Monday, December 21, 2015

048. The Great Stumbling Block of the Gentiles

We had the pleasure of driving through some beautiful parts of the Eastern United States this Summer. We visited many historical and interesting places, as well as some family and old friends. It was fascinating to observe the layers of history pouring over the landscape....the blend of old quaint farm houses, weathered barns, and stone or brick churches intermixed with modern apartment buildings, shopping strips, and new looking churches. One aspect in particular that really struck me was the sheer number of Christian churches that dotted the land, including many one-off independent churches, even in the smallest of towns. Even though I have no idea how many people actually believe and attend all the churches we passed by, it gave me a sense of hope that there are many people who still believe in Christ.

On the other hand, the sheer number of variations in Christianity embodied by these different denominations made me think of the predicament that Joseph Smith found himself in as he sought for the true church of his day. Those who seek truth can easily relate with Joseph's feelings (from Joseph Smith History 1):
8 During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties ... so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.
9 My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant...
10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?
These questions are still incredibly pertinent. These questions have always been pertinent, since the beginning. Thank you Joseph for articulating them! Yes, what is to be done? Who is right? Is everyone wrong? How will you know it? Are these questions still important for us today? For you?

We find ourselves with an advantage that those before us did not possess...although often imperfect and incomplete, we have the perspective of history. We can look back in time, see the patterns, and learn from them. The rise and fall of civilizations, the cycles of history repeating themselves, massive triumphs and massive failures.

Source: Wikipedia "History of Colonialism"
We as Gentiles love to build things up. We love a good project. It's extremely satisfying for us to organize, work hard, and see the fruits of our labors. It's in our nature. There is nothing inherently wrong in this. I believe God wants us to use our talents, abilities, and the materials of this earth to learn, create, enjoy, and bless the lives of others. This disposition has made us very successful by the world's standards. For example, whether right or wrong, look at the prodigious colonization and missionary efforts of the Gentile nations and empires from the late 15th through the early 20th centuries. By 1914, just a handful of small nations had dominated most of the world. Rome accomplished something similar 2,000 years earlier as well as other nations before that.

This inclination of the Gentiles is also observed in the proliferation of innumerable Christian churches and denominations. A difference of opinion of minor doctrine emerges, an offshoot group forms, and soon enough another church is born. Again and again, we see the spark of light ignite in the noble efforts of inspired men and women in their attempts to break free from error, bondage, repression, and start anew. Yet after a time, the purity of their hopes, the zeal of their ideals, and the very things they sought to leave behind rear their ugly heads again, perhaps in new and unexpected forms: the revolutionary that rose up to challenge the status quo can become the vaunted idol of worship and praise...the restored truths that set people apart can become a source of pride or disdain for others...the growth that follows the birth of a new ideal can lead to stifling organization, standardization, and a change in focus that leads away from truth. The original reformers can age and die and their legacy is left to be carried forth by those who may not have paid the price to obtain the light that their predecessors did. There is drift, attempts to incorporate old and foreign traditions, mixed with human folly, ego, and individual desires. The organization grows and expands beyond the bounds originally intended and actually becomes more important than the founding ideals themselves. There are subtle modifications that occur out of convenience, changing times and preferences, as well as individual personalities. The religious tradition becomes ingrained in the community and as a multi-generational majority participates it is harder to individually see the problems and break free.

The Lord showed Nephi this interesting tendency of the Gentiles (us) in our day: 2 Nephi 26
20 And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.
21 And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.
Whoops. Yes, that is our great stumbling block...that our Gentile industry and ingenuity have led to the formation of many churches. We are "lifted up in the pride of our eyes" because of our spectacular accomplishments. As a church itself grows in complexity, the focus on Christ is obscured and true worship is sacrificed in favor of decorum, rules, and traditions. Such efforts and protocols can distract from the point of having a religion, a faith, or a belief in the first place, which is to come together as a body of like-minded believers, worship the Lord, serve one another, and bear one another's burdens.

