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´╗┐Title: What Jesus Taught
Author: Widtsoe, Osborne J. P.
Language: English
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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 "What Jesus Taught" ***

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PICTURE: LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Hunt



WHAT JESUS

TAUGHT


Written for The Deseret Sunday School Union

by

OSBORNE J. P. WIDTSOE

Author of

"The Restoration of the Gospel," Etc.


Published by

THE DESERET SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

{4}



FOREWORD

No other teacher in the history of the world has wielded so profound an
influence upon humanity as has Jesus the Christ. Practically the whole
world has been Christianized. His doctrines have entered not only into
households but also into governments and nations. But the Christianity
that prevails generally, is the doctrine of Jesus highly merged with
the opinions of men. Indeed, the world's Christianity is often more
largely man-made than Christ-made. A perfect knowledge of Jesus cannot
be gained, however, until men learn more about what He Himself taught,
and less about what scholars have said about His doctrine.

This little book is an attempt modestly to present in popular form the
teachings of Jesus. It is intended for boys and girls of high-school
age. It is to be understood, then, that there is here no exhaustive
treatise of the teachings of Jesus; nor is there conducted a study and
investigation of profound scholarship. Such a work from the Mormon
point of view must be deferred, if desirable at all. But it is hoped
that what Jesus taught--in part at least--is here presented simply
and plainly and truly, so that anyone who reads may understand. It is
further hoped that the writing of these lessons has been "moved by
the Holy Ghost," so that those who read them may learn to love the
teachings of Jesus, and to know and to love God, and His Son, Jesus,
whom He sent to redeem the world. "Worship God: for the testimony of
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." O. J. P. W.

Salt Lake City, December 12, 1917.

{5}



The Illustrations

Light of the World.

1. Christ and the Doctors.

2. Nazareth, Palestine.

3. Simeon Blessing the Lord.

4. Jesus and the Woman of Samaria.

5. Jesus and Nicodemus.

6. Christ Healing the Blind Man.

7. The Sower.

8. The Temptation of Christ.

9. Market Scene at Bethlehem.

10. The Forgiving Father.

11. The Consoling Christ.

12. Jesus Praying.

13. The River Jordan, Palestine.

14. "Lord, Help Me."

15. Raising the Dead.

16. The Garden of Gethsemane.

17. Baptism of Jesus.

18. None.

19. Jesus and the Fishermen.

20. Christ's Charge to Peter.

21. Christ Teaching from a Boat.

22. "Consider the Lilies."

23. Christ and the Rich Young Ruler.

24. Lazarus at the Rich Man's House.

25. The Sermon on the Mount.

26. None.

27. Jesus Blessing Little Children.

28. Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

29. The Good Samaritan.

30. Christ in the Home of Mary and Martha.

31. Jesus Washing Peter's Feet.

32. The Wise and the Foolish Virgins.

33. Christ Driving Out the Money-Changers.

34. Jesus Healing the Sick.

35. Christ before Pilate.

36. Touch Me Not.

37. The Good Shepherd.

38. Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor.

39. The Ascension.

40. Angel Moroni.

{6}



Table of Contents

I

His Father's Business

Testimony of Napoleon--Universal worship of Jesus--Purpose of this
book--Duties of Jesus at age of twelve--Jesus in the temple--His
Father's business--What is eternal life?--Special mission of Jesus.

II

What It Means to Know God

Abraham's determination to serve God--God Himself--God of Abraham and
of Isaac and of Jacob--First Commandment--What does it mean to know
Jesus Christ?--Necessary to understand God's plan--Divine mission of
Jesus--What we would do if we had learned to know God and Jesus--The
condition of eternal life.

III

The God of Israel

A very important question--The truth is simple and easy--Jesus's
explanation of God--The testimony of Paul--God is our Father--A real
joy to know the true God.

IV

What Jesus Said of Himself

Jesus's testimony to the woman of Samaria--The testimony of the people
of Sychar--Jesus taught always that He is the Christ--The answer
to John--The confessions at the trials of Jesus--And on the way to
Emmaus--How shall we find out Christ?

V

The Special Witness of Jesus

The end of the period of preparation--The testimony at the
baptism--John's testimony--Who the Comforter is--The mission of the
Holy Ghost--The Holy Ghost in Jesus and the apostles--The Holy Ghost
amongst the Nephites--How to confer the Holy Ghost--Nature of the Holy
Ghost--Importance of the Holy Ghost.

VI

Before There Was An Earth

A remarkable vision--The pre-existence of Jesus--The spirits of all men
eternal--The man born blind--Conclusion.

VII

The Presence of Evil

A review--The problem of evil--The parable of the sower--The
meaning--The devil the power of evil--A council of the spirits--Jesus
volunteers--Lucifer volunteers--Lucifer rebels--The declaration of
Jesus.

{7}

VIII

Why Evil is in the World

The devil's desperate hope--The temptation of Jesus--The
application--Guard against suggestions of the devil--Why there is
evil--The trial of man--A state of probation--The free agency of man.

IX

The Crown of Creation

A wonder-rousing sacrifice--Why should God be mindful of man?--The
parable of the lost sheep--Man's soul without price--Man the offspring
of God--The questions answered--Reverence for God--Reverence for
personal honor--Reverence for personal purity.

X

The Forgiving Father

The parable of the prodigal--The forgiving father--Condemnation of the
self-righteous--The publican and the Pharisee.

XI

Sincerity in Worship

Finding and losing one's life--The necessity of harmony--Three forms of
temptation--Instruction in praying and alms-giving--The real value of
worship--Humility and sincerity.

XII

How to Pray

The Lord's prayer--Jesus had found God--The prayers of the Jews--The
prayer of Jesus--The Lord's prayer analyzed--Teach us to pray.

XIII

Persistence in Prayer

The Lord will answer--Pray often and persistently--The importunate
friend--The unrighteous judge--An urgent desire necessary--Implicit
trust necessary--Seek first the Kingdom of God--Labor and confidence
hand in hand--The sin of worry--God knows best--Thy will be done.

XIV

The Power of Faith

Confidence vs. faith--The incident of the fig tree--Forgiveness
accompanies prayer--Reason for concrete examples--The
interpretation--Jesus's own interpretation--Examples of the power of
faith--The dispensation of the fulness of times, the wonderful example.

{8}

XV

The Handmaid of Faith

The case of Mr. Baldwin--Words added to faith--The principle of
works--A parable--The works of Jesus--The works of man--Conclusion.

XVI

The Meaning of Repentance

The irreverence and ruthlessness of Pilate--The necessity of
repentance--The barren fig tree--Repentance a fundamental
doctrine--Jesus's exclamation against the wicked--Repentance a
universal principle--Things of which to repent--The service principle
of the Gospel.

XVII

Baptism by Immersion

The first principles and ordinances--Baptism essential to
salvation--Humility and obedience the psychology of baptism--The law
of obedience in daily life--The example set by Jesus--The purpose of
baptism--The door of the sheep-fold.

XVIII

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

What Jesus told Nicodemus--The laying on of hands--The teaching and
practice of Paul--The practice of the apostles--The teaching and
practice of the apostles derived from Jesus--What is the gift of the
Holy Ghost?--The conditions and the source of intelligence.

XIX

The Foundation Stone

A few questions--Parables by the sea--The meaning of the parables--The
Church and the Kingdom--The testimony of Peter--The testimony of
Jesus--Its significance.

XX

The Test of Authority

The figure of the architect--The application--One mark not
sufficient--The submission of Jesus--The submission of the
apostles--The second mark--Two orders of priesthood.

XXI

The Third Mark

The horror of darkness--The speech of the Indian Chief--The figure
of the architect again--The plan of eternal life--The necessity of
plans--The application--The principles of the Gospel--Men judged by the
Gospel--The three marks.

{9}

XXII

Single Minded Loyalty

A supreme privilege--The true worth of membership--Conditions of
membership--Single minded loyalty--No man can serve two masters--A
simple application--A parable in point--The light of the body--A
summary--A paraphrase.

XXIII

Riches and the Kingdom of God

A liberal man--An unnatural doubt--The case of the rich young
ruler--The difficulty of the sacrifice--The conclusion of Jesus--The
amazement of the disciples--The power of God--A promise of worldly
blessings--The object of the world's desire--The parable of the unjust
steward.

XXIV

Succeeding With What One Has

The rich man and Lazarus--Wanted, a chance--The parable of the
talents--A general law--The water boy--Intellectual endeavor--Spiritual
growth--The lesson applied.

XXV

Think Right

The great commandment--The beatitudes--A high ideal of life--The great
beatitude--The pure in heart--Things that defile--Vulgarity in thought,
word and deed--Plain teaching.

XXVI

The Ugliness of Anger

The story of Cain--The occupation of Abel--The brothers'
sacrifices--The anger of Cain--The murder of Abel--The lesson at
home--The power of the mind--The teachings of Jesus--Jesus an
example--The strength of self-control.

XXVII

With What Measure Ye Mete

The two school girls--The theft--The suspicion--The discovery--The
tables turned--An every day occurrence--The mote and the beam--What
Jesus said.

XXVIII

The Golden Rule

Positive instruction--The doctrine of reconciliation--The attitude of
a citizen of the Kingdom--The doctrine of forgiveness--The parable of
the unforgiving servant--The meaning--The right attitude towards our
enemies--The golden rule.

{10}

XXIX

The Good Samaritan

The law of love--The reward of brotherly love--Questions of the
tempting lawyer--The parable of the good Samaritan--A discussion--The
real neighbor--The fulness of the answer--The lesson clinched--The
command renewed.

XXX

No One Can Live to Himself

The fable of the body and its members--The time of Aesop--The growth
of society--A football squad--The teachings of Jesus--The family--The
family sacred--The state--The state divinely instituted--The
Church--Duties of membership--The teachings of our own Church.

XXXI

He That Exalteth Himself

The old law and the new--The teaching of Jesus psychological--A
concrete example--The motive all important--Jesus's doctrine of
rewards--A parable in point--A sound psychological principle--A further
illustration--Peter and the question of recompense--The reward worth
while--Conclusion.

XXXII

Extra Service

The parable of the laborers--The value of service in the
world's work--The value of service in the Church--The test of
profitableness--The application to the day's work--The application to
the Church service--An exclamation against mere formal--performance of
duty.

XXXIII

A Prophet in His Own Country

A perfect man and an exemplary leader--A work full of wonder--A healer
and worker of miracles--The conditions in Palestine--A mission of
love--The centurion's servant--Stilling the tempest--The raising of
Lazarus--In His own country.

XXXIV

The Meaning of Miracles

The explanation of the scribes--The universal presence of law--The
miracle of the telephone--Other miracles of science--The power of the
Priesthood--The purpose of miracles--The privilege of the sick.

{11}

XXXV

An Atoning Sacrifice

An incredible thought--Jesus's foreknowledge of His death--The
necessity of Jesus's death--The significance of the death of
Jesus--Worldly views of how Jesus's death can save--The real
significance of the death of Jesus--The Nephite explanation--Why Jesus
submitted to His enemies--The new testimony of Jesus.

XXXVI

The Place Called Paradise

A well established fact--The five appearances of the risen Christ--Five
more appearances of the Christ and the ascension--The value of the
testimony--Where had Jesus been?--Today in Paradise--The Gospel to the
dead--A plain explanation--Every knee and every tongue.

XXXVII

Other Sheep

The first commission to the twelve--The leaven of the Gospel--The
Kingdom of the Gentiles--The case of Cornelius--The preaching of
Barnabas and Paul--"Other sheep"--A puzzling question--Forty days--In
the land of the Nephites--The appearance of Jesus to the Nephites.

XXXVIII

Our Advocate With The Father

The householder and the husbandmen--God the great householder, Jesus
the Son--The exaltation of Jesus--Our advocate with the Father--Many
mansions in the Father's house--Lord of Lords and King of Kings--Jesus
to come again--The nearness of Jesus.

XXXIX

The Living Christ

Jesus the living Christ--The testimony of Napoleon--The conviction of
an English philosopher--Declarations of Emerson and Webster--Additional
testimony--Reasons for strong testimonies in the Church--Evidences of
testimony in the Church--"The testimony last of all."

XL

A Religion Worth While

The feeding of the five thousand--The meat that endures to everlasting
life--What Jesus taught--The acts of the apostles--The great
apostasy--The restoration of the Gospel--A religion that satisfies--A
comprehensive religion--A Church of authority--The bread of life.

{12} PICTURE: CHRIST AND THE DOCTORS, Hofmann

{13}



What Jesus Taught



I

HIS FATHER'S BUSINESS

[Sidenote: The testimony of Napoleon.]

When the great military hero and world conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte,
lived in exile on the island of St. Helena, he declared that Jesus was
so supremely great that it is impossible to make comparisons between
Him and any other being in the world. "I know men," said Napoleon, "and
I tell you that Jesus is not a man. Everything in Him amazes me. His
spirit outreaches mine, and His will confounds me."

[Sidenote: The universal worship of Jesus.]

It is wonderful that a man like Napoleon, whose natural arms were fire
and the sword, should be so deeply impressed by the life and teachings
of the lowly Nazarene. But Napoleon is not alone in his admiration
and love. Throughout the nineteen centuries that have passed since
the Master lived upon the earth, men of every clime have learned to
know Him and to worship Him. Today there are but few peoples known
to mankind that do not acknowledge Jesus the Christ. The wonderful
story of His life has thrilled both the young and the old the world
over since first it was told. The wisdom, the justice, and the loving
kindness of all His teachings, have inspired the nations to make them
better. No other man in all the history of the world has exerted so
profound an influence on the lives of his fellowmen, and on the laws
that govern them.

{14} [Sidenote: The purpose of this book.]

Now, you have read in other books the story of the life of Jesus. You
know when and where He was born; how God the Father protected His Son;
how he grew to manhood, waxing strong in spirit; how He taught, and
wrought miracles amongst His own people; how they rejected Him and
crucified Him; and how He rose from death and returned to His Father
in heaven. It is a strangely beautiful story. But we do not want to
retell it here. It must be our purpose, in this little book, to tell
as interestingly as may be what Jesus taught. Certainly, it must be
interesting to know something of the teachings of the Man who has made
so profound an impression upon the history of the world. We want to
know what the life-work of Jesus means to us and to our fellowmen. And
to begin, we must try to find out what Jesus Himself thought about His
mission on the earth.

[Sidenote: The new duties of Jesus at the age of twelve.]

When Jesus reached the age of twelve years, He entered--according to
Jewish custom--upon a new and important period in His life. You may be
used to thinking of Jesus as a very wonderful boy, altogether different
from other boys. That is not quite true. Jesus was a perfectly natural
and normal boy. He liked to run and jump and play the games that other
boys played. He had to go to school as other Jewish boys did--first
at His mother's knee, then at the village synagogue. Jesus was unlike
other boys in that He began early to understand something of the nature
of His mission upon the earth. This made Him like serious things, and
often to think about the teachings of {15} God; for it was the aim of
all Jewish education to learn about God and His commands, and how to
keep them. Now, when Jesus became twelve years of age, there came to
Him many new duties. The Jewish law required that He should assume all
the religious responsibilities that devolved naturally upon a faithful
Jew. Amongst other things, Jesus must hereafter go to the temple three
times a year, to fulfill the demands of the law. Accordingly, when
Joseph and Mary set out for Jerusalem, to observe the Feast of the
Passover, soon after their eldest son's twelfth birthday, they took Him
with them.

[Sidenote: Jesus in the temple.]

It is needless here to follow in detail the journey of the pilgrims
over the great highway, across the Plain of Jezreel to Bethshean,
down the western side of the Jordan Valley to Jericho, and then
four thousand feet upward over the barren, robber-infested hills of
the wilderness of Judea to Jerusalem. Jesus seems to have been much
impressed by the road, for He referred to it later in the parable of
the Good Samaritan.

When the celebration of the feast of the Passover was accomplished,
Joseph and Mary set out to return to Nazareth. They had complete
confidence in Jesus, so they did not look for Him till they reached
Bethany. Jesus was not there to be found. Anxious at heart the parents
returned to Jerusalem; and there, after three days, they found Him
discoursing in the temple with Shammai and the learned teachers of the
temple. The boy's zeal for knowledge had caused Him to remain at the
temple even after the feast was over. "And all that {16} heard Him were
astonished at His understanding and answers."

When Mary saw her son in the midst of the learned men of Israel, she
cried to Him, "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy
father and I have sought thee sorrowing."

"And He said unto them. How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I
must be about my Father's business?"

"And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them."

[Sidenote: His Father's Business.]

It was, indeed, a strange saying to understand. Not Joseph and Mary
alone, but countless thousands of people have failed to understand
it. Do you think you know what the boy Jesus meant? Of course, to
understand, one must know what the Father's business is. Then we can
understand what Jesus thought about His mission on the earth. "For,"
Jesus said many years later when He had grown to manhood, "I came down
from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me."

What, then, is the will of God? What is His Father's business? Once,
many hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God gave to a man named
Moses a marvelous revelation. Moses saw how the earth had been formed,
and how living things were put upon it. He saw how man was shaped in
the image of God and placed upon the earth to have dominion over it.
Then God said to Moses, "Behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring
to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

{17} This, then, is the Father's business; this is His will. It is
exactly what Jesus told Joseph Smith, the great American Prophet, in
our own dispensation: "And if you keep my commandments and endure to
the end, you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of
all the gifts of God." And it is also exactly what Jesus taught while
He dwelt among men. Said He, "And this is the will of Him that sent
me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have
everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

[Sidenote: What is eternal life?]

But perhaps it is not quite clear yet what the Father's will is.
Perhaps you are asking yourself, What is eternal life? Of course,
eternal, or everlasting life, is a condition of being--or of living--in
which there is no death. When we gain the gift of eternal life, we
shall go on living for ever and ever. Jesus gave once an excellent
definition of the conditions of eternal life. He had spent considerable
time exhorting His disciples, and instructing them in things that were
yet to come. Then He raised his eyes to heaven and prayed; and in the
course of that prayer, He said, "This is life eternal, that they might
know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

[Sidenote: The special mission of Jesus.]

Now we may begin to understand fully what Jesus thought about His
mission on the earth. God did not put men on the earth to destroy them.
He put them here to save them, if they would be saved. It is the glory
of God to save men, to bring to pass their salvation and everlasting
exaltation. This is the Father's business. But to gain the gift of
eternal life men must learn to know {18} God. Here then we discover
the nature of Jesus's mission. As child and boy and man, Jesus devoted
His life to learning to know God and to the teaching of His brethren
also to know Him. Through the love and sacrifice of Jesus, we may gain
eternal life. In the temple, the boy of twelve was about His Father's
business, learning and explaining. As a man, He fulfilled the will of
His Father, making it possible for men to know God. In His death. He
accomplished the general salvation of mankind, making it possible for
them to gain eternal life.

It is small wonder that Napoleon revered the Man who thus unselfishly
devoted His life to the good of His fellowmen, and finally laid it down
for their salvation. We shall be glad to study the teachings of this
Man. But first, we must understand what it means to know God and Jesus
Christ whom He hath sent.

THE REFERENCES

Luke 2:42-52. Moses 1:39.

John 6:38-40. Doc. and Cov. 14:7.

John 17:1-3.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What, in your opinion, is the value of Napoleon's testimony of Jesus?

2. What does Napoleon admit in his testimony?

3. What peoples in the world today do not acknowledge Jesus the Christ?

4. Name some points in which the world has been affected by the
teachings of Jesus.

5. Outline briefly the story of the life of Jesus.

6. Why should it be more important to know the teachings of Jesus than
merely to know the story of His life?

7. What new responsibilities came to Jesus when He reached the age of
twelve years?

{19} 8. Why did Jesus remain at the temple in Jerusalem when the feast
of the Passover was accomplished?

9. What was the answer that puzzled His mother?

10. Why were men placed upon the earth?

11. What are the conditions of eternal life?

12. In what sense has Jesus always been about His Father's business?

13. What should be our attitude toward the Father's business?

{20} PICTURE: NAZARETH, PASESTINE

{21}



II

WHAT IT MEANS TO KNOW GOD

[Sidenote: Abraham's determination to serve God.]

What does it mean to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent?
About two thousand years before Jesus was born, there lived in a land
called Ur of the Chaldees, a young man whose name was Abram. Abram
seems to have been a very intelligent and serious-minded person. Like
many another good man in ancient and modern times, he strove to find
out the true and living God. But it was very difficult to do so in
Abram's time, for most of Abram's people had forsaken the worship of
Jehovah, and had turned to the worship of idols and graven images. This
grieved Abram very much. He determined that he would serve the true
God; and that if necessary, he would move away from his father's house
to a strange place, in order that he might worship as his conscience
demanded. The priests who served the strange gods worshipped by Abram's
kindred, heard of Abram's righteousness, and his refusal to worship the
images of wood and stone and metal they had set up. They determined,
therefore, to seize Abram and to sacrifice him on the altar of Elkanah.

[Sidenote: God Himself.]

But Abram had found a true friend. It was the true and living God
Himself. He delivered Abram from the hands of the false priests, and
the Lord God said to Abram, "I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven,
the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys
my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say {22}
to the mountains, Depart hence, and behold, they are taken away by a
whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly."

[Sidenote: The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.]

This was the true and living God, the God Almighty, creator of the
heavens and the earth and all that lives therein. In the midst of the
worship of idols and graven images and strange gods of many lands,
Abram had learned to know God--that is, he had learned to recognize
the true God, the living God of power. He was not confused. He did not
mistake an image of stone for the true God.

Afterwards Abram's name was changed to Abraham. He became the father
of Isaac, and the grandfather of Jacob. These three men all served the
true God. From them sprang the Children of Israel, all of whom learned
also to worship the true God of heaven and earth. That is why He is
often spoken of as the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.

[Sidenote: The first commandment.]

In the days of Moses, God gave a commandment in these words, "Thou
shalt have no other gods before me." That commandment was still in
force at the time of Jesus, and is still in force today. Of course,
there are not many idols or graven images held up to worship today;
but there are still many different kinds of God worshipped even in the
Christian world. To some, God is merely a spirit; to others, He is
merely an influence, or a power; to others still, there is no real God,
but the name is used merely to designate the forces of nature--and so
on. Naturally, we cannot gain eternal life through any such conceptions
as these. Like Abraham we must learn to recognize the true and living
God. We must not be deceived by false {23} doctrine. This is life
eternal, to know--to recognize and to worship--the true God, the living
God--of heaven and earth.

We know now the meaning of the first part of Jesus's statement. We know
what it means to know God. But what does it mean to know Jesus Christ,
whom God sent?

[Sidenote: What does it mean to know Jesus Christ?]

Two young men were sitting at luncheon one day in the dining-room of
a students' club house. One of them was registered in the School of
Divinity of one of the oldest and largest universities in America, and
was studying to become a minister. The other was preparing to become a
teacher.

"Do you believe that Jesus was really the Son of God, and the Savior of
the world?" asked the young teacher.

"I believe," replied the preacher--the would-be representative of
Jesus--deliberately, "that Jesus was a great leader, a great teacher, a
great philosopher--in every way a great man. But I do not believe that
he was really the Son of God, nor really the Redeemer in the usually
accepted sense."

[Sidenote: It is necessary to understand God's plan.]

Had this young minister, who was preparing to preach the Gospel of
Jesus Christ, learned to know Him? Surely not. It is not enough merely
to recognize the true and living God, and to distinguish Him from the
many false gods of the world. One must learn also to understand God's
plan for the salvation of mankind, The first man, Adam, was just like
us. He did not {24} understand the plan of salvation until it was
taught to him. One day, when he was offering sacrifice outside of the
Garden of Eden, an angel appeared to him. The angel told Adam many
things about the Fall, and sin, and death. These things we shall learn
more about later. The important thing to learn now is this: Because of
the fall of Adam and Eve, it became necessary to send Someone to the
earth to lay down His life for the salvation of men.

[Sidenote: The divine mission of Jesus.]

God selected our Elder Brother Jesus, to perform this noble mission.
He came to the earth--the Only Begotten of the Father--and taught
men, took their sins upon Himself, and finally allowed His life to be
taken to redeem mankind from the effects of the fall in the Garden of
Eden. Was Jesus, then, merely a great leader, a great teacher, a great
philosopher? He was all that, to be sure. But He was also more than
that. He was--He is--the Only Begotten Son of the Father, the Savior of
the world. To know Jesus Christ whom God hath sent, is to accept the
divine mission of Jesus, to believe that He is really the Christ. This
is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He
hath sent.

[Sidenote: A third step.]

Now we understand, in part, what it means to know God and Jesus Christ.
But a third step is necessary before one can claim complete knowledge.
If a man should claim to know the principles of the telephone, then
should try to talk to someone at a distance without connecting the
wires with the transmitting instrument, should you believe that he
really knew what he claimed to know? Would you not {25} rather think,
"If this man understood and recognized the principles of the telephone,
he would do what they require?"

[Sidenote: What we would do if we had learned to know God and Jesus.]

It is just so in knowing God and Jesus Christ, His Son. If we have
really found the true God, and sincerely believe in the mission of
Jesus Christ, we will surely do the things that They command us to do.
Indeed, we cannot claim a complete knowledge without doing God's will.
Once, when John the Beloved was writing to some members of the Church,
he said to them, "Hereby we do know that we know Him (Jesus Christ), if
we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not
His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso
keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby
know we that we are in Him."

