That Man May See God


     I am speaking today about specific revelations in the Doctrine 
and Covenants.  Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants follow themes.  
I have chosen to speak about specific revelations on the following themes:


     1--That men can see God;
     2--The process of sanctification;
     3--The priesthood of God;
     4--The essential nature of gratitude.


     1--THAT MEN MAY SEE GOD
     
     The Doctrine and Covenants teaches clearly that men can see God.  
"And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know 
that I am" D&C 50:45.


     This day comes to men in the flesh for "117.  To whom he grants 
this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves; 118. That through 
the power and the manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they 
may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory."  D&C 76:117.


     And this day can come to every man.  "Verily, thus saith the 
Lord:  It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins 
and cometh unto me and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and 
keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;"  
D&C 93:1.


     The place that God has provided for this to occur is in the 
Temple.  "7.  For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name 
shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in this house."  
D&C 110:7.


     "And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the 
Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it,that it be not 
defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; 16.  Yea, and my presence shall be 
there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in hearth that shall come 
into it shall see God."  D&C 97:15-16.


     This is a literal appearing of God to men.  It is not figurative 
nor is it representational of something else.


     "The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a 
personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell 
in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false."  D&C 130:3.


     We need to prepare patiently and steadily, waiting on God's timing 
and grace, 


     "Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to 
God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil 
his face unto you,and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, 
and according to his own will."  D&C 88:68.


     2--THE PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION     


     The process by which men purify themselves that they may see God is 
the process of sanctification. We are commanded to sanctify ourselves.


     "Purge ye out the iniquity which is among you; sanctify yourselves 
before me."  D&C 43: 11.


     We are sanctified by the commandments of God


     "And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are 
assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may 
know how to act and direct the church, how to act upon the points of my 
law and commandments which I have given.  9.  And this that ye shall 
become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that 
which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holi-
ness before me --"  D&C 43: 8-9


     And by the priesthood of God.
     
     "For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining of these two priesthood of 
which I have spoken, and the magnifying of their calling, are sanctified 
by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies."  D&C 84:  33


     An important part of both commandments and sanctification is being 
humble enough to be chastened and to repent.


     God gives us commandments.


     "24.  Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of 
me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner 
of their language, that they might come to understanding. . . . 27.  That 
inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; 
28.  And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong and 
blessed from on high . . ."  D&C 1:24,27-28.


     And he who will not endure the process cannot be sanctified.
     
     "For those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be 
sanctified."  D&C 101:  5.


     This process is well worth the cost because eternal life is the 
reward.


     "And unto him that repenteth and sanctifieth himself before the 
Lord shall be given eternal life."  D&C 133:  62.


     And God is consistent, powerful just and true.


     "And this we know also, that sanctification through the grace of 
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love 
and serve God with all their might, minds and strength."  D&C 20:  31.


     3--THE PRIESTHOOD OF GOD


     The priesthood has the keys of the power of seeing God and of 
sanctification.


     "Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is 
manifest.  21.  And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority 
of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in 
the flesh."  D&C 84:20-21


     The keys of sanctification and the ordinances of godliness and 
seeing God are in the Melchizedek priesthood.


     "19.  And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and 
holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the 
knowledge of God.  20.  Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the 
power of godliness is manifest."  D&C 84:  19-20.


     This power is the key to all eternal blessings.


     "35.  And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, 
saith the Lord;  36. For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;  
37.  And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; 38.  And he that 
receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that 
my Father hath shall be given unto him."  D&C 84:  35-38.


     This process works throughout the priesthood.


     "This is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to 
the priesthood."  D&C 84:  39.


     Purification or sanctification and the priesthood go hand in hand.


     "He that is ordained of God and sent forth, . . . is possessor of 
all things . . . 28.  But no man is possessor of all things except he 
be purified and cleansed from all sin."  D&C 50:  26-27, 28.


     This is because righteousness and purity are keys to the Melchi-
zedek Priesthood and in return the Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys 
to the blessings of sanctification.


     See D&C 121:  37; D&C 107:  18-19, which says "  The power and 
authority of the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood is to hold the keys 
of all the spiritual blessings of the church--19.  To have the privi-
lege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the 
heavens opened unto them,to commune with the general assembly and church 
of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the 
Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.


     4--THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF GRATITUDE IN ACHIEVING SALVATION


     "But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth 
liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I 
would that you should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly 
before me,considering the end of your salvation, doing all things 
with prayer and thanksgiving, that you be not seduced by evil spirits,
 or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, 
and others of devils."  D&C 46: 7.


     In addition to being told to obey the commandments and being 
given the priesthood to bless and guide them, the members of the 
Church are given two guidelines or directors to carry them through 
false prophets, tribulations and persecutions.  These two guides given to 
the saints in the early church were prayer and gratitude.


     "15.  And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with 
cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is 
sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance -- 16.  Verily I 
say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fullness of the earth is yours, 
the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air . . . 18.  Yea, all 
things"  D&C 59:  15-16, 18.


     The temple is given to us to teach us thanksgiving and to aid us to 
have thanksgiving.  It is described in revelation in these terms:


     "For a place of thanksgiving for all saints."  D&C 97:  13.


     Thanksgiving is an essential part of the temple and an important 
part of our daily lives.


     In fact, prayer and gratitude are so important that they are linked 
together in every prayer.  A key to successful prayer is the process of 
expressing gratitude.  We begin our prayers by addressing our Heavenly 
Father.  As soon as we have opened our prayers we express gratitude.


     Prayer is not truly begun nor are the Heavens full open to us if 
we are not grateful.


     "a prayer of thanksgiving."  D&C136:28.


     This is because a lack of gratitude hides from us the truth that 
all things that God allows in our lives can be turned to our good and 
blessing by his power.


     "know thou, my son, that all these things shall give the experience 
and shall be for thy good."  D&C 122: 7.


     Gratitude strengthens our faith in God and our power to lay hold 
upon the blessing he gives us.


     This is best illustrated by the early brethren in the Church.  
Many of them saw angels, heard the voice of God or even saw God.  
They received the priesthood.  Some of them endured their trials with 
gratitude and humility -- they accepted the chastening of the Lord as 
a blessing.  Men such as Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were sancti-
fied and we know that their calling and election was made sure.


     Others, such as Sidney Rigdon, did not maintain their humility, 
would not accept reproof, were not grateful, and they fell.  Without 
gratitude they lost their humility.  Without humility, their visions, 
their intelligence, their ordination to the priesthood, all of these 
things were not sufficient for them to be sanctified.


     To quote from Section 78 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 19 
and 20:


     And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made 
glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even 
an hundred fold, yea, more.  Wherefore, do the things which I have com-
manded you, saith your Redeemer, even the Son . .   . who prepareth all 
things . . ."


     It is my testimony to you that as we obey the commandments of God 
in humility and thankfulness, being grateful for all things which the 
Lord does see fit to visit upon us, we shall receive the blessings of 
the priesthood, become sanctified and see God.


     In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


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