Home
  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: Rays of Living Light on the One Way of Salvation
Author: Penrose, Charles W.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rays of Living Light on the One Way of Salvation" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Project (MormonTextsProject.org)



Rays of Living Light on the One Way of Salvation


By

Chas. W. Penrose

of the

Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints

1904



RAY NO. 1.

There are so many different religious systems in the world, each
claiming not only to be right but to be divine, that a rational
mind, unwarped by sect or creed, is likely to become bewildered and
disgusted in its efforts to reach and embrace religious truth. The
claim frequently put forth that all the Christian sects are right is
a palpable absurdity. Truth is always consistent with itself. It is
error that causes confusion. Two opposing systems cannot both be
correct. They may both be wrong, but it is impossible for both to be
right. There may be some truth in every religion that has been
foisted upon the world. Indeed, without that no system could have
continued existence. It is that portion of each religion which is
true that keeps it alive and makes its errors plausible.

To say that God is the author of the conflicting religions which
distract mankind, is to charge him with inconsistency and folly.
That which comes from God must of necessity be true. This needs no
argument; it is so self-evident that many thinking people, beholding
the contention and strife of ages over religious affairs, have
formed the opinion that all religions are human, conceived in the
minds of men and promulgated for selfish purposes. Yet, admitting
that there is a Supreme Being, the Creator of all things, who is the
embodiment of truth, justice, mercy, wisdom and love, it seems
unreasonable to think that he would leave his intelligent creatures
without a guide on the road to the eternal future.

As there is but one Supreme God, there can be but one true religion.
That religion must be of divine origin. It must come from God to
man. Religions invented by men would necessarily vary. Man cannot by
his own searching find out God, or the ways of God, but Deity can
enlighten man and reveal himself and his will to mortals. The
infinite can condescend to the finite, while the finite of itself
cannot grasp or comprehend the infinite. It is of utmost importance
that mankind should learn what God requires, in order that men and
women may be fitted for his presence and be in harmony with him in
time and in eternity. The true religion, therefore, that which God
reveals, that which he has revealed, and that which he may yet
reveal, should be considered of greater value than anything else.
Nothing that is perishable can be compared with it. That which
endures forever is immeasurably above that which only lasts for a
time. He that gains this "pearl of great price" is rich above all
computation.

One of the great errors into which people have fallen in reference
to religion is that God must accept any mode of worship, any sort of
ordinances, and any kind of church that men may establish, so long
as they are sincere in their intentions and devout in their desires.
God must be worshipped not only in spirit but in truth. His word is
truth. His Spirit is the spirit of truth. God's religion, then, will
be the truth, and nothing but the truth, and he will accept of
nothing short of this. The inventions of men, whatever may be their
motives, are not of God and therefore are vain. The precepts and
opinions and vagaries of man-appointed preachers and teachers, not
being authorized or inspired of God, cannot be relied upon and are
not acknowledged in heaven. Christendom as well as heathendom is in
a ferment with human conceptions and conflicting theories in
relation to God, his will, his purposes, and his requirements. The
result is spiritual Babylon, which is confusion. God is not with it,
for he is the author of peace, and order and harmony.

"Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it;" so said the great Teacher whom
professing Christians regard as the Savior of the world (Matthew
7:14). He also declared: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
entereth not by the door into the sheep-fold, but climbeth up some
other way, the same is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1). Also, "But
in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments
of men" (Matthew 15:9). And further, "Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"
(Matthew 4:4).

The nations that are called heathen are, no doubt, as sincere in
their idolatrous worship as are the Christian nations in their
opposing creeds and devotional exercises. If mere sincerity and
devout motives are sufficient for God's acceptance, then heathendom
is on a par with Christendom in the sight of heaven. But the
objector will no doubt reply, "Heathen religions lack the one
essential feature of acceptance with God, faith in Jesus Christ.
Having that, doctrinal differences do not matter; faith alone is
sufficient for salvation." "Christ is the way, the truth, and the
light, and whosoever believeth in him shall have eternal life." That
is another of the astonishing errors of modern religious people and
teachers. Seizing upon a few isolated texts from the New Testament,
relying upon the letter of the word alone, regardless of the spirit
and meaning thereof, they altogether ignore numerous other texts in
the same volume, which make plain the intent and signification of
those which they select. Their eyes are blinded to the pure truth,
they stumble in the way, and the blind leading the blind, they are
in danger of falling into the ditch together.

Jesus of Nazareth truly said, "For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). But he also
said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me"
(John 10:27). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on
me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than
these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). "If a
man love me, he will keep my words" (Verse 23). "He that hath my
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him." (Verse 21.) "If ye keep my commandments, ye
shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's
commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:10.) "Not every one
that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
(Matthew 7:21.) "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the
things which I say?" (Luke 6:46.) "Whosoever therefore shall break
one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be
called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do
and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in
no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:19-20.) "And
every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not,
shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the
sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds
blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall
of it." (Matthew 7:26, 27.) "Every tree that bringeth not forth good
fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their
fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:19.) When the rich young man
asked the Savior what he should do that he might have eternal life,
he was not told there was nothing for him to do but believe in
Christ, but the answer was, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the
commandments." (Matthew 19:17.) After Christ's resurrection, when he
sent his apostles into all the world to preach the gospel to every
creature, he added, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:20.)

The apostles, thus authorized, obeyed these instructions, and not
only proclaimed belief in Jesus Christ as necessary to salvation;
but obedience to his teachings as equally essential. The history of
their travels, as narrated in the book called the Acts of the
Apostles, demonstrates this to be true. Such of their epistles as
have been preserved and compiled in the New Testament also bear this
witness. These records show beyond reasonable dispute that the faith
in Christ which is sufficient for salvation comprehends faith in his
teachings and obedience to his commands.

The belief in Christ which is taught by modern Christian sects is
thus condemned by the Apostle James: "But wilt thou know, O vain
man, that faith without works is dead? Ye see then how that by works
a man is justified, and not by faith only." "For as the body without
the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James
2:20, 24, 26).

The Apostle Paul is generally cited as the great preacher of the
doctrine of justification by faith alone. But that he is
misunderstood on that subject is evident from his epistle to the
Romans, in which, while he proclaims the doctrine of justification
by faith, he also affirms emphatically the necessity of good works
as the fruits of faith; as for instance: "Who will render to every
man according to his deeds; to them who by patient continuance in
well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but
obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and
anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first,
and also of the Gentile. But glory, honor and peace to every man
that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. For
there is no respect of persons with God" (Romans 2:6-11).

It is to this very epistle that the advocates of salvation by faith
alone chiefly refer when seeking support for their irrational
theory, and they quote: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Also,
"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay,
but by the law of faith" (Chap. 3:27). But they neglect to add what
follows, "Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the law" (verse 28). The tenor of the whole
epistle is to the effect that the law of Moses is insufficient; that
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight" (verse 20). Thus justification and redemption come
through the atonement made by Christ, and that faith in him which
includes belief in his teachings and obedience to his commands, is
the one way of salvation.

Another quotation common with the disciples of the faith alone
doctrine is this: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). But here
again they omit the following verse: "For with the heart man
believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made
unto salvation" (verse 10).

This is the key to the whole matter. The faith that saves is the
faith that leads to obedience, which is "better than sacrifice";
that obedience must be given to "every word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God". Belief, prayer, devotional exercises, of
themselves, will not prepare man for the presence and society of his
Maker. To dwell with him, man must be assimilated to his likeness.
This can be effected only by compliance with his commands. Man's
future will be determined by his present course. In the glorious
vision given to John the Beloved, we find this: "And I saw the dead,
small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and
another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead
were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

This tract is but preliminary to others, in which the one
everlasting way of life and plan of salvation will be plainly
pointed out, for the benefit of mankind and the glory of the supreme
and eternal God, to whom be honor and praise forever. Amen.



RAY NO. 2.

The first principle of revealed religion is faith in God. True
religion must begin with faith in the true God. Faith in false gods
leads to false religions. Without faith there can be no religion in
the soul of man. "Without faith it is impossible to please him: For
he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). In a
general sense, faith is the assurance in the soul of the existence
of unseen things, that is, unseen by the natural eye. The principle
of faith, that is, the power to believe, is planted in man by the
gift of God. It is developed by evidence. Faith in God is brought
into action by the word of God. Whether spoken by Deity himself, by
angels sent from his presence, or by men divinely authorized and
appointed to speak in his name under the influence of his Holy
Spirit, the word of God is the same. When that word is written it is
scripture.

Evidences of the existence of a Supreme Being are seen in vast
profusion. They appeal to every rational mind. The order, beauty,
and sublimity of the heavenly bodies, moving through space in silent
majesty, each in its own orbit, balancing and counterbalancing each
other without an error in time or revolution, all preserving their
own identity and performing their own mission, proceeding thus
through everlasting ages, are perennial witnesses of the existence,
power and glory of God. The earth itself, with its relations to
other planets, its products, its seasons, its adaptation to the
needs of the creatures that inhabit its surface or its atmosphere,
joins in the grand chorus of the music of the spheres, "Forever
singing as they shine, the hand that made us is divine." Nature,
however, while proclaiming the existence of Deity, does not disclose
his personality or reveal his will. A knowledge of God can only come
from God. Faith leads to that knowledge.

The greatest religious teacher among men was Jesus, the Nazarene. In
his personality God was manifest in the flesh. He revealed Deity to
humanity. He showed that God was in reality the Father of the
spirits of men. He proclaimed that he was in the beginning with God;
that he came forth from God, and that all mankind were his brethren,
made in the image of God and part of his eternal family. This
presents God as actually and literally "Our Father which art in
heaven." It takes away the mystery with which false faiths have
enveloped the Supreme Being, beclouding the minds of men, and making
God utterly incomprehensible. Jesus taught that his Father and our
Father is a personal being, man being in his likeness, Jesus himself
being in his express image. He taught also that he was sent into the
world to save mankind, and bring them back to the Father's presence;
that no man could come unto God but by him. The true Christian
religion, therefore, combines faith in Jesus Christ the Son, with
faith in God the eternal Father. Christ further taught the existence
of a divine Spirit, proceeding from God, to enlighten the souls of
men; that is, the Holy Ghost, by which the mind and will of God may
be made known to man, and by which holy men chosen of God have been
inspired in different ages to declare his word.

These three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, form the
eternal Godhead. They are not one person, as erroneously declared by
modern Christian churches, but are separate and distinct substances,
though one in mind and power and dominion. Jesus of Nazareth, as the
Son of God, was a personality as distinct from the personality of
the eternal Father as is that of any earthly son from his father.
The Holy Spirit, though proceeding from both the Father and the Son,
is not either of them, but has an identity of his own. It is true
that Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). But he also
said, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).

That the unity of the Godhead is not oneness in person is made very
clear in the account of the baptism of Jesus Christ; the Son on that
occasion coming up out of the waters of Jordan, the Holy Spirit
descending upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of the
Father from heaven proclaiming, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I
am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus said, "I came forth from
the Father, and am come into the world." Again, "I leave the world
and go to the Father" (John 16:28). He also prayed the Father, and
in the prayer recorded by John explained in unmistakable language
what he meant when he declared, "I and my Father are one." After
praying for his apostles, he said: "Neither pray I for these alone,
but for them also which shall believe on me through their words,
that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us. That the world may believe that
thou hast sent me" (John 17:20, 21). Concerning the Holy Spirit he
said: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you
that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come
unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (Chap. 16:7).
Many more of the sayings of the Savior might be adduced, but these
are sufficient to show the distinct personality of each of the three
that form the Godhead, while they are in perfect unity of mind and
purpose and action. If they are one substance, as taught in modern
Christendom, then all who believe on them, in all ages, are to be
made also one substance, thus losing their identity and becoming one
vast, incomprehensible and inconceivable finality.

The omnipresence of God has bewildered many minds which are unable,
because of modern false teachings, to understand how God the eternal
Father can be a person after whose form and image man is created,
and yet be present throughout his vast creations. But the
explanation is simple in the light of truth. It is by his Holy
Spirit, which permeates all things, and is the life and light of all
things, that Deity is everywhere present. Our Father has his
dwelling place in the eternal heavens. Christ is at his right hand,
and the Holy Spirit proceeds from them throughout the immensity of
space. By that agency God sees and knows and governs all things. By
it mankind may be brought into union and communion with God. It
guides into all truth. It recalls the past, manifests the present,
and reveals the future. It is the testimony of Jesus and the spirit
of prophecy. It is the light of Christ, and "lighteth every man that
cometh into the world." It is the "inspiration of God which giveth
the spirit of man understanding." To that degree it shines on every
soul, but as the gift of the Holy Ghost it is a far greater and
higher light. Then it is the abiding witness that bears record of
the Father and the Son; that "searcheth all things, yea the deep
things of God."

