The words of Christ, as a covenant, has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. My interests in the covenant is it’s ability to produce oneness, even among the weakest of us. Considering these options, it’s obvious to me that there is No Substitute.
Scripture Project: The words of Christ, as a covenant, has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I have been studying them for the purpose of confidently making a covenant, that I will hold myself to be judged by. The project is to restore the scriptures to it’s original record (at the time of the restoration), to establish a “common-law” that will unite a few who choose to accept to live it. The option was given for all of us to suggest deletions, recommend insertions, make edits, and suggest new revelation to be included, to preserve the restoration. I feel inadequate to make any changes, as I don’t know the original content. However, I feel confident in one aspect: I know that I can find oneness with anyone who chooses to abide by it’s precepts as their central law. My heart is in full trust of the covenant. All that remains to be accomplished is the work of writing the words upon our hearts, and that will unite both hearts and minds of all who do the same.
Oneness & The Covenant: My interests in the covenant is it’s ability to produce oneness, even among the weakest of us, ultimately producing Zion. Because of their pride, the early saints failed in three specific areas (D&C 1:15-16):
- They strayed from the ordinances
- They broke the everlasting covenant
- They sought not the Lord to establish His righteousness
Baptism and sacrament have been restored to it’s proper order, with baptism done by the “authority given of Jesus Christ,” and the sacrament being done with wine instead of water, symbolic of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The repentance of these two ordinances, repairs the first failure of the early saints. The scripture project has the potential of repairing the second failure of breaking the everlasting covenant, as some will actually accept the everlasting covenant of the Book of Mormon, and the other commandments as their central law. The third will be the most difficult to repair, which is to not only say, but to do according to the law, thus establishing the righteousness of the Lord.
When we submit to this process of living the covenant, we are promised by the Lord that the Lord will progress us as follows (D&C 1:20-29):
- Faith will increase in the earth
- The everlasting covenant will be established (the fullness)
- When the people make mistakes, it will be made known (Truth)
- When the people seek wisdom, they’ll be instructed
- When the people sin, they’ll be chastened, so that they repent (whereas, today, we are not being chastened by the Lord, and are left to learn from sad experience)
- When the people are humble, they’ll be made strong, and be blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time
The Lord provides a quick overview of how it all comes together.
30. And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually.”
No Substitute: Considering the process outlined in Section 1, by the Lord, to fulfill the covenant, …it’s obvious to me that there is no other way, …there is No Substitute. The drawing above depicts a choice.
If the scriptures are central, the promises are fulfilled. However, failure to have the scriptures central is substituted by a testimony that “…The Church is True.” When you bear testimony that the church is true, there’s no need to search the scriptures. The testimony alone seems sufficient.
When the scriptures are written upon your heart, you are prepared to properly discern the voice of the Lord, in the words of a servant of the Lord (one who’s been in the presence of the Lord). Those unable to discern the voice of the Lord, from a messenger coming from the Lord’s presence, will substitute the need to recognize the messenger’s voice with their temple recommends. They’ll be satisfied that they have all that is necessary for the after life, and that all they must do is “…Endure to the End.“
Anyone who has received the words of Christ, and received His servant, they are now prepared to enter into His presence in the flesh. They can be redeemed from the fall, and brought back into Christ’s presence (Ether 3:13). However, those who have refused to write the words of Christ upon their hearts, and have rejected a true servant of the Lord (delivering Christ’s message), …they will not be redeemed, and will not enter His presence, while they are in the flesh. They will remain fallen, and cast-out of Zion and the kingdom of God. In this condition, they will be satisfied to follow the prophet instead of seeking the face of the Lord. They will profess, “…All is Well in Zion!“
Conclusion: There is no other way. As a member of the LDS church, knowing that the church was true stopped me from caring what was in the scriptures, since we owned a set. However, once I sought to know the scriptures, I knew that the gospel within the scriptures were true, and not the church.
I was endowed in the LDS temple at nineteen years old, preparatory to serving a full-time mission. I was the first of us to marry in the temple, and was proud of that fact. I was convinced that, while nobodies perfect, all we needed to do is keep trying, and endure to the end, and we were promised to be sealed for time and all eternity. My temple recommend was symbolic of maintaining good standing, preparatory to entering the celestial kingdom. However, when I came to hear the voice of one who stood in the presence of both God the Father and His Son, just as Joseph Smith, Abraham, and Adam had, I was able to discern the voice of the Lord in his words, and have had my eyes opened with greater clarity of the scriptures than has ever been understood from attending the LDS temple.
I was taught to bear testimony that the prophet was a prophet, and that by doing so, I would have a testimony that it was so. However, when it came time to not only say, but to do, I found that the LDS prophet offered nothing but darkness when I had nothing to grasp onto, and my family was being torn from my fingers. It was my testimony of Christ alone that has secured my marriage, and will prove to secure my children, and can prove to secure you, exactly the same way.
I was required to exercise faith by trusting in the words of Christ, instead of the church. I exercised great faith and was able to recognize a servant of the Lord, …finding stability when my temple recommend was revoked, and my wife and I cast-out of church. I now have a personal relationship with Christ, and that has produced even greater faith. We are now willing to endure all things, to hold fast to what we now know. Those who uphold the church, the temple, and the prophet, will reject the word, the servant, and Christ Himself. Consider your past choices, recognize that what the church offers will Never Substitute the promised blessings of heaven. Then, awake and arise. Repent, and lets make the covenant together.