By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: A Rational Theology - As Taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Author: Widtsoe, John Andreas, 1872-1952
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Rational Theology - As Taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" ***

http://bencrowder.net/books/mtp. Volunteers: Benjamin
Bytheway, Byron Clark, Ben Crowder, Tom DeForest, Eric
Heaps, Jason Hills, Tod Robbins.

Rational Theology

As Taught by the
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints


Published for the Use of the Melchizedek Priesthood
by the General Priesthood Committee


Copyright, 1915


A rational theology, as understood in this volume, is a theology which
(1) is based on fundamental principles that harmonize with the
knowledge and reason of man, (2) derives all of its laws, ordinances
and authority from the accepted fundamental principles, and (3) finds
expression and use in the everyday life of man. In short, a rational
theology is derived from the invariable laws of the universe, and
exists for the good of man.

This volume is an exposition; it is not an argument. The principles of
the Gospel, as held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, are stated, briefly, simply and without comment, to show the
coherence, reasonableness and universality of the gospel philosophy.
The authority for many of the statements found in the volume is given
in the references included in the appendix. The doctrines herein
stated are, however, the common knowledge of the members of the
Church. No attempt has been made to correlate the doctrines discussed
with current philosophical opinions. Those who are led to study this
rational theology in the light of the best knowledge and soundest
thought, will enter a fertile field, and will find a surprising
harmony between the Gospel and all discovered truth.

The book could not be made larger, were it to serve well the special
purpose for which it was written. Therefore, the treatment is brief
and many important and interesting subjects are omitted. Moreover, the
book had to be completed within a short, set time, and many of the
imperfections of the work are the results of the hurried preparation.

Every writer who in this day attempts an exposition of the Gospel must
draw heavily upon the clear thoughts of those who, from Joseph Smith
to the living workers, have written and spoken in behalf of the truth.
I acknowledge, gratefully, my obligation to the makers of "Mormon"
literature. Many friends have, also, in various ways, given kindly
aid; to them I offer hearty and sincere thanks.

                                       JOHN A. WIDTSOE.




Chapter 1. **The Meaning of Theology**

  Man in the Universe--A Man's Religion--Theology Defined--The
  Gospel--The Purpose of this Book.

Chapter 2. **How Knowledge is Gained**

  The Senses--The Sixth Sense--Transmitted Knowledge--The Use of the
  Reason--The Foundation of Rational Theology.

Chapter 3. **Eternalism**

  All Knowledge, the Basis--Eternal Matter--Universal Matter,
  Indestructible--Eternal Energy--Universal Intelligence--Eternal
  Intelligence--The Eternal Relationship--An Eternal Plan--Eternalism.

Chapter 4. **The Will of Man**

  The Primeval Condition--The Intelligence of Man--The Will of Man--
  Value of the Will.

Chapter 5. **The Great Law**

  Increasing Complexity of the Universe--Man and the Great Law--The
  Law of Development.

Chapter 6. **God and Man**

  Why God is God--Many Gods--Why Man is Man--God's Help to Man--Man's
  Help to God--God's Attributes.

Chapter 7. **Man Is That He May Have Joy**

  Consciousness and the Universe--The Primeval Condition--The First
  Estate--The Second Estate--The Third Estate--Everlasting Joy.

Chapter 8. **Man's Free Agency**

  In the Beginning--The Council in Heaven--The Need of a Savior--Man's
  Part in the Great Plan--Free Agency.

Chapter 9. **The Great Plan**

  Forgetfulness--Subject to Earth Conditions--Laws to Be Obeyed--An
  Organization--All to Accept the Plan--The Meaning of the Earth Plan.


Chapter 10. **The Coming of Man**

  Making of the Earth--The Builders--The Coming of Man--The "Fall"--
  The First Blessing--The Garden of Eden--A Wise Beginning.

Chapter 11. **The Course of the Gospel on Earth**

  Adam Hears the Gospel--The First Dispensation--The First Apostasy--
  Later Dispensation of the Meridian of Time--The Great Apostasy--The
  Restoration--The Vital Facts.


Chapter 12. **The Gods of this Earth**

  The Order of Gods--Plurality of Gods--God, the Father--God, the
  Son--God, the Holy Ghost--Other Beings--Sex Among the Gods.

Chapter 13. **Man's Communion with God**

  The Will to Ask--By Personal Appearance--By the Visitation of
  Angels--By the Holy Spirit--The Eternal Record.

Chapter 14. **Man Walks with God**

  Reading God's Message--Spirit Blindness--Prayer--Active Prayer--The
  Gift of Understanding--Man Walks with God.


Chapter 15. **The Kingdom of the Evil One**

  Descending Beings--The Devil--Man and the Devil--The Devil Subject
  to God.


Chapter 16. **Why a Church?**

  Man Helped by God on Earth--The Plan of Salvation for All--
  Orderliness--Test of Attitude--Authority--The Great Purpose of the

Chapter 17. **Conditions of Membership**

  Faith--Repentance--Baptism--The Gift of the Holy Ghost--Continued
  Conformity--Acceptance of Authority.

Chapter 18. **The Priesthood in the Church**

  Priesthood Defined--Divisions of the Priesthood--The Aaronic
  Priesthood--The Melchizedek Priesthood--All Hold the Priesthood--The
  Power of the Priesthood.

Chapter 19. **The Organization of the Church**

  The General Authorities--The Stakes of Zion--The Wards of the
  Stakes--The Priesthood in Stakes and Wards--Auxiliary
  Organizations--All Must Work--The Tenure of Office--An Unpaid
  Ministry--Appointments in the Priesthood--Common Consent--Bestowal
  of the Priesthood.

Chapter 20. **The Authority of the Priesthood**

  The Foundation of Authority--Absolute Authority--Derived Authority--
  The Authority of Office--Authority and Free Agency--Authority Over
  Self--The Exercise of Authority--The Unrighteous Exercise of
  Authority--The Church Authoritative.

Chapter 21. **Obedience**

  The Restraint of Nature--An Active Condition--The Restraint of Man--
  The Life of Law--Disobedience--The Church Worth Having.

Chapter 22. **A Missionary Church**

  A Church with a Purpose--The Hope of Today--Temporal Salvation--The
  Foreign Mission System--The Home Mission Service--For the Common

Chapter 23. **Temple Ordinances**

  Educational--Symbolism--Covenants--Blessings--Temple Authority--
  Possible Repetition.


Chapter 24. **The Brotherhood of Man**

  Common Origin--Common Purposes--Common Destiny--Inter-Dependence--

Chapter 25. **The Equality of Man**

  The Pre-existent Effort--The Earth Effort--The Variety of Gifts--The
  Equality of Opportunity--Unequal Equality--The Test of Equality.

Chapter 26. **Mutual Support**

  The Duty of the Strong--Co-operation--Education.

Chapter 27. **The United Order**

  Purpose--Historical--Co-operation--Tithing--Voluntary Offerings--The
  Common Good.

Chapter 28. **Work for the Dead**

  All Must Be Saved--Earthly Ordinances--A Work of Love--The Need of
Records--The Result.

Chapter 29. **Marriage**

  Eternity of Sex--The Waiting Spirits--The Meaning of the First
  Command--The Family--Celestial Marriage--The Sealing Powers.

Chapter 30. **The Community**

  Community Defined--The Individual in the Community--The Rights of
  the Community--Training for the Community--The Supremacy of the


Chapter 31. **Man and Nature**

  The Intelligence of Nature--A Living Earth--The Lower Animals--All
  for the Use of Man--Man's Conquest of Nature--Miracles--Harmony of
  Man and Nature.


Chapter 32. **The Sound Body**

  The Importance of the Body--Food--Exercise--Rest--Stimulants--Moral
  Purity--The Gospel and the Sound Body.

Chapter 33. **Education for the Inner Life**

  The Senses--The Reasoning Power--The Feelings--The Spiritual Sense--

Chapter 34. **Satisfaction with Daily Work**

  Variety of Earthly Tasks--All Work May Be Intelligent--Nothing
  Temporal--Subjection to Self.

Chapter 35. **The Hope of Tomorrow**

  Today--Tomorrow--The Resurrection--Our Place in the Hereafter--The
  Destiny of Man.

Chapter 36. **The Law of the Earth**

  The Unknown Meaning--The Earth Law--To Love God--To Love a Neighbor
  as Oneself--The Triumph of Man.

APPENDIX--References to Authorities


Rational Theology.



Earth, stars and the vastness of space; yesterday, today and tomorrow,
and the endlessly increasing knowledge of the relations of forces,
present an illimitable universe of numberless phenomena. Only as a
whole, and in general outline, can the human mind understand the
universe. In its infinite variety of expressions, it wholly transcends
the human mind.

**Man in the Universe.**  In the midst of this complexity, man finds
himself. As he progresses from childhood to manhood, and as his
slumbering faculties are awakened, he becomes more fully aware of the
vastness of his universe and of the futility of hoping to understand
it in detail.

Nevertheless, conscious man can not endure confusion. From out the
universal mystery he must draw, at least, the general, controlling
laws, that proclaim order in the apparent chaos; and, especially is he
driven, by his inborn and unalterable nature, to know, if he can, his
own place in the system of existing things. Every normal man desires
and seeks an understanding of his relation to all other things, and
practically every man has worked out for himself, on the basis of his
knowledge, some theory which explains, more or less satisfactorily,
the mystery of star and earth and man and life. No other quest is
followed by man with such vigorous persistence, as is that of
establishing an intelligible and satisfactory philosophy of

**A Man's Religion.**  The philosophy, or system of thought, adopted
to explain man's place in nature determines largely the joy and manner
of a man's life. If the philosophy be poor and loose, life will be
confused; if rich and firm, life will be clear cut, and if law be made
supreme, life will be orderly. Those who have no religion at all
become the playthings of unknown forces. Every act of a man's life is
influenced by the philosophy of his life. It is the most important
product of an individual life, and is the most compelling power in

In a broad sense, the philosophy, according to which a man orders his
life, may be called that man's religion. It may or may not involve the
idea of God or an organized body of believers. If it guides a life, it
is that life's religion, whether it leads to weakness or to strength.

**Theology Defined.**  Since all men are placed in the same universe,
with approximately the same powers, and under conditions nearly alike,
it is possible for each person to establish for himself a religion as
above defined, for the guidance of his life. All religions must be
organized from the content of the one, and so far as we know, the only
universe; and the presumption would be, therefore, that the religions
of all men should be the same, in as far at least as men are the same.
In fact, however, during the course of human history, many more or
less dissimilar religions have been established and accepted. True,
most of these religions show close kinship, but the vital differences
are often very great. For instance, the religions of men fall
naturally into two great classes: those that adopt as their central
idea a great governing intelligence and power--a God; and those that
refuse to include a God in their system of thought.

A religion which accepts the idea of a God is a theology. The great
majority of the religions of men are theologies, for the majority of
men believe in some form of personal divine power.

**The Gospel.**  The word gospel is also frequently used, among
Christians, to designate the religion of men. The Gospel is a theology
which includes the doctrine of the life and mission of Jesus Christ,
as the Son of God. Among Christians, the words religion, theology and
gospel are freely used in the same sense. It is well, however, to bear
in mind the distinction in meaning of the three words. The Christian
religion, the Christian theology and the Gospel are equivalent in
meaning. In the following pages, the terms are often used
interchangeably without the qualifying words. Indeed, the Gospel will
be used most frequently, and wherever used, it must be understood to
stand for the rational theology discussed in this book.

**The Purpose of This Book.**  This volume is devoted to the
exposition of the fundamental principles of a rational theology--a
philosophy of life which, because of its complete harmony with all
knowledge, should be the one to which all men might give adherence.



Knowledge is the material upon which the reasoning mind of man acts.
Just as physical strength can neither be developed nor exercised
unless material bodies are at hand, so mental strength can neither be
developed nor exercised unless facts or knowledge are in man's
possession. The acquisition of knowledge or experience is the first
step towards formulating an acceptable religion. It is of interest,
therefore, to consider, briefly, the sources of human knowledge.

**The Senses.**  Through eyes, ears, nose, the sense of taste and the
complex and poorly understood sense of feeling, man becomes acquainted
with the universe. That which is seen by the eyes, heard by the ears,
smelled by the nose, tasted by the mouth, or felt by any part of the
body, becomes impressed and registered upon the mind, there later* to
be used. The detailed method by which knowledge is added to man is not
understood. The theories that prevail concerning the entrance of
knowledge into the human mind need not here be discussed.

It follows that the man who wishes to gain much knowledge must guard
his senses from harm, and must sharpen them, so that during the few
days of life they may do as much as is possible to help man establish
a rational religion for his guidance. The foundation of human
knowledge is derived from the direct action of the senses.

**The Sixth Sense.**  Important as are the senses in adding knowledge
to man, yet it must be admitted that they recognize without help only
a very small part of the universe. Our universe is infinite in its
variety of expression--of that man feels certain,--and it could hardly
be expected, therefore, that man, who admittedly is yet far from
perfection, should be able to know, even with the greatest aid, all of
the universe.

The truth that an immeasurable part of the universe lies outside of
human experience, is borne in upon every thinking man. In recent
times, the developments of science have emphasized this vast region of
the unknown. The mystery of electricity, in the telephone and
telegraph; the wonder of space, in wireless telegraphy; the marvel of
the elements, speak clearly of places and conditions of which we as
yet have no clear and accurate conception, and before which the senses
of man, unaided, stand helpless.

Nevertheless, glimpses into this unknown region may be had by helps to
the senses. By the telescope the far is brought near; by the
microscope the small is made large; by the photographic plate unseen
light is made visible; by the well tuned coil of wire the wireless
message is taken out of space; by the spectroscope, light is broken
into its elements, and so on through almost the whole field of human
endeavor. Facts that are gathered in such an indirect way are as
correctly certain as are those that are sensed directly. The world
would lose tremendously should all the truth gathered through aids to
the senses be removed.

Man himself, through what may be called, for want of a better name,
the sixth sense, may become a great aid to his own direct senses. By
proper exertion he may intercept messages from out the directly
unknown, as completely as this may be done by man-made instruments.
Throughout history this power of man has been recognized and usually
respected. The experience or knowledge thus gained should, when
properly examined by the mind, be given an equal place beside that
gained directly through the commoner senses. Prophets, poets, men of
vision and faith, have all builded their work largely upon this kind
of knowledge or inward feeling.

**Transmitted Knowledge.**  The inexhaustible universe and the limited
powers of man, make it possible for a person to discover for himself
relatively a very small amount of truth. Much effort may be saved and
more knowledge gained, if each person learn as much as he may of what
has already been learned, to which he may add the little new discovery
that he may make.

This method of obtaining knowledge has been in vogue since the first
day. What the first man learned, he told to others, and they in turn
communicated it, with the addition of whatever new knowledge they had
gained. Thus comes the present value of tradition--the spoken
record,--and of books--the written record. Men who desire to build a
safe religion or a safe science, make themselves familiar with as much
as they can of what is already known, instead of attempting to
traverse the known field as original discoverers, and to this
transmitted knowledge, they add whatever in the course of their
pursuit they may discover independently. Those who in the present day
will accept only what they themselves discover, will make slow
progress. To them the treasuries of the greatest age will not be

If, in the course of events, it becomes necessary for God to speak to
a man for the benefit of many, it would be contrary to rational
thinking that each man for whom the message was given, should directly
hear God's voice, unless, indeed, the means of communicating the
knowledge become effectually blocked. Such transmitted knowledge is
every whit as sound as that acquired by direct communion with nature.

True, the knowledge already possessed by man is so large that it can
in nowise be transmitted, in all its details, to one man. The efforts
of humanity are directed, therefore, to the devising of general
statements, or laws, which embody the meaning of a multitude of facts,
while they are yet easily intelligible to the human mind. More and
more important will become the repositories of such general principles
containing the knowledge of mankind. The Bible, in its various books,
presents such great underlying principles of our knowledge relating to
several very important phases of earth-life.

**The Use of the Reason.**  Whether knowledge be obtained by any or
all of the methods indicated, it should be carefully examined in the
light of reason. The only knowledge that will help in the
establishment of a satisfactory religion is true knowledge. Truth is
the end of the search. False or apparently true knowledge often
intrudes itself upon the attention and at times it is so well
disguised as to be dangerously deceptive. Man must learn of the
universe, precisely as it is, or he can not successfully find his
place in it. A man should therefore use his reasoning faculty in all
matters involving truth, and especially as concerning his religion.

**The Foundation of Rational Theology.**  The Gospel, or rational
theology, is founded on truth, on all truth, for "truth is knowledge
of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come," and
"truth has no end." In building a philosophy of life a man, therefore,
can not say that some truth must be considered and other truth
rejected. Only on the basis of all truth, that is, all true knowledge,
can his religion be built. Further, the perfection of his knowledge,
that is, the extent of his truth possessions, will determine the value
of his religion to him. Therefore, "it is impossible for a man to be
saved in ignorance," "a man is saved no faster than he obtains
knowledge," and "the glory of God is intelligence."



The conceptions necessary for logical thought belong to the Gospel as
well as to science, for a satisfactory life philosophy must be based
on all knowledge known to man.

**All Knowledge, the Basis.**  The Gospel, as the largest knowledge,
must include the knowledge of all sciences. The conceptions of time
and space are quite as necessary in theology as in natural science or
in any other branch of human thought. The Gospel does not claim,
however, possession of ultimate knowledge concerning space or time or
other fundamental conceptions. Indeed, man is, ordinarily, allowed to
work out for himself the truths of the universe and to organize them
into systems of thought which he may follow profitably. Knowledge is
given directly by a superior intelligence only when it becomes
indispensable. Moreover, there are innumerable phenomena in the
universe which can not be explained by the human understanding as at
present developed. The distinguishing feature of the Gospel is that it
possesses the key to the final philosophy of life. In outline it
offers the entire plan of life in the universe; and man may engage for
all time to come in the elaboration and development of each department
of this great universal plan of human life, without requiring an
expansion of the outline. The plan is complete.

**Eternal Matter.**  The saddest feature of manmade religions is their
lack of security. One man constructs one theology; another a different
one, and men flock hither and thither, accepting the one that appears,
for the moment, to be the best, without the deep feeling that the one
finally accepted is absolutely the one and only correct system of
thought. Yet, this is logically absurd, for a house is either red or
not red; a stick is straight or not straight; a man has truth or only
the semblance of truth. Two different truths can not be parallel with
respect to the same thing. The final philosophy of life must be based
on irrevocable truth. That which is true must always remain true,
though the applications may change greatly from generation to
generation. It is the absence of such fundamental certainties, no
doubt, that leads men into a new search for a satisfying religion, or
that drives them away from their old theology.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is obviously a system founded on unvarying
certainties. Its doctrines rest on demonstrated truths that lie at the
foundation of all sound, acceptable thinking. For instance, as a
cornerstone of theology, the Gospel recognizes, in connection with the
existence of space and time, the existence of matter. Without matter,
the mind of man would have no material on which to act, and the
existence of matter becomes, therefore, a fundamental conception of
the Gospel. It is the business of man to become acquainted with matter
in all of its forms, so far as may be possible, in order to provide a
foundation on which the reasoning mind of man may increasingly build
its power.

The Gospel holds strictly to the conception of a material universe.
Much inconsistency of thought has come from the notion that things
occur in a material and an immaterial state. This unthinkable
condition has been made the basis of doctrines concerning God and man,
which have led to utter confusion of thought. The Gospel accepts the
natural view, supported by all human experience, that matter occurs in
many forms, some visible to the eye, others invisible, and yet others
that may not be sensed by any of the senses of man. In short, there is
no such thing as immaterial matter, but some forms of matter are more
refined than others. Light, heat, and other similar forces are held by
science to be manifestations of a subtle state of matter, beyond the
immediate senses of man, which has been called ether. In fact, matter
as ordinarily known, and ether, a finer form of matter, are every day
conceptions of science. The material universe may appear in a variety
of forms; but man recognizes, directly, only that form which is the
ordinary matter of our daily lives.

**Universal Matter Is Indestructible.**  Matter is eternal, that is,
everlasting. Whether the various forms of matter may be converted one
into the other, is not definitely known. Any such conversion would,
however, leave the total quantity of matter unchanged. God, the
supreme Power, can not conceivably originate matter; he can only
organize matter. Neither can he destroy matter. God is the Master,
who, because of his great knowledge, knows how to use the elements,
already existing, for the building of whatever he may have in mind.
The doctrine that God made the earth or man from nothing becomes,
therefore, an absurdity. The doctrine of the indestructibility of
matter makes possible much theological reasoning that would be
impossible without this doctrine.

The nature of matter is not, in and of itself, a subject of deep
concern in practical religion. By the slow, laborious methods of man's
search for truth, the nature of matter will gradually be revealed.
Whether it shall be found to be something distinct, or a form of the
universal energy, will not be of consequence in the Gospel structure.
That matter, whatever it is, is eternal, is, however, a principle of
highest theological value, for it furnishes a foundation for correct

**Eternal Energy.**  Matter, wherever found and in whatever form,
always possesses energy. It is frequently said that matter in motion,
only, can impress the human mind. Matter without motion, were it
conceivable, could not be recognized by the human mind as at present
constituted. Matter is always associated with energy; energy with
matter. It is not conceivably possible to separate them. Whether one
is a manifestation of the other, so that there is only matter or only
energy, or if they are distinct things, we do not know. All sound
thought recognizes, however, the existence of energy throughout the
universe. Energy appears in many forms, such as heat, light,
electricity, magnetism, gravitation, and, according to the Gospel, the
many spiritual forces. These various forms of energy seem to be
convertible, one into the other, thus indicating the existence of one
central force, of which all other forces are manifestations. The
question of energy will probably be answered gradually, as the
knowledge of man increases.

Of one thing the Gospel, as well as science, is perfectly certain,
namely, that the energy in the universe is indestructible. Changed it
may be, from heat to light, from light to electricity, from
electricity to magnetism, or from any form to any other form of
energy, but destroyed it can not be. Like matter, energy had no
beginning and can have no end. God, possessing the supreme
intelligence of the universe, can use energy in accomplishing his
ends, but create it, or destroy it, he cannot. Undiminished,
everacting, universal energy will continue through all times.

**Universal Intelligence.**  In one particular, however, the Gospel
goes beyond the teachings of modern science. The Gospel teaches that,
associated with the universal energy that vivifies universal matter,
and possibly identified with it, is universal intelligence, a force
which is felt wherever matter and energy are found, which is
everywhere. The forces of the universe do not act blindly, but are
expressions of a universal intelligence. That a degree of intelligence
is possessed by every particle of energized matter cannot be said; nor
is it important. The great consideration is that, since intelligence
is everywhere present, all the operations of nature, from the simplest
to the most complex, are the products of intelligence. We may even
conceive that energy is only intelligence, and that matter and
intelligence, rather than matter and energy, are the two fundamentals
of the universe!

**Eternal Intelligence.**  Throughout the universe are found, in
addition to indestructible matter, everlasting energy and universal
intelligence pervading space.

"Man was also in the beginning with God." The doctrine that man is an
eternal being leads to untold possibilities. Eternal man lived a
personal life before the earth-life began, and he continues a personal
existence hereafter.

**The Eternal Relationship.**  The phenomena of the universe result
from the interaction of matter, energy and intelligence. These
fundamental, universal elements are forever acting upon each other to
produce the infinite variety of the universe. Nevertheless, space is
not filled with disorder; chaos does not prevail. On the contrary, the
universe, so far as known, is essentially orderly. This comes from the
great law of cause and effect. If energy acts on matter in a given
way, a definite effect is obtained. Under like conditions, the same
cause will forever give the same effect. Where, therefore, like
conditions are permanently operating, like results will always be
found. This law lies at the foundation of the orderliness of nature.
"There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven upon which all blessings
are predicated, and it is only by obedience to this law that any
blessing may be obtained."

**An Eternal Plan.**  The Gospel itself, the so-called plan of
salvation, or Great Plan, in obedience to which men guide their
earth-lives, is eternal. It is not a temporary or transient thing,
made primarily for the handful of men and women on earth, but it is an
eternal plan based upon the everlasting relationship of the elements
of the universe--a plan which, in some form, is adapted everywhere and
forever, for the advancement of personal beings. This must be so, for
it leads to a definite end, and in accordance with the law of cause
and effect, it must have a universal meaning.