Look at what the Book of Mormon says about the formation of a great church (1 Nephi 13):
 6 And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it. 
26...for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. 29...because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.
And there it is...gotcha! How ingenious that Satan would prey upon our strength (weakness?) and inspire the foundation and building up of many churches. In so many ways it is the perfect vehicle for the adversary to have power over and bind the individual. Thus, the sad irony is that the impact of a church on the individual is unfortunately the opposite of its intended purpose, especially as the church grows in sophistication, size, and scope. Although there is much good that can come from churches, and I do believe that the Lord works with everyone, when too much power resides in a church or its leaders, and the members become dependent on their leaders, the effects of a church can become anti-Christ, as articulated by the Lord to Nephi earlier:
  • Man's learning and understanding replaces God's;
  • People's hearts are not open to truth;
  • People are deceived into believing the church is taking care of the poor and they don't need to;
  • Church status leads to pride, judgment, and exclusion of others;
  • Time and effort devoted to supporting the organization of a church reduces time and effort spent on the pursuit, acquisition, and living of truth;
  • People's belief that they have to go to a church leader for forgiveness of sins limits their faith in Christ to heal them, slows the repentance process if they are uncomfortable confessing to their leaders, and increases dependence on men;
  • As they rely on their clergy, individuals are weakened by a diminished:
    • Gospel knowledge and understanding of the scriptures;
    • Ability to receive or trust personal revelation;
    • Relationship with Christ as they rely on someone else for advice, answers, repentance, or to do the thinking for them.
But there is hope, much hope! Continuing in 1 Nephi 13:
34 ...after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb. 
And then in 1 Nephi 14 (this whole chapter is important, in terms of understanding what the Church of the Lamb of God is):
 1 And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks
 2 And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; 
So, Gentiles, instead of building up churches, which are corruptible and prone to be hijacked by the adversary to lead hearts away from Christ, oppress the poor, and deny the power and miracles of God, let's listen to the words of Christ and build our hope and foundation upon Him, a foundation from which you can never fall (Helaman 5):
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Build your faith upon the foundation of Christ and you will not fall (stumble). Concluding with the words of Joseph Smith (JS-H 1):
13 ...I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
Don't remain in darkness and confusion. Venture to ask God for yourself, with real intent and faith, believing that you'll get an answer. It may not come immediately, so leave your prayer with God and go on your way in faith, humbling yourself before Him, repenting of your sins, and keeping the commandments. He will answer you in His own way, in His own a way that you will uniquely know and understand. He will not leave you in the dark...keep seeking, asking, and knocking relentlessly until you get an answer.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

047. "Are doubts or questions wrong?"

From Hugh Nibley: The Faithful Scholar ( Originally entitled ''Nibley the Scholar," this previously unpublished manuscript is an interview conducted by Louis Midgley at a BYU forum assembly on 21 May 1974. 

MIDGLEY: Is it our lot to do or die, but never ask why? Or in the Church should we ask why and expect to receive an answer?

NIBLEY: Well, we ask that of our Heavenly Father. You have a perfect right to do that any time you want. You go to him.... Every man has to receive revelation for himself, and this is very important. One of the grandest principles of the gospel is that every man receives his own revelation. There are some good quotations from Joseph Smith on that.

MIDGLEY: Are doubts or questions wrong?

NIBLEY: You take every instance in which people ask the questions, and they are the ones who are particularly blessed. Like the brother of Jared or Moses or Abraham. And Moses*, remember, says in the Book of Moses, "I will refuse to be comforted" (Moses 7:44). He breaks down; he just doesn't understand it. And Abraham is the same way. They really question, and the Lord blesses them for that. He blesses them and shows them the way. You do find these cases in which the man almost rebels, but the Lord always welcomes that. The same thing is true of Abraham.

*I believe Nibley was referring to big deal, someone got it wrong somewhere, no one's perfect.

046. "Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face"

In many ways our Gentile ancestors who lived without restored gospel truths were filled with more light and a closeness to God than we are. Even their everyday language was filled with faith, references, and deference to the Lord and His involvement in their lives. Many of these individuals were inspired to write essays, hymns, and poems of praise and devotion to God. One such example I came across recently is the Scottish minister Horatius Bonar (1808-1889). Bonar's prolific writings included biographies, books, poems, and over 600 hymns. He was well known for his hymns about the sacrament in particular. There is a sacred connection to Christ and eternal truth illustrated in the prose of these hymns. I found the following particularly inspiring:

Some of his books include:

  • Follow the Lamb ISBN 0-906731-63-1
  • Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on The Acts & Larger Epistles ASIN B002ZJRS9K
  • Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on the Book of Revelation ASIN B002ZRQ55U
  • How Shall I Go to God ISBN 978-0-8010-0713-2.

