By Alan on May 27 in Blog tagged after this life, another room, celestial, children of God, death, disease, divine attributes, earth, Endure To The End, finish line, God, good and evil, Jesus, kingdom, life=threatening, many mansions, mortal life, mortal mission, our father, pathway, Plan of Salvation, prayer, President Thomas S. Monson, purpose of life, race, resurrected, savior, scriptures, seasons of life, teach your children, telestial, Terresterial, The Book of Mormon, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The race of life, The Spirit, travel, treasures, victory over the grave, Where are we going, Where did we come from, why are we here, your heart | Comments Off
The Race of Life
By President Thomas S. Monson
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where do we go after this life?
No longer need these universal questions remain unanswered.
My beloved brothers and sisters, this morning I wish to speak to you of eternal truths—those truths which will enrich our lives and see us safely home.
Everywhere people are in a hurry. Jet-powered aircraft speed their precious human cargo across broad continents and vast oceans so that business meetings might be attended, obligations met, vacations enjoyed, or families visited. Roadways everywhere—including freeways, thruways, and motorways—carry millions of automobiles, occupied by more millions of people, in a seemingly endless stream and for a multitude of reasons as we rush about the business of each day.
In this fast-paced life, do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths?
When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial. What should we have for dinner? What color should we paint the living room? Should we sign Johnny up for soccer? These questions and countless others like them lose their significance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial.
I recently visited with a woman who has been battling a life-threatening disease for over two years. She indicated that prior to her illness, her days were filled with activities such as cleaning her house to perfection and filling it with beautiful furnishings. She visited her hairdresser twice a week and spent money and time each month adding to her wardrobe. Her grandchildren were invited to visit infrequently, for she was always concerned that what she considered her precious possessions might be broken or otherwise ruined by tiny and careless hands.
And then she received the shocking news that her mortal life was in jeopardy and that she might have very limited time left here. She said that at the moment she heard the doctor’s diagnosis, she knew immediately that she would spend whatever time she had remaining with her family and friends and with the gospel at the center of her life, for these represented what was most precious to her.
Such moments of clarity come to all of us at one time or another, although not always through so dramatic a circumstance. We see clearly what it is that really matters in our lives and how we should be living.
Said the Savior:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”1
In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life?
Answers to these questions are not discovered within the covers of academia’s textbooks or by checking the Internet. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.
Where did we come from? This query is inevitably thought, if not spoken, by every human being.
The Apostle Paul told the Athenians on Mars’ Hill that “we are the offspring of God.”2 Since we know that our physical bodies are the offspring of our mortal parents, we must probe for the meaning of Paul’s statement. The Lord has declared that “the spirit and the body are the soul of man.”3 Thus it is the spirit which is the offspring of God. The writer of Hebrews refers to Him as “the Father of spirits.”4 The spirits of all men are literally His “begotten sons and daughters.”5
We note that inspired poets have, for our contemplation of this subject, written moving messages and recorded transcendent thoughts. William Wordsworth penned the truth:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!6
Parents ponder their responsibility to teach, to inspire, and to provide guidance, direction, and example. And while parents ponder, children—and particularly youth—ask the penetrating question, why are we here? Usually it is spoken silently to the soul and phrased, why am I here?
How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves in order to qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive.
Clearly, one primary purpose of our existence upon the earth is to obtain a body of flesh and bones. We have also been given the gift of agency. In a thousand ways we are privileged to choose for ourselves. Here we learn from the hard taskmaster of experience. We discern between good and evil. We differentiate as to the bitter and the sweet. We discover that there are consequences attached to our actions.
By obedience to God’s commandments, we can qualify for that “house” spoken of by Jesus when He declared: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. … I go to prepare a place for you … that where I am, there ye may be also.”7
Although we come into mortality “trailing clouds of glory,” life moves relentlessly forward. Youth follows childhood, and maturity comes ever so imperceptibly. From experience we learn the need to reach heavenward for assistance as we make our way along life’s pathway.
God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, have marked the way to perfection. They beckon us to follow eternal verities and to become perfect, as They are perfect.8
The Apostle Paul likened life to a race. To the Hebrews he urged, “Let us lay aside … the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”9
In our zeal, let us not overlook the sage counsel from Ecclesiastes: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”10 Actually, the prize belongs to him or her who endures to the end.
When I reflect on the race of life, I remember another type of race, even from childhood days. My friends and I would take pocketknives in hand and, from the soft wood of a willow tree, fashion small toy boats. With a triangular-shaped cotton sail in place, each would launch his crude craft in the race down the relatively turbulent waters of Utah’s Provo River. We would run along the river’s bank and watch the tiny vessels sometimes bobbing violently in the swift current and at other times sailing serenely as the water deepened.
During a particular race we noted that one boat led all the rest toward the appointed finish line. Suddenly, the current carried it too close to a large whirlpool, and the boat heaved to its side and capsized. Around and around it was carried, unable to make its way back into the main current. At last it came to an uneasy rest amid the flotsam and jetsam that surrounded it, held fast by the tentacles of the grasping green moss.