Faith in God, the Father, and in Jesus Christ, the Son, and in the
Holy Ghost is but the beginning of true religion. It is exhibited in
works of obedience which will be explained in other tracts of this
series. Faith is also a principle of power. All human exertion
springs from its exercise. This is exemplified in all the acts of
life. In a higher sense it is a spiritual force. It was by faith, in
this degree, that the wonderful works of the prophets and apostles
and other holy men of old, were accomplished, as recorded in the Old
and New Testaments, and in the sacred books of the seers and sages
who were not of the Hebrew race. For, faith is the same principle in
all ages and among all nations. It was by this faith that the sick
were healed, the blind received their sight, the lame were made to
walk, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the sting of the serpent
and the virulence of poison were made harmless, divine dreams and
heavenly visions were beheld, and the glories of eternity were
unfolded to the saints and servants of God in the early Christian
church. It was by faith that lepers were cleansed, water was turned
into wine, multitudes were fed with a few loaves and fishes, the
winds and the waves were stilled, and the dead were raised to life,
when the Divine Master walked on the earth in the flesh. These
marvels are called "miracles." They are deemed supernatural, but
they were the natural results of the exercise of the spiritual force
called faith. It was by the same power that the heavens were closed
that there was no rain for three years and six months; that the
barrel of meal and the cruse of oil failed not, and that the ravens
brought food in the days of Elijah the prophet. By the same faith
the children of Israel were led out of Egypt by Moses, the Red Sea
was divided, manna was brought from heaven and water from the rock,
and people bitten by serpents were healed in the wilderness. It was
also by that same faith that the early patriarchs prevailed, and
some of them walked and talked with God. And indeed, it was by faith
that the worlds were brought into material existence, order coming
out of chaos, light springing forth from darkness, and life, in its
various forms, being developed through the word of the eternal God,
in whom this principle of faith is manifest in its full and complete
perfection.

This is the faith spoken of in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Also in
the epistle of Jude, in which he urged upon the church when writing
upon the "common salvation," that they should "earnestly contend for
the faith once delivered to the saints." In modern Christendom it is
taught that this faith, with all the gifts, signs and glorious
manifestations which it produces, are "done away and no longer
needed." But this is another of the many grievous errors of
spiritual Babylon. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. A
principle of truth never changes. Cause and effect do not vary by
the lapse of time. The faith exercised in the first century of the
Christian era or of human existence on earth, must inevitably bring
forth similar results in the latter days. The absence of the effect
proves the absence of the cause.

The true religion contains the true faith. It is the one thing
needful. It is the one way of salvation. To know the only living and
true God and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, is to gain eternal
life (John 17:3). Living faith is the starting point in the path to
that knowledge. While it has existed in a small degree, and has been
exercised occasionally and in a limited manner during the centuries
that have passed since the apostolic age, the faith "once delivered
to the saints" has faded almost out of active life, even among
professing Christians, whose minds have been blinded by the
traditions of men and the dogmas and theories of human invention.
While good men and women have served God, and sought after him to
the best of their ability, through the long night of darkness which
has intervened from the days of divine revelation down to the
present century, they have not been able to find that "closer walk
with God" and exercise that mighty faith enjoyed in ancient times
and which is essential to the true religion. Thank God that faith
has been restored to earth, and through it divine communication is
once more opened up, man may commune again with his Maker, and all
the blessings obtained at any time thereby may now be received by
the obedient sons and daughters of God. Concerning this
all-important matter other tracts of this series will be presented
to the public, that truth may prevail and that divine light may
shine upon the world.



RAY NO. 3.

IN PREVIOUS tracts of this series it has been shown that there can
be but one true religion, because there is but one supreme God, that
it must be revealed from him instead of being made by man, and that
the first principle of that religion is faith, which can be made
manifest only by works. Let us now see what those works are which
are essential to salvation. The first fruit of faith in God and in
Jesus Christ is repentance of sin. Sin against God is the
transgression of his law. Conviction of sin comes through faith in
God and his law. Conviction leads to humility and repentance and
obedience. Sorrow for sin is not of itself true repentance, which
comprehends not only regret for the past, but reformation for the
future. It includes determination to forsake and refrain from sin.
As the Apostle Paul expressed it, "For godly sorrow worketh
repentance to salvation not to be repented of" (II Corinthians
7:10). When the sinner is sorry because he has been found out, that
is not true repentance. Grief is an element of repentance, because
when a believer perceives that he has broken a law of God, he feels
remorse. But unless he resolves to turn away from that transgression,
and not repeat it, he does not reach full repentance.

"Cease to do evil, learn to do well," has been the word of God and
his inspired servants through all the ages. It is a step forward in
practical religion. It is absolutely necessary to salvation. Without
it belief in Christ is vain. He said himself, "Except ye repent, ye
shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). "God commandeth all men
everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). Jesus instructed that
"repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name
among all nations" (Luke 24:47). The idea that people may sin
against God and against humanity, and by mere belief in the merits
of the Savior, be absolved from all the consequences of their guilt,
is one of the greatest of the many absurdities which have been
grafted by the hand of man upon the tree of religion.

Christ gave himself a sacrifice to save mankind from their sins, not
in their sins. His work is to redeem humanity by lifting it up to
Deity. His gospel teaches purification from sin and exaltation into
the righteousness of God. The atonement wrought out on Calvary is as
much misunderstood by modern divines who preach it as were the
teachings of Moses and the prophets by the sectaries who rejected
the Nazarene. That atonement was for a dual purpose. First, to
redeem mankind from the consequences of the original sin committed
in the Garden of Eden, and second, to open the way to salvation from
the actual sins committed by the posterity of Adam.

As to the first, redemption will come to all the race without effort
on their part. Death came into the world in the beginning because
the divine law was broken. It passed upon all the descendants of the
transgressor. Christ gave himself a sacrifice for that sin. As by
one came death, so by one will come life. "As in Adam all die, even
so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22). As the
sons and daughters of Adam were not personally engaged in or
responsible for the transgression which brought death, so they are
not required to do anything in the work which shall restore them to
life. The resurrection will be as broad as the death. The raising up
will be coextensive with the effects of the fall. But when through
Christ the resurrection is accomplished, the dead, small and great,
who are thus brought up and redeemed from the grave, will be judged
according to their works (Revelation 20).

As to the second, the actual sins of each individual, salvation will
come through faith in Christ and obedience to his gospel. Each
intelligent person is accountable for his own acts. He must do what
is required in order that he may be saved from his sins. The power
is inherent in man to do right or to do wrong. In this he is a free
agent. He can resist evil and do good, or resist good and do evil,
as he elects. No matter how great may be the force of circumstances
and environments, and the pressure of hereditary influences, the
volition of the creature remains. The doctrine of rewards and
punishments is predicated upon individual freedom of the will and
personal responsibility for its exercise. Christ has done for
mankind that and that alone which they were not able to do for
themselves. That which they can perform is required of every one.
They can believe, they can repent, and they can receive and obey the
commandments of Christ given as conditions to salvation. Unless they
do this, although they will be raised from the dead and appear
before the Eternal Judge, they cannot be exalted to dwell in his
presence.

Thus it will be seen that while Christ died, unconditionally, for
the original sin by which death came into the world, he died as a
propitiation for the actual sins of the world, conditionally. And it
was to proclaim these conditions and offer them to every creature
that he sent his apostles forth as ministers of salvation. There is
no other way to eternal life. The plan of salvation is not changed
to suit the notions and opinions of man. It does not vary in
different ages, nor among different nations. It is the "everlasting
gospel." The law of Moses was a temporary and imperfect law of
carnal commandments, given because the gospel had been rejected by
the Israelites. It answered its purpose and passed away when the one
eternal gospel plan was restored by Jesus Christ, through whom alone
mankind can be saved, and that salvation cannot be obtained except
by faith in him which comprehends obedience to his requirements.

It has been shown that faith is the first principle of the gospel,
and repentance--the forsaking of sin, is the second, and it is now
necessary to present the third principle, which is remission of
sins. The popular idea of modern Christendom is that repentance of
itself brings remission of sins. That is another serious mistake.
Payment of debts is not brought about by simply ceasing to get
credit; determination to sin no more does not wipe out sins already
committed. God is a being of order and of law. He has instituted the
means whereby each sinner may receive a cleansing from the past. His
laws are as uniform in the spiritual world as in the natural world;
obedience to those laws is as necessary in one sphere as in the
other. Remission of sins comes to the repentant believer through
baptism, when it is properly performed under divine authority.

Baptism for the remission of sins was preached and practiced by
John, the forerunner of Jesus. "John did baptize in the wilderness,
and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission for sins"
(Mark 1:4). Jesus Christ honored that baptism in person and by his
teachings. He also sent his apostles to preach it to every creature
(Matthew 28:19-20; also Mark 16:15-16). Previous to preaching that
baptism, he instructed his apostles to "tarry at Jerusalem until
they were endowed with power from on high" (Luke 24:47, 49). That
power was bestowed upon them on the day of Pentecost, when they were
assembled in one place with one accord, and the Holy Ghost was
manifested to them in visible form. To the people who gathered to
hear the apostles, forming a great multitude, Peter preached the
first gospel sermon after the resurrection of Christ, as is recorded
in the 2nd chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. After testifying of
the mission and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, in response to
their inquiry, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" "Then Peter
said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name
of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your
children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our
God shall call" (Acts 2:37, 38 and 39). Three thousand people on
that day received the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were baptized for
the remission of their sins.

The remission of sins is given in baptism to those who believe and
repent, but comes through the atonement wrought out by Jesus Christ.
"Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). The
blood of Christ answers for the blood of the sinner who complies
with the conditions required in Christ's gospel. The benefits of
that atonement are offered to all whom the gospel is preached, but
are obtained only by those who render obedience to it. The scripture
is often quoted which says, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin." But this is only part of the text, and
is therefore misleading. Here is the scripture as it stands: "This
then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto
you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say
that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and
do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the
light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:5-7).

Baptism was instituted for the remission of sins by divine command.
It is therefore essential. It is a sign of cleansing, purification,
death to sin, burial from the world and resurrection to a new life
in Christ Jesus. For, baptism means immersion. The sprinkling or
pouring of water on the body is not baptism. The ordinance of
baptism preached by John, the forerunner, by Christ himself, and by
the apostles whom he sent as his messengers, was both a burial and a
birth. When Jesus was baptized by John it was in the river Jordan:
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized
of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of
thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him,
Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all
righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was
baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens
were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a
dove and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:13-17).
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a
man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Jesus himself set the example, and was
born of water and of the Spirit, and though he knew no sin, had to
be baptized in order to "fulfill all righteousness." When Philip
baptized the great man of Ethiopia, "They went down both into the
water . . . and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of
the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip" (Acts
8:35-39). John baptized "in Aenon, near to Salim, because there was
much water there" (John 3:23). Paul likened baptism to a burial and
a resurrection (See Romans 6:4, 5; Colossians 2:12). Peter cited
the flood as a figure of baptism (I Peter 3:20-21).

The order of the gospel as taught by Christ and his apostles is
first faith, second repentance, and third baptism by immersion for
the remission of sins, with the promise of the Holy Ghost to all who
complied therewith. Infant baptism is a palpable heresy. Sin is the
transgression of the law. Infants cannot commit sins. Baptism must
follow faith and repentance. Infants cannot exercise faith, and they
have nothing to repent of even if they were capable of repentance.
God never authorized any one to baptize an infant. Jesus blessed
little children and said, "of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Baptism to be acceptable to God must be performed by one having
actual divine authority. It must be administered in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. No man has the right
to assume that authority. It must come from God or the baptism will
be void and of no effect. When properly administered it brings
remission of sins, and the baptized believer becomes a new creature,
stands clean before God, and is prepared to receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost. Further explanations on this all-important subject will
be given in succeeding chapters. Let the reader ponder, investigate,
and enter upon the path of eternal life and salvation.



RAY NO. 4.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest boon conferred by God
upon man in the flesh. It is "the anointing from above which
teacheth all things." It is the "abiding witness" of the Father and
the Son. It is the spirit of revelation. It guides into all truth,
brings things past to remembrance, makes manifest present light, and
shows things to come. Without it no man can know God and Jesus
Christ whom he has sent, nor can he say truly and without doubt that
Jesus is the Lord. Its reception is the fourth step or principle in
the gospel of Christ. The preceding principles, namely, faith,
repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, have been
explained briefly in the foregoing tracts of this series. After the
baptism or birth of water comes the baptism or birth of the Spirit.

This gift from God is conferred by the laying on of the hands of men
called of God and endowed with authority to perform this sacred
ordinance. No man of himself and in his own name, however learned,
experienced, or wise, can bestow this great gift upon others. He
might lay his hands upon them, but they would not receive that
Spirit. It proceeds from God alone. He will honor that which is
performed according to his directions by his authorized servants.
The reception of the Holy Ghost as an endowment or gift from God is
essential to salvation. The natural light of inspiration given at
birth to all humanity is not equal to it. That is the common
heritage of humanity, but the gift of the Holy Ghost is a far higher
and greater bequest from Deity, and is given only to those who obey
the gospel, and in the way that God himself has appointed.