One hymn struck me in terms of its tangible description of the presence of God: "Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face". I've included the lyrics below as well as a link to a Scottish choir singing this hymn. 

Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face;
Here faith can touch and handle things unseen;
Here would I grasp with firmer hand Thy grace,
And all my weariness upon Thee lean.

Here would I feed upon the Bread of God;
Here drink with Thee the royal wine of heav’n;
Here would I lay aside each earthly load;
Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiv’n.

I have no help but Thine; nor do I need
Another arm save Thine to lean upon;
It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;
My strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone.

This is the hour of banquet and of song;
This is the heav’nly table spread for me;
Here let me feast, and, feasting, still prolong
The brief bright hour of fellowship with Thee.

Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear;
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone;
The bread and wine remove, but Thou art here,
Nearer than ever still our Shield and Sun.

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,
Yet passing, points to the glad feast above,
Giving sweet foretastes of the festal joy,
The Lamb’s great bridal-feast of bliss and love.

I have no wisdom save in Him who is
My Wisdom and my Teacher both in one;
No wisdom do I lack while Thou art wise,
No teaching do I crave save Thine alone.

Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness;
Mine is the guilt but Thine the cleansing blood;
Here is my robe, my refuge and my peace,
Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God!

I know that deadly evils compass me,
Dark perils threaten, yet I would not fear,
Nor poorly shrink, nor feebly turn to flee;
Thou, O my Christ, art buckler, sword, and spear.

But see the Pillar-Cloud is rising now,
And moving onward through the desert night;
It beckons, and I follow; for I know
It leads me to the heritage of light.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

045. The Answer - The Vision

On February 16, 1832, in Hiram, Ohio, a vision was given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. From Joseph Smith’s history: “Upon my return from Amherst conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures. From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body the term ‘Heaven,’ as intended for the Saints’ eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one....while translating St. John’s Gospel, myself and Elder Rigdon saw the following vision.”

Eleven years later, and in response to Vade Mecum (Go With Me), Joseph wrote a poetic version of Section 76, entitled "The Answer" or "The Vision". The Vision also elaborates on some of the doctrines put forth in Section 76. Said Joseph "I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them" (History of the Church, 5(21), p. 402). If you have not had occasion to read the poetic version of D&C 76 in the last few years, it is well worth your time to do so.

The Vision

1. I will go, I will go, to the home of the Saints, 
Where the virtue's the value, and life the reward; 
But before I return to my former estate, 
I must fulfill the mission I had from the Lord. 

2. Wherefore, hear O ye heavens, and give ear O ye earth, 
And rejoice, ye inhabitants, truly again; 
For the Lord he is God, and his life never ends, 
And besides him there ne'er was a Savior of men. 

3. His ways are a wonder, his wisdom is great; 
The extent of his doings there's none can unveil; 
His purposes fail not; from age unto age 
He still is the same, and his years never fail. 

4. His throne is the heavens--his life-time is all 
Of eternity now, and eternity then
His union is power, and none stays his hand, 
The Alpha, Omega, for ever. Amen. 

5. For thus saith the Lord, in the spirit of truth, 
I am merciful, gracious, and good unto those 
That fear me, and live for the life that's to come: 
My delight is to honour the Saints with repose, 

6. That serve me in righteousness true to the end; 
Eternal's their glory and great their reward. 
I'll surely reveal all my myst'ries to them-- 
The great hidden myst'ries in my kingdom stor'd; 

7. From the council in Kolob, to time on the earth, 
And for ages to come unto them I will show 
My pleasure and will, what the kingdom will do: 
Eternity's wonders they truly shall know. 

8. Great things of the future I'll show unto them, 
Yea, things of the vast generations to rise; 
For their wisdom and glory shall be very great, 
And their pure understanding extend to the skies. 

9. And before them the wisdom of wise men shall cease, 
And the nice understanding of prudent ones fail! 
For the light of my spirit shall light mine elect, 
And the truth is so mighty 'twill ever prevail. 

