If you are interested in breaking free from the chains of hell, the pattern for all is:
- Pray (Ask and ye shall receive)
- Word (Seek and ye shall find)
- Angels (Knock and it shall be open unto you)
An effective missionary finds the person praying to God, seeking answers about knowing the truth. Missionaries then give them the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon and ask them to read it and ponder it and ask God if it is not true. When they have done so, missionaries bear witness (as an authorized angel) of the contents and the principles found therein, and the Holy Ghost then testifies that it is true (they are pierced in the heart). In this example we find the pattern (pray/ word/ angel) that all must use to return to the presence of Christ. However, we know that missionaries aren’t all angels. Realize that God always gives in degrees, depending on your readiness.
The pattern of Pray/ Word/ Angel is the same for all who desire to come unto Christ, from the newest saint to the oldest of saints. It is the pattern to obtain wisdom (revelation), and it is only given in degrees according to your preparation. There are degrees of prayer, degrees of word and degrees of angels. You can know where you stand as you evaluate what degree of pray/ word/ angel you commit to follow. Once you have identified where you are, you can know what you must do progress forward.
A note on progression: condemnation is not so much a threat as it is simply the stopping of your progression back into the presence of Christ, and that is all. Those who want to return will seek out the way back. Those who don’t, won’t. The results of condemnation is simply the effects of the natural consequences of the law. Eventually we decay and die. The effects of breaking free of condemnation is Eternal Life! That is what Christ offers.
So, this blog will identify the degrees of pray/ word/ angel that I know about from the study of the scriptures. You may be able to add to it, but this is all I have discovered.
There are five types of prayer that is taught in the scriptures that I think are distinct and unique:
- The Mormon Prayer: This is what we teach in primary and to all new converts. We teach them to address our Heavenly Father. Then we instruct them to express gratitude for what they already recognize they have received. Then ask for what their heart desires, and close by saying, “in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.”
- Cry Unto The Lord: This is a prayer of yearning. In most cases we are in a problem situation and don’t know where to turn. This position is of the greatest depths of humility.
- The Prayer that want to be said: This prayer is about asking for what the Holy Ghost wants you to ask for or to seek for. It’s submitting your will to the will of the Father and desiring for you what God desires for you, thus aligning your heart and mind with His. In this case we need to know the mind and will of God. So this prayer requires knowledge of God and cannot be said without the study of the words of Christ, in depth. I struggle here.
- Calling upon the name of Christ: The brother of Jared was reprimanded for three hours for failing to do this. You must understand that we do not know the name of Christ. Jesus Christ is not a name, but a title. His name has such power that those who know it can command, and all the elements created by Christ will obey. This is real power. This is the power of Godliness described in the scriptures. It is offered to us all, but we must receive it. In Helaman 10:4-6 Nephi is given the power of Godliness. Then he is told, “thou art Nephi, and I am God.” This is the point that Nephi is given the name, and he now has the power of Godliness and can command the very elements. Later in that chapter Nephi is able to “jump.” Somehow he teleports himself away from those trying to imprison him (v16. conveyed away in the spirit). In the next chapter (eleven) he also commands a famine upon the land. And then he commands moisture to return when the people are humbled. This is a powerful prayer. It is the power of Godliness given to man. That’s a lot of responsibility.
- An Intercessory Prayer: The Nephites in 3 Nephi 19 also pray to Christ as Christ prays to the Father on their behalf. The result is the chosen people become purified until they glow like Christ. Then the words He speaks are so sacred and cannot be written
These are distinctly different prayers. You can quickly identify that each prayer has distinctively different degrees of preparation required. The greater the degree of prayer, the more knowledge you must obtain from the heavens. That knowledge comes from the words of Christ.
It is in the scriptures that we find the words of Christ. But just as there are different degrees of prayers, there are also different degrees of the words of Christ. The following is what I understand:
- Scriptures: in 2 Nephi 32 we are told that the words of Christ will tell you all things what you should do. The study of the scriptures increases your knowledge about the mind and will of God and then you begin to see how it all fits together. As you progress in the words of Christ, you begin to change what you desire. Alma 12:10 tells us that as we receive more and more light, your heart becomes more and more soft to the words of Christ, until you know all the mysteries of God in full. This shows an increase in degrees.
- Temple: Temple is further instructions given to those who are endowed to instruct them “in their several offices and callings.” (D&C 97). The greatest office of a Kingdom is that of a King and Queen. It is in the temple that we learn the duties of becoming a King or Queen.
- Words from Christ: In 2 Nephi 32:6 Christ tells us that there will be no more doctrine given, “until” ye shall see me in the flesh. Then… whatsoever I say unto you, shall ye observe to do. Here you are learning from Christ’s words, from His voice. Again you must do the preparation so that you are able to hear the voice of the Lord!