That the gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred by the laying on of
hands, and that this is the gospel method, is clearly established by
the New Testament. In the 8th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles an
account is given of the ministry of Philip, in which the following
occurs: "But when they believed Philip preaching the things
concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they
were baptized, both men and women." "Now when the apostles which
were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God,
they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down,
prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet
he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name
of the Lord Jesus). Then laid they their hands on them, and they
received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on
of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them
money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay
hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, thy
money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of
God may be purchased with money" (Verses 12-20). In the 19th chapter
of the Acts of the Apostles it is related that Paul found some
disciples in Ephesus who had not been properly baptized. He gave
them necessary instructions, and we read: "When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had
laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they
spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about
twelve." The ordinance of the laying on of hands is enumerated among
the "first principles of the oracles of God," and one of the
foundation "doctrines of Christ," in Hebrews 5:12, and 6:2. Paul
exhorted Timothy, "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou
stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my
hands" (II Timothy 1:6).

These quotations are sufficient to show the order of the gospel as
taught by the apostles of Jesus Christ, who received their
instructions and authority from him, and who all preached the same
doctrines and administered the same ordinances, wherever they went.
The departures therefrom that are witnessed in modern times are the
work of uninspired ministers, unauthorized of God, and should be
rejected by the honest seeker after religious truth.

The Holy Ghost is the same in all ages and among all people. Its
effects are also the same. In the days of the early Christian Church
the fruits of that Spirit were enjoyed by the members. They are thus
described by the Apostle Paul: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance: against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22, 23). "But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to
another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith
by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same
Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophesy; to
another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues;
to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that
one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he
will" (I Corinthians 12:7-11). Paul exhorted the saints to "Follow
after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may
prophesy," and after explaining his reasons for this instruction he
concluded, "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not
to speak with tongues" (I Corinthians 14:39).

The absence of these gifts and manifestations of the Spirit in the
various religious sects at the present day is attempted to be
accounted for by the airy excuse, "They are all done away, and are
no longer needed." Yet they were part and parcel of the gospel of
Jesus Christ, and incorporated in the Church--the body of Christ--as
some of its members. "Every tree is known by its fruits." If the
Spirit that animated the Church of Christ in the apostolic age
inspired the churches of the 20th century, would not the same fruits
be brought forth by it, and enjoyed today? Has the Spirit of God
changed? Or have not men changed the ordinances and institutions of
heaven, and built up churches and promulgated doctrines of their
own? But the advocates and apologists of sectarian theology will
quote. "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they
shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether
there be knowledge, it shall vanish away" (I Corinthians 13:8). Why
do they not continue the quotation and give the succeeding verses
which form an integral part of the scriptural argument? Is it
because that would sweep away the crutches of their lame and halting
pretense and cast their false theory prone in the dust? This is what
follows. "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when
that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be
done away." Will it be claimed that this promised perfection has
come? Do latter-day sectaries know more, understand better, and see
clearer in divine things than did the Apostle Paul? Has anything
"perfect" come upon modern Christendom except "perfect" confusion?
That Paul had reference to a condition yet in the future in making
his prediction is evident from his further remark: "For now we see
through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known" (Verse 12).

The gifts of the Spirit enumerated above are the evidences of its
possession by the disciples of Jesus Christ. They are the signs of
true faith. They accompany the reception of the gospel and obedience
to its requirements. When the resurrected Christ gave the eleven
apostles their great commission, he said unto them, "Go ye into all
the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not
shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe. In
my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new
tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and
they shall recover" (Mark 16:15-18). These gifts were not merely for
those Apostles, but were to "follow them that believe." Christ gave
them as the sign of true belief in him and his sayings. They belong
to his Church. They are not to be done away until that which is
perfect is come, and the sons and daughters of God behold their
Redeemer face to face, and see as they are seen and know as they are
known. Whatever necessity existed for their possession and exercise
in the first century of the Christian era, exists in the 20th
century, not only for the blessing and comfort of the disciples of
the Savior, but for the promulgation of his gospel among nations
that yet sit in darkness and are numbered among heathens and
idolaters.

One of the potent proofs of the possession of the Holy Ghost in the
early Christian Church was the unity it established. No matter what
were the conflicting faiths and opposing creeds entertained by the
people of that day previous to receiving the spirit of the
everlasting gospel, after baptism and the laying on of hands for the
gift of the Holy Ghost, they all became one in Christ Jesus. As Paul
wrote to the Ephesians: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as
ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one
baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through
all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6). "For as many of you as have
been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew
nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor
female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:27-28).
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye
are called in one body; and be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:15). "For
as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of
that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by
one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or
Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to
drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:12, 13). In his prayer to
the Father that all who believed in him might be one, Jesus spoke of
this unity as proof to the world that God had sent him (John 17:21).
The great purpose of the gift of the Holy Ghost was to guide into
all truth, and bring its possessors to "the unity of the faith and
the knowledge of the Son of God." Strife, contention, division, are
not the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but come from beneath. "For where
envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work"
(James 3:16).

The presence and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, with its gifts,
manifestations and divine light are the signs of spiritual life and
divine acceptance. Without the Holy Ghost there is no true, living
Church of Christ on earth. It can be obtained in no other way than
that which God has appointed. Following the birth of water, the
birth of the Holy Spirit makes man a new creature, and initiates him
into the Church or kingdom of God. Its various gifts are within his
reach according to his faith and diligence in seeking after them.
They are as obtainable in this age as at any former period. By the
Holy Ghost mankind may come to the knowledge of God. In its light
the sayings and writings of inspired men may be clearly understood.
The Bible is no longer a sealed book. The heavens are not closed
against mortals. Darkness flees before it and mysteries vanish. It
brings peace and comfort to the soul. It awakens and thrills the
spiritual sense. It unfolds the things of eternity and the glories
of immortality. It links earth and heaven. It fills the soul with
joy unspeakable, and he who gains and keeps it has boundless wealth
and everlasting life.



RAY NO. 5.

The ordinances of the gospel referred to in previous chapters of
this series, cannot be effectually administered without divine
authority. That authority does not and cannot originate in man. It
may be assumed, it is true, and presumptuous men may claim to be
called of God without communication from him. But their performances
will be without avail and will not be recognized in heaven, either
in time or in eternity. When there is no revelation from God there
can be no divine authority on earth. Baptism, even if solemnized
according to the form and pattern followed by the Savior and his
appointed servants, will be of no avail and will not bring remission
of sins, unless the officiating minister has received authority from
Deity to act in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Ghost. Men may lay their hands on the baptized believer in the
form of confirmation, but if they have not been divinely appointed
to do so, the Holy Ghost will not flow to the convert, and the
performance will be void in the sight of heaven. Those who have the
temerity to act in that manner will be counted guilty of taking the
name of the Lord in vain. No council, convocation, conference,
synod, or presbytery, composed of any number of learned, devout and
venerable persons, without divine communication can confer the
smallest amount of divine authority. Their power is only human,
their decisions, their commissions and their creeds are equally
valueless in the plan of salvation.

Whenever the Almighty desired to communicate with man on earth, he
selected his own representatives and endowed them with authority to
speak and act in his name. What they uttered by the power of the
Holy Ghost, and what they administered as he directed, was
recognized by him as if performed and spoken by Deity in person.
When he gave them authority to call and ordain others to the same
duties, their administrations were also accepted by the Lord, and
were fully efficacious. This divine authority was called the holy
priesthood. It was bestowed in the earliest ages. It existed among
the patriarchs, was exercised in the Mosaic dispensation, was held
by many of the prophets, and was established in the Christian Church
by the Savior himself. There are two orders, or branches, of that
priesthood.

The higher, which includes the lower, came to be known as the
Melchizedek Priesthood. This was because Melchizedek the King of
Salem, who lived in the time of Abraham and from whom "the father of
the faithful" received his blessing, obtained great power in that
priesthood. It is referred to in the epistle to the Hebrews, 7th
chapter. Much controversy has arisen over the meaning of the third
verse, which says: "Without father, without mother, without descent,
having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like
unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." The difficulty
has arisen through the application of these remarks to the
individual instead of the priesthood which he held. The higher or
Melchizedek Priesthood was not limited, as the Levitical Order
subsequently was, to a special lineage. It did not depend upon
parentage or descent, and it was an eternal priesthood, and those
who possessed it worthily retained it through life, being kings and
priests unto God forever.

The lesser priesthood was held notably by Aaron and his sons, in the
line of the first born, and has therefore been called by his name.
It had authority to administer in the lesser ordinances and in
temporal affairs, but not in the higher and more spiritual concerns
of the kingdom of God. But no man could take this honor unto
himself. He must be called of God as was Aaron, or he could not hold
that priesthood (Hebrews 5:4). Aaron was called by revelation
through Moses the prophet, and ordained under his hands.

This being so, as a matter of course, no man can take unto himself
the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood. Unless called of God by
revelation and properly ordained, he could not obtain that
authority. Even Jesus of Nazareth, though he was the Son of God, did
not assume that priesthood. He was "called of God, a high priest
after the order of Melchizedek." It is written further: "So also
Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that
said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee" (Hebrews
5:5, 10).

It has been erroneously taught among the Christian sects of the
present age that this priesthood, in both of its branches or orders,
was done away in Christ. That it has not been on earth for several
centuries may be true, and therefore the authority to administer in
the name of the Lord has not been enjoyed among men. But the
authority held by Jesus Christ as "a priest forever after the order
of Melchizedek" was conferred by him upon his apostles, to whom he
gave the keys of that power and authority, so that what they sealed
on earth should be sealed in heaven, and what they loosed on earth
should be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18). He said to them: "As my
Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (John 20:21). Again he
said: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit
should remain" (John 15:16). The apostles thus authorized had power
to call others to this priesthood and ministry, when directed by the
Holy Ghost, as Moses called and ordained his brother, Aaron.

The law of carnal commandments in which the lesser or Levitical
Priesthood administered was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, but the
priesthood or authority to administer in the name of the Lord was
not then abolished, the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood was
restored. That was the change in the priesthood referred to in
Hebrews 7:12: "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of
necessity a change also of the law." From this it is evident that
the priesthood was not abolished, but the law of the gospel being
introduced by Christ in place of the Mosaic code, the higher
priesthood was also introduced, for the gospel is a higher law than
that of Moses. The sacrifice of animals in which the lesser
priesthood administered was no longer required, after the great
sacrifice of the Son of God of which they were typical, so that
function of the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood was discontinued. But
the administration of the ordinances of the gospel was necessary,
and could not be rightfully performed without divine authority.
Therefore, the priesthood of God held by Jesus Christ, and by his
apostles and by others called of God through them, was a part of and
essential to the Christian dispensation.

The term "called of God" appears to be as much misunderstood as is
the subject of the priesthood of God. Men assume to act in the name
of Jesus Christ, either because they feel or imagine they have a
call in their hearts to this ministry, or because they have been
called by some person or conclave having no more divine
communication and authority than they had themselves. In contrast to
their assumption let us view the case of Saul of Tarsus, afterwards
called Paul the Apostle. In the narration of his case as given in
Acts 22 he says that on his way to Damascus the Lord Jesus Christ
appeared to him in glory, and he was stricken blind thereby. He
received his sight by miracle and was informed: "The God of our
fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldst know his will, and see
that Just One, and shouldst hear the voice of his mouth. For thou
shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
And now why tarriest thou, arise and be baptized, and wash away thy
sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Paul subsequently received
another divine communication, informing him that the Lord would send
him unto the Gentiles (Verses 12-21). After all this he was not
authorized to act as a minister of the gospel, because he had not
yet been properly called and ordained.

It was ten years after this, according to the chronology of the New
Testament, that Paul was ordained to the priesthood or authority to
act in the name of the Lord. It is stated that certain prophets and
teachers were in the Church at Antioch, and "As they ministered to
the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and
Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had
fasted and prayed, and laid their hands upon them, they sent them
away" (Acts 13:2, 3; see also Acts 9:15-18). Paul in his epistles
invariably declared that he was not called by the will of man and he
taught that no man of himself could rightfully assume the authority
to administer in the name of the Lord. To the Galatians he wrote:
"Paul, an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ,
and God the Father, who raised him from the dead)" (Galatians 1:1).
Writing to Titus, Paul said: "For this cause left I thee in Crete,
that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and
ordained elders in every city as I had appointed thee" (Titus 1:5).
Writing to Timothy, Paul says: "Neglect not the gift that is in
thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the
hands of the presbytery" (I Timothy 4:14). It was thus that the
seven deacons were ordained, as recorded in Acts 6:6.