**Eternalism.**  The Gospel is founded on tangible and eternal things
and relationships. These eternal realities, no doubt, in their
essence, lie beyond the full understanding of man, just as time and
space transcend human understanding. This conception, carried far
enough, leads to a gospel or life philosophy which is unshakable,
because it rests upon eternal certainty. Without certainty, man is, in
the great affairs of life, merely the driftwood of existence, moved
hither and thither by the wind of doubt.

The Gospel may be said to be The Philosophy of Eternalism. The Gospel
is immersed in the ocean of eternity.



The doctrine of the eternal nature of man is most characteristic of
the Gospel. It is a doctrine which gives great satisfaction to all who
have accepted the Gospel.

**The Primeval Condition.**  All that is really clear to the
understanding is that man has existed "from the beginning," and that,
from the beginning, he has possessed distinct individuality impossible
of confusion with any other individuality among the hosts of
intelligent beings. Through endless ages, man has risen by slow
degrees to his present state. Possibly, with respect to the coming
day, man understands as little as did the spiritual beings with
respect to present day conditions.

**The Intelligence of Man.**  To speculate upon the condition of man
when conscious life was just dawning is most interesting, but so
little is known about that far-off day that such speculation is
profitless. Nevertheless, of some things pertaining to the beginning
we are fairly certain. The being which later became man, even in the
first day possessed intelligence. That is, he was able to become aware
of the external universe, to learn, and by adding knowledge to
knowledge, to learn more. Then, as now, the universe was filled with
matter acted upon by many forces, and an intelligent being in the
midst of the interaction of forces and matter, must have become aware,
measurably, of what was going on. From the beginning, the ego of man
has been a conscious being, saying to itself, "This is I; that is not
I. This life is apart from the life of all the rest of the universe."

**The Will of Man.**  In addition to his power to learn and his
consciousness of his own existence, the spiritual personality
possessed, from "the beginning," the distinguishing characteristic of
every intelligent, conscious, thinking being--an independent and
individual will. No one attribute so clearly distinguishes man as does
the intelligent will or the will to act intelligently. It was by the
exercise of their wills that the spirits in the beginning gathered
information rapidly or slowly, acquired experiences freely or
laboriously. Through the exercise of their wills they grew, or
remained passive, or perhaps even retrograded, for with living things
motion in any direction is possible.

Naturally, the original spirit, possessing, with all other attributes
of intelligence, the power of will, exercised that will upon the
contents of the universe. The exercise of the will upon the matter and
energy within reach, enabled the intelligent beings, little by little,
to acquire power. By the use of his will upon the contents of the
universe, man must have become what he now is.

**Value of the Will.**  The above doctrine involves the idea of
self-effort. It is only when the will is exercised in a certain
direction that the support of other forces may be invited so that
progress in that direction may be accelerated. From the beginning, the
deliberate use of the will has moved personal beings onward; and in
this latest day of our existence, it is the will that moves men into
greater lives. Undoubtedly, the will of man will determine the
completion of the structure built through all ages into a perfected

The Gospel, resting upon eternal, indestructible principles, maintains
the living supremacy of the will of man. The culture, training and use
of the will, for good or for evil, determine primarily the direction
of an individual life.



The innumerable interactions of the matter, energy and intelligences
of the universe, must be held together by some great law. This
universal law to which all lesser laws contribute, must be of real
concern to the man who seeks a true philosophy of life.

**Increasing Complexity of the Universe.**  It has already been said
that a universe controlled by intelligence and under the reign of the
law of cause and effect cannot be conceived to be in confusion. Man is
absolutely certain, if his knowledge is rational, that, whether it be
yesterday, today or tomorrow, the same act, under the same conditions,
will produce the same result. Under a set of given conditions, a ray
of sunshine passed through a glass prism will always be broken into
the same spectrum, or a straight stick standing in water will always
appear crooked. Whether in the physical, mental or moral world, the
law of cause and effect reigns supreme.

Quiescence in the universe can not be conceived, for then there would
be no universe. Constant action or movement characterizes the
universe. The multiplicity of actions upon each other, of the various
forms of matter, energy and intelligence, composing the universe, must
cause an equal multiplicity of effects. Moreover, increasing
intelligent wills, acting upon matter and energy, must and do produce
an increasing series of reactions among the forces of the universe.

Moreover, each new set of effects becomes the cause of still other
effects. Thus, in our universe, as we conceive it to be constituted,
increasing complexity would seem to be the great resultant law of the
operation of universal forces. This is the great law of nature, to
which every living thing must conform, if it is to be in harmony with
all other things. In a universe controlled by intelligence, it is only
natural to find everything within the universe moving along towards
one increasing purpose. As new light has come to man, the certainty of
this law as a controlling one, has become more and more emphatic.

**Man and the Great Law.**  The law of increasing complexity is
fundamental. Since man is constantly being acted upon and acting upon
matter and energy, he must himself be brought under the subjection of
the great law. That is, under normal conditions, he will increase in
complexity. As man observes phenomena and reasons upon them and
applies them he grows in knowledge. Where he formerly had one fact to
use, he now has many. This is the essence of his complexity. A
carpenter with one tool does less and poorer work than does one with a
full kit of modern tools. Likewise, man, as he gathers experience,
becomes more powerful in using the forces of nature in the
accomplishment of his purposes. With this thought in mind the great
law becomes a law of increasing power, of progressive mastery over the
universe. For that reason, the law expressing the resultant of the
activities of universal forces is often called the law of progression.

The degree of man's growth or progression will depend upon the degree
his will is exercised, intelligently, upon the things about him. It is
even conceivable that by the misuse of will, man may lose some of his
acquired powers. In any case, the operation of the will, under normal
conditions, adds power to man; and by the use of the intelligent will
in a world of matter and energy, the increasingly complex man grows in
power and strength towards perfection, in an increasingly interesting
world. Those who do not conform to the law of progression are abnormal
and do not exert their powers, to the requisite degree, in the right

Nature is inexhaustible in the possible number of inter-relations
among matter, energy and intelligence. It follows, therefore, that man
will forever be able to add knowledge unto knowledge, power unto
power, or progress unto progress. This law of progression is the great
law of the universe, without beginning and without end, to which all
other laws contribute. By adherence to this law the willing,
intelligent beings have risen to their present splendid state of
manhood, and by further compliance with this law they will advance to
a future Godlike state of perfection. The supreme intelligence and
perfected will of the universe, God, has attained His position by an
obedient recognition of the conditions of the law of progression.

The law of progression gives hope and purpose to those who accept the
Gospel. The feeling of security that comes from the knowledge that the
elements of the universe are eternal, is made living by the hope
established by the great law that there is purpose in all the
operations of the universe. Whatever man may do, whatever his life may
bring, provided all his faculties are working actively among the
things and forces about him, he is acquiring knowledge, thereby power,
and, under the law of progression, he is being moved onward to a more
advanced position than he now occupies, in which he may do mightier
work. Men, discouraged by their failure to accomplish exactly what
they desire, often speak of their lives as purposeless, but it is idle
talk, for, in fact, no intelligent life which concerns itself
vigorously with the things about it, can be said to be purposeless.
Such a life adheres, automatically, to the law of progression, and is
therefore moving on to the great destiny of supreme power and
accompanying joys. The only purposeless life is the one that does not
use its faculties. It matters little what tasks men do in life, if
only they do them well and with all their strength. In an infinite
universe, one cannot possibly learn all or do all, at once. A
beginning must be made somewhere, and corner by corner, department by
department, space by space, all will be known and conquered. In the
end, all must be explored, and whether one begin in the east or the
west cannot matter much. The big concern is to what extent a man offer
himself, mind and body, to his work. Upon that will growth depend.

**The Law of Development.**  The law of progression is then a law of
endless development of all the powers of man in the midst of a
universe becoming increasingly complex. No more hopeful principle can
be incorporated into a philosophy of life.



The doctrine of man's pre-existence leads to an understanding of the
relationship between God and man, which must lie at the very basis of
rational theology.

**Why God is God.**  To determine this relationship between God and
man it is necessary to discuss, first, the conditions under which God
became God. As already said, God is the supreme intelligent Being in
the universe, who has the greatest knowledge and the most perfected
will, and who, therefore, possesses infinite power over the forces of
the universe. However, if the great law of progression is accepted,
God must have been engaged from the beginning, and must now be engaged
in progressive development, and, infinite as God is, he must have been
less powerful in the past than he is today. While it is folly for man
to attempt to unravel in detail the mystery of the past, yet it is
only logical to believe that a progressive God has not always
possessed his present position.

It is clear also that, as with every other being, the progress of God
began with the exercise of his will. In "the beginning" which
transcends our understanding, God undoubtedly exercised his will
vigorously, and thus gained great experience of the forces lying about
him. As knowledge grew into greater knowledge, by the persistent
efforts of will, his recognition of universal laws became greater
until he attained at last a conquest over the universe, which to our
finite understanding seems absolutely complete. We may be certain
that, through self-effort, the inherent and innate powers of God have
been developed to a God-like degree. Thus, he has become God.

God, the supreme Being of the universe, absolutely transcends the
human understanding. His intelligence is as the sum of all other
intelligences. There can be no rational discussion of the details of
God's life or nature. To him we give the most complete devotion, for
to us he is in all respects infinite and perfect. His Godhood,
however, was attained by the use of his power in simple obedience to
the laws he discovered as he grew in experience.

**Many Gods.**  During the onward march of the Supreme Being, other
intelligent beings were likewise engaged, though less vigorously, in
acquiring power over the forces of the universe. Among many
intelligent beings thus moving onward, there is little probability of
any two attaining exactly the same place, at the same time. There is
rather the probability of infinite gradation from the lowest to the
highest development. Next to God, there may be, therefore, other
intelligent beings so nearly approaching his power as to be coequal
with him in all things so far as our finite understanding can
perceive. These beings may be immeasurably far from God in power,
nevertheless immeasurably far above us mortal men of the earth. Such
intelligent beings are as Gods to us. Under this definition there may
be a great number of intelligent beings who possess to a greater or
less degree the quality of Godhood. The acceptance of the preceding
doctrines makes it almost a logical necessity that there are many gods
or beings so highly developed that they are as gods, in fact are Gods.
This is a fundamental doctrine of the Gospel.

**Why Man is Man.**  It is fairly evident from what has been said why
man is man. Man is subject-to eternal laws, and in the far-off
beginning he must have exercised his will more slowly or not at all;
perhaps, even, as laws came to him he ignored or opposed them. As more
knowledge and power are attained, growth becomes increasingly more
rapid. God, exalted by his glorious intelligence, is moving on into
new fields of power with a rapidity of which we can have no
conception, whereas man, in a lower stage of development, moves
relatively at a snail-like, though increasing pace. Man is,
nevertheless, moving on, in eternal progression. "As man is, God once
was; as God is, man may become." In short, man is a god in embryo. He
comes of a race of gods, and as his eternal growth is continued, he
will approach more nearly the point which to us is Godhood, and which
is everlasting in its power over the elements of the universe.

**God's Help to Man.**  Self-effort, the conscious operation of will,
has moved man onward to his present high degree. However, while all
progress is due to self-effort, other beings of power may contribute
largely to the ease of man's growth. God, standing alone, cannot
conceivably possess the power that may come to him if the hosts of
other advancing and increasing workers labor in harmony with him.
Therefore, because of his love for his children and his desire to
continue in the way of even greater growth, he proceeded to aid others
in their onward progress.

Knowledge may be transmitted from intelligence to intelligence. God
offered to the waiting intelligent beings the knowledge that he had
already gained, so that they need not traverse that road, but might
attack some other phase of universal existence. He devised plans of
progression whereby the experiences of one person might be used by an
inferior one. Each person should give of his experience to others, so
that none should do unnecessary work. In that manner, through the
united effort of all, the whole race of progressive beings would
receive an added onward impetus.

**Man's Help to God.**  The progress of intelligent beings is a mutual
affair. A lone God in the universe cannot find great joy in his power.
God, being in harmony with eternal laws, can progress best as the
whole universe becomes more complex, or advances. The development of
intelligence increases the complexity of the universe, for each active
individual may bring new relationships into view, and increases
many-fold the body of acquired truth. In that sense, the man who
progresses through his increase in knowledge and power, becomes a
co-laborer with God, and may be said, indeed, to be a help to God. It
is a comforting thought, not only that we need God but also that God
needs us. True, the need God has of us is relatively small, and the
help he gives us is infinitely large, yet the relation exists for the
comfort and assurance of man.

**God's Attributes.**  To analyze the supreme intelligence of the
universe, the God whom we worship, is a futile attempt, to which men
of shallow minds, only, give their time. That which is infinite
transcends the human understanding. The Gospel accepts this condition,
calmly, knowing that, in the scheme of things, greater truths will
come with increased power, until, in the progress of time, we shall
understand that which now seems incomprehensible. For that reason,
eternal, or everlasting, or infinite things are things understood by
God, the supreme and governing Power, but not understood by us. Thus,
"eternal punishment is God's punishment; endless punishment is God's
punishment." Likewise, everlasting joy or endless blessings are God's
joy and God's blessings. Man acknowledges in this manner that all
things are relative to God.

Man does not understand God fully, yet an understanding between man
and God does exist in that, God in the course of his progression has
gone over the road that we are traveling and therefore understands us
fully. He understands our difficulties, our hopes, our sorrows, our
faults and our follies. God is supreme, and his justice is perfect;
his love is unmeasurable and his mercy without end; for his justice
and love and mercy are tempered by the memory of his own upward
career. God's relation to man is, in a literal sense, that of father
to son, for we are of the same race with God. We may rest secure that
God's attributes are, with others, those that man possesses, made
great and beautiful. He is our Father who knows and understands us.



Is the increasing power of man a sufficient reward for the effort and
struggle that must accompany progression? This is a question that
comes to every student of the Gospel. Power in itself may not be the
ideal end of existence. It becomes necessary, therefore, to determine
if there is associated with power, gifts that make worth while the
eternal searching out of knowledge in order that greater power may be

**Consciousness and the Universe.**  Intelligent spirits have
possessed, from the beginning, a consciousness of the world in which
they found themselves. They must have been susceptible, from the
first, of feeling pleasure and pain, and must have had equivalents of
our senses, which, possibly, were keener than those we now possess.
When they were placed in opposition to any law of nature, pain or its
equivalent undoubtedly resulted exactly as today. When they moved
along with law, joy must have been sensed, as today. Intelligent
beings can not rejoice in pain, therefore, from the beginning, to
avoid pain and to secure joy, they have searched out and obeyed law.
The more advanced the intelligence, the greater the number of laws
that are understood to which adaptation may be made, and therefore the
greater the possibility of joy. The search for increasing power,
carried on by all normal beings is then really a search for a greater
and more abiding joy. There is no Godliness in pain, except as it is
an incident in securing more knowledge. True freedom, which is full
joy, is the complete recognition of law and adaptation to it. Bondage
comes from ignorance of law or opposition to it.

**The Primeval Condition.**  Man's approach to a fullness of joy is
pictured in his revealed history. Through the veil of forgetting we
see but dimly our pre-existent condition. The Gospel student does not
really concern himself, greatly, with the details of the life before
this one; so much needs to be done in this life that he is content
with the great outlines of pre-existent life, which may assist him to
understand the eternal journey of intelligence. Of the primeval
condition of man little is known. He found about him many forces,
operating in diverse ways, and to control them, and thus to sense joy,
he began to study them. The story of that early day of striving for
the greatest goal has not been told to mortal man.

**The First Estate.**  Matter exists, perhaps, in many forms, but may
be classified, as the ponderable matter of earth, known directly
through the senses, and, as the imponderable matter which cannot be
sensed directly by man. This second class, often called spirit matter,
is perhaps most important, for it is not unlikely that from it are
derived all other forms of matter.

It was of first importance that the intelligent beings aiming at the
conquest of the universe, should learn to understand, thoroughly, the
properties of universal matter, in all of its forms. As nearly as can
be learned, the efforts of man were first devoted to education in the
properties of spirit matter. We were begotten spirits by God, who thus
became our Father, and we are his sons and daughters. Our career in
the spirit world is often spoken of as man's first estate.

How long man remained in the first estate, is not known. Undoubtedly,
however, it was long enough to enable him to become thoroughly
familiar with the manifestations of all forms of spirit substance.
Only when education in this division of the universe was completed
were we permitted to enter the next estate.

**The Second Estate.**  The kind of matter characteristic of this
earth and the so-called material universe, also forms an important
part of the universe. No spirit can acquire real mastery over the
universe until this form of matter is so thoroughly understood as to
be used and governed. The next step in the education of these
intelligent beings was therefore to teach them familiarity with gross
matter. Consequently, the spirits passed out of the spirit world, and
were born into the world of earthly things, the world we now occupy,
as men and women clothed upon by a body consisting of gross matter, so
that intimate familiarity with the nature and possibilities of gross
matter might be acquired. This is called the second estate of man.

The business of man is to become so thoroughly acquainted with earth
conditions, that through the possession of an earthly body, he may go
on, forever.

**The Third Estate.**  We pass out of this, but reappear in another
world, for a brief time separated from our earth-won body, but finally
possessing bodies of both kinds of universal matter. In this estate,
both the spirit matter and the grosser matter composing our final
bodies are represented by their essences, and therefore permit perfect
freedom and ease of movement and thought. These celestial bodies, as
they are called, connect the intelligence with all parts of the
universe, and become mighty helps in the endless search for truth.
This is the third estate of man.

Such then are the three estates, and as far as known, all the estates
of man.

Whether the outline, as here presented, in its details, is precise or
not, matters little. The essential thing is that man has to undergo
experience upon experience, to attain the desired mastery of the
external universe; and that we, of this earth, are passing through an
estate designed wholly for our further education.

**Everlasting Joy.**  It follows that, in each estate, with each
onward step, a profounder knowledge of the laws of nature is attained.
When conscious, active wills are thus at work, the new knowledge makes
possible a more perfect adaptation of man to law. The more completely
law is obeyed the greater the consciousness of perfect joy. Throughout
eternal life, increasing knowledge is attained, and with increasing
knowledge comes the greater adaptation to law, and in the end an
increasingly greater joy. Therefore it is that eternal life is the
greatest gift of God, and that the plan of salvation is priceless.



The question of the rights of each intelligent being as pertaining to
himself and to all others must always have been and must always remain
a chief one.

**In the Beginning.**  In each intelligent being has resided, from the
beginning, an individual and distinct will, which, of itself, has been
acting in some degree upon the external universe. Each being, with its
developing will, has learned more and more of natural forces and of
the methods of controlling them. Each has striven to adapt his
knowledge of surrounding forces to his own particular needs or
desires. Clearly, since many wills have been so engaged, it might
easily occur that different wills might use acquired knowledge in
different ways to suit their different desires. It is easily
conceivable, therefore, that one will might attempt so to control the
surrounding forces as to give itself joy, yet to affect another will
adversely. In general, whatever is desirable for one is desirable for
all, since all spirits are cast in the same mold and have the same
derivation. Nevertheless, when individuality is assumed, it is equally
clear that there is always a possibility of one will crossing another
to the detriment of one or possibly both.

The universal plan may follow its developing path, unhindered, only
when all the intelligent beings within it labor harmoniously together
for the upbuilding of each and all. The only solution for the problem
of the possible conflicts resulting from the activities of a great
number of beings is an agreement among them relating to the general
good. Laws established for the community of beings must be obeyed as
rigidly as those found in external nature. Each may act freely and to
his full power in any desired way so long as the general laws
respecting the freedom of all others are not violated. The right of an
individual can never transcend the rights of the community.

**The Council in Heaven.**  A dim though wonderfully attractive
picture has come down of an event in the spiritual estate of man, the
first estate, that deals directly with the great question of the one
and the many, the individual and the community.

There had been born, in time, a family of spirits, the innumerable
destined hosts of earth, who, at length, seemed fitted for further
education in another field. God, the Father of these spirits, saw that
they were ready for further light, and came down among them, to
discuss their future. As the Supreme Being, God had in mind a plan,
the Great Plan, whereby each spirit could enter upon his second estate
and become acquainted with the properties of gross matter. However, as
each intelligent spirit possessed a free and untrammeled will which
must be respected, God called together the spirits in question, and
presented the plan for their approval.

In the Great Council then held, of which a dim and distant picture
only has been left, the great question was with respect to man's free
agency. The essence of the proposed plan was that the spirits,
forgetting temporarily their sojourn in their spirit home should be
given a body of grosser matter, and should be subject to this form of
universal matter, and even be brought into a temporal death. To bring
an eternal, free spirit under the bondage of matter and forgetfulness,
it was necessary for some one to begin the work by, figuratively
speaking, breaking a law, so that the race might be brought under the
subjection of death. This may be likened, roughly, to the deliberate
breaking, for purposes of repair or extension, of a wire carrying
power to light a city. Someone had to divert the current of eternal
existence, and thus temporarily bring man's earthly body under the
subjection of gross matter. Adam, the first man, was chosen to do
this work. By the deliberate breaking of a spiritual law, he placed
himself under the ban of earthly death and transmitted to all his
posterity the subjection to death. This was the so-called "sin of
Adam." To obtain or give greater joys, smaller pains may often have to
be endured.

**The Need of a Savior.**  The purpose of the earth career was,
however, two-fold, to learn to understand gross matter, and to acquire
a body made of the essence of such matter. The bodies laid in the
grave must, therefore, be raised again. As the spirits, by their own
act had not brought upon themselves death, so by their own act they
should not conquer it. It was necessary, therefore, that someone, in
time, should reunite the broken wires and reestablish the flow of
eternal life, and thus to conquer death. For this work Jesus Christ
was chosen. Jesus actually came on earth, lived and taught the ancient
Gospel again to the children of men, and in time suffered death so
that the act of Adam might be atoned for. By this work, the purpose of
the earth-life was completed, and thus Jesus Christ became the central
figure in the plan of salvation.

Why death, so-called, should be necessary for us to achieve an
intimate knowledge of matter, and why Jesus should die to permit the
current of eternal life to flow freely between the earthly body and
the eternal spirit, are not fully known. Through Adam man was brought
on earth, subject to death; through Jesus, the Christ, he was lifted
out of death to continue an eternal life in association with the
earth-acquired body.

**Man's Part in the Great Plan.**  In this great gathering in the
heavens many questions arose. By Adam man was to come on earth; by
Jesus he was to be resurrected. In both of these great acts, man had
no part, beyond permitting himself to be acted upon. In the plan, what
was to be man's part?

Lucifer, a great leader in the Council, proposed that, since others
were acting for man in bringing him on and taking him away from the
earth, it was not necessary for man, during his earth-career, to
exercise his own will. Lucifer proposed that, in spite of himself, his
will, his desires and his individuality, man should be placed on
earth, and be taken from it, and without effort, be filled with a
knowledge of earth conditions. All men should be forced into
salvation. Jesus Christ, who became the Savior of men, objected to
this change in God's plan, as it interfered with the essential right
of intelligent beings to act for themselves. Jesus insisted that, as
without will there can be no growth, man, placed on earth through the
agency of Adam and resurrected and brought into a full life through
the agency of Jesus, should retain, during his earth-career, his full
free agency. Though he might walk an forgetfulness of the past, and
have no visions of the future, he would yet be allowed a free and
untrammeled agency as he walked in the clearness of the earth's day.
While upon earth he might learn much or little, might accept a law or
reject it, just as he had been, privileged to do in all the days that
had gone before.

These two views regarding man's part in the plan led, we
are told, to a great difference of opinion among the spirits.
Naturally, the first proposition appealed to many, for it is the easy
way of obtaining victory, if victory it may be called. The other way
seems always somewhat hard and bitter, though in the end the joy
obtained surpasses that attained without effort. Lucifer, who led the
fight for the first method, could not agree to the original plan which
was finally accepted; and so, in that great, dim day, many of the
spirits followed Lucifer, and have not yet entered upon their
earth-careers, but are independently and in opposition to God's
will, following paths that are not leading them onward. The majority
accepted God's law, as championed by the Son, though it is said that
many weak and fearful spirits remained neutral, daring neither to
accept nor to reject either proposition. The hosts who accepted the
plan of God, girded themselves with the necessary strength to begin
the pilgrimage, ending in an earthly death, but reaching, through the
resurrection, into an eternal life of exceedingly great progress.