10. And the secrets and plans of my will I'll reveal, 
The sanctifi'd pleasures when earth is renew'd; 
What the eye hath not seen, nor the ear hath yet heard, 
Nor the heart of the natural man ever view'd. 

11. I, Joseph, the prophet, in spirit beheld, 
And the eyes of the inner man truly did see 
Eternity sketch'd in a vision from God, 
Of what was, and now is, and yet is to be. 

12. Those things which the Father ordained of old, 
Before the world was or a system had run; 
Through Jesus, the Maker and Savior of all-- 
The only begotten (Messiah) his son. 

13. Of whom I bear record, as all prophets have, 
And the record I bear is the fulness--yea, even 
The truth of the gospel of Jesus--the Christ
With whom I convers'd in the vision of heav'n. 

14. For while in the act of translating his word, 
Which the Lord in his grace had appointed to me, 
I came to the gospel recorded by John, 
Chapter fifth, and the twenty-ninth verse which you'll see. 

15. I marvell'd at these resurrections, indeed, 
For it came unto me by the spirit direct: 
And while I did meditate what it all meant, 
The Lord touch'd the eyes of my own intellect. 

16. Hosanna, for ever! They open'd anon, 
And the glory of God shone around where I was; 
And there was the Son at the Father's right hand, 
In a fulness of glory and holy applause. 

17. I beheld round the throne holy angels and hosts, 
And sanctified beings from the worlds that have been, 
In holiness worshipping God and the Lamb, 
For ever and ever. Amen and amen. 

18. And now after all of the proofs made of him, 
By witnesses truly, by whom he was known, 
This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea, he lives! 
And sits at the right hand of God on his throne. 

19. And I heard a great voice bearing record from heav'n, 
He's the Saviour and only begotten of God; 
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made, 
Even all that career in the heavens so broad. 

20. Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last, 
Are sav'd by the very same Saviour of ours; 
And, of course, are begotten God's daughters and sons 
By the very same truths and the very same powers. 

21. And I saw and bear record of warfare in heaven; 
For an angel of light, in authority great, 
Rebell'd against Jesus and sought for his power, 
But was thrust down to woe from his glorified state. 

22. And the heavens all wept, and the tears dropp'd like dew, 
That Lucifer, son of the morning, had fell! 
Yea, is fallen! is fallen and become, oh, alas! 
The son of perdition, the devil of hell! 

23. And while I was yet in the spirit of truth, 
The commandment was--"Write ye the vision all out, 
For Satan, old serpent, the devil's for war, 
And yet will encompass the Saints round about." 

24. And I saw, too, the suff'ring and misery of those 
(Overcome by the devil, in warfare and fight) 
In hell-fire and vengeance--the doom of the damn'd; 
For the Lord said the vision is further, so write: 

25. For thus saith the Lord, now concerning all those, 
Who know of my power and partake of the same; 
And suffer themselves that they be overcome 
By the power of Satan, despising my name-- 

26. Defying my power, and denying the truth: 
They are they of the world, or of men most forlorn, 
The sons of perdition, of whom, ah! I say, 
'Twere better for them had they never been born. 

27. They're the vessels of wrath, and dishonour to God, 
Doom'd to suffer his wrath in the regions of woe, 
Through all the long night of eternity's round, 
With the devil and all of his angels below. 

28. Of whom it is said no forgiveness is found, 
In this world, alas! nor the world that's to come, 
For they have deny'd the spirit of God, 
After having receiv'd it, and mis'ry's their doom. 

29. And denying the only begotten of God, 
And crucify him to themselves, as they do, 
And openly put him to shame in their flesh, 
By the gospel they cannot repentance renew. 

30. They are they who go to the great lake of fire, 
Which burneth with brimstone, yet never consumes, 
And dwell with the devil, and angels of his, 
While eternity goes and eternity comes. 

31. They are they who must groan through the great second death, 
And are not redeemed in the time of the Lord; 
While all the rest are, through the triumph of Christ, 
Made partakers of grace, by the power of his word. 

32. The myst'ry of godliness truly is great; 
The past, and the present, and what is to be; 
And this is the gospel--glad tidings to all, 
Which the voice from the heavens bore record to me: 

33. That he came to the world in the middle of time, 
To lay down his life for his friends and his foes, 
And bear away sin as a mission of love, 
And sanctify earth for a blessed repose. 

