Every time I finish one chapter in the scriptures I’m going to publish the next post in another series. Since I just finished the first chapter in the Reign of the Judges, I’m going to now start D&C 88. This writing took place before I began writing the Reign of Judges. As always, these are just my thoughts. Take it as you will and enjoy!
I’m not really sure why this popped up as an idea but it did. I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants institute manual on the section and it appears to contain a lot of good stuff. Why not right? Let’s do an overview of the section before beginning. I’m going to copy in the section heading for convenience and write briefly some topics that are included in this section.
“Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet at Kirkland, Ohio, December 27, 1832. It was designated by the prophet as the ‘olive leaf..plucked from the tree of paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us.’ It appears from historical records that portions of this revelation were received on December 27, and 28, 1832 and January 3, 1833.”
Topics that are included in this section are: The comforter, light of christ, the resurrection, kingdoms of glory, law of God, potential of man, parable of the man sending his servants in the field, sanctifying yourselves, signs of the times, restoration of the gospel, fall of Babylon, learning, and the school of the prophets being set up. Hopefully that got your appetite churning for knowledge and I hope you’ll stick around and read this.
The Lord is telling the elders that have gathered he is well pleased with them and their prayers are recorded in the Book of the Name of the Sanctified. Even them of the celestial world. This is some intense stuff. If you have this happen to you, in mentioning the celestial kingdom, your salvation is secured. Cross reference footnote 2d, it says book of life. Remember how we were discussing in my notes on Revelation how everyone’s name was written in the Book of Life? So long as you don’t sin away the day of grace? I think there must be different sections in the Book of Life corresponding to each individual kingdom. If the only requirement to get in the book is not to deny the holy ghost, that includes nearly everyone. It makes sense there would be divisions to keep track of who goes where. If this is true, divisions in the Book of Life, then this verse is letting the elders assembled know they have reached the highest of the high. Good job elders!
The Personage of Jesus Christ Will Attend You
Verse 3 and 4 talk about receiving another comforter. There is a really cool quote in the D&C institute book on this section. But I’ll get there in a moment. For now, cross reference John 14:16. Jesus is saying he’ll pray to the father that his disciples may have another comforter. That’s strange to me though. I was under the impression Jesus was the other comforter, or second comforter. I know the quote in the book talks about it. If these people are receiving another comforter, that must mean they have already received one right? What’s the first comforter? The Holy Ghost! Brain Blast! Holy Ghost is the first comforter and Jesus the second! All are members of the Godhead! Maybe this other comforter includes meeting up with Heavenly Father occasionally? That way, you would have met all three members of the Godhead. That would be pretty legit. Even just to meet Christ would be cool. Cross reference D&C 76:53. This is talking about those who overcome by faith will be sealed by the holy spirit of promise. Is this referring to the Holy Ghost? I don’t know. Regardless, what does it mean to be sealed by the holy spirit of promise? Does it mean you have exercised sufficient faith and have been tested so prove to God that in any circumstance you will serve Him? Thereby becoming sealed (or gaining a reward for sure) to the Celestial Kingdom? I don’t know. The quote will probably help. Last cross reference for now. Go to D&C 132:19,26,49. This makes it a little clearer. It seems like the holy spirit of promise is the power of God unto sealing. That makes a lot of sense because sealing is like gaining a promise! Ultimately that power emanates from Jesus Christ so if you get to that point, you receive the holy spirit of promise. That’s pretty cool.
Here is the quote:
“There are two comforters spoken of. One is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all saints receive after faith, repentance and baptism. This first comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence…expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge…
The other comforter spoken of is the subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say to him, ‘Son, thou shalt be exalted.’ When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other comforter, which the Lord hath promised the saints, as recorded in the testimony of St. John in the 14th chapter from the 12th to 27th verse.
Now what is the other comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains the last comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ attend him or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of heaven will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face-to-face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient saints arrived at when they had glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the saints who hold communion with the general assembly and church of the firstborn.”