[Sidenote: The condition of eternal life.]

Now we may claim to have learned the conditions of eternal life. To
know the true God is to recognize the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and
of Jacob--the God of Israel, and not to confuse Him with any one of the
many false gods worshipped in the world. To know Jesus Christ is to
recognize Him, and to accept Him and believe in Him as the Savior of
the world. To know God and Jesus Christ, is to keep the commandments
They have given to man. It was the whole aim of Jewish education to
learn to know God and His commands, and how to keep them. It should
be the aim of all education. Only by knowing the true God and Jesus
Christ, can we hope to enter the kingdom of God.

{26} "To us, there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things,
and we in Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and
we by Him."

It shall be our pleasure from now on to learn what Jesus Himself
taught, that we may learn the better to know Him and the Father, and
thus gain eternal life.

THE REFERENCES

Abraham Chs. 1,2. Moses 5:1-11.

Exodus 20:3. 1 John 2:3-5.

1 Cor. 8:6.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What was the real problem that confronted Abram in his search for
God?

2. Why is the true God called the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of
Jacob?

3. What is the first of the ten commandments?

4. How does it apply in this age?

5. What does it mean to know God?

6. What do men of the world often think of Jesus?

7. Why was Jesus necessary in the plan of salvation?

8. What does it mean to know Jesus Christ?

9. What does it mean in full to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent?

10. What should be an aim of all true education?

{27}

{28} PICTURE: SIMEON BLESSING THE LORD.

{29}



III

THE GOD OF ISRAEL.

[Sidenote: A very important question.]

What kind of being is God, the Father, of whom are all things? If you
should be sent into the missionary field to preach the Gospel, you
would find this one of the most difficult questions you would have to
answer. For God is somewhat of a mysterious being in the opinions of
most men. Very few men have ever claimed to have seen God, or to have
held converse with Him. And for that which seems mysterious, men like
to find hard, complicated answers. The simple truth does not satisfy
them.

[Sidenote: The truth is simple and easy.]

Yet, the simple answer is nearly always the right one. A missionary
to the South Sea Islands found himself one day trying to explain to
the natives the nature of hail. There is neither hail nor snow nor
sleet on the islands. There are really but two seasons--the dry and
the wet. When it is wet it rains. The missionary tried by many various
roundabout ways to make the natives understand that hail is frozen
raindrops. The natives knew nothing about frost. They had no previous
knowledge with which to associate his explanation. And, as you know, we
cannot understand anything new unless we can tie it up with something
that we already know.

The missionary became desperate. Finally, he thrust his hand into a
bowl of rice standing on the floor, lifted a handful, and allowed it to
fall again in a shower to the ground. "Hail," he said, "is like that."
Instantly {30} the natives got the picture. They saw the raindrops
turned white and hard, and pelting the earth in their fall. The simple
explanation went home.

[Sidenote: Jesus's explanation of God.]

Now, Jesus's explanation of what kind of being God is, is even more
simple and clear than is this illustration of what hail is like. But
men have strayed into the worshipping of many different kinds of God,
because they have refused to accept the simple truth.

Near the close of His mortal life on the earth, Jesus delivered a very
excellent farewell discourse to His disciples. It is full of words of
cheer and comfort. Amongst other things Jesus said:

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and
from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.

"Philip saith unto Him, Lord shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

"Jesus saith unto him. Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast
thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;
and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"

[Sidenote: The meaning of Jesus's answer.]

Is not this answer very simple and very clear? Is there any good reason
for mistaking this answer? You hear it said very often of a young man
that he is the very image of his father. If you should some day say to
a young man, "I should like very much to see your father," what should
you think the father looked like, if the young man were to answer, "He
that has seen me has seen my father"? {31} Could you possibly in reason
help thinking that the father and the son were alike?

We know what manner of man Jesus was. Jesus possessed a body of flesh
and bones; or, as John the Beloved, said, "The Word was made flesh
and dwelt among us." Besides, Jesus was so much like other men that
His own people could not see anything different in Him. When Jesus
went into His own country and taught in the synagogue, the people were
astonished. "Whence hath this man this wisdom," they asked, "and these
mighty words? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called
Mary? and his brethren, James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" To His
own people Jesus was but an ordinary man.

[Sidenote: The testimony of Paul.]

But the disciples of Jesus learned to understand what Jesus meant by
His teaching about God. Said Paul, "God, who at sundry times and in
divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath
appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who
being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person,
and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by
Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on
high."

[Sidenote: The truth about God.]

It is not necessary, then, to go a round-about way to find out the
nature of God. The simple explanation is the true one. The God of
Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob--the supreme God of this world--is a
person. He possesses a body of flesh and bones. His Son is so much like
Him that {32} He could say in truth, "He that hath seen me hath seen
the Father." Jesus was the express image of God's person.

[Sidenote: God is our Father.]

Jesus's favorite name for God was Father. This beautiful word means
many things to us in the teaching of Jesus. First, Jesus was really the
Son of God, and could rightfully speak of Him as "My Father." But Jesus
taught us more than that. Not only is Jesus the Son of God--the Only
Begotten in the flesh--but we are all the children of God. He is the
Father of our spirits, so that we may also rightfully pray to Him as
"Our Father who art in heaven." Then, if God is really our Father, He
must have the same kind of feelings for us that fathers always have for
their children. Indeed, since He is God, His feelings must be deeper
and truer than those of any earthly father. Jesus put it thus:

"What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him
a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then,
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much
more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that
ask him?"

[Sidenote: A real joy to know the true God.]

It is a matter of comfort and joy to know the true God--to worship a
God whom we can understand, whom we may recognize. It is no wonder that
people everywhere become confused when they try to pray to a God who is
something yet nothing, who is everywhere yet nowhere, who sits on the
top of a topless throne, and so forth. It is no wonder that people are
looking for the true God.

{33} "We know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and
eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God,
the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them--that
He created man, male and female, after His own image and in His own
likeness, created He them, and gave unto them commandments that they
should love and serve Him, the only living and true God, and that He
should be the only being whom they should worship."

THE REFERENCES

John 14:6-9. Heb. 1:1-3.

John 12:45. John 1:14.

Matt. 13:35. Doc. and Cov. 130:22.

Col. 1:15. Matt. 7:9-12.

Phil. 2:6. Doc. and Cov. 20:17-19.

THE QUESTIONS

1. How do we learn to know things?

2. Why have men strayed from the true conception of God?

3. What kind of being is God?

4. What did Jesus say God is like?

5. What did His disciples understand Jesus to mean?

6. In what sense is God the Father?

7. How is He like other fathers?

8. Why could you not worship any other God than a personal God?

9. What did Jesus teach Joseph Smith concerning God?

{34} PICTURE: JESUS AND THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA, Hofmann

{35}



IV

WHAT JESUS SAID OF HIMSELF

[Sidenote: Jesus's testimony to the woman of Samaria.]

One day, early in His ministry among the Jews, Jesus "left Judea, and
departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria. Then
cometh He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the
parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well
was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on
the well; and it was about the sixth hour.

"There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her.
Give me to drink. . . . Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How
is it that thou being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of
Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and
who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked
of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith
unto Him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep:
from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than
our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself,
and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her,
Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever
drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst: but
the water that I {36} shall give him shall be in him a well of water
springing up into everlasting life. . . .

"The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our
fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is
the place where men ought to worship.

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye
shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the
Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for
salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the
true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for
the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that
worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

"The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called
Christ: when He is come. He will tell us all things.

[Sidenote: The testimony of the people of Sychar.]

"Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He." When she heard
this remarkable declaration, the woman ran back to the city of Sychar
and told the people what Jesus had said to her, asking them, "Can this
be the Christ?" The people of Sychar went out themselves to see Jesus,
and invited Him to stay with them. Jesus stayed there for two days, and
many believed in Him because of His teachings. And when He left them
to continue His journey to Galilee, the people said to the woman who
had first met Jesus, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we
have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the
Savior of the World."

{37} [Sidenote: Jesus taught always that He is the Christ.]

This experience of Jesus with the people of Sychar is full of interest
and rich in meaning. We might spend much time in discussing it. But it
is not necessary now to consider more than the fact that from the very
beginning of His ministry, Jesus taught that He was really the Christ,
the Savior of the world. He was not always so successful in getting the
people to recognize Him--in getting them to know God and Jesus Christ
whom He had sent--as He was here at Sychar. When at one time He bore
the same testimony in the Temple, the priests and the people took up
stones and would have stoned Him to death, had He not miraculously
walked out of their midst. But always Jesus taught of Himself that He
is the Christ.

[Sidenote: The answer to John.]

When the messengers of John the Baptist came to Him and asked, "Art
thou He that should come, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered
promptly, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and
see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are
cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have
the gospel preached to them." These things were all signs of the coming
of the Christ, and the answer was the same as if Jesus had said, "Yes,
I am He that should come; ye need not look for another."

[Sidenote: The confessions at the trials of Jesus.]

It was thus plainly and fearlessly that Jesus, at the end of His
earthly life too, taught that He was the Redeemer of the world. When
Jesus was haled before the high priest. {38} the high priest demanded,
"Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus answered boldly,
"I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of
power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." And to Pilate's question,
"Art thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "Thou sayest."

[Sidenote: And on the way to Emmaus.]

These answers and explanations are so clear to us now that it seems
hardly possible the disciples of Jesus did not also understand them.
Yet it was so; the disciples looked apparently for a powerful, earthly
king. When Jesus was crucified, they were overwhelmed. For a while
they did not know what to make of it. But Jesus Himself made all
things clear. One day, after the crucifixion, two of the disciples
were journeying toward Emmaus, talking about the strange things that
had happened. Suddenly, the resurrected Savior joined them. Because
these disciples had failed to understand the meaning of His mission on
the earth, Jesus said to them, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe
all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered
these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and
all the prophets. He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the
things concerning Himself." Thus did Jesus after His resurrection bear
testimony to His teaching that He is verily the Christ, the Son of God.

[Sidenote: How shall we find out Christ?]

The knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, is, as we have already learned,
necessary to gain eternal life, the greatest of all gifts. But how
shall we come into possession of that knowledge? Shortly before His
{39} death, Jesus taught His disciples thus: "I will pray the Father,
and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you
forever." And a little later, "When the Comforter is come, whom I will
send you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth
from the Father, He shall testify of me." So, then, we may gain the
knowledge, the testimony, that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the
world, through the inspiration of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth.
And to be influenced by the Spirit of Truth, we must ourselves worship
in spirit and in truth. Sooner or later the testimony must be obtained,
for it is decreed that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess
that Jesus is the Christ.

THE REFERENCES

John 4:1-42. Matt. 27:11.

John 10:24, 25. Luke 24:25-27.

Matt. 11:3-6. John 14:16.

Mark 14:61, 62. John 15:26.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What is the meaning of the Christ?

2. What is the significance of Christ's ministry at Sychar?

3. On what other occasions did Jesus publicly declare Himself the
Christ?

4. Of what particular value is His testimony to the disciples on the
road to Emmaus?

5. How is a testimony of the Christ to be obtained?

{40} PICTURE: JESUS AND NICODEMUS, Artist Unknown

{41}



V

THE SPECIAL WITNESS OF JESUS

[Sidenote: The end of the period of preparation.]

It was the day of the baptism. Jesus had completed the years of
preparation for His ministry of service. We know very little of what
He did during the eighteen years from the time of His first visit to
the temple to the time of His baptism. The historian Luke tells us that
Jesus went down to Nazareth with His parents and was subject to them.
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and
man." The day of the baptism was momentous, however; for it was the day
on which the special witness of Jesus made special recognition of Him
as the Christ.

[Sidenote: The testimony at the baptism.]

John the Baptizer was performing the ordinance of baptism in the river
Jordan for all those who requested it. Thither, then Jesus went; for
He, too, wished to be baptized. But when Jesus approached, John felt
that in Him was One greater than he; just such a One as he had himself
predicted, whose shoestrings he was unworthy to untie. When, therefore,
Jesus asked for baptism, John replied, "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 straight-way out of the
water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he (John) saw
the Spirit of God {42} descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.
And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my Son, in whom I am well
pleased."

[Sidenote: John's testimony.]

A little later, John bore testimony to those assembled about him, thus:
"I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and It abode upon
Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the
same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and
remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

[Sidenote: Who the Comforter is.]

Now, this Spirit that John saw descending like a dove and lighting upon
Jesus was the same Spirit that Jesus later promised--as we learned in
the preceding chapter--and that was to testify of Him. Concerning this
Spirit Jesus said also just before His crucifixion, "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."

Who, then, is this Spirit, this Comforter? Jesus tells plainly: "The
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my
name. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your
remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." The Holy Ghost, then,
is a special witness to Jesus; and the Holy Ghost is a member of the
Godhead in heaven. When Jesus commissioned the apostles after His
resurrection to preach the Gospel, He said to them, "Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations, baptizing {43} them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." It is further clear that, as a
member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost is a member separate and distinct
from God and the Son; for at the baptism of the Son, all three were
individually and separately present.

[Sidenote: The mission of the Holy Ghost.]

The duties of the Holy Ghost are many. When Nicodemus came by night
to be instructed by Jesus, Jesus assured him that, "except a man be
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God;" for, said He, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This
means, of course, that when one receives the gift of the Holy Ghost,
one enters upon a new spiritual life. And in bringing about such a new
spiritual life, the Holy Ghost convinces the sinner of his evil deeds,
and leads him to the truth, testifying as we have already learned of
the Christ.

[Sidenote: The Holy Ghost in Jesus and the apostles.]

Jesus, himself, was "full of the Holy Ghost." After the ascension. His
promise of a Comforter was literally fulfilled to the Apostles. On the
day of Pentecost, they "were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began
to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

[Sidenote: The Holy Ghost amongst the Nephites.]

On the American continent, too, as you must remember, Jesus chose
twelve apostles. The Holy Ghost rested mightily upon them, and the
way in which Jesus conferred the Holy Ghost on them is interesting.
The third Nephi records the incident in these words: "It came to pass
that when Jesus had made an end of these sayings, {44} He touched with
His hand the disciples whom He had chosen, one by one, even until He
had touched them all, and spake unto them as He touched them." Moroni
describes the incident more fully: "The words of Christ, which He spake
unto His disciples, the twelve whom He had chosen, as He laid His hands
upon them. And He called them by name, saying, ye shall call on the
Father, in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this, ye
shall have power that on him whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall
give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine
apostles."

[Sidenote: How to confer the Holy Ghost.]

As Jesus Himself did, then, amongst the Nephites, and as He instructed
the Nephite apostles to do, so also did the Jewish apostles. They
conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. It
is the proper way. When the Church was re-established by the great
American, Joseph Smith, the ordinance of the laying on of hands was
restored with it.

[Sidenote: Nature of the Holy Ghost.]

Now, you may be wondering, what kind of being is the Holy Ghost,
that it may be conferred by the laying on of hands? Many people have
wondered about the same thing. Indeed, even learned men have wondered
so much that they have become utterly confused. Yet, here again, the
truth is very simple. Jesus said to Joseph Smith, "The Father has a
body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the
Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of
Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

{45} [Sidenote: Importance of the Holy Ghost.]

You can readily see that the Holy Ghost is a very important personage.
First, He is a member of the Godhead. Then, through His influence we
are led from darkness into light, and are thus enabled to recognize
the truth. Then He testifies of Jesus Christ, and of God who sent
Him. Indeed, so important is the testimony of the Holy Ghost that
Jesus Christ Himself asserted that all sins may be forgiven except
the sin against the Holy Ghost. And to Joseph Smith, Jesus said that
the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost consisted in the denying of the
testimony that Jesus is the Christ, after having once received that
testimony, and thus approving of His death. The denial of such a
testimony would be the denial of the Holy Ghost also; for "no man can
know that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 3:13-16. John 3:34.

John 1:32-35. Acts 2:1-4.

John 16:7, 8, 13. 3 Nephi 18:36, 37.

John 14:26. Moroni 2:1,2.

Matt. 28:19. Doc. and Cov. 33:15.

John 6:53. Doc. and Cov. 130:22.

Luke 4:1-20. Doc. and Cov. 132:27.

THE QUESTIONS

1. How old was Jesus when He went to John to be baptized?

2. Why was Jesus baptized?

3. How did John recognize Jesus as the Son of God?

4. Who is the Comforter?

5. What is His relation to God and to Jesus?

6. What is the mission of the Holy Ghost?

7. How is the Holy Ghost conferred?

8. What kind of being is the Holy Ghost?

9. Why is the Holy Ghost of special importance?

{46} PICTURE: CHRIST HEALING THE BLIND MAN, Bida

{47}



VI

BEFORE THERE WAS AN EARTH

[Sidenote: A remarkable vision.]

The brother of Jared had cut from Mount Shelem sixteen small stones,
clear and transparent as glass. The barges in which his people were to
cross the ocean were prepared; but he had been unable to devise a means
of lighting them. So, with childlike faith and complete confidence he
called upon the Father.

"I know, O Lord," said the brother of Jared, "that Thou hast all power,
and can do whatsoever Thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch
these stones, O Lord, with Thy finger, and prepare them that they may
shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the
vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light when we shall
cross the sea . . . .

"And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these
words, behold, the Lord stretched forth His hand and touched the
stones, one by one with His finger; and the veil was taken from off
the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord;
and it was like the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and
the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with
fear."

You may easily imagine that such a vision would amaze any man. And the
brother of Jared, though he was a very good and righteous man, and a
prophet of God, seems not to have suspected before this time that God
and Jesus Christ had bodies of flesh as material {48} and tangible as
man's. What the brother of Jared thought God to be, we do not know. But
when the Lord saw that he had fallen to the ground in amazement, He
said, "Arise, why hast thou fallen?"

"And he saith unto the Lord, I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared
lest He should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and
blood."

But much as the brother of Jared was astonished at this marvelous
revelation, there remained for him yet greater wonders. The Lord
commended him for his great faith, which had made it possible for him
to see the finger of the Lord. Then the Lord asked, "Sawest thou more
than this? And he answered Nay; Lord, show Thyself unto me."

"Behold, the Lord showed Himself unto him, and said....Behold, I am He
who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people.
Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all
mankind have light, and that eternally, even they who shall believe
on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. And never
have I shown myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man
believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine
own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning, after mine
own image.

"Behold, this body which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit, and
man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear
unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the
flesh."

{49} [Sidenote: The pre-existence of Jesus.]

This marvelous vision, the brother of Jared beheld many hundreds of
years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Do you think you understand
the great truths that Jesus here revealed to the Jaredite prophet?
First, it must be evident to everyone that Jesus had existence--that
He lived and worked--before He was born in the flesh upon the earth.
But what kind of existence was this pre-existence? It was an existence
in the spirit state. And the spirit body of Jesus is in form and shape
just like the mortal body; so that, when Jesus helped to form man. He
formed him after the image of His own body. This is the second great
truth we learn from the remarkable vision. And a third is, that Jesus
was appointed "from the foundation of the world" to redeem mankind. In
the pre-existence He labored for us; there He was chosen to redeem us.
His mission upon the earth, and the sacrifice of His noble life, were
but the completion of a plan formulated long before He was born.

[Sidenote: The spirits of all men eternal.]

Now, you may say, "Of course, we know that Jesus lived before He was
born in the flesh, and that He had a spirit of the same form and shape
as His mortal body, and that He was chosen in that pre-existent life to
redeem the world from sin. But it may not be so with man."

That is one of the wonderful things about life. We are here passing
through only one small stage of it. Jesus taught that the spirits of
all men are eternal just like His own. For Jesus truly recognized and
understood His own pre-existence. Said He, once, as He prayed, "And
now, O Father, glorify Thou me with {50} Thine own self with the glory
which I had with Thee before the world was." And at another time He
asked, "What and if Ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He
was before? I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world:
again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." Thus, with complete
assurance He spoke of the time that had been before; and with the same
assurance He accepted the teaching that man, too, existed before he was
born in the flesh.

[Sidenote: The man born blind.]

One day, in the temple, Jesus had taught this very doctrine to the
Jews. In answer to one of their questions. He had replied, "Verily,
verily, I say unto you. Before Abraham was I am." The answer provoked
the Jews, and they took up stones to stone Him. "But Jesus hid Himself,
and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so
passed by."

Then follows a remarkable little story, touching the doctrine He had
just presented in the temple, and here discussed in this chapter. "As
Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His
disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his
parents, that he was born blind?"

Now, we must remember that in those days people believed affliction to
be always a punishment for some sin or other. We can easily understand
that the parents of the man might have sinned; and through their sin,
they might have brought blindness upon their son. But since he was born
blind, how could the affliction have come as the result of his own sin?
In only one way. If the man had had an existence before he was {51}
born in the flesh, he might there have sinned. The Lord might then have
punished him for his sin by causing him to be born blind.

Evidently, the disciples understood that there is a pre-existent state.
But were they right? If they were not, surely Jesus would correct them.
Listen. Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents:
but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." Jesus, then,
did not rebuke them. He, too, accepted the doctrine. At least, the
affliction of blindness was not because of sin committed in the spirit
world. And the works of God were truly made manifest in the miracle
which Jesus then performed.

[Sidenote: Conclusion.]

From the teachings of Jesus, in the spirit and in the flesh, it is
clear, then, that the spirits of all men existed in the spirit world
long before they were born into bodies of flesh in this world; that the
body of the spirit is like the mortal body in form; and that Jesus was
chosen before the earth was organized to redeem mankind from sin.

"We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them
reverence: Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of
Spirits, and live?"

THE REFERENCES

Ether 3:4-16. John 17:28.

John 17:5. John 9:1-7.

John 6:62. Heb. 12:9.

{52} THE QUESTIONS

1. Relate the story of the vision of the brother of Jared?

2. What was it that enabled the brother of Jared to behold so
remarkable a vision?

3. What three important points are taught in the vision?

4. How did Jesus show in His teachings in the flesh that He believed in
a pre-existence?

5. What lesson do you derive from the story of the healing of the man
born blind?

6. What is the teaching of Jesus brought out in this lesson?

7. How should this knowledge of a spirit existence affect our lives on
the earth?

{53}

{54} PICTURE: THE SOWER, Millet

{55}



VII

THE PRESENCE OF EVIL

[Sidenote: A review.]

Let us stop now for a moment and think before we proceed to the special
subject of this chapter. It is clear, from what we have learned, that
Jesus had a very specific mission to perform on the earth. He did not
come merely to display miraculous power. He came to save mankind--to
teach them to know God and His commands, and to show them, further,
how to keep the commands. And the wonderful thing about the mission
of Jesus is that He was willing to suffer as no other man has ever
suffered and finally to lay down His life in order to bring about the
purpose of God.

And the great purpose of God in this world is to bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of man. For just as Jesus did not come
merely to show how He could perform wonders, so God did not organize
the earth and put living things upon it only to display His power.
He had a far greater and higher purpose. That the purpose may be
accomplished, man must learn to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath
sent.

[Sidenote: The problem of evil.]

Now, it may seem to you that, if God were so desirous of saving mankind
that He was willing to give His only Begotten Son to accomplish the
desire, He could have made it very easy for men to keep His commands.
Indeed, He might have made His will the only possible thing to do. But
it is not so. It is not ever really difficult to keep the commands of
God if one sets his mind to keep them; but there are always so many
other things {56} possible to do that one is tempted to neglect the
word of God. Evil is always in the way. We wonder why there should be
evil in the way, and how evil came to be. Men have wondered about the
same thing for many ages. It would be so much easier to be good if
there were no wrong. In this lesson, therefore, we want to learn how
evil came into the world; in the next one, we shall learn why it is
here.

[Sidenote: The parable of the sower.]

One day, when a great multitude of people had assembled about Him,
Jesus related the parable of the sower. Said He, "A sower went out to
sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was
trodden down and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon
a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it
lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up
with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up,
and bare fruit an hundredfold....

[Sidenote: The meaning.]

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the
wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the
word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They
on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with
joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of
temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which,
when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches
and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that
on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good {57} heart,
having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

[Sidenote: The devil the power of evil.]

It is the devil, then, who, in this world, is the power of evil.
Directly or indirectly he gets between man and the path of duty.
Although a man may know the way of righteousness, the devil tempts him
to neglect it, or even to depart from it and to walk in the way of
evil. But who is the devil? Whence did he get such power? How came he
to be the devil?

[Sidenote: A council of the spirits.]

In the pre-existent state, of which we learned in the preceding lesson,
all the spirits of men lived together in a world of spirits. It was
there that they first heard of the plan of salvation--the Gospel. The
plan was explained at a great meeting, or council, of the spirits. God
Himself presented the plan to them, and showed them how, in order to
carry out the plan, there would be needed a Savior--someone to perform
the very mission that Jesus has actually performed for us. Then, when
he had fully presented the Gospel plan, God asked, "Whom shall I send?"

[Sidenote: Jesus Volunteers.]

There was present at the council a spirit of supreme intelligence and
humility. He was Immanuel, the Son of God. This spirit stepped forward
and volunteered unselfishly, "Father, here am I, send me. Thy will be
done, and the glory be Thine forever."