34. 'Tis decreed that he'll save all the work of his hands, 
And sanctify them by his own precious blood; 
And purify earth for the Sabbath of rest, 
By the agent of fire as it was by the flood. 

35. The Saviour will save all his Father did give, 
Even all that he gave in the regions abroad, 
Save the sons of perdition--they are lost, ever lost! 
And can never return to the presence of God. 

36. They are they who must reign with the devil in hell, 
In eternity now, and eternity then! 
Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quench'd, 
And the punishment still is eternal. Amen. 

37. And which is the torment apostates receive, 
But the end or the place where the torment began, 
Save to them who are made to partake of the same, 
Was never, nor will be revealed unto man. 

38. Yet God, by a vision, shows a glimpse of their fate, 
And straightway he closes the scene that was shown; 
So the width, or the depth, or the misery thereof, 
Save to those that partake, is forever unknown. 

39. And while I was pondering, the vision was closed, 
And the voice said to me, write the vision; for, lo! 
'Tis the end of the scene of the sufferings of those 
Who remain filthy still in their anguish and woe. 

40. And again I bear record of heavenly things, 
Where virtue's the value above all that is priz'd, 
Of the truth of the gospel concerning the just, 
That rise in the first resurrection of Christ. 

41. Who receiv'd, and believ'd, and repented likewise, 
And then were baptiz'd, as a man always was, 
Who ask'd and receiv'd a remission of sin, 
And honoured the kingdom by keeping its laws. 

42. Being buried in water, as Jesus had been, 
And keeping the whole of his holy commands, 
They received the gift of the spirit of truth, 
By the ordinance truly of laying on hands. 

43. For these overcome, by their faith and their works, 
Being tried in their life-time, as purified gold, 
And seal'd by the spirit of promise to life, 
By men called of God, as was Aaron of old. 

44. They are they, of the church of the first-born of God, 
And unto whose hands he committeth all things; 
For they hold the keys of the kingdom of heav'n, 
And reign with the Saviour, as priests and as kings. 

45. They're priests of the order of Melchizedek, 
Like Jesus (from whom is this highest reward), 
Receiving a fulness of glory and light; 
As written--they're Gods even sons of the Lord. 

46. So all things are theirs; yea, of life or of death; 
Yea, whether things now, or to come, all are theirs, 
And they are the Saviour's, and he is the Lord's, 
Having overcome all, as eternity's heirs. 

47. 'Tis wisdom that man never glory in man, 
But give God the glory for all that he hath; 
For the righteous will walk in the presence of God, 
While the wicked are trod underfoot in his wrath. 

48. Yea, the righteous shall dwell in the presence of God, 
And of Jesus, forever, from earth's second birth-- 
For when he comes down in the splendour of heav'n, 
All those he'll bring with him to reign on the earth. 

49. These are they that arise in their bodies of flesh, 
When the trump of the first resurrection shall sound; 
These are they that come up to Mount Zion, in life, 
Where the blessings and gifts of the spirit abound. 

50. These are they that have come to the heavenly place; 
To the numberless courses of angels above: 
To the city of God, e'en the holiest of all, 
And the home of the blessed, the fountain of love; 

51. To the church of old Enoch, and of the first-born: 
And gen'ral assembly of ancient renown'd, 
Whose names are all kept in the archives of heav'n, 
As chosen and faithful, and fit to be crown'd. 

52. These are they that are perfect through Jesus' own blood, 
whose bodies celestial are mention'd by Paul, 
where the sun is the typical glory thereof, 
And God, and his Christ, are the true judge of all. 

53. Again, I beheld the terrestrial world, 
In the order and glory of Jesus go on; 
'Twas not as the church of the first-born of God, 
But shone in its place, as the moon to the sun, 

54. Behold, these are they that have died without law; 
The heathen of ages that never had hope, 
And those of the region and shadow of death, 
The spirits in prison, that light has brought up. 

55. To spirits in prison the Saviour once preach'd, 
And taught them the gospel, with powers afresh; 
And then were the living baptiz'd for their dead, 
That they might be judg'd as if men in the flesh. 

56. These are they that are hon'rable men of the earth; 
Who were blinded and dup'd by the cunning of men; 
They receiv'd not the truth of the Saviour at first; 
But did, when they heard it in prison again. 

