This site is to help 'Strengthen Families' throughout the world. "We pledge to support efforts to protect traditional marriage, life, religious freedom, parental rights and to STAND for The Family.”
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The pull of the present is strong, but so are the tugs to the past and the future. Family and faith — our two great bridges beyond the here and now — stretch far past 100 years, in both directions, and expand the purpose and meaning of our lives.
None of us is born a mere individual. We come to this world with a network of pre-existing ties, bonds and obligations. These family relationships shape our worldviews, instil our values and form our identities. And families of all kinds thrive when they join a community of believers. The benefits go both ways — churches strengthen families, and families strengthen churches.
Working together, family and faith reinforce norms of right and wrong, teach us how to love our neighbors and provide a support base where children and parents navigate life’s challenges. In other words, family and faith keep us from being alone. They enlarge our circles of responsibility beyond the self and help us turn strangers into friends. Families then pass this spiritual and social capital across generations.
The sacred relationships between kin and church, church and kin, tie us to the past, present and future. Such continuity helps us situate ourselves in this big universe. We find out who we are.
“The marriage of two lovers joins them to one another,
to forebears, to descendants,
to the community,
to Heaven and earth.
It is the fundamental connection without
which nothing holds.”
The fortunes of family and faith will continue to ebb and flow, as they have in various periods throughout history, but experience shows they will do so joining hands. As the one rises or falls, so will the other. The course of history is not predetermined; it is chosen. And those choices have long trajectories — much too long, indeed, to fit into a 100 years.
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:
shew me thy faith without thy works,
and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18
“My father slipped in and out of consciousness for a while,” Beck recalled. “And then he sat up in bed, looked up at the ceiling corner as if someone was there, and he said, ‘Yes? OK. I understand. I’m ready. Take me with you.’ And he closed his eyes.”
Beck fought back tears as he continued: “[My father] told me once, ‘Son, I’ll keep an open mind but I will tell you this: I don’t think there’s going to be angels that are going to come down and greet me.’ I told him at the time I begged to differ.”
Beck said he believes his father didn’t just see “greeters;” he saw “escorts.”
(Excuse the Commercial!)
“God lives,” Beck said. “And it is all true. Thanks, dad, for teaching me how to work, for not teaching me what to think, but how to think, and when you were dead tired, thank you for driving your boy to the radio station to pursue his dream.”
“And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—” Alma 41:4
“It is my desire to remind you of the nature
and kind of being that God is, so that
you may worship him in spirit and in truth
and thereby gain all of the blessings of his gospel.”
“Great progress has been made in mechanics, chemistry, physics, surgery, and other things”. Men have built great telescopes that have brought the hidden galaxies to view. They have, by the aid of the microscope, discovered vast worlds of microorganisms. … They have discovered means to control disease. … They have invented machines more sensitive than the human touch, more far-seeing than the human eye. They have controlled elements and made machinery that can move mountains, and many other things have they done too numerous to mention.
Yes, this is a wonderful age.” But there is another trend he saw in the world.
“All of these discoveries and inventions have not
drawn men nearer to God! Nor created in their hearts
humility and the spirit of repentance, but to the contrary,
to their condemnation. Faith has not increased in the world,
nor has righteousness, nor obedience to God.”
In contrast to the world’s growing indifference toward God, a grandsons recalled:
“My mother was an excellent cook, and my grandfather ate frequently at our house. Quite often he would be invited by my father to ask a blessing on the food. His prayers were always very personal—as if talking to a friend.”2
Beginning with Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the true knowledge of God has been restored in our day.
I am very grateful for the first vision, in which the Father and the Son appeared to the youthful prophet and again restored to man the true knowledge of God.3
Through Joseph Smith’s First Vision, “the true knowledge of God” was restored.