[Sidenote: Lucifer volunteers.]

But there was present at the assembly a proud and haughty spirit
named Lucifer, the Light-bringer, a Son of the Morning. Lucifer also
volunteered, saying, "Behold--here am I, {58} send me, I will be Thy
son and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and
surely I will do it; wherefore give me Thine honor."

One can easily imagine that not only God, but the whole multitude of
spirits also, must have been astounded at the selfishness and the
arrogance of Lucifer. He was willing to try to save mankind--to force
their salvation, in fact--but as reward he would thrust God from His
throne, and claim for himself the honor and glory of God. It was as if
he had said in his heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my
throne above the stars of God."

[Sidenote: Lucifer rebels.]

It is no wonder, then, that God said simply, "I will send the first."
Naturally, Lucifer became angry, and rebelled against God, carrying
with him one-third of the spirits of heaven. But in the war which
followed, Lucifer and his host were defeated, and were cast out of
heaven. "And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of lies,
to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even
as many as would not hearken unto (God's) voice."

[Sidenote: The declaration of Jesus.]

That is how evil came into the world; and that is why Jesus said once
to the Jews who rejected Him, "If God were your Father, ye would
love me: for I proceeded forth and am come from God: neither came I
of myself, but He sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even
because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil,
and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the
beginning, and abode {59} not in the truth, because there is no truth
in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a
liar, and the father of it."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 8:4-15. Isa. 14:12, 13.

Moses 4:1-4. Doc. and Cov. 29:36-38.

Abraham 3:27, 28. Doc. and Cov. 76:25-27.

John 8:42-44.

THE QUESTIONS

1. Why is one tempted to neglect the word of God?

2. What is the lesson of the parable of the sower?

3. Who is the sower of evil in the world?

4. How did Satan come to be the devil?

5. What is the devil's mission on the earth?

6. How did Jesus characterize the devil?

{60} PICTURE: TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, Scheffer

{61}



VIII

WHY EVIL IS IN THE WORLD

[Sidenote: The devil's desperate hope.]

No better illustration of the mission of the devil on the earth can be
found than the story of the temptation of Jesus. You remember, that,
when Jesus was grown to manhood He went to the river Jordan and was
baptized by John. "Then," we are told, "was Jesus led up of the Spirit
into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted
forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered."

This was a very important and a critical moment in the history of the
world. Jesus was about to begin the splendid ministry which was to
culminate in His death on the cross for the redemption of the world. If
He should succeed in His mission, the power of evil would be broken,
and it would become possible for man to return to the presence of God.
Of course, Satan was much disturbed at such a thought. He had gained
such power on the earth that he had come to be called the prince of
this world. It angered him to think that he might lose that power.
In desperation, he determined to try his strength with Jesus. If he
could but bring about the downfall of the Son of God, God's plan would
certainly be thwarted, and Satan might hope utterly to possess the
earth. It was a wicked ambition; but it was in fulfillment of his
mission among men. So Satan set about to tempt even the Only Begotten
of the Father.

[Sidenote: The temptation of Jesus.]

"And when the tempter came to Him (Jesus), he said, If thou be the
Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He (Jesus)
answered and {62} said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a
pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God,
cast Thyself down: for it is written. He shall give His angels charge
concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at
any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is
written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil
taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the
kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All
these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written.
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered
unto Him."

[Sidenote: The application.]

This impressive story of the strength and ultimate victory of innocence
and purity is full of significance. In the performing of his mission of
evil, Satan never stops with one kind of temptation alone. He attacks
man at every point where weakness may lie. First he appealed to the
appetites of the flesh. But though Jesus had fasted forty days and
forty nights, and was hungry, yet He resisted the evil suggestion of
the tempter. Then Satan appealed to the love of glory and the praise of
men. But Jesus was content to wait, knowing that the glory and praise
which would come to Him, from {63} honest and worthy endeavor, would
be greater and far more lasting than that which might come from mere
display. Finally, Satan appealed to the love of riches and power. But
Jesus had the will and the strength to command him to depart; for the
riches and the power gained through evil are necessarily but fleeting,
whereas the blessings derived through the service of God endure
forever. Thus did Jesus overcome the great temptation, and show all men
how to resist evil.

[Sidenote: Guard against suggestions of the devil.]

You may readily understand, that because of His own experience, Jesus
appreciated fully the tempting power of the devil. In the parable
of the sower, you remember, Jesus urges men to guard against the
suggestions of the devil. It is because of the hearkening to those
suggestions that so much of the seed fails to bear fruit. And not only
do those suggestions withhold men from good deeds, but they inspire
evil thoughts and draw men into sin. There are in history many examples
of this truth; but there is none more shocking than the example of
Judas Iscariot, who betrayed the Christ to His enemies. "When He
(Jesus) had dipped the sop," we read in the Gospel of St. John, "He
gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop (the
devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son,
to betray Him) Satan entered into him." Judas had not the strength to
resist the suggestions of the devil, and thus brought condemnation upon
himself.

[Sidenote: Why there is evil.]

But you are still wondering why there is evil in the world. Why should
even Jesus, the Christ, be subjected to temptation by the devil? Let us
consider the source of our love and adoration of Jesus. If God had made
it no trial {64} or task at all, but altogether pleasant, to redeem
mankind, should we experience the affection and the worship that we now
feel for Jesus? If He had not suffered; if He had experienced no pain;
if He had passed through no agony of body nor anguish of heart, could
we feel indebted to Him as we do now? If He had suffered no temptation,
if it had never been a struggle for Him to do the right--as it was in
Gethsemane--could we admire His strength, and profit by His teaching?
In short, could the atoning death of Jesus be called a sacrifice, if
there had been no suffering, no overcoming of temptation and evil? It
was through overcoming that Jesus proved Himself worthy to be the Son
of God.

[Sidenote: The trial of man.]

In just the same way, evil is put before man to tempt him, that he too
may show his worthiness or unworthiness. We admire the boy who has the
The trial of courage and the will-power to say No to the suggestion
of evil. We recognize in him strength of character. We see in him a
pillar of strength for the future. We are likely to despise the boy
who always yields to temptation, who allows his character to be broken
down by evil, and who finally becomes a slave to Satan. Such a boy is a
weakling; he will be of little or of no service to the world.

[Sidenote: A state of probation.]

With these facts in mind, it is easy to understand the words of Jesus
in the Spirit world. At the great council of the spirits--about which
we have already learned--Jesus said to those around Him, "We will go
down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials,
and we will make an earth whereon these (spirits) may {65} dwell;
and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things
whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." And in our own
dispensation, Jesus said to the Prophet, Joseph Smith, "It must needs
be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not
be agents unto themselves, for if they never should have bitter, they
could not know the sweet."

[Sidenote: The free agency of man.]

Here of course lies the secret of the matter. God has endowed us with
free agency. He does not try to force us to be good, but we may do good
or evil as we ourselves please. And as we gain strength to overcome
evil, we grow in character and in power, and become more nearly worthy
to return to the presence of God. It was partly because he wanted
to destroy the God-given free agency of man, that Lucifer was cast
out of heaven. Only the person who sturdily and persistently resists
temptation retains his free agency. He who yields to temptation becomes
soon a servant to the devil, and loses the free agency with which God
endowed him.

Through overcoming temptation and evil Jesus triumphed over the devil
and redeemed the world. Through overcoming temptation and evil, man,
too, may triumph over the devil, and have glory added upon his head for
ever and ever. "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all
things are given unto them which are expedient unto man. And they are
free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of
all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity
and power of the devil."

{66} THE REFERENCES

Matt. 4:1-11. Abraham 3:24,25.

Matt. 13:19. Doc. and Cov. 29:39.

John 13:2-26, 27. 2 Nephi 2:27.

THE QUESTIONS

1. Why should the devil be concerned after the baptism of Jesus?

2. Discuss the temptation of Jesus.

3. To what do the suggestions of the devil lead?

4. How did Jesus prove Himself worthy to be the Son of God?

5. How may man prove himself worthy to be a son of God?

6. Why was man placed upon the earth?

7. What is the meaning of free agency?

8. Why is evil upon the earth?

{67}

{68} PICTURE: MARKET SCENE AT BETHLEHEM.

{69}



IX

THE CROWN OF CREATION

Have you ever felt the wonder of the poet as he sings,

  "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
  Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me;
  I tremble to know that for me He was crucified,
  That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died."

[Sidenote: A wonder-rousing sacrifice.]

It is truly the most wonderfully unselfish sacrifice, and the sincerest
demonstration of love, you will find anywhere recorded. As He
approached the day of the awful sacrifice, Jesus Himself declared to
His followers, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I
have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends." And as God the Son manifested thus His great
love, so also did God the Father. "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."

[Sidenote: Why should God be mindful of man?]

Now, it is only natural that one should ask, as did the great psalmist,
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that
Thou visitest him? Why should there be devised in the heavens a
gracious and liberal plan of salvation? Why, because of man, should the
hosts of heaven be plunged into the horrors of civil war? What is man,
that the noblest of the spirits of heaven should lay down His life for
man's redemption? It is an answer to these questions that we want now
to find in the teachings of Jesus.

[Sidenote: The parable of the lost sheep.]

{70} One day when the publicans and the sinners drew near to Jesus
to hear Him, "the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man
receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And He spake this parable unto
them, saying, "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one
of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go
after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it,
he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he
calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice
with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that
likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more
than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

[Sidenote: Man's soul without price.]

Jesus could hardly have told a better story to show what great value
God places upon man. It is in perfect accord with many other sayings of
His, some of which you should know, Said He, at one time, "What shall
it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own
soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul." At another
time He said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of
them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very
hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of
more value than many sparrows." In the teaching of Jesus, then, the
soul of man--his true life--is beyond any earthly price. Indeed, its
value is far beyond the worth of the whole material world.

{71} And Jesus did not place this high value on the soul of any
particular man. To Him the souls of all men are priceless. He is no
respecter of persons. The Father "maketh His sun to shine on the evil
and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." There
is none so humble that he is beyond the reach of the love of God, nor
none so worldly great that he does not need it. Said Jesus, "Whosoever
shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better
for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast
into the sea."

[Sidenote: Man, the offspring of God.]

It is because Jesus knew and recognized the divine possibilities
of every man, great or small, that He thus valued him so highly.
Jesus taught always that God is the Father in heaven--and that not
figuratively. We are indeed the offspring of God; and being the
offspring of God, there resides in all of us the possibility to become
gods. Indeed, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which we
live, it has been revealed that God is Himself an exalted man; that He
has Himself passed through such a probationary state as that in which
man now lives; and that it is possible for man to become like God.
Jesus, likewise, taught this truth to those who heard Him. When the
Jews were about to stone Him because He declared Himself the Son of
God, Jesus said, "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods?"
When exhorting the people to live righteous lives, He urged, "Be ye
therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
And the disciples caught the meaning of {72} the doctrine; for, wrote
John, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

[Sidenote: The questions answered.]

Since, then, the soul of man is of such divine origin, and therefore
of such surpassing value, we need seek no further for the answer to
our questions. The heavenly Father feels the loss of a child even
more keenly than does an earthly father. Man is a son of God, and may
himself become a god; therefore, God is mindful of him.

[Sidenote: Reverence for God.]

Now, since he is the offspring of the Almighty Father, man owes certain
duties both to God and to himself. In the first place, as a faithful
and devoted son, he should hold the Father in reverence. "Ye have heard
that it hath been said by them of old time," said Jesus, "Thou shalt
not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths.
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is
God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by
Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King." The Father of us all
is to be held in awe. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God
in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name
in vain."

[Sidenote: Reverence for personal honor.]

In like manner, the value and dignity of man require that he should
hold his own personal honor in reverence. His word should be as good as
his bond. It should not be necessary to bind a bargain with an oath.
Such practice leads easily to profanity. Jesus said also, "Neither
shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not {73} make one hair
white or black. But let your communications be Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for
whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

[Sidenote: Reverence for personal purity.]

Again, the divine possibilities in him, demand that every man should
be willing to make any worldly sacrifice rather than defile his soul
with evil. As Jesus put it, The light-of-the body is the eye: if
therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that
darkness!" "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for
thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two
eyes to be cast into hell fire."

Thus we learn, that, in the teachings of Jesus, man is the crown
of creation. He is the noblest work of God. He has in him the
possibilities of Godhood. He is indeed the son of God. That is why
there has been manifested such unstinted love for him. And that is why
man should cultivate sincere reverence for God, and reverence for his
own personal honor, and reverence for his own personal purity.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God
destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

(See Shakespeare's Apostrophe to Man in "Hamlet.")

{74} THE REFERENCES

John 3:16. Mark 9:42.

John 15:12-13. Matt. 10:29, 31.

Ps. 8:4. Matt. 5:33-37, 45, 48.

Luke 15:2-7. Matt. 6:22, 23.

Mark 8:36, 37. Luke 9:47.

1 Cor. 3:16, 17.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What does the parable of the lost sheep illustrate?

2. What value did Jesus place on a man's soul?

3. What difference did a man's station in life make to the love of
Jesus?

4. Why did Jesus place so high a value on the soul of man?

5. What duty does man owe God?

6. What duties does man owe himself?

7. How is the body of man the temple of God?

{75}

{76} PICTURE: THE FORGIVING FATHER, Molitor

{77}



X

THE FORGIVING FATHER

[Sidenote: The parable of the prodigal.]

"A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his
father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And
he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger
son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country,
and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had
spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be
in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country;
and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have
filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man
gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said. How many hired
servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish
with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more
worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way
off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his
neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called
thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best
robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his
feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat.
and be merry: for this my son was dead {78} and is alive again; he was
lost and is found. And they began to be merry.

"Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh
to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the
servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy
brother is come: and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he
hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go
in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.

"And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve
thee, neither transgress I at any time thy commandment and yet thou
never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but
as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with
harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

"And he said unto him. Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have
is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this
thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."

[Sidenote: The forgiving Father.]

Of this beautiful parable, the great Dickens said very truly, "It is
the most touching passage in all literature." Most people think of
it and speak of it as the story of the prodigal son. It is really,
however, the story of the forgiving Father. Jesus wanted the Jews
to learn to know God as the Father of all men--great and small--and
therefore interested in the welfare of all of them. Jesus knew only
too well that sin held possession of the lives of the people of His
day. He {79} saw plenty of evidence of it. Men were living corrupt
lives. Corruption had defiled their minds as well as their bodies.
They crowded about the Master to be healed of both mental and physical
diseases, that, in many cases, had come upon them because of their
sins. Jesus knew, too, that no hope was held out to the sinner in the
perverted doctrines of the rabbis. These doctrines made it impossible
for the sinner ever to return to the presence of God. But Jesus
wanted men to think of God not as a stern, severe, and relentless
being, but as a loving and forgiving Father to all men. So, when the
younger son of the parable had recognized his sins, had sorrowfully
repented of them, and had returned and had confessed them freely, the
father forgave them freely, and received him again joyfully into the
household. Of course, the prodigal son, though forgiven, would never
be able wholly to efface from his soul the marks of his offenses, any
more than you would be able to remove from a post the hole made by a
nail you had driven in. You may be sorry and pull out the nail, but the
hole remains; and even though you fill the hole with putty, and cover
all with paint, yet in the post remains the mark made by that nail.
However, that the Father will fully forgive the penitent sinner without
upbraiding is indeed a consolation worth knowing. It was without doubt
the desire of Jesus to illustrate God's intense love even for the
sinner and His eagerness to reclaim him.

[Sidenote: Condemnation of the self-righteous.]

Now there were present, when Jesus related the parable of the forgiving
father and other parables teaching the same comforting lesson, a number
of the scribes {80} and Pharisees. These self-righteous men derided
Him, and found fault with Him because He treated sinners as if they too
were men with souls. To these self-righteous ones, Jesus spoke after
this wise: You scribes and Pharisees, you justify yourselves before
men. You think yourselves so righteous that you need no repentance. But
God knows your hearts; and often that which is highly esteemed among
men is abomination before the Lord. The great brotherhood of man are
all children of God; when one who has sinned repents and returns to
Father's home, there is more joy over his return, than over ninety and
nine like you who think they need no repentance. To illustrate your
case, I may tell you this parable:

[Sidenote: The publican and the Pharisee.]

"Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the
other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God,
I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust,
adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give
tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off,
would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his
breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man
went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one
that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself
shall be exalted."

Fortunately, then, God the Father is ready, nay, eager, to forgive the
sins of the wrongdoer who repents. Likewise, He is ready, eager, to
answer the prayer that is spoken in sincere humility. But there is no
justification for him who thinks he has no need {81} of repentance, or
who self-righteously exalts himself above his fellowmen. Said Jesus
to our own great Prophet, "I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the
least degree of allowance, nevertheless, he that repents and does the
commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 15:11 ff. Doc. and Cov. 1:31.

Luke 18:9-14.

THE QUESTIONS

1. Retell the story of the Forgiving Father.

2. Justify Dickens's statement that this is the most touching passage
in literature.

3. What was Jesus's purpose in telling the story?

4. What views did the Jews generally hold concerning sinners?

5. What did Jesus say about the self-righteous?

6. What lesson do you get from the prayer of the publican?

7. What is God's attitude toward sin?

{82} PICTURE: THE CONSOLING CHRIST, Plockhorst

{83}



XI.

SINCERITY IN WORSHIP

[Sidenote: Finding and losing one's life.]

One day Jesus called to Him the twelve disciples whom He had chosen to
be His special witnesses and instructed them in the business of their
mission. Amongst other things, Jesus said to them, "He that findeth his
life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall
find it."

Perhaps you may be surprised to know that this little saying has caused
many people to wonder. Or, perhaps, you may wonder yourself what Jesus
meant. Why should a man who has found his life lose it? Indeed, how can
a man both find and lose his life at the same time? And how can a man
who has lost his life find it? What does it mean to lose one's life,
and to find one's life? Undoubtedly, the answer to these questions must
be of great importance to men.

In seeking for that answer, we must recall the fundamental purpose of
the mission of Jesus, and of His loving sacrifice for the salvation of
the rest of Father's children. Jesus strove to teach men to know God,
and, through His cruel death, to bring men back into the presence of
God. All of Jesus's teaching, therefore, was based upon the fact that
the chief thing in a man's life is to recognize his divine right as a
son of God, and to come into close, real, and constant touch with the
Father in heaven. But how shall a man come into such close touch with
the Almighty Being who rules the universe?

[Sidenote: The necessity of harmony.]

{84} Our lives upon the earth are full of illustrations of how
necessary it is for us to put ourselves into perfect harmony with our
environments when we wish to attain certain ends. If we wish to mingle
with so-called society, we must conform to the artificial standards
of society in dress, and manners, and speech, and many other things;
otherwise, we become outcasts from society and are despised. Or again,
if we set up an apparatus for wireless telegraphy, we must, whether
we like it or not, make all connections close and in proper way, and
we must use the right kind of materials in both the transmitting and
the receiving instruments; otherwise, we can neither send nor receive
messages. If in the society of men, and in the application of the
principles of science, it is so urgently necessary to observe the rules
of society and the laws of science, it is very easy to understand
that, if we would come into close and constant touch with God, we must
observe also the laws of such divine communion. Anything at all that
might come between one and real communion with God would be disastrous.
Indeed, in the teaching of Jesus, it would constitute the greatest
sorrow, the greatest tragedy in human existence. Since it is life
eternal to know God, not to know Him, not to find Him, is loss eternal.
Although a man may prosper, then, in this life--although he may find
his life, as it were, in this world--yet shall he lose it eternally,
if he has not found God. If we stop now, and think this out clearly,
we may understand very easily what Jesus meant when He said to His
disciples, "He {85} that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that
loseth his life for my sake, shall find it."

[Sidenote: Three forms of temptation.]

We may now ask ourselves, What is likely to come between us and close
touch with God, to prevent us from finding God, and thus to prevent us
from gaining life eternal? You will recall what we have already learned
about the temptation of Jesus. The devil tempted Jesus first through
the physical, the bodily, appetites; then through the desire, the love
of wordly praise; and lastly, through the love of worldly power and
riches. It was these very forms of temptation that Jesus feared might
come between man and God. Especially did He fear that the love of the
praise of men might tempt people and bring about their destruction. So,
as He taught one time those who followed Him, He explained to them the
right attitude in worship.

[Sidenote: Instruction in praying and alms-giving.]

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men," said Jesus, "to be
seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in
heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet
before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets,
that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their
reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy
right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father
which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.

"And when thou prayest," said Jesus further, "thou shalt not be as the
hypocrites are: for they love to {86} pray standing in the synagogues
and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily
I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest,
enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy
Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall
reward thee openly."

"Moreover," continued Jesus, touching the third conventional form
of worship, "when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad
countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto
men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou,
when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou
appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret:
and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."

[Sidenote: The real value of worship.]

Now, it is not necessary to think that these sayings of Jesus are to
be taken literally. It is not absolutely necessary that, in order to
pray in secret, one should retire to his chamber and shut the door,
then pray; nor is it absolutely necessary that, in fasting, one should
anoint one's head and wash one's face. Jesus used these figures merely
to portray a condition opposite to that assumed by the hypocrites. But
Jesus wanted to teach that the value of worship depends upon the motive
that inspires it. If one gives alms to be seen of men and to be praised
therefore, one's reward lies there in the praise one receives. God will
bestow no other favor. Likewise, those who pray and fast to be praised
of men, get their reward in the worldly praise they receive. They
have not found God. They {87} are not in real, vital touch with Him.
Worldly ambitions have come between them and Him. In gaining the life
of this world they have lost life eternal. They have yielded to the
temptation of mere ostentation and display. And this spirit has entered
unfortunately, into the service of many churches. "Obviously," says a
noted student of the Bible, "many of the elaborate forms and ceremonies
which have developed in connection with the worship of the Christian
Church are contrary to His (Jesus's) spirit and teachings. Only in so
far as they lead the individual into closer personal touch with God are
they justifiable or of real value."

[Sidenote: Humility and sincerity.]

What then is the right attitude in worship? God Himself has declared,
you remember, that those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in
truth. The motive of worship is of more importance than the form.
The value of worship lies in humility, in laying aside all worldly
ambitions, in approaching close to God for the sole purpose of
communing with Him. It is better to lose one's worldly life in the
service of God, than to gain that worldly life and fail to find God;
for he who thus loses the worldly life, shall find life eternal.

"I give unto you these sayings," said Jesus once to Joseph the Prophet,
"that ye may understand and know how to worship, and know what you
worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time
receive of His fulness; for if you keep my commandments you shall
receive of His fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father;
therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace."

{88} THE REFERENCES

Matt. 10:39. Matt. 6:5, 6.

Matt. 6:1-4. Matt. 6:16-18.

Doc. and Cov. 93:19, 20.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What did Jesus mean by the saying "He that findeth his life shall
lose it?"

2. What is the chief thing in a man's life?

3. Show how it is necessary to put ourselves in harmony with our
environments.

4. What is likely to come between us and close communion with God?

5. What is right attitude in worship?

6. Wherein lies the value of worship?

{89}

{90} PICTURE: JESUS PRAYING, Liska

{91}



XII

HOW TO PRAY

"And it came to pass, that, as (Jesus) was praying in a certain place,
when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord teach us to
pray, as John also taught his disciples.

"And He said unto them, When ye pray, say,

[Sidenote: The Lord's prayer.]

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day
our daily bread. And forgive us our sins: for we also forgive everyone
that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us
from evil."

This is the wonderfully simple prayer uttered by the Lord Himself--a
prayer that has guided the faith of Christians since first it was
spoken. You may have learned it as the disciple Matthew has recorded
it. Matthew's version is just a little different from Luke's, which is
here given. But Luke's version makes two or three points just a little
clearer, perhaps, than does Matthew's; so, we shall use it for our text
in this lesson.

[Sidenote: Jesus had found God.]

According to St. Luke, Jesus gave this prayer to His disciples in
response to the request, "Lord, teach us to pray." You have observed,
of course, that Jesus prayed often. He lived in close communion with
the Father in heaven. He Himself had found God; and He knew that God
will answer the prayer of the righteous. He knew, too, that only
through the prayer of faith can a man come close to God, and obtain in
full the blessings that {92} belong to him as a son of God. Therefore,
Jesus prayed often, and as no other man has prayed.

[Sidenote: The prayers of the Jews.]

But if you will study carefully the prayers of Jesus, and compare them
with other prayers preserved in the records of the Jews, you will find
His prayers quite different from those other prayers. The prayers used
anciently--and still used--in the Jewish service are very beautiful,
noble in their faith and devotion. But they were distinctly the prayers
of a special people, inspired by the thought that this special people
was also a chosen, a select people. The type prayer which Jesus gave,
on the other hand, while individual is yet universal in its appeal, and
in its application; it is concrete and practical, yet it is profoundly
spiritual. Of course, it was not intended by Jesus that all men should
repeat this prayer only and no other. He gave it merely as a type,
a model. Certainly, then, if we wish to know how to frame our own
prayers, it will be well to analyze this one.