That there was a divinely appointed ministry in the Church
established by our Savior must be evident to every mind open to the
truth, on reading the New Testament; also that it was essential to
the Church, and that without it there can be no true Church of
Christ on earth. Explaining this subject and stating the order of
the Christian ministry given by Christ, Paul says: "And he gave some
apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors
and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11). These inspired men were, as we have
seen, called of God, not of men, and were appointed and ordained to
their respective callings by divine authority. It is claimed that
these were necessary only in the first days of the Church of Christ
on earth, and that they are no longer needed. But the succeeding
verses of the scripture we have quoted show most positively to the
contrary. They were given, Paul says, "For the perfecting of the
Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body
of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of
the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more
children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of
doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby
they lie in wait to deceive" (Verses 12-14). Without these divinely
ordained and inspired men, holding this holy priesthood, the work of
the ministry cannot be performed acceptably to God, neither can the
Church be perfected. They are absolutely necessary until all shall
come to the unity of the faith and a knowledge of the Son of God.
The absence of that divine authority, and of the gift of the Holy
Ghost, has caused the division and dissension that now exist among
professing Christians, who are "tossed to and fro and carried about
with every wind of doctrine," led hither and thither by unauthorized
and uninspired men, and by the "cunning craftiness" whereby
hirelings who preach for money, "lie in wait to deceive" and "make
merchandise of the souls of men."

All the ministrations, ordinances, baptisms, confirmations,
performances and ceremonies that have been instituted by men and
conducted under merely human authority, whether devoutly, sincerely
and piously, or with wilful intent to impose upon the ignorance and
credulity of mankind, are void in the sight of heaven, are not
recognized of God, and have no virtue or effect as aids to
salvation. God's house is a house of order, and he will accept only
that which he has authorized and ordained. However startling this
may appear, it is the eternal truth, which will stand the test of
both reason and revelation. Truth is mighty and will prevail. The
remedy for these tremendous evils will be pointed out in succeeding
chapters.



RAY NO. 6.

That there has been a great departure from the doctrines, ordinances
and discipline of the Church as it existed in the days of Christ and
his apostles, must be evident to every unbiased enquirer into
religious truth. This has been demonstrated to some extent in that
already presented to the reader. But the full measure of the
apostasy that has taken place would take volumes to represent in
detail. The proofs are ample that it has been universal.

When Jesus Christ commenced his ministry on earth he found the
people who claimed to be the special subjects of divine blessing and
approbation, with all their priests and ministers and learned
divines, entirely out of the way of life and salvation. None were
acceptable unto God. He denounced the most pious, respectable,
devout and educated among them as hypocrites and "whited
sepulchres." Their foreign missionary enterprises he declared
obnoxious to the Almighty, and informed them that when they
compassed sea and land to make one proselyte they made him "two-fold
more the child of hell" (Matthew 23:15). He pronounced them blind
guides who made clean the outside, but within were full of extortion
and excess. The Spirit of the Lord had departed from those who
honored his name with their lips, but who had departed from his
ways, and who, in place of the word of God, "taught for doctrine the
commandments of men." They were without authority from God, although
they claimed to have it by descent and ordination through a long
line of predecessors and prophets. It should not be deemed
impossible that a similar universal apostasy could take place after
the establishment of the Church of Christ by him and his apostles.
But whether so considered or not, the facts are too patent to be
denied when they confront the honest and enlightened mind.

It has been shown that the gospel as taught and administered by
Christ and his apostles required first, faith in God and Jesus
Christ; second, repentance, which included reform of conduct; third,
baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, the
reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of
divinely authorized men; and that obedience to these brought the
gifts of the Spirit, including love, joy, peace, patience, brotherly
kindness, charity, healings, tongues, interpretations, discerning of
spirits, miracles, prophecy, revelation, and the unity in one body
of all who were baptized into the Church, no matter what had been
their previous beliefs. Also that the ordinances of the gospel were
administered by men inspired of God, who were in communion with him,
and who were ordained to act for and in behalf of Deity, so that
what they performed by that authority on earth was acknowledged and
sealed in heaven. And that in the Church of Christ there were
apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders, and
other officers, who were constituent parts of the body of Christ.
This may be further seen by a careful reading of I Corinthians 12,
from which it clearly appears that God placed these in the Church,
that they were all essential to its existence, and that one of them
could not say to any of the others, "I have no need of thee."

Look at the condition of so-called Christendom today! There are no
inspired apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers,
administering by divine authority and in the power and demonstration
of the Holy Ghost. In their place there are contending priests and
teachers guided by the wisdom of men, the learning of the schools
and the traditions of the fathers, not even claiming that there is
any direct communication between them and God, but persuading
mankind that revelation has ceased and the voice of prophecy is
hushed forever. Not one of the clashing, jarring and discordant
sects of the day proclaims the gospel as it was preached by Peter on
the day of Pentecost, and as taught by all the duly authorized
servants of God in the primitive Christian Church. The gifts and
signs which Christ promised to true believers, and which were
enjoyed by the members of his Church according to their needs and
their faith, are not only absent from the churches of these
degenerate times, but are pronounced needless and "done away." There
is no "unity of the faith," no actual "knowledge of the Son of God,"
no manifestations of his divine acceptance nor of the power and
glory of the Holy Ghost.

What is the reason of this transformation? Has God changed? Is
Christ divided? Is the Holy Ghost dead? Or, have not men changed the
order, ordinances, discipline, doctrines, and spirit of the Church
of Christ? Is not the prediction of Isaiah the prophet concerning
these times literally fulfilled? "The earth also is defiled under
the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws,
changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." He said it
should be "as with the people, so with the priest; as with the
servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with
the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury
to him" (Isaiah 24:2-5).

The deplorable condition of affairs in modern Christendom was
foreseen and predicted by the apostles of Jesus Christ, whose
forebodings have come down to us in the New Testament. Paul, writing
to Timothy, spoke in this wise: "This know also, that in the last
days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own
selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection,
trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of
those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of
pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of Godliness, but
denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:1-5).
Also: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their
conscience seared with a hot iron" (I Timothy 4:1, 2). Paul further
said: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus
Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and
his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For
the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having
itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:1-4). Paul also said
they should be "ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge
of the truth." Writing to the Thessalonians he said: "Now we beseech
you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our
gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or
be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from
us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by
any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling
away first" (II Thessalonians 2:1-3).

The Apostle Peter also foresaw this great apostasy, and spoke of it
in this wise: "But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow
their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be
evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned
words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time
lingereth not and their damnation slumbereth not" (II Peter 2:1-3).

The "falling away" commenced in the time of the apostles, and hence
their numerous warnings and exhortations to the saints, rebuking
schisms and divisions, and counseling unity, showing that the Spirit
of the Lord promoted union and led people to the knowledge of the
truth, while dissension and strife came from the Evil One, and led
to darkness and death. That the great apostasy commenced at a very
early period is shown by the words of Paul, "for the mystery of
iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let until
he be taken out of the way" (II Thessalonians 2:7). By the time the
apostles were taken out of the way, most of them slain by the hands
of wicked men, the apostasy had assumed such proportions that only
seven of the Churches were deemed worthy of a divine communication
through the Apostle John, who had been banished to the Island of
Patmos. And in that revelation most of them were denounced by the
Lord because they had "left their first love," and were commanded to
repent or he would remove them out of their place. Some of them were
"neither cold or hot," others had given way to seducing spirits and
had committed abominations and imbibed false doctrines (See
Revelation 1, 2, and 3). In that same vision John the beloved saw
the Church in the form of a woman, clothed with the sun, the moon
under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head, taken away
into the wilderness, to remain for a lengthened period, and in her
place he saw "a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, full of
names of blasphemy," and though decked with gold and precious
stones, she held in her hand a golden cup full of abominations, and
the name upon her head was Mystery. He saw further that all nations
were made to drink out of that golden cup, by which they were made
drunken (See Revelation 12:1-6; 17:1-5; 18:2-3).

It is clear from these predictions in the New Testament, and others
that might be cited, that the departure from the purity, simplicity,
and unity of the gospel of Christ was to be universal; and that
these prophecies were fulfilled we have the testimony of the Church
of England. In her Homily on the Perils of Idolatry she declares:
"Clergy and laity, learned and unlearned, men, women and children,
of all ages, sects and degrees, of whole Christendom, a most
horrible and dreadful thing to think, have been at once buried in
the most abominable idolatry, and that for eight hundred years or
more." That being true, how is it possible to believe that the
Church of Christ had any existence on earth after that long
continued darkness and apostasy? How could there be any remnant left
of the divine authority held by the apostles and priesthood of the
original Christian Church? If the Romish Church, from which the
Church of England seceded, had no divine authority, then the Church
of England could have none, for all she had she obtained from that
Church. If the Romish Church possessed that authority, still the
Church of England could have none, for Rome excommunicated her with
all her priests and ministers. The Church of England being without
divine authority, all the various contending sects that have sprung
from her are of necessity in a similar condition, for none of them
even claim to have received any revelation from God restoring that
authority and re-establishing the Church of Christ.

From the Pope of Rome down to the latest minister presuming to act
in the name of the Lord, there is not and cannot be one who holds
the holy apostleship or any portion of that sacred priesthood which
God placed in the Church, and which Paul declared essential to its
existence. Good men, learned men, devout men, there have been by
millions; noble, pious, and blessed women also, with them, have done
the best they could according to their light and opportunities; but
darkness "has covered the earth and gross darkness the people," and
apostasy from primitive Christianity, as foretold by its founders,
has been awful and universal!

But, thank God, the restoration was also predicted, and it will be a
pleasing task in further chapters to set this forth, as revealed and
brought about by revelation from God the eternal Father, through
Jesus Christ his Son and the holy angels sent from their presence,
to usher in the last and greatest of all dispensations.



RAY NO. 7.

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and
to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a
loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his
judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and
the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another
angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,
because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication" (Revelation 14:6-8). In these inspired words John the
beloved apostle predicted the restoration of the gospel to the
earth, and the subsequent destruction of that power which had filled
the earth with the darkness of spiritual inebriety and wickedness.
That these events were not revelations of the past, but prophecies
of the future manifested to the Apostle John is made certain by what
he says in Chapter iv, verse 1: "After this I looked, and, behold, a
door was opened into heaven: and the first voice which I heard was
as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said, Come up hither,
and I will show thee things which must be hereafter." The angels
spoken of in the 14th chapter, quoted above, were among the things
which John was told "must be hereafter." It should be observed that
when the angel should fly to the earth bearing the everlasting
gospel, it was to be at a time when every nation, and kindred, and
tongue, and people would be without that gospel in its fulness. That
this has been the condition of the world for a long time has already
been demonstrated to the reader.

In predicting events that would occur previous to his coming and
"the end of the world," Christ declared, "And this gospel of the
kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all
nations, and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). From this we
learn that the gospel as preached by Christ and delivered by him to
the apostles, is to be preached in all the world as a witness of his
second advent and a sign of the approaching end (See verse 3).

The foregoing predictions correspond with the prophecy of Isaiah:
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with
their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their
heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept
of men; therefore I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this
people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their
wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men
shall be hid" (Isaiah 29:13, 14). All the prophets whose writings
have been collected in the sacred volume called the Bible, have
proclaimed the glory of the latter days and the final triumph of
truth over error, and the power of God over the deceptions of that
Evil One.

Thus not only the restoration of the gospel after the great apostasy
that was to take place was foretold by holy men of God, but the
manner of its revelation was also explained. It was to be by the
coming of an angel from heaven. To whom might it be expected that
this angel should appear? To the learned divines and contending
sectaries of modern Christendom? Do they not all declare that
revelation ceased when John received his vision, recorded in the
Book of Revelation? Do they not teach that though angels once
ministered to men the day of their coming has long since passed?
Have they any faith to call on God for a divine communication? And
will the Almighty reveal anything except to those who call upon him
in faith? God's ways are not as man's ways. Therefore, as Paul
expressed it, "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty,
not many noble are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of
the world to confound the wise. And God hath chosen the weak things
of the world to confound the things which are mighty; . . . that no
flesh should glory in his presence" (I Corinthians 1:26-29). And as
quoted above, the Lord determined that in bringing forth his
latter-day work, "a marvelous work and a wonder," "the wisdom of the
wise should perish and the understanding of the prudent should be
hid."

It was in the year 1823 that the angel spoken of by John the
Revelator came with the everlasting gospel to a young man scarcely
eighteen years of age, of obscure though respectable parentage, and
without the learning of the schools. His name, too, was common, and
his occupation that of a farmer's boy. Joseph Smith, whom the Lord
raised up to receive his word, establish his Church, and prepare the
way for the Redeemer's second coming, was led to enquire of the Lord
through reading the scriptures, for the purpose of finding out which
of all the disputing religions was right. Coming to the Epistle of
James, 1st chapter and 5th verse, he read: "If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and
upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith,
nothing wavering." Relying on his word, he went into the woods to
pray, and in the simplicity of his heart called on God for the
wisdom which he felt he greatly needed. He was then not fifteen
years of age, but his faith was strong and wavered not. His prayers
were heard, and in a heavenly vision in open daylight, the Father
and the Son revealed themselves to his astonished gaze. The Father,
pointing to the Son, proclaimed, "This is my beloved Son, hear him."
Our Savior spoke to the boy, and in answer to his question as to
which of all the religious sects was right, he was told that they
had all gone out of the way, and was commanded to go after none of
them, but was promised that in due time the true gospel of Christ
should be revealed to him.