**Free Agency.**  On the earth, as elsewhere, then, the free agency of
man, as expressed in the individual will, is supreme. Though our
environment is that of gross matter, and though we dwell in
forgetfulness of the past, our free agency is as vigorous as ever.
However, the free agency of man cannot transcend the plan which all of
us of earth accepted, together, in the day of the Great Council.
Man's will is always circumscribed by great laws that are
self-existent or that are formulated or may be formulated for the
benefit of the race. The many must devise laws whereby individual and
community progress are simultaneous. It is the full right of the
individual to exercise his will in any way that does not interfere
with the laws made for the many; and, under proper conditions, the
laws for the many are of equal value to the individual. Under the law
we are free.



The plan proposed by God for the government of the spirits who entered
upon their earth careers is revealed only so far as it is necessary
for the guidance of man. We may remain certain that the Great Plan is
based upon eternal laws that always have been and always will be
operative. Matters pertaining to man's earth-life are matters of
eternal interest; and the laws formulated for the guidance of man on
earth must be laws which in some form are fundamental for the guidance
of man in any place and at all times. Nothing is temporary or
transient about the Plan itself, for it rests on eternal foundations.

**Forgetfulness.**  A condition of the Plan seems to be that the
spirits, transferred to this earth, shall remain on earth in
forgetfulness of an earlier existence. As in a dream, in moments of
deep spiritual fervor, do we occasionally seem to recall our
preexistent life. A veil has been drawn over the past; and, without
the aid of memory, man fights his battle with the world of gross
matter. This forgetfulness seems reasonable. The spirit of man
accepted the earth-plan in detail, and if he remembered every step
that led to this acceptance, and every detail of the Plan itself,
there would not be much reason for the exercise of will in adhering to
it. Left as he is, with little memory to steady him, he must exercise
all his power, to compel surrounding forces to serve him in searching
out the past and in prophesying for the future. By such vigorous
exercise of his will he develops a more intimate acquaintanceship with
the things of the earth.

**Subject to Earth Conditions.**  Intimacy with the conditions of
earth, alone, will give a man final knowledge of them. Such
information can not be obtained second hand nor by casual or
superficial acquaintanceship. For that reason, probably, man has been
brought so completely under the subjection of gross matter, that he
has no power over it beyond that which he gains as he obtains
knowledge of it. Hence, on this earth, stripped of all power, and
left, as it were, helpless in the midst of contending universal
forces, man must search out the nature of the things about him and
determine their laws before he acquires power over nature and thereby
brings himself into a condition of joy. In the face of the impending
change called death, man is possibly more determined to acquire the
power that will lift him from the grave and give him an eternal
association with all the elements of the universe, including his
earthly body.

**Laws to be Obeyed.**  To enter into the fullness of progressive joy,
a man must, as has been said, naturally subject himself to the laws of
the universe. In God's Plan for life on earth, is a system of laws,
representing eternal realities, to which man must conform. Such a law,
for instance, is faith, which, in its simple universal meaning, is
man's certainty that in the universe is found everything he may desire
for his upbuilding and advancement, and that the eternal relations of
universal forces will prevail for his good. Another such fundamental
law to which man must conform, is that of repentance, which in its
larger sense, is merely faith made active. Passive faith can do little
for man's advancement. Yet another such law is that of baptism, which
is essentially obedience to existing laws. And still another such law
is that of the gift of the Holy Ghost, which perhaps means that a man
may place himself in touch with the whole of the universe and to draw
knowledge from it, including the beings of superior intelligence that
it contains. These and other laws are given as guides for man. They
sharpen his free agency; develop his habits of obedience to law, and
establish for him communication with God. Moreover, a plan formulated
by an intelligent Being must be composed of laws, for even the
infinite relationships of matter and energy fall naturally into groups
of invariable laws. The laws of the Plan, like those above stated, are
logical necessities, if the earth-plan is at all accepted.

**An Organization.**  It follows of necessity that if there is a plan,
there must also be an organization. The plan is not for one alone, but
for many. All must be served and blessed by the Great Plan. Those,
therefore, who subject themselves to the earth-plan with its laws,
must needs group themselves so that the laws may be operative for all.
A person may be able to serve in the advancement of the whole race of
man, only when there is a unity of purpose and effect, which can be
secured only by organization. The question of organization involves
those of priesthood, authority, and others, later to be discussed.

**All to Accept the Plan.**  The earth-plan, fully completed, must be
accepted or definitely rejected by all the spirits who have appeared
on earth in conformity with their vote in the Great Council. That is
fundamental. Those who enter upon their earth-careers may accept or
reject the Gospel; but, since the full success of the Plan is based
upon the advancement of all the spirits, it becomes necessary to use
every possible effort to secure for the Plan a recognition of all
those who accepted it in the spirit world, and who, therefore, entered
upon the pilgrimage of earth. God's purpose in the Plan will be
incomplete so long as one soul remains unconverted.

Life on earth deals directly with gross matter and the forces
pertaining to it. The laws formulated for the guidance of man, are
especially devised for earth conditions, and belong to the earth. For
instance, baptism, the symbol of obedience to God and acceptance of
his love, is not necessarily an ordinance that belongs elsewhere than
on earth. More probably, water baptism is essentially an ordinance of
and for this earth. It is unlikely that water baptism is practiced in
a future estate. If it be true, then all who enter upon the
earth-career, and who desire at the years of discretion the perfected
joy derived from the Gospel, must have baptism on this earth. Should
some of the spirits refuse, while on earth, to accept the Gospel, or
fail to hear it, baptism, belonging to the earth, must be done for
them, vicariously, on earth, so that they, having had the work done
for them here, may accept or reject the ordinance in their life beyond
the grave. This is the motive of the work for the dead. The earth
ordinances must be done by or for every soul born upon the earth so
that the earth experience may not be in vain, should the Gospel be
accepted in the remotest day of eternity. This view becomes more
important when it is recalled that ordinances of the earth, belonging
primarily to the earth, stand for vast, eternal realities,
indispensable to man's progress.

When the simple ordinances of the Gospel, as pertaining to the earth,
have been done for the dead, then may the dead be judged as of the
earth, and may receive the blessings of the obedient who conform to

**The Meaning of the Earth Plan.**  The earth-plan, plan of salvation,
or Great Plan, for the guidance of the spirits placed on earth, may
perhaps be more clearly understood if it is compared to the great
chart in the captain's cabin by which the vessel is steered. Life on
earth is as the large and angry ocean. The chances of shipwreck and of
being driven out of the set course, are many. If, however, the ocean
is well charted, the mariners can better avoid the sunken reefs, and
the dangerous places, and after the storm can more readily return to
the course so that the destined port may be entered with a good bill
of health. The Gospel is such a chart, on which the journey is
outlined, showing the dangers of the journey, the havens of rest and
the final destination. If a man accept the chart, and use it in his
life's career, he will find the voyage pleasant and his arrival
secure, and his life will be as that of one cast in pleasant places.
earth so that the earth experience may not be in vain, should the
Gospel be accepted in the remotest day of eternity. This view becomes
more important when it is recalled that ordinances of the earth,
belonging primarily to the earth, stand for vast, eternal realities,
indispensable to man's progress.

When the simple ordinances of the Gospel, as pertaining to the earth,
have been done for the dead, then may the dead be judged as of the
earth, and may receive the blessings of the obedient who conform to

**The Meaning of the Earth Plan.**  The earth-plan, plan of salvation,
or Great Plan, for the guidance of the spirits placed on earth, may
perhaps be more clearly understood if it is compared to the great
chart in the captain's cabin by which the vessel is steered. Life on
earth is as the large and angry ocean. The chances of shipwreck and of
being driven out of the set course, are many. If, however, the ocean
is well charted, the mariners can better avoid the sunken reefs, and
the dangerous places, and after the storm can more readily return to
the course so that the destined port may be entered with a good bill
of health. The Gospel is such a chart, on which the journey is
outlined, showing the dangers of the journey, the havens of rest and
the final destination. If a man accept the chart, and use it in his
life's career, he will find the voyage pleasant and his arrival
secure, and his life will be as that of one cast in pleasant places.




The decision arrived at in the Great Council was promptly carried out
by those to whom the authority to do so was confided.

**Making of the Earth.**  The first step, in carrying out the Great
Plan, was to secure a place on which the desired experience might be
gained. To accomplish this, the earth was made from materials, found
in the universe, which, by the intelligent power of God, were
collected and organized into the earth. The earth was not made from
nothing, nor by the fiat of God, except as his will and words
determined that the work should be undertaken. In the clumsy way of
man, by adding stone to stone or material to material, the earth was
not made; rather, great forces, existing in the universe, and set into
ceaseless operation by the directing intelligence of God, assembled
and brought into place the materials constituting the earth, until, in
the course of long periods of time, this sphere was fitted for the
abode of man. In the making of the earth, as in all other matters
pertaining to the destiny of man, the work was done in complete and
orderly harmony with the existing laws of the universe. The Mosaic six
days represent successive stages in the earth's construction, each
measured by ages of time. The forces of nature act steadily but slowly
in the accomplishment of great works.

**The Builders.**  The creation of the earth, the details of which are
not known, must have been marvelously and intensely appealing in its
interest to the intelligent beings who, because of their exalted
knowledge, had the necessary power over the elements and forces of the
universe to accomplish the forming of an earth. Three great
intelligent Beings were in supreme authority in the building of the
earth, namely, God, the Father, his Son, Jehovah, who became the
Christ, and Michael, who became the first man, Adam. These three
beings were naturally the ones concerned in the making of an earth for
the sojourn of the spirits, for it was through the agency of God, the
Father, that the spiritual bodies were started on the road of eternal
progression; it was about the mission of Jehovah, the Son of God, that
the differences of opinion raged in the Great Council, and, finally,
it was Adam, or Michael, who was appointed to be the one to come upon
the earth, and there to subject himself to death, so that the
procreation of spirits in earthly tabernacles, might be started. These
three beings, who are so vitally concerned in the destinies of the
human race, had charge of the making of an earth which should be a
suitable and a pleasant habitation for the earth-clad spirits.

**The Coming of Man.**  The earth at last was finished. Adam, the
first man, and his wife, Eve, then appeared on earth. The statement
that man was made from the dust of the earth is merely figurative, and
means that he was made of universal materials, as is the earth.
Likewise, the statement that God breathed into man the breath of life
is only a figure of the existence of the spirit within the body. The
exact process whereby man was placed upon earth is not known with
certainty, nor is it vital to a clear understanding of the plan of
salvation. We may rest assured that the first man and the first woman
were eternal beings, who subjected themselves to life on this earth,
so that the process of clothing eternal spirits with mortal bodies
might begin on the earth. Adam and Eve, in view of the great
sacrifices they made to make the Great Plan a reality, are the great
hero and heroine of human history.

**The "Fall."**  Biblical lore and traditions among all of the races
of man, tell of the "fall" of the first parents from the grace of God.
An event called the fall did occur, but it was a necessary part of the
Great Plan. Adam and Eve were eternal beings, and were not under the
ban of mortal death. Subject to death they must become, however, if
their posterity should inherit corruptible bodies. The fall then was
simply a deliberate use of a law, by which act Adam and Eve became
mortal, and could beget mortal children. The exact nature of this
event or the exact manner in which the law was used is not understood.
The Bible account is, undoubtedly, only figurative. There was no
essential sin in the fall, except that the violation of any law,
whether deliberately or otherwise, is always followed by an effect.
The "fall" of Adam and Eve was necessary, for without it, there would
have been no begetting on the earth of spirits with mortal bodies, and
the Plan proposed and confirmed in the Great Council would have
remained inoperative. "Adam fell that man might be."

**The First Blessing.**  The curse, so-called, pronounced by God upon
Adam as he went out of the Garden of Eden, that in the sweat of his
brow he should earn his bread, is possibly the greatest of all human
blessings, and it is a simple extension of a great eternal law. From
the beginning of the dim past, when man slumbered with only a feeble
thought of his possible vast future, the great law of his progress has
been that only personal effort can achieve desirable things. The price
to be paid for advancement is vigorous self-effort. The active will
precedes every step of progress. To exercise the will means labor,
which may well be represented by "the sweat of the brow." The
so-called curse, however, carries with it the magnificent promise that
man, by the exercise of his powers, may subdue the earth, and make it
serve all his needs. In a universe controlled and directed by the
intelligent God, there can be no question but that, ultimately, the
intelligent will shall control for its own use not only the things of
this earth but all the forces of the universe. The subjection to which
the earth will be brought depends entirely upon the degree to which
man exercises his will, that is, the degree to which he accepts the
benefits of the first blessing.

**The Garden of Eden.**  The first days on earth of the first man and
the first woman are of intense interest to every student of the
subject, and it is to be regretted that so little knowledge of those
early times has survived the vicissitudes of time. In the Garden God
walked with man and taught him the living truth. According to the
Prophet Joseph Smith, the Garden of Eden, the first home of Adam and
Eve, was located near the city known as Independence, Missouri. To the
north and east of Independence, some scores of miles, is probably the
place where Adam dwelt after he had been driven out of the Garden. The
State of Missouri, and the country around it, is, therefore, of
tremendous interest to those who accept the Gospel as restored in the
latter days.

**A Wise Beginning.**  In all matters pertaining to the beginning of
man's earth career, it may be observed that proper preparations have
been made. There has been no blind destiny working out unknown
purposes; instead, intelligent forces have provided for man from
beginning to end, so that the whole scheme of man's life, here and
hereafter, is one of order and system.



The Great Plan provided that man should come upon earth with the
memory of his past taken from him, so that, beginning his earth-life
as a child, he might repeat on earth the efforts that earned for him
progress in the pre-existent life. Even Adam and Eve forgot the
details of their previous lives, for it was necessary that all be
under the same law, and that no improper strength be derived, by
anyone, from the pre-existent experiences.

**Adam Hears the Gospel.**  The only rational thing that could be done
to spirits so placed on earth was to teach them fully the story of
man's origin and destiny and the meaning and duties of the earth-life.
The plea of ignorance would not then be valid. Consequently, soon
after the first parents had been driven out of the Garden of Eden, an
angel appeared and taught Adam the story of man from the first to the
last day. The plan of salvation, including the atoning sacrifice of
Jesus, the organized Church, the purpose and powers of the priesthood
and the rights and duties of man upon earth, whether within or without
the Church, was fully unfolded. Adam, the first earth-pupil of God,
was taught, as his first lesson, the great philosophy overshadowing
the existence of man. When Adam had been taught all this, and had
accepted the truth, he was baptized, even as men are baptized today,
and he entered into all the other ordinances of the Gospel and was
given full authority through the Priesthood conferred upon him to
officiate in God's name in all matters pertaining, under the Great
Plan, to the welfare of man.

**The First Dispensation.**  As children and children's children came
to Adam he taught them carefully all that had been taught him, so that
the knowledge of the law might remain upon the earth. The ordinances
of the Gospel were practiced, the righteous were organized into the
Church, even as today, and the authority of the Priesthood was
transmitted by Adam to his children, and by them to their children, so
that the precious gift might not be lost. In those days the Church was
probably fully organized, according to the patriarchal order; at least
in the days of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, it seems quite clear that
the Church was established with all of its essential parts. The
activity in behalf of the Gospel which began with Adam and continued
until Noah, at the time of the great flood, is ordinarily known as the
first dispensation of the Gospel.

**The First Apostasy.**  From the beginning of his earth-career, Adam
retained his free agency. God, directly or through agents, might teach
and command, but Adam, a free agent, had the right to accept or reject
as seemed him best. Adam's children, likewise, though taught by the
patriarch of the race of the way of righteousness, could accept or
reject for themselves whatever was taught them. Free agency was with
man in that early day as it is now.

The descendants of Adam soon began to exercise their free agency, some
for, and many against, the Great Plan. Cain exercised his free agency
in the murder of Abel. As time went on, large numbers departed from
the truth concerning man's place in the universe as taught by Adam,
and refused to accept the Gospel. Concurrently with the establishment
of the Church in the first dispensation there was, therefore, a first
great apostasy. It is ever so, it has ever been so, and will ever be
so, that in a world of intelligent beings, possessing free agency,
some will accept and some will reject the truth. No doubt, in the
process of time, truth will triumph, and all may be brought to
understand the will of God, but the conquest is attended by many
temporary departures from the truth. Nevertheless, Adam and those who
remained true to his teachings, continued, faithfully, to teach to
others the eternal truth, so that they might perchance be made to
return to the great truth which they had so lightly cast aside.

**The Later Dispensations.**  The first apostasy culminated in the
flood, which was sent because of the violence of the first apostasy
and the corruption of men. As far as known, only Noah and his
immediate family were preserved. In them, however, was represented all
the blood of the world. To the new race Noah explained fully that the
flood was due, entirely, to the wicked hardness of the hearts of the
people, and their refusal to accept eternal truth or to respect the
authority of God, and that it was necessary, should calamity be
avoided, to live in accordance with the Great Plan. To them all, the
Gospel was taught in its purity. Nevertheless, it was only a short
time before apostasy again occurred among many. The free agency of man
can not be curbed. Yet, probably, there has not been, since the flood,
such utter corruption as prevailed during the first apostasy.

From the days of the flood, God or his messengers have appeared on
earth, at various times, to restore the truth or to keep it alive in
the hearts of the faithful, so that man might possess a full knowledge
of the Gospel and that the earth might never need to be without the
story of the Great Plan and the authority of the Priesthood. For
instance, Melchizedek, the high priest, possessed a full measure of
the authority of the holy priesthood. To Abraham, God and his angels
appeared, and endowed him with the authority of God. So on, down the
course of time, there are numerous instances of the appearance of God
to men to help the children of men to a perfect understanding of the
great truths that must be understood and obeyed, if men are to
continue in their progressive development. It is not known how many
men and women at various times have received such visitations, but it
is probable that hosts of men and women at various times, even when
the Church has not been organized, have received and used the truth of
life as embodied in the Great Plan.

**The Dispensation of the Meridian of Time.**  In the course of human
history and in accordance with the Great Plan, Jesus the Son of God,
appeared on earth, to atone for the act of Adam and Eve, who "fell"
that men might be. This is called the dispensation of the meridian of
time. Jesus did live on earth, and gave his life so that mortal bodies
may rise from the grave and pass into an eternal existence, beyond the
reach of corruption. During the sojourn of Jesus on earth, he devoted
himself to a restatement of the Gospel, including the story of the
past and the present and the hope of the future. At no time since the
days of Adam, had the Gospel been so fully taught and made so simply
clear to the understanding as in the days of Jesus. Under the
teachings of the Savior, the Church was re-established in order and

**The Great Apostasy.**  After the ascension of Jesus, the Church
remained, for some time, fully organized. Thousands flocked to it, and
the people lived in accordance with the doctrines taught by the
Savior. Soon, however, history repeated itself. In the right of their
free agency, men refused, in many cases, to obey the laws and
ordinances of the Gospel, and more often changed them to suit their
own convenience. Such departures from the truth became more numerous
and more flagrant as time wore on, until error permeated the whole
Church. At last, about six hundred years after Christ, the Gospel laws
and ordinances had become so completely warped that it was as if the
Church had departed from the earth. The authority of the Priesthood no
longer remained with the Church. This was the great apostasy. From
that time, complete darkness reigned for many centuries. In those
days, however, many honest men could see that the truth was not upon
the earth, and hoped that the simple principles of the Gospel might
again be correctly practiced by man. Among such men were Luther and
many others, who used their best endeavors to show the people that
error ruled. At last many were awakened, and the days of the
Reformation began. The Reformation was a period of preparation for the
last restoration of the Gospel on earth. Many years were required
before the darkness of centuries could be lifted from the souls of

**The Restoration.**  Finally, as men broke through the darkness, as
intelligence became diffused among all men, and as liberality of
thought grew and became respected, the world was ready for the eternal
truth. Again the Gospel was restored with the authority of the
Priesthood and the organization of the Church. On an early spring day,
in the year 1820, in the woods of western New York, God the Father,
and God the Son, appeared to a fourteen-year-old boy named Joseph
Smith, who had faithfully asked for divine help. Through the
instrumentality of this boy, guided constantly by God, the Church was
re-established, the authority of the Priesthood again conferred upon
many men, and a fulness of knowledge pertaining to man's place in the
universe offered to all who would listen. In time the Church was
organized precisely as was the primitive Church, and more fully than
at any other time in the history of the world. This was the great

**The Vital Facts.**  The Gospel was fully taught to the first man,
who in turn taught it to others. The Church was organized from the
beginning. As apostasy dimmed men's knowledge of the Gospel and
undermined the Church, the full truth was repeatedly restored. At
least four times has a complete statement of the Great Plan been made
to the people of the earth--at the time of Adam, of Noah, of Jesus
Christ and of Joseph Smith. Consequently, the Gospel has been on the
earth and within the reach of men practically during the whole course
of the earth's history. The fundamental truths of the Great Plan were
taught to Father Adam and since that time have been scattered
broadcast over the earth. This wide dissemination of the truth, in all
ages, explains the fact that practically every life philosophy
proposed by man contains some of the truths of the Gospel. In every
system of theology and in every sect there is a certain measure of
truth, for all have drawn from the one fountain. All, no doubt, seek
for truth, and believe that they have found it; but, in fact, they
have only fragments, picked up here and there and worked into a
system. The full truth must encompass the complete philosophy of man
and the universe, including the authority to act for God in the
working out of the Plan. Those who thus accept the whole Plan,
constitute the Church of Christ. In the churches of the world there is
much of truth and consequently none is wholly wrong, though at times
the truth has been so warped that it appears worse than untruth. In
the matter of full truth, and of authority, however, do the Church and
its imitators differ absolutely. There can be no duplicate set of
truth, and no double seat of authority.

It is clear that free agency, for which the heavenly battle was waged,
is in full operation upon the earth. At first sight it may seem that
Lucifer's plan would have been best, for by it all men, in spite of
themselves, would have been given the earth-experience and kept in the
righteous path that leads to salvation. Yet, the origin of man, and
the doctrine that he can advance only by self-effort, make it
unthinkable that he should allow himself to be, as it were,
blindfolded and then compellingly directed by some greater power. Men
are directed, no doubt, by beings of higher intelligence, but in that
directing our wills must be allowed to play their part. There can be
no real satisfaction, if it were possible, in advancement which has
been forced upon man Lucifer's plan was impossible.

It must also be remembered, that men are not necessarily evil because
they do not accept the Gospel. Some find it impossible to understand
the truth because their hearts are so set upon other things, and
others have been led by their free agency in one direction, whereas
the Gospel would lead them in another. Nevertheless, though men are
not evil because they refuse to accept the Gospel, they retard
themselves of necessity, when they fail to obey the law; and thereby
they invite upon themselves the punishment that comes without fail
to all who are not in full harmony with the great, controlling
universal laws.




The conception of a universe directed by a God of intelligence can not
include a God of mystery. In mystery there is only confusion. It does
not follow that because he is not mysterious he is fully comprehended.
In our general conception of God, his origin, his destiny, and his
relation to us, we understand him clearly; but, in the details of his
organization, powers and knowledge he transcends our understanding.
Intelligent man dwelling in a universe containing many superior
intelligent beings will often find need of the help that higher
intelligence only can give. Earth-bound as we are, we need a close
acquaintance with the God who shapes the destinies of men. The better
God is known, the better may the eternal truths we learn be applied in
our daily lives.

**The Order of Gods.**  God has had no beginning and will have no end.
From the first, by the exercise of his will, he has constantly
acquired new knowledge and thereby new power. Because of the wisdom
which he has gained, and the love thereby begotten for the unnumbered
hosts of striving intelligent beings, he formulated the plan which
will lead them readily and correctly in the way of continued
progression. In so far as man accepts the plan of salvation he is
being educated by God, to become even as God is. God and man are of
the same race, differing only in their degrees of advancement. True,
to our finite minds, God is infinitely beyond our stage of progress.
Nevertheless, man is of the order of Gods, else he cannot know God.

**Plurality of Gods.**  Since innumerable intelligent beings are
moving onward in development, there must be some in almost every
conceivable stage of development. If intelligent beings, far
transcending the understanding of man, be called Gods, there must be
many Gods. God, angel and similar terms denote merely intelligent
beings of varying degree of development. The thought, however, that
there is a plurality of gods and other beings of varying grades, is a
thought of fundamental truth, which may be applied in every-day life,
for it gives the assurance that it is possible for all, by self-effort
and by gradual steps, to attain the highest conceivable power.

