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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