Our bodies work best when we use them how God intended them to be used. This applies to diet, sleep, exercise, even work and play. God has laws which govern everything and when we break those laws we suffer the consequences, but if we obey them we enjoy the peace and happiness that comes when things work as they should.
We don’t know the laws of God as well as he does, so we often break them unwittingly. And even the ones we do know often take time to implement, since we are so habituated to our old ways. However, if we are to live the good life, we must learn God’s laws and strive to follow them. A close study of the scriptures gives us guidance on his laws. Here are a few of them:
PRIDE, LAUGHTER, LIGHT-MINDEDNESS, AND LUSTFULNESS
“…cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.”
“Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings.”
PRAYER AND FASTING
“Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.”
“Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come. …”
TEACHING ONE ANOTHER
“And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.”
COVETOUSNESS AND GIVING
“See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.”
WORK, CLEANLINESS, FORGIVENESS, AND SLEEP
“Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.”
“That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father…”
“And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.”
“And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.”
“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”
“… all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”
“All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.”
Would you like to know God’s will for your life?
Is this the right job for me?
Where should I live?
Who should I marry?
Should we have a child now?
Should we buy this house? This car?
You’ve probably asked yourself questions like these and felt a great deal of uncertainty in your decisions. If only you could know the will of God. That knowledge would help when you encountered difficulties in your career or marriage. Knowing your spouse was God’s choice for you would certainly help navigate through the difficult times. Should you stay with your job when tensions rise between your boss or coworkers? (If I stick it out, will I be blessed?) Only God knows, but how can you be certain that the answers to your prayers are from God and not from some other source?
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
What greater peace could someone have than knowing God’s will for their life, knowing that he is watching over them and guiding them on the path which will be most beneficial to them?
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.“
What is this rock that Jesus speaks of?
“[Jesus] saith unto [his disciples], But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Jesus mentions a rock only a few times in scripture, so it would seem safe to link these two scriptures and discover a deeper meaning. The rock he likely speaks of is the rock of revelation. It is this rock that we need to build our houses on if we are to have the peace God wants us to have in our lives.
So how do we know when it is God who is speaking?
“Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!”
(2 Nephi 27:14)
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
From these verses we can see that God reveals his mind and will through his prophets. We can also see that God oftentimes provides multiple witnesses to give us more certainly about his will. What better witness could one ask for than the revelation of God through one of his prophets? So how do you find one of these prophets?
“And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
This is the key! Find a man with the Holy Spirit and you have found a prophet. Ask him to pray to God concerning your situation and you will receive another witness of the direction you should go in life. For your own personal witnesses, you also need to make sure you have the Holy Spirit when you receive answers to your prayers. If the witnesses agree then follow the guidance you’ve received from God. In this way you can know with certainly that you are pleasing God and you will be blessed with the peace that comes with this knowledge.
Related article: “Do You Have the Holy Spirit?“
It’s pretty much useless to read the scriptures unless you read them with the same spirit that inspired the authors to write them, namely the Holy Spirit. As a follower of Christ, it should be the goal of every Christian to have the Holy Spirit with them always. This is impossible to do unless you know how to tell if you have the Spirit. So how do you know? The easiest indicator is your feelings. Are you happy? Are you at peace?
“And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.”
If you are feeling anxious or angry or any other negative emotion, you most likely have lost the Spirit. So, how do you get it back?
“And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.”
(3 Nephi 9:20)
Having our hearts broken is the natural consequence of losing something we desire. This is what happened to the poor people who Alma met that were “cast out of the synagogues because of the coarseness of their apparel.” (Alma 32:2) Alma said something rather interesting to this group of people:
“And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved. And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?”
Here we see that it is possible to humble ourselves without being “compelled.” Alma tells us that those who do so are “more blessed” than those who don’t. Why do you suppose this is? Alma’s words seem fairly stern to a group of people who had lost everything. They were poor and destitute of wealth and had just lost the last thing that they loved: their place in the house of worship. While it’s obvious that Alma had sympathy on these people, he also let them know that if they had humbled themselves earlier, they would have been better off in the long run. The Christian writer C.S. Lewis put it this way:
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
So why do we often wait to repent when we know that the sooner we turn to righteousness, the sooner God can bless us? If God is not blessing us, do we take our sorrows to him? And are we willing to accept the solution he offers, even if it doesn’t make sense? This is what it means to have a contrite spirit. It means you realize that you made a mistake and you’re willing to ask God what you should do to change. But not only do you ask him how you should change, but you actually attempt to change or repent.
If we have this humble attitude towards God, the Spirit will draw close to us and we will feel the peace and joy it brings. If we make a habit of running to the Lord when we’re feeling out of sorts and then implementing the changes he inspires us to make, the Spirit will attend to us more and more until at last we become holy as our Father in Heaven is holy.
