Identifying covenant language in the scriptures is what will separate those who know from those who don’t. Like I said in an earlier blog, what makes the scriptures holy and sacred is the offering of the covenant. The scriptures are always taken lightly because of ignorance toward the covenant being offered. We are too engaged in the things of the world, and aspire to the honors of men. That is why “…those who are called” only own a set of scriptures, but “…those who are chosen” …actually read them in order to receive the covenant being offered. Thus, many are called, but few are chosen. This blog will not teach covenant language, that requires a lot of work, and this atmosphere is far too low for that kind of conversation. I only hope to trigger, to make clear, to uncover the importance of recognizing and seeking out covenant language. It’ll be up to you to hunger and thirst after it.
When we don’t understand covenant language, the scriptures are reduced to bed-time stories, moral lessons, and many times boredom and confusion. The stories are good, but having them doesn’t produce any salvation at all. The moral lessons may produce some conscious triggers that prick your heart to be good to others, but despite the moral values, salvation does not rest on them either. Salvation rests on the covenant made by God.
Often times we get the gentleness of virtue mixed up with righteousness. Virtue may be kind, gentle, loving, patient, etc. Virtue requires eloquence, strategy, and consideration towards the feelings of others. Virtue wants peaceful interaction, and discourages discomfort, and facing difficult confrontations. We tend to think of God and Christ in these terms. However, we look past the difficult choices of righteousness.
Righteousness “encompasses” virtue, but adds to it immediate obedience to God, no matter what the consequences. For example righteousness required Nephi to cut off the head of Laban, the offering of Isaac as a blood sacrifice, the burning of Abinidai, the sawing in half of Isaiah, the confrontation of Christ to the Sadducees and Pharisees, the boldness of Ammon when he cut off the arms of the Lamanites and killed one of them at the waters of Sebus. It was because of righteousness that Nephi (Helaman 10) proclaimed the words of Christ with unweary-ingness, and without fear of what others would do against him. For that reason Nephi was given command over the elements, such that he was trusted that he would do nothing contrary to the will of God. Nephi was labeled righteous!
While a saved man must be raised in virtue, it is only through righteousness that he can receive the everlasting covenant, that the scriptures are offering. Righteousness cannot be cultivated without contact to the heavens. Whenever a virtuous man has connection to the heavens, righteousness will always prevail. It is the covenant language that teaches us how it is that we are to connect to the heavens.
When one understands covenant language, then they will see the offering of signs, tokens, names, promises, penalties, and different rungs on Jacob’s ladder that lead to an ascension within the scriptures we have been given. That is why we must be absolutely immersed in the patterns of temple covenants, so that they come out into the world with us, to be overlaid on our life. Then we can recognize them in the scriptures that hold double and triple meanings, if we know what to look for.
Today, we concern ourselves with wars and rumors of wars. People prepare far more for a physical and political attack than they prepare to meet God. We are more afraid of what man can do to us, than we fear God. Laman and Lemuel were concerned that Laban could command 50 men. The House of Israel were afraid of the Pharaoh and his military power. They were later scattered by the Assyrians, and then further scattered by the Babylonians, and then ruled over by the Romans because they feared man more than they feared God. Because they feared man more than God, they rejected the covenant that would have given them ultimate power over all enemies, and they too would have joined the city of Enoch in translation, as did the city of Salem with Melchizedek. We too are fools to follow the example of those who reject the covenant offered by God.
As we become familiar with the mind and will of God, we can see that all he wants is to teach us the language of the covenant. Then we can take the proper action to keep it. We modern saints think that we are so advanced, compared to our ancient counterparts, that we think we think we already know enough, we just have to implement what we know. Truth is the modern saints are ignorant, and we don’t even know it. Ignorance is our biggest sin. We excuse ourselves from the mundane scripture study, and leave it to the seminary students and missionary investigators. We know enough to claim salvation and we are too busy to figure out the finer details. The scholars will figure that stuff out, and then teach us later, is a common reasoning that I hear. If it’s important the prophet will tell it to us, is another excuse I also hear. Each of these would qualify one as a foolish virgin-oilless.
The ordinances we are given in the temple is not the actual receiving of the covenant. The sealing of the covenant is done by the Holy Spirit of Promise, when you enter into the presence of Christ. Most latter-day saints feel that this will occur for most after the end of the world, in a judgement day of sorts. Those who wait until then to lay hold upon it will experience a deep anguish of their soul when they recognize that this was to be obtained …while here in the flesh, during the test! They will mourn their unbelief that “…authorized ritualism can produce salvation.” They will mourn not knowing that the rituals were only an invitation to receive the real covenant. And then they will look back to see how often that covenant was offered them. Finally, we will woefully recognize how oft would He gather us like a hen gathereth her chicks under her wings, but we would not.
Moses offered the House of Israel the opportunity to be sanctified and enter into the presence of God (the everlasting covenant). They rejected Moses’ offer, and the wrath of God was kindled against the House of Israel. Just before Moses left, he gave the House of Israel strict ordinances, so that they could qualify for ministering angels, in hopes that they would eventually repent, receive the ministration of other angels (which is what Moses was at the time of the rejected offering), and be sanctified and be brought back into the presence of God.
