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for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness, wherein there can be no labor performed.
"Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
"For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you." (34:32-35.)
Some degree of salvation shall be granted to every soul who has not forfeited all claim thereto. But Salvation as a graded state provided for all who have not sinned unto the incurring of the dread penalty of the second death is far exceeded by the Exaltation provided for the valiant righteous. Of such as are worthy of a measure of salvation, yet who have failed to lay hold on the higher blessings and privileges of eternal life, including the perpetuity of the family relation through the sealing ordinances administered under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, title to which is to be won by individual effort by and through the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord has spoken in this dispensation, saying that they "are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law, therefore they can
not be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not Gods, but are angels of God, for ever and ever." (Doctrine & Covenants 132:16-17.)
Progression in eternity is to be along well defined lines; and thus the inheritors of any specific order or kingdom of glory may advance forever without attaining the particular exaltation belonging to a different kingdom or order. Of those who shall belong to the Telestial or lowest kingdom of glory we read:
"But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the Telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the sea shore; and heard the voice of the Lord, saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne for ever and ever. For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared. And they shall be servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end." (76: 109-112.)
DEITY AS EXALTED HUMANITY
Man Is a God in Embryo
E read of our Lord's presence at a winter festival in Jerusalem, the Feast of Dedication. As He stood in Solomon's Porch He was assailed with questions from some of the more prominent Jews; and His answers so stirred their priestly wrath that they essayed to stone Him
to death. Read John 10:22-42. The chief cause of their anger lay in Christ's affirmation of His actual relationship to the Father as the veritable Son of God. To the assault of the infuriated and sin-blinded Jews Jesus responded with these words: "Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" And the answering howl of the mob was: "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."
Blasphemy was the blackest crime in the Mosaic category; and the prescribed penalty was death by stoning. The essence of this capital offense lay in falsely claiming for one's self or attributing to man the authority belonging to God, or in ascribing to Deity unworthy attributes. Jesus had proclaimed to the angry Jews His inherent power to grant eternal life unto all who would believe on Him and do the things He taught. Hence the frightful charge of blasphemy hurled at the Son of God, who spake as the Father gave commandment.
Our Lord reminded them that even human judges of their own, being empowered by Divine authority and therefore acting in the administration of justice as representatives of Deity, were called gods (see Psalm 82:1, 6); and then, with sublime pertinence asked: "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
The actuality of the relationship between Jesus the Son and God the Father as set forth in the Scriptures cited is in accord with Scripture in its entirety; and that humankind are veritably children of that same Father, Jesus Christ being the Firstborn of the spirits, and therefore our Elder Brother, is attested by the same high and unquestionable authority.
The Jews denied and blasphemously decried the Godship of Christ because He was to them a man, the reputed son of a carpenter, and His mother, brothers and sisters were known to them as familiar townsfolk. Christ emphatically affirmed that He was following His Father's footsteps, as witness His words on another occasion, when the Jews tried to kill Him because He had said "that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Read John 5:17-23. In the verse following, Jesus declared that unto Him the Father showed all things that He, the Father, did. In connection with the same occurrence He declared, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."
It is plain that Jesus Christ recognized the literal relationship of Sonship which He bore to the Father; and moreover, that He was pursuing a course leading to His own exaltation, a state then future, which course was essentially that which His Father had trodden aforetime. To the Father's supremacy He repeatedly testified, and expressly stated, "My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28.)
Jesus Christ lived and died a mortal Being, though distinguished in certain essential attributes from all other mortals because of His status as the Only Begotten of God His Father in the flesh. Yet Jesus Christ has attained the supreme exaltation of Godship, and has won His place at the right hand of the Eternal Father. Ponder the significance of His words: "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." (John 5:26.) The teachings of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on this affirmation by the Lord Jesus were set forth by Joseph Smith the prophet in this wise:
"As the Father hath power in Himself, so hath the Son power in Himself, to lay down His life and take it again, so He has a body of His own. The Son doeth what He hath seen the Father do: then the Father hath some day laid down His life and taken it again; so He has a body of His own."
And further: "God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret. If the veil was rent to-day, and the Great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible-I say, if you were to see Him to-day, you would see Him like a man in form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image, and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another."
We read further: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also." (Doctrine &
Our belief as to the relationship of humanity to Deity is thus expressed:
"As man is God once was; as God is man may be."