The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the fulness of the priesthood is misunderstood and mistaken for what the church currently teaches as the restoration of the church by Joseph Smith. When church members claim that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored, it is further evidence that the saints are still under the 182 year old condemnation, for resting the Book of Mormon. The restoration of the fulness of the gospel, for most, is yet a future event.
This past Sundays High Priest quorum discussion was somewhat discouraging, as the two men who led the discussion were the highest ranking officers of the bunch, but what they taught was not only off-base, but it was misleading. Both of the men were known to have been a bishop, stake president, and temple sealers. One of them was recently a temple president before moving into my ward. No one dare question their political opinions concerning the subject matter of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for fear of embarrassment due to authoritative reprimand (authoritarian tongue lashing).
One of these men was the instructor and he asked, “what are some signs of the times?” One brother commented that the fulness of the gospel would be rejected by the Gentiles. I added to his comment that the only ones who can reject the fulness are those who are offered the fulness, which are the most active saints. So, I suggested, the rejection of the “fulness” will be among us saints, and that is scary.
I was immediately trumped by the teacher’s partner in the audience (the two were obviously a tag-team). He said that those who reject baptism and the other ordinances we offer are the ones who reject the fulness. I responded that I didn’t agree with him. I said that although I would like to believe that I was safe with my ordinances complete, and just enduring to the end, I didn’t think that we could get off so easy. I believe that this is an example of the saints being at ease in Zion (2 Nephi 28). The partner didn’t like my understanding.
So, I asked the teacher a follow up question, “What is your definition of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so we can all be clear on that?” He responded, “Faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endowments, marriage in the temple, and enduring to the end.” Then the teacher added, “And that’s why we do work for the dead, so that we can save our kindred dead.” Since we have all that work done for ourselves, our objective now is to do it for the dead, and to offer the same to the non-members. Those who receive this invitation can be saved just like us, right? I don’t think so.
I have found that the scriptures define the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ differently.
“13. Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;
14. Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ,who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.”
The fulness is the presence of Christ himself. The children of Israel in the time of Moses rejected the fulness and were cursed to wander in the wilderness for forty years, until those offered the fulness all died. Only then could the fulness be offered once again through temple ordinances.
“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.
23. Now this Moses plainly taught 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 and could not endure his presence; 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.“
The tag-team officers refused to hear my comment and quickly changed the subject. My point for sharing this is not intended to boast. I just want to talk about the truth, the words of Christ, the scriptures. The story that these two officers tried convincing me of was a position of “Since we’ve already made it, lets give a hand to those who still haven’t made it yet.” Although that may seem generous, it has no power to save. The only one with power to save is Christ himself. That is why all we can do is talk of Christ. It is the words of Christ that if planted and nourished, will produce the presence of Christ. The only saving power in us is our ability to teach the words of Christ.
Officers hold value in their relative position. They’ve been given trust, and they will be held accountable for it. If their advice is contrary to the words of Christ, as these two officer’s advice was, then it is left to you to compare it to the words of Christ, and judge for yourself what you will believe. Agency is not free. There is a price to pay for each choice you make. You will be held accountable to your knowledge of Christ, even if you have chosen to follow blindly the arm of flesh.
Christ only finished his “preparation” when he died and was resurrected and received of the fulness of the Father. The completion of the atonement is an individual event. That will happen when Christ makes you one with Him. Your second coming is when Christ comes to redeem you from the fall, personally. It is our privilege to have it while we are in the flesh, …now, …in this life. He is trying to gather us out, but we continue to reject the invitation, when we reject the written in the words of Christ.
Do not trust in the arm of flesh, or in the offices of man, or in a herd mentality. You must read the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will tell you all things what you should do. The Lord warns that if you don’t understand this, it is because you ask not, neither do you knock. Wherefore, you are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. Then He says that this is the doctrine, and there shall be no more doctrine, until you shall se Him in the flesh, …then whatever He says, that is what you will observe to do (2 Nephi 32:4-6).
Conclusion: Once we have read the words of Christ and obtained the correct definition of the fulness, then we can see that we are still without it. Then we can work towards obtaining it. However, if we continue with a false sense of confidence that we are in possession of the fulness, then we will be lulled away into unbelief, which is likened unto a mist of darkness. The fulness is Christ himself. Christ will lead you to the fulness of the Father. He desires all to receive it. It is us that must arise in order to receive the fullness. Lets rise up together.