Further down the line it says, “Some have thought that the phrase ‘another comforter’ in D&C 88:3 refers to the second comforter, or a personal visit from the Savior…the comforter promised in D&C 88 is the holy spirit of promise, the promise which I give unto you of eternal life.” Pretty awesome quote right? This solves it all. The other comforter referred to in this verse is that promise of eternal life, not a personal visit from Jesus. Because the verse says that will abide in your hearts. We know Christ and Heavenly Father dwelling in our heart is false (D&C 130:3). Plus they have physically bodies so that would be hard.
When talking about what has to be done before you can receive the second comforter, it makes it sound easy and everyone has this happen to them. But I know that isn’t the case. I bet the 12 apostles and the first presidency all have received the second comforter. I see no reason why all the saints, in due time, provided they remain faithful and continue to progress, wouldn’t receive the second comforter as well. When I was reading the book, Presidents of the church: Teachings of the Prophet Brigham Young (or maybe it was Joseph Smith) there was a passage that said something along the lines of when you keep increasing and adding to your faith, eventually God will appear to you. I’m planning on having that happen one day. Gotta do my part though to obtain it. Cross reference 1 John 2:25. John received this promise, even eternal life. I guess we already knew from the quote though when it was talking about those people who had received the second comforter. Wait a second! John is still alive! Jesus is still appearing to him! Whoa. The quote said, sorry, quoted, John 14:12-27. I decided to check those verses out. It is a doctrinal evidence of what the quote says. It talks about how both Jesus and Heavenly Father will manifest themselves unto you and how the Holy Ghost’s job is to enlighten the mind and teach. I recommend it. And it takes place at the last supper. See also D&C 14:7 for a good cross reference. Nothing to talk about, just a good reference.
The Light of Christ
Verse 6-13 talks about the light of Christ. Interesting stuff. There is a really good quote also I would like to write down at some point but we’ll take it a bit at a time. The light of Christ comes from Christ. That is who we are going to talk about first. He is the origin of this. Verse 6 tells how this came to be. He ascended on high and descended below all. And he comprehends and has experienced everything in between. All so that he can be in all things, the light of truth.
You know, we always talk about how Christ came to earth and experienced mortal life like we do. But I think there is a little more to that than we may realize. I believe he experienced life on steroids. Take any normal person’s life, you can go through it, die and still not have experienced everything or know everything. Yes Christ was born and lived as a normal being, but there had to be a point where he realized his divinity and things took off from there. By the time he reached the atonement, he had to be ready. And in order for someone to get ready for something as big and infinite as that, your life is going to be different from others. Especially in such a short amount of time. You could argue he wasn’t entirely prepared for the atonement. I think that is a valid point considering he did ask the father if there was another way. We get a glimpse into how this may have been more difficult when we read about Satan tempting him, Jesus fasting and other events. In all senses of the word, he ascended and descended all. Whatever gaps there were in the earthly experience, the Atonement took care of.
The beautiful thing of it all is he made it through. Look at verse 6 agains, “he comprehendeth all things.” That takes care of human existence. He did the atonement and lived an extraordinary life. There is nothing on earth a human has felt he has not. He knows what it was like, and is like to to go through what we do. “In all and through all things.” That takes care of the rest of the things on this planet. Who created the earth? Primarily Christ. In a very real sense he is in and through all because he made them. Therefore, he understand them and how they work. Knowledge is power and since God knows the most, he is the most powerful. The last part, “the light of truth.” Do you think a being with credentials like that would show you the way? That he could be a “light of truth?” I think so. If all truth comes from God, it would make sense Christ would be the source of truth.
Verses 7-10 talk about Celestial bodies. The sun, earth, moon and stars and he is also in them. This makes sense since he created them. Because he created them, he has the knowledge to comprehend them and how they work. It says the light of Christ is what gives these their light and the power by which it was made. It seems to me the light of Christ is closely associated with the forces of the universe. I think the light of Christ stems from the priesthood but it seems like something else. Cross reference D&C 84:45, “The word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is spirit, even the spirit of Jesus Christ.” The light of Christ is spirit? It seems like it is something we cannot see, yet surrounds us and penetrates us, and has a lot more to do with keeping things in order than may anticipate.
I have the quote about the light of Christ. It’s pretty long, but you, the reader, are worth it. I’ll start it off in the next post and spend the entire time analyzing it. Thanks for reading! See you next post!