Both Moses and Joseph tried to offer the saints of their time an everlasting covenant, …that they rejected. Moses gave the children of Israel temple ordinances to continue to offer that covenant, before he left them. Joseph Smith left the Nauvoo saints the temple ordinances we have today. Ordinances are Christ’s open arms so that the descendants of all dispensations could have the opportunity to receive the original covenant (the promises made to the Fathers), …if the saints choose to repent, arise, and receive it.
“19. And this greater priesthood [the priesthood that is offered with the covenant] administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom [mysteries=sacred temple ordinances] even the key of the knowledge of God.
20. 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;
22. For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father and live.“
The ordinances were intended to bring you into the presence of the Father, in the flesh, and live. It is in the ordinances that the power of godliness is manifest to men.
Since, if you fail to obtain such ordinances and the authority of the priesthood, you cannot obtain the power of godliness in the flesh, …those who have obtained such ordinances and authority are held to the accountability to “obtain the power of godliness in the flesh.”
That is the second edge of the two-edged sword. The first edge offers the Lords protection to all who receive the covenant. The second-edge is your condemnation if you have been blessed to be offered a covenant, but fail to receive it, by rejecting the fulness. You cannot sit on the fence. If you have the required ordinances and authority, you are charged with the responsibility to obtain the power of godliness in the flesh. Those who have the tools, but fail to use them, are going to be under greater condemnation.
Moses tried to get the children of Israel to receive it, but they rejected the invitation. The children of Israel wanted the ordinances and the authority (the emblems), but didn’t want to obtain the power of godliness in the flesh. They wanted a representative, a strong-man, a substitute. They didn’t want to change to come up themselves.
“23. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24. But they hardened their hearts therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; [the Holy Priesthood=the priesthood that accompanies the covenant originally offered]
26. And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel.”
The preparatory gospel is what we have been given in the temple ordinances by Joseph Smith. It requires that angels minister to us. If the children of Israel would have received the covenant Moses offered, then Moses would have filled the role as their guide, to guide the children of Israel through the process to receive the covenant (the role of an angel or messenger from the presence of the Lord). Since they rejected Moses’ instructions, the children of Israel are required to seek angels to reconnect and receive the original covenant.
Like in Moses’ time, the early saints in Nauvoo rejected the covenant offered them of Joseph Smith. Christ offered to literally dwell among them if they built the temple in sufficient time. But they got side-tracked by economic success on the Mississippi (much like our monetary success, or corporate ladder climbing). You can read the promise the Lord offered in D&C 124 for yourself.
Since the early saints rejected their invitation, Joseph left us ordinances just like Moses did. We are instructed that we must seek out angelic messengers sent from the presence of Christ, so that we can get more light and knowledge to complete the process of obtaining the original covenant, or “the promises made to the Fathers.”
Moroni 7:37-38 teaches us that if you have not received such angels it is because your faith has ceased. And it is as though no redemption had been made, and all is lost. Those who fail to know this, will follow men who minimize the necessity of obtaining messengers from the presence of the Lord. Since they are better than you, and they have not had angelic messengers, then …you must not need them, …is their assumption. So they supplement their instructions to teach either that angelic messengers are not necessary since we have a prophet to do that for us, …or they re-define angelic messengers to lean more towards meaningless acts of disingenuous nice-ness. But they reject heavenly messengers instructing us to reconnect to the powers of heaven, since they are not recipients themselves.
We have reduced our expectation of receiving ministering angels because we are disconnected to why they are necessary. Seeing angels have been minimized to “weird science” status, and irrelevant, or unnecessary to our salvation. Our foolish traditions have turned angelic visitations into “looking beyond the mark.” We think that since we have a prophet, the angels visit him, and then he tells us what to do. We praise the prophet for being worthy to receive revelation on our behalf, and in so doing we justify that it is unnecessary for us to approach the heavens and receive personal instructions to obtain the everlasting covenant that both Moses and Joseph Smith offered each saint individually.
Conclusion: Let us break the 182 year old condemnation that the whole church is under, by simply reading the scriptures, sincerely wanting to know the truth being offered there (Moroni 10:4-5). Moroni’s promise was never intended for non-members alone. Moroni wanted to give us more, but the Lord instructed him not to, because it is necessary that our faith be tried.
They who seek to have those words written upon their hearts don’t need to defend the experiences or genuineness of a prophet, for they have obtained an experience for themselves. They now speak from their personal witness, and not just anecdotal (someone else’s experiences). They …are now special witnesses, even messengers, or angels. That is why those who have entered into the presence of Christ speak with the tongue of Angels, and they speak the words of Christ, because they came from the presence of Christ with a message (2 Nephi 32:1-3).
The words of Christ is always telling us to receive the covenant and return in the flesh! Those who teach the contrary identify themselves as false witnesses who are wearing sheep’s clothing. Bringing souls to Christ is Christ’s work and glory (Moses 1:39).
Break the condemnation, write the words of Christ upon your heart, ponder the ordinances, seek heavenly messengers to teach you how to obtain the covenant, seek the face of God in the flesh. The heavens desire all to receive it. That is how we awake, arise and receive it.