When the angel appeared to him three years later, it was in his
chamber, just as he had retired for the night. Coming in glory, the
angel showed to Joseph the place where an ancient record was hidden
in the side of a hill, containing the history of the former
inhabitants of the American continent, including an account of a
visit made to them by Jesus Christ after his resurrection from the
dead when he declared to them the same gospel that he had preached
in Palestine and also established his Church among them after the
same pattern as that organized on the eastern hemisphere. He was
informed that this record should be subsequently placed in his hands
to translate by the gift and power of God to be given to him through
means which the Lord had prepared for that purpose. This
manifestation was thrice repeated that night that Joseph might be
fully assured of its reality. Under the inspiration of Almighty God,
the young man was able to obtain possession of this precious record,
inscribed in small and curious characters upon metallic plates. The
gospel is there set forth in plain and simple language, and no one
who reads the book, which is called the Book of Mormon, with a
prayerful and unprejudiced heart, will fail to be impressed with its
divine origin.

After being thus favored of the Lord, Joseph Smith received a
visitation from John the Baptist, who held authority in ancient
times to preach and administer baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins. He came as a ministering angel, and ordained
Joseph Smith and his companion, Oliver Cowdery, to that priesthood
and authority. Thus endowed, these young men baptized each other,
and at a later date were ministered to by the Apostles Peter and
James and John, who ordained them to the apostleship, with authority
to lay hands on baptized believers and confer the gift of the Holy
Ghost, also to build and organize the Church of Christ according to
the original pattern.

On the sixth day of April, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ was
organized in the State of New York, with six members, Latter-day
Saints who had been baptized for the remission of sins and had been
confirmed by the laying on of hands. The Holy Ghost was manifested
unto them, and as the Church grew in numbers the gifts of the Spirit
were imparted, and the organization was eventually made complete
with apostles, prophets, seventies, elders, priests, teachers,
deacons, also bishops and other officers that were in the primitive
Christian Church; indeed, all the grades of the Melchizedek and
Aaronic Priesthood, with their keys, powers and endowments, and all
the ordinances, ministrations and divine manifestations necessary to
the true Church of Christ. Men thus divinely authorized, were sent
out into the world to preach the gospel like the apostles of old,
without purse or scrip, without salary and without pay of any kind,
depending upon the Lord and friends whom he might raise up to
minister to their temporal wants. Wherever they went and people
received their testimony and were baptized for the remission of
sins, the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them through the laying on
of hands, and they invariably obtained a testimony from God that
they were accepted of him, and that he had in very deed
re-established his Church on earth. There are now many thousands of
living witnesses to the truth of these things. They are natives of
various countries, speaking different languages, reared in divers
religions; they are now brought to the unity of the faith; they have
come to a knowledge of the truth; doubt has fled and darkness has
been dispersed; the light of heaven shines in their souls. They are
in the straight and narrow way. They are members of the body of
Christ, and his Spirit, which searcheth all things, yea the deep
things of God, is the abiding witness from on high and shows them
things past, present and to come.

This is the latter-day work spoken of by the holy prophets. It is
the dispensation of the fulness of times, in the which God will
"gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in
heaven and which are on earth, even in him" (Ephesians 1:10). It is
the last and greatest of all dispensations. In it will be
accomplished the "restitution of all things, which God hath spoken
by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts
3:21). It is to prepare the way for the second advent of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who will come "in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory," and "in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,
. . . when he shall come to be glorified in his saints" (II
Thessalonians 1:8, 10). In this dispensation, after all people have
been warned and the gospel has been preached for a witness to all
nations, and the elect are gathered together from the four winds,
namely, the east, west, north and south, the great tribulations and
judgments will be poured out, the end of the world, that is, the end
of the rule of Satan and of the wicked will come, the kingdoms of
this world will become the kingdom of our God and his Christ, and he
will reign over them forever.

"The times of ignorance God hath winked at, but he now commands all
men everywhere to repent." Therefore, O, ye inhabitants of the
earth, hearken to the voice of the Lord, which is unto all people,
Christian and Pagan, preachers and hearers, Papists, Protestants,
infidels, secularists and agnostics, rich and poor, kings,
presidents, rulers, peasants and men and women of all races,
religions and degrees, saying, Repent of your sins, of your false
creeds, of your dead forms, and of all your unbelief and iniquities,
and come unto me and be baptized by my servants, on whom I have
placed my authority, and receive the laying on of their hands, and
you shall have the remission of your sins and the gift of the Holy
Ghost, and shall know that I am God, and that I have set my hand to
accomplish my great work in the earth, and if you abide in me you
shall inherit the earth when it is cleansed and glorified, and shall
be crowned with eternal life!



RAY NO. 8.

"Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look
down from heaven." So prophesied the Psalm 1st (Ps. 85:11). This may
be viewed as a figurative expression, but it has been literally
fulfilled in the 19th century. In the midst of the disputations over
the meaning of many parts of the Bible, which have caused so many
heart-burnings and bitter feelings among preachers and professors of
religion, out of the earth has come forth a sacred record containing
divine truth in such plainness and simplicity as to settle in the
minds of believers those controversies which have agitated the world
of theology. When the American continent was discovered by Columbus
and others, who were led to cross the great waters in search of
unknown lands, a dark-skinned race, composed of many different
tribes but evidently of a common origin, was found in possession of
the western continent. Varying in their characteristics from the
white, the black, the yellow, and all the European, Asiatic and
Ethiopian branches of the human family, their origin became a cause
of wonder and scientific investigation. The general conclusion
arrived at was that at some remote period their ancestors had
migrated from some portion of the eastern hemisphere, but when, or
how, or why this emigration had taken place was a profound mystery.

But in the year 1829 a book was published in the State of New York,
claiming to have been translated from metallic plates found in a
hill-side in that State by a young man who, was directed to their
place of deposit by an angel of God, and who was inspired in the
work of translation to decipher the hieroglyphics inscribed on those
plates, being aided in the work by an instrument, discovered with
them, called the Urim and Thummim. The plates had the appearance of
gold, were not quite so thick as common tin, were about six by seven
inches in size, were engraved on both sides, and were fastened
together in the shape of a book by three rings at the back. Acting
under instruction of the heavenly messenger, the young man, Joseph
Smith, proceeded as quietly as possible to perform the arduous task
required of him. As he was but a poor scholar, he obtained the
assistance of a scribe to write, as he dictated word by word. The
news of the discovery, however, became noised around, and ridicule
from both preachers and people was followed by attempts at violence,
so that the plates had to be concealed, and, with their translator,
removed from place to place.

A farmer, named Martin Harris, who had become interested in the
work, received from Joseph Smith a copy of some of the hieroglyphics
with their translation. These he carried to New York and submitted
them to some learned linguists, among them Prof. Anthon, who, after
examining them, pronounced them true characters and the
translations, so far as he could determine, to be correct. He wrote
a certificate to this effect, and gave it to Martin Harris. But
questioning him as to how the young man had obtained the record
containing these characters, he was informed that it was revealed to
him by an angel of God. He then requested Martin Harris to let him
look at the certificate he had given him. On receiving it he tore it
up, declaring that there was no such thing as angels from heaven
now-a-days, but said if the book was brought to him he would
endeavor to translate it. A portion of the record being sealed,
Martin Harris informed him of that fact, when he exclaimed, "I
cannot read a sealed book." As will be seen subsequently, he was,
though unwittingly, fulfilling a scriptural prophecy.

That portion of the record which was not sealed was finally
translated into the English language by Joseph Smith and formed a
volume of about 600 pages, which was published as the Book of
Mormon. This title was given to it because a prophet named Mormon,
by command of God, about four hundred years after Christ, compiled
and abridged the records of prophets who ministered on the American
continent, back to to about 600 years before Christ, when a colony
of Israelites were led from Palestine across the waters and became a
numerous people, the ancestors of the present race of American
Indians. The account of their travels, their establishment on the
western hemisphere, the revelations of God to them, their division
through wickedness into separate tribes, the manner in which the hue
of their complexion was changed, their wars, their works, their
buildings, their customs, their language, the words of their
prophets, are all given in great plainness in the Book of Mormon. An
account is also given of the visit of our Lord Jesus Christ to this
people after his resurrection, fulfilling his own prediction
recorded in John 10:16: "And other sheep I have, which are not of
this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and
there shall be one fold and one shepherd." That these "other sheep"
were not the Gentiles, as popularly supposed, is clear from Christ's
statement, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of
Israel" (Matthew 15:24). He established his Church among them,
ordaining twelve apostles, and giving them the same gospel,
authority, gifts, powers, ordinances and blessings as he gave to his
"sheep" on the eastern hemisphere. Thus the fulness of the gospel is
contained in the Book of Mormon, which stands as a witness of the
truth of the Bible; the two records supporting each other, and both
united bearing testimony to an unbelieving world that Jesus of
Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the eternal God and the Savior of
the world.

This record also contains an account of a colony directed of the
Lord to the western continent at the time of the scattering of the
people from the land of Shinar and the confusion of tongues, at the
stoppage of the building of the Tower of Babel. The ruins of their
cities and temples and fortifications, discovered by travelers and
archaeologists since the publication of the Book of Mormon, are
silent but potent witnesses of the truth of the record. Each
succeeding year brings forth further evidences of this character,
that form a cloud of witnesses to the divine mission of the Prophet,
Seer, and Translator, Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon has since
been published in many languages and submitted to the scrutiny of
the religious and scientific world, and no one as yet has been able
to point out wherein it disagrees with the Jewish Scriptures or with
the facts developed by antiquarian research and scientific
investigation. Yet it was brought forth in this age by an unlearned
youth, not acquainted with the world, reared in rural simplicity,
without access to the literature of the time, and without even the
ordinary acquirements of the schoolboy of the present.

According to the Book of Mormon, the people who journeyed from
Jerusalem to the American continent, taking with them the genealogy
of their fathers and writings of the law and the prophets, were of
the tribe of Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh, and were led out
of Palestine when Zedekiah was king of Judah. In keeping the record,
which was subsequently abridged by the prophet Mormon, they used the
learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. Their
hieroglyphs and symbols, however, were changed and modified, so that
the characters upon the plates revealed to Joseph Smith, where they
had lain hidden for about 1,400 years, was a "reformed Egyptian."
How this uneducated youth was able to bring forth a work of such
magnitude and importance, unless by inspiration of Almighty God, and
by the means explained remains a mystery to unbelievers. For a long
time it was pretended by enemies of the work that one Solomon
Spaulding wrote a Manuscript Story which in some unexplained manner
fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, who worked it over into the
Book of Mormon. But that foolish tale has signally failed of its
purpose, for in recent years the Spaulding manuscript has come to
light, and is now deposited in the Library of Oberlin College, Ohio,
and proves to be as unlike the Book of Mormon as Jack the Giant
Killer is dissimilar to the Bible.

The colonization of America by the seed of Joseph, who was sold into
Egypt, fulfills the blessings pronounced on the head of Joseph and
his sons by the patriarch Jacob (See Genesis 48, also xlix, 22-26,
also the blessing pronounced by the prophet Moses, Deuteronomy
33:13-17). The historical portion of the Book of Mormon shows that
the American continent, possessed by a "multitude of nations," the
seed of Ephraim and Manasseh, is the "blessed land" bestowed on
Joseph in addition to his portion in Canaan. There are to be found
the "everlasting hills" and the "ancient mountains," "the precious
things of heaven, and the precious things of the earth," and all of
the characteristics of the country unto which the branches of the
"fruitful bough" were to "run over the wall," as Jacob predicted.
That the word of the Lord was to be given to the seed of Ephraim,
may be seen from Hosea 8:11, 12: "Because Ephraim hath made many
altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin. I have written to
him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange
thing." The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is foreshadowed by
Isaiah the prophet, Chapter 29:4-19. It is the voice of a fallen
people whispering "out of the dust." It has come at a time when the
world is "drunken, but not with wine," staggering under the
influence of false doctrine, and without prophets and seers. It is
the "marvelous work and a wonder," which the Lord was to bring to
pass for the confounding of those who had turned things upside down,
and who worshipped him with their mouths while their hearts were far
from him.

The words of the book, Isaiah said, were to be presented to the
learned, saying, "Read this, I pray thee," and he was to say, "I
cannot, for it is sealed." The book itself was to be "delivered to
him that is not learned;" and that it was to be read is clear from
verse 18: "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the
book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out
of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and
the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." The
coming forth of the Book of Mormon as the "stick of Joseph," is also
predicted in Ezekiel 37:15-22. The interview of Martin Harris with
Prof. Anthon, related above, fulfilled one portion of Isaiah's
prophecy, the other portions have come to pass in the translation of
the book by the unlearned youth and its reception by the meek and
poor among men, and by the restoration of sight to the blind and
hearing to the deaf, who have seen and heard the words of the book
and bear testimony to its divine origin. The "Stick of Judah"--the
Bible--is now joined with the "Stick of Joseph"--the Book of
Mormon--and, as Ezekiel foretold, they have become one in the hand
of the Lord, as a witness for him and his Son Jesus Christ in the
latter days.