Today I stumbled upon an Egyptian god I’d never heard of before, and yet he seems quite familiar. This god is named Atum. According to Egyptian legend he is the creator, “the deities and all things being made of his flesh.” He is the father of Shu and Tefnut. Atum phonetically sounds a lot like Adam. Could Shu refer to Seth? The Wikipedia article on Atum states, ”Atum’s cult centred on the city of Heliopolis.” This is quite fascinating since Joseph of Egypt’s wife Asenath was “the daughter of Potipherah priest of On” (Genesis 41:45). On is another name for the city of Heliopolis. If this Atum is Adam, then maybe Joseph’s wife was also a Hebrew and believed in the same god that Joseph did.
|“Atum is one of the most important and frequently mentioned deities from earliest times, as evidenced by his prominence in the Pyramid Texts, where he is portrayed as both a creator and father to the king. He is usually depicted as a man wearing either the royal head-cloth or the dual white and red crown of Upper Egypt, and Lower Egypt, reinforcing his connection with kingship.”|
Apparently Atum is a more noteworthy god than our culture gives him credit for. What I find even more interesting is that Atum wears both a red and white crown. I think this symbolism has a more profound meaning than the author of the Wikipedia article leads us to believe. If red represents the flesh and white represents the spirit, then this crown would suggest that the God Atum is a resurrected being, his flesh having been quickened by the spirit. Why would the Egyptians believe that Adam is the creator of mankind and that he also is a resurrected god? Was Brigham Young a reincarnated Egyptian priest? Ok, ok, I’m being a bit facetious, but you get my point. Somehow early Mormon teachings about Adam being God match up with the beliefs of the ancient Egyptian religion.
This excerpt can be found on the Sceptre Wikipedia page under the “Antiquity” section:
|“The was and other types of staffs were a sign of authority in Ancient Egypt, for which reason they are often described as “sceptres” even if they are full-length staffs. … The staff with the longest history seems to be the heqa-sceptre, sometimes described as the shepherd’s crook.”|
Doesn’t it seem strange that a largely agricultural culture like Egypt would use a shepherd’s staff as a symbol of power and authority? Might it be that the pastoral Hebrews assumed control of Egypt at some point in their early history and this is where the Egyptian culture adopted this symbol of power? Recall the rod of Aaron and the duel between him and the pharaoh of his day.
One other symbol that is prominent in Egyptian imagery is the crown. The following can be found under the section titled “Crowns and headdresses” on the Pharoah Wikipedia page:
“The red crown of Lower Egypt – the Deshret crown – dates back to pre-dynastic times. A red crown has been found on a pottery shard from Naqada, and later king Narmer is shown wearing the red crown on both the Narmer macehead and the Narmer palette. Alternatively, the red crown is meant to symbolize the womb, placenta.
The white crown of Upper Egypt – the Hedjet crown – is shown on the Qustul incense burner which dates to the pre-dynastic period. Later, King Scorpion was depicted wearing the white crown, as was Narmer. Alternatively, the white crown depicts a gland in the human body, the thymus.”
The symbology here is quite rich. The red placenta symbolizes mortal birth while the white thymus symbolizes spiritual birth. This matches in nicely with the theory that the Tree of Good and Evil represents the physical realm and the Tree of Life the spiritual realm. The fact that the same Pharaoh can wear the different crowns implies that he can move from the physical realm into the spiritual (and vice versa). This is yet another evidence for the influence of Hebrew culture on ancient Egyptian culture. This brings up the question, which Hebrew leader caused the Egyptians to adopt Hebrew symbolism? Was it Moses or Aaron? Or was it Abraham? Maybe Noah?
Quite remarkably the symbolism of the crown and the sceptre have been carried down to our day and age.
|Queen Elizabeth II wearing the crown and holding the sceptre.||Pope Benedict XVI with his crown and sceptre.|
Are the Catholics borrowing symbology from Egypt or do both the Catholics and Egyptians trace their symbology back to the Hebrews?
There are times when I’m reading a blog article (or listening to a talk) when I struggle to make it to the end, not because of boredom, but due to inspiration overload. This is what happened to me as I was reading an article titled “The Importance of Birth” written by “Heather@Women in the Scriptures”. I’d like to elaborate on a few ideas discussed in this article. I encourage you to read it before continuing.