First, then, you will observe that this prayer possesses the
characteristics that distinguish most of Jesus's prayers.

[Sidenote: The prayer of Jesus.]

It is brief.

It is direct.

It is sincere.

It is unselfish.

It expresses a simple, unshakable confidence in the goodness of God.

Jesus addresses God as Father. So should man address God. Man should
learn to think of God as the Father of our spirits, and go to Him with
the same simple trust and confidence manifested by a little child {93}
when it runs with outstretched arms to its earthly father. Jesus felt
and manifested that perfect unity between father and son.

[Sidenote: The Lord's prayer analyzed.]

"Hallowed be Thy name." In this phrase, Jesus taught that we should
recognize the sanctity of the name of Jehovah, and at the same time
that we should show our reverence and devotion. This is a personal,
individual and profound emotion on the part of him who prays sincerely.

Then Jesus prayed, "Thy kingdom come." Perhaps you do not fully realize
what this petition means when you repeat it in your prayers. What is
the use of praying for the kingdom of God to come to earth if we do
not help in its establishment? When we utter this petition, then, we
virtually promise that we ourselves will do all in our power to help.
Only then can God's will be done, "as in heaven, so in earth." And the
doing of the will of God is, throughout the teachings of Jesus, the
essential element in the establishment of God's reign.

These petitions, you will notice, are of universal interest. Now, Jesus
asks for that which will meet and satisfy personal needs. "Give us day
by day our daily bread." But even here, the petition is an expression
of implicit confidence in God's power to provide, and in His unlimited
love, rather than merely a request for some specific gift. Its meaning
has been interpreted in these words: "Provide for us each day that
which Thou, in Thy Fatherly care and wisdom, seeth is needful for us."

The fourth petition is also full of meaning. "Forgive us our sins; for
we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us." Jesus emphasized
time and again in His ministry the necessity of forgiving others, if
we would ourselves be {94} forgiven. Only in a spirit of humility and
sincere worship can we approach the throne of God.

The last petition has been often misunderstood. "Lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil." Certainly the words as they
are here recorded do not clearly represent the meaning of Jesus. Yet,
perhaps, even in the days of the apostles some people had failed to
understand. For James wrote once, "Let no man, who is being tempted,
say, 'my temptation is from God,' for God is not to be tempted Himself
by evil and He tempts no man, but each man is tempted with evil when
he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed." The petition in the
Lord's prayer is, therefore, a petition for strength to overcome. Its
meaning is, "Deliver us from temptations which we can not withstand."
Or, as our own Prophet has phrased it, "Leave us not in temptation, but
deliver us from evil."

[Sidenote: Teach us to pray.]

These general points in the type prayer given by Jesus, it is well to
remember. God is not to be reached by many words. It is the broken
spirit and the contrite heart that call down the love of the Father.
Neither will the hollow, selfish prayer please the Father of us all.
But as we pray, finding our own words in which to express the desires
of our hearts, let us remember the characteristics of the prayer that
Jesus gave.

It is brief.

It is direct.

It is sincere.

It is unselfish.

It expresses a simple, unshakable confidence in the providence of God.

{95} Moreover, Jesus prayed often. So should we all. Only then may we
hope to live in the presence of God.

  "O Thou by whom we come to God,
  The Life, the Truth, the Way!
  The path of prayer Thyself hath trod;
  Lord, teach us how to pray."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 11:1-4.

THE QUESTIONS

1. Repeat the Lord's prayer.

2. What prompted Jesus to utter this prayer?

3. What is the difference between the Lord's prayer, and the prayers of
the Jews in general?

4. What are the characteristics of Jesus's prayers?

5. Analyze the Lord's prayer.

6. What do we learn to guide us in our own prayers?

{96} PICTURE: RIVER JORDAN, PALESTINE

{97}



XIII

PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER

[Sidenote: The Lord will answer.]

Everyone who has prayed devoutly and sincerely has undoubtedly
experienced at times the keenest kind of disappointment because he
has not received an immediate answer to his prayer, Perhaps you have
yourself prayed sometimes for something that you wanted badly. It was
an insistent, an urgent desire. You felt that you could hardly wait
even to utter the prayer. Yet, your prayer has remained apparently
unanswered. At such times you may have found comfort in this beautiful
Sunday School hymn:

  "Unanswered yet? Tho' when you first presented
  This one petition at the Father's throne,
  It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
  So urgent was your heart to make it known.
  Tho' years have passed since then, do not despair;
  The Lord will answer you, sometime, somewhere."

This is a beautiful hope, a sublime faith; and every one of us should
cultivate such hope, such faith. Moreover, everyone of us should
practice such persistency in prayer as is described by the poet in this
hymn.

  "The prayer your lips have pleaded
  In agony of tears these many years?"

For very often, without question, our prayers fail to move the Father,
because they are not urged upon Him, nor are they upheld by that
hopeful trust which knows no wavering. Jesus emphasized two points in
this connection that we should grapple to our hearts.

[Sidenote: Pray often and persistently.]

As we have already learned, Jesus condemned long. {98} repetitious
prayers. He despised also the hypocrite, and the hollow prayer of
the hypocrite. But Jesus did not mean by such condemnation that we
should not appear often before the persistently. Father, and press the
case for which we are pleading. On the contrary, as you will readily
see from the following parables, Jesus emphasized the importance of
persistency in prayer.

[Sidenote: The importunate friend.]

"And (Jesus) said unto them. Which of you shall have a friend, and
shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three
loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have
nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say,
Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me
in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will
not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his
importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."

[Sidenote: The unrighteous judge.]

"And (again) He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought
always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge,
which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in
that city: and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for awhile: but afterward he said within himself.
Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth
me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And
the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God
avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear
{99} long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily."

[Sidenote: An urgent desire necessary.]

These parables speak sufficiently for themselves. The lesson that
Jesus wanted to impart is clear. It is important that we persist in
the prayer that we want urgently to be fulfilled. However, it was not
Jesus's purpose to teach His disciples merely to repeat constantly an
urgent prayer. Merely repeating a prayer is really of no more worth
than uttering a long prayer full of repetitions. Jesus taught that
Father gives His best and choicest gifts only to those who desire them
intensely. We keep on praying for those things that we truly want,
because the desire for them is urgent, intense and insistent; and we
keep on keeping on.

[Sidenote: Implicit trust necessary.]

But there is a second element that must necessarily enter into the
right attitude in prayer to God. Not only should our prayers express
our intense desires, and be spoken frequently, but they should be
accompanied by a simple, childlike trust and confidence in God.

[Sidenote: Seek first the kingdom of God.]

"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall
drink," taught Jesus; "Nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the
fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather
into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much
better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto
his stature.

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow; they toil not, {100} neither do they spin: and yet I say
unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one
of these. Wherefore, If God so clothe the grass of the field, which
today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more
clothe you, O ye of little faith? . . . .

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the
morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

[Sidenote: Labor and confidence hand in hand.]

Now, Jesus did not mean by this splendid teaching that we should not
plan for the future; nor that we should not be industrious and spin
and weave and harvest. His illustrations impress the thought that we
should not allow ourselves to fret over the petty worries and anxieties
of life. God knows our needs before we utter them. We should rely
implicitly then upon His providence, knowing that if we serve Him and
do our best, He will care for us as well as for the birds of the air
and the lilies of the field.

[Sidenote: The sin of worry.]

Undue anxiety may be called almost a sin. It preys upon the peace of
mind and happiness of untold thousands of men and women. The most
learned and efficient men in the world have devoted much of their time
to the study of worry; but no one of them has found a cure for it. Many
books have, however, been written advising this or that course of life
to overcome the evil, and all these books possess value. But it is to
be noted that the cause of worry in any man is {101} usually something
over which man has no control. Neither worry, nor any other thing that
man may do, can change the nature of things. We are forced therefore to
admit that the only cure for worry known to man is that presented by
Jesus. His cure consists of a childlike faith and trust in the goodness
of God--a trust so simple and strong that anxious care can find no
place in the mind. It consists of such a confidence in the providence
of God as Abraham displayed when he was commanded to offer his dearly
beloved son Isaac on the altar of sacrifice. Abraham wavered not; he
worried not; and God provided the sacrifice that was meet. Of course,
it requires courage, patience, and persistent effort to cultivate so
supreme a degree of faith. Yet, one who has it not can hardly say with
truth that he has learned fully to know God. Indeed, such sublime faith
alone marks the truly converted and nobly devoted soul; whereas the
lack of such faith reveals a lack of fulness of trust in God--almost a
disloyalty to God. One cannot in this world attain to real peace and
happiness without implicit faith in God. Without it, one can not keep
on keeping on in fervent prayer to God.

[Sidenote: God knows best.]

Finally, it must be remembered that another phase of this childlike
trust may affect the answer to our prayers. If they remain unanswered,
it may be because it is best for us so. No other man has ever suffered
as did Jesus in Gethsemane. No other man has ever prayed as Jesus did
there. Yet, recall the spirit of that prayer. "O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from {102} me: nevertheless not as I will
but as Thou wilt." This is the true spirit of faith-inspired prayer.

[Sidenote: Thy will be done.]

Such petitions Jesus would have us utter. He would have us pray
constantly for those things that we desire intensely. He would have us
repose implicit childlike trust in the Heavenly Father. He would have
each one of us feel always, "Nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be
done." And in this spirit He would have us always keep on keeping on.

THE REFERENCES

Luke 11:5-8. Matt. 6:25-30.

Luke 18:1-8. Matt. 6:33-34.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What should be the feeling of one whose prayer is not immediately
answered?

2. What is the lesson conveyed in the Sunday School hymn "Unanswered
Yet?"

3. Why are our prayers often unanswered?

4. What is the difference between long repetitious prayers and frequent
prayers?

5. What is the meaning of the parable of the importunate friend?

6. What is the lesson of the parable of the unrighteous judge?

7. Why is childlike trust and confidence in God necessary in prayer?

8. What did Jesus mean by teaching "Take no thought for your life?"

9. How can anxiety or worry be called almost a sin?

10. What lesson do we derive from the attitude of Jesus in the
wonderful prayer in Gethsemane?

{103}

{104} PICTURE: "LORD HELP ME." Plockhorst

{105}



XIV

THE POWER OF FAITH

[Sidenote: Confidence vs. Faith]

It is, of course, evident to you now that the two essentials of
acceptable prayer are implicit reliance on the wisdom and the goodness
of God, and the spirit of forgiveness. The first is the only attitude
that can be rightly assumed toward God; and the second is the attitude
that we should all assume toward our fellowmen. There is certainly no
use in praying to God if we do not trust Him; and as certainly, God
will not forgive us and answer our prayers, if we are unwilling to
forgive our fellowmen and help them. But this attitude of unwavering
trust in God is really more than merely an essential of prayer. It is a
principle of power in both the spiritual and the temporal life of man.
In this lesson we shall consider the power of faith--the invincible
power of childlike confidence.

[Sidenote: The incident of the fig tree.]

It is recorded that Jesus cursed one morning a certain fig tree that it
should no more bear fruit. The next morning, as Jesus and the disciples
passed by from Bethany to Jerusalem, they saw that the fig tree was
dried up from the roots. "And Peter, calling to remembrance, saith unto
(Jesus), Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered
away!

"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily
I say unto you. That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou
removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his
heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to
pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

{106} [Sidenote: Forgiveness accompanies prayer.]

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray,
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye
stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father
also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do
not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your
trespasses."

Like the other sayings of Jesus, this one, too, is full of meaning and
interest. But as with the other sayings, too, the meaning of this one
is easy to find. If we try to remember what we have learned in the
preceding lessons, we shall be able easily to understand this one.

[Sidenote: Reason for concrete examples.]

Many people have stumbled because of this forceful saying of Jesus. How
can a man by the exercise alone of faith remove mountains? But such
people have failed to understand Jesus's method of teaching. Whenever
He could, Jesus emphasized His doctrine with concrete example. Because
Jesus did not teach abstractly, even little children may understand
Him. And the people whom He taught during His earthly life, were almost
like little children. He had to make everything very clear to them. So,
now, He wanted to impress them with the unlimited power of faith. He
used, therefore, the vigorous and startling figure of moving a mountain
into the sea: or as St. Luke has worded it, "If ye had faith as a grain
of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree (mulberry tree),
Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it
should obey you."

{107} [Sidenote: The interpretation.]

You will remember, however, that nowhere did Jesus ever teach His
disciples to pray for material things, except to supply their daily
needs. Neither did He ever teach them to ask for things impossible or
impracticable for God to give. It is to be understood, then, that Jesus
did not intend to encourage men to try to move mountains by the mere
exercise of faith. He intended a larger, a spiritual meaning. Faith
is so powerful a principle, that, through the exercise of it, one may
remove obstacles to sublime spiritual blessings, as difficult to be
moved as a mountain. By such a striking figure did Jesus impress upon
His disciples that nothing is impossible to faith.

[Sidenote: Jesus's own interpretation.]

That this was what Jesus wanted to impart, is apparent from His own
application of the concrete illustration. "What things soever ye
desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have
them." Or, as the statement is worded in a modern translation, "Believe
that you shall receive all things for which you pray and ask and you
shall have them." And this invincible power of faith in prayer is
supported by the words of Jesus to the Prophet, Joseph Smith. "All
victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence,
faithfulness, and prayers of faith."

[Sidenote: Examples of the power of faith.]

In the story of the ministry of Jesus, there are many examples of the
necessity of cultivating unlimited faith. Do you remember what happened
when Jesus walked to the boat one evening on the sea of Galilee? Most
of the disciples became afraid when they saw Him, and cried {108} out,
"It is a spirit." But when they became assured that it was really
Jesus, Peter said, "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the
water."

"And (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship,
he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind
boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying,
Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and
caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst
thou doubt?"

At another time, we are told, "there came to (Jesus) a certain man,
kneeling down to Him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is
lunatick and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft
into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples and they could not
cure him.

"Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how
long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither
to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the
child was cured from that very hour.

"Then came the disciples to Jesus apart and said. Why could not we cast
him out? And Jesus said unto them. Because of your unbelief: for verily
I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall
say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall
remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Such examples as these might be cited indefinitely. These are enough,
however, to show how profoundly Jesus impressed upon the minds of His
disciples the necessity of cultivating the gift of unfaltering {109}
faith--faith, the one great principle of power, without which, as the
learned Paul later said, it is impossible to please God.

[Sidenote: The dispensation of the fulness of times, the wonderful
example.]

But perhaps the greatest wonder that has ever been accomplished, in all
the history of the world, through the invincible power of unhesitating
faith, is that which we ourselves experience every day of our lives.
Continuing the doctrine he had learned from Jesus, "James, a servant of
God and of the Lord Jesus Christ," wrote thus to the scattered twelve
tribes: "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." When he was perturbed in
spirit, not knowing whither to go to find God, Joseph Smith heard these
words, and pondered them. He had implicit faith in God. He did not
waver. He prayed earnestly. In response to his simple, faith-provoked
prayer, God revealed Himself to Joseph Smith, and through him,
established the Church of Christ anew.

Are not the things that have been accomplished through faith,
wonderful? Must it not be a joy, a comfort, to possess the gift of
unlimited faith? Like the apostles of old, we feel to pray, "Lord,
increase our faith."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 17:5, 6. Doc. and Cov. 103:36.

Mark 11:21-26. Matt. 14:24-31.

Matt. 21:21, 22. Matt. 17:14-21.

James 1:5, 6.

{110} THE QUESTIONS

1. What principle did Jesus teach in the incident of the fig tree?

2. What is faith?

3. Why must forgiveness accompany prayer?

4. Why did Jesus use concrete examples in His teaching?

5. What did Jesus mean by saying that mountains might be removed by
faith?

6. What did the Prophet Joseph Smith teach concerning the power of
faith?

7. Recite some examples of the power of faith.

8. Show how the establishing of the dispensation of the fulness of
times is one of the most wonderful examples of the power of faith.

{111}

{112} PICTURE: RAISING THE DEAD, Hofmann

{113}



XV

THE HANDMAID OF FAITH

[Sidenote: The case of Mr. Baldwin.]

Nearly a hundred years ago was built in America the first locomotive
engine of American design. Everybody knows nowadays what a locomotive
is. Nearly every boy and girl in the world has seen one; many boys,
particularly, can tell you how the locomotive engine operates; and more
than one boy can even operate the locomotive himself. But it was not so
one hundred years ago. The locomotive was a rare machine. And all the
locomotives that people saw then in America had been made in England.
But in 1831, the officers of the Germantown and Norristown Railway
commissioned a young mechanical engineer, named Matthias Baldwin, to
build for them a locomotive engine. The Germantown and Norristown
Railway operated a horse-power line six miles long.

The Cambden and Amboy Railroad Company had only recently imported a
locomotive from England. When Mr. Baldwin received his commission,
he went immediately to Cambden, where were the parts of the English
engine not yet assembled. There he "carefully observed the various
parts of the machine, made a few measurements and at last crept under
the ponderous boiler. Here he remained in absorbed study for nearly
half an hour. As he emerged from his retreat, his face was glowing with
enthusiasm, and he exclaimed 'I can do it.'"

{114} [Sidenote: Words added to faith.]

So far so good. Mr. Baldwin was inspired by a sublime faith in his
power to build a locomotive engine. But had he stopped there, he would
never have become the builder of the first American locomotive. Mr.
Baldwin set determinedly and industriously to work to accomplish the
task he had faith he could do. He met countless difficulties; his
trials and disappointments were many, and often discouraging. But
he kept bravely, manfully on. He did much of the work with his own
hands, and personally trained the workmen who assisted him. At length,
after six months of unremitting industry and painstaking labor, "Old
Ironsides," the first American locomotive was completed. Matthias
Baldwin had vindicated his enthusiastic exclamation born of faith, "I
can do it."

Now it was the observance of the principle that enabled Matthias
Baldwin to make good, which Jesus urged upon the multitudes assembled
to hear Him teach during His ministry on the earth. "Not everyone that
saith unto me, Lord, Lord," declared Jesus, "shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven."

[Sidenote: The principle of works.]

This teaching is so simple that anyone may understand it. And it is
true everywhere in life, in every kind of calling. Would you not
think Mr. Baldwin foolish, if after exclaiming "I can do it" he had
remained inactive and had not tried to build "Old Ironsides?" Can you
imagine that a carpenter might ever enjoy the fame of master-builder
if he never practiced the trade he had learned? Do you think it
would be possible for a sinking ship {115} to send out the signal of
distress, if the operator on the ship did not put into practice the
laws governing wireless telegraphy? In other words, knowing how to
build a locomotive will never construct one; knowing how to build a
house will never erect even the smallest structure; knowing how to
operate the telegraphic instrument will never send a message. It is
only by actually putting into operation the principles underlying these
activities, and working in obedience to them, that one can accomplish
the desired end. And if this is true of material, earthly things, how
much more ought it to be true of spiritual, heavenly things. Without
faith it is impossible to please God. But faith is of no avail without
works. Works constitute the handmaid of faith, and one is not without
the other in the Lord. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so
faith without works is dead also."

[Sidenote: A parable.]

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them,"
taught Jesus, "I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house
upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds
blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded
upon a rock. 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."

[Sidenote: The works of Jesus.]

Jesus manifested great power during His earthly ministry. He healed
the sick; He made the lame to walk and the blind to see; He rebuked
evil and cast out {116} devils; He raised the dead to life again; and
He spoke with authority as no other man has ever spoken, either before
or since His time. Without question every boy and girl would like to
be able to do the things that Jesus did. Every boy and girl in the
Church of Jesus Christ believes in Jesus--knows indeed, that He is the
Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. Why, then, should not everyone
long to emulate Him. But notice what Jesus declared: "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. If ye love me keep my commandments. 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."

[Sidenote: The works of man.]

It is not impossible, then, for man to possess the power to do the
works that Jesus did. Indeed, man may do even greater works than those
Jesus performed. But to gain the power so to do, one must not only
believe in Jesus, one must also keep His commandments. In short, one
must add works to faith. Mere belief will save no man, just as mere
confidence in one's own ability will never build a locomotive. But when
our works make practical our faith, and prove it really true and worth
while, then we may claim a realization--a fulfillment--of all that is
promised through our diligence.

{117} [Sidenote: Conclusion.]

Now, it is no more difficult to prepare a mansion in the kingdom of
our Father, than it is to build a locomotive. Should not every boy and
girl, after having learned Christ's teaching, exclaim as Baldwin did,
"I can do it?" Then go to undauntedly and do it.

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 7:21. James 2:26.

Matt. 7:24-27. John 14:12, 15, 21.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What element of character did Baldwin display in the building of the
first American locomotive?

2. What principle of life and action made it possible for him to
accomplish his work?

3. What did he have to add to this principle in order to make good?

4. Why will not everyone who crieth "Lord, Lord," be admitted into the
kingdom of heaven?

5. Explain the Lord's parable of the wise and the foolish man.

6. Under what conditions may we be enabled to do works as great as
those Jesus did?

7. What is the duty of every member of the Church?

{118} PICTURE: THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

{119}



XVI

THE MEANING OF REPENTANCE

[Sidenote: The irreverence and ruthlessness of Pilate.]

Some time before the close of the ministry of Jesus, there occurred
at Jerusalem two unfortunate incidents, both of which served to give
Jesus an opportunity to preach one of the fundamental doctrines of the
Gospel. Pilate, the Roman governor had undertaken to construct some
great conduits to supply Jerusalem with a better and a larger supply of
sweet water. The venture was apparently both difficult and costly; and
he derived no support from the people, whom he hated, and who hated him
and all pagan rule in return.

One day a serious accident happened. Connected with Pilate's
undertaking, apparently, was a large tower on the top of Ophel,
opposite Siloam. This tower fell, without warning, and buried in the
ruins eighteen men who had been working on it. Of course, the people
held the accident to be the judgment of God upon the men who had helped
in the sacrilegious labor. Then Pilate fell short of funds. To defray
the expenses of the enterprise, the irreverent Pilate resorted to the
temple, and ruthlessly appropriated a part of the treasures of the
temple. These treasures amounted to vast sums derived from the temple
dues voluntarily paid by Jews all over the world. Naturally, the people
became enraged, and rose in rebellious demonstration against the
governor. Incited by their priests and rabbis, the mob stormed Pilate's
residence, and demanded that the work on the water system be abandoned.
They railed against him, the Roman {120} governor, and hinted at
sedition. Pilate became in his turn indignant. He sent a large number
of soldiers, dressed in plain clothes and armed only with heavy clubs,
who surrounded the mob, and beat them so remorselessly that great
numbers of them were killed. The soldiers pressed the mob to the very
temple, then entered the holy precincts of the temple itself, and there
slew many of the poor pilgrims who were killing their own sacrifices.
Their blood was mingled with the blood of the beasts they were
preparing for sacrifice, and thus, according to the law, the House of
God was polluted. The news of this outrage spread throughout Palestine.
The country was filled with indignation. In Galilee, the feeling was
particularly strong, for the men who had been slain were Galileans.

[Sidenote: The necessity of repentance.]

Jesus was journeying at this time in the province of Perea, expounding
His teachings to great multitudes that followed Him. When news of the
disasters in Jerusalem reached them, these multitudes were stirred by
the wildest kind of excitement. They were particularly indignant at the
murders in the temple. As for the eighteen men buried under the tower,
and the Galileans slain in the tumult, the people accepted their death,
in characteristic Jewish fashion, as the judgment of God for sins
committed. But the pollution of the temple could not be overlooked. So
there grew up a strong feeling for a national uprising to avenge the
unprecedented evil.

But Jesus did not approve of their sentiment; neither did He believe
that those who had suffered in these two calamities were especially
sinful. He seized the {121} opportunity, therefore to preach to the
multitude the necessity of repentance on the part of everyone, and
to correct the notion that a calamity of any kind is necessarily the
judgment of God. "There were present at that season," writes the
historian Luke, "some that told Him of the Galileans, whose blood
Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said
unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the
Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but,
except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon
whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were
sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but,
except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

[Sidenote: The barren fig tree.]

"He spake also this parable: a certain man had a fig tree planted in
his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three
years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it
down: why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto Him,
Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, . . . .
and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that Thou shalt cut
it down."

[Sidenote: Repentance a fundamental doctrine.]

As always, Jesus presented very clearly the doctrine He wished the
people to learn to understand. For nearly three years. He had Himself
ministered to His people. Yet, He could find no fruits of repentance.
In the long-suffering of God, the people would be spared yet a little
while. But their end was inevitable. Unless they should {122} repent,
they should all perish, even as did the Galileans, and the eighteen men
buried under the tower at Siloam. And this doctrine of repentance was
fundamental in the ministry of Jesus. First, John had come, crying in
the wilderness of Judea, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand." Then Jesus Himself had gone to Galilee, after John had been put
into prison, and had preached, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." And when He
sent out the twelve apostles two and two. He instructed them to preach
everywhere that men should repent.

[Sidenote: Jesus's exclamation against the wicked.]