As a preface to the Book of Mormon the testimony of three witnesses,
namely, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, is
published, declaring "with words of soberness" that an angel of God
came down from heaven and brought and laid before their eyes the
plates from which the book was translated; that the voice of God
from heaven declared that it had been translated by the gift and
power of God, and commanded them to bear record of it. Also the
testimony of eight witnesses is given, who saw the plates naturally,
handled them, inspected the engravings thereon, and turned over the
leaves that had been translated. In addition to these witnesses,
chosen of the Lord to bear record of these facts, thousands of
people, of various nationalities, have received divine testimony
that the book is true, and that Joseph Smith, who translated it by
the gift of God, was a true prophet, called of God to usher in the
dispensation of the fulness of times, proclaims anew the everlasting
gospel, the one plan of salvation, re-establish the Church of Christ
on earth, and prepare the way for the coming of him whose right it
is to reign, and for the final redemption of the earth from sin and
Satan, from darkness and death. And every person who will read the
Book of Mormon with an unprejudiced mind and will ask God in faith,
in the name of Jesus Christ, concerning it, shall surely receive a
witness of its truth and be guided in the way of eternal salvation.



RAY NO. 9.

In proclaiming the great truths that the silence of centuries has
been broken; that the voice of God has again been heard from heaven;
that Jesus Christ his Son has manifested himself in these latter
days; that angels from the courts of glory have ministered to man on
earth in the present age; that a sacred record has been brought
forth from the ground, disclosing the history of a hemisphere and
bearing the same truths as those recorded in the Bible; that a
prophet, seer and revelator has been raised up to bring in the last
dispensation; that apostles and other inspired servants of God now
minister among men; that the Church of Christ, with all its former
organization, ordinances, gifts and spiritual power, has been
reorganized on earth; and that communications may be had with Deity
by men and women of faith now, as at any period in the world's
history, the servants of God are met with the assertion that the day
of revelation has long since passed, and that they must of necessity
be either impostors or deluded, because there is to be no more
scripture, prophecy, miracles, angelic ministrations, visions or
actual communications from heaven to earth. This popular error is
fostered and propagated by the ministers of various so-called
Christian denominations, and is accepted by the masses of the people
as a settled and foregone conclusion.

On what grounds is such an irrational position assumed? Is not the
Almighty declared in scripture to be unchangeable? Has not his work
on earth always been conducted by men divinely chosen, appointed and
inspired? Is there not as much need of divine revelation to settle
religious feuds and doctrinal differences in the 20th century as at
any previous period? Would not the word of the Lord be of much more
value to mankind than the varied opinions of uninspired men, no
matter how great may be their human learning? Ought not the
inhabitants of the earth to be not only willing, but eager, to
receive a message from the eternal worlds?

"Ah!" exclaims the objector, "but there were to be no more prophets
after Christ. He finished the divine plan and completed the
revelation of God to the earth. He warned his disciples against
false prophets and false Christs, and said if it were possible they
would deceive the very elect." Does not the very fact that Christ
said there would be false prophets, convey the idea that there would
be true prophets also? If there were to be no more true prophets, it
would have been easy for the Savior to plainly say so, and thus
there would be no place left for deceivers. But he declared
emphatically: "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets and wise
men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and
some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them
from city to city" (Matthew 23:34). Were not prophets established in
the Church of Christ as members of his body? Read I Corinthians
2:28: "And God hath set some in the Church; first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." Did
not Christ promise his disciples that after he went away the
Comforter should come? And was not one of the offices of that Spirit
to show them "things to come?" (John 16:13). Was not the gift of
prophecy bestowed upon members of the Church of Christ as one of the
manifestations of the Holy Spirit? (I Corinthians 12:10). And can
anybody possess the true testimony of Jesus without that Spirit? The
angel that appeared to John the Apostle said: "The testimony of
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). Paul prayed for
the Ephesians. "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1:17). If revelation and prophecy
ceased with Christ, what about the New Testament, all written after
his death and resurrection, by men now believed to be inspired? Did
not the Apostle John behold a glorious vision and receive a grand
revelation, when banished to the Island of Patmos?

Here again the objection will be raised. "But that revelation was
the last communication from heaven, and its closing chapter forbids
any further revelation." That is also a popular error promulgated by
men professing to be ministers of Christ, and finding themselves
destitute of divine power and inspiration. Here is the passage they
quote: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the
prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God
shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book"
(Revelation 22:18). It is astonishing how plain and simple language
can be wrested from its evident meaning to suit the purposes of
sophistry. There is not a word in that text which conveys the
remotest intimation that revelation and prophecy were to cease, or
that God would no more speak to man. It is a prohibition against the
addition by man of anything to that which God reveals. The next
verse forbids the taking away of anything from the "book of this
prophecy." That is, the Book of Revelation. These commands have
reference to that one book, and that only. The compilers of the New
Testament have placed it last in the collection of scriptural books,
and the strained, unnatural and absurd application which has been
made of the words we have quoted have been attached to the whole
volume of the Bible. It is all wrong and ridiculous. The idea that
the Almighty placed a seal upon his own mouth when he simply forbade
men to add to what he said, is certainly most remarkable for sane
people to entertain. If that singular notion were correct, then both
the angel who gave the revelation, and John who received it,
violated the heavenly injunction, for we read that the angel gave to
John a mission in figurative manner, which he thus explained: "Thou
must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues,
and kings" (Revelation 10:11). It is well known that the epistles of
St. John were written after he received the revelation on Patmos.

While the true Church of Christ remained on earth the Spirit of
revelation and prophecy also remained. When that spirit departed
there was but a dead form left. Only by the restoration of divine
communication with man could the Church of Christ be re-established
on earth. Only by raising up a prophet to commence the latter-day
dispensation could our heavenly Father maintain his invariable
method from the beginning of the world. And instead of men,
professing to be his servants, opposing and fighting against divine
revelation, they ought to hail with gladness the re-opening of the
heavens and shout for joy that the rays of the Millennial morning
have burst upon the world.

It is passing strange that persons familiar with the prophetic
writings of the Bible could hold the opinion that there would be no
revelation in the latter days. The Bible teems with prophecies of
the latter-day glory, when the mightiest miracles ever wrought by
divine power should be displayed; when God should set up an "ensign
for the nations," "assemble the outcasts of Israel," gather together
"the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth," and not
only repeat the wonders of the Mosaic journey from Egypt to Canaan,
but display his power to such an extent that it will no more be
said, "The Lord liveth which brought up the children of Israel out
of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth which brought up and
which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country
and from all countries whither I had driven them" (See Isaiah
11:6-16; Jeremiah 23:3-8; Zechariah 10:6-11). Not only is the Lord
to gather Israel and Judah, "with a mighty hand and a stretched out
arm," but he is to bring "his elect together from the four quarters
of the earth." They are to go up into the tops of the mountains,
where the house of the Lord is to be reared, from which his law is
to go forth, and where his people shall learn of his ways and walk
in his paths. When he has rebuked the nations, and cleansed the
earth from its iniquity, so that the meek shall inherit it, he is to
pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, with the result not only that
his sons and his daughters shall prophesy and see visions, but "they
shall all be taught of God, until "the earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Joel 2:28-32;
Isaiah 11:9; Micah 4:1-7; Isaiah 35; Isaiah 54:13).

That there was to be a new and final dispensation after the great
apostasy from primitive Christianity foretold by the apostles, is
evident from the statement of Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians.
He says: "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself,
that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather
together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and
which are on earth, even in him" (Ephesians 1:9, 10). How could
this, the greatest of all dispensations, be ushered in without a
prophet and without revelation from God? Did the Almighty ever
commence a dispensation since the world began without a prophet to
declare his word and without revealing his will? The Apostle Peter
calls this great dispensation "the times of restitution of all
things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets
since the world began," in which Jesus Christ is to come in glory
(Acts 3:21). If all things are to be restored in that great
gathering dispensation, then prophets must be restored, revelation,
angelic visitations, gifts, signs, miracles, and all the
manifestations of former times must also be restored. For, the
consummation of all things is to be accomplished, and the earth be
prepared for the presence of its rightful ruler, its Redeemer and
King.

Be it known to all people that the Lord, in his infinite mercy, has
once more opened the heavens and revealed himself to man. The last
dispensation has been commenced. The voice of Christ has again been
heard. Angels have come down from heaven to earth. Prophets,
apostles and other inspired men declare the word and will of the
Lord. A sacred record of the ancient people of a vast continent has
been brought out of the ground, and, united with the Jewish Bible,
bears witness that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and
that by faith mankind in all ages may learn of him and have
communion with him. The gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached in
all the world as a witness to all nations, baptism is administered
by divine authority for the remission of sins, the Holy Ghost is
conferred as of old, by the laying on of hands of men clothed with
the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, the unity of the faith is enjoyed,
the sick are healed, prophecies are uttered, the gifts of tongues
and of interpretation are attainable, and by visions and dreams and
the witness of the Comforter, God is testifying to those who receive
his word, that he has commenced the great latter-day work spoken of
by his holy prophets.

The man chosen of God to commence the work of the last dispensation
was Joseph Smith, who was slain at Carthage, Illinois, for the word
of God and the testimony of Jesus. No prophet who ever lived on
earth, except the Son of God himself, accomplished a greater work,
brought forth more truth or received greater revelations from on
high than he. Having finished the grand mission required of him by
the Lord, he sealed his testimony with his blood, and stands with
the martyrs who will be crowned in the presence of God and of the
Lamb as kings and priests unto them forever. The truth of this
testimony has been sealed upon the hearts of many thousands of
people, who rejoice in the certain knowledge that they are accepted
of God. And this knowledge may be obtained by every soul who shall
believe in Christ, repent of sin, be baptized for the remission of
sins, and receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost. Therefore, O reader! Come unto the light, obey the gospel and
be saved! This is the only way of eternal life and everlasting
happiness in the Father's presence.



RAY NO. 10.

"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). This sweeping declaration was
made by Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, when that prominent Israelite
visited the Savior at night. The Apostle Peter said concerning Jesus
Christ: "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none
other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved"
(Acts 4:12). The words of Peter were spoken when he was "filled with
the Holy Ghost." The words of Jesus came from him as the Son of God.
They vitally affect the whole human family. They being true, not a
soul can enter into the kingdom of God unless he or she is a true
believer in Jesus Christ, and has been born of the water and of the
Spirit. Even Christ himself had to comply with this law in order to
"fulfill all righteousness." He was born of the water in his burial
by baptism in Jordan, and his coming forth from the womb of waters;
he was then born of the Spirit by the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Here is the example for all mankind, who are required to "follow in
his steps." This is the "straight and narrow way."

The question which naturally arises in the thoughtful mind on
hearing these declarations is, "How could people believe in Jesus
Christ when his name was not preached to them?" And coupled with
that comes the query: "What has become of the many millions of
earth's inhabitants who died without the opportunity of being born
of water and of the Spirit?" The heathen nations, worshipping false
gods, knew nothing of Jesus as the Savior of mankind. Even the
chosen people, Israel, who were under the Mosaic law, did not walk
in that way of salvation. Since the days when the apostles and other
authorized servants of Christ administered the ordinances of the
gospel, and during the times when "darkness covered the earth and
gross darkness the people," down to the present age when it is
claimed by the Latter-day Saints that the Church of Christ, the holy
apostleship, and the fulness of the gospel have been restored,
myriads of good people have passed away without receiving that new
birth in the manner that Christ declared to be essential. Have they
all perished? Is it possible that they are doomed to destruction?
Will the eternal Father reject all these his children because they
did not obey a law which was not made known to them?

Justice, mercy, reason, and common sense revolt at such an idea. As
Paul has it. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not
believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall
they preach, except they be sent?" (Romans 10:14). Yet the word of
God must stand. It endureth forever, and he is no respecter of
persons. And he is to "judge the secrets of all men by Jesus Christ
according to my gospel." It is for that reason that the gospel was
to be preached to "every creature." According to the notion
prevalent in modern Christendom, there will be many millions of
people shut out of the kingdom of heaven, because they did not
believe in a Savior about whom they knew nothing. And it is taught
that there is no possible chance of salvation for those who died
without faith in Christ. Sectarians sing, "There's no repentance in
the grave, nor pardon offered to the dead." The preachers of the
sects limit the mercy of God to this probation. They teach that at
death the soul goes either to heaven or to hell, and its state and
condition is fixed forever. If this awful doctrine were true, Satan
would gain the victory over Christ, claiming as his a vast and
overwhelming proportion of the human family, leaving to our great
Redeemer but a small and trifling troop out of the immense and
countless hosts of the armies of humanity.