First off, the idea that the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” and the “tree of life” are representative of physical birth (feminine/yin) and spiritual birth (masculine/yang) was totally new to me, but it really resonates as truth. I found it interesting that it was a choice: “…nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee;” (Moses 3:17). In the premortal life, we chose to be born of the flesh (although some didn’t) and we now have the choice to be “born again” of the spirit. While studying the topic of being born again in the New Testament awhile back I noticed that a trinity was alluded to; a trinity that both physical birth and spiritual birth have in common: water, spirit/air, and blood/fire. This trinity is confirmed more specifically in the Book of Moses:
“That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;”
This passage appears to be comparing the stages of physical birth to the stages of spiritual birth. With that in mind, let’s examine each stage.
BAPTISM OF WATER
This first stage in the spiritual birth would be the baptism by immersion in water, whereas its physical counterpart would be the time referred to as when an expecting mother’s “water breaks.”
BAPTISM OF SPIRIT
In the spiritual birth this happens when a person receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. For brevity’s sake I’ll refer you to this excellent talk given by Elder Bednar a few years back. Physically speaking this would be the labored breathing period a woman endures during contractions. Contractions usually precede the breaking of water and in a similar manner the Holy Spirit guides a person to the gospel long before they are baptized or have hands laid on their heads to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I’m told that the labored breathing not only helps to calm the mother, but also the child. The Holy Ghost plays this role in a person’s life as they change their lives to conform to God’s laws. It reassures them that the path they are on is correct, even if it is a painful one.
BAPTISM OF FIRE
The final stage is physically the time when the mother pushes the baby out. It is the most painful of the stages and bloodiest. During mortal birth it is a baptism of blood. During our spiritual birth it will be a baptism of fire. Joseph Smith stated, “[A]ll will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 199). The baptism of fire is the moment of resurrection, when our mortal bodies are transformed into spiritual bodies. The mortal blood is replaced by the immortal spirit or fire. This is a time of great pain, but immediately followed by a period of great joy and peace.
Heather made reference to two veils that all mankind must pass through in order to receive a resurrected body. The first veil refers to the first physical birth and the second veil to the second spiritual birth. She went on say that women have stewardship over the first and men have stewardship over the second. I agree. Previously I had come to conclude that God has given men and women different fields of labor and he has crafted each specifically for their field. He gave women the field of child bearing and raising. To men he gave the field of missionary work and bringing rebellious souls to God. Both are challenging, even life-threatening fields and it takes great faith to work in either of them. However, these difficult paths that saints are called to walk are the contractions of spiritual birth and will lead to the greatest joy for those who embark and endure to the end. May we all find joy in our righteous labors.
“Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you.“ (Hopi saying)
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it;”
(Joseph Smith, Jr., Documentary History of the Church, 5:134-5)
“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness.”
(2 Nephi 2:13)
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Man was designed to be happy. However, ”if there be no righteousness there be no happiness.” Therefore if man is ever to be happy, he must first learn to be righteous. Righteousness is a big word and what it entails is even bigger.
“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”
You might get the impression that God allows us to pick and choose which laws we would like to obey and blesses us accordingly. However, what isn’t stated here is that there is also a cursing attached to every law for disobedience.
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
Obviously willful disobedience will be more severely punished than ignorant disobedience, but even the ignorant receive some form of punishment. Remaining ignorant isn’t an option for those seeking happiness, because by not knowing the law they not only won’t be blessed, but they will be cursed to some degree as well. Throughout time, God has preserved his written law so that man would always have access to the laws and the blessings/cursings attached. If man chooses to remain ignorant of those laws, he bars himself from the happiness found in obedience.
A research paper titled “The Religiosity of Mormon Men and Women through the Life Cycle” provides a table which compares how men and women rank themselves on several Christian virtues. The virtue men rank themselves lowest on is being humble. For women it’s patience, yet humility is a very close second. Sadly humility is the primary virtue of a saint. Pride (the opposite of humility) “is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others.” Now I don’t know whether the students polled in this survey were just trying to display humility by saying they weren’t humble, but I know for myself it is definitely an area in which I need improvement.
When trying to master a virtue, it is useful to find a role model of that virtue. This not only helps you believe it is possible to master that virtue, but a role model’s example also often provides clues about how mastery is achieved. In my search for a role model for humility, I found it somewhat difficult to think of many examples of humble persons besides Jesus. But even when considering Jesus, can you think of a defining instance where he showed humility? The opposite might be argued in that the Pharisees often accused him of being arrogantly blasphemous because he claimed to be the son of God. You might cite the case where he was approached by a man calling him “Good Master”, where Jesus retorts, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” I suppose that is a decent example, but I wanted to find more of an active example of humility.
After thinking about it for awhile, I realized the action of humility is obedience. There is definitely a connection between the two. The 1st commandment of the Ten Commandments given to Moses was “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” When asked “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” He also said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Putting these ideas together, the 1st commandment both of Moses and Christ is to love God, which is expressed by obedience to God. Not only does God require obedience, but he requires exclusive obedience. As Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Interestingly, each of us has his or her own will which is another master other than God. Jesus expressed it like this, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell put it well in his sermon “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father” when he stated, “the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. … It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!”