A division of labor is necessary among men on earth, and it is only
reasonable that a similar division of labor may exist in all
intelligent systems. The conception of a community of men may be
applied to the community of heavenly beings. In the community of men,
different men have different duties; so, perhaps, on an exalted scale,
the gods are organized with a perfected division of labor.

**God, the Father.**  God, the Father, the greatest God concerned in
our progression, is the supreme God. He is the Father of our spirits.
He is the being of highest intelligence with whom we deal. To our
senses and understanding he is as perfection. In his fulness he can
not be fathomed by the human mind, and it is, indeed, useless for man
to attempt to define in detail the great intelligent beings of the
universe. God, the Father, the supreme God, has gone through every
phase of the Great Plan, which we are working out. Therefore, he has
had our experiences or their equivalents, and understands from his own
experience the difficulties of our journey. His love for us is an
understanding love. Our earth troubles we may lay fully before him,
knowing that he understands how human hearts are touched by the
tribulations and the joys of life.

God, the Father, the supreme God of whom we have knowledge, is the
greatest intelligence in the infinite universe, since he is infinite
in all matters pertaining to us and transcends wholly our
understanding in his power and wisdom. We know no greater God than the
omniscient, omnipotent Father.

**God, the Son.**  With the Father is associated his only begotten Son
on earth, Jesus Christ, who came on earth and submitted himself to a
painful and ignoble death so that all men might be raised from the
grave with the body of flesh and bones made indestructible and
everlasting. Because of the central position occupied by Jesus in the
Great Plan, he is essentially the God of this earth. He, also, is
beyond our understanding, he sits on the right hand of the Father, and
is one with the Father in all that pertains to the welfare of the
human race. To us he is perfect, possessing all the attributes of the
Father. Whether he is as far advanced as the Father is an idle
question, since he surpasses our understanding. In all matters
pertaining to the earth, the Son is the agent of the Father. Through
him the will of the Father pertaining to this earth is given. All our
communications with the Father are made in the name of the Son, so
that they may be properly authorized. This is in simple accord with
the order that prevails in the heavens and that should prevail
everywhere on earth.

**God, the Holy Ghost.**  The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost
constitute the Godhead, or Trinity of Gods, guiding the destinies of
men on earth. God, the Holy Ghost, is a personage of spirit, who
possesses special functions which have not yet been clearly revealed.
We know that this member of the Godhead is a knowledge-giver and an
inspirer of all that is great and noble and desirable, and that his
functions in the Godhead are indispensable to the welfare of man.

**Other Beings.**  Many other intelligent beings, superior to us, no
doubt take part in the work of man on earth. There are angels and
spirits who no doubt have assigned to them the care of the men and
women who walk upon the earth. Man is not alone; he walks in the midst
of such heavenly company, from whom he may expect help if he seek it
strongly. A plan for the schooling of intelligent spirits, walking in
semi-darkness through the acquiescence of beings of higher
intelligence, must of a certainty include such continuous though
invisible help.

**Sex Among the Gods.**  Sex, which is indispensable on this earth for
the perpetuation of the human race, is an eternal quality which has
its equivalent everywhere. It is indestructible. The relationship
between men and women is eternal and must continue eternally. In
accordance with the Gospel philosophy there are males and females in
heaven. Since we have a Father who is our God, we must also have a
mother, who possesses the attributes of Godhood. This simply carries
onward the logic of things earthly, and conforms with the doctrine
that whatever is on this earth, is simply a representation of great
spiritual conditions, of deeper meaning than we can here fathom.



Man is not left to himself on the face of the earth. Though his memory
has been taken away, he will not be allowed to drift unwatched and
unassisted through the journey on earth. At the best, man is only a
student who often needs the assistance of a teacher. It is
indispensable, therefore, to know how communication may be established
by man with intelligent beings wherever they may be.

**The Will to Ask.**  The first of the fundamental principles by which
man may confer with God, is that man must show his desire to receive,
by asking for help. Man has the right to reject whatever is offered
him; in the midst of plenty he may refuse to eat. Therefore, whatever
a man gains from the surrounding wisdom is initiated either by a
petition or by a receptive attitude which is equivalent to a request.
Unless a man ask, he is in no condition to receive, and ordinarily
nothing is given him. On extraordinary occasions, when God uses a man
to accomplish his purposes, something may be given without the
initiatory prayer, but such gifts are rarely of value to the man
himself. To get help from without, a man must ask for it. That is the
law. History confirms this doctrine. Adam prayed to God and the angel
came to explain the plan of salvation. Joseph Smith, the latter-day
restorer of the Gospel, prayed in the grove and the Father and the Son
appeared. It is unnatural to believe that gifts are given without
prayer. That the answer is often overwhelmingly greater than the
expressed desire, is only a sign of the love of the Giver, and does
not remove the necessity of asking, as the first step in obtaining
what a person desires. It is probable that no request, addressed to a
being of superior intelligence, is refused. However, the answer comes
at a time and place not predetermined by man.

**By Personal Appearance.**  In answer to prayer, God may appear
personally. There is no physical or spiritual reason why God should
not appear to his children in person whenever he so desires. In fact,
sacred history indicates that God appeared to Adam in the Garden of
Eden, to Abraham in the Holy Land, to Moses on the mountain, to Joseph
in the sacred grove, and to many others at various times during the
earth's history. Likewise, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived upon
this earth and walked and talked with men. To limit the powers of God
by saying that he cannot or will not now appear to man, is to make him
a creature of less power than is possessed by man.

**By the Visitation of Angels.**  The will of God may be transmitted
to man by visible representatives who are beings of a lower degree of
intelligence. Angels have frequently visited men and brought to them
divine messages concerning their own affairs or the affairs of the
world. After Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden, an angel came
and laid before him the philosophy of man's existence. Similarly,
angels appeared to Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith and
numerous others, many of which are not recorded in history. These
vivid personages, intelligent beings vastly superior to man, knowing
well the laws of nature and therefore able to control them, may be
with man, though they are not seen with the natural eye. Most probably
we walk in the midst of such invisible intelligent spirits. The
development from the earth-journey comes largely from the self-efforts
of man, who, apparently, must depend upon himself. If at will he could
bring to his aid visible, supernatural beings, to tide him over his
difficulties, his need of self-development and self-dependence would
become very small, and the man would not grow strong.

**By the Holy Spirit.**  God is a personal being of body--a body
limited in extent. He cannot, therefore, at a given moment be
personally everywhere. Time and space surround him as they surround
us. It is difficult to believe that God can in person answer the
numberless petitions reaching his throne. Nevertheless, it is known
distinctly that God, by his power, will and word is everywhere
present. It is almost as difficult to believe that, in spite of the
hosts of heavenly beings, personal administrations are possible in the
great majority of the countless petitions to God. God must be,
therefore, in possession of other agencies whereby his will may be
transmitted at his pleasure to the uttermost confines of space. The
chief agent employed by God to communicate his will to the universe is
the holy spirit, which must not be confused with the Holy Ghost, the
personage who is the third member of the Godhead. The holy spirit
permeates all the things of the universe, material and spiritual. By
the holy spirit the will of God is transmitted. It forms what may be
called the great wireless system of communication among the
intelligent beings of the universe. The holy spirit vibrates with
intelligence; it takes up the word and will of God as given by him or
by his personal agents, and transmits the message to the remotest
parts of space. By the intelligent domination and infinite extent of
the holy spirit, the whole universe is held together and made as one
whole. By its means there is no remoteness into which intelligent
beings may escape the dominating will of God. By the holy spirit, God
is always with us, and "is nearer than breathing, and nearer than
hands and feet." The intelligent earthly manifestations of the holy
spirit are commonly spoken of as the natural forces. It is conceivable
that the thunders and the lightnings, the movements of the heavenly
bodies, the ebb and flow of the oceans, and all the phenomena known to
man, are only manifestations of the will of God as transmitted and
spread by the measureless, inexhaustible, infinite, all-conducting
holy spirit.

By the holy spirit, which fills every person, man may obtain
information from God. By its means come the messages which transcend
the ordinary methods of acquiring knowledge. By it man may readily
communicate with God, or God with him. When a person utters his prayer
in faith it is impressed upon the holy spirit, and transmitted, so
that God may read the man's desire.

This doctrine of a rational theology has been duplicated in a modest
way by the development of wireless telegraphy. According to science,
the universe is filled with a subtle substance called the ether, on
the waves of which the message is spread throughout the universe to be
taken up by any person who has the proper receiving apparatus.

**The Eternal Record.**  So thoroughly permeated with the holy spirit
is the immensity of space that every act and word and thought is
recorded and transmitted everywhere, so that all who know how to read
may read. Thus we make an imperishable record of our lives. To those
whose lives are ordered well this is a blessed conception; but to
those of wicked lives, it is most terrible. He who has the receiving
apparatus, in whose hands the key is held, may read from the record of
the holy spirit, an imperishable history of all that has occurred
during the ages that have passed in the world's history. This solemn
thought, that in the bosom of the holy spirit is recorded all that
pertains to the universe--our most secret thought and our faintest
hope--helps man to walk steadily in the midst of the contending
appeals of his life. We can not hide from the Master.



The knowledge of means of communication between man and God is of
great help to man in all the affairs of his life.

**Reading God's Message.**  In possession of the holy spirit is a
record of the will of God with respect to all things and all
occurrences, great or small, in the universe from the first day. The
big problem of man is to read the message of God as it is held by the
holy spirit. In wireless telegraphy, a spark coil sets up waves in the
ether and other coils similarly "tuned," receive the waves anywhere in
the universe. In wireless telegraphy the all-important thing is that
the transmitting and receiving instruments be tuned alike, for only
then may the message be read. The same principle holds with the holy
spirit. The giver and the receiver must be "tuned" alike, that is,
must be in harmony, if the messages are to pass readily and
understandingly from one to the other. The clearness of the message
depends wholly upon the degree to which this tuning approaches perfect

**Spirit Blindness.**  There are many who, walking among vast
spiritual forces, yet feel themselves wholly alone. They do not have
the assurance that there is something or someone near them which may
not be known by the ordinary judgment of the senses, yet which may be
known by man. These persons are so untuned as to be unable to
understand the messages of the holy spirit. Many will not be brought
into an understanding harmony with the holy spirit; others merely find
it so hard to be brought into tune with the infinite that they would
rather be without the messages than to do the necessary labor of
acquiring harmonious relations with the holy spirt. Those who can not
feel and in part commune with the holy spirit, are blind to the larger
part of the universe, which lies outside of the circumscribed world,
swept by our immediate senses. In terms of the unseen forces will the
earth at last be cleared of all its mystery. In yesterday and tomorrow
shall today be glorified. The eternal concern of man will be, as it
has been, to secure an understanding knowledge of all the forces of
space. They, therefore, who cannot on this earth possess a direct
assurance of the existence and assistance of the great unseen world,
are indeed spiritually blind, and much to be pitied.

**Prayer.**  As already stated, all communication between man and a
higher intelligent Being must be initiated by a request from the man.
Thus, the place of prayer in the life of man is at once established.
Prayer is a request for further light, protection, or whatever else is
desired. Prayer is the first and greatest means of reading God's
messages, for by intense prayer man gradually places himself in tune
with the infinite so far as his request is concerned. Those who do not
ask, naturally do not establish an understanding relationship with the
unseen world, and no message appears. The Being of higher
intelligence, to whom the request is directed, may or may not grant
the prayer, but some answer will be given. Prayer has been said to be
"the soul's sincere desire." Only when it is such will the highest
answer be obtained, and it is doubtful if such a prayer is ever
refused. No prayer is unheard. The place and time of prayer are of
less importance. Morning, noon and night, prayer is always fitting.
However, it is well to be orderly, and to beget habits of prayer, and
certain hours of the day should therefore be set aside for prayer,
both in private and in the family. Frequent and regular prayer helps
to remind man of his dependence on a Being of higher intelligence in
accomplishing the great work of his heart. A man should pray always;
his heart should be full of prayer; he should walk in prayer. Answers
will then be heard as God pleases. Seldom is a man greater than his
private prayers.

**Active Prayer.**  To become properly tuned with the guiding
intelligent Being, one must not pray in a stereotyped way. A man must
give himself to the matter devotedly desired, in the form of prayer,
and then support it with all his works. Prayer is active and not
passive. If a thing is wanted a man must try to secure it. Then, as a
man devotes all of himself to the matter of the prayer, his attitude
becomes such as to make him susceptible to the answer when it shall be
sent. Prayer may be said to be the soul's whole desire.

**The Gift of Understanding.**  Every now and then a man is found who
seems to possess a knowledge above that of his fellow men. Knowledge
is gained by tremendous self-effort, and the men who know most are
usually those who have exerted themselves most to learn. However, it
is well known that those who have given themselves with all their
might to a certain study, often have great flashes of insight, whereby
they leap as it were from knowledge to knowledge, until their progress
becomes tremendously rapid, compared with that of ordinary men.

This means of acquiring knowledge may be compared crudely with the
switch of an electric lighting system. When the switch is out, though
the great dynamo in the canyon mouth hammer and generate its
electricity, there is no flow of current through the city system and
all is darkness. Yet a man, with a slight effort, can raise the switch
and connect the wires, thereby flooding the city with light. The
result appears to be infinitely greater than the cause. Thus, those
who by great effort build up systems of truth often reach a place
where by relatively little effort a flood of new light may be thrown
upon the subject to which the mind has given itself. That is one of
the compensations to those who strive with all their might for the
mastery of any subject. This power becomes the gift of understanding,
which may come to all who study deeply.

The gift of understanding is the result of the operation of the holy
spirit. The holy spirit which is in communication with the whole
universe, is in a measure subject to those who give themselves
devotedly and with all their heart to any righteous matter. It is one
of the most precious of gifts, and one that should be sought after by
all men, because by its aid, the chance for development is greatly

**Man Walks with God.**  Literally, then, through the assistance of
the mighty and all-pervading holy spirit, man is, indeed, always in
the presence of God and his agencies. From this point of view man is
immersed in the light and power of Godliness. He, who by earnest
prayer, close attention, and noble desires seeks the intelligence
above and about him is not alone. He walks hand in hand with
intelligent beings and draws from them the power that he does not of
himself possess. In times of need such a man may reach into the black
unknown and bring out hope, born of high knowledge.




If there is progression, there may also be retrogression; if there is
good, there may be evil. Everything has its opposite.

**Descending Beings.**  In a universe containing eternal, intelligent,
personalities possessing free agency, there may be beings who are in
opposition to the general law of progress. In fact, such opposing
intelligent spirits or men have always and everywhere been found.
Naturally, those who devote themselves to the opposition of law are
waging a hopeless battle, and lose their strength as time goes on.
Nevertheless, since many of them have acquired great knowledge before
they turn against the truth, they may long continue active in their
opposition to righteousness. The final end of such beings is not
known. As they are eternal, it is doubtful if they can ever fully
destroy themselves. Nevertheless, as they oppose law, they will at
last shrivel up and become as if they were not. Beings who would stand
in the way of progress, also use the forces of the universe, as best
they can, and must be considered, in the ordering of life, whether in
or out of the earth.

**The Devil.**  The number of descending spirits in the universe is
not known. In fact, little is known about the whole matter, which
probably is for the good of man. The scant knowledge that we have,
comes largely from the account of the Great Council. One of the great
spirits there present, proposed to save men without the use of their
free agency. When he and his numerous followers failed to secure the
adoption of this plan they left the Council, and set themselves
thenceforth against the plan adopted by the majority. The leader in
this rebellion was Lucifer, said to be a prince of the morning, who,
undoubtedly, through much diligence, had acquired a high position
among the spirits. Even those of high degree may fall. No man is sure
of himself, unless from day to day he can keep the germ of opposition
from settling within his breast.

Lucifer and his followers, who fell from the Great Council, are the
devil and his angels, possessing definite wills and free agencies, who
are still continuing the battle that originated in the heavens. The
fundamental conceptions of eternalism, including eternal beings, make
reasonable the existence of a personal devil, with personal agents,
whose indestructible wills are used to oppose the Great Plan through
adherence to which man entered upon his earth career.

**Man and the Devil.**  In a measure, God and all other intelligent
beings are affected by the active will of man. If man wills not to be
helped by God, it is difficult for God to send him divine help. Even
so, in the face of the will of man, the devil has little or no power.
It is only when man so wills that he hears fully the voice of God; and
it is only when man so wills that he hears the message of the devil.
The doctrine that a request must initiate the gift is as true in the
relationship that may be established between man and the devil as
between man and God. God sends his messages throughout the universe;
so does the devil as far as his knowledge permits him. However, the
messages of the evil one need not be heard unless man so desires. In
reality, therefore, man does not need to fear the evil one. He is not
a force that can work harm, unless man places himself under the
subjection of evil; but, if the devil be allowed a hearing, he may
become the master of the man, and lead him downward on the road of

**The Devil Subject to God.**  Though the free agency of man is
supreme with respect to himself, under the direction of a perfected
intelligence, it must not interfere with the free agencies of others.
This law holds for all ascending or descending intelligent beings. For
that reason the devil is subject to God, and is allowed to operate
only if he keeps within well-defined limits. He can suggest ways of
iniquity, but he cannot force men to obey his evil designs. A man who
sincerely desires to walk in righteousness need have no fear of the

By the knowledge of opposites, man may draw conclusions of
far-reaching importance in his course of progression. The operations
of the devil and his powers may, therefore, serve some good in giving
contrasts for man's guidance. This does not mean that it is necessary
for man to accept the suggestions of the evil one, or to commit evil
to know truth. On the contrary, every rational impulse resents the
thought that a man must know sin so that he may know righteousness
better. Unfortunately, the works of the evil one may be plentifully
observed in the world, among those who have forsaken the Great Plan
and the path of progression.




Those who believe in the Great Plan form the community known as the
Church. Many men, who have given the subject only superficial study,
find it difficult to understand why a church should be necessary.

**Man Helped by God on Earth.**  It was not intended, in the plan of
salvation, that man, though in forgetfulness, should wander alone and
helpless through the earth. Rather was it intended and made necessary
that men should gain experience by actual contact and contest with the
earth and earthly forces, under the watchful care of beings of
superior intelligence, who would help as demanded by man's free
agency. In an intelligent world it could not well be otherwise. In
fact, without the help of superior intelligence, the earth would be
chaotic instead of orderly. The Great Plan is founded on intelligence,
guided by a God of intelligence, and has for its purpose greater

Avenues of communion with God have been pointed out, but many men are
impervious to divine messages and need earthly help to understand the
will of God. The Church, the community of persons with the same
intelligent faith and desire, is the organized agency through which
God deals with his children, and through which such help may be given
man. Through the Church, God's mind may be read by all, at least with
respect to the Church community. Moreover, the authority to act for
God must be vested somewhere on earth. The Church holds this authority
for the use of man. Besides, it is the common law of the universe that
when intelligent beings are organized, as of one body, they progress
faster, individually and collectively. The Church as an organization
represents God on earth and is the official means of communication
between men and God.

**The Plan of Salvation for All.**  In the Great Council the
earth-career was planned for all the spirits there assembled who
accepted the Plan. The earth and whatever pertains to it, are for all
and not for the one or the few. This means that man must not go
through his earth-life independently, doing as he pleases, living
apart from his fellowmen and accepting the Great Plan in his own way.
By his own free agency he became a member of the hosts of the earth,
and by his own promise, given in the Great Council, he must live in
accordance with definite rules to be enforced by God. The Church is
the community of those who, having accepted the Plan, desire unitedly
to work out their mutual salvation under the settled authority of God.

The purpose of the Great Plan can not be wholly fulfilled until all
have heard the Gospel. The Church as a body undertakes to carry out
this purpose. Only when the Church is not organized on earth, may
individuals who know the Great Plan, stand alone; but even in such
case it is the bounden duty of those having the knowledge, to give
themselves to the converting of others, so that the Church may be

**Orderliness.**  If each intelligent being placed on this earth, were
to lead an independent life and deal independently with his God,
relative to all matters concerning him, many of which would of
necessity involve others, there would soon be disorder among humanity.
It has been found desirable in all earthly affairs to organize so that
order may prevail. By the organization known as a church all things
may be done in order. Chaos is abhorrent to the intelligent mind.

**Test of Attitude.**  There is yet another reason for the
organization of a church. The plan of salvation is one founded in
intelligence. Man must accept and live its laws and ordinances
intelligently. The Church, by his adherence to these laws and
ordinances, gives a man a means of testing himself as to his attitude
towards the whole Plan. Whatever is done in life somehow connects
itself with the Church. A Church which separates itself from the
actual, daily life of the man does not acknowledge the essential unity
of the universe and is not founded on man's intelligent conceptions of
the constitution of the universe. The Church, therefore, must possess
a system of laws the compliance with which will enable a man or his
fellows to test his progress and spiritual condition, which, in turn,
will be a guide for his future work. It would be difficult for a man
to apply such tests to himself if he stands alone, away from his
fellow men and making laws for himself to fit his apparent needs.

**Authority.**  There is much to be done for man and by man during the
earth-career. Every day brings its problems; laws are to be enforced;
ordinances to be performed, and God must communicate with his earthly
children. Much of this work involves authority, which must be settled
somewhere if order is to prevail. The authority to act for God is
committed to the Church, as the organized community of believers, and,
indeed, authority is a distinguishing characteristic of the Church.
Every man has or may receive authority to act in his own behalf in
many matters, but to exercise authority in behalf of others, requires
the kind of authority which God has delegated to the Church. Some form
of authority from God is necessary in all our work, and the earthly
source of God's authority is the Church, organized by the supreme,
intelligent God.

**The Great Purpose of the Church.**  Finally, the plan of eternal
progress involves every living soul who comes upon earth. To the
Church is committed the great task of keeping alive this Plan and of
carrying it to all the nations. Those who have accepted the truth must
be kept active; those who have not accepted it must be taught; all
must hear it; even for the dead must the essential ordinances be
performed. The Church, then, is a great missionary organization. This,
of itself, justifies, the existence of the Church, for it is
improbable that any individual would or could undertake the conversion
of all the people to eternal truth.



Members of the Church must necessarily accept the conceptions for
which it stands. These are, essentially, the plan of salvation, the
progressive development of all spirits concerned in the Plan, and the
authority of a supreme intelligent Being, to deal with the men and
women placed on earth. The conditions of membership are not many, nor
difficult to understand. They are, rather, of a kind naturally
appearing before an intelligent being concerned in any organization.

**Faith.**  All who enter the Church, or accept the Great Plan must,
as a first condition, possess the faith which has been defined as "the
substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen." In
other words, they must first acknowledge the existence in the universe
of things and powers that may not be sensed directly, but which may be
used to accomplish the purposes of man. Such an attitude is required
to admit the existence of a God or a plan of salvation. Such a faith
yields to man a comprehensive possession of the universe, and may
establish a philosophy of life that conforms to every law of nature.
The man who has no such faith stands before the plan of salvation as
before a sealed book. He can not open it, nor opened, can he read it.
A faith that admits the universe, seen and unseen, enables man to
accomplish great things; in fact, all who have done the great labor of
the world, have had such a faith. The law of faith is a general law.

Faith is not necessarily removed from the ordinary experiences of
life. On the contrary it is the beginning of all knowledge. Man
observes the phenomena of nature, classifies and groups them until he
reaches great general laws representing many individual phenomena. By
the use of such laws, reasoning from the known to the unknown, laws
may be inferred, the existence of which cannot be sensed directly. By
this method of using human knowledge, man rapidly becomes aware of the
certainty of the great universe that lies around him but beyond his
immediate ken. Moreover, and possibly of chief importance, such
inferred but certain knowledge makes man confident that he can
continue forever in the acquisition of knowledge and power, and it
thus becomes a help in every duty of life.

**Repentance.**  Another fundamental requirement of those who enter
the Church is repentance. This is also self-evident, for if man is
convinced of the correctness of a certain procedure, that is, if he
has faith in it, he certainly will use that faith, if it is to become
of any value to him. An active faith is repentance. It is commonly
felt that repentance is only the turning away from evil practices. It
is probably just as important for man to act out the good he learns as
to refrain from doing evil. Repentance, then, is not merely negative;
it is also positive. This also is a general law. Great work can be
done by those only who have faith and who put that faith into action.