That the people did not observe the word of Jesus is, however, very
evident from the way in which He upbraided them, and pointed out to
them that the lot of the wrongdoers who repented would in the end be
better than that of the selfrighteous who repented not. "But whereunto
shall I liken this generation?" exclaimed Jesus one day. "It is like
unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,
and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have
mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither
eating nor drinking, and they say, he hath a devil. The Son of Man
came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a
winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. . . . Then began He to
upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because
they repented not. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida!
for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre
and Sidon, they would have {123} repented long ago in sackcloth and
ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and
Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which
art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the
mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it
would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than
for thee."

[Sidenote: Repentance a universal principle.]

It is evident, then, that in the teaching of Jesus, repentance from
evil is absolutely necessary if one would enjoy the blessings of the
Lord. This is so self-evident a truth that it should not be necessary
to state it. In all the affairs of life--in business, in politics, in
the industries, in science, in art, in war, in what not--repentance
is a fundamental principle of true success. In our daily work we are
accustomed to calling our wrongdoings mistakes; but we have to correct
those mistakes before we can achieve the end for which we are working.
Sometimes the mistakes we make are of such a nature that we cannot
correct them. Then we have to begin over again, and have to try to
avoid those serious mistakes; but the memory of those mistakes remains
with us forever, and the waste, or loss, or suffering, caused by them
can never be made right. In the great world war now raging, many costly
mistakes have been made. Officers and men have often been forced to
repent; and many men, because they have violated their orders, have
lost their lives. For them, repentance in this life has been made
impossible. So it will be also with those who persist in evil. The
day {124} will come when they will be taken away suddenly. Then the
opportunity to repent in this life will be lost. Jesus would have us
repent here and now, and devote ourselves to works of righteousness
that we may gain eternal life.

[Sidenote: Things of which to repent.]

But of what would Jesus have us repent? The learned apostle, Paul, who,
it seems, understood perfectly the spirit of Christ's teachings, which
to wrote certain instructions to the Ephesians which reveal exactly
what kind of men Jesus would have us be. Malice, dishonesty, immorality
in thought or word or deed--these things unfit a man for an inheritance
in the kingdom of God. Paul expresses the doctrine, in part as follows:

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk
not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the
understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through
the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness,
to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned
Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by
Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former
conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful
lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on
the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true
holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his
neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not;
let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {125} Neither give place to
the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour,
working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to
give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of
your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may
minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,
whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness,
and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from
you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

[Sidenote: The service principle of the Gospel.]

This is the true spirit of the Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Those
who would hold membership in His Church, and receive the blessing of
His love and redeeming sacrifice, must have faith in Him, then they
must add to their faith works. And the first bit of work to be done is
to repent of all evil--repent "after a godly manner," as Paul says,
which will lead to salvation. Thus repentance becomes the second
fundamental principle of the Gospel. And "by this," said Jesus to the
great American prophet, "ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins.
Behold, he will confess them and forsake them."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 13:1-9. Mark 6:7, 8.

Matt. 5:1-2. Matt. 11:16-24.

Mark 1:14, 15. Eph. 4:17-32.

Doc. and Cov. 58:43.

{126} THE QUESTIONS

1. How did the Jews explain suffering of any kind, and calamity?

2. What did Jesus say about the death of the men under the tower, and
of the Galileans?

3. Interpret the parable of the barren fig tree.

4. What did both John and Jesus say to the people?

5. What do we learn from Jesus's exclamation against the cities where
His greatest works had been done?

6. How is repentance a fundamental principle in our daily work?

7. Of what does Jesus want people to repent?

8. How is repentance the second principle of the Gospel?

9. Of what does true repentance consist?

{127}

{128} PICTURE: BAPTISM OF JESUS, Weberg

{129}



XVII

BAPTISM BY IMMERSION

[Sidenote: The first principles and ordinances.]

When the Prophet Joseph Smith was asked to make a statement of the
principal doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
he prepared what we know now as the Articles of Faith. The Articles of
Faith are very plain, and touch the fundamental tenets of the Church.
The third article of faith states that "we believe that through the
atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws
and ordinances of the Gospel;" and the fourth article declares that,
"we believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel
are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third,
baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, the laying on
of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." Those who profess faith in
Jesus must forsake the way of evil, and learn to take delight in the
law of the Lord. This, we have learned, constitutes the requirement of
the first two principles of the Gospel.

  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
  ungodly,
  Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
  Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
  And in His law doth he meditate day and night.

  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
  That bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
  His leaf also shall not wither;
  And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
  The ungodly are not so;
  But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
  Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous;
  But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

{130} [Sidenote: Baptism essential to salvation.]

It is not enough, however, that the man who professes faith in Jesus,
shall merely forsake the way of the ungodly. Jesus fulfilled in His
coming the law of carnal commandments--a law which Paul asserts was
but a sort of schoolmaster to train the people and prepare them for
the coming of Jesus--and established through His ministry "the more
perfect law" of the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation. And that
law requires that those who believe in Jesus, and repent of their evil
doings, shall further take upon them His name in the ordinance of
baptism. One night, there came to Jesus a Pharisee named Nicodemus,
a ruler of the Jews. "Rabbi," said Nicodemus, recognizing in Jesus a
power greater than his own, "We know that Thou art a teacher come from
God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be
with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Nicodemus was puzzled; for he thought, of course, only of a physical
rebirth, and could not understand how such a remarkable thing could
happen. So he asked, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Then Jesus
answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee. Except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." This
Jesus said, of course, of the ordinance of baptism and of the Holy
Ghost. Not only, then, must one believe and repent, but one must also
be baptized in water in fulfillment of the requirement of the law.
Without such a renewal of the spiritual life, a man may not even see
the kingdom of God.

{131} [Sidenote: Humility and obedience the psychology of baptism.]

There are some people who pretend not to see any value in the ordinance
of baptism. How can baptism make one any better, they ask, or have any
effect on one's subsequent life? These people do not understand the
true nature of the ordinance. There was once a Syrian captain named
Naaman who became afflicted with the loathsome and infectious disease
of leprosy. At the suggestion of an Israelitish captive, Naaman sought
out the Prophet Elisha in the land of Israel, that the affliction might
be rebuked. Elisha did not even come forth to see Naaman, but sent a
messenger to him with this word: "Go and wash in Jordan seven times,
and thy flesh shall come again to thee and thou shalt be clean." Then
Naaman became angry, because he did not understand the principle of
obedience. Why should he wash in Jordan? Were not the waters of the
rivers of Damascus better than the water of Jordan? But his servants
prevailed upon him, saying, "If the prophet had bid thee do some great
thing, wouldst thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he
saith to thee, Wash, and be clean." Here was sound reasoning, Naaman
listened; he went down to the Jordan and dipped himself seven times;
he came forth with his flesh as clean as that of a little child, and
was healed. What was it that healed Naaman? Was it the water of Jordan,
with curative powers greater than those of the rivers of Damascus?
Certainly not. Naaman bowed his haughty and powerful will to that of
God. He humbled himself; he was humiliated. He learned the lesson of
obedience, which is better than sacrifice. And the Lord God has chosen
the ordinance of baptism as the means whereby men may show their
humility, {132} their complete acceptance of the mission of Jesus,
their sincere repentance, and whereby further they may become initiated
into the Church of Jesus Christ. Here the Lord makes use of a wonderful
psychology, and baptism literally washes away sin.

[Sidenote: The law of obedience in daily life.]

Moreover, obedience and humility of the kind required by the ordinance
of baptism is demanded also in the daily walk of life. A young man in
a chemical obedience in laboratory attempted one day, by a process
of electro-plating, to put a new covering of yellow gold over his
watch case. He prepared very carefully the solution of gold-leaf in
aqua regia; he built up an excellent voltaic battery; he made all
the connections close and secure; and he cleaned carefully the old
watchcase that the new gold might be deposited upon it evenly and
smoothly. Then in the evening, when everything was in readiness, he
suspended the case properly in the gold solution, closed the circuit,
and went home, hoping to find his watch case in the morning with a
beautiful new coating of yellow gold ready to polish. But when he
entered the laboratory the next morning, and went to examine his
electro-plating, he found to his horror that his watch case was as
black as coal. What had happened? Everything was as he had left it the
evening before. So far as he could tell there was no reason why his
experiment should not have been successful. Then he resorted to his
books again. After patient searching, in the volumes on his desk, he
arose a wiser and a more careful man. He had overlooked one requirement
of the law. In the process of electro-plating, he remembered now, the
gold is deposited in its usual yellow form only when the gold solution
is warm. When the electric current is {133} passed through a cold
solution, the gold is deposited in an unusual black form. The young
chemist had learned that obedience is better than sacrifice.

[Sidenote: The example set by Jesus.]

As always, Jesus Himself practiced the doctrine that He presented to
His people. Jesus was baptized. Moreover, in His own baptism, Jesus
taught both the necessity and the proper mode of baptism. John was
baptizing in the river Jordan. Apparently, he selected places where
the water was deep; for, later in the ministry of Jesus we read, that,
John was baptizing in Aenon, near to Salim, "because there was much
water there." When He was ready to begin His ministry, Jesus went to
John to be baptized. 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." From this record, it
is clear that Jesus recognized the ordinance of baptism as essential
to salvation, and therefore set the example Himself. Then Jesus was
baptized correctly; He went down into the water; He was immersed;
He came up out of the water. For it is now an accepted fact that
John baptized by immersion. In Stanley's _Eastern Church_ occurs the
following passage, which Dr. Geikie considers of such authority that
he quotes it in his excellent _Life and Words of Christ_: "The mode of
John's baptism has been and still is much discussed, but the practice
of the Eastern Church, and the very meaning of the word, leave no
sufficient grounds for questioning that the original form of baptism
was complete immersion in the deep baptismal {134} water." This form of
baptism it was certainly that the apostles themselves practiced, else
there could be no meaning to the favorite figure of Paul, "Know ye not,
that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized
into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death:
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the
Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. For if we have been
planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the
likeness of His resurrection."

[Sidenote: The purpose of baptism.]

Do you ask what is the purpose of baptism? As has been already
suggested baptism serves to wash away sin, and to initiate the
repentant believer into the Church of Christ. John's baptism was for
"the remission of sins." Peter, the chief apostle, called to the people
on the day of Pentecost, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." And it follows
that since baptism is for remission of sins, those who have not reached
the age of sinning have no need of baptism. There has grown up in
the world a vicious habit of baptizing infants and little children.
Such a practice is wrong. Jesus Himself said of little children, "Of
such is the kingdom of heaven." Infants and little children have not
learned to know the difference between good and evil. They cannot sin.
Baptism should not be administered to them till they reach the age of
discretion. "Little children need no repentance," wrote the Nephite
prophet, "neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the
fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins."

{135} [Sidenote: The door of the sheepfold.]

This then did Jesus teach: Baptism is essential; it is correctly
performed by complete immersion in water; it is for the remission of
sins; it should be administered only to those who have reached the
age of accountability; only by obedience to the law can one enter the
kingdom of God. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth
not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way,
the same is a thief and a robber. . . . I am the door: by Me if any
man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find
pasture." Only through Jesus, you see, can one enter the sheepfold, and
become a member of it. And the way to enter by Jesus was thus stated in
His final commission to the eleven apostles, just before He ascended to
heaven. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." "He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not
shall be dammed."

THE REFERENCES

Psalm 1. Acts 2:38.

John 3:1-5. Moroni 8:8-14.

2 Kings 5:1-14. John 10:1-18.

Matt. 3:13-16. Matt. 28:19-20.

Rom. 6:3-5. Mark 16:15, 16.

{136} THE QUESTIONS

1. What are the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel?

2. Show that baptism is required by the teaching of Jesus.

3. By what process does baptism wash away sin?

4. How does the law of obedience operate in the daily affairs of life?

5. How did Jesus show in His own acts that baptism is essential to
salvation?

6. What is the proper mode of baptism?

7. What is the purpose of baptism?

8. To whom should baptism be administered?

9. Summarize the teachings of Jesus concerning baptism.

10. What is the teaching of our own Church concerning baptism?

{137}



XVIII

THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST

[Sidenote: What Jesus told Nicodemus.]

Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the
spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." We have just learned
what it means to be born of water. When a man has gained the gift of
faith and believes sincerely in the saving mission of Jesus Christ;
when he has added to his faith works, and has learned to walk in the
way of the righteous--then he must be baptized by immersion in order
to fulfill all righteousness. As we have learned, such a man is then
born of water: for, by obeying the law, he has laid aside his sins,
and comes forth out of the water spiritually a new man, reborn. There
are some people in the world who hold that when a man has done all
this, he has fulfilled all the requirements, and may therefore hope to
gain admittance into the kingdom of God without observing any further
ceremony. But Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the
spirit." Evidently, then, to enter the kingdom of God, one must be born
not only of water, but also of the spirit. And to be born of the spirit
means to be born of the Holy Ghost. But, by what means may one be born
of the spirit?

[Sidenote: The laying on of hands.]

This question is a very important one, since a man may not hope to
enter the kingdom of God if he has not been born--or quickened--by
the spirit. In the preceding lesson, it was stated that the Prophet,
Joseph Smith, once stated the principal doctrines of the Church of
Jesus {138} Christ of Latter-day Saints in a sort of creed, known as
the Articles of Faith; and that the fourth article, in enumerating the
first principles and ordinances of the Gospel, names the ordinance of
the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost as the fourth
essential step in becoming a member of the Church of Christ. According
to this statement, then, one may be born, or quickened, of the
spirit--after having been baptized--through the ordinance of the laying
on of hands. But was this the teaching of the primitive church and of
the Lord Jesus Himself?

[Sidenote: The teaching and practice of Paul.]

Anxious that the saints to whom he ministered should grow in the
knowledge of God, and should not stand still merely rehearsing the
first and practice principles of the Gospel, the Apostle Paul wrote
to the Hebrews as follows: "Therefore leaving the principles of the
doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again
the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward
God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands." It is
very interesting to note that Paul lists here as one of the first
four principles the ordinance of the laying on of hands. But what use
did Paul make of the ordinance? It happened once that Paul, in his
missionary travels, came, to the city of Ephesus, and found there
certain disciples who had been baptized, apparently, by the followers
of John the Baptist. Paul asked of these disciples, "Have ye received
the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him. We have
not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said
unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, {139} Unto
John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism
of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on
Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 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." This use, then, did Paul make
of the ordinance of the laying on of hands: Upon those who had been
baptized unto Jesus, Paul laid his hands, and he confirmed them, and
the Holy Ghost then came upon them, endowing them with spiritual gifts.
Moreover, this practice was not limited to the missionary labors of
Paul alone; all the apostles likewise confirmed those who had been
baptized and conferred thus the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them.

[Sidenote: The practice of the apostles.]

Furthermore, it was understood that only such men as possessed the
necessary delegated authority from God might presume to confer the
gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. It is recorded in
the history of the doings of the apostles that Philip, a deacon, went
down to Samaria and preached the Gospel to the Samaritans. Many of the
Samaritans believed, and were baptized by Philip, among them a certain
man named Simon, "which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and
bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great
one." But Philip, apparently did not hold the necessary authority to
confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, and he was too wise and righteous a
man to attempt to do what he had no right to do. So, "when the apostles
which were at Jerusalem heard {140} 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: . . .
. then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy
Ghost." Naturally, Simon the sorcerer was very much interested in this
wonderful ceremony. Such power he had never seen manifested before. He
longed himself to possess such authority. Therefore, he offered money
to the apostles, 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." The lesson here is perfect. The authority
to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost may not be merely
assumed--not even by a man of such enduring faith as Philip's--neither
may it be purchased with wordly goods.

[Sidenote: The teaching and practice of the apostles derived from
Jesus.]

Of course, the apostles did nothing but what they had seen their Master
do, or had been instructed by Him to do. In this they were wholly
like Him; for He also declared, "The Son can do nothing of Himself,
but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth,
these also doeth the Son likewise." There can be no question, then,
that Jesus taught that the gift of the Holy Ghost should be conferred
by the laying on of hands by men holding the proper authority. Jesus
Himself practiced laying on of hands to confer blessings, to heal the
sick, to ordain, to authorize, and for other purposes. And He taught
very distinctly that God would not recognize any usurped authority.
"Ye {141} have not chosen me," said Jesus to the apostles, "but I have
chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit,
and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, He may give you."

[Sidenote: What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?]

But what is the gift of the Holy Ghost which is conferred upon the
repentant and baptized believer by the laying on of hands? To His
apostles Jesus made this promise, "I will pray the Father, and He
shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever;
even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it
seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth
with you, and shall be in you." Again, Jesus said to them, further
explaining His promise, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom
the Father will send in my name. He shall teach you all things, and
bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
And still continuing His instructions to these beloved disciples,
Jesus said again, "Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He
will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but
whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you
things to come." Now, we have already learned what the Holy Ghost is.
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, and is a personage
of spirit. But it appears that the special gift derived, through
obedience, from the Holy Ghost is the gift of mental and spiritual
insight--the gift of intelligence. The Comforter, said Jesus, is the
Spirit of truth; it shall teach all things, and bring to remembrance
{142} whatsoever has been heard; it shall guide into all truth, and
speak only such things as it shall itself hear; it shall show things
yet to come. To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, is then to receive
the gift of light, and truth, and intelligence. Of this gift of the
Holy Ghost, the great Joseph Smith has said many important things.
Among others we find recorded this: "The first Comforter or Holy Ghost
has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is . . . powerful in
expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the
intellect with present knowledge." In another place, is recorded the
following: "We believe that the holy men of old spoke as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost, and that holy men in these days speak by the
same principle; we believe in its being a comforter and a witness
bearer, that it brings things past to our remembrance, leads us into
all truth, and shows us of things to come; we believe that 'no man can
know that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost.'"

[Sidenote: The conditions and the source of intelligence.]

In studying about faith, and repentance, and baptism, we learned that
the same principles operate in the daily affairs of life, and underlie
all material success. So it is also with the source of principle of
the gift of the Holy Ghost. The young chemist who tried to cover his
watchcase with gold, learned to understand the spirit of truth, and
gained greater intelligence, when he obeyed fully the requirements
going before. And as he learned further the principle of obedience, he
grew steadily in scientific intelligence. So it is then with us. We are
required to exercise faith in God, and in His Son, Jesus Christ; we are
required to repent {143} of our sins, and to learn to live righteously:
we are required to be baptized by complete immersion in water for
the remission of sins; and then we are required to submit ourselves
to the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost. When we have done all this we have fulfilled the requirements
of the law. Then our minds will be opened, and our understandings
quickened; for then the Holy Ghost can act upon us to give us light and
intelligence. This is being born of the Spirit; and therefore should
everyone obey the commandment of the Lord, "Repent and be baptized,
every one of you, for a remission of yours sins; yea, be baptized even
by water, and then Cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost."

THE REFERENCES

John 3:5. John 14:16, 17, 26.

Heb. 6:1, 2. John 16:13,14.

Acts 19:1-7. Hist. of the Church, vol. 3, page 380.

Acts 8:5-24. Hist. of the Church, vol. 5, page 26.

John 15:16. Doc. and Cov. 33:11.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What twofold requirement is contained in the teaching of Jesus to
Nicodemus?

2. How may one be born of the Spirit?

3. What was the teaching and practice of Paul concerning the laying on
of hands?

4. What was the practice of the apostles in the matter of laying on
hands?

5. Whence did the apostles derive their knowledge of the ordinance of
laying on hands?

6. What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?

7. What parallel may be found in the work of the world?

8. What is the source of intelligence?

{144} PICTURE: JESUS AND THE FISHERMEN, Zimmermann

{145}



XIX

THE FOUNDATION STONE

[Sidenote: A Resume.]

It is only natural that you should want to pause now, and review some
of the teachings that have been considered in these pages. Jesus
came to the earth to attend to His Father's business. That business
consisted of learning, Himself, to know God the Father, of teaching
all other men to know Him, and of bringing about the salvation of the
children of God. To accomplish His wonderful mission, Jesus taught
clearly what men should know about the Father and about Himself and
about the Holy Ghost; what men should know about the pre-existent life,
and why they are now upon the earth; and how they should worship God,
cultivate childlike faith in Him, and do the things that success in
worship requires. All these teachings, as we have seen, and all the
requirements, too, are in perfect harmony with natural law. To succeed
in any kind of endeavor one must follow just such steps as are outlined
by Jesus for attaining success in the struggle for exaltation. And,
certainly, we cannot rightfully hope to drift into the success of
eternal life, any more than we can hope to drift into the presidency of
the United States of America. Successful achievement is the crown of
persistent effort.

[Sidenote: A few questions.]

Now, as it is natural that you should want to pause at this point and
review these teachings, so it is natural that you should ask yourselves
such questions as these: Did Jesus intend that His disciples should
associate themselves in an organized community? Did He have in mind
the {146} organizing of a Church? Did He organize a Church? How did He
expect those who accepted His teachings to retain their devotion, and
to grow in their knowledge of God and His requirements of the faithful?
If He did establish a Church, how shall we recognize it? In this lesson
we shall discover what Jesus taught in answer to these questions.

[Sidenote: Parables by the sea.]

One day Jesus went "out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And
great multitudes were gathered unto Him, so that He went into a ship,
and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore."

Teaching the multitude in parables, Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven
is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men
slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his
way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then
appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and
said unto him. Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from
whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.
The servants said unto him. Wilt thou then that we go and gather them
up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up
also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and
in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together
first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the
wheat into my barn."

"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His
disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the
tares of the field.

{147} "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is
the Son of Man: the field is the world; the good seed are the children
of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the
enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the
world; and the reapers are the angels.

"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall
it be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send forth His
angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that
offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace
of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the
righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who
hath ears to hear, let him hear."

[Sidenote: The meaning of the parables.]

Thus clearly did Jesus Himself see the condition of the world, and
thus plainly did He teach it to His disciples. Now, for the purpose
of this study, certain points appear. First, it is very evident that
Jesus had in mind a distinct community life for those who followed
Him. The kingdom of heaven, sometimes called the kingdom of God, is
the organization in which dwells the righteous. Of course, all kinds
of people gain access at times into the kingdom. In another parable,
Jesus likens the kingdom to a net cast into the sea, which gathered
of every kind of fish. When the net was drawn ashore, the fishermen
placed the good fish in vessels, but the bad they cast away. Again,
you see, the intent is that the followers of Jesus, or the righteous,
are the children of the kingdom, and that the unrighteous have no
place therein. The righteous in {148} their community--the believing
community--shall shine forth as the sun. They constitute the kingdom of
their Father.

[Sidenote: The church and the kingdom.]

You may object that this kingdom does not mean the organized Church,
but the glorious kingdom embracing the whole world, over which Jesus is
to reign as King. Perhaps you are right; but it makes no difference to
the argument. For, in the first place, that kingdom must be organized.
We are sure, then, that Jesus had in mind the assembling and organizing
of His people. But, in the second place, that larger kingdom can never
be accomplished without a smaller one from which it may grow. While
the faithful number but a handful, they, too, must be organized and
provision must be made for common worship, fellowship, and service.
This smaller institution--included in the larger--is the Church. The
wheat and the tares are even now growing side by side in the Church of
Christ--in the kingdom of God--and will continue to do so until the day
of the great harvest.

[Sidenote: The testimony of Peter.]

But there is recorded stronger evidence even than this that the
disciples of Jesus are to be organized in a Church community. When
Jesus asked testimony of His disciples, "Whom do men say that I the
Son of Man am?" the disciples answered, you remember, "Some say that
Thou art John the Baptist: some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of
the prophets." Then, when Jesus put the question to them, "Whom say ye
that I am?" Simon Peter declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
living God."

{149} [Sidenote: The testimony of Jesus.]

This declaration is wonderful in its simplicity and unfaltering faith.
But the answer of Jesus to it is even of greater significance: "Blessed
art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
thee, but My Father which is in heaven . . . . and upon this rock I
will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it."

[Sidenote: Its significance.]

Here, then, is found the final answer to our questions. Jesus appointed
and ordained twelve apostles, He called other seventy, because it
was significance. His purpose to organize His Church. The disciples
appointed and ordained elders, and priests, and teachers, and deacons,
and other officers, because they, too, were building up the Church
of Christ. Moreover, these words of Jesus point the test of the true
Church. Not every Church assembly that cries, Lo, here is Christ, is
necessarily the authorized Church. That only can be the true Church
which is founded on the rock of revelation. An organized Church there
must be--without the worship of the disciples would dwindle away. But
the foundation stone of that Church must be revelation; for where there
is no revelation the people perish.

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 13:24-30. Matt. 13:47-49.

Matt. 13:36-43. Prov. 29:18.

{150} THE QUESTIONS

1. Review the foregoing lessons.

2. What questions are aroused by what Jesus has taught to his people?

3. Explain the parable of the tares.

4. How does it answer the question, Did Jesus intend to organize His
disciples?

5. What is the difference between the kingdom of God and the Church of
Christ?

6. What is the principal evidence that Jesus intended to organize a
Church?

7. What is the first test of the Church of Jesus Christ?

{151}

{152} PICTURE: CHRIST'S CHARGE TO PETER, Raphael

{153}



XX

THE TEST OF AUTHORITY

[Sidenote: The figure of the architect.]

