Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Alma 13: 5-6

"Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared— And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest—"

So there wasn't some great advantage for these people who hold actual priestly authority. We learn that "in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren."  Where was that "first place?"  Is it also "from the foundation of the world" referred to earlier?

What does it mean that they were "on the same standing with their brethren" while in that first place?

What was it about these who receive authority that qualified them to receive the "holy calling" from the foundation of the world?  What does it mean that they "would not harden their hearts" in the first place? If they didn't do it then, will they do it now? 

Is foreknowledge about these individual's qualifications based on prior performance? Can you determine that since they did not harden their hearts in the first place, they will not begin to harden their hearts now?

What about the "atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared" made them qualified? Did they accept Him there? Did they soften their hearts there toward Him? Are they capable of having redeeming faith in Him here because they first acquired it there? 

Is all this necessary to have preceded ordination here? If it was not acquired there, can an ordination here have any effect?

What, then, do those who qualify do? What does it mean "to teach his commandments unto the children of men?"

Is there something different between teaching commandments on the one hand, and "that they [who are taught] also might enter into his rest" on the other hand?  Are the two linked together?  Is it necessary to both "teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest" to show such priestly authority?  That is, can anyone, regardless of their true ordination to authority teach commandments? But does it take something more, some higher ordination in order to bring those taught "to enter into His rest?" If so, what is the difference? How can you recognize such teachings if they are ever put on display?

Did Joseph Smith exhibit such powerful teachings?

Did Enoch?

Did Melchizedek?  Abraham?  Elijah?  Elisha?  Nephi?  The Brother of Jared?  Enos?  Others?

Do we see that today? If so, where? Does anyone have the audacity to presume they can bring another soul back to the Lord's rest?  Maybe Joseph Smith's comment on this point is appropriate:  "“The things of God are of deep import and time and experience and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind O man if thou wilt lead a soul into salvation must search into and contemplate the darkest abyss and the broad expanse of eternity, thou must commune with God.” (DHC Vol. 3, p. 295.)  I'd like to meet such a man. They seem to be rather infrequent residents of this fallen world....

I'm only asking those questions which arise in my own mind as I read these words.  You'll have to figure out your own answers.


  1. I've never really known in much detail what parts of my P. blessing meant, or where to look for answers until studying these verses in Alma ch 13.

    It's been eye opening, yet again.
    Agency before coming to earth was important, and very critical decisions took place there is what I've gathered from many sources.


  2. Observation: Although we are only on verse 5. I noticed that verses 2-9 form a beautiful chiasm. There are even some smaller chiasms within the larger one. (verse 3) It is hard to show the chiasm structure via this comment box. However, Here is how I read verses 2-9 using the chiasm:

    Priests were ordained after the order of his Son who is the Only Begotten of the Father. The Son is Only One we look to for redemption, who is filled with grace, equality and truth. These priests became high priests forever. This was the manner in which these high priests were ordained. They were called and prepared from the foundation of the world, according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works. This holy calling is to teach His commandments unto the children of men, that they may enter into his rest. All were on the same standing and same privilege but some rejected the Spirit of God due to their hardness of hearts and blindness of their minds.

  3. In Abraham 3:22-23 it reads: 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
    23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

    So, there were many who were noble and great. I am assuming that there were several levels or classes.

    Bro. David Christensen (the adult institute instructor) shared how there were tribes in the pre-existence. I wish I could find my notes from that class. I do remember him showing a verse which alluded to these pre-existent tribes.

    So, our main gathering is to gather Israel. Is it because they were of this tribe before the world was, and the most valiant of spirits in the war of Ideas before the world was?

  4. There are teachers, but it is a GIFT to receive them and to receive REST.
    These are all GIFTS. Working hard will NOT produce them.
    Faith, REPENTANCE, Baptism, and the GIFT of the Holy Ghost will naturally lead to and brethren what shall we do? Let's all go REPENT (first understand is not that guilt crap/stuff you hear about in churches...this is a nondenominational generalization) and get the SPIRIT and then ask for the GIFTS.
    We CANNOT even know these things of ourselves (we are fallen and by nature (weakness (SINGULAR)) unable to know. The Spirit must GIFT them to us after we become eligible.
    Ask, Seek, Knock...


  5. duck tape! duck tape! duck tape!


    Too late - my head just exploded.

    Hear, hear for Bro. David Christensen... attended a couple of his classes out in Tooele. Marvelous.