- Words from the Father: In 3 Nephi 19, in the last few verses the words are spoken that cannot be written. These words are instructions to those who have obtained them.
The words are given to us to produce the knowledge necessary to know the mind and will of God- for us to align with. Greater and greater words give us the finer and finer details of the mind and will of God, for the purpose of helping us align to Him. It is clear that only as your heart and mind are softened to know God, will you begin to understand the word as it was intended by those prophets who wrote it. However, the scriptures are purposefully incomplete. They are intended to get you to stretch and try your faith. Moroni specifically tells us that he was about to write more, but the spirit instructed him not to. He was told to give only so much to try their faith (3 Nephi 26:9).
The objective for praying and knowing the words of Christ is to break through and make your connection to heaven. D&C121 tells us that many are called, but few are chosen… and that the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected to the powers of heaven. If you want the rights of the priesthood, you must be connected to heaven to access them. For this reason, we have angels to assist you in your connection to heaven.
Angels come in different shapes and sizes, depending on your degree of prayer and your degree of studying the word. Again, you can judge where you stand and adjust to fit where you want to be. All I am saying is that there are degrees of Angels as there are degrees of glory prepared for your degree of obedience. What I understand from the scriptures is all I am sharing. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t more.
The purpose of angels is to provide instruction and answers, only as you are ready to receive them. Adam was questioned by and angel to why he offered sacrifices. Upon learning that he didn’t know why, the angel instructed him. Whenever an angel instructs, it is purposed to connect you to heaven. We must seek angels that deliver answers to questions that connect us to heaven.
What I’m sharing with you is my study observations. You must ponder it yourself. Then, you can add to it if you know more, or you can criticize it if you think I’m wrong, either way, here is what I have observed:
- Angels that inspire other people to respond: such a response can come from a neighbor, a child, a stranger,etc. It can come by way of a whisper or an idea.
- Angels in the form of prophets: such angels are acting by instructions given from heaven, through revelation.
- Un-embodied spirits: These are spirits who have not obtained a body, but have a message to deliver before they come to earth. These spirits you cannot touch and will not offer to make physical contact, but will deliver the message they came to deliver.
- Dis-embodied spirits: These are those who have died
- Translated beings: These have bodies of flesh, but they are changed not to taste of death.
- Resurrected beings: These have died and have overcome death and have been resurrected. Not be confused with those who have been brought back from the dead, these have perfected bodies, whereas those brought back from the dead are still mortal (i.e. Lazarus).
Angels are round about you and you don’t even know it. Constantly there are spirits that are trying to commune with you. Your actions either attract or repel spirits and angels. Just as God has angels, so does Satan. It is significantly important to know which are key influencers in your life. It is equally important to know which angels influence the lives of those you associate with. When you do, you can know who you are able to trust and who you must keep an eye on.
Men can be inspired by either Christ or Satan. You must discern which is which. Many say that we do not judge. That is not true. We must judge, to know what kind of influencers we are working with. We must be intimately involved in the discernment of spirits to identify the messengers that can produce answers of inspiration and revelation. The more you are able to identify, the more you are able to obtain good information towards your salvation.
Joseph Smith taught that you can discern angels with a handshake. There’s more to a handshake than meets the eye. Joseph says that dis-embodied or un-embodied spirits coming with a message from God will not extend their hand, but will deliver the message and depart. A deceiving spirit will extend its hand and you will pass through it. This is an imitation of a spirit or angel of light, who was sent to deceive. They will typically come in the night to make it appear as if they have light, but it is only imitation. Moses experienced such an angel after having received a grand revelation. But Moses knew the difference because this deceiving angel could be looked upon with the naked eye. However, translated beings and resurrected beings will prove that they are angels by extending their hand and exchanging a conversation with you to identify themselves as angels.
Do you see the importance of preparation and degrees of pray/ word/ angel? Do you see how giving you more than you are ready for can hurt you? God will force no man to heaven. He’ll only lead and direct, you must want to come unto Him.
In conclusion, I express the necessity for each of us to identify where we are by analyzing what degree of pray/ word/ angel you currently have obtained. Then I advise you to work to increase the degree of pray/ word/ angel so that you can make your connection to heaven, obtain a promise of eternal life, and receive the power of Godliness available to all. Remember,
- Ask and ye shall receive (prayer)
- Seek and ye shall find (search the scriptures)
- Knock and it shall be opened unto you (Angels will bring you to the veil so you can obtain the knowledge of salvation from Christ himself)
The gospel of Jesus Christ was intended to change you, to purify you and connect you to the heavens. It was intended to give eternal joy in the presence of the Father. It has been given to you to choose if that is what you desire. The way you choose is by what master you serve and know.