Joseph Smith said that three things are necessary for man to lay hold upon faith unto eternal life and salvation: believe in God/ know the correct attributes, characteristics of God/ and to know that the path you are on is acceptable to God. The fourth lecture details the attributes of God that all men must know and understand to have faith unto eternal life and salvation. Without this knowledge, men cannot have sufficient faith to obtain eternal life and salvation (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith).
Attributes of God: The attributes of God are listed in order:
- Knowledge– God knows all from the beginning to the end. There is nothing that God does not know. His knowledge is the source of all light.
- Power– God is all powerful and can command the very elements and they will obey. Power produces in us fearlessness when we are in alignment.
- Justice– God is no respecter of persons and treats all men justly and fairly. Men can have great confidence in a God who is just
- Judgement– God is swift to judge those who rebel against the law against those who align with the law.
- Mercy– Even being just and righteously judging, God has the ability to know the heart of each person. This produces in men comfort that our best has value, when God looks upon the heart. We must always remember though, that mercy cannot rob justice.
- Truth– God is the teacher of truth, the instructor, the giver of promises and blessings. Men can therefore receive His teachings and instruction and be progressed as far as we are able to receive it.
Joseph Smith was a firm believer that if men could come to know these attributes of God, and exercise faith in such attributes, their faith would become strong enough to endure all trials in the face of God, and to offer up the same sacrifice as the prophets of old.
The King: A benevolent King is the giver of life to all His subjects within the kingdom. Their life comes through the law that the king breaths. That is the breath of life. The king has the power to enforce His laws because He is all powerful. Those within His protection can rest assured that they will be protected by that power, when they are aligned with the King’s law.
The law that goes forth from the mouth of the King is fair and just. His judgements are swift against those fighting against the kingdom, and mercy is exercised as mens hearts change to align with the law. That is why, anciently, prisoners were taught the gospel, until they committed to live by it. Then they were set free, and given land as well.
The King was the greatest of all, …because He was the servant of all. It was the responsibility of the king to be the greatest teacher. He taught men the law so that they too could become kings. That is why Christ is the King of Kings, …because Christ is the King that knows how to make Kings.
Those who do not know the King’s law, surely does not know the King, and cannot be partakers of the King’s fruits, wealth and protection. Those who subject themselves to the King, must learn His law, and must abide by it, to benefit with the rest of the Kingdom. Likewise, in order for men to prosper in the land, by the laws of God, they too must know His law and live accordingly. Thus, all men receiving of the benefits of the King’s law must come to know the King personally, because it will be the King who does the instructing.
Conclusion: The Words of Christ were meant as an invitation for all men, to hear the voice of the Lord inviting, all who would hear, to reconnect to the heavens. If God is our King, and Christ His servant, we must have the skill to recognize that invitation. Only those familiar with the words of Christ shall have the ability to receive and respond to the invitation. Those who know the attributes of God can act, without fear, in confidence, and follow the instructions being offered them. Feast upon those words, so that they can tell you all things what you should do.