  6. I think the phrase "enter into his rest" is significant to these concepts discussed. It is used in Alma 12:34,35,36 & 37; Alma 13:6,12,13,16 and 29. Usually we associate rest with relaxation. However D&C 84:24 associates rest with the "fulness of his glory." Go back in and substitute "fulness of his glory" whenever "rest" is used in these verses to see if it changes the meaning. For the phrase "enter into the fulness of his glory" I would refer to Snuffer's The Second Comforter...

  7. I believe that if a man or woman has been ordained to the Holy Order of God & has been given his power they can recieve any & all truth, as much or more as a Prophet. Much of the truths they would receive would be considered 'commandments', that they of course can teach to others who are receptive, although their calling is not over the Church & does not automatically obligate the hearer unless the Spirit confirms that such is true to them.

    But anyone can share the truths & commandments & revelations they have been given from the Spirit & the more they recieve the more powerful they can teach & help convert people.

    Anyone can recieve new commandments through the Spirit that the Prophets may not have even revealed yet, but they don't have the right to require others to live those commandments for they are not 'The Prophet'. But if people were humble & teachable they would follow any & all commandments they learned from any source once the Spirit confirmed to them that such was true.

    Being receptive to all truth & commandments, no matter who it comes from will help us achieve our goal that much faster.

    And yes, these people who have earned such power & truth (commandments) & are of the Holy Order of God, can use such truth & power to bring souls into the rest of God spiritually here on this earth & eventually to the Celestial Kingdom.

    These powerful souls even have such power that coupled with the Sealing power they can eventually even teach & save their unrighteous loved ones in Spirit Prison, who didn't earn the Celestial Kingdom on their own & by the that power & sealing bring them into the Celestial Kingdom to live forever in the rest of the Lord with them there.

    Christ of course is of this Holy Order & has God's power, yet he cannot get souls from Spirit Prison to the Celestial, if they didn't earn it, only those righteous souls sealed to the unrighteous person can do that.

  8. WOW!! This is so delicious to my Soul! I hunger and thirst after all of this.
    I agree with the first brother who commented on his Patriarchal Blessing.
    I was hit TODAY with exactly the same thing.
    I was told I would be a Great part in the Restoration Scene. I did not look much at that cause it did not have much meaning at the time. Now being a part of the restoration scene has taken on new meaning.

    Most important part of the restoration scene to me is being a example to my family, and being a Savior on Mount Zion to my Family.

    They come to me for help with their work, I am grateful to be honored with this Grace.

    I look at my life with New eyes. So much of the struggles I have been through now seem like the BEST blessing, for my struggles and weakness is my greatest strength in being able to blessing the lives of others.

    I feel like my Heart is going to burst with JOY!

    I am so glad I went through what I have now, I would not avoid the pain, without it I would not be here.

    Thanks Denver and ALL for the Spirit that is here.

  9. I hope you received my comment. I spent over an hour on it but I am not sure it went through. Jim Boud

  10. JRB,

    Your comment did not come through. I couldn't find it. I am sorry. Could you try again?

    CM (comment moderator)

  11. Randy I think Bro. Christensen was referring to Deuteronomy 32:7-10, as I know of no other scripture that would fit that description. Jim Boud

  12. Well it seems clear that those with the "holy calling" and all that go along with that context are those acting from a place of "rest" as the foot note denotes to D&C 84:24.

    I spent a lot of time trying to teach plainly to my Elders last week about this and to seek if they wanted to be with Christ in Zion. I don't know if they got it, I don't know if I totally get it. :0) But I think we need to seek it with the same diligence articulated in the 1st Chapter of Abraham in PGP.

    This is another chapter I read and re read trying to understand more what he was after and where he got such ideas and how he knew to pursue them. Seems it must also relate to the process we are taught in the endowment.

  13. It also seems Alma 12:9-10 are important precursors to having knowledge.

    Maybe Denver you could share what is the line of what to share and not to so I can understand it more clearly no doubt my big mouth and need to share spiritual things is a stopping factor for me.

    Though I think reading how you have articulate what you do and to what degree you have is probably sufficient enough, but I am open to whatever else is important to understand as a line in the sand of what to share and what not to. Though this topic I know has been discussed at length on your blog.

  14. I rather apply Occam's principle here.

    "Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren"

    Simply means they all have the same rights and privileges in priesthood that might be given from men to men.

    Herein lies the rub, the last part of ordination, or the "Made Sure" of the Calling & Election made sure, is plainly written in D&C 132:5, quoted in pertinent part, "For all who will have a blessing at my hands", refers to the Lord being the Administrator!

    And this is what is meant by the phrase "ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God" as the "Holy Order" generally references all those who have been "smeared" with oil during the 2nd anointing. All those who have been thusly "smeared" are in deed "on the same standing" or footing.

    As a final teaser, exactly what does "I have made thee a god" mean?


What Say You?