57. Not valiant for truth, they obtain'd not the crown, 
But are of that glory that's typ'd by the moon: 
They are they, that come into the presence of Christ, 
But not to the fulness of God on his throne. 

58. Again, I beheld the telestial, as third, 
The lesser, or starry world, next in its place, 
For the leaven must leaven three measures of meal, 
And every knee bow that is subject to grace. 

59. These are they that receiv'd not the gospel of Christ, 
Or evidence, either, that he ever was; 
As the stars are all diff'rent in glory and light, 
So differs the glory of these by the laws. 

60. These are they that deny not the spirit of God, 
But are thrust down to hell, with the devil, for sins, 
As hypocrites, liars, whoremongers and thieves, 
And stay 'till the last resurrection begins. 

61. 'Till the Lamb shall have finish'd the work he begun; 
Shall have trodden the winepress in fury alone. 
And overcome all by the pow'r of his might: 
He conquers to conquer, and saves all his own. 

62. These are they that receive not a fulness of light, 
From Christ, in eternity's world, where they are, 
The terrestial sends them the Comforter, though, 
And minist'ring angels, to happify there. 

63. And so the telestial is minister'd to, 
By ministers from the terrestrial one, 
As terrestrial is, from the celestial throne; 
And the great, greater, greatest, seem's stars, moon, and sun. 

64. And thus I beheld, in the vision of heav'n, 
The telestial glory, dominion and bliss, 
Surpassing the great understanding of men,-- 
Unknown, save reveal'd, in a world vain as this. 

65. And lo! I beheld the terrestrial, too, 
Which excels the telestial in glory and light, 
In splendour and knowledge, and wisdom and joy, 
In blessings and graces, dominion and might. 

66. I beheld the celestial, in glory sublime; 
Which is the most excellent kingdom that is, 
Where God, e'en the Father, in harmony reigns; 
Almighty, supreme, and eternal in bliss. 

67. Where the church of the first-born in union reside, 
And they see as they're seen, and they know as they're known 
Being equal in power, dominion and might, 
With a fulness of glory and grace round his throne. 

68. The glory celestial is one like the sun; 
The glory terrestrial is one like the moon; 
The glory telestial is one like the stars, 
And all harmonize like the parts of a tune. 

69. As the stars are all different in lustre and size, 
So the telestial region is mingled in bliss; 
From the least unto greatest, and greatest to least, 
The reward is exactly as promised in this. 

70. These are they that came out for Apollos and Paul; 
For Cephas and Jesus, in all kinds of hope; 
For Enoch and Moses, and Peter and John; 
For Luther and Calvin, and even the Pope. 

71. For they never received the gospel of Christ 
Nor the prophetic spirit that came from the Lord; 
Nor the covenant neither, which Jacob once had; 
They went their own way, and they have their reward. 

72. By the order of God, last of all, these are they, 
That will not be gather'd with saints here below, 
To be caught up to Jesus, and meet in the cloud: 
In darkness they worshipp'd; to darkness they go. 

73. These are they that are sinful, the wicked at large, 
That glutted their passion by meanness or worth; 
All liars, adulterers, sorcerers, and proud, 
And suffer as promis'd, God's wrath on the earth. 

74. These are they that must suffer the vengeance of hell, 
'Till Christ shall have trodden all enemies down, 
And perfected his work, in the fulness of time, 
And is crowned on his throne with his glorious crown. 

75. The vast multitude of the telestial world-- 
As the stars of the skies, or the sands of the sea; 
The voice of Jehovah echo'd far and wide, 
Every tongue shall confess and they all bow the knee. 

76. Ev'ry man shall be judg'd by the works of his life, 
And receive a reward in the mansions prepar'd; 
For his judgments are just, and his works never end, 
As his prophets and servants have always declar'd. 

77. But the great things of God, which he show'd unto rile, 
Unlawful to utter, I dare not declare; 
They surpass all the wisdom and greatness of men, 
And only are seen, as has Paul where they are. 

78. I will go, I will go, while the secret of life, 
Is blooming in heaven, and blasting in hell; 
Is leaving on earth, and a-budding in space: 
I will go, I will go, with you, brother, farewell.