be resurrected and in that sense gain some form of happiness.
Even the Sons of Perdition, this revelation explains, will be resurrected as well and receive as much happiness as they’re willing to accept from the savior. Now, the savior didn’t want us to just wait for these blessings to come. So the last part of the revelation is a call for them to set up and establish a school of the prophets where they can learn about these things. This is the very, very first and earliest reference concretely, which starts to talk about the ordinances that will eventually be received in the temple.
Now, it’s going to take a long time, over a decade for the full temple ordinances as we understand them to be received. But the school the profits was the start of that, the school, the profits was a place where people would come and they would come not only ready to learn, but come dressed to learn. They would put on white linen and cleanse themselves and greet each other with a holy greeting before they came in. And they would spend time in that place sitting down and learning.
So think of a place where you go today, where you change your clothes, where you make sure that you’re dressed nicely and you go in specifically to learn where everybody greets you and a sacred and a holy way. And you’re in a place where you can receive revelation, enlightenment and guidance from the spirit of this building that we’re in right now really kind of is the first temple in the sense that it was the first place that the Lord directed the disciples to create a temple like environment before they’re even able to build the first temple.
The Savior wanted them to take the existing spaces that they were already in and make a temple out of it. That doesn’t mean that it has to be incredibly nice. The Lord was willing to accept whatever they were able to offer at that point. But even a humble building like the one we’re in right now, which was a store and Joseph Smith’s home and kind of the church headquarters was eventually transformed into a holy and sacred space. Ordinances were performed here where people had their feet washed and where they entered into covenants and they saw and recognized the goodness in the holiness around them.
And most importantly, this was a space that once they had sanctified and cleansed themselves, the savior could appear in and the savior could teach them the higher truths of eternity. So is the world scary? Yeah, but those holy places that the savior mentions in revelations don’t just have to be places that we go to. They could be spaces that we create where we live, the gospel, where we commit ourselves to knowing the gospel and where the savior can appear to us and to teach us the gospel.