We have just learned that Jesus built His church upon the principle
of revelation. It is the foundation stone. And it is only reasonable
and natural that it should be so. You know very well that when an
architect is directing the construction of a large building like a
state capitol, employing hundreds of men, he has to be constantly on
the watch to keep things going right. If he goes away, or neglects his
duty, some foreman or other misinterprets the plans, or misunderstands
the specifications; or some unscrupulous contractor or other tries to
enlarge his own profits by using inferior materials and thus corrupts
the structure. How necessary it is then that the architect shall watch
over his building, by day and by night, until it is finished according
to specifications.

[Sidenote: The application.]

Now, if men can so easily misinterpret, or misunderstand, the concrete
instructions of their fellowmen, or if some men are so evil that
they will try to corrupt the materials of an earthly structure, it
requires no argument to prove that men may easily misunderstand or
misinterpret--quite innocently, too--the word of God, if left to
themselves. And there may even be men so wicked that they would
maliciously corrupt the word for their own evil ends. It is even more
necessary, therefore, that The Architect of eternal life--the Savior
of mankind--shall be in constant communion with His workmen, than it
is that the architect {154} of an earthly structure shall personally
superintend, its erection. No man can be absolutely sure of the
meaning of the teachings of Jesus without the spirit of inspiration,
or revelation from Him. That is why the people drift away and perish
when there is no vision. That is why Jesus founded His church upon the
rock of revelation. That is why we may rest assured that the Church of
Christ will always teach the necessity of continual revelation--the
necessity of keeping constantly in touch with the Divine Architect.

[Sidenote: One mark not sufficient.]

But it would be strange, indeed, if there were but one mark by which we
might recognize the Church of Christ. An apostate Church might claim to
believe in revelation, and might even teach the necessity of it. Yet,
it would of course never receive revelation; for God would not speak to
such a Church. Still, because it teaches the necessity of revelation
people might be deceived, and be led to become members of an apostate
Church. For what other mark should we look, then, when trying to
determine which is the Church of Christ?

[Sidenote: The submission of Jesus.]

Jesus has made the matter very plain in His life and teachings. One
of the remarkable things about Jesus was His utter humility, and His
complete submission subjection to authority. Although He was greater
than the civil law, yet He submitted always to the requirements of that
law. Nay, more, In His own labors. He recognized always the authority
of a Superior Power under whose direction He worked. When we think
of Jesus as a member of the Godhead, endowed with omnipotence, does
it not seem strange to hear Him say, "I am not come of {155} myself,
but He that sent me is true;" "my doctrine is not mine, but His that
sent me;" "the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the
Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son
likewise?" Yet, these sayings express the reverence of Jesus for
authority. It must be plain to everyone who reads the life of Jesus
that He recognized the fact that He held no authority of Himself, that
He was not self-appointed; but that His influence, His power, His very
Messiahship were conferred upon Him by the Father.

[Sidenote: The submission of the apostles.]

This same recognition of the necessity of authority, Jesus impressed
upon His disciples. "Ye have not chosen me," he declared one day to
them, "but I have chosen you, and ordained you." And we learn that
Jesus did call and ordain apostles and seventies; and that it was the
custom in the early Christian Church to ordain by laying on hands
other officers, such as, high priests, elders, priests, teachers, and
deacons, and bishops. Indeed, it must be clear to everyone, that only
by such special call and ordination could the apostles rightfully go
into the world to do the works that Jesus did. When the disciples of
John the Baptist wondered that Jesus should surpass their master,
do you recall what John answered them? Said he, "A man can receive
(or take unto himself) nothing except it be given him from heaven."
That is the point. No man can assume to act as a servant of God, in
official position, unless He is called of God. Hence, Jesus said to His
apostles, when He had finished His own lifework, "As my Father hath
sent me, even so send I you."

{156} [Sidenote: The second mark.]

From these teachings of Jesus, we learn, then, the second mark of the
Church of Christ. Not only will that Church believe in the necessity of
continual revelation and actually receive it, but it will recognize the
necessity of specially delegated divine authority to officiate in the
name of God, and will provide in its Church organization for all the
officers belonging to the priesthood of God.

[Sidenote: Two orders of priesthood.]

The Scriptures are full of evidences that there are two divisions of
divine priesthood--the Order of Aaron, and the Order of Melchizedek.
Jesus Himself, was a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Without these orders of Priesthood, man can not legally officiate in
the things of God, any more than superintendents, formen and workmen
can rightfully proceed to erect a state capitol without official
authorization from the commission in charge.

Do you know any Church that holds these two orders of priesthood in its
organization? Does this Church recognize the fact that a man must be
called and appointed of God to act in His name? Are the authority and
power of the priesthood manifest in its operations? Does this Church
also believe in and receive continual revelation from God? If so, it
is possibly the Church of Christ. A third mark remains. That we shall
consider in the next lesson.

THE REFERENCES

John 7:28, 29. John 15:16.

John 9:4. John 3:27.

John 5:19. John 20:21.

{157} THE QUESTIONS

1. What would probably happen if the architect in charge of the
construction of a large building should go away for a long time?

2. What would happen if God should cease to speak to His people?

3. What was the attitude of Jesus toward authority?

4. Whence did He derive His authority?

5. What did He impress upon His disciples concerning authority?

6. What did John the Baptist say about authority?

7. How many orders of divine priesthood are there?

8. What then, is the second mark of the true Church?

{158} PICTURE: JESUS TEACHING FROM A BOAT, Hofmann

{159}



XXI

THE THIRD MARK

[Sidenote: The horror of darkness.]

Have you ever stopped to think how terrible it would be if we had no
Guide to show us the way of eternal life? Do you think you can imagine
the bitter disappointment of those who have sought a guide and have
failed to find it? We may now pass over lightly some of the more
serious questions of life; we may even at times reject the teachings
of our instructors as unnecessary. But there is a fixed fact which all
the world has come to recognize--one that sooner or later confronts
every individual. It is that the greatest thing in life after all is
the knowledge of God and the satisfaction of having found the way of
eternal life. The disappointment that follows the failure to find that
way is expressed in words of beauty and childlike simplicity by an
Indian. In 1832 a chief of the Flatheads, with some of his associates
sought the wigwams of the white man in quest of the Way of life. This
is what the chief of the Flatheads said when he turned to go back to
his people:

[Sidenote: The speech of an Indian chief.]

"I came to you over a trail of many moons, from the setting sun. You
were the friends of my fathers, who have all gone the long way, I came
with an Indian an eye partly open for my people, who sit in darkness.
I go back with both eyes closed. How can I go back blind to my blind
people? I made my way to you, with strong arms, through my enemies,
and strange lands, that I might carry back much to them. I go back
with both arms broken and {160} empty. Two fathers came with us. They
were the braves of many winters and wars. We leave them asleep here
by your great water and wigwams. They were tired with many moons (of
journeying) and their moccasins were worn out (on the trail).

"My people sent me to get the 'White Man's Book of Heaven.' You took
me to where you allow your women to dance as we do not ours, and the
book was not there. You took me to where they worship the Great Spirit
with candles, and the book was not there. You showed me images of the
great spirits and pictures of the good land beyond, but the book was
not among them to show us the way. I am going back the long, sad trail
to my people, in the dark land. You make my feet heavy with gifts and
my moccasins will grow old in carrying them, yet the book is not among
them. When I tell my poor, blind people after one more snow, in the big
council, that I did not bring the book, no word will be spoken by our
old men, or by our young braves. One by one they will rise up and go
out in silence. My people will die in darkness, and they will go a long
path to other hunting grounds. No white man will go with them, and no
White Man's Book to make the way plain. I have no more words."

It will be difficult to find in modern literature words more pathetic
than these. Yet, how vividly and impressively they describe the
condition that exists in the Christian world. The Indian came out of
a land of darkness to seek Light, and finds only a world of darkness.
He seeks a guide, a book that shall point the way to heaven; he finds
grossness, and a worship of the {161} flesh-pots of Egypt. He must
of necessity enter alone upon the long journey to the happy hunting
grounds. It will be his great adventure.

[Sidenote: The figure of the architect again.]

And so it should be with all of us, were it not for the fact that to
us God has revealed the "Book of Heaven." In the preceding lesson we
used the figure of the architect superintending the erection of a large
building. Let us continue that figure briefly. Naturally, the architect
cannot be in every part of the building at the same time. While he is
directing workmen in the basement, men laying up the wall of the second
story must get along without him. But how shall they know, in the
architect's absence, that they are doing the work right?

The answer is not hard to find. The foremen and the workmen have
access to plans and specifications. The plans are minute, and the
specifications in detail. The workmen may then see for themselves how
the building is to be erected. If only they read right, and interpret
correctly, they may go ahead indefinitely. It is because they are prone
to misinterpret, and sometimes tempted to defraud the owners, that the
architect has to make his regular rounds and watch carefully.

[Sidenote: The plan of eternal life.]

It is just so with those who are building life eternal. The Indian
chief was right. He was looking for the plans and specifications of
eternal life, furnished by the Great Architect. The Indian chief did
not find them. He did not enquire at the right wigwam. The plans and
specifications of eternal life constitute the Gospel of the Lord Jesus
Christ. The presence and the practice of that Gospel--in fulness and in
simplicity--in the {162} Church of Christ, form the third mark of its
divine authority.

[Sidenote: The necessity of plans.]

Why are plans and specifications necessary? Ordinary plans and
specifications accomplish three very important things. First, they
direct what is to be done and how it is to be done. Secondly, they
furnish a basis of judgment whereby to determine whether or not the
work of the contractors fulfills the terms of agreement. Thirdly, they
furnish a standard of judgment whereby to determine whether or not the
materials used, the proportions mixed, the measurements taken, and
all else, are of the quality and fulness required by the builder, and
agreed to by the contractor.

[Sidenote: The application.]

So also, the teachings of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ are
necessary to man for very important reasons. It is through the Gospel,
that we learn of God and His work--to bring to pass the immortality and
eternal life of man. It is through the Gospel that we learn of Christ's
wonderful atoning sacrifice. It is through the Gospel that we learn to
know what is man's duty to God, and man's duty to man. The Gospel, too,
then directs men what to do and how to do it. It furnishes a basis of
judgment whereby to determine whether a man's actions are good or bad.
It furnishes a standard of judgment whereby to determine the true and
exact quality of the structure of eternal life which he has built up.

[Sidenote: The principles of the Gospel.]

It is not the purpose of this lesson to review all the principles of
the Gospel. Faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, by one holding
authority from God, the {163} conferring of the Holy Ghost by the
laying on of hands of men holding authority, are fundamental principles
and initiatory rites. All the teachings contained in this little book,
and many more besides, belong to the Gospel of Jesus. The true Church
of Christ must hold strictly to all that Jesus taught. "After that John
was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the
kingdom of God."

[Sidenote: Men judged by the Gospel.]

Of the Gospel--the plan of eternal life--the Great Architect was
jealous. "He that rejecteth me," asserted Jesus, "and receiveth not
my words, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the
same shall judge him in the last day," And the end can not come till
all have heard the plans and specifications of eternal life. Said Jesus
again, "This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

[Sidenote: The three marks.]

Like the chieftain of the Flatheads, others, too, may come over a trail
of many moons, from the setting sun. They may come from a land of
darkness, in search of Light. They may need the Book of Heaven to make
the way of eternal life plain. Surely, the scroll may be found in only
one place--The Church of Jesus Christ. It is founded upon the rock of
revelation; it is ribbed by the quorums of the priesthood of Aaron and
of Melchizedek; and it is clothed in the teachings of Jesus--the Gospel
of the Son of God.

These are the three never-failing marks of the Church of Christ.

{164} THE REFERENCES

Mark 1:14, 15. John 12:48-50.

Matt. 24:14.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What is the significance of the speech of the Flathead chief?

2. Why does an architect prepare plans and specifications for a
proposed building?

3. How is the Gospel like such plans and specifications?

4. What is the Gospel?

5. How did Jesus show His great concern for the Gospel?

6. What are the three never-failing marks of the Church of Christ?

{165}

{166} PICTURE: CONSIDER THE LILIES, Lejenno

{167}



XXII

SINGLE MINDED LOYALTY

[Sidenote: A supreme privilege.]

It is indeed a privilege beyond measure to belong to a Church founded
upon divine revelation, presided over by the Lord Jesus Himself and
conducted by a divinely appointed priesthood, and regulated by the
Gospel of Jesus Christ--the divine plan of salvation. Not many people
appreciate fully what a priceless blessing is within their reach.
They clamor and struggle, sometimes, for membership in some secret
brotherhood or other, which will avail them nothing when they shall
pass into that other world; and they neglect--nay, ignore--membership
in the open brotherhood of Jesus the Christ, which might be made to
profit them much upon the earth, and which would give them hereafter
free access into the larger kingdom of God. Is not the vision of man
imperfect?

[Sidenote: The true worth of membership.]

Jesus, however, recognized the true worth of membership in the kingdom
of heaven. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a
field," He declared; "the which when a man hath found, he hideth,
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth
that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man,
seeking goodly pearls: who when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had, and bought it."

These are pretty parables, but what do they mean? Why, simply, that
a man who has found the Church of Christ should be willing, if
necessary--indeed, he {168} will be willing, if necessary--to give up
every material possession in order to attain membership therein. It is
a blessing, of course, to possess sufficient of this world's goods; but
it is far better to have secure one's place in the kingdom of God.

[Sidenote: Conditions of membership.]

This lesson Jesus taught always. To gain entrance into the kingdom, one
must forsake all personal, unworthy ambitions. "The time is fulfilled,"
Jesus cried on His preaching tours, "and the kingdom of God is at hand:
repent ye, and believe the gospel." And when the disciples of Jesus
would stop the parents from bringing their children to the Master,
Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid
them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you,
Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he
shall not enter therein." This all teaches that to secure the coveted
membership, we must not only renounce all the evils of our past, but we
must put ourselves in the attitude of little children, eager to receive
the divine word of God, and to help in its establishment upon the earth.

[Sidenote: Single-minded loyalty.]

Now, it needs no long explanation to show that those who have succeeded
in placing themselves in the attitude of little children, are also
in an attitude of single-minded loyalty to God. Jesus insisted that
men must be loyal to God, and that, too, with singleness of purpose
and singleness of thought. You have learned in your daily lives which
associates you can trust and which you cannot trust. You know very
well that if a boy's thoughts are always good, he is not very likely
to become guilty {169} of any seriously wrong act. You know that if a
girl's motives are good, she is not likely to become guilty of evil.
Jesus knew these truths, too. He was anxious, therefore, that the minds
of men should become filled with thoughts of God--that the dominating
motive in their minds should be to serve God. For He knew very well
that a man dominated by the motive of Godly service would be arrayed
against sin; whereas, one not so dominated might easily be overcome by
the wily suggestions of the tempter.

[Sidenote: No man can serve two masters.]

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth
corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where
your treasure is there will your heart be also."

When we learn that, in the Jewish belief, the heart was the seat of
thought and intelligence, then this saying of the Teacher becomes
plain indeed. It is impossible for anyone to have two chief centers of
interest. If a man devote his thought and intelligence to the laying up
of wealth, he will of course neglect his duty to God. For, said Jesus,
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and
love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye
cannot serve God and Mammon."

[Sidenote: A simple application.]

Everyone knows how true this saying is. Let us apply it to some of
our own likes. All boys and most girls like baseball. Every boy and
every girl should like {170} to keep the Sabbath holy. Now, if a boy
begins to yield to the temptation to play baseball on Sunday, it is not
long, ordinarily, before his surrender is complete, and the playing
of baseball on Sunday becomes for him a regular practice. What has
then happened to his attendance at the Sunday School and the sacrament
service? The boy is scarcely if ever seen there. Do you ask why? This
boy started by trying to serve both God and Mammon. But the things of
God are displeasing to Mammon; and the things of Mammon are displeasing
to God. Oil and water, you know, will not mix. As the boy grew in his
love for baseball on the Sabbath, he grew also in his hatred for the
duties he owed to his God. As he held tenaciously to his baseball on
the Sabbath, he despised the service of the great King. Truly, one
cannot have two chief centers of interest. "Ye cannot serve God and
Mammon."

[Sidenote: A parable in point.]

And the folly of the worship of Mammon is so clear, that it is
surprising that men will ever fall into error. Jesus illustrated this
truth with an excellent parable. "The ground of a certain rich man
brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself saying, What
shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he
said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater;
and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to
my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine
ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him. Thou fool, this
night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things
{171} be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure
for himself, and is not rich toward God."

[Sidenote: The light of the body.]

Again, Jesus said when speaking of laying up treasure in heaven,
and serving God and Mammon, "The light of the body is the eye: if
therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that
darkness!" In the Old Testament, the evil eye stands for avarice and
greed, the good eye for generosity. Is there anyone, then, who does not
see that if a man fosters thoughts of selfishness and greed, he blinds
himself, to all the better and higher things, and gropes in darkness.

[Sidenote: A summary.]

In this way, then, Jesus taught that men should serve God with
single-minded loyalty. In His sayings and parables, He presents four
reasons: (1) The life of man is in the hands of God. He gave it and
He will take it away. No one is sure how long he may be privileged to
enjoy worldly pleasures. But the life of the spirit is everlasting.
Its joys shall never end. (2) Worldly goods and pleasures are
perishable and fleeting. We may lose them when we think we have them
most securely. The things of the spirit are eternal. They can not be
taken from us, so long as we worship in spirit and in truth. (3) It is
impossible for man to hold two equally important and equally cherished
objects of interest. One of the two will inevitably be neglected. (4)
If a man's motives are selfish and worldly, his soul becomes darkened
to truth, and to spiritual things.

{172} [Sidenote: A paraphrase.]

For these excellent and sufficient reasons, man should cultivate an
attitude of single-minded loyalty to God. Instead of toiling and
sweating for things of passing value only, man should strive for the
things of permanent joy and satisfaction. Jesus's message, as has been
aptly said, may be paraphrased thus:

"Look up. Get a goal before you that is worth while. Let the one
passion of your life be loyalty to God. Then your joys will be
wholesome and permanent, and you shall walk in the light, not in
darkness."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 13:44-46. Matt. 6:13-21.

Mark 1:13, 14. Matt. 6:24.

Mark 10:13-16. Luke 12:13-15.

Matt. 6:22-23.

THE QUESTIONS

1. How does man show himself short-sighted when considering the things
of God?

2. What is the significance of the parable of the treasure and the
pearl of great price?

3. What do we learn from Jesus's attitude toward little children?

4. Name and discuss the first two reasons given by Jesus why we should
cultivate single-minded loyalty to God.

5. Name and discuss the second two reasons why we should cultivate
single-minded loyalty to God.

6. Name as many instances as you can in which we might practice
single-minded loyalty in our own lives.

{173}

{174} PICTURE: CHRIST AND THE RICH YOUNG RULER, Hofmann

{175}



XXIII

RICHES AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

[Sidenote: A liberal man.]

When Matthias Baldwin, who built the first American locomotive, had
made good and had accumulated a fortune, he was wont to distribute
liberal gifts freely among those who had been less prosperous than he.
So generous, indeed, was he that when he had not the cash by him he
would give personal notes instead. "Nobody hesitates to sign promises
to pay in the future in order to get capital for business," he would
say. "Are we to trust the Lord to take care of our affairs, and not His
own?" Sometimes, it is said, this practice would get Mr. Baldwin into
small difficulties; but on the other hand it often helped him when he
needed business notes for himself. Said one bank president to another,
once, "You refuse to help him because he does not know what to do with
his money. We will stand by him because he is determined to do good
with his money. His collaterals are God's promises." And that bank
president was right.

[Sidenote: An unnatural doubt.]

Now, the teachings of the previous lesson may have aroused some
questions in your minds as to whether or not there will be found a
place in the kingdom of heaven for the rich man--for him who has
devoted much time apparently to the service of mammon. Perhaps you
have heard from some one that "it is easier for a camel to go through
the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of
God;" and you have therefore concluded that heaven is for only the
poor. There are some people who hold {176} so narrow a notion. In this
lesson, however, we shall learn how riches should be used; and that
poverty is no larger guarantee of salvation than are riches.

[Sidenote: The case of the rich young ruler.]

One day, not long after Jesus had blessed the little children brought
to Him, there came to Him a rich young ruler, who said, "Good Master,
what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"

"And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good
but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the
commandments.

"He saith unto Him, Which?

"Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery,
Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy
father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

"The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my
youth up: what lack I yet?

"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and
come and follow me.

"But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for
he had great possessions."

[Sidenote: The difficulty of sacrifice.]

This simple little story reveals to us the truth. The rich young ruler
was essentially a good young man. From his youth up he had striven
to observe the law of Moses. He had committed no gross offense; he
was guilty of no heinous sin; as he understood the law, he loved his
neighbor as himself. But the more perfect law of the Gospel, which
Jesus taught, called for sacrifice. The things the young man had done
had been easy. He had {177} refrained from evil, because he loved not
evil. But when he was bidden to part with his wealth, and to give it to
others more needy than he, the center of his affection was touched. For
he loved his riches. It was not the riches, then, that stood between
him and eternal life. It was the love of those riches. The thing he
loved he could with difficulty give up.

[Sidenote: The conclusion of Jesus.]

Therefore did Jesus say to His disciples, "Verily I say unto you.
That a rich man shall hardly (with difficulty) enter into the kingdom
of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go
through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the
kingdom of God."

[Sidenote: The amazement of the disciples.]

Naturally, such a statement puzzled the disciples just as it has
puzzled men from that time to this. So the disciples asked, "Who then
can be saved?" But Jesus answered only, "With men this is impossible;
but with God all things are possible."

[Sidenote: The power of God.]

While this answer may seem evasive, yet one can readily see in it the
possibility implied. Of course, with God all things are possible.
He can touch the heart of man so that it shall not be centered on
wealth--so that the chief affection of man shall not be, Midas-like,
the love of gold. Riches in themselves are of no value; but riches as
a means of service may be righteously desired. And the Lord Jesus has
Himself promised the blessings of the earth to those who honestly seek
Him.

[Sidenote: A promise of worldly blessings.]

"Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink," urged Jesus,
"Neither be ye of doubtful mind. {178} For all these things do the
nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have
need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all
these things shall be added unto you."

[Sidenote: The object of the world's desire.]

Riches, then, should be righteously acquired; and the acquiring of them
should be made secondary to the learning to know God and Jesus Christ
whom He hath sent. It is natural that every boy and girl should plan
for the future, and that the plans should include the accumulation, if
possible, of some of this world's goods. But Jesus would not have those
who know him to be like the nations of the world. They seek after the
riches of the world merely for the sake of the riches themselves. They
love money--and Paul said, you know, that, "the love of money is the
root of all evil." The disciples of Jesus will never serve mammon; they
will make mammon serve them, and use riches for good. Money itself will
not be the object of their love, but the service that money can be made
to render. Jesus taught this lesson in a parable often misunderstood.

[Sidenote: The parable of the unjust steward.]

"There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was
accused unto him that he had wasted his goods, and he called him, and
said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of
thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward
said within himself. What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from
me the stewardship. I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved
what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may {179}
receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's
debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my
lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him.
Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to
another. And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of
wheat. And he said unto him. Take thy bill, and write four score. And
the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely:
for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the
children of light. And I say unto you. Make to yourselves friends of
the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you
into everlasting habitations."

Now, Jesus did not approve of the actions of the steward. They were
decidedly dishonest, and Jesus calls him an unjust steward. But from
the conduct of this steward, Jesus draws a profitable lesson. The
steward was a man of the world. The children of the world are wise in
their generation. When, therefore, the steward was in trouble, he made
the mammon of unrighteousness his servant, and secured for himself a
comfortable living when he should be put out of the stewardship. A
somewhat similar use should the children of light make of such wealth
as they are appointed stewards over. They should look after the poor,
care for the needy, shed comfort and cheer, and make for themselves
friends by means of their wealth. First must come obedience to the
commandments of God, and a diligent seeking after Him. Then worldly
goods must be made to serve in helping to prepare a habitation in the
eternal home.

{180} Paul, again, who seemed always clearly to comprehend the
teachings of the Master, put it thus: "Charge them that are rich in
this world, that they be not high minded nor trust in uncertain riches,
but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that
they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute,
willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good
foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal
life."

In the teaching of Jesus, then, riches are not a bar to eternal life.
The terms of salvation are the same to the rich and the poor alike. It
is not poverty that saves a man, but humility of spirit and obedience.
So it is not riches that condemn a man; but love of riches, and
disobedience. Many there are who, like the rich young ruler, turn and
go their way because they have great possessions. Many others there
are who, like Matthias Baldwin, exclaim, "I feel more thankful for the
disposition to give largely than for the ability to give largely; for I
know that immense wealth can be acquired a great deal easier than the
heart to use it well. My money without a new heart would have been a
curse to me."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 19:16-22. Luke 12:29-31.

Luke 18:22. 1 Tim. 6:10, 17-19.

Luke 16:1-10.

{181} THE QUESTIONS

1. What disposition did Matthias Baldwin develop with the accumulation
of riches?

2. Why do some people think that heaven is not for the rich man?

3. Why could not the rich young ruler follow Jesus?

4. What did Jesus mean by the statement concerning the rich man and the
camel?

5. What use should be made of riches?

6. What is the root of all evil?

7. What lesson did Jesus teach in the parable of the Unjust Steward?

8. Why have the poor no greater assurance of salvation than have the
rich?

9. Which is the great gift, wealth or the disposition to give?

{182} PICTURE: LAZARUS AT THE RICH MAN'S HOUSE, Dore

{183}



XXIV

SUCCEEDING WITH WHAT ONE HAS

[Sidenote: The rich man and Lazarus.]