**Baptism.**  The third requirement of those who desire entrance into
the Church is baptism. The candidate for baptism, presenting himself
to one who has authority from Jesus Christ, is buried in the water and
taken out again, as a symbol of the death and resurrection, the
atoning sacrifice, and the conquest over death, of the Savior. The
ordinance of baptism, as far as man is concerned, is essentially an
acknowledgment of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, a promise of
obedience to the requirements of the Great Plan, and the acceptance of
divine authority. Baptism is also a principle of general application,
for in whatever pursuit a man may be engaged, whether in or out of the
Church, he must first have faith in the work he has to do, then
repent, in the sense of putting his faith into action and, finally, he
must give obedience to the laws involved in the work.

**The Gift of the Holy Ghost.**  The fourth condition of Church
membership, which is in the nature of a result of the three first
requirements, is that the candidate receive the gift of the Holy
Ghost. This is accomplished when one having authority places his hands
on the head of the candidate, confirms him a member of the Church, and
says, "Receive the Holy Ghost." This establishes an authoritative
connection between man and God, the Holy Ghost, by which it is
possible to secure, through the active support of the Holy Ghost, more
light and power and confidence than man may secure unaided. Every man
born into the world has life by the holy spirit and may, through its
operations, and his own self-effort, be in communication with all
other intelligent beings in the universe; but, only those who conform
to the first ordinances of the Gospel are connected officially with
the powers of the Holy Ghost in such a way as to secure added help. A
distinct and real power conies to the individual who has received the
Holy Ghost. It is as if he had been given a key to a great and
wonderful building which he enters at his pleasure. However, the key
may be kept unused; then the gift has been of no value. Man must draw
upon the Holy Ghost, if the gift shall be real. The gift of the Holy
Ghost also represents a general law, for it is evident that all who
have faith made active by repentance, and have shown obedience by
baptism, will be in such harmony with intelligent forces as to receive
great light from them if desired or needed.

**Continued Conformity.**  It is not sufficient that a man secure
entrance into the Church by compliance with the first four principles
of the Gospel. After he has attained membership he must become active
in the practice of the laws which constitute the body of Church
doctrine, and which are quite as important as the fundamental ones
preceding entrance. Passivity will not suffice; activity only
constitutes an unqualified membership in the Church. The man will be
"in tune" with the work only when he lives out daily the principles of
the Great Plan. This is self-evident, moreover, because the Church has
the mission of bringing the Gospel to the understanding of all men on
earth, and unless the members of the Church are active in missionary
work, they will not acquire the full spirit of the Church.
Unselfishness should characterize the members of the Church.

**Acceptance of Authority.**  The conditions of membership here
mentioned are all vital. Nevertheless, in addition to them, candidates
for admission to the Church must acknowledge the full authority of the
Church as a divine institution, to which has been committed, by God,
the authority to act for him in all matters pertaining to the plan of
salvation. Without this authority, the Church is no more than any
man-made institution. The acceptance of authority means that all the
laws of the Gospel must be obeyed, by every member. The law cannot be
varied for individuals, to please their fancies or supposed needs.
This is clearly brought out by the historical fact that Adam, after he
had been taught and had accepted the Gospel, was baptized, confirmed,
and received all the ordinances of the Church. Similarly, Jesus, the
Son of God, began his official labors by being baptized by one having
authority. The pattern has been set for all; and it has been followed
in all dispensations. If men be on the full road of progress they will
comply with the laws of membership, and become active in the support
of the Church and its work.



The Priesthood of the Church differs vitally from that of churches
composed only of fragments of the complete truth.

**Priesthood Defined.**  The Church is composed of eternal,
intelligent beings, moving onward in eternal progression, who have
accepted God's plan of salvation. It is God's Church. God directs the
work of his children on earth, and he naturally gives attention to the
Church. Nevertheless, although God is the directing intelligence, he
is not here in person, nor are other superior beings sent to take
charge of the work, for that would be contrary to the law that through
his free agency and by self-effort, man on earth must move onward and
upward. Therefore, that the earth-work may be done authoritatively,
God has delegated the necessary authority to man. The Priesthood is
simply the name given this authority. The body of the Priesthood
consists of the persons who have received this authority and who may
act for God, on earth, in matters pertaining to the Church or to
themselves. Without authority from God, there can be no Priesthood.

**Divisions of the Priesthood.**  Much work is to be done in the
Church, and the work differs greatly, for man's life is complex.
Consequently, many and varied are the labors that must be directed and
supported by the Priesthood. To accomplish the work well, there must
be a division of labor--the fundamental characteristic of all orderly

There are two great divisions of the Priesthood, the Aaronic and the
Melchizedek, each of which possesses special authority. Each of these
divisions is again sub-divided. These divisions and subdivisions are
all necessary for the complete exercise of the Priesthood in the

One great division of the Priesthood of God, the Aaronic Priesthood,
is named after Aaron, the brother of Moses, a famous leader in this
priesthood. It is the Lesser Priesthood, really only an appendage of
the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood. To the Aaronic Priesthood is
assigned, particularly, the temporal work of the Church, but it also
has authority to preach, teach and baptize. The Melchizedek
Priesthood, named after the great high priest Melchizedek, is the
higher division of the Priesthood, and includes the Aaronic
Priesthood. It holds the keys of spiritual authority and has the right
to officiate under proper direction in all the affairs of the Church.
The subdivisions of these Priesthoods make it possible to group,
simply and properly, the duties of the members of the Church.

**The Aaronic Priesthood.**  Those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood
belong to one of three ascending groups: the deacon, the teacher, and
the priest. The bishop presides over the priest's quorum and is the
presiding authority of the Aaronic Priesthood. Each group, in addition
to its own special authority, may, when called upon by proper
authority, exercise also the authority of the group below it. The
members of the Aaronic Priesthood are organized in quorums of twelve
deacons, twenty-four teachers and forty-eight priests. Each quorum is
presided over by a president and two counselors, which in the priests'
quorum are the bishop and his two counselors.

**The Melchizedek Priesthood.**  The Higher Priesthood is
characterized by spiritual authority, the right of presidency and the
power of officiating in all the work of the Church. There are also
several divisions of this Priesthood but the fundamental authority is
the same in all, and each division represents merely a calling in the
Higher Priesthood. There are five chief groups in this Priesthood; the
elder, the seventy, the high priest, the apostle, and the patriarch.
The elder may officiate when properly called and set apart in any of
these groups of the Priesthood, without having conferred upon him any
further Priesthood. The members of the Higher Priesthood are organized
into quorums, of 96 elders with a president and two counselors and of
70 seventies with seven presidents. The quorums of high priests are
indefinite in number, except administrative quorums, such as the
Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency.

**All Hold the Priesthood.**  The Church exists to advance the Great
Plan by which, in the end, every man may live happily on earth and at
last enter into great progression. In it there should be no active and
non-active members, for all must be active to work out their own
proper destinies, and to assist in the advancement of the whole Plan.
All, therefore, need the authority of the Priesthood to officiate as
may be needed in the work of the Church, or in their own behalf. If
the work of the Church were delegated to a few members, it would
probably be reasonable for a few men to hold the Priesthood. When,
however, every member must or should take upon himself a part of the
active work of the Church, it is necessary that every man hold the
authority of the Priesthood so that he may authoritatively perform the
necessary acts in the propaganda of truth.

In fact, in the Church, all men who have attained sufficient
experience hold or should hold the Priesthood. The young men are
ordained deacons, teachers and priests, and at last elders, when they
possess all the authority of the Priesthood. They may then receive an
ordination and calling in the Melchizedek Priesthood, such as seventy,
apostle, high priest or patriarch.

Women enjoy all the endowments and blessings of the Priesthood in
connection with their husbands. The family is the basis of society on
earth, and as there must be organization among intelligent beings,
someone must be spokesman for the family. In the family, the man is
the spokesman and presiding authority, and, therefore, the Priesthood
is bestowed upon him.

It is clear that there is no Priesthood class in the Church of Jesus
Christ. The Priesthood belongs to all. This is another distinguishing
mark of the true Church, which rests its doctrines upon eternal
principles as already outlined. The general possession of the
Priesthood by all the male members of the Church is only in conformity
with the theory of the Gospel, which makes the Plan one of
intelligent, united effort under the direction of beings of higher
intelligence, and which declares that the highest individual
satisfaction can be obtained only when all other individuals are
simultaneously advancing.

**The Power of the Priesthood.**  The Priesthood conferred on man
carries with it real power to do effective work in behalf of the plan
of salvation. Under the normal organization of the Church, when things
are moving on in the ordained way, there is no insistent evidence of
the great power possessed by those who have the Priesthood, and who,
therefore, can act for God in matters pertaining to the Church. Under
such a condition there is a quiet, steady use of power in behalf of
the daily work of the Church--each man performing the work that has
been assigned to him, in addition to which each man in his own behalf
may use his authority as seems to him fitting. Yet, the power is with
the Priesthood, and when need arises, it becomes the voice of God,
which all must hear. As an illustration of the great power, authority
and duty carried by the Priesthood it may be recalled that, if by any
chance every man holding the Priesthood in the Church should be
destroyed, save one elder, it would be the duty and right of that one
elder, under divine revelation, to reorganize the whole Church with
all the grades of the Priesthood and of its officers. This
far-reaching authority is held by all who receive the Priesthood--an
authority to be guarded carefully and to be used cautiously as



To carry on the diversified work of the Church requires a close
organization. An organization, in turn, requires officers. All the
officers of the Church hold the Priesthood, but the Priesthood is held
also by many who do not hold official positions. Therefore, while the
authority to act in all the offices of the Church is held by
practically every man in the Church, that authority, in the
administration of the affairs of the Church, becomes effective only
when the man is called to exercise the authority. The chief officers
of the Church are herewith briefly enumerated.

**The General Authorities.**  The First Presidency consists of three
presiding high priests, a President and two counselors, whose duty it
is to supervise the work of the whole Church, in all matters of
policy, organization and execution. No part of the work of the Church
is beyond their authority. With the death of the President, the First
Presidency becomes disorganized.

Associated with the First Presidency is the quorum of Twelve Apostles.
The Twelve are special witnesses for Christ, and it is their duty to
carry the Gospel to all the world. In addition, they give direct
assistance to the First Presidency. When the quorum of the First
Presidency is disorganized, the quorum of apostles becomes the
presiding quorum until the First Presidency is reorganized. The quorum
of the Twelve has one president, who is always the senior apostle.

The Patriarchs of the Church possess the sealing and blessing powers
and receive instructions from the Presiding Patriarch.

The quorums of Seventy, the missionary quorums of the Church, are
presided over by the Seven Presidents of the first quorum. This
Council labors under the direction of the apostles. If the First
Presidency and the quorum of the Twelve were disorganized,
simultaneously, the first quorum of Seventy would become the presiding
quorum until full reorganization were effected.

The temporal affairs of the Church are largely cared for by the
Presiding Bishopric, consisting of the presiding bishop and two
counselors. The Presiding Bishopric also has general supervision of
the bishops of the wards, of the Church.

The General Authorities are the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles,
the Presiding Patriarch, the Presidents of the first quorum of
Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric--making in all twenty-six men.
These general presiding authorities, representing all the great
divisions of the Priesthood, deal with all the general affairs of the

**The Stakes of Zion.**  For convenience of administration, the Church
is divided into stakes containing usually from one thousand to ten
thousand members. The stakes are presided over by a Stake Presidency,
three high priests denominated president and two counselors, which
have the same relation to the stake that the First Presidency has to
the whole Church. The Stake Presidency are assisted by the high
council, consisting of twelve regular and six alternate counselors who
are high priests. To this body is assigned much of the work for the
welfare of the members of the stake. Such other officers as may be
needed are moreover secured in each stake.

**The Wards of the Stakes.**  The stakes are, in turn, divided into
wards containing usually from one hundred to two thousand members.
They are presided over by a Bishop and two counselors, who are
assisted in various capacities by the local ward Priesthood.

**The Priesthood in Stakes and Wards.**  In every ward, if there be
enough members, are organized quorums of deacons, teachers, priests,
elders and seventies. If there are not enough in one ward to form a
quorum, then a quorum is organized from two or more wards. The high
priests in a stake are usually assembled into one quorum for the
stake. All of the Priesthood meets regularly in the ward to which they
belong, for the discussion of their duties and for studying the
outlines and books provided by the general Church authorities.

**Auxiliary Organizations.**  In addition to the regular Priesthood,
there are helps in government known as auxiliary organizations. These
are the Relief Society, for women, the Deseret Sunday School Union,
the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, the Young Ladies'
Mutual Improvement Association, the Primary Association, the Religion
Class, the Boards of Education, and others that may be organized from
time to time. Each of these is represented by a general board, under
the direction of the First Presidency. In each stake there are also
stake boards of these auxiliary organizations, under the direction of
the stake presidency. Moreover, in each ward of the Church, if large
enough, is an organization of each of the auxiliary activities of the

**All Must Work.**  So complete an organization, ramifying throughout
the Church, shows that all members of the Church should or may be at
work. There is no place for the idler. Every man or woman, who is not
averse to working in behalf of the Church, will find some duty that
will fill his life.

**The Tenure of Office.**  The officers of the Priesthood have no
definite tenure of office. Since all hold the Priesthood, there is
always a supply of ready material to fill any vacancies that may
occur. The general authorities in the Church have generally held life
positions, but a number of these, for various reasons, chiefly
insubordination or error of doctrine, have been released before death.
According to doctrine, no office in the Priesthood, is absolutely
certain of life tenure. Failure to perform properly the work of the
office constitutes full cause for removal.

**An Unpaid Ministry.**  The rewards of life should be and are only in
part material. To assist, officially, in carrying out the Great Plan,
brings its own distinct reward. The Priesthood of the Church,
therefore, is largely unpaid. A man's duty in the Priesthood seldom
takes all of his time, thus leaving him partly free to earn a
livelihood by the use of his profession. When a man's whole time is
taken by the Church, he gets his support from the Church. There is no
Priesthood class, especially trained for the work, and striving for
positions carrying with them high material remuneration. All should
know the Gospel and be prepared to carry on the work.

**Appointments in the Priesthood.**  The power to nominate men to fill
the official positions in the Priesthood belongs to the Priesthood of
the Church. Men are chosen from any walk in life, without previous
warning, and the acceptance of the office often means the sacrifice of
business, profession, or ease of life. Under this system there can be
no talk of men seeking offices in the Church. Preparation to do the
work of the Church can be the only form of self-seeking, and that may
or may not lead to any particular position in the Church. Meanwhile,
the vast organization of the Church is such as to find work for every
man; and in fact, every worthy worker should be kept busily engaged in
the work of the Great Plan.

**Common Consent.**  Every officer of the Priesthood, though properly
nominated, holds his position in the Church only with the consent of
the people. Officers may be nominated by the presidency of the Church,
but unless the people accept them as their officials, they can not
exercise the authority of the offices to which they have been called.
All things in the Church must be done by common consent. This makes
the people, men and women, under God, the rulers of the Church. Even
the President of the Church, before he can fully enter upon his
duties, must be sustained by the people. It is the common custom in
the Church to vote on the officers in the general, stake and ward
conferences. This gives every member an opportunity to vote for or
against the officers. Meanwhile, the judiciary system of the Church is
such that there is ample provision whereby any officer of the Church,
if found in error, may be brought to justice and if found guilty be
removed from his position.

The doctrine of common consent is fundamental in the Church; and is
coincident with the fact that the Church belongs to all the people.
Since the authority of the Priesthood is vested in all the people, it
follows that the officials of the Priesthood must be responsible to
the people. The responsibility and work of the Church are not only for
but by the people as a whole.

**Bestowal of the Priesthood.**  On the earth the Priesthood was first
conferred on Adam and was handed down directly from Adam through his
descendants to Noah. Every link in this progression of the Priesthood
has been preserved. Similarly, after Noah, it was continued for many
generations. Moreover, Jesus conferred the Priesthood directly upon
his disciples. At various times in the history of the world, the
Priesthood has been given by God to man and continued for various
lengths of time. In these latter days of the restored Church, John the
Baptist appeared in person and conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Later, Peter, James and John, who had
received the Priesthood from Jesus Christ, and who represented the
Presidency of the Priesthood in those days, appeared to Joseph Smith
and Oliver Cowdery and conferred upon them the Holy Priesthood and the
apostleship which carried with it authority in the lower divisions of
the Priesthood. In the Church of Christ the authority of the
Priesthood may always be traced back directly to God, from whom it
radiates and whom it represents.



The authority of the Priesthood is often misunderstood, and it is
frequently the rock upon which many men and women suffer spiritual

**The Foundation of Authority.**  The power or right to command or to
act, is authority. In the beginning, man, conscious and in possession
of will, reached out for truth, and gained new knowledge. Gradually as
his intelligence grew, he learned to control natural forces, as he met
them on his way. Knowledge, properly used, became power; and
intelligent knowledge is the only true foundation of authority. The
more intelligence a man possesses the more authority he may exercise.
Hence, "the glory of God is intelligence." This should be clear in the
minds of all who exercise authority.

**Absolute Authority.**  Such high authority, based on increasing
intelligent knowledge, may be called absolute authority. All other
forms of authority, and many forms exist, must be derived from
absolute authority, for it is the essence of all authority. Nothing in
the universe is absolutely understood, and absolute authority does not
mean that full knowledge or full power has been gained over anything
in the universe. Forever will the universe reveal its secrets. By
absolute authority is meant the kind of authority that results
directly from an intelligent understanding of the things over which
authority is exercised. Authority can therefore, be absolute only so
far as knowledge goes, and will become more absolute as more knowledge
is obtained. The laws of God are never arbitrary; they are always
founded on truth.

**Derived Authority.**  Anyone possessing the absolute authority
resting on high intelligence, will often find it necessary or
convenient to ask others to exercise that authority for him. This may
be called derived authority. It does not necessarily follow that those
who are so asked understand the full meaning of the authority that
they exercise. The workman in a factory carries out the operations as
directed by the chief technician, and obtains the same results, though
he does not to the same extent understand the principles involved.

Every person who has risen to the earth-estate possesses a certain
degree of absolute authority, for he has knowledge of nature which
gives him control over many surrounding forces. Every person possesses
or should possess certain derived authority, which is exercised under
the direction of a superior intelligence, though it is not always
wholly understood.

**The Authority of Office.**  In an organized body like the Church,
each activity must be governed by established laws. Those who have
been chosen officers to enforce these laws and to carry on the regular
work of the Church, exercise their power because of their office.
Authority of office is only a form of derived authority--derived from
the people who have agreed to submit their wills to certain officers,
who are to enforce laws accepted by the people. Even such authority,
belonging to official positions, must be founded on intelligent
knowledge, and the organization of the Church itself must be
intelligently authoritative. Therefore, authority of office is best
exercised when those holding it have qualified themselves
intelligently for the work. The mistakes made by officers are commonly
due to the want of the needed intelligence in the exercise of their
duties. Fortunately, however, the Church is so organized that the
actions of its officials may be tried for their righteousness whenever
they appear to be wrong to the people. Mistakes are most likely to be
made by officials who will not qualify themselves for their work.

**Authority and Free Agency.**  While intelligent knowledge does
establish the highest degree of authority, absolute authority, yet it
does not, alone, justify the exercising of authority that may conflict
with the wills of others. The law of free agency must not be
transcended; nor is it permissible to do anything that will hinder, in
the least, the progress of man under the Great law. Authority must
therefore be exercised only in such a manner as to benefit other
individuals. Naturally, when a community accepts a body of laws for
their government, and officers are appointed by the people to enforce
the laws, the punishment of the disobedient is not an interference
with free agency, for all have accepted the law. Only when a person
withdraws from the community, does the community law become
inoperative with respect to him. Since the battle for free agency must
not be waged again, laws must be enforced as they are accepted by the
people; thus it comes about that all the officers in the Church, who
merely represent the people, must be sustained by the people. The
people govern the Church through their sustained authorities. When a
person opposes righteousness, the worst that can be done is to sever
that individual from the organization. The Priesthood has no authority
to exercise further punishment. The punishment which comes to those
who do wrong is automatic, and will, of itself, find out the sinner.

**Authority over Self.**  The Priesthood conferred on man establishes
an authority which each man may at all times exercise with respect to
himself and God. By the authority of the Priesthood he has a right to
commune with God in prayer or in other ways, and has, as it were, the
right to receive communications in return from the intelligent beings
about him, so that his ways may be ways of strength and pleasantness.
Man's own work should be inseparably connected with the power of the
Priesthood to which he has attained.

**The Exercise of Authority.**  The authority committed to man by God
is in earthly hands. The flesh is weak; and men who possess authority
may often make mistakes in its exercise. The proper manner of
exercising the authority of the Priesthood has been made exceedingly
clear. "The rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with
the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled or
handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be
conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our
sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise
control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of the children of
men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw
themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is
withdrawn, Amen to the Priesthood, or the authority of that man.
Behold! ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the
pricks; to persecute the Saints, and to fight against God. No power or
influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood,
only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness, and meekness,
and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall
greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile,
reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost,
and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom
thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may
know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death; let
thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the
household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly,
then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God, and the
doctrine of the Priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from
heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy
sceptre an unchanging sceptre of righteousness and truth, and thy
dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory
means it shall flow unto thee for ever and ever."

Any authority of the Priesthood otherwise exercised than as above
stated is not in harmony with the law. There is therefore no need to
fear authority, for those who misuse it will ultimately be removed
from their offices and will be punished not only by the laws of the
Church, but by God, the Giver of law. Meanwhile, the thought stands
out prominently, that those who are given the Priesthood, and
especially those who are to exercise authority in the offices of the
Priesthood, should carefully fit themselves for the work that they
have to do. This is the only safe key to authority.

**The Unrighteous Exercise of Authority.**  Authority may be
unrighteously exercised from the lack of intelligence or because of
wickedness. Should a member of the Church note this, the procedure of
correction is to notify the ward teachers, who try to settle the
difficulty. If the ward teachers do not succeed in this, the bishop's
court takes up the matter, which, if needs be, it passes to the Stake
Presidency and high council, and may be appealed to the First
Presidency. Justice is meted out to all in-the Church. If the people
are dissatisfied with any officer they may refuse to sustain him at
the times of the voting, which prevents him from exercising the
functions of his office. However, in all things the majority rules;
and in many of the judgments of the Church there must be unanimity.

**The Church Authoritative.**  The Church of Christ possesses real
authority, derived from God, and in its work represents God. Such a
Church, alone, can appeal to the human understanding. A Church without
authority is limp and helpless. Authority is the final test of a true
Church. Does it attempt to officiate for God? Does its Priesthood
possess authority? From the beginning, the Church of God has been
given direct, divine authority so that its work might not be
questioned. The angel walked with Adam, God spoke to Abraham, Jesus in
person came on earth, the Father and the Son came to Joseph Smith,--in
all ages, when the Church has been fully established, the Priesthood
has been conferred by authoritative beings. The authority of the
Church is real and genuine and possesses power. By its power it shall
be known.



In the consideration of Priesthood and its authority, much useless
discussion is often indulged in as to whether a person should yield
obedience to authority. Some believe that to yield obedience is to lay
down free agency.

**The Restraint of Nature.**  Countless forces, surrounding man, are
interacting in the universe. By no means can he withdraw himself from
them. By experience he has learned that control of natural forces is
obtained only when their laws are understood. When a certain thing is
done in a certain manner, there is a definite, invariable result. No
doubt it has often occurred to an intelligent being that he might wish
it otherwise; but that is impossible. The only remedy is to comply
with existing conditions, acknowledge the restraint of nature, and
gaining further knowledge, put law against law, until the purpose of
man has been accomplished. This is the process by which intelligent
beings have acquired dominion over nature. Such an acknowledgement of
the existence of the law of cause and effect does not weaken man;
strength lies in an intelligent subjection to rightful restraint, for
it has been the condition of progress from the beginning. The
recognition of law and the obedience to law are sure signs that
intelligent beings are progressing.

**An Active Condition.**  Obedience is an active condition or it could
not be a principle of consequence. It is closely akin to repentance.
Obedience simply means that whenever a truth is revealed, it is
obeyed, which by our previous definition is a phase of repentance. The
man who is active in carrying out what he knows is truth, is an
obedient man. His active obedience to authority is based on
intelligence; and the more knowledge a man has concerning the nature
of the law in question, the more thoroughly obedient is he. Obedience
is not a characteristic of ignorance.