The toy boats of childhood had no keel for stability, no rudder to provide direction, and no source of power. Inevitably, their destination was downstream—the path of least resistance.
Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, which contain the word of the Lord and the words of the prophets—provided to us to help us successfully cross the finish line.
At some period in our mortal mission, there appears the faltering step, the wan smile, the pain of sickness—even the fading of summer, the approach of autumn, the chill of winter, and the experience we call death.
Every thoughtful person has asked himself the question best phrased by Job of old: “If a man die, shall he live again?”11 Try as we might to put the question out of our thoughts, it always returns. Death comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey. At times it hushes the laughter of little children.
But what of an existence beyond death? Is death the end of all? Robert Blatchford, in his book God and My Neighbor, attacked with vigor accepted Christian beliefs such as God, Christ, prayer, and particularly immortality. He boldly asserted that death was the end of our existence and that no one could prove otherwise. Then a surprising thing happened. His wall of skepticism suddenly crumbled to dust. He was left exposed and undefended. Slowly he began to feel his way back to the faith he had ridiculed and abandoned. What had caused this profound change in his outlook? His wife died. With a broken heart he went into the room where lay all that was mortal of her. He looked again at the face he loved so well. Coming out, he said to a friend: “It is she, and yet it is not she. Everything is changed. Something that was there before is taken away. She is not the same. What can be gone if it be not the soul?”
Later he wrote: “Death is not what some people imagine. It is only like going into another room. In that other room we shall find … the dear women and men and the sweet children we have loved and lost.”12
My brothers and sisters, we know that death is not the end. This truth has been taught by living prophets throughout the ages. It is also found in our holy scriptures. In the Book of Mormon we read specific and comforting words:
“Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
“And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.”13
After the Savior was crucified and His body had lain in the tomb for three days, the spirit again entered. The stone was rolled away, and the resurrected Redeemer walked forth, clothed with an immortal body of flesh and bones.
The answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” came when Mary and others approached the tomb and saw two men in shining garments who spoke to them: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.”14
As the result of Christ’s victory over the grave, we shall all be resurrected. This is the redemption of the soul. Paul wrote: “There are … celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”15
It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding.
Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after this life? No longer need these universal questions remain unanswered. From the very depths of my soul and in all humility, I testify that those things of which I have spoken are true.
Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these and indeed to all: “Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me.”
Our thoughts will turn to the Savior’s life, His death, and His Resurrection. As His special witness, I testify to you that He lives and that He awaits our triumphant return. That such a return will be ours, I pray humbly in His holy name—even Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, amen.
President Thomas S. Monson
By Alan on Aug 18 in Blog tagged Glory of the sun, many mansions, moon, my work and my glory, natural man is an enemy to God, stars, the glory of God is intelligence, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, we are children of God, whay am I here, Where Am I Going, Who do you think you are. who am I | 1 Comment
As human beings, we continue to learn and make decisions and choices about truths that are physical, mental, social, and spiritual.
The most important yet sometimes the least addressed are those choices which are spiritual and which will have the longest effect and most impact upon our lives, forever. So,
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
(May we learn from the scriptures, the Word of God.)
We are all children of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Gen. 1: 27
“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.” Moses 2: 27
“And man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true.” Alma 18: 34
“And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.” Ether 3: 15
Man is the supreme creation, made in the image of God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Man is the offspring of God. For man, and man alone, was the earth created, organized, planted and made ready for human habitation; having within him the seeds of godhood and thus being a god in embryo, man has unlimited potential for progress and attainment.
Without God, repentance would have little meaning, and forgiveness would be both unnecessary and unreal. Without God there would be justification in an urge to live only for today, to “eat, drink and be merry”, to dissipate, to satisfy every worldly disire. If there were no God there would be no redemption, no resurrction, no eternities to anticiipate, and consequently no hope. But, there is a God, and he is loving, kind, just and merciful.
Why are we here?
We came here to learn. The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. D&C 93: 36
“Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth. For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1: 5, 39
In our pre-existence life before this world, we lived as spirit children with God. God, our Father, is a creator. God’s Plan of Life for us was to come to earth and gain a body of flesh and bones, even as He has, so that we might fulfill all righteousness and become even as He is. As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become. Like Father like Son. Like Mother like daughter.
The earth was to be not only a place of residence for man but also a school and a testing-ground, and opportunity for man to prove himself. Agency would be given man so that he couls mak his own choics.
“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created
all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually
, before they were naturally
upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created
all the children of men; and not yet a man
to till the ground
; for in heaven created
I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally
, that is pleasant to the sight of man
; and man
could behold it. And it became also a living
soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man
; and man
saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree
of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Moses 3: 5, 9
“For the natural man
is an enemy
to God, and has been from the fall
of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields
to the enticings of the Holy Spirit
, and putteth
off the natural man
and becometh a saint
through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child
, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3: 19
Many of God’s commandments are about the use and misuse of these creative or sexual powers which we have been given. They are sacred powers and must be used properly, thus the misuse is most sinful. This is our TEST!