It should be remembered that the entire Christian world in 1820 had lost the true doctrine concerning God. The simple truth which was understood so clearly by the apostles and saints of old had been lost in the mysteries of an apostate world. All the ancient prophets, and the apostles of Jesus Christ had a clear understanding that the Father and the Son were separate personages, as our scriptures so clearly teach. Through apostasy this knowledge was lost. … God had become a mystery, and both Father and Son were considered to be one unknowable effusion of spirit, without body, parts, or passions. The coming of the Father and the Son placed on the earth a divine witness who was able by knowledge to restore to the world the true nature of God.4
The [first] vision of Joseph Smith made it clear that the Father and the Son are separate personages, having bodies as tangible as the body of man. It was further revealed to him that the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, distinct and separate from the personalities of the Father and the Son [see D&C 130:22]. This all-important truth staggered the world; yet, when we consider the clear expressions of holy writ, it is a most astounding and wonderful fact that man could have gone so far astray. The Savior said, “My Father is greater than I;” [John 14:28] and he invited his disciples, after his resurrection, to handle him and see that it was he, for, said he, “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” [Luke 24:39.] The apostles clearly understood the distinct entities of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to which they constantly refer in their epistles; and Paul informed the Corinthians of the fact that when all things are subjected to the Father, “then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” [1 Corinthians 15:28.]
Joseph Smith beheld the Father and the Son; therefore he could testify
with personal knowledge that the scriptures were true wherein we read:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.”
This was to be understood literally, and not in some mystical or figurative sense.5
To exercise faith in God and worship Him,
we must have an understanding of His characteristics.
One of our revelations tells us that if we are to be glorified in Christ, as he is in the Father, we must understand and know both how to worship and what we worship. (See D&C 93:19–20.)
We know that God is known only by revelation, that he stands revealed or remains forever unknown. We must go to the scriptures—not to the scientists or philosophers—if we are to learn the truth about Deity.
Indeed, John’s great prophecy about the restoration of the gospel by an angel who should fly in the midst of heaven says that it was to occur so that men could come to a knowledge of the true God and be taught: “Fear God, and give glory to him … and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7.) In other words, beginning with the restoration of the gospel in this dispensation, men once again would be called upon to worship and serve their Creator rather than the false concepts of Deity that prevail in the world.
In every age the Lord’s prophets have been called upon to combat false worship and proclaim the truth about God. In ancient Israel there were those who worshiped images and pagan gods, and Isaiah asked:
“To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” (Isa. 40:18, 28.)
Much of the world today does not have this knowledge of God, and there are those who have not perfected their understanding of that glorious being who is our Eternal Father. To those without this knowledge we might well say:
“Why dost thou limit the glory of God?
Or, why should ye suppose that he is less than he is?
Hast thou not known?
Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator
of the ends of the earth, is infinite and eternal; that he has all power,
all might, and all dominion; that he knows all things,
and that all things are present before his face?”
Revelation of some of the basic doctrines of salvation as to Deity says:
“… there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal,
from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God,
the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them.”
God is our Father; he is the being in whose image man is created. He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s (D&C 130:22), and he is the literal and personal father of the spirits of all men. He is omnipotent and omniscient; he has all power and all wisdom; and his perfections consist in the possession of all knowledge, all faith or power, all justice, all judgment, all mercy, all truth, and the fullness of all godly attributes. …
If we are to have that perfect faith by which we can lay hold upon eternal life, we must believe in God as the possessor of the fullness of all these characteristics and attributes. He is an infinite and eternal being, and as an unchangeable being, he possesses these perfected powers and attributes from everlasting to everlasting, which means from eternity to eternity.6
We know that our Heavenly Father is a glorified, exalted personage who has all power, all might, and all dominion, and that he knows all things. We testify that he, through his Only Begotten Son, is the Creator of this earth and of worlds without number.7
God is a personal being and the Father of our spirits.
We are the spirit children of God our Heavenly Father. … We are members of his family. … We dwelt with him for long ages in our premortal life. … He ordained a plan of progression and salvation which would enable us, if faithful and true in all things, to advance and progress until we become like him.8
We are taught in the Scriptures that God is literally, and not in a figurative sense, our very eternal Father.
The words of our Redeemer spoken to Mary near the tomb from which he had risen and gained the victory over death, are most sublime and filled with glorious meaning: “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” [John 20:17.] In these words the truth of the Fatherhood of God is emphatically pronounced by his only begotten Son, who declares that he is our Brother and that we have the same eternal Father.9
I am grateful that the knowledge of God and his laws has been restored in our day and that we who are members of the Church know he is a personal being and not, as some sectarians have said, “a congeries [a disorderly collection] of laws floating like a fog in the universe.” I am grateful that we know he is our Father in heaven, the Father of our spirits, and that he ordained the laws whereby we can advance and progress until we become like him. And I am grateful that we know he is an infinite and eternal being who knows all things and has all power and whose progression consists not in gaining more knowledge or power, not in further perfecting his godly attributes, but in the increase and multiplying of his kingdoms.10
Heavenly Father loves us and is interested in each of us.