**The Restraint of Man.**  Obedience to the invariable laws of nature
is, usually, considered to be a self-evident necessity. The question
of obedience is commonly raised when man exercises authority. Shall a
man obey a man? The first consideration in the answer to this question
is whether the system which the man in authority represents is based
on truth. If so, then intelligent man will be bound to render
obedience to the system, even if it is exercised through imperfect
man. The second consideration is whether the man is acting within his
authority in the organization. This can always be determined, simply,
by laying the matter before the bodies constituted to settle such
matters. With the exception of the First Presidency, every officer in
the Church has a limited jurisdiction. The third consideration is
whether the matter to which authority has been applied is at all under
the discipline of the organization. No officer in the Church has
authority beyond matters that pertain to the Church. Any authority
exercised beyond that field is accepted only at the discretion of the
individual members of the Church, and should come only in the form of
counsel. If yes is the answer to these three considerations, obedience
must be rendered by a progressing man. If no is the answer, obedience
should not be yielded, but the matter should be tried before the
proper courts.

The restraint of man in the exercise of authority derived from eternal
laws, is as compelling as the restraint of nature, because they are
parts of the same whole.

**The Life of Law.**  Obedience is nothing more than a compliance with
truth. Truth is of no consequence to a man if it is not used. The
moment truth is used, obedience begins. Man, and the Church to which
he belongs, are active organisms, interested in progress. When truth
is given them, promises to use that truth should be required, else all
is in vain. Lives conforming to law, alone, are moving onward. For
that reason, for every gift to man a promise is required, and usually
a statement of the punishment that will follow the non-use or misuse
of it. Obedience to truth means progress; refusal to use truth means

**Disobedience.**  Disobedience may be active or passive. Passive
disobedience is not doing what should be done; active disobedience is
doing what should not be done. Both may be equally harmful. The main
effect of disobedience is to weaken, and finally wreck the man who
disobeys law. Disobedience and sin are synonymous.

**The Church Worth Having.**  The only Church worth having is one
having authority, resting on intelligence and truth. Such a Church
will command obedience. In such a Church, little misunderstandings are
easily rectified. Within the laws of the Church, man has absolute,
personal freedom. It is so with nature, outside of the Church. Within
the laws of nature, man has full freedom. The greatest freedom known
to man comes from obedience to law. The greatest punishment
conceivable to man comes from opposition to law. This is true with
respect to the Church as a community of the saints, and with respect
to individual man in the great universe.



There must be, in every organization, and especially in a Church
dedicated to the great philosophy of man's place in the universe, a
great cementing purpose. In the Church of Christ this is the desire to
bring about the highest joy for all mankind.

**A Church with a Purpose.**  According to the fundamental doctrines
elaborated in previous chapters, the purpose of the earth-career is to
assist in man's development, so that he may acquire more power and
therefore more joy. In the nature of things, as already explained, it
is impossible for an intelligent being to rise to the highest degree
of joy unless other like beings move along with him. The Great Plan
will be successful only if all or at least a majority of those who
accepted it are saved. The Church, a feature of the Great Plan, must
have the same main purpose. All must be saved! In fact, the work of
the Church cannot be completed until all have at least heard the
truth. There can be no talk of a few saved souls at the throne of God,
with the many in hell. The great mission of the Church must be to
bring all men into the truth. This is the cementing purpose of the

**The Hope of Today.**  However, men are not saved merely by being
taught the truth. They must live it in their daily lives. Life,
indeed, is an endless succession of days, each of which must be a
little larger in development than the preceding one. Each day must be
well spent. The Church must help, every day, in all the affairs of the
day, from the food man eats to his highest spiritual thought. Each day
must be a step onward to the eternal exaltation which he desires. This
is the hope of today. To help in this daily work is one of the main
parts of the missionary labors of the Church. All the days of all the
members must be made happy ones.

**Temporal Salvation.**  In a church based on the principles already
outlined there can be no separation between the spiritual and the
temporal. There is one universe, of many aspects, to which we belong.
There is one Great Plan for us. In the heavens, spiritual things are
probably of greatest importance, but on earth, temporal things are of
importance. The impossibility of separating things temporal from
things spiritual justifies the attempt of the Church to assist in the
temporal affairs of its members. In fact, a large part of the
missionary labors of the Church must be to better the temporal
conditions of its members. Only when the temporal as well as the
spiritual life is looked after, can the Church rise to its full
opportunity. Only in sound bodies can the spirit experience the
highest joy. Only under sound temporal conditions can the Church move
on in full gladness.

**The Foreign Mission System.**  In conformity with the cementing
missionary spirit of a church, every member of which holds or may hold
the Priesthood, it follows that every member of the Church, whether
man or woman, may be called to go on a spiritual or temporal mission
for the upbuilding of his fellowmen. In harmony with the law of free
agency, it is voluntary with the individual, whether he accept or
refuse the call. The custom in the Church of today has been that a man
go on at least one mission, which varies in length, two or more years.
The missionaries not only assist the members already gathered into the
Church, but they travel all over the world, preach to all the
everlasting Gospel, and bring those who accept the truth into the
Church. The main purpose of the Church missionary system is to preach
the Gospel to all the members of the human race, so that, as far as
possible, none may be left with the excuse that he has not heard the

**The Home Mission Service.**  The whole Church, at home, is devoted
to the home mission service. The organizations of the Priesthood and
the auxiliary organizations, form a network of active service into
which every member of the Church may be brought. The home missionary
service concerns itself with the spiritual and the temporal side of
man's nature and life. The amusements of the young people; the home
life of the older people, and the daily duties of all, are made part
and parcel of the organized missionary system of the Church.

**For the Common Good.**  The genius of the Church of Christ stands
for the common good; hence the ceaseless missionary activity which is
the great cementing principle of the Church. Not for the one, not even
for the many, but for all, does the Church stand.



The Church of God has always been characterized by the possession of
temples in which the holiest work of the Gospel has been done. The
activities of the Church have, so to speak, centered about the

**Educational.**  The doctrines of the origin, present condition and
destiny of man should always be well in the mind of all, for without
this knowledge, it is difficult to comply fully and intelligently with
the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. It has been provided,
therefore, that the story of man, from the beginning, at the present,
and to the last great day, shall be given as frequently as may be
desired to the members of the Church. In the temples this information
is given, in an organized and correct form, so that it may not depart
from among men and women. That is, the temples are conservators of the
great truths of the Gospel. To the temples, man goes to be refreshed
in his memory as to the doctrines relative to man and his place in
nature. The endowments given to members of the Church in the temples
are, essentially, courses of instruction relative to man's existence
before he came on this earth, the history of the creation of the
earth, the story of our first earthly parents, the history of the
various dispensations of the Gospel, the meaning of the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ, the story of the restoration of the Gospel, and the
means and methods whereby joy on this earth and exaltation in heaven
may be obtained. To make this large story clear and impressive to all
who partake of it, every educational device, so far known to man, is
employed; and it is possible that nowhere, outside of the temple, is a
more correct pedagogy employed. Every sense of man is appealed to, in
order to make the meaning of the Gospel clear, from beginning to end.

**Symbolism.**  Naturally, the very essence of these fundamental
truths is not known to man, nor indeed can be. We know things only so
far as our senses permit. Whatever is known, is known through symbols.
The letters on the written page are but symbols of mighty thoughts
that are easily transferred from mind to mind by these symbols. Man
lives under a great system of symbolism. Clearly, the mighty, eternal
truths encompassing all that man is or may be, cannot be expressed
literally, nor is there in the temple any attempt to do this. On the
contrary, the great and wonderful temple service is one of mighty
symbolism. By the use of symbols of speech, of action, of color, of
form, the great truths connected with the story of man are made
evident to the mind.

**Covenants.**  The temple service also gives those who take their
endowments, special information relative to their conduct upon earth.
For instance, men and women are taught to keep themselves free from
sin. They must be chaste, virtuous, truthful, unselfish, and so on.
Moreover, they are taught that they must devote themselves and all
that they have or may have to the great cause of truth, to teaching
the everlasting Gospel to their fellowmen, so that the Great Plan may
be worked out according to the* mind and will of God. In return for
this, those who take their endowments make covenants with each other
and their God, that they will observe the instructions given, and will
carry them out in their daily lives. Thus the work becomes active and
vital. It is also explained that the failure to carry out these
promises, when once knowledge has been given, will be punished. This
is in accordance with the law that provides a penalty for
disobedience, as already explained. Only by the use of knowledge will
more knowledge be obtained. The whole system of temple worship is very

**Blessings.**  In the course of instruction in the temple, it is
emphasized that blessings will follow those who accept the truth,
practice it and live Godlike lives. The essence of the endowment
service is a blessing. Punishment is not made so prominent, as is the
possibility of inviting great blessings by proper obedience to the
truths that may be obtained from time to time.

**Temple Authority.**  Perhaps the most glorious ordinances of the
temple are those that seal husband and wife and children to each other
for time and all eternity. According to the Gospel, the marriage
relation does not necessarily cease with death. On the contrary, since
sex is eternal, the sex relation may continue to the end of time. Such
a union or sealing may be performed only by special authority, which
is possessed only by the President of the Church. The President may,
however, delegate the authority for longer or shorter times, so that
certain temple workers may perform such marriages in the temples of
God. Similarly, children who have been born to parents who were not
married for time and eternity, may be sealed later to their parents,
so that the relationship may be sustained throughout all the ages of

Moreover, every ordinance belonging to the Church may be performed in
the temple. In the temple is a baptismal font, so that the
introductory ordinance may be performed; likewise, every other
ordinance for the benefit of the Saints may be performed in the holy
temple. The work for the dead, as will be explained in chapter 28, is
done in the temples, by the living. The vicarious work for the dead,
who did not accept the Gospel on earth, forms the bulk of the temple
work, since, after the first time, when endowments are taken for
himself, a person must do work for the dead when he goes through the

**Possible Repetition.**  The vastness of meaning in the temple
worship makes it difficult at once for man to remember and understand
it, and only once are the endowments taken for himself by any one
person. To refresh his memory, and to place him in close touch with
the spirit of the work, a man may enter the temple as frequently as he
desires and take endowments for the dead, and in that way both he and
the dead are benefited. The temples, then, are means whereby every
member of the Church may receive precious endowments, and may be kept
in refreshed memory of the Great Plan, which he, with the rest of the
human family, is working out. Temple work is the safety of the living
and the hope of the dead. At present, temples are in operation in Salt
Lake City, St. George, Logan and Manti, all in Utah, and a temple is
nearing completion in Cardston, Alberta, Canada.




There are many men and women upon the earth. No one faces, alone, the
great forces of nature. About him move other men, with whom he must
associate. In the Great Plan it is so ordained that men shall dwell
together, and this leads to many of the finest applications of the
Gospel to the daily life of man.

**Common Origin.**  By the power of God, the spirits of men were born
into the spiritual world; thus all became the children of God. In
turn, all have been born from the same spiritual estate into the earth
estate, from the one earthly ancestor, Adam. All men are therefore of
identical origin. Absolute uniformity prevails among the children of
men, so far as their origin is concerned.

**Common Purposes.**  The spirits are placed on earth for a common
purpose. From the beginning, man has risen to his high estate through
the acquisition of power over the natural forces surrounding him. "Man
is that he may have joy," is the fundamental purpose of man's
activity, whether on or out of the earth. In the Great Council all the
spirits which have reached or will reach the earth, were present; and
all declared themselves in favor of the Plan. In conformity with this
agreement, man is on earth. All desire a closer acquaintance with
gross matter, as a means of future power and consequent joy; and all
desire that the earth-experience may be accompanied with as much joy
as is possible. Consequently, all who are or have been, or will be
assembled on earth, have a common purpose. Absolute uniformity
prevails among men so far as their fundamental purpose is concerned.

**Common Destiny.**  Likewise, the destiny of all the spirits sent to
earth, is the same. Man has ever moved towards eternal life. All new
information, every addition of knowledge, has moved him onward, toward
perfection and a vision of greater happiness. True, since all men have
free agencies, individual wills express themselves in different ways,
and no two spirits are therefore at precisely the same point on the
upward road. Some are far ahead, some lag behind, each and all
according to individual effort. However, throughout the vast
eternities, all who are conscientiously moving upward, though it be
ever so slowly, will in time reach a point which is absolute
perfection to our mortal conceptions. Then, all will seem as if
precisely alike. Whether or not we reach a given point at the same
time, all men have a common destiny. As far as the destiny of man is
concerned, all are alike.

**Inter-dependence.**  Of even greater importance in daily work is the
fact that every intelligent being affects every other intelligent
being. Every person affects every other person. Through the operation
of the Holy Spirit all things are held together. Good or evil may be
transmitted from personality to personality; it is impossible to hide
from God, and it is equally impossible for us to hide ourselves
completely from our fellowmen. No individual action may restrain or
retard another individual; but all our actions, thoughts and words
must be so guarded that all are advanced. This is as true for the
earth-life as it may be for the spiritual life.

Men affect each other; every man is, in a measure, his brother's
keeper. There can be no thought of a man going on in life irrespective
of the needs or conditions of his fellowmen. The main concern of man
must be to find such orderly acts of life as will enable other men to
live out their individual wills without interference. All must be
benefited, all must be helped. This is the basis of the great system
of co-operation. Meanwhile, the inter-dependence of the spirits
dwelling on earth, brings men more closely together, and strengthens
the friendships from the former spirit estate.

**Brothers.**  The human race is a race of brothers, of the same
origin, with the same purposes and with the same destiny, so
elaborately inter-dependent that none may move without affecting the
others. Any rational theology must recognize this condition, and, as
far as it may be able, must make provision for the proper recognition
of the brotherhood of man.



Though the brotherhood of man is supreme, it does not follow that all
men are equal in all particulars. This needs careful examination.

**The Pre-existent Effort.**  Men of common origin, and of common
destiny, labor on earth under a mutually accepted Plan. Yet, it is not
conceivable, that all the spirits who reach the earth have attained
the same degree of progress. The pre-existent progress depended upon
self-effort; those who exerted their wills most, made the greatest
progress; moreover, those who had led the most righteous lives, and
had been most careful of their gifts, had acquired greatest
strength--consequently, at the time of the Great Council, though the
spirits were, in general, of one class, they differed greatly in the
details of their attainments, in the righteousness of their lives, in
the stability of their purpose, and in their consistent devotion to
the great truth of their lives. In one particular they were all alike:
by their faithful efforts, they had earned the right to take another
step onward and to share in the earth experience.

Most probably, the power acquired in the life before this is
transmitted to some degree to the earthlife. We may well believe,
therefore, that the differences in the quality and characteristics of
men, may be traced, in part at least, to the pre-existent lives. It is
not unthinkable that, in a plan governed by a supreme intelligent
Being, since there are differences of advancement, the spirits who
come on earth are placed frequently in positions for which they are
best fitted. An intelligent ruler would probably use ability where it
is most needed. To some extent, therefore, men may have been chosen
for this or that work on earth, and, under the law of progression,
this small measure of predestination may be accepted. Yet, it must be
remembered that predestination can not be compelling. Man's free
agency, the great indestructible gift, always remains untrammeled.
Therefore, whatever may be God's plan for man, however easy may be the
path to the predestined earth position, the man may at any time, by
the exercise of his free agency, depart from the appointed path and
enter other fields. Any opposite doctrine is the one proposed by
Lucifer in the Great Council.

It is most likely that those who, on earth, accept the highest truth
of life, find the Gospel attractive, and are most faithful in the
recognition of law, are those who, in the pre-existent state, were
most intelligent and obedient. In that sense, the Church consists of
God's chosen people--chosen because of their willingness to obey.

**The Earth Effort.**  Nevertheless, the thought that power is drawn
from our pre-existent state need not be an overwhelming feeling to
oppress and crush us. Our previous life can not be an insurmountable
hindrance. The invariable law of cause and effect will enable those
who exert themselves on earth to draw great power unto themselves,
even so that it may be possible by earth efforts to overcome possible
handicaps from pre-existent lethargy. Thus, on earth, man may gain
more than he has lost before. Our earth efforts are of greatest
consequence. Neither forward nor backward must we look, except to
place ourselves properly in our day, but must use in full degree the
possibilities of each day as it comes. Man's inequality comes chiefly
from the inequality of earth effort.

**The Variety of Gifts.**  Meanwhile, it is always to be remembered
that the spirit within must speak through a mortal body, subject to
disease and death. The eternal spirit cannot rise here above the
conditions of the body, which is of the earth, and is a result of all
the physical good and evil to which man has given himself since the
days of Adam. During the long history of the race, both strength and
weakness have no doubt been added to the body. It possesses inborn,
inherent qualities, which man finds it difficult to ignore. Under the
best conditions, the body is weaker than the spirit within. It is
likely that the spirit within the finest earthly body is infinitely
greater than may be expressed through the body. We live only as our
bodies allow; and, since our bodies differ greatly, there is in them
another source of man's inequality. In fact, the inequality of man
comes largely from inequality of body, through which the eternal
spirit tries in vain to speak.

**The Equality of Opportunity.**  Clearly, an absolute equality among
men is not conceivable, for the differences among the powers of men
are infinite in number. We are brothers, but we are occupying a
variety of stages of progress. Probably, it is well that there are
such differences, so that by contrast with each other we may be
impelled onward. The equality of man on earth must be the equal
opportunity to progress. From the point in the eternal journey that
each man now occupies, he must be allowed to move onward, unhindered
by other persons, and must be allowed to exert his inborn powers to
the full, for his help on the journey. None must stand in another's
way. On the contrary, the spirit of the Gospel makes clear that the
Great Plan cannot be fulfilled, the earth's destiny cannot be
completed, and our highest progressive rewards cannot be obtained
until all the spirits of man have been brought under the Gospel rule.
Whether on this earth, or in the future, the work will not be
completed until all have accepted the freedom of the Gospel. Instead
of hindering each other, men must give each other all possible needed
help, then we offer our fellows an equal opportunity to advance, and
all are helped. With equality of opportunity, all may advance so far
that, in time, the differences between men will not be apparent.

The equality of opportunity which characterizes the plan of salvation
is shown in the fact that all the ordinances of the Church, from the
highest to the lowest, are available to every person who enters the
Church. Faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost are,
for all, the four cardinal principles for active participation in the
work of the Church, irrespective of the powers of men. The endowments
of the temple, and all the blessings that may there be received, are
available to every member of the Church who has shown himself active
in the faith. In fundamental principles, in gifts and blessings, in
spiritual opportunities, as required or offered by the Church, men are
stripped of all differences, and stand as if they were equal before
God. This is equality of opportunity.

**Unequal Equality.**  Though equality of opportunity be granted all,
the wills of men, as expressed through their free agencies, differ
greatly. Consequently, some will use well their opportunities; others
will use them poorly. Under this condition, even if all started out
absolutely alike, differences would soon appear. Without violating the
fundamental laws of nature, this seems to be absolutely unpreventable.
Men may soon be grouped as representing different degrees of strength.

However, that the equality of opportunity, belonging to the Great
Plan, may be preserved, it becomes necessary for all, whether weak or
strong, to support each other. Differing attainments must be forgotten
in the desire to permit all to develop their powers to the utmost, and
thus to achieve joy both here and hereafter. The great problem of
every age is how to keep together, as one body, the many who, because
of their differing wills, have become different in their powers and

**The Test of Equality.**  A test may be applied whereby men may be
placed in one class, irrespective of their various attainments. If a
man use his powers, with all his might, for his own and others' good,
in the cause of universal progress, he is the equal of every other man
of like effort. No more can be asked of a man. It is well that
humanity, dwelling together, should keep this principle in mind. Men
must not be judged, wholly, by their attainments, or by their gifts,
but largely by the degree to which they give themselves to the great
cause represented by the plan of the major intelligent Being, for the
minor intelligent beings of the universe.



The doctrines set forth indicate that each man must exert himself to
the utmost. Even this is not sufficient for the full progress of
individuals. Every man must also be supported by every other man.
Unless this is done, the individual and the community will be

**The Duty of the Strong.**  The man who is in possession of strength,
acquired by any means whatsoever, is under special obligations to the
community. The strong must, somehow, attach to themselves those who
are weak; and as the strong move onward, they must pull with them
those who are weak. If a person possess knowledge, he must give
knowledge to others, so that all may attain great knowledge; if he
have great faith, he must use faith until all may know its virtue; if
he have acquired great wealth, he must use it so that many may share
in its physical benefits. Those who have must give to those who have
not. Those who understand the deeper, inner life must not forget those
who are not gifted with an understanding of the contents of the vast

The weak have similar responsibilities devolving upon them. Under
earthly conditions the weak tend to foster jealousy of the strong.
This is out of harmony with the law of progress. The weak must seek
strength for themselves, and should invite the assistance of the
strong. The weak may help the progress of the race by accepting, as a
gift, the assistance of the strong. There is no shame in accepting
gifts, in learning from those who have more than we have, providing
our own powers are used to the full. If the strong will not give to
the weak, in the right spirit of helpfulness; or if the weak will not
accept the help proffered for their advancement, the whole onward
movement will be slowed down.

Moreover, it is a common law of nature that those who are strong, and
give of their strength to others, add thereby to their own strength.

**Co-operation.**  Co-operation of all, weak or strong, is
characteristic of mutual helpfulness. When many men unite to
accomplish great works, mighty results follow. Each man then obtains
his full reward. Even if the co-operation provides that its results
are divided equally among the participants, the strong receives his
full reward, for, because of his greater strength, he has done greater
labor, and has consequently added greatly to his strength. The weak,
by their association with the strong, having shared equally with them,
have gained greater hope, and more courage to carry on their
individual work of progress. The principle of co-operation is in full
conformity with the whole plan of salvation.

**Education.**  Education looms large in the matter of mutual support,
for it is only by the development of individual power that man may
help his fellow man and thus recognize the full brotherhood of man.
Great powers can be exercised only by faculties that are trained to
the utmost. Schools are provided, where the young mind may be guided
rapidly and well into a better control of itself. A rational theology
must be established upon the basis of developed intelligence, which
justifies the existence of schools and other devices for the proper
unfolding of the mind. In the Church there must ever be a vigorous
propaganda for the education of the masses. The Church must be a
generally educated Church, in which the "educated class" includes all.



The true relation among men, the doctrine of the brotherhood of man,
is nowhere better exemplified than in the principle of the united
order. This system of living represents, no doubt, the acme of
brotherly love and human efficiency.

**Purpose.**  The united order recognizes that men have different
talents and therefore different aspirations which should be allowed
full and free unfolding. That is, the individual should be allowed to
exercise his inborn gifts. The united order further provides that the
members of a community share equally in the material returns of the
activities of the whole community. Since the wants of a community are
satisfied only by a variety of necessary labor, some yielding large,
others small, material gains, the united order provides that, if a man
work to the full of his ability, all the working days of his life, he
should have an equal share in the material gains of the community,
whatever his labor may be. Under this system there could be no
poverty; all would be amply supplied with the material necessities of
life. Those who, because of their greater talents or training, do the
greater work, will receive whatever is needed for the maintenance of
life; and they will attain, moreover, a greater growth and
satisfaction because of the greater work that they have performed.
Since the material wants of all will be amply supplied, there can be
no real reason why all should not share in the total results of the
labor of the community. The united order implies a closely organized
body of men and women working together for individual and for mutual
advancement. In theory, at least, it appears to be the best answer to
many of the great questions that trouble mankind.

**Historical.**  The united order is not a new conception. It has been
known from the beginning of time. In the days of Enoch, the seventh
patriarch, the united order was practiced successfully. When the
Church was organized by Christ, the united order was practiced very
fully for some time, by many of the people. It is quite possible that
the order has been established and practiced successfully at other
times, but no record has come down to this age. Finally, in this
dispensation, the united order was revealed to the Prophet Joseph
Smith. The people, on several occasions, tried to practice it, and
wherever practiced correctly, it appeared to result in good; but
individual selfishness usually resulted in the abandonment of the
practice. It is a system of life requiring the fullest understanding
of the Gospel truth, and the greatest conception of man's place in the
universe. In its practice, men must overcome their selfishness, and
accept at their true values, the various rewards of life. Enoch and
his people acquired such high control over themselves that they were
able to practice the united order unselfishly, and at last were
translated from the earth without tasting death. It seems that the
united order is above the reach of the kind of men and women we now
are. Nevertheless, it is the system we approach, as we approach

**Co-operation.**  The united order has been suspended as a required
form of life in the Church, but its spirit still remains. Those who
are indeed worthy members of the Church must accept the spirit of the
united order. It finds present expression in the system of
co-operation, under which many unite in one enterprise, in such a way
that no one person dominates it, but that all concerned have a voice
in it, and so that the profits resulting from the enterprise are
divided more or less uniformly among those connected with it.
Co-operative enterprises have been fostered constantly and
consistently by the Church in the latter days, and in the majority of
instances have been extremely successful. In fact, when the Church
settled in Utah, it would have been impossible to accomplish the great
work before the pioneers, had they not practiced co-operation. To give
every man a full and proper chance is the spirit of the true Church.