The solution of this, to many, puzzling problem is simple in the
light of the true gospel of Christ restored in the latter days. "The
mercy of God endureth forever." It is not confined to the narrow
boundaries of this little earth, nor tied up within the limits of
time. The spirits of men and women are his sons and daughters,
whether in the body or out of the body. "His tender mercies are over
ALL HIS WORKS." No one can be justly or mercifully judged by the
gospel without hearing that gospel, and having the opportunity to
receive or reject it. Why, then, should not the gospel of Jesus
Christ be made known to those who never heard it in the flesh, after
they have left the body and dwell in another sphere? Do not all the
sects of Christendom, almost without exception, believe that the
spirit of man is immortal, and is therefore living and sentient when
the body is dead? And if that is true, are not the spirits of men
and women able to receive instruction and information when out of
the body? Is it not the spirit of man that receives and stores up
intelligence conveyed through the bodily senses? Why should the
change called death, which is the separation of the body and the
spirit, cut off all means of divine communication to the living,
immortal, intelligent being that has simply "shuffled off this
mortal coil?" There is no good reason why the spirit thus advanced
one stage in its experience should not be capable of still further
progress and of receiving light, knowledge, wisdom and religious
teaching, especially if information essential to its eternal welfare
was withheld while it dwelt in the body. Revelation as well as
reason bears testimony that the word of God can be preached to the
departed as well in the sphere to which they have gone as on any
part of this earthly globe.

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the
unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the
flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and
preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were
disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days
of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight
souls were saved by water" (I Peter 3:18-20). Here is a declaration
which, like a ray from the sun of righteousness, puts to flight the
fogs and mists of modern eschatology and opens up to view a vast
field of understanding, wherein the justice, wisdom and mercy of God
are displayed in glorious review. The spirits of those rebellious
people who were destroyed by the flood, after suffering about 2,000
years in their prison house, were visited by the Son of God while
his body was lying in the sepulchre. This was in fulfillment of the
prophecies of Isaiah concerning him, for instance: "The Spirit of
the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach
good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the
broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening
of the prison to them that are bound" (Isaiah 61:1). And further:
"To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison,
and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house" (Isaiah 2:7).
And again: "That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth. To them
that are in darkness, Shew yourselves" (Isaiah 59:9).

The common notion is that when Christ on the cross "bowed his head
and gave up the ghost," he went direct to heaven, as it is supposed
all good people do, but on the third day after this, when Christ
appeared to Mary, he said to her: "Touch me not, for I am not yet
ascended to my Father" (John 20: 17). The time spent by the Savior
between his death and his resurrection, instead of being in heaven
was among the "spirits in prison," the "captives" whom he went to
deliver. Thus Jesus could preach without his body, and the spirits
whom he visited could hear also without their bodies. But what was
the nature of his preaching to those who were held in captivity? Let
Peter answer this question. "For, for this cause was the gospel
preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged
according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the
spirit" (I Peter 4:6). Thus it appears that the same gospel which
was preached to men in the body was also preached to men out of the
body, so that all might be judged by the same gospel, which is to be
preached to "every creature." That the message of deliverance to the
captives and the opening of the prison to them that were bound was
successful is evident from the scriptural statement concerning
Christ: "He led captivity captive" (Ephesians 4:8).

Jesus promised his disciples that the works which he did, they
should do also. The mission and priesthood which his Father gave to
him he gave also to them. It is therefore clear that the work of
redemption commenced on earth will be carried on in the sphere
beyond the veil. And that it will be performed in the latter times,
may be learned without doubt from the prophecy of Isaiah concerning
the end of the world, in which he foretells as one of the events of
that period: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord
shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the
kings of the earth upon the earth; and they shall be gathered
together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up
in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited" (Isaiah
24:21-22).

The spirit of man when out of the body, being an intelligent entity,
a thinking, progressive and responsible being, capable of hearing,
and believing or rejecting truth, must be also capable of repenting
of evil and learning to do well. Thus the mercy of God can reach
such a being independent of the mortal structure in which it was
permitted to dwell on earth. The idea that the eternal future of man
is fixed at death comes from a mistaken notion concerning "the
judgment day." Both Christ and his apostles taught that the time of
judgment was set by the Father to take place "when the Son of man
shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him" (Matthew
25:31-46). Paul declared that Christ would come to judge the quick
and the dead "at his appearing and his kingdom" (II Timothy 4:1). It
was at that day that Paul expected to obtain "a crown of
righteousness" (Verse 8). And the time of the judgment is fixed in
the book of Revelation to be after the resurrection from the dead,
when the small and the great shall stand before God, and the books
shall be opened, and the dead shall be judged out of the things
written in the books, according to their works.

The popular notion that final judgment takes place at the death of
each individual, and that he is then and there exalted to heaven or
thrust down to hell, is utterly wrong and unscriptural. Yet it has
prevailed in Christendom for many centuries, and it remained for the
prophet of the 19th century, Joseph Smith, by divine inspiration to
bring forth the glorious light in the midst of dense spiritual
darkness, and show forth them that are dead who could not hear it
while living in the by which every soul of Adam's race, either in
the body or out of the body, may learn the way of the Lord, the
everlasting gospel, the only plan of salvation. It is to be preached
to all them that are dead who could not hear it while living in the
flesh, and they can repent and turn unto God and be taught the
things of his kingdom. The doctrine of purgatory, which is part of
the Roman Catholic creed, is a perversion of this doctrine of
Christ, but the idea of the former came from a misunderstanding of
the latter. There is an intermediate state in which the spirits of
the departed remain between death and the resurrection of the body,
and, as will be pointed out in a succeeding chapter, there are works
which may be performed by the living in behalf of the dead, but only
such as are impossible of performance in the spirit world.

The Apostle Paul declared that Jesus Christ "gave himself a ransom
for ALL, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:6). The time has
now come. The testimony of this great truth is proclaimed by
prophets and apostles raised up in these latter days, and by the
voice of angels from heaven, and by the witness of the Holy Ghost,
which bears record of the Father and the Son. Let all people rejoice
and praise the Lord for this new revelation of his loving kindness
and tender mercies extended over all his works, and let his light
shine to the uttermost parts of the earth and penetrate to the
darkest abode of the regions behind the veil, that truth may triumph
everywhere and God be glorified in the obedience and salvation of
his children.



RAY NO. 11.

"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the
dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" (I
Corinthians 15:29). This was an argument used by the Apostle Paul
with the Corinthians, who doubted the doctrine of the resurrection
of the body. It is evident that they were familiar with baptism for
the dead. For, the apostle was reasoning with them from what they
knew. The influence of Greek philosophy affected the minds of the
Saints at Corinth, and the apostle found it necessary to write to
them his splendid treatise, to convince them that as Christ was
actually raised from the dead, so all mankind should be brought
forth from their graves, as the Savior himself declared. And
appealing to their good sense, he asked the question why they were
baptized for the dead, if, as some among them maintained, there was
to be no resurrection of the dead.

This doctrine, that the living could be baptized in behalf of the
dead, has not been understood in the so-called Christian world for
many hundreds of years. It was known to the early fathers, but
became obsolete when the authority held by the apostles and their
associates was taken from the earth and spiritual darkness settled
upon the world. Yet, if that was part of the doctrine of Christ in
the Apostolic age, it is part of it now. But who among all the sects
of the age teaches it? Who has authority to administer it? Who knows
anything of the manner in which the ordinance should be solemnized?
It is because of the profound ignorance of modern teachers of
religion on this important subject that they endeavor, whenever the
text given above is quoted, either to cover it with a cloud of
meaningless explanation, or to treat it as unworthy of attention, or
to set it aside as something "done away."

In the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ anew in the present
age, baptism for the dead was made known to the Prophet Joseph Smith
as a necessary part of the doctrine of Christ. Its purpose, the form
of the ordinance, who should administer it, who should receive it,
how it would affect both the living and dead and everything to
render it acceptable to God and efficacious to the departed, was
made known to the prophet of the nineteenth century.

It has already been demonstrated that the gospel preached by our
Savior and his apostles to the living was also preached to the dead,
that is, to the spirits of those who had once dwelt in the body on
earth. Also that such persons are capable of receiving the truth, of
faith, of repentance, of obedience and reform. It has been further
shown that baptism for the remission of sins and the reception of
the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, both ordinances to be
administered by actual divine authority, are essential to salvation.
But it will be evident to the thoughtful reader that while the
internal or spiritual requirements of the gospel can be complied
with by disembodied persons, the outward and material ceremonies are
of the body, and can only be performed on the earth. Water is an
earthly element or composition of material elements, and pertains to
this mundane sphere. It is for this reason that the living must be
baptized for the dead. If those who died unbaptized are to obtain
salvation the necessary ordinances will have to be attended to by
proxy.

If any professing Christian objects to the idea of salvation by
proxy, the all-important fact that the entire plan of salvation
hinges on that principle should be sufficient to sweep away the
objection entirely and forever. "The wages of sin is death." "All
have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Jesus of Nazareth
died instead of sinners. The just was offered for the unjust. The
innocent Christ was a substitute for guilty men. The whole doctrine
of the atonement rests upon the principle of salvation by proxy.
Jesus is called the Captain of our salvation. He is the head of the
host of the army of saviors. It was predicted by Obadiah the prophet
that, "Saviors shall come up on Mount Zion" in the last days, and
"the kingdom shall be the Lord's" (Verse 21). And the inspired
writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, speaking of those worthies who
through faith performed great wonders and prevailed and obtained a
witness from God in olden times, declared: "These all having
obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God
having provided some better thing for us, that they without us
should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11:39, 40). Thus the work of human
redemption is to be carried on until all the people of the earth
shall be judged according to the gospel, every soul having had an
opportunity of receiving or rejecting it, either in the body or in
the spirit state, and of obeying the ordinances thereof, either in
person or vicariously, the living acting for the dead.

At the first glance, this doctrine may strike the modern Christian
mind as new and dangerous, but the more it is investigated in all
its bearings, the clearer its truth is made apparent, and the more
glorious it becomes. The thought that those who receive and obey the
gospel of Christ in its fulness while in the flesh, can aid in the
work of redemption for their ancestors who are in the spirit world,
is most delightful to the reverent soul.

It shows the value of those genealogies which Israel, the covenant
people of God, were moved upon in olden times to preserve. It
stimulates the faithful in Christ to good works that they may become
"saviors on Mount Zion." It explains how the nations composed of
millions upon millions of souls that never heard the gospel or the
name of Christ Jesus, may ultimately be redeemed and made heirs of
salvation. It points out the way by which Christ shall eventually
obtain the victory over Satan and prove himself "a ransom for all,"
presenting his perfect work to the Father, not one soul having been
lost but the sons of perdition, who sinned unto death and could not
be forgiven in this world or in the world to come.

The ordinances for the dead, as revealed from heaven to the Prophet
Joseph Smith, must be attended to in the way provided by the Lord or
they will not be accepted of him. They must be administered in
sacred places, built according to a heavenly pattern, and
administered by those who have authority to loose on earth and it
shall be loosed in heaven, to seal on earth and it shall be sealed
in heaven. Persons who have themselves complied with the
requirements of the gospel may be baptized and administered to in
other necessary ordinances for and in behalf of their departed
kindred and ancestors, as far back as their line of progenitors can
be ascertained. This work must be attended to in Zion. This
necessitates the gathering of the Saints, "the elect of God," from
all parts of the earth. They are commanded of the Lord to come out
of Babylon, that they "be not partakers of her sins, and that they
receive not of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4). In compliance with
this requirement they are gathering from all nations, to the
"mountain of the house of the Lord, in the tops of the mountains,
where they can learn of his ways and walk in his paths," and build
up Zion, where they can officiate as saviors and prepare for the
coming of the Great King (See Micah 4: 1-4; Isaiah 2:2-5; Psalms
102:16).

The gathering of Judah is also to be accomplished in this
dispensation of the fulness of times. Their gathering place is
Jerusalem. They will return to the land of their forefathers chiefly
in unbelief. A few of that race will begin to believe that Jesus of
Nazareth is the Christ, but the masses of that people will not
receive him in that light until he comes and "His feet shall stand
again on the Mount of Olives." He will then appear as their
Deliverer from the hosts that will assemble against them for a spoil
and a prey. They will then look upon him whom their forefathers have
pierced, and beholding the scars of the wounds he received when "He
came to his own and his own received him not," but hung him upon the
cross, will come to the understanding that Jesus is indeed the Son
of God as well as the Son of David, and is their Messiah, their
Redeemer, and their King. They will then receive his gospel, the
only plan of salvation: "a nation will be born in a day unto the
Lord" and in the temple that will be reared to his name they will
officiate for their dead until all the links in the chain of their
ancestry, back to the time when the gospel was on the earth previous
to the enunciation of the Mosaic code, the law of carnal
commandments, are made complete. All the promises made to Israel and
Judah through their prophets will be fulfilled and Christ will
"reign in Mount Zion and Jerusalem" and fill the earth with his
glory! (Zechariah 14:8-23; Jeremiah 23:3-8; 32:37-44; Ezekiel
34:13-16; 38:8-23; Ezekiel 39; Isaiah 24:23.)