When we realize that acts of obedience to God are acts of humility, we find that many characters in the scriptures show by their works their humility. When Abel made an acceptable sacrifice to God, it was due to humility. Cain on the other hand had a better way of doing things and although he made a sacrifice, it wasn’t the sacrifice God asked for and therefore he wasn’t blessed like his brother Abel. Not being blessed, he fell into the sin of coveting what Abel had and killed him to obtain it.
In a similar vein, when Saul was commanded by God to “utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites,” Saul rationalized that this was a bit too much. After all the Amalekites had some awfully good cows. Maybe he could just kill the Amalekites and keep their cows. If he offered a sacrifice of those cows to God, surely God would be content with his offering. Again, God could not tolerate such an act of disobedience, so he sent his prophet Samuel to Saul. Samuel rebuked Saul in saying, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” For his rebellion Saul was stripped of the kingship which God had given him.
Abraham is yet another fine example of obedience. When God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham questioned God at first, because God seemed to be contradicting a former commandment (“Thou shalt not kill“). However, Abraham realized that whatever God now commands should be obeyed and so he went about the task of sacrificing his son. Could you be that obedient? Could I? Abraham had waited a very long time for a son. Isaac was his most prized possession. Ultimately God spared him this sacrifice, but Abraham’s willingness to obey was certainly tested. The fact that’s not as well known in this story is that Isaac was a grown man, fully aware of his father’s intent to sacrifice him. So this was not just a test of Abraham’s obedience, but of Isaac’s as well. Would you or I be willing to literally give up our lives in such a fashion to obey God?
The atonement of Christ was the literal fulfillment of the sacrifice which the story of Abraham and Isaac symbolized. In the ultimate act of humility, Christ willingly gave up his life in obedience to God’s command. If Jesus was married, as evidence indicates he was, can you imagine how much more difficult that made the task of leaving his family? As Latter-day Saints, we commit in the temple to be willing to do this very thing and we are reminded by it every time we take the sacrament of our Lord. Do we fully comprehend what we’ve covenanted to do?
As a Mormon most of us are acquainted with the Law of Eternal Progression, although we may not call it that. The basic concept is that we can continue to learn after the death of this mortal body; that in fact even the gods themselves are still growing in knowledge and wisdom. There is also a corollary concept that we are always either growing in knowledge or shrinking in knowledge. There is no middle ground or neutral zone.
Reading from the book of Alma we find the following:
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.
This opened my eyes to something I’d been pondering about in a podcast I’d listened to earlier this week. The podcast is titled “An Objective Approach to Adam-God Teachings” and can be found here. In it, the mormonchronicle producers interview an LDS man who recently wrote a book about the Adam/God theory. He is a lawyer by trade and so took a very objective approach in his research on the topic. His conclusion is that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught that Adam was God. It was a teaching, not a theory. He states that it was removed from LDS teachings nearly a century ago because of its controversial nature. It was creating a divide in the church so the leadership decided it was best to just ignore it and hope it would go away. That policy worked fairly well for many years, however, with the advent of the internet, it has become impossible to ignore all the evidence. He stated that this is a doctrine that the Church as a body rejected at that time.
If it’s true that the Church rejected this doctrine, could that have started them down the road of rejecting other truths? As Alma states, “they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries.” If this is the case, could that mean the Church is even further off the path of truth now and not even realize it? Given the number of years since this doctrine was abandoned, you can only wonder how far off track they might be today.
I did a search in the D&C for the word “covenant”, since it is the book of Doctrine and COVENANTS. I could only find 3 covenants.
This is the fulness of the Gospel, is it not? Aren’t all other commandments just auxiliaries to these? According to the D&C, the fulness of the gospel is in the the Book of Mormon (D&C 20:9). The Book of Mormon speaks of all of these covenants. Especially baptism, but consecration can also be found:
“And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.”
(4 Nephi 1:3)
Certainly the covenant of consecration is elaborated on much more in the Doctrine and Covenants:
“If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and CONSECRATE of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken. … That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.”
“For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;”
“But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.”
“…I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it…”
Most Christian churches already have baptism and marriage. The thing that makes Mormonism unique is consecration. That must be the everlasting covenant which the Gentiles will seek. It is the covenant most spoken of in the D&C.
“…it is expedient for my servants … to be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression…”
Could it be that Brother Joseph was given the key to escaping the economic woes of our time? Can you think of any better insurance policy than that of your brothers and sisters in God?