**Tithing.**  Every organized Church must have some means of material
support. Houses of worship must be constructed; temples must be built;
education must be fostered; the poor must be provided for; and many
other material needs form a part of the great spiritual mission of the
Church. For the general support, therefore, of the Church and of the
poor who are unable to provide for themselves, a fund has been
provided by the tithing of the people. This is a preparation for the
united order, and some day will be replaced by the more complete
system. This fund is maintained by the payment, by each member of the
Church, of one-tenth of his earnings, as they are delivered to him.
The money thus obtained is placed in the hands of the bishops, and is
disbursed under the direction of the First Presidency associated with
the presiding bishopric and other officials named in the revelations.

Tithing is an ancient system, frequently mentioned in the history of
the past. It is fair to all the people, for it is necessarily a system
whereby each man pays in proportion to his earnings. Great blessings
follow obedience either to the law of united order or the law of

**Voluntary Offerings.**  In addition to tithing, voluntary offerings
may be made to the Church for specific or general purposes, as for the
support of the poor or distressed living near us, or for the building
of churches.

**The Common Good.**  All these devices for gathering material funds
for the sustenance of the Church, simply show the underlying and
overwhelming desire of those who understand the Gospel, to assist for
mutual benefit. Not the good of one, but the common good, is uppermost
in the minds of those who understand and love the Gospel.



The doctrine of the brotherhood of man and the principles of united
order and co-operation show the necessity of giving ourselves for the
common good. This intense desire of the Church for service to all, for
human brotherhood, are probably nowhere better shown than in the work
for the dead.

**All Must Be Saved.**  Temple work rests on the principle of the
Great Plan that all must be saved, or at least given the opportunity
of salvation. Persons who have been unable to accept the Gospel
ordinances on earth, are not necessarily denied the privileges of
membership in the Church or refused the blessings which come to those
who accept the truth. For such dead persons vicarious work must be
done in all the essential ordinances of the Church. Vicarious work is
not new, for it has been practiced in various forms from the first
day. In common daily life, a man is given authority to do official
work for another, when a "power of attorney" is conferred. The work of
Jesus Christ was essentially vicarious, for he atoned for the act of

**Earthly Ordinances.**  Great, eternal truths make up the Gospel
plan. All regulations for man's earthly guidance have their eternal
spiritual counterparts. The earthly ordinances of the Gospel are
themselves the reflections of heavenly ordinances. For instance,
baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and temple work are really earthly
symbols of realities that prevail throughout the universe; but, they
are symbols of truths that must be recognized if the Great Plan is to
be fulfilled. The acceptance of these earthly symbols is part and
parcel of correct earth-life, and being earthly symbols they are
distinctly of the earth, and can not be performed elsewhere than on
earth. In order that absolute fairness may prevail and eternal justice
may be satisfied, all men to attain the fulness of their joy must
accept these earthly ordinances. There is no water baptism in the next
estate, nor any conferring of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying
on of earthly hands. The equivalents of these ordinances prevail no
doubt in every estate, but only as they are given on this earth can
they be made to aid, in their onward progress, those who have dwelt on
earth. For that reason those who have departed this life without
having accepted the earthly ordinances, which constitute in part the
conditions of entrance to the Church, must have that work done for
them on earth. By proxy they must be baptized by water, receive the
laying on of hands and accept of the temple ordinances. By this method
the path to eternal life is invariable; in fairness and without
discrimination, all must tread it. Were there any departure from this
order, it would be a short time only until men might take upon
themselves the authority of devising various methods whereby eternal
joy might be obtained. This would be unnatural, because definite order
prevails throughout nature.

**A Work of Love.**  To do work for the dead involves much sacrifice
on the part of the living. Genealogies must be collected, exact
information concerning dates of births and deaths and other
fundamental data must be obtained, and the better part of a day is
required to take the endowments for each dead person--and all this,
usually, for a person long dead, of whom the worker may have no
definite knowledge beyond name and time of his life. It follows that
only by love for one's fellowmen can the work be done. Young and old
may do work for the dead in the temples; and young and old are,
indeed, engaged in it. Especially in the evening of life, when time is
more plentiful for such work, do many persons give themselves fully to
this labor of love. As a result of temple work for the dead, to which
thousands of people give their time and means, a great flood of love
for humanity is poured out upon the people.

**The Need of Records.**  Before the earth passes away into its next
stage of existence, work must be done in the temples for all the
living and all the dead. Only when this is done, will the curtain be
rolled up, and the vision of complete existence given to man. To do
work for the dead, who in life did not accept the Gospel, will require
complete genealogies of the human race. To secure these is a gigantic
task. The diverse conditions of human life, and the vicissitudes of
the race have been such that frequently genealogies have not been
written and often have been lost. The most careful search of man will
not reveal them all. However, as has been explained, in an intelligent
universe, nothing is wholly lost. The record of every man exists and
by some means will be found before the work on earth is completed.
Meanwhile, no external power will come to man's aid, until he has used
his own efforts, and therefore it becomes necessary for men to search
out existing genealogies of the human race. When that has been done,
in the years to come, man may rest secure that the gods who direct our
earth, will come to the rescue of this important part of the work of

Consequently there is intense interest in the Church in all
genealogical matters. Every person is on the lookout for his own
genealogy; when that is completed, he searches for those of others.
Such work intensifies family loyalty and devotion, from which virtues
proceed. It follows, also, that the Church records and preserves with
utmost care the genealogical histories of its members. Sacred history
shows that at all times, when the Church has been on earth,
genealogies have been carefully kept and recorded.

**The Result.**  Work for the dead has far-reaching results. First of
all, it establishes a close communion among those who have lived and
who are living on earth. The hearts of the children are turned to the
fathers, and the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children.
This, indeed, is the vital principle of the Great Plan--that all may
work together to the ultimate good of each.

The principle of infinite, loving brotherhood among men, as
exemplified in the work for the dead, may be applied in the daily
lives of the living. If so much work is done, so much time and energy
expended and so much care bestowed upon the salvation of the dead, how
much more should we help and support and love the living. The living
must always be man's first concern. This principle, carried into our
daily lives, means that we must continually and at our own sacrifice
help each other. Then only will the sacrifice for the dead not be in

Work for the dead is no doubt symbolic of the great universal law that
things of the universe move onward together, not singly. So great is
this principle in its application to daily life, among the living,
that it rises to be one of the mightiest principles that contribute to
human brotherhood and brotherly love.



We are not the last spirits to enter upon the earth career. There are
yet countless numbers of unborn spirits waiting for the privilege of
receiving earthly bodies and of tasting the sorrows and the joys of
earth. The living, who understand the Great Plan, must not then
confine their attention to themselves and to those who have gone
before. The waiting spirits must be a concern of our lives.

**Eternity of Sex.**  It has already been said that sex is an eternal
principle. The equivalent of sex has always existed and will continue
forever. As the sex relation, then, represents an eternal condition,
the begetting of children is coincidently an eternal necessity. We
were begotten into the spirit world by God the Father, and have been
born into the world which we now possess.

**The Waiting Spirits.**  According to the Great Plan, all who, in the
Great Council, accepted the Christ, will in time appear on earth,
clothed with mortal bodies. All these spirits must be born as children
into the world. A high purpose, if not the main one, of the earth work
must be, therefore, to continue the race by begetting children and
properly caring for them until they reach maturity. Undoubtedly, the
waiting spirits are hoping patiently for their turn to reach the
earth--a glorious step in the progressive advancement of man, which
the spirits have earned by their righteous lives.

**The Meaning of the First Command.**  This doctrine makes clear the
meaning of the first great command, to multiply and replenish the
earth. It is not only for the joy and satisfaction of humanity that
the sex relation, with the possibility of begetting offspring,
prevails on earth, but as much for the fulfilment of the eternal Great
Plan. It becomes a necessary duty, for all wedded persons who dwell on
earth, to bring children into the world. This is the greatest and
holiest and most necessary mission of man, with respect to the waiting
spirits. Fatherhood and motherhood become glorified in the light of
the eternal plan of salvation.

The doctrine that wedded man and woman should not beget children or
should limit the number of children born to them, is contrary to the
spirit of the Great Plan, and is a most erroneous one. Let the waiting
spirits come! Let children be born into the earth! Let fatherhood and
motherhood be the most honored of all the professions on earth!
Marriage resulting in parenthood is a great evidence of the reality of
the brotherhood of man, of the unselfishness of man. However, only in
the marriage relation should children be begotten. Looseness of life,
between man and woman, is the most terrible of human iniquities, for
it leads, assuredly, to the physical decay of the race. With the
sanction of the Priesthood, men and women should contract to live
together as husband and wife.

**The Family.**  The unit of society is the family. The family circle
is intimate, and in it the keenest human loves prevail. As the family
develops so will society, as a whole, develop. By children comes
complete family life. Without children, family life is incomplete.
Children are, then, a real necessity in the fulfilling of the
possibilities of the Church. The true Church always encourages the
begetting of children; the intensifying of family life, and the
dignifying of all the duties pertaining to procreation.

**Celestial Marriage.**  If sex is eternal, it follows of necessity,
that the marriage covenant may also be eternal. It is not a far step
to the doctrine that after the earth work has been completed, and
exaltation in the next estate has been attained, one of the chief
duties of men and women will be to beget spiritual children. These
spirits, in turn, in the process of time, will come down upon an
earth, there to obtain an acquaintance with gross matter, and through
the possession of earthly bodies to control more fully, and forever,
the manifold forces surrounding them. It is one of the rewards of
intelligent development, that we may be to other spiritual beings,
what our God has been to us.

Among those who understand the Gospel, marriage may be, and indeed
should be, for time and eternity. Marriage that lasts only during the
earth life is a sad one, for the love established between man and
woman, as they live together and rear their family, does not wish to
die, but to live to grow richer with the eternal years. Marriage for
time and eternity establishes a unique relation between husband and
wife. Their children belong to them for time and eternity; the family
is continued from this earth into the next life, and becomes a unit in
the eternal life, and, in all family relations, the vision is cast
forward, in anticipation of an undying relationship.

**The Sealing Powers.**  Naturally, the power to seal men and women to
each other, for time and eternity, and to seal children to their
parents for eternal ages, is a supreme power, committed to man's
keeping. The President of the Church is the only person on the earth
who holds the keys of these sealing ordinances. True, he may delegate
his power to workers in the temples, so that celestial marriages and
sealings may go on, but such delegated authority may be withdrawn at
any moment. In that respect, it differs wholly from the power of the
Priesthood, which can be withdrawn from a man only who is found in
sin. It is proper that only one man should hold this power, for it is
of infinite effect, and should be guarded with the most jealous care,
and kept from the frail prejudices and jealousies of men.

The power to bind for time and eternity is the power, also, to loose
that which has been bound, should it be found necessary. Undoubtedly,
under human conditions, mistakes may be made, but if such mistakes are
made and are not rectified on earth, they will, no doubt, under a
supervising intelligent Being, be rectified in the hereafter. It is,
however, only through the sealing power that the eternal relationship
of the sexes, the eternal increase of life, and the consequent eternal
joy, may be obtained.



The relations of the few and the many lead to great problems which are
of the gravest import to humanity.

**Community Defined.**  A community is a body of people having common
interests and, usually, living in the same place, under the same laws
and regulations. From the beginning of time, individuals have
associated and grouped themselves into communities. Every Church is a
community of believers. The Church which conforms to the whole law is
the one characterized by authority and operating under authoritative

**The Individual in the Community.**  A community is a great organism,
with individuality which must express itself in adaptation or
opposition to law.

Since the community is composed of individuals, each with independent
wills and agencies, nothing must be done, as a community, to prevent
the full unfolding of the individual, for the more progressive the
individuals, the more progressive is the community. While the
community is under responsibility to each individual, the individual,
having accepted a place and life in the community, must not do
anything that will restrain other individuals of the community.
Whatever is good for the many, must always take preference. This does
not interfere, in the least, with full individual development, since
the greatest individual development always comes from proper
adaptation to law. When each individual faithfully obeys the law, the
community is safe.

**The Rights of the Community.**  The community has rights which are
as inalienable as the free agency of individuals. An individual who
will not obey the community laws should move out of the community.
Those who remain must yield obedience to the laws established for the
public good. This was well brought out in the Great Council, when
Lucifer fell because he was not one with the community. In that great
day, as in our day, the many had the right to demand that their good
be considered as of primary importance.

**Training for the Community.**  In view of the supremacy of the
community it becomes indispensable that the powers of the individual
be so unfolded as to be of service to the community. No man can
selfishly stand aside and say "I am sufficient unto myself; in the
community I have no interest; though I obey its laws, I do not serve
it." It is not sufficient that a man obey the laws of the community;
he must vigorously serve the community. Every act of every man's life
must relate itself to the good of other men. This is fundamental in
the Gospel, and should be fundamental in the daily relations of men.

This justifies the modern training now given men for the necessary
pursuits and common tasks of daily life. Whatever is necessary, may
and should be made honorable and dignified. All pursuits are made
professional, so that all who serve the good of the many, may find the
same joy in their work whatever it may be. All men should be trained
for service to the community.

It is an interesting commentary on the present-day Church that
President Brigham Young was one of the first men in America to
establish schools in which the training of men for the actual affairs
of life was made pre-eminent. Today we train for citizenship, whether
in the Church or in the State. In such training lies the hope of the
community for its future. By such training will a feeling of community
responsibility be established among men.

**The Supremacy of the Community.**  From all this and from what has
been said in preceding chapters, it is clear that the Great Plan was
so devised that men may unitedly work out their salvation. Man may not
stand alone. Brotherhood is the great principle on which the Church is




There is but one nature. All things, visible or invisible, belong to
the one universe.

**The Intelligence of Nature.**  Each and all of the numerous forces
in the universe may be subjected to the will of man. In the universe
are untold numbers of intelligent beings, whose main business it is to
discover the ways of nature, and by an intelligent control of nature,
to acquire greater power of advancing development. The holy spirit
fills all things, and by its means the thoughts and minds of these
increasing intelligent beings are everywhere felt. Intelligence
permeates the universe.

The question is often asked, "Does nature, as we know it, the rocks
and trees and beasts, possess intelligence of an order akin to that of
man?" Who knows? That intelligence is everywhere present is beyond
question. By the intelligent God, nature is directed. The forming of a
crystal or the conception of a living animal is, somehow, connected
with an intelligent purpose and will. This fruitful field of
conjecture should be touched with care, for so little definite
knowledge concerning it is in man's possession.

**A Living Earth.**  It seems to be well established that the earth as
a whole, is a living organism. It had a beginning; it will die or be
changed, and after is purification it will be brought into greater
glory as a resurrected organism. Even the symbolism of baptism was
performed for the earth when the waters descended in the great flood.
All this can simply mean that the earth, as well as all on it, are
subject to the fundamental Plan, involving the atonement of Jesus

The earth as an organism does its work perfectly well. It is without
sin. "The earth abides the law of a celestial kingdom, for it fills
the measure of its creation, and transgresses not the law. Wherefore
it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be
quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened,
and the righteous shall inherit it." If the earth is a living
organism, it seems more than likely that all things on earth possess a
measure of life and intelligence.

**The Lower Animals.**  The lower animals were created by the power of
God. All things created by him, have first been created spiritually,
then temporally, after which they pass again into the spiritual life.
Animals were created spiritually before they were given material
existence. If the meaning of this doctrine is that animals lived
before this, they certainly may live hereafter. That which is
essential in animals is probably indestructible. Our knowledge of this
subject is extremely limited, and whatever is said about it, is
conjectural and subject to revision.

**All for the Use of Man.**  Nevertheless, rocks and trees and beasts,
are for the use of man, to be used by him in moderation and with
wisdom. Man is at the head of the creations on earth. It is his duty
to make proper use of them all. Whoever teaches that any part of the
universe is not for the benefit of man, is in error.

**Man's Conquest of Nature.**  It is the simplest of present-day
doctrines that the vastness of nature makes it impossible for man to
comprehend more than the minutest part of it. Yet, in the true
philosophy of life, nothing is more certain than that the greatest
mystery of nature may at some time be understood. The great purpose of
man's existence is a complete understanding of all the mysteries of
nature. True, the understanding that will give him full mastery over
nature will come little by little. In the end, man shall know all that
he desires. Even in that happy day he shall not be able to change one
law of nature; only by intelligent control may he apply nature's laws
to desired ends. With this certainty man may go onward hopefully.
Nature is inexhaustible and man shall not, in all the endless ages,
explore it completely; he shall only in the eternal days become more
conscious of its infinite majesty--thereby comes the everlasting joy
of man. Great hope of conquest enables man to meet his daily tasks,
with lifted head and fearless courage. Man knows that all his search
shall be successful, if he only search with might and main and have
patience to wait.

**Miracles.**  Man is of limited power; whatever he can not understand
or duplicate may be called miraculous; and only in that sense can
miracles be allowed. The miracles of the Savior were done only by
superior knowledge. Nothing is unnatural. All that has been done, man
may do as he increases in power. The conception of intelligence
guiding the destinies of men, makes it possible that, in our behalf,
wonderful things are often done, that transcend our understanding, but
which are yet in full and complete harmony with the laws of nature.
For ourselves we must discover all of nature that we can. In time of
need, when our own knowledge does not suffice, the Master may give his
help. Thus, after man has used his full knowledge and failed, the sick
may be healed, the sorrowing, comforted, or wealth or poverty may
come, provided we draw heavily enough upon the unseen forces about us.
Help so obtained is not unnatural. A miracle is simply that which we
can not understand, and at which we marvel.

**Harmony of Man and Nature.**  Vast, unnumbered forces lie about us.
The possible power of man, as he grows in knowledge, is quite beyond
our under standing. All that is required of man is that he place
himself in harmony with the interacting forces, operating in all
directions. If the forces are not fully understood, he must search
them out, and as best he can, must place himself so that they are with
him rather than against him. To enjoy nature is our privilege and
duty. No life finds joy above its harmonious associations with the
things that lie about it in nature. All this is merely in accord with
the fundamental doctrines already laid down. The Church possessing the
truth, always fosters, encourages and respects all honest
investigation of nature.




Consideration has been given, in the preceding chapters, to the
pre-existent life, the course of the Gospel on the earth, and man's
relationship to God, to the Church and to his fellowman. Man must,
also, give respectful consideration to himself, as an individual.

**The Importance of the Body.**  Attention has already been called to
the fact that the condition of the body limits, largely, the
expression of the spirit. The spirit shines through the body only as
the body permits. The body is essentially of the earth; and, in the
earth career, the earthly envelope of the spirit would naturally
determine the expression of man's powers. If the body is in poor
condition from birth, man must strengthen it as the days increase; if
it is strong from the beginning, he must make it stronger.

**Food.**  A first consideration for the proper maintenance of bodily
health, is the proper feeding of the body. Man should use food adapted
to the body and seasonable according to nature. In accordance with the
Word of Wisdom, meat should be used sparingly, and no food should be
used to excess.

**Exercise.**  The elimination of unassimilated food from the human
body is quite as important as the taking in of food. For that purpose,
physical exercise must be taken regularly. Moreover, exercise develops
and strengthens all parts of the body. Manual labor, which usually is
looked upon as inferior to mental labor, is in reality a means of
improving the body, permitting hard mental labor and making possible a
fuller expression of man's spirit. Man's life should not be given
wholly to physical work, but it should constitute a vital part of it.

**Rest.**  Just as necessary as is food or exercise, is the change
called rest. If the same muscles be exercised continuously they will
surely tire and good work can, then, no longer be done with them.
Regular rest should be given the body. Frequently, a change from one
kind of work to another is a sufficient rest; but in many cases,
cessation from effort is necessary to recuperate man's strength,
properly. The natural law requiring regular sleep should be obeyed,
though none should sleep too long. One day out of seven, the Sabbath,
should be devoted, particularly, to matters concerning God and the
spiritual life, which too often are submerged during the other days,
in the material affairs of life. An occasional fasting is very
desirable, since, for a few hours, it gives some organs of the body a
complete rest. At present, the Church practice is to fast twenty-four
consecutive hours once each month. The food thus saved, in conformity
with the fundamental spirit of brotherhood, is distributed among those
who have need of it, by ward officers specially appointed for that

**Stimulants.**  In normal health, food, exercise, rest, love of God
and fellowman and daily work, furnish a natural and sufficient
stimulation for all the duties of life. In fact, none other should be
allowed, if the best physical health is to be retained. Therefore,
alcohol in all its forms, tobacco, tea, coffee and the variety of
drugs should not be used. There is double danger in the use of
stimulants: first, they tend to undermine the strength of the man,
and, second, they take away from man his mastery of himself. Under the
influence of a drug, man is urged on by the drug itself, and not by
his own strength of will. This is most dangerous. A man who loses
control of himself, never knows just what he may do.

**Moral Purity.**  The body is much concerned in the moral purity of
the man. Men and women must keep themselves pure or there will be a
loss of life and procreative power. Moreover, men must keep themselves
as pure as do women. No reasoning, based on natural law, justifies two
standards of morality, one for the man and the other for the woman.

**The Gospel and the Sound Body.**  The sound body is a Gospel
requirement, for only with a sound body can man work out his mission
and have full joy. Working effectively and to make others happy, can
be done only in a healthy body. Every effort should be made to keep
our bodies as sound as possible. It is a part of a rational theology.



After all, the body is only the tabernacle of the spirit. The spirit
within, the essential part of man, must be developed as much as
possible during the earth career.

**The Senses.**  Knowledge is the material on which the mind works. In
every progressive life fresh knowledge must be gathered as the days go
by. The senses of man are the gateways through which that knowledge
enters. The senses of man must be developed, therefore, as completely
as is possible. Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling must
all be developed fully and joyously for the pleasure and benefit of
man. Without sharp senses, man may not have the highest earthly joy.

**The Reasoning Power.**  It is not sufficient for the contentment of
man that he gather knowledge, and add fact to fact. All new
information must be compared with other information, so that
conclusions may be drawn, and new knowledge brought into view. By this
process of reasoning, on the basis of acquired knowledge, man may rise
by sure steps to a high degree of understanding. Man must train
himself, with all his might, to use this wonderful faculty of reason,
so that he may intelligently read new knowledge from all he learns. A
fact, of itself, is lifeless; only when it is compared with other
facts, does it leap into life, and show forth its hidden meaning.

**The Feelings.**  The sense of feeling is but a poor expression for
the one great sense by which man may directly communicate with the
region of the unseen. Through this sense, man stands on the border
line between earth and the external universe. Those who have communion
with the forces about them, because of their greater refinement of
feeling, have comfort which is attainable in no other manner.

Moreover, our feelings with respect to our fellow men should be
cultivated. We must learn to sympathize with them in their distresses,
rejoice with them in their joys, and pity them in their sins. The
education of the feelings is a great duty of man.

**The Spiritual Sense.**  This sense is closely akin to the feelings.
The virtues of man, such as hope, charity, and mercy, can reach high
development only on the basis of the conviction that the unseen world
may be known. When this conviction grows upon a man, and he reaches
out for a fuller understanding of it, his spiritual sense develops,
new worlds are opened to him and he conforms to the intelligent love
which made the Great Plan possible.

**Symbolism.**  Moreover, as man develops, he learns to be content to
know eternal truths only in great symbols. That is, he learns to be
satisfied to know that he does not fully know. This has already been
dwelt upon and need not be further emphasized. The Sacrament, as an
ordinance of the Church is one of the great symbols of the suffering
and death of Jesus for the sake of mankind, that the Great Plan might
be fulfilled. Bread is eaten and water is drunk as symbols of the body
and blood of the Savior, given in the atoning sacrifice. Every other
ordinance is similarly symbolic. Back of the symbols lies the whole
Great Plan in all of its gradations. God demands that the sacrament be
partaken of frequently, so that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus may be
held before the people continually; so with the other great symbols of
the Church. By them the realities of eternal life are held before us.