There is an expression in the vision of Moses, which was given at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceeding high mountain and saw God face to face and talked with him. The Lord showed unto Moses the “workmanship of his hands,” and Moses beheld the world, and all the children of men to the latest generations. [See Moses 1:1–8, 27–29.]
And the Lord said to Moses:
“For behold there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man, but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.
“And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
“And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.” [Moses 1:35–37.]
Notwithstanding the countless number of worlds and the great magnitude of many of them, they are a means to an end, and not the end itself. The Father is creating worlds for the purpose of peopling them—placing upon them his sons and his daughters. We are informed that by and through the Son of God, the “worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” [D&C 76:24.]
We learn from other revelations from the Lord, that man is the most important of all our Father’s creations. In the same vision given to Moses, the Father said: “And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortalityand eternal life of man.” [Moses 1:38–39.]
We learn from this and other scriptures that the great work of the Father is to bring to pass the salvation of his children giving unto each that reward which each merits according to his works. I feel most assuredly that our Father in heaven is far more interested in a soul—one of his children—than it is possible for an earthly father to be in one of his children. His love for us is greater than can be the love of an earthly parent for his offspring.11
Moses, here pictured overlooking the promised land,
received a vision in which he learned of God’s work and glory.
Heavenly Father weeps over His disobedient children.When the Lord spoke to Enoch and showed to him the nations of the earth and explained to him the nature of the punishment that should befall them for their transgressions of his commandments, the Lord wept and showed his sorrow in tears for their disobedience. Because of this, Enoch marvelled and thought it strange that the Lord could weep.Here is the passage:“And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?“And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy and from all eternity to all eternity?“And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there and also thou art merciful and kind forever.” [See Moses 7:28–30.]And the Lord answered: “… Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;“And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should choose me, their Father; but behold they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.” [Moses 7:32–33.]
These are reasons why the Lord wept
and why the heavens wept.
I was asked one time if a man could be perfectly happy in the celestial kingdom if one of his children was not permitted to enter there. I told him that I supposed that any man who was so unfortunate as to have one of his children barred from the celestial kingdom would, of course, have feelings of sorrow because of that condition; and that is just the position our Father in heaven is in. Not all of his children are worthy of celestial glory, and many are forced to suffer his wrath because of their transgressions, and this causes the Father and the whole heavens to have sorrow and to weep. The Lord works in accordance with natural law. Man must be redeemed according to law and his reward must be based on the law of justice. Because of this the Lord will not give unto men that which they do not merit, but shall reward all men according to their works.
I am satisfied that our Father in heaven would, if it were possible, save all men and give unto them celestial glory, even the fulness of exaltation. But, he has given unto man his agency and man is under the necessity of obeying the truth according to that which is revealed in order to obtain the exaltation of the righteous.12
Heavenly Father has provided the way of redemption
so we can be brought back to His presence.
When Adam was in the Garden of Eden he was in the presence of God, our Father. … After he was driven out of the Garden of Eden the scene changed. Adam was banished because of his transgression from the presence of the Father. The scriptures say he became spiritually dead—that is, he was shut out from the presence of God.13
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
and that he received from his Father
the power to ransom men from the spiritual
and temporal death brought into the world
by the fall of Adam.14
There was only one way of redemption, one way in which reparation could be made and the body restored again to the spirit; that was by an infinite atonement, and it had to be made by an infinite being, someone not subject to death and yet someone who had the power to die and who also had power over death. And so, our Father in heaven sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world with life in himself. And because he [Jesus Christ] had a mother who had blood in her veins, he had the power to die. He could yield up his body to death and then take it again. Let me read his own words: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17–18.)15
It was never the intention of our Father in heaven to leave men to grope and feel their way in darkness and that without any light to guide them, and expect them under such conditions to find their way back into his kingdom and into his holy presence. That is not the way of the Lord. All down the ages from the beginning our Father in heaven has shown his kindness for his children and has been willing to give them direction. From the earliest times the heavens have been opened, the Lord has sent messengers from his presence to divinely appointed servants, men holding the authority of the priesthood who have been commissioned to teach the principles of the Gospel, to warn the people and teach them righteousness; and these men have received this knowledge, this inspiration and guidance from these messengers from the presence of God. This is true of our own dispensation. There is no need for men to shut their eyes and feel that there is no light only as they may depend upon their reason, for the Lord has always been willing to lead and direct and show the way. He has sent, as I say, messengers from his presence. He has sent revelation. He has commanded that his word be written, that it be published, so that all the people might know it.16
I say to you, and for that matter,
to the whole world,
that a gracious and loving Father
has in these last days spoken again
from heaven to his servants the prophets.