Most of them did not repent. The most part of the House of Israel considered the ordinances as their qualifying as being chosen. This mistake caused them to hold themselves as the blessed of God and already a saved people. The angels were rejected and no connection was had with the heavens. The ordinances were changed over time and reduced only to vain sacrifices and priestly offices. They drew near with their lips only, through what Tevia on Fiddler on the Roof called, Tradition!
In our day, Joseph Smith tried to sanctify the saints like Moses. He called for the Nauvoo temple to be built in “sufficient time.” But the Nauvoo saints failed in this calling because they were too caught up in the success on the Mississippi river. The things of men held greater value to them, and Joseph lamented their priorities. So before Joseph was killed, Joseph did as Moses did and gave the saints ordinances, that made necessary repentance for not receiving the covenant, ministering of angels, and then a covenant could be offered- just like the House of Israel was given.
Since then, we have battled with the fear of men, while loosing more and more the knowledge of the heavens through the rejected covenant. We have suffered ourselves to remain under condemnation for over 172 years. Many now believe that since we have our temples and our covenants, our families can and will be sealed up unto eternity. That false idea then dominos into the idea that …our duty now is to get others to have what we have, to look like us, to act like us, because we are the prototype of saved beings, right? After all, we are endowed and sealed ritualistically. We believe ourselves to have been proven true and faithful in all things- ritually. Since we hold a current temple recommend, we are now approved. Now we are like the ancient House of Israel using our ordinances as moral tickets of heavens approval. Our salvation has been reduced to vain sacrifices, that faintly resembles our faith in the atonement, like the sacrifice offered by Abel, and priestly offices, void of the knowledge of the covenant, just like the ancient House of Israel. We draw near with our lips, but our hearts are on the economy, the politics, the wars and rumors of war, and we fear not God. We are the modern Tevia, living by tradition!
The covenants of God are only His covenants if they remained unchanged. Once the words are changed, they are not His words. They belong to the person who changed them. Our ordinances have undergone so much change, due to the fear of men, and their awkwardness to certain eternal principles. We are less and less unique and peculiar, and more and more streamlined and well blended, so as not to make people feel uncomfortable. We lean more towards virtue, and we neglect the necessity to obtain righteousness.
Righteousness requires direction from the heavens, revelation, miracles, casting out devils, prophesying, speaking and interpreting tongues, etc. Those who are disconnected from the heavens have little knowledge of the God that resides there. Thus, Joseph Smith prophesied, their faith is weak and cannot endure the trial. The famous quote of his can be summed up as, a religion that does not require its saints to sacrifice all things has not the power necessary to develop the faith to obtain life unto salvation.
We have too long lived a life of condemnation, in all generations in which the covenant was rejected. Each dispensation who rejected the covenant has always ended in slavery and captivity. We are under condemnation for rejecting the covenant. We are the same as the ancient rejectors, right now! We think that because we are free to roam about the land, that we are not slaves. That is simply the condition of our slavery, so that we do not attempt to escape. The more ignorant the slaves are to slavery, the less problems they cause to the system. In essence …they don’t even know that they don’t even know. That is the apex of ignorance. It is time for us to rise up and to lay hold upon our covenant.
Conclusion: I have no intention of hurting the feelings of those who ignorantly believe the traditions of our modern religion. There are many good men in our church who, like Tevia, have no idea why they do what they do. However, I fear God more than I fear man, and I attempt to write with the power of the spirit, trying to do it through virtue. But the traditions we suffer from in our church lends little to a virtuous approach. We cannot obtain salvation through our ignorance, or in a virtuous and gentle manner. It must be through righteousness. We are required to tear ourselves out of the commonalities of the mentality of the world, to be retaught the covenant that God offers.
Since the power of godliness is manifest in the ordinances thereof, we must receive the rest of the ordinances that were previously rejected, that were offered in Nauvoo and on Mount Sinai. We are yet incomplete in our ordinances. Our current temple ordinance is depicted in facsimile #1, but facsimile 2 and 3 are what was offered, but not yet obtained by us (Enoch and Salem did).
In order for us to obtain the missing pieces of the covenant, we must first: familiarize ourselves with our existing covenant language. While our temple ordinances have changed, there is still enough there to teach the principles of covenant language. Second: since our current ordinances are incomplete, we must bring those covenants, written upon our hearts, out of the temple, to overlay them atop our scriptures. Then we will see what we must do to obtain the full endowment, where we are endowed with power from on high. Then we can obtain an ascension (facsimile #2) and be crowned with glory in a coronation (facsimile #3).
There must be a serious study of the word. We must place all our eggs in God’s basket. Diversification here will only bring condemnation. It requires a focused investment of time and energy. Stop getting others to look like us, for we are currently in a damned state. All you’d be doing is damning them also. Escape the damnation and condemnation we are in, …by seeking out the mysteries of God (temple ordinances) that we have not yet received. Only then will we find peace in the storm, an unshaken foundation, a house of God. We must not forget virtue, but we must add to it the power of righteousness. God can’t do much with limp-wristed softies, who fear the discomforts of men, and sacrifice His voice. Doubt not, but be believing.
It is through the words of Christ that we find the covenant. It is the covenant that makes scripture holy and sacred. One who speaks inspiration from a pulpit may be inspiring, but unless it has to do with the offering of the covenant, it is not scripture. All prophets point to the covenant, and that is why they always point to the words of Christ written in the scriptures. So familiarize yourself with covenant language, read the words of Christ, and receive the further light and truth that will accompany it through ministering angels.