In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Lazarus lies sick and
hungry at the door of the Rich Man who only the crumbs that fall from
the rich man's table. The Rich Man failed to recognize his opportunity;
and when these two passed beyond, Lazarus was taken into the bosom
of Abraham, while the Rich Man was consigned to the torments of
everlasting punishment.

[Sidenote: Wanted: a chance.]

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus must cause each one of us to
reflect, that, undoubtedly, he has himself many opportunities lying
unnoticed at his door. Indeed, while nearly every boy is prone to say
when he sees a successful man, "If only I had his chance," the fact
remains that he probably had as good a chance as the successful man but
failed to make the most of it. Jesus understood well the weakness in
men that makes for failure, both temporal and spiritual, and as was his
wont illustrated his point by means of a significant parable.

[Sidenote: The parable of the talents.]

"The kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who
called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto
one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every
man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the
same, and made them other five {184} talents. And likewise he that had
received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one
went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

"After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth
with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought
other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five
talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His
lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou
has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received
two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents:
behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto
him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over
a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into
the joy of thy lord.

"Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew
thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and
gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and
hid my talent in the earth: lo, here thou hast that is thine. His
lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant,
thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have
not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the
exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with
usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which
hath ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he
shall have abundance: but from {185} him that hath not shall be taken
away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into
outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

[Sidenote: A general law.]

In this parable, Jesus has stated a far-reaching law of truth. It
applies to every boy and to every girl, to every man and to every
woman. And it operates in every field of endeavor--in the temporal
world, in the mental world, in the spiritual world. Perhaps everyone
knows someone else who is waiting for an opportunity. Perhaps, you
yourselves, like the snail in Hans Christian Andersen's tale of "The
Snail and the Rose Bush," think that you have a great deal in you,
and say to yourselves as did the snail, "Wait till my time comes, I
shall do a great deal more than to yield roses, or to bear nuts, or
to give milk as cows do." But in thinking so and saying so you forget
the eternal truth taught by Jesus in the parable of the talents. The
big opportunity can come only if every day, like the rose bush, you
make the most of that day's chance, and contribute the roses and the
fragrance of your life to the world.

[Sidenote: The water boy.]

Let us consider a concrete case. Not so very long ago, there was
employed in one of the great American steel works, a young boy to carry
water. You all know what that means. And it must be admitted that
there is but small opportunity in the humble calling of water-carrier.
His master had entrusted the boy with a single talent. But as the
master went the rounds of inspection, he observed that the water boy
was always on the job. No matter how early the master came, the boy
was there {186} before him; no matter how late the master stayed, the
boy stayed later than he. He worked, he observed, he studied; he was
making his talent grow. By and by, a vacancy occurred higher up. The
master did not hesitate. He called to him the water boy, and gave to
him the work of greater responsibility. That was but the beginning.
Today the water boy is one of the most highly honored and trusted men
in the great steel industry of America. No place, you see, is so humble
but that it has its own opportunity for service. And that opportunity
improved, there lie always greater chances ahead. That opportunity
neglected, failure only can follow. One can become ruler of many things
only if one has proved oneself faithful in few.

[Sidenote: Intellectual endeavor.]

Examples might be multiplied to prove the truth of the law taught by
Jesus. When boys and girls go to school, it is those who make the most
of that opportunity that grow in intelligence and power. They progress
steadily until they become leaders of men. Knowledge is added to
knowledge, until they master the field in which they are working. On
the other hand, those who neglect the opportunity afforded by school
attendance, become relatively more and more ignorant. The world forges
ahead in knowledge and wisdom. Their industrious associates go forward
by strides. But they, themselves, lag ever farther and farther behind.
Verily, to him who hath is given, until he possesses in abundance;
whereas from him who hath not, is taken even that he had.

[Sidenote: Spiritual growth.]

But it was not to temporal and mental things only that Jesus meant to
apply the law illustrated in the {187} parable of the talents. Perhaps
His chief purpose was to apply it to the spiritual life. There, as in
the physical life, one must serve, and do one's utmost, in whatever
calling God may have placed one. According to one's courage and
faithfulness will one's reward be. And that reward, you must note,
does not consist of a commission in money. It consists of a larger
responsibility, a larger opportunity to serve, a place of greater honor
in the kingdom of God. Such a reward--whether in the physical or in the
spiritual life--is after all the only reward worth while.

[Sidenote: The lesson applied.]

Let us grapple to our souls, then, the lesson of this parable. The
lasting reward of effort of any kind is not the material gain derived
therefrom, but the effect upon one's character--ability developed to
do bigger and nobler things; the confidence inspired to carry larger
trusts. So, two of the servants of the lord developed in efficiency
and ability to do. The other feared. He feared failure--he dared not
attempt--he dreaded to venture. His ability, such as it was, became
paralyzed. As a result he inspired no confidence--nay, he lost the
confidence his lord had reposed in him. Moreover, through his failure
to make use of his little opportunity, the slothful servant lost
confidence in himself, and thereby squandered his native power to
achieve, however small it may have been.

God requires of all of us that we shall serve Him diligently. And
service of Godly kind means that we give ourselves wholly to the Lord,
all that we have and all that we are. Time, and means, and life,
are His, {188} and every word, every thought, every act, should be
prompted by loyalty to God and His kingdom. Then are we profitable
servants; and then are we multiplying the talents God has entrusted to
our care. "Thou shalt not idle away thy time," said Jesus in our own
dispensation, "neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be
known."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 25:14-30. Doc. and Cov. 60:13.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What is meant by a "chance?"

2. How much smaller opportunity had the servant with one talent than
the servant with five?

3. What does the story of the water-boy illustrate?

4. How does the parable of the talents apply to the school life of boys
and girls?

5. How does the parable apply to one's spiritual life?

6. What is man's duty to God?

{189}

{190} PICTURE: THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, Hofmann

{191}



XXV

THINK RIGHT

[Sidenote: The great commandment.]

Once when a lawyer asked Him temptingly which is the great commandment
in the law, Jesus answered unhesitatingly, "Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is
like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Divinely inspired,
Jesus returned a very wise answer. The tempter was unable to catch Him.
And now we all understand that answer is in very truth the sum of the
law and the prophets. For if a man truly loves God, and also loves his
neighbor as himself, there is no offense he will--or can--commit. All
sin consists of evil done to oneself, or to one's neighbor, or to one's
God. True love such as Jesus defined makes sin impossible.

[Sidenote: The beatitudes.]

At another time, when a great multitude followed Him from almost every
part of the Holy Land, Jesus went up into a mountain and preached to
the disciples that assembled near Him. It was at this time that He
uttered the wonderful sayings commonly known as the Beatitudes. In
these rich and beautiful sayings, Jesus describes the moral character
that He requires in those who are to constitute His kingdom. In other
words, everyone who would belong in full faith and fellowship to the
kingdom of God must possess the qualities here named.

{192} "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven.

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for
they shall be filled.

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of
God.

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and
shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice
and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so
persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

[Sidenote: A high ideal of life.]

Here, indeed, is an ideal toward which to train one's life. To be
poor in spirit, to mourn over imperfection, to be meek, to hunger and
thirst after righteousness, to be merciful, to be pure in heart, to
make peace amongst the quarrelsome, to be strong in persecution for
righteousness' sake, to rejoice when men do us evil wrongfully, for
Jesus's sake--these are goals worth while. Every man should keep the
beatitudes in mind, and should try so to order his life that he may not
fail to obtain {193} any one of the promises associated with a good,
moral life.

[Sidenote: The great beatitude.]

Yet, as one reads the beatitudes, one wonders what the great Master
would answer if someone should ask Him--as did the lawyer about the
commandments--which is the great beatitude. As you read them over,
do you feel that any one is greater than the rest? Do you feel that
the attaining of a certain one of them would comprehend the rest? Of
course, we may not assume to say what Jesus would answer. But let
us think the beatitudes over ourselves and try to pick out one very
important one; one that expresses a moral quality the attainment of
which will at least help in the attainment of all the rest; one that
expresses a moral quality more often trampled under foot than any
other; one that expresses a moral quality the neglect of which leads
always to iniquity.

[Sidenote: The pure in heart.]

Have you found it? The sixth saying reads thus: "Blessed are the pure
in heart: for they shall see God." Here is a condition with a promise
indeed! To see God! To associate with Him! And what must one be to see
God? One must be pure in heart. When we remember that in the Jewish
belief the heart was the seat of thought and intelligence, then we
understand this saying better. To be pure in heart is to be pure in
thought, to be pure in mind. To be pure in heart is to entertain no
evil thought, to hold no impure desire. To be pure in heart is to weed
out of the mind every evil or sinful suggestion, and to plant instead
thoughts of righteousness. The wise man of old appreciated the full
value {194} of purity of heart. Said he, As a man "thinketh in his
heart so is he." And to the Prophet Joseph Smith Jesus said, "Let
virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax
strong in the presence of God, and the doctrine of the Priesthood shall
distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." May we not hope, then,
since God is a God of purity, that we have found here the great, the
comprehensive beatitude? If one is truly pure in heart, one can not but
possess the other moral virtues also.

[Sidenote: Things that defile.]

Jesus was very forceful in His teaching of the necessity of purity of
heart. At one time, He called the people to Him and taught them thus:
"Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand. There is nothing
from without a man, that entering into him, can defile him: But the
things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If
any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

"And when He was entered into the house from the people. His disciples
asked Him concerning the parable. And He saith unto them. Are ye so
without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing
from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it
entereth not into his heart, . . . . And He said, That which cometh out
of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of
men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye (greed),
blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all {195} these evil things come from
within, and defile the man."

[Sidenote: Vulgarity in thought, word and deed.]

It is very apparent, then, that vulgar stories of the kind that
boys often tell each other on street corners, are begotten of an
impure mind. The telling of vulgar, or "smutty" jokes, the reading
of lascivious literature, the taking delight in obscene pictures and
suggestive plays, the practising of secret abuses--all these are born
of an evil mind. Surely, it must be plain to every boy and girl that
those who indulge such thoughts and practices of evil are not pure in
heart. They shall not see God.

[Sidenote: The good tree and the corrupt.]

Teaching again on the same subject, Jesus said at another time, "A good
tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree
bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit: for
of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they
grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth
forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of
his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of
the heart his mouth speaketh."

[Sidenote: Plain teaching.]

Has ever any man taught more plainly? The kingdom of God is to be made
up of men and women rich in moral virtues. And the chief of those
virtues is purity of heart. The vulgar, the profane, the lascivious,
and all those who foster evil thoughts will find no place near God.
Only the pure in heart shall see Him. Remember, then, the great
commandment. Remember the great {196} beatitude. Remember that as a man
thinketh in heart so is he. Therefore, think right.

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 22:34-40. Doc. and Cov. 121:45.

Matt. 5:1-13. Mark 7:14-24.

Prov. 23:7. Luke 6:43-45.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What is the great commandment in the law?

2. Show that the answer of Jesus does really cover the law and the
prophets.

3. What are the beatitudes?

4. What kind of people do they describe?

5. Which is the great beatitude?

6. Show how this beatitude may possibly cover all the rest.

7. What did Jesus teach of things that defile?

8. How may a tree be known?

9. Apply these teachings to your own lives.

10. Explain the saying, As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

{197}



XXVI

THE UGLINESS OF ANGER

[Sidenote: The story of Cain.]

There is no more pitifully tragic story in all the world than that
of Cain, the fratricide. Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve of
whom the Scriptures make specific mention. Cain was a tiller of the
soil. The riches of the earth were his, and the fulness thereof. With
joyful heart, he might have plowed and tilled and garnered, and, at
the last, ended a well-spent life in ease and comfort; with praise and
thanksgiving, he might have worshipped God, acknowledging gifts already
bestowed, and receiving daily more as he pursued his honest toil; with
contented mind, he might have mingled with his brothers and sisters,
and given unstintingly of his prosperous help in the establishing
of man's dominion on earth. But Cain was of a jealous and envious
disposition. His mind was darkened with thoughts of avarice and greed
and hatred of others who prospered in the new world.

[Sidenote: The occupation of Abel.]

Cain had a brother named Abel. He was the second son of Adam and Eve
mentioned by name in the Scriptures. Abel was a shepherd, a tender of
flocks. Abel prospered, too, in his occupation. True, Abel was not
so independent of his fellows as was his brother Cain, the tiller of
the soil. Abel's calling produced him only meat to eat and wool to
wear. He grew no fruits, nor grains, nor vegetables, nor other foods
in variety produced by the soil. But Abel was happy and contented. He
was unselfish. He loved his brothers and sisters, {198} and rejoiced
in their successes. He loved God. And as he tended his flocks, Abel
worshipped God who had placed his father and mother, and their
children, upon the earth to subdue it.

[Sidenote: The brothers' sacrifices.]

One day Cain and Abel carried sacrifices to offer to the Lord. Cain
brought grudgingly of the fruits of the field. Abel brought of the
firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof without thought of
withholding anything from the Lord. When the sacrifices were presented,
"the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain
and to his offering He had not respect." Now, this difference was not
because Abel's offering was better or more desirable than Cain's.
The Lord pays not respect to worldly things. The widow's mite is as
acceptable to Him as the rich man's millions, if offered in the spirit
of truth. For it is the spirit in which a sacrifice is made that
counts with the Lord. And Cain did not come in the spirit of love, and
thanksgiving, and worship. He gave grudgingly. Perhaps, even, he did
not give of the best of his crops. Therefore the Lord did not accept
his offering.

[Sidenote: The anger of Cain.]

Then, when he saw that his own offering was rejected, while Abel's
was accepted, Cain became filled with anger, and his countenance
fell. The Lord in His mercy spoke to Cain, and declared to him one
of the great fundamental truths of life. "Why art thou wroth?" asked
the Lord, "and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well thou
shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door,
and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my
{199} commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee
according to his desire." But the anger and the envy of Cain were not
appeased.

[Sidenote: The murder of Abel.]

Not long thereafter, Cain and Abel were together in the field. Cain
had brooded over the incident of the offerings. His anger had waxed
hot, till it was ready to burst into furious flame. Satan had gained
possession of his mind, had filled him with envy, and had inspired him
to hate his brother. So, as he talked with his brother in the field,
Cain suddenly arose in ungovernable rage and struck his brother down
and killed him. It was a day of horror in man's history. It was a day
of blackness and blood. Cain was a brother-murderer--a fratricide. And
it had come about because he had yielded to anger and envy and hate.
Satan had gained possession utterly of his soul. Therefore, Cain was
cursed by the Lord and cast out from His presence. In the story of Cain
is illustrated wonderfully the truth of the saying of the Wise Man of
Israel: "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to
stand before envy?"

[Sidenote: The lesson at home.]

The story of Cain is a story of long ago. But we all know many
instances of the ugliness of anger in our own day. In every prison
house in the world are confined men who have committed crime in fits of
anger. "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in
transgression," said the Man of Wisdom. When a man is angry, he loses
control of the good that is in him. He returns to the state of the
beast. He speaks words of which afterward he is ashamed. He does things
for which afterward he sorrows. Anger is an {200} infernal poison,
administered by the father of lies himself, which courses through the
blood, makes the heart pound, and creates delirium in the mind. There
are many ugly sights in the world; but there is perhaps none uglier,
more repulsive, than a man furiously angry. Therefore is it said, "Make
no friendship with an angry man and with a furious man thou shalt not
go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

[Sidenote: The power of the mind.]

Everyone knows how unpleasant is the company of a quarrelsome boy, or
of a quarrelsome girl. The best of sport and the choicest of company
can be spoiled by one angry countenance. The truth taught in the
preceding lesson may here be emphasized. "As a man thinketh in his
heart so is he." According to your habits of thought, you are agreeable
or disagreeable. According to your habits of thought, you find quarrel
in a straw, or peace and serenity in turmoil. According to your habits
of thought you may become a strife-breeder or a peacemaker. "A wrathful
man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth anger."
And since it rests with yourself, is it not deplorable that you should
follow in the footsteps of Cain?

  "The human will, that force unseen,
  The offspring of a deathless Soul,
  Can hew a way to any goal,
  Though walls of granite intervene."

As a boy wills to be pleasant and cheerful, or to be disagreeable and
quarrelsome, so then will he be. We know now that we may all be masters
of ourselves, and hewers of our own fates.

{201} All these things Jesus taught plainly. Said He, "Ye have heard
it said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall
kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That
whosoever is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of
the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in
danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in
danger of hell fire.

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and then rememberest
that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave then thy gift before
the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then
come and offer thy gift.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with
him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the
judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily
I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast
paid the uttermost farthing."

[Sidenote: Jesus an example.]

There is in history no finer example of serene calm and self-control
than that manifested in the earth life of the Savior of the world.
When James and John, "the Sons of Thunder," asked permission to call
down fire from heaven upon the Samaritan village that had refused to
entertain Jesus, the Lord rebuked them, saying, "Ye know not what
manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy
men's lives, but to save them." And when during the days of trial and
suffering, men insulted Him and did Him physical injury, Jesus went
like a lamb to the slaughter.

{202} [Sidenote: The strength of self-control.]

All examples and precepts, then, admonish us to acquire self-control,
to be slow to anger, to banish hatred, and to eschew envy. "For the
wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God;" and "he that is
slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit
than he that taketh a city."

THE REFERENCES

Moses 5:16-41. Matt. 5:21-26.

Prov. 27:4. Luke 9:51-56.

Prov. 29:22. James 1:20.

Prov. 22:24. Prov. 16:32.

Prov. 15:18.

"Angry Words, Oh Let Them Never," S. S. Song Book.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What caused the downfall of Cain?

2. What effect does anger have upon the mind?

3. Why does not anger work for righteousness?

4. What do you think of a quarrelsome boy with a grouch?

5. What did Jesus teach about anger?

6. How does self-control make for strength?

{203}

{204} PICTURE: JESUS BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN, Plockhorst

{205}



XXVII

WITH WHAT MEASURE YE METE

[Sidenote: The two school girls.]

Two little girls came home from school one day carrying on a very
lively discussion. Their animation, and their complete absorption in
the subject were very inspiring to see. One could not help but thrill
at the manifestation of buoyant, interested, and healthful youth. But
when they came into the house, and their mother overheard the nature
of their conversation, she was woefully disappointed. These girls were
not discussing the problems raised by their lessons; neither were they
rejoicing at the prospect of the coming girls' hike to the canyon. In
fact, the subject of their animated discussion was neither uplifting
nor invigorating. On the contrary, it was disgusting--so thought
their mother; and she was sorry to hear her girls indulge in such
conversation. For the girls were gossiping; nay--they were slandering.

[Sidenote: The theft.]

It appears that someone had lost some money that day at school. The
loser declared, however, that she had not merely lost the money. It
had been stolen! The principal had called the pupils together, and
had stated the case plainly to them. He had said that if anyone had
actually stolen the money, it would be much better for the thief to
confess than to be discovered, or even successfully to conceal the
dishonest act. Such a thing would leave a scar upon one's character for
life. But no one confessed. The lost coin was not found.

{206} [Sidenote: The suspicion.]

Our two little friends, however, had observed that Mary Jones, who sat
not far away, acted very suspiciously when the principal came into the
room. She turned quite pale, and looked afraid. When the principal
appealed to the offender to make a clean breast of his guilt, Mary
had hung her head. Was it not proof positive that Mary had stolen the
money; or that, at least, she knew where it was? At recess, and after
school was out, the girls had talked it over. They had confided their
suspicions to a few intimate friends; these in turn had confided in
other intimate friends; soon the whole school was in possession of what
was assumed to be a fact, that Mary Jones had stolen the money, but
that she would not confess. The two little girls who first suspected
Mary had grown firmly to believe their suspicions, and assured their
mother that they knew that Mary was the thief.

[Sidenote: The discovery.]

The developments of the next few days, however, proved to these little
girls how much truth there really is in the little bit of doggerel
verse their mother had taught them.

  "There is so much that is bad in the best of us,
  And so much that is good in the worst of us,
  That it doesn't behoove any of us
  To talk about the rest of us."

Poor Mary Jones suffered keenly for three days. Both the boys and the
girls shunned her as if she were a leper. The girls huddled together
and whispered when she passed. Once a rude, unfeeling boy called after
her, "Why don't you 'fess up, Mary?" But Mary had really nothing to
"'fess up," and on the third day {207} the truth came to light. Out in
the hallway, the janitor noticed something shining in a little crack
between the boards of the floor. It was in the afternoon, and the
light coming through the transom of the west door fell just then upon
the spot. The janitor stooped to see what the shining object was. It
was money! He pried it out with his pocket knife. It was of the same
denomination as that which had been reported stolen. Immediately, the
janitor returned it to the teacher with a full explanation.

[Sidenote: The tables turned.]

It is strange how things turn and turn about. When the money was
returned to the girl who had lost it, with the janitor's story, she
remembered that she had been skipping there in the hallway, and that
she had thought she had heard something strike the floor; but since
she had seen nothing she had forgotten it. The girls who had suspected
Mary and had shunned her, now flocked about her and assured her that
they had never believed her guilty. The two who had started the slander
stood shame-facedly apart. The school turned on them, and for many days
they were avoided, and were shut out of the school games, as Mary had
been. They were mischief-makers, said the pupils. It was only after
Mary herself had pleaded for them, that a complete reconciliation was
effected, and the school society moved harmoniously forward as before.

[Sidenote: An everyday occurrence.]

You think that this is a story? Yes, it is a story; but it is a true
story. And the sorrowful thing about it is that just such unkind and
unfounded judgments as that formed by the little school girls are
passed every day upon {208} innocent men and women. You yourselves pass
judgment, without any evidence on which to base that judgment. You
condemn your playmates for this or for that. You find fault with what
your parents do, not knowing the many problems they have to solve. You
criticize the bishop of your ward, or the president of your stake, or
even the president of the Church, without knowledge of a single item
of the vast amount of information which he has and which compelled him
to do as he did. It may be that some of your associates have faults.
Those faults stand out glaringly enlarged to you. You are offended by
them. You are prompted to criticize, or to try to correct the defects.
But you forget that you may have faults as glaringly apparent to your
associates as theirs are to you. You do not stop to think that the
little girls who suspected Mary Jones were also guilty of a grievous
offense in judging and condemning without cause. You forget what
the Lord Jesus taught, "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy
brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother. Let me pluck out the mote out of
thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye. Thou hypocrite,
first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

[Sidenote: The mote and the beam.]

Is it not simple and common sense? How can a man see clearly to
correct the faults of others, when his vision is distorted by his own
faults? Have you ever set a stick into a pool of clear water? Have
you noticed how the stick has been distorted in size and shape? The
light {209} waves passing from water to air, or from air to water, are
refracted, bent, so that you do not get a correct image of the object
immersed. Just so is it when we, who are immersed in our own faults
and weaknesses, attempt to pluck the mote from a brother's eye. Our
vision is defective; the image is distorted; we are ourselves in worse
condition than our brother.

[Sidenote: What Jesus said.]

Jesus set Himself strongly against such unkind judgment as that passed
by the two little school girls, and as that we are tempted every day to
Jesus pass upon our neighbors. "Judge not," He taught, "that ye be not
judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

Here is sound philosophy, of which few men stop to think. It is easy
to pass judgment on others. It is easy to think that one is the center
of the universe and that all things else revolve about that center. It
is easy to think that one's own opinion is always right, and that the
opinions of others are wrong. But one should not forget that others
also hold opinions. It is almost certain that one will be judged as
one judges; and that one will have measured to one as one measures to
others.

Now, what Jesus points out is that the spirit of fault-finding and
criticism is to be condemned. One cannot correct the faults of others
until one has corrected one's own faults. One cannot even get a good
hold on one's self, and find the right estimate of one's self, until
one learns to see only good in others, and to {210} struggle with one's
self to overcome faults. Moreover, fault-finding and criticism, like
anger, hate, and envy, destroy one's peace of mind. One who judges and
condemns cannot possibly maintain mental and spiritual health. Harsh
judgment is far more hurtful to the man who exercises it than to the
man whom he judges.

  "Judge not!--thou canst not tell how soon the look of
  bitter scorn
  May rest on thee, though pure thy heart as dewdrops
  in the morn.
  Thou dost not know what freak of fate may place
  upon thy brow
  A cloud of shame to kill the joy that rests upon it now.
  Judge not!

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 7:1-5.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What was wrong in the action of the two little school girls?

2. Why is it wrong to find fault, and to criticize?

3. What did Jesus say about the mote and the beam?

4. Explain Jesus's saying, "Judge not that ye be not judged."

5. Show that it is the spirit of fault finding that is sinful, rather
than the act.

6. Who is most injured: the man who criticizes or the man who is
criticized?

{211}

{212} PICTURE: JERUSALEM FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, From a Photograph

{213}



XXVIII

THE GOLDEN RULE

[Sidenote: Positive instruction.]