His voice has been one inviting all men to come to his Beloved Son, to learn of him, to partake of his goodness, to take his yoke upon them, and to work out their salvation by obedience to the laws of his gospel. His voice has been one of glory and honor, of peace in this life, and of eternal life in the world to come.17
I add my Testimony to the truthfulness of these things.
From the Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith
For The Family
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.” 2 Nephi 2: 11-12
It’s nice to know that there is a heaven. What’s really nice, is to know you’re going there!
We each must escape the corruption that is in the world.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4
Though it may be hard and filled with much temptation, this is the purpose and why we came to this world to choose the way we should live, go the way we should go, and to conquer the enemy of all unrighteousness.
“And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.” Moroni 9:6
God’s Plan of Happiness was to gain a body of flesh and blood and know both good and evil, and to choose between the two. We are to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He hast sent. Jesus came to show us the way and to rescue us from our mistakes. After the test, comes the glory.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make youperfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1: 8
“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 2 Peter 1:6
We must always remember and remind ourselves who we are!
“But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.” 2 Nephi 1:10
“O my sons, that these things might not come upon you, but that ye might be a choice and a favoredpeople of the Lord. But behold, his will be done; for his waysare righteousness forever.” 2 Nephi 1:19
Through study and prayer and in choosing good versus evil, He will let us know that we are in the right place. But, we must have charity, which is to give up selfishness. As we all will come to ‘the end of the road’, this is a “to do list” in the work of God.
“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” 2 Peter 1:14
” For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:16-19
The “more sure word” means, ‘to see the Savior’. The Savior sometimes taught with parables.
As we learn the truths of the gospel, what do you think it means to see with our eyes and hear with our ears?
Why do you think light will be taken away from us if we are unwilling to receive greater light?
Think about what you need to do to receive more gospel light.
Study the parable of the sower. In this parable, the Savior shows that the same gospel message produces different effects depending on how people receive it.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the wheat represents the righteous, or “the children of the Kingdom.” The tares represent “the children of the wicked one.”
How can we remain faithful even though the “tares” are allowed to grow among the “wheat”?
Why is the word of God unable to grow in people “whose hearts are full of iniquity”?
Why do tribulation and persecution lead some to set aside the word of God?
In what ways might “the care of this world” and “the deceitfulness of riches” choke the word within us?
How can we ensure that our “ground” is good when the word is planted in us?
What can parents do to help children prepare their hearts to receive the word?
Here are THE KEYS:
2. Having your ‘Calling and Election’ made sure
“Righteous followers of Christ can become numbered among the elect who gain the assurance of exaltation. This calling and election begins with repentance and baptism. It becomes complete when they “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end” (2 Ne. 31:19–20). The scriptures call this process making our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:4–11; D&C 131:5–6).
3. Knowing you are going to heaven
And here are things TO AVOID:
- “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be falseteachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1
- “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” 2 Peter 2:2
- “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:3
- “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” 2 Peter 2:12
- “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riotin the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 2 Peter 2:13
- ” Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.” 2 Peter 2: 14
- “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” 2 Peter 2:12
- ” And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you” 2 Peter 2:13
- “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.” 2 Peter 2:14
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be falseteachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” 2 Peter 2:1, 2,
(That bought them.)
WE HAVE BEEN PURCHASED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST!
THE LORD’S PROPHETS
THE DEVIL’S PROPHETS
BEAR WITNESS: (sure word)
(May 17th, 1843.) “The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood. It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” D&C 131:5-6
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
“All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest.
“By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal,
from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth,
and all things which are in them.” D&C 20:17