We are not human beings having spiritual experiences. We are Spiritual beings, children of God, having human experiences. We needed physical bodies so that we too, could become ‘creators’ of life, as God our Father, so that we also could create children to fulfill His mission and purpose which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Life was to be in three segments or estates: pre-mortal, mortal, and immortal. The third stage woudl incorporate exaltation – eternal life with godhood – for those who would fully magnify their mortal lives. Performance in one estate would vitally affect the succeeding estate or estates. We mortals who are now live upon this earth are in our second estate. One definite purpose of our spirits coming to this earth and asuming the mortal state was to obtain a physical body. This body was to be subject to all the weaknesses, temptations, frailties and limitations of mortality, and was to face the challenge to overcome self. We would be expected to gain knowledge, educate ourselves, train ourselves.
We were to control our urges and desires, master and control our passions, and overcome our weaknesses, small and large. We were to eliminate sins of omission and of commission, and to follow the laws and commandments given us by our Father. After mortal life we would die, and our bodies would go back to Mother Earth from which they had been created, and our spirits would go to the spirit world, where we would further train for our eteranal destiny. This resurrection has been made available to us through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of this earth, who performed this incomparable service for us – a miracle we could not perform for ourselves. Thus the way was opened for our immortality and if we prove worthy, eventual exaltation in God’s kingdom.
Our memory of our pre-existence has been blocked from our memories here in this ‘school of life’ so that we may ‘remain on the earth’ and be tested to see what choices we will make.
“Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.” 2 Ne. 10: 23
Once we return to heaven, our memory will once again be restored unto us.
Where am I going?
That is totally up to each individual. We fought a ‘war in heaven’ over free agency. Satan wanted to make sure that we all returned to heaven and that not one soul would be lost so, he chose to force us to do as he said. He also wanted all of the glory for doing it.
Jesus said he would come to earth and show us ‘the way’. His message was, ‘Come Unto me.’ Jesus also agreed to die for our sins and to be our Redeemer so that He as a Son of God could help pay the price for our sins if we accepted Him as our Savior. Jesus said to His Father, ‘The Glory be thine’. Jesus’s plan was accepted and it is The Way that we are living. Satan was so angry with wrath that he was denied a body and was cast out of heaven. One third of the hosts of heaven followed him. His influence is here on the earth today and he desires to take as many spirits as he can who will follow him.
We are living in the last days of this world. A war between Satan with evil and Jesus with good is still going on full force today. Jesus will be returning soon and then Satan will be bound for a thousand years of peace as Jesus dwells with us here on earth. After a thousand years, Satan will be loosed again for a short season and then Judgement day will take place.
Which ‘way’ do you choose to serve?
Will you be found in Satan’s camp or be followers of Jesus Christ? It is your choice.
All of us will be resurrected and live eternally. But where?
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14: 2
“Let not your hearts be troubled; for in my Father’s house are many mansions, and I have prepared a place for you; and where my Father and I am, there ye shall be also.” D&C 98: 18
“Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
These are they whose bodies are celestial
, whose glory
is that of the sun
, even the glory
of God, the highest
of all, whose glory the
sun of the
firmament is written of as being typical.
And again, we saw the terrestrial
world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the
terrestrial, whose glory
differs from that of the
church of the Firstborn
who have received the
fulness of the
Father, even as that of the moon
differs from the
sun in the
These are they who receive of his glory
, but not of his fulness.
Wherefore, they are bodies
terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory
moon differs from the
And again, we saw the glory
of the telestial
, which glory
is that of the
lesser, even as the glory
stars differs from that of the glory
moon in the
And thus we saw, in the
heavenly vision, the glory
of the telestial
, which surpasses all understanding;
And thus we saw the glory
of the terrestrial
which excels in all things the glory
telestial, even in glory
, and in power, and in might, and in dominion.
And thus we saw the glory
celestial, which excels
in all things—where God, even the
Father, reigns upon his throne
forever and ever;
Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence
, and give him glory
forever and ever.
And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one.
And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;”
D&C 76: 6, 19-20, 39, 56, 61, 70-71, 76, 78, 81, 89, 91-93, 96-98, 108-109, 114, 118-119
Satan also has a place which is everlasting darkness or hell.
So also is the resurrection.
“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Alma 34: 32
“Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in thewhich the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.” D&C 65: 5
“Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.” D&C 133: 10
May We Live Such Lives That Blesses God’s ‘Work And His Glory’.
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“Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.
Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea,blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.” Alma 26: 8, 36
We are living in the Last Days when wickedness is abounding. I promise my friends that if you will read this book and ask God if it is true, that you will receive the warmest feeling within your heart and the Holy Ghost will bear witness that these things are true. I Promies! Alan Osmond