**Education.**  The whole of life is education, or training for
further work. No wonder, therefore, that, in the correct philosophy of
life, schools and other devices for the training of man's powers are
foremost. Education is and must be carried onward fully and
abundantly, in the Church of Christ. The support of education is,
indeed, a test of the truthfulness of the Church.



All must work--in defense if for no other reason. Without some kind of
labor, body and mind will deteriorate. Clearly, however, all cannot do
the same work, unless each man does practically all the variety of
work necessary for the production of the things necessary in his life.
In a complex civilization of many needs, that would be impossible or
wasteful. The great satisfaction of earth-life is to be content with
whatever work may come.

**Variety of Earthly Tasks.**  In obedience to God's command, man must
devote himself to the work of subduing the earth. This is no simple
task, for the earth is an organism of many elements. Moreover, the
needs of man are varied and manifold, to the satisfying of which, the
subjection of the earth is ordained. There is an endless variety of
tasks, for body and mind, to be accomplished by the men and women of
earth. These tasks differ greatly; some concern themselves chiefly
with the body; others, chiefly with the mind; and yet others with both
body and mind. Some deal with this, and others with that, essential
need; some with this, and others with that, necessary condition. The
vocations of man are almost numberless. Much unhappiness has come to
men because they have been obliged in life to follow one vocation when
they would rather follow another. If a man thus be unhappy in his
daily work the whole of his life is akin to failure, because he does
not truly realize the possible joys of life. Occasionally, the
discontent is due to the unwillingness of the man to earn his bread in
the sweat of his brow. This is due to ignorance. Earnest, sincere
labor, requiring steady and full effort, is the source of many abiding

**All Work May be Intelligent.**  If intelligence pervades all things,
and if all things belong to the Great Plan, including the labors in
which man lives and moves, then all tasks may and should be made
intelligent and appealing to mind as well as to body. Rational as it
is, it is however a relatively new thought, that to every task, if
properly illumined by knowledge, many forces of the mind may be
applied. As man has gained added knowledge, this has become more and
more evident. The fact that intelligence may be made to illuminate the
so-called humbler tasks, lifts much of the so-called curse from the
labor of man. This is another reason for the education of man into an
understanding of the full meaning of the necessary tasks of life. It
justifies the support of research into all divisions of nature, and
stamps with approval honest study and investigation of every kind. All
kinds of work must be done; full preparation for every kind of work is
fully justified.

**Nothing Temporal.**  God has never given a temporal commandment. All
God's creative works are first spiritual, then temporal. That is, they
were first begotten of the intelligent mind, and must represent some
necessity in the Great Plan. Whatever, therefore, is brought into
operation on earth for the good of man, must represent great, eternal,
spiritual realities. In conformity with this thought, every task,
however apparently humble, however apparently remote from fundamental
principles, has a spiritual counterpart, and is necessary for the
completion of the plan under which man works. It matters little,
therefore, whether man devote his life to the tilling of the soil, the
making of shoes or the writing of books, so that the work be well
done. All such tasks are proper, dignified and necessary parts of the
Great Plan, and will lead man along the path of eternal progression.
This means that, no matter to what work a man may give himself,
providing it is honorable and he do it with all his might, he may rest
secure that on the last great day, the work will be transmuted into
spiritual values, and as such will be written into the eternal record.
The quality and not the kind of work is the final test of man's

Man knows relatively little. He accepts his part without knowing its
meaning in the full economy of God's plan for his children. Wise is
the man who spends his strength, with a full heart, in the
accomplishment of the nearest work. He will find his work transmuted
into things glorious beyond his dreams. More than that: Man need not
wait long for the transmutation of his honest work. Strength comes to
the man of honest and full endeavor, irrespective of the kind of work,
and on this earth his efforts are transmuted into a great and noble
joy. All work is holy, and, well done, will bring its own reward, here
and in the hereafter.

Without question, men should seek the work they think they love best,
or for which they are best fitted. Yet,' the majority of men can do
most work in a satisfactory manner. The work that we finally must do,
we should accept in the light of its eternal value.

**Subjection of Self.**  Nevertheless, to accept a place in
society--not always the place one desires; to do well the work that is
near at hand--not always the work one wishes; to love and to cherish
the work, and to forget oneself in the needs of others, all that is
not always easy. Such a life means a subjection of self which can be
accomplished only if there is a clear understanding of the plan of



Time is unceasing. There was a yesterday, there is a today, and there
will be a tomorrow. The Gospel plan encompasses all time. Tomorrow has
a great place in the eternal plan.

**Today.**  The greatest day of all time is today. It is the product
of all the past; and is the promise of all the future. If each today
is made great, the tomorrows will be surpassingly greater. The one way
to draw out of life the keen joys of life, is to think little of
tomorrow, but to live mightily today.

**Tomorrow.**  Yet, surely, there will be a tomorrow. The sun sets,
and we sleep, and we awaken to a new day. Forever there shall come new
days. Today is our great day; but there will be another great, a
greater day. What tomorrow shall be, depends measureably upon today.
At least, the beginning of tomorrow will be as the evening of today.
As we spend today, so will the hope of tomorrow be. The ages do not
come in leaps, but step by step do they enter into the larger life.

The law of today is that joy will transfigure each coming tomorrow, if
our work be well done today. No man knows whether his tomorrow will be
on this earth or in another existence, with new duties and under a new
environment. Of one thing we are sure, beyond all cavil, that life on
earth will continue into an endless future, and the work will be taken
up where it was laid down yesterday.

**The Resurrection.**  The man whose life is ordered right, worries
little about his tomorrow. Full well he knows that, though the body be
laid in the grave, it will rise again. He has the absolute assurance
of the resurrection. In that resurrection the body will arise
purified, possessing only its essential, characteristic parts, which
cannot be taken away or transferred to another body. These essential,
characteristic parts organized into a body will be the mortal body
made immortal.

The resurrection of mortal bodies, on earth, began with Jesus, who on
the third day rose from the grave, and after his sojourn among the
children of men, took his body with him into heaven. This was the
first fruit of the resurrection, made possible by the atonement of the
Christ. Since that time, the resurrection of man may have continued,
and no doubt will continue, in the future; for many spirits have laid
down their earthly bodies, and all must be raised from the grave. In
the resurrection, order and law will prevail, and the just deserts of
men will be kept in mind.

**Our Place in the Hereafter.**  Into a new, great world shall we
enter after the journey on earth has ended. In this new world we shall
continue our work of progression, forever and forever, under the
prevailing laws. Our progress, there, and the laws revealed to us,
will depend upon our own actions and upon our own willingness to abide
by the laws already known to us.

Our place in that life will depend on our faithfulness here. Whatever
a man has gained on earth, will rise with him in the resurrection. All
that he gained in the spirit world, before he came on earth, will
likewise rise with him. All men will be saved, but the degree of that
salvation will vary even as our varying work on earth. There will be
glory upon glory, and there will be different degrees of advancement,
some like unto the sun, some like unto the moon, while other glories
will differ even as the infinite stars of the heavens differ in the

In the Great Plan there is no provision for the eternal damnation of
man. At the best, men will be ranged according to their stage of
progression--some higher, some lower. In a universe ruled by
intelligent beings, filled with love for each other, there can be no
thought of an endless damnation only as men, by opposition to law,
destroy themselves. Endless punishment and eternal punishment, terms
often used, but of little meaning to the human mind, mean simply God's
punishment, which is beyond our understanding. Those who refuse to
accept truth or to abide by law, will gradually take less and less
part in the work of progression. They will be left behind, while their
intelligent fellows, more obedient, will go on. In nature there is no
standing still; those who do not advance, will retrograde, become
weaker and finally wither, and be forgotten in their low estate.

**The Destiny of Man.**  The intelligence called man cannot be
destroyed. Eternal life is therefore the destiny of man. But, eternal
life is life open-eyed, ready-minded, seeking, accepting and using all
knowledge that will assist in man's progress. To continue forever,
upward, that is eternal life and the destiny of man.



In the high heavens yet hang the stars. Throughout the infinite
universe still play the hosts of mighty forces. The full conquest of
the earth by man is yet to be accomplished. As things were when man
opened his eyes after birth, so do they appear to be today. Yet,
during the years that have gone, the man has changed; for now he knows
his origin and his destiny, and the purpose of his life on earth. He
knows that throughout the seeming sameness there is progressive
change; that, as he has changed, so has the world changed, too; that
the all pervading Intelligent God of the universe is engaged in a
progressive development.

Man has found his place amidst the things about him. Whence? Whither?
He knows; and with smiling courage sets out to subdue the tasks of the
day, knowing well that the day's labor, whatever it may be, in
righteousness, shall count for him in the endless journey which he is

**The Unknown Meaning.**  The man has learned that in an infinite
universe, admitting of endless development, things may not be fully
known. The very essence of things must forever be the goal, towards
which intelligence strives. Nevertheless, man also knows that to
approach by slow degrees, but steadily, the full knowledge which gives
unmeasured power over natural forces, is the way of progress. So he is
content to let each day speak one new word of the unknown meaning of
the universe.

The universe is one. All things in it are parts of one whole. The
dominating spirit of the vastness of space and of its contents is the
dominating spirit of the least part of that which constitutes the
whole. It matters not then, to what a man give himself. In everything
and anything may the riddle of the universe be read, if the search be
continued long enough. Modest in his possessions, yet courageous in
his hope of ultimate conquest, he stands before the things of his
life, small or great, knowing of a surety that in them lie the truths
that overwhelm the universe.

    "Flower in the crannied wall,
    I pluck you out of the crannies,
    I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
    Little flower--but if I could understand
    What you are, root and all, and all in all,
    I should know what God and man is."

Knowing all this, and the outline of his origin and destiny, man must
be forever engaged in extending the philosophy, in accordance with
which he orders and guides his life.

**The Earth-Law.**  On earth the man dwells today. Great are the
conceptions revealed to him concerning the constitution, progress and
destiny of the universe. Marvelous to his understanding is the
knowledge of his full and vital place in the scheme of things. Yet,
encompassed by earth conditions, he strives to assemble all this vast,
divine and wondrous knowledge, and out of it to draw some simple
formula, in the language of man, that may be applied in the affairs of
earth, and which shall be a simple guide to him in all that he may do.

Such a formula was sought and found by the first man, and has been
used by the righteous of all ages. In the meridian of time, when Jesus
of Nazareth, the Christ, came upon earth to fulfil the central thought
in the plan of salvation, he stated the formula in words that never
have been surpassed. Thus runs the formula, and thus is worded the law
of the earth: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hangeth the law and the

This, in short, is man's duty while he dwells in the flesh. His God,
his fellowman and himself--the three concerns of his life. We say it
is the earth-law, but like all other things of the earth, it stands
for huge spiritual meanings, and is therefore an eternal law for all
times and for all places.

**To Love God.**  What does it mean, to love God with one's heart and
soul and mind? Certainly, a love of the heart and the soul and the
mind can not be given to a Being who is not known nor understood. Such
love is more than a blind obedience. In such a love there must be a
rational understanding of God's nature and of his place in the
universe and of his relation to men. There must be in such a fulness
of love an acceptance of God's superior knowledge, of his intelligent
Plan for man and of his supreme and final authority. Such a love can
not well be forgotten or survive, unless God is part of a universe,
the orderly outlines of which can be fathomed by the human mind, That
such knowledge may be possessed by man, and that a real unfeigned love
for God may be developed, has been taught in the preceding pages.
Neither can God be fully loved unless he is obeyed; and the first
command is simple, "Multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it."

**To Love a Neighbor as Oneself.**  To love oneself--that is easy.
Instinctively, from the first day, we have reached out for our own
greater good. Every personal philosophy makes the man the center. To
love our neighbor equally well--"that's the rub." His will is not our
will; his ways, not our ways. Yet, only by the progress of all, can
each gain the greatest advancement. The fundamental conceptions of a
universe filled with eternal matter and forces, and a host of
individual intelligent beings, make it clear that only by complete
harmony of all intelligent beings can the interests of each be served,
in the work of subjugating, by intelligent conquest, the forces of
universal nature.

To love one's neighbor, then, a man must first know fully his own
origin and destiny and possible powers; then he may soon learn the
need of loving his fellowman, if his love for himself shall grow
great. This commandment is not inferior to the first.

**The Triumph of Man.**  The eternal, conscious, willing being, having
become an earthly man, stands before the law of the earth. If he
strives, all the days of his life, to bring into perfect accord, the
God who rules, his earthly brother and himself, he will at length win
the victory in the battle of his life. Out of such a life will come,
among other gifts, controlled personal desires, subjection to law, a
recognition of the great power of man, and the harmonious adjustment
of contending forces to the completion of the Great Plan which governs
man's earth-life. Whether living or dead, such a person has triumphed,
and the journey from the dim beginning has not been in vain. To such
souls comes the reward of the unspeakable joy of a perfect
understanding of the meaning of life, and the living peace that
passeth understanding--through which appears the vital future, ever
vigorously progressing towards an increasing, virile goal.

Have you tried the virtue of the law of the earth? If you have not,
try it now, for it is good.


The doctrines and views set forth in the preceding pages, based on the
teachings of the elders of the Church, especially of the Prophet
Joseph Smith, may be confirmed by a study of the doctrinal standards
of the Church, namely, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and
Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The following references,
chosen almost at random, from these standards, especially from the
Doctrine and Covenants, are for the immediate use of those who wish to
pursue the study somewhat more in detail. For a critical study, an
exhaustive examination must necessarily be made of the doctrinal
standards and of the mass of books and printed sermons on the system
of belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such
students will find the existing indexes or concordances to the
standard authorities of most value.[A] but they will also obtain much
ready help from the several existing excellent compilations of
references, classified under doctrinal headings.[B] A list of Church
literature may be obtained from the Deseret News and Deseret Sunday
School Union Bookstores, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[Footnote A: _Cruden's Concordance to the Bible_ (or some other good
concordance). _A Complete Concordance to the Book of Mormon_ (George
Reynolds). _A Concordance to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants_ (John
A. Widtsoe). No index has as yet been made for the _Pearl of Great
Price_, but the book is small and may be read easily in its entirety.]

[Footnote B: _The Compendium_ (Richards and Little) is the type after
which most of the later compilations have been fashioned.]



  **Doctrine and Covenants** 1:28; 42:61; 46:18; 84:19; 88:78-80, 118,
  119; 89:19; 90:15; 93:11-14, 29-36, 53; 101:25; 128:14; 130:18, 19;


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 3:2; 9:7-9; 28:13; 29:31-35; 49:17;
  76:13, 22-24; 82:4; 86:9; 88:13, 25, 26, 34-45; 93:21-23, 29; 105:5;
  121:30-32; 130:20, 21; 131:7; 132:8.

  **Pearl of Great Price,** Abraham 3:18-21; Moses 1:33, 35; 3:5, 9.

  **Book of Mormon,** I Nephi 10:19; II Nephi 11:5; Alma 13:6, 7;
  34:9; 42:16.

  **Bible,** Job 38:4-7; Jer. 1:5; John 9:2; 17:5; Heb. 12:9; Rom.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** 9:7-9;

  **Book of Mormon,** Alma 12:11, 31; 29:4, 5; 30:9; Moroni 10:4, 5;
  Mosiah 18:28.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** Lectures on Faith 7:8; sections 50:24;
  93:12-14, 20; 132:20.

  **Book of Mormon,** Alma 32:32; Mosiah 4:12.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** 3:2, 4, 10; 6:2; 76:2-4; 88:13, 41;
  93:1, 12-15, 29-38; 107:54, 55; 110:1-4, 130:1-3, 22.

  **Pearl of Great Price,** Abraham 4:1-31.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** 45:71; 58:18; 77:2; 88:15; 93:28, 33,
  34; 98:8; 128:19; 133:33.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 2:25; Enos 1:3; Ether 3:6-20.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** 9:3-6; 10:66; 18:11-13; 19:16-19;
  29:35-42, 46; 58:28; 74:7; 76:25, 26, 39-41, 69; 93:29-39; 98:8;
  101:78; 104:17; 121:32.

  **Pearl of Great Price,** Abraham 3:18, 25, 26.

  **Book of Mormon,** I Nephi 4:33; 6:4; II Nephi 2:3, 6, 27; 9:5,
  25-26; 10:23-25; 31:21; Alma 3:26; 7:12; 12:31; 13:3; Mosiah 3:5;
  4:6-9; Helaman 14:30.

  **Bible,** Gen. 2:17; Isa. 63:9; Matt. 18:11; John 1:29; 3:14, 15;
  12:23; Rom. 3:25; 5:15; 6:23; I Tim 2:5; Gal. 3:13; Jude 1:6; Rev.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** 82:4; 88:35-40; 93:38; 128 sec.

  **Book of Mormon,** I Nephi 10:18; 21:6; II Nephi 9:18, 25; Alma
  12:25; 30:11; 34:16.

  **Bible,** Neh. 9:17; Acts 15:18.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** 27:11; 29:35-41; 38:1-3; 107:53, 54;

  **Pearl of Great Price,** Abraham chaps. 4 and 5.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 2:9-25; Alma 12:22, 23, 31; 18:29;
  Mosiah 2:25; 3:16: 4:2; Mormon 9:12.

  **Bible,** Gen. chap 3; Rom. 5:12.


  **Pearl of Great Price,** Book of Moses, Book of Abraham; Writings
  of Joseph Smith.

  **Bible,** Genesis; The Gospels.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 18:18; 19:24; 27:11; 29:34; 39:6; 50:43;
  76:56-58; 78:15-18; 84:37, 38; 93:1-17; 107:53-56; 121:28-32;
  132:19, 20, 23, 37.

  **Pearl of Great Price,** Abraham 3:1-5.

  **Book of Mormon,** Alma 12:31.

  **Bible,** Gen. 1:26; Deut. 10:17; Exo. 15:11; Psalms 86:8; Dan.
  2:47; I Cor. 8:5; Rev. 17:14.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 5:2; 27:18; 29:30, 31; 59:14; 93:26;

  **Book of Mormon,** I Nephi 1:12; II Nephi 2:4; Alma 7:13; Ether

  **Bible,** Gen. 6:3; Prov. 1:23; Dan. 4:8; John 16:13.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 4:7; 9:8; 41:3; 42:16, 61; 46:28; 50:29;
  59:14; 68:33; 89:18, 19; 121:26-33.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 21:2, 3; 31:3; Alma 11:41; 32:34;
  34:39; Moroni 10:10.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 10:12, 23-33, 63; 29:28, 29, 36-40; 35:9;
  52:14; 76:28; 84:67; 88:114; 121:4; 124:98; 129:8.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 2:17; III Nephi 13:12; 18:15; Mosiah
  16:5; Moroni 7:12.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 10:67; 11:24-26; 20:1; 21:1-3; 22:3;
  26:2; 29:42, 43; 41:2, 3; 42:8; 43:8; 45:14; 50:44; 58:23; 76:54;



  **Doctrine and Covenants,** Lectures on Faith, sections 18:18; 35:9;
  41:3; 44:2; 45:8; 49:11-14; 52:20; 85:1, 2; 136:42.

  **Book of Mormon,** I Nephi 10:6, 17; II Nephi 25:26; Enos 1:8;
  Mosiah 8:18; Ether 12:10.

  **Bible,** Genesis 15:6; Exodus 4:5; Numbers 20:12; Psalms 119:66;
  Prov. 16:20; John 5:24; 20:29; Acts 8:37; 10:43; II Cor. 5:7.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 1:32, 33; 18:42; 20:29; 39:18; 90:34.

  **Book of Mormon,** I Nephi 10:18; II Nephi 30:4; Alma 12:24; 26:22;
  Mosiah 27:24.

  **Bible,** Matt. 3:2; Luke 13:3; II Peter 3:9; Rev. 3:19.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 18:42; 20:37, 72-74; 55:2; 68:8, 25-27;
  76:51; 128:12.

  **Book of Mormon,** Alma 28:18; Moroni 8:4-22.

  **Bible,** Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Luke 3:3; John 1:33; 3:23; I
  Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:5.

**Gift of the Holy Ghost**

  **Doctrine and Covenants** 20:41; 33:15; 35:6; 76:52, 114-118;

  **Book of Mormon,** Alma 31:36.

  **Bible,** Acts 8:17; 9:17; 19:2-6.


  **Doctrine and Covenants,** Lectures on Faith. Sections 18:27; 20:2,
  3, 38-71; 27:1-18; 84:14-21, 35-39; 107:1-5, 40-52; 112:31, 32;

  **Book of Mormon,** Mosiah 29:42; Alma 4:4; 6:1; 13:1-3, 5-20;
  Helaman 8:18.

  **Bible,** Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-18; Psalms 110:4; John 15:16; Acts
  14:23; Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 5:1; 7:3, 15-28; I Peter 2:5; Titus
  1:5; II Tim. 1:6.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 20:60-67; 26:2; 28:13; 68:19-21; 78:1;
  104:21; 107, whole section; 124:123-145.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 84:18, 21, 35; 107:30-32; 113:8;
  121:36-46; 128:9-11; 132:28, 45-49.

  **Book of Mormon,** Alma 5:3; I Nephi 10:23.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 3:4; 6:9; 19:33; 20:20; 29:34; 56:1;
  58:21; 63:55; 64:34; 82:10; 88:22-39; 98:4-7; 101:43-62; 103:31-34;
  105:5; 124:49; 130:19, 20, 21; 134, whole section.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 2:23, 27; 9:25; Alma 30:3, 11; 42:17;
  Mosiah 5:8; 2:32-37; Moroni 8:25.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 1:1-2, 23; 4:5; 19:21, 22; 36:4-8;
  33:8-12; 38:11; 42:63; 45:20; 49:11-14; 84:87; 90:11; 112:30.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 13:21; 36:8; 84:5; 105:33; 109:5; 110:8;
  124, whole section; 128:15, 24; 133:2.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 5:6; 33:15; III Nephi 11:1; Jacob 1:17;
  Mosiah 1:18; 2:1-7; Alma 10:2; Helaman 3:9; 10:7.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 1:10; 38:24; 42:27; 59:6; 81:4; 88:81;


  **Book of Mormon,** Jacob 5:66; Mosiah 27:3; 29:38; Alma 1:26.


  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 26:30; 33:4; Mosiah 18:21; Ether 12:27.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 42:30-39, 53-55, 71-73; 51:1-20; 44:6;
  52:40; 78:1-2; 82:1-24; 83:1-6; 85:1-5, 9-12; 92:1-2; 104:1-86;
  105:34; 119:1-7.

  **Book of Mormon,** III Nephi 26:19; IV Nephi 1:2, 3, 16.

  **Bible,** Numbers 18:26-28; Lev. 27:30; II Chron. 31:5, 6; Neh.
  10:37, 38; Mal. 3:18; Matt. 19:16-21; Luke 18:12; Acts 4:31-32, 35;
  Heb. 7:5.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** sections 2 and 128; 21:1; 47:3; 57:3;
  93:8-17; 110:13-16; 124:33; 127:5-8; 128:2-5.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 26:30; Mosiah 2:4.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 18:42; 20:70, 71; section 25; 29:46, 47;
  49:15-17; 55:4; 68:25-27; 74:5, 6; 83:4, 5; 84:27, 28; 93:40-42;
  131:2; section 132.

  **Bible,** Gen. 1:27; 15:5; 2:18, 23; 20:12; Deut. 7:3; I Cor.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 38:23; 50:40; 55:4; 69:7; 88:77, 79, 118,
  119, 127, 137; 90:8, 15; 93:53; 95:17; 130:19.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 20:17; 29:24, 31, 32; 45:58; 49:16, 19;
  59:18, 21; 77:2, 3; 88:20-45; 89:15; 103:7; 130:9.

  **Book of Mormon,** II Nephi 8:6; Ether 6:4; 13:9.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 42:24; 49:19-21; 59:14-20; 63:16; 88:124;
  section 89; 132:41.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 29:32-35.


  **Doctrine and Covenants** 18:12; 29:26-28; 45:45-54; 63:20, 21, 49;
  section 76; 77:1; 88:14-42; 101:25, 78; 130:9-11.

  **Book of Mormon,** Mosiah 16:9.

  **Bible,** Daniel 12:2; Job 19:25; Luke 24:34; Rom. 8:24; Rev.
  1:18; 20:5,6.


  **Book of Mormon,** Mosiah 23:15.

  **Bible,** Matt. 22:34-40.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Rational Theology - As Taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.