While the house of Judah is to rebuild Jerusalem, in expectation of
a Messiah, but in unbelief of the Savior and his atonement, the
descendants of the House of Israel which was scattered and dispersed
among the nations, will gather as the elect of God to the latter-day
Zion upon the land of Joseph in the top of the mountains, where the
house of God is "exalted above the hills," and where the revelations
of his will are made known and the ordinances of his house for the
living and the dead can be administered. The blood of Israel, though
mixed with that of the Gentiles, is counted as the seed of Abraham
to whom the promises of old were made, and not one of them will
fail. Their gathering place is on "the land shadowing with wings"
which Isaiah saw in vision "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia," where
the Lord has "lifted up an ensign on the mountains," and from which
his "swift messengers" are now going forth as "ambassadors" of the
great King and are bringing Israel from afar to "the place of the
name of the Lord of Hosts, the Mount Zion" (Isaiah 18). There, in
the temple built to his name according to the pattern he has
revealed, baptisms and all the ordinances necessary on earth in the
work of salvation for the living and the dead, are performed by
divine authority, and there the Spirit of God is poured out in rich
effusion, bearing witness to the humble of heart and contrite of
spirit that they and their labors of love are accepted of him and
sealed and recorded in heaven.

There "the wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad"
because of them. The parched ground and the thirsty land have
brought forth springs of water, the desert is made to "blossom as
the rose." There the ransomed of the Lord have come to Zion with
songs of everlasting joy. "The place of their defense is the
munition of rocks," and they are looking for the time, which is near
at hand, when they shall behold "the King in his beauty." (See
Isaiah 25; also 32:13-20; 33:15-17; 39:22-23; 42:7-12; Psalm
107:1-7, 33-43; Isaiah 41:18-20.)

From the foregoing it will be seen that our heavenly Father is not
bound by the small notions and narrow creeds of modern religious
sects and teachers. "His ways are not as man's ways, nor his
thoughts as their thoughts." "As high as the heavens are above the
earth," so is his plan of salvation above the inventions of the
worldly wise. The gospel is to be preached to every responsible and
accountable creature. They who do not hear it while in the body will
hear it in the spirit world, and even those who through folly and
darkness received it not will, after having been beaten with "many
stripes" and having paid the "uttermost farthing" of the debt thus
incurred, have mercy extended to them when justice has been
satisfied, and at length through the ministrations of the holy
priesthood of God on earth and behind the veil, and the ordinances
performed in person or vicariously, all the sons and daughters of
God of the race of Adam will come forth from the grave; and finally
"every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the
Christ to the glory of God the Father." Then Jesus, having finished
his work of redemption, will present it to the eternal Father, that
he may be all in all.

This glorious work for the salvation of the human family is now in
progress under the revelation and authority of the Most High, and no
matter how much it may be opposed by ignorance or malice, by Satan
or foolish men, it will go on to complete and glorious victory. Evil
will be overcome, darkness dispersed, Satan and his hosts be bound,
the earth and its inhabitants be redeemed, Paradise will be
restored, Eden will bloom again, Christ will reign as King, the
Tabernacle of God will be with men, and all things above, beneath,
around, will sing praises to the Most High, to whom be glory and
dominion forever. Amen.



RAY NO. 12.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns
or figs of thistles?" So said the Savior of mankind (Matthew 7:16).
The Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons," as they are commonly called,
have been derided and persecuted, and all manner of evil has been
spoken against them, even by people who call themselves Christians.
That in this, false witness has been borne against them, may be
definitely proved if the criterion given by Christ is accepted.
Having obeyed the gospel as restored to earth by angelic visitations
and administered by divine authority, large numbers of the Saints
have congregated in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains in obedience
to the command, "Gather my Saints together unto me, those that have
made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (Psalm 1:5). And also: "Come
out of her (Babylon), my people, that ye be not partakers of her
sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).

In the year 1847 a company of pioneers, led by the Prophet Brigham
Young, successor of the Martyr Joseph Smith, who was slain for the
gospel's sake, marched from the Missouri River across prairies and
mountains, and wastes and rivers, through the wilderness known as
the Great American Desert, to the place in the mountains where they
had been directed by Joseph Smith when living with them in Nauvoo.
On July 24th of that year they halted in the valley of the Great
Salt Lake, beheld by Brigham Young in vision before they commenced
their weary journey. Not a human habitation was to be seen. The
sun-baked land brought forth sagebrush and weeds. Rain was almost
unknown and the melting snows from the mountain tops came down but
in narrow and scanty streams. But they plowed the parched ground and
turned upon it the trickling waters; they sowed in faith and trusted
in God for the harvest which alone could save them from starvation.
The little band was composed of but 148 persons who had left
civilization more than a thousand miles behind. Today over five
hundred thousand people, gathered from all parts of the world, dwell
in peace and harmony in flourishing cities and towns or upon
fruitful farms and luxuriant ranches, reaping the results of thrift
and industry and the blessings of God upon the land and upon their
labors. In the cities are fine residences, comfortable cottages,
business establishments, manufacturing enterprises, railroads,
telegraphs and telephones, broad streets lined with magnificent
trees and with clear streamlets on either side, lighted by
electricity and supplied with pure water from works owned by the
people. Grand school houses have been erected, spacious places of
worship, noble public buildings and splendid temples costing from
one million to four million dollars each. All kinds of grains and
fruits and flowers are produced in abundance: the rainfalls have
wonderfully increased, springs have burst forth in dry spots, grass
grows on the hillsides, and in the meadows, cattle and sheep graze
on a thousand hills, and the face of nature smiles and shines with
beauty.

This marvelous transformation has been brought about by the
blessings of Almighty God upon the faith and works of his Saints
gathered from afar. Zion that brought good tidings--the everlasting
gospel restored to earth--has gone up "into the high mountain." The
Spirit has been poured out from on high, and the wilderness has
become a "fruitful field." "The people of the Lord dwell in
peaceable habitations, in sure dwellings, in quiet resting places."
They are sowing "beside all waters." "The wilderness and the
solitary place is glad for them, the desert rejoices and blossoms
abundantly." They are the "ransomed of the Lord, and have come to
Zion with songs of everlasting joy." (See Isaiah 40:9; 32:15-20;
35:1-10.)

Every Sabbath day the children assemble in Sunday Schools under a
system which is not excelled in any part of the world. In the
afternoon and evening the Saints assemble in their tabernacles and
meeting houses, and receive instruction by the voice of inspiration
and the reading of holy writ. Societies are organized for the
instruction of juveniles, of young men and young women, of ladies of
mature age and for all classes of the community. To serve God and
keep his commandments is held up as the first duty of his people. To
labor for the salvation of the living and the redemption of the dead
is placed above all earthly considerations. The Church has now in
the mission fields eighteen hundred or more missionaries, traveling
"without purse or scrip," without pay of any kind, depending upon
God and friends whom he may raise up to them for their daily
sustenance. The Church organization revealed from heaven is
recognized by all who investigate as the grandest and most complete
ever known on earth. The industry, order, devotion, unity and
brotherly love displayed by the Latter-day Saints are the admiration
and commendation of both friend and foe. The work they have
performed under divine direction is a marvel to all who have visited
the cities of the Saints or know of their achievements. What is the
tree that has brought forth those excellent fruits? It is the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let the tree be judged by its
fruits.

It is true that the "Mormons" are a people who have been "everywhere
spoken against," but this was a characteristic of the Saints in the
original Christian Church. Paul said: "They that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Jesus exclaimed, "Woe unto
you when all men shall speak well of you." He prophesied of his
disciples: "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." But
there are a number of brave men who, after visiting Utah, have not
been afraid to speak their honest sentiments concerning that
despised people. Among them are the following, whose published
remarks are but samples of others that might be adduced:

Bishop D. S. Tuttle of the Episcopal Church, who resided many years
in Salt Lake City, had the following in the New York Sun: "We of the
East are accustomed to look upon the Mormons as either a licentious,
arrogant, or rebellious mob, bent only on defying the United States
government and deriding the faith of the Christians. That is not so.
I know them to be honest, faithful, prayerful workers, and earnest
in their faith that heaven will bless the Church of Latter-day
Saints. Another strong and admirable feature in the Mormon religion
is the tenacious and efficient organization. They follow with the
greatest care all the forms of the old Church."

Henry Edger says, in the New York Evolution: "Driven by mob violence
from one state to another, despoiled of their legitimate possessions
--fruits of honest toil--this despised and grossly wronged people
found their way at last across the trackless desert and by an almost
unexampled perseverance and industry created an oasis in the desert
itself."

Elder Miles Grant, editor of the World's Crisis, says: "After a
careful observation for some days we came to the settled conclusion
that there is less licentiousness in Salt Lake City than in any
other one of the same size in the United States; and were we to
bring up a family of children in these last days of wickedness, we
should have less fears of their moral corruption were they in that
city than in any other."

Gov. Safford, of Arizona, wrote as follows: "They have no drones,
and the work they have accomplished in so short a time is truly
wonderful. All concede that we need an energetic, industrious,
economical and self-relying people to subdue and bring into use the
vast unproductive lands of Arizona. These Mormons fill every one of
the above requirements."

Gen. Thomas L. Kane, of Pennsylvania, after four years' experience
with the Mormons, declared: "I have not heard a single charge made
against them as a community, against their habitual purity of life,
their willing integrity, their toleration of religious difference of
opinion, their regard for the laws, their devotion to the
constitutional government under which we live, that I do not from my
own observation or upon the testimony of others know to be
unfounded."

Chief Justice White, sent to Utah by the United States government,
testified: "Industry, frugality, temperance, honesty are with them
the common practices of life. This land they have redeemed from
sterility and occupied its once barren solitudes with cities,
villages, cultivated fields and farm houses, and made it the
habitation of a numerous people, where a beggar is never seen and
almshouses are neither needed nor known."

The late Hon. Bayard Taylor, United States minister to Germany,
remarked: "We must admit that Salt Lake City is one of the most
quiet, orderly and moral places in the world. The Mormons as a
people are the most temperate of Americans. They are chaste,
laborious and generally cheerful, and what they have accomplished in
so short a time under every circumstance of discouragement, will
always form one of the most remarkable chapters in our history."

Notwithstanding the facts set forth in the foregoing, the Congress
of the United States was moved upon for several years by anti-Mormon
preachers of different sects, and by petitions from good, pious, but
deceived "Christian" people, also by adventurers who desired to
profit by inroads upon the Mormons, to enact stringent and
oppressive measures looking to the suppression of what they called
"Mormonism." It was thought by the enemies of the Saints that they
could be driven again from their possessions, as they had been
driven by mob violence from the states of Missouri and Illinois,
where their property became a prey to their so-called Christian
persecutors, and where many of their number were brutally murdered
in cold blood, their Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith,
being among that number. For some time these efforts gave great
promise of success. Much suffering was endured by the Saints, but
they possessed their souls in patience, having faith in the promises
of God made to them through their prophets and apostles, and the
testimony of the Holy Spirit. The day of their deliverance from this
injustice, sorrow, and tribulation has come. Their true character
has been measurably recognized, and Utah has been admitted into the
Union as a free and sovereign state, on an equal footing with the
other states in the federal compact.

There yet remains in the world great ignorance concerning the
Latter-day Saints, their purposes and works, their doctrines and
teachings, and the spirit and power of their faith. To these they
invite the investigation of every rational mind. They urge
comparison of their principles, their Church and the ordinances,
gifts, and spirit thereof with those set forth in the New Testament,
in contrast with the contending and discordant religions of modern
Christendom. They know that they have received the truth, and that
God has revealed it in the present age. They have obtained a divine
witness, every one for himself. They are building up Zion in the
West. They are sending forth the gospel into all the world as a
witness to the nations before the end shall come.

This is a day of warning. It will be followed by a time of
judgments. The Lord is about to shake terribly the kingdoms of this
world. War, pestilence, famine, earthquake, whirlwind, and the
devouring fire, with signs in the heavens and on the earth, will
immediately precede the great consummation which is close at hand.
These are the last days. All that has been foretold by the holy
prophets concerning them is about to be literally fulfilled. The
everlasting gospel has been restored to the earth as one of the
signs of the latter days. Israel is being gathered. The elect of God
are assembling from the four quarters of the earth. The way is
opening for the redemption of Judah. Soon all things will be in
commotion: "men's hearts failing them for fear and looking for the
things that are coming on the earth." The places of refuge appointed
are in Zion and in Jerusalem. The Lord, even Jesus the Messiah, will
come to his Holy Temple. He will be glorified in his Saints, but
will "take vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the
gospel." He will break in pieces the nations as a potter's vessel.
He will sweep the earth as with a besom of destruction. He will
establish righteousness upon it and give dominion to his people.
"The meek shall inherit the earth and the wicked be cut off
forever." Therefore, repent and turn unto him, all ye nations, and
obey him, all ye people, for these words are true and faithful and
are given by his Spirit! Salvation has come unto you; reject it not
lest ye fall and perish. The time is at hand!



Transcriber's Note

This version uses Arabic numerals for scripture chapter numbers (e.g.
Mark 3) where the original uses Roman numerals (e.g. Mark III).





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rays of Living Light on the One Way of Salvation" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home