Jesus was not content to teach merely "Judge not, that ye be not
judged." In a way, that is only negative teaching. It exhorts men to
withhold judgment, but does not exhort to positive action. But the
nature of the teaching of Jesus is generally constructive. His "don'ts"
are always directed against prevailing evil, and are almost immediately
followed up with constructive directions as to what to do. So now He
continues, "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye"; and further,
from place to place. He instructs men how they shall deal with their
fellowmen. One's duty is not fully done when one merely withholds
judgment; there remains yet to be done some positive act of good--a
kind word, a charitable deed, an effort at reconciliation with one of
ill-will if such a one there be.

[Sidenote: The doctrine of reconciliation.]

In the matter of friendly association, good-will, and forgiveness,
Jesus spoke very definitely. "If thy brother shall trespass against
thee," said He, "go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:
if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not
hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of
two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall
neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to
hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

{214} [Sidenote: The attitude of a citizen of the kingdom.]

Long suffering, slow to anger, not vengeful, and without condemnation,
should the citizen of the kingdom be. How many of us follow the course
here outlined, when an associate "trespasses" against us? How many
of us go to him first and talk it over? If the matter is not settled
then, how many of us try again, and take two or three friends along to
help arbitrate the difficulty? And if still a reconciliation is not
effected, how many of us appeal in a spirit of love to the church--the
court of last appeal in matters spiritual? Unfortunately, most of us
are prone to cast off the brother who has done us wrong without looking
into the causes that prompted him to act as he did. If we take steps
to settle the difficulty, it is too often not through the mediation
of friends or the spiritual influence of the Church, but through the
cold procedure of the civil court. And worst of all, we yield not
infrequently to the temptation to talk. We gossip; we slander; we start
scandal; we wrong much more than we have been wronged. Jesus would not
have it so. Agree with thine adversary quickly.

[Sidenote: The doctrine of forgiveness.]

Sometimes it happens that a brother offends more than once. How many
times shall he then be forgiven? This question troubled Peter. He of
came therefore to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin
against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?"

"Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee. Until seven times: but
until seventy times seven." Of course, Jesus did not mean that one
should forgive an offender exactly seventy-seven times, no more, no
less. He {215} meant that there is no limit to the number of times that
we should exercise the gift of forgiveness; but that we should forgive
freely and cheerfully as often as the offender repents. Then, in order
that there might be no question as to the meaning of His teaching,
Jesus told the parable of the unforgiving servant.

[Sidenote: The parable of the unforgiving servant.]

"Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which
would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon,
one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents (or about
$10,000,000). But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded
him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and
payment be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him,
saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the
lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and
forgave him the debt.

"But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants,
who owed him an hundred pence (or about $20): and he laid hands on him,
and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what thou owest. And his
fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have
patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went
and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

"So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry,
and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord,
after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I
forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldst not
thou also have had compassion on thy {216} fellowservant, even as I
had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the
tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

"So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your
hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

[Sidenote: The Meaning.]

About the meaning of this dramatic story there can be no question.
Our indebtedness to God the heavenly Father is incalculable; our
dependence upon Him is infinite. God recognizes our helplessness, and
our inability to pay, and He forgives us our shortcomings, even as
we pray, "Forgive us our debts." The indebtedness of our fellowmen
to us is slight in comparison; their dependence upon us is nil. Yet,
we are likely to render harsh judgment against them, and to withhold
forgiveness from our hearts, even though we utter in prayer the words,
"as we forgive our debtors." But if we deal harshly with our fellowmen
who owe us so little, can we expect God, whom we owe so much, to deal
gently with us? If we want the Great Creditor to forgive us our large
indebtedness, should not we--small creditors that we are--forgive
without the asking, and from our hearts, the little debts of our
fellowmen?

[Sidenote: The right attitude toward our enemies.]

Such was the teaching of Jesus concerning our association with
our friends and fellowservants. But Jesus's teaching of love and
reconciliation did not stop there. It is our duty--since we all want
God to bless and favor us--to love even our enemies, and those whom
we are by nature prompted to hate. For, said Jesus, "Ye have heard
that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy {217} neighbour, and hate
thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of
your Father which is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the
evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even
the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do
ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

[Sidenote: The Golden Rule.]

So, then, it appears that the practicing of the Golden Rule makes a
large stride toward perfection. We should do good to all, forgive all,
love all. Then can we come in strength before the Lord and plead for
patience and forgiveness.

  "He prayeth best, who loveth best
  All things both great and small;
  For the dear God who loveth us,
  He made and loveth all."

Jesus put it thus: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
prophets."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 18:15-17. Matt. 5:43-48.

Matt. 18:21-35. Matt. 7:12.

{218} THE QUESTIONS

1. Why could not Jesus be content to teach merely "don't"?

2. Of what does the doctrine of reconciliation consist?

3. What is the proper attitude of a citizen of the kingdom toward his
fellow-citizens?

4. How often should one forgive an offender?

5. How does the parable of the unforgiving servant show why we should
forgive our fellowmen?

6. What should be the attitude of a citizen of the kingdom toward his
enemies?

7. What is the meaning of tolerance?

8. Show how the Golden Rule may be made to enrich your own lives and
make them happier.

{219}

{220} PICTURE: THE GOOD SAMARITAN, Van Diepenbeek

{221}



XXIX

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

[Sidenote: The law of love.]

There is, perhaps, no principle of conduct that Jesus emphasized
more in His teachings than the law of brotherly love. As we have
already learned, the first great commandment requires that we love
God; and the second requires that we love our neighbor as ourselves.
It is not enough, then, that we withhold judgment and condemnation;
nor that we do unto others--even unto our enemies--as we would have
others do unto us. We must forget self; bury self, as it were; and
cultivate for others a real affection--such an affection as God has
for us, for God is love. The reward of such a God-like love of our
fellowmen is beautifully expressed in a poem--oft but never too often
quoted--written by the English poet Leigh Hunt.

[Sidenote: The reward of brotherly love.]

  "Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase)
  Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
  And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
  Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
  An angel writing in a book of gold:--
  Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
  And to the presence in the room he said,
  'What writest thou?'--the vision rais'd its head,
  And with a look made of all sweet accord,
  Answered, The names of those who love the
  Lord.'
  'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
  Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
  But cheery still; and said, 'I pray thee then.
  Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

  The angel wrote and vanish'd. The next night
  It came again with a great wakening light,
  And show'd the names whom love of God had
  bless'd
  And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest."

{222} [Sidenote: Questions of the tempting lawyer.]

There came a lawyer to Jesus one day and asked Him what to do to
inherit eternal life. Jesus, knowing that the lawyer came only to make
trial of Him, answered, "What is written in the law? how readest thou?"
The lawyer--who knew well the law--was forced then to reply, "Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as
thyself."

"Thou hast answered right," said Jesus: "this do and thou shalt live."

But the lawyer was not satisfied; and desiring further to justify
himself, he asked, "And who is my neighbour?"

[Sidenote: The parable of the good Samaritan.]

"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of all his raiment,
and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance
there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him he
passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the
place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But
a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he
saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his
wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and
brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he
departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said
unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I
come again, I will repay thee.

{223} "Which now of these three thinkest thou," asked Jesus, "was
neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?"

The lawyer answered, "He that shewed mercy on him."

"Then said Jesus unto him. Go, and do thou likewise."

[Sidenote: A discussion.]

The priest, who was the specially appointed servant of God among his
people, and the Levite, who was closely associated with the priest
in his ecclesiastical duties, ought to have had compassion upon the
unfortunate traveller. It is to be assumed that he was a Jew. He was
therefore of the chosen people. He might lay claim to the services of
the priest and the Levite who officiated in the temple of his God.
Moreover, these men above all others should have known the passage
quoted by the lawyer in answer to Jesus's question, "What is written in
the law?"--a passage repeated by every Jew in each morning and evening
prayer. But these men had seen only the letter of the law; they had
never felt the spirit of it. At the most, the love of neighbor meant
only the Jewish interpretation of the passage, "Thou shalt not avenge,
nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself." Of the broad interpretation placed by
Jesus on the meaning of the word "neighbor," these men of the temple
service knew nothing.

[Sidenote: The real neighbor.]

The Samaritan however who was an outcast in the eyes of the Jew, for
whom God Himself could hold no love; an apostate and a degenerate
from the rich blood of Israel as unclean in {224} the opinion of the
orthodox Jew as the loathsome leper--the Samaritan felt the thrill of
the spirit of the great commandment "Thou shalt love thy neighour as
thyself." He manifested that divine love--and that to one from whom
he was an alien--which Jesus enjoined when He said, "Be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."

[Sidenote: The fulness of the answer.]

Jesus could not have answered the lawyer more completely; neither could
He have silenced more quickly the man who came to make trial of Him.
The story of tender love and sympathy was of such compelling nature
that the lawyer himself was forced to admit that the good Samaritan was
the real neighbor. And that conclusion forced upon the lawyer the plain
answer to his question, "Who is my neighbor" Why, he is my neighbor
whom it is within my power to help, no matter what may be his creed, or
his nationality, or his color. There was no room here for the splitting
of hairs. The lawyer was used to the refined arguments of the learned
rabbis as to the meaning of the word neighbor. Here it was plainly set
forth in a simple little story. There was no more to say.

[Sidenote: The lesson clinched.]

But as He concluded his story, and received the lawyer's answer, Jesus
drove home the lesson. "Go," said He, "and do thou likewise." It was as
if He had reverted to the opening question, "Master, what shall I do
to inherit eternal life?" If you would inherit eternal life love your
neighbor as yourself; consider him your neighbor whom you can help;
hold no class distinction; despise no man for his creed or his color;
but hold yourself always in {225} readiness to do good, to serve, and
to help those who need your help. Remember the Good Samaritan. Do not
pass by on the other side, but show your love in deeds of love. Then
shall you inherit eternal life.

[Sidenote: The command renewed.]

The Savior's law of love is a principle of divine beauty. And so
important is it in the Gospel plan of salvation, that it has been
specially renewed in our own dispensation. Said Jesus to Joseph Smith,
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy
might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt
serve Him.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

"Every man (shall seek) the interest of his neighbor and (do) all
things with an eye single to the glory of God."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 10:25-37. Doc. and Cov. 59:5, 6.

Lev. 19:18. Doc. and Cov. 82:19.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What more must men do besides withholding judgment and observing the
golden rule?

2. Explain the lesson of Abou Ben Adhem.

3. What did the lawyer seek of Jesus?

4. What conclusion was forced, upon the lawyer by the story of the Good
Samaritan?

5. How was this story a complete answer?

6. Why did it silence further questioning?

7. What does Jesus's admonition, "Go, and do thou likewise," imply?

8. How do these commandments affect us in the dispensation of the
fulness of times?

{226} PICTURE: CHRIST IN THE HOME OF MARY AND MARTHA, Hofmann

{227}



XXX.

NO ONE CAN LIVE TO HIMSELF.

[Sidenote: The fable of the body and its members.]

In the ancient book of wisdom ascribed to Aesop, there may be found the
following fable with its moral: "The Members of the Body once rebelled
against him. They said he led an idle, lazy life at their expense. The
Hands declared that they would not again lift a crust even to keep him
from starving, the Mouth that it would not take a bit more food, the
Legs that they would carry him about no longer, and so on with the
others.

"The Body quietly allowed them to follow their own courses, well
knowing that they would all soon come to their senses, as indeed they
did, when, for want of the blood and nourishment supplied from the
stomach, they found themselves fast becoming mere skin and bone.

"No one can live to himself."

[Sidenote: The time of Aesop.]

Aesop lived in the long ago. Tradition declares that he was born five
hundred and fifty years before the time of Jesus. But already in that
remote age men had learned to appreciate the value of organizing
themselves into communities and churches and governments. Already, men
had discovered that to live to oneself was to fight alone a losing
fight against all the forces of the world.

[Sidenote: The growth of society.]

From the time that Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden,
and their children began to settle two and two in the land to till it
and to cultivate it, man has understood the advantages of friendly
association. First it was the family. The family has always been, {228}
and is still the actual basis of society. The members of the family
clung together, and each one worked for the interest of the whole.
Then, when the families increased they became associated in clans and
tribes. Then, with the increase of population, came the organization of
communities, religious association, governments. For protection, for
worship, for education, for commerce and trade, for civilization, men
have banded themselves together, and have worked for larger units, of
which the individuals were but members. Only by such banding together
can a community become socially efficient.

[Sidenote: A football squad.]

Now, we may easily understand what this means if we apply the principle
to the organization of a football squad. There are eleven men, you
know, in the "team." One of them is the captain. When the squad is
in action, playing hard against an opposing team, no single man can
hope alone to win the game. The strength of the squad depends upon its
team work. While each individual must put forth the best that is in
him, whether in bucking the line or in playing the open field, that
best must be so directed as to add to the sum total of the strength
and efficiency of the united eleven. No member of that team may live
or play to himself. And the orders of the captain must be obeyed.
Some player in the line may think the orders poor--wholly wrong in
fact--yet he must obey those orders. If he does not, he will go down
to ruin himself, and he may possibly drag his team with him to shame
and disaster. For, as is clearly evident, when he neglects to follow
the command of the captain, he stands alone; the other ten obey
orders. {229} Alone he can accomplish nothing. Nor is that the worst;
by disobeying orders, he may spoil the premeditated play and lose the
game. The football man is required to learn, therefore, that he is only
a member of a body; that he must act with the body; that if he attempts
to act in opposition to the body calamity is sure to follow; that
success can come only through concerted effort. The football squad is
an organization of society for efficiency.

[Sidenote: The teachings of Jesus.]

As it is with the football squad so it is with society in the large.
Men and women are organized into communities and associations of
various kinds for greater efficiency, and are subject to the laws
governing organized society. Now, since Jesus was not primarily a
social reformer, nor a social teacher, we should not be surprised if He
had little to say about man's duties to organized society. Yet since He
touches in His teachings nearly all phases of temporal and spiritual
life, we might expect that somewhere He has something to say about the
larger aspects of society. And we do really find it so. The three chief
social institutions in the world are the family, the state, and the
church. About man's duties to each one of these Jesus has something
significant to say. Let us consider briefly the most important sayings
of Jesus concerning these three fundamental institutions.

[Sidenote: The family.]

In the teaching of Jesus, marriage is presented as a divinely appointed
sacrament, and the family as a sacred institution One day the Pharisees
came to Jesus to test Him, and asked, "Is it lawful for man to put
away his wife? And {230} He answered and said unto them, What did
Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of
divorcement, and to put her away.

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart
he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God
made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father
and mother and cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh;
so then they are no more twain but one flesh. What therefore God hath
joined together let no man put asunder."

[Sidenote: The family sacred.]

Thus emphatically did Jesus teach that the marriage relation was
ordained of God. And in doing so He declared also that the family is
a sacred institution and its claims should never be put aside. The
crying shame of the world today is the common practice of divorce. Boys
and girls who become acquainted with the teachings of Jesus, should
grow up with a horror of the divorce court. They should learn to look
upon marriage as one of the highest privileges accorded to them by
the heavenly Father. And boys and girls in the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints should rejoice in the thought, that, when the
proper time comes, they may go into the House of the Lord and have
there performed the divine sacrament of marriage for time and for all
eternity. For the Lord has said in this generation, "Whoso forbiddeth
to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto
man."

[Sidenote: The state.]

Jesus was equally emphatic in His teachings of man's duty to the
state--to organized civil government. Certain of the Pharisees {231}
and of the Herodians were sent one day to try to catch Jesus in his
words. "And when they were come they say unto Him, Master, we know
that Thou art true, and carest for no man: for Thou regardest not the
person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to
give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give?
But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them. Why tempt ye me? bring
me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And He saith unto
them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto Him,
Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them. Render to Caesar the
things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And
they marvelled at Him."

[Sidenote: The state divinely instituted.]

They had good cause, indeed, to marvel at Him; for, not only had He
quieted them with a sufficient answer, but He had also declared a
fundamental principle of the state. A government cannot exist without
revenue to maintain its organization and to enforce the laws enacted
for the protection and the welfare of its citizens. Caesar was doing
much for Palestine. It was not only right, therefore, but just that
the Jews should pay taxes to Rome. And so it is in our own day. "We
believe," asserted Joseph Smith, "that governments were instituted of
God for the benefit of man." It becomes therefore the duty of every
honest citizen to do his utmost to uphold the righteous laws of the
government, and to help in the maintaining of peace and order. And
it is not only right, but just, that we should pay the taxes imposed
by the government. We all enjoy the benefits derived from civil
organization--protection, liberty, {232} illumination, trade, good
roads, and all. The man who tries, then, to evade the taxes and the
responsibilities of the government is dishonest.

[Sidenote: The Church.]

But in declaring that it is right to render to Caesar the things that
are Caesar's, Jesus also taught that man owes likewise certain duties
to his The Church, religious organization. Render, said He, "to God the
things that are God's." In line with this thought we are instructed by
another experience of the Lord's. When Jesus and His disciples came
one day in their journeyings to Capernaum, "they that received tribute
money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your Master pay tribute (the
temple tax)? He saith Yes, And when He was come into the house Jesus
prevented (anticipated) him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon, of whom
do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children
or of strangers? Peter saith unto Him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto
him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend
them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that
first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a
piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

These gatherers of tribute money, were, it appears, those who collected
the taxes for the support and maintenance of the temple at Jerusalem.
Jesus was Himself the son of God. He was the Master of the temple. He
might have been free from the tax. But Jesus recognized the fact that
the principle was right; therefore, He paid the tax. And in doing so,
He taught the lesson {233} that it is right and just for every citizen
in the kingdom of God to pay the taxes imposed for the maintenance of
the kingdom. As with the state, so with the kingdom of God, he who
tries to evade the temple tax is dishonest. "Behold," declared Jesus
to the great modern Prophet, "now it is called today (until the coming
of the Son of man), and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for
the tithing of my people, for he that is tithed shall not burn at His
coming."

[Sidenote: The teachings of our own Church.]

The children of the Latter-day Saints have much for which to be
thankful. Here we are reared in the sanctity of the home, in love and
in the fear of God. Our family relations are established to continue
throughout the eternities. Here we are taught to yield honor and
obedience to established government, and to deserve the benefits
provided by it. Here we are taught to revere the priesthood of God,
to pay ungrudgingly our tithes and our offerings, and to do our best
from day to day in the upbuilding of righteousness. And this we do that
we may live and profit and prosper together; for no one can live to
himself alone.

THE REFERENCES

Mark 12:13-17. Doc. and Cov. 49:15.

Matt. 17:24-27. Doc. and Cov. 134:1.

Doc. and Cov. 64:23.

{234} THE QUESTIONS

1. What is the meaning of Aesop's fable?

2. Explain by means of the football squad how man can not live to
himself.

3. What did Jesus teach concerning man's duty to the family?

4. What are a man's obligations to the state in which he lives?

5. What does a man owe to the church to which he belongs?

6. Why should the children of the Latter-day Saints be grateful above
all other children?

{235}

{236} PICTURE: JESUS WASHING PETER'S FEET, Brown

{237}



XXXI

HE THAT EXALTETH HIMSELF

[Sidenote: The old law and the new.]

Everyone who has compared the teachings of the law of Moses with
those of Jesus must have been impressed with the essential difference
between those teaching's. The old law always emphasized the actual, or
material, elements of life, and provided punishment for deeds actually
committed. Thus the law of Moses exhorted, Thou shalt not kill, thou
shalt not steal, thou shalt not do this or that. And if one violated
this material law, he became liable to the penalty--but only if he
actually committed a deed in violation of law. Jesus, on the other
hand, went back of the act to the state of mind that prompted the act.
In other words, the essential thing in the philosophy of Jesus was not
the act itself, but the motive back of it. Instead of "Thou shalt not
kill," Jesus said, "Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in
danger of the judgment." Jesus did not say. Thou shalt not commit acts
of immorality, but, He that entertains an impure thought is already
guilty of the immoral act.

[Sidenote: The teaching of Jesus psychological.]

Jesus was not a psychologist in the modern sense, yet this teaching of
Jesus is psychologically true. Our acts are but the fruits of thoughts
that have found lodgment, care, and nourishment in our minds. Our
minds, indeed, are but gardens. Seed-thoughts are blown into them by
this wind and by that. Involuntarily as well as voluntarily suggestions
come into the mind. Now, if the seed-thoughts that are waited into the
mind-garden are good, and are carefully tended and nurtured, the garden
{238} will bear good fruit--the acts performed will be charitable and
clean. But if the seed-thoughts that find lodgment in the mind are
noxious, and if these noxious seeds--these destructive weeds of the
mind--be tended and nurtured, then the acts resulting therefrom will
necessarily be evil.

[Sidenote: A concrete example.]

Let us turn from this abstract discussion to the concrete example. Do
you know why a good boy, who has been taught all his life to keep his
body clean from the loathsome poison of tobacco, sometimes takes to
smoking cigarettes in spite of his teaching? The reason is perfectly
clear. The boy has been tempted. A noxious seed-thought has found
lodgment in the boy's mind. Now, had the boy been really strong, had
he gone to like a good gardener, hoe in hand, and cleaned out the
weeds, the noxious plants could never have bloomed nor borne fruit. But
because the boy entertained the evil thought, gave it nourishment and
tended it, it grew and spread until the good seed and fruitage of his
conscience were crowded out of the mind. One thought, then, remained
in power; and on that thought the boy acted. He became a smoker of
cigarettes.

[Sidenote: The motive all important.]

Such examples as this might be multiplied without limit. If you will
examine your own acts, you will find that every act of yours is the
result of a preconceived thought, entertained and fed. Is it not clear,
then, that the teaching of Jesus is far better than the teaching of
the Old Law? It is more important to train the mind and to guard the
motives, than merely to guard one's acts. If one's {239} motives are
pure, wholesome, and sound, one's acts cannot but be so also.

[Sidenote: Jesus's doctrine of rewards.]

Now, just as Jesus differed in His teaching of the ultimate basis of
the moral life from the teaching of the Old Law, so He differed from
the Old Law in His teachings about rewards. Amongst the Jews of the
time of Jesus, the fear of punishment or the hope of immediate good
fortune constituted the primary motive of a good life. In other words,
rewards--more or less material and immediate--were in the Old Law the
inspiration to action. Jesus would do away with such an attitude toward
charitable living. He would have people do good for the good's sake;
He would have people live right for the sake of right living, He would
have people work righteousness for the sake of righteousness. And He
emphasized and drove home the thought that if any one worked merely
to increase his own honor and to exalt himself in the eyes of men, he
should fail, and should be humiliated in the attempt.

[Sidenote: A parable in point.]

"It came to pass," says the New Testament narrative, "as (Jesus) went
into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the
sabbath day, that they watched Him. . . . "And He put forth a parable
to those which were bidden, when He marked how they chose out the chief
rooms; saying unto them. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding,
sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou
be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee.
Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
But when thou {240} art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room;
that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up
higher: then thou shalt have worship in the presence of them that sit
at meat with thee.

"For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
himself shall be exalted."

[Sidenote: A sound psychological principle.]

Here again Jesus announces a sound, psychological principle. Men who
crowd and push themselves forward always arouse the ill will and
antagonism of their fellowmen; whereas those who are humble and meek
stir the admiration of their fellowmen and are advanced by them. All
our acts should be inspired, not by the desire for honor or for worldly
reward, but by the desire to work righteousness.

[Sidenote: A further illustration.]

This principle Jesus illustrated further by a direct address to the
Pharisee who had invited Him. "When thou makest a dinner or a supper;
call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy
rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be
made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the
lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense
thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

[Sidenote: Peter and the question of recompense.]

The question of recompense has disturbed many people; unfortunately,
it is still uppermost in the minds of some. It was undoubtedly the
question of recompense that troubled Peter when he said to Jesus, "Lo,
we have left all, and have followed Thee." We may imagine that the rest
of his thought ran somewhat like this: What shall be {241} our reward?
Jesus very promptly answered, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man
that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children,
for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in
this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."

"But many that are first shall be last; and the last first."

[Sidenote: The reward worth while.]

Jesus did not discourage entirely, then, the idea of rewards. But He
emphasized the necessity of the pure and upright motive, and service
for the sake of service. Then, those who serve shall receive a
reward--not material, perhaps, but spiritual--which shall fill their
lives here, and assure life everlasting hereafter. What does it matter,
after all, if one lose one's worldly possessions but gain contentment
of soul and an assurance of eternal exaltation? There are men who are
possessed of untold material wealth who would give all to gain the
simple testimony of Jesus possessed by the simplest and humblest member
in the Church of Christ. Indeed, true contentment--which is the chief
reward of a well-spent life--can come only as the result of service
unselfishly rendered. Neither wealth nor poverty can bring about the
worth-while, spiritual reward of an act prompted by a worthy motive.
And without question, many that are first, in this world, shall be last
in the day of judgment.

[Sidenote: Conclusion.]

This we have, then, to let sink deep into our hearts: Jesus would have
us guard the motives of our acts; He would have us understand that our
acts are but the outward fruits of our inner {242} thoughts; with our
motives pure, He would have us perform good deeds without thought of
reward; He would have us do good where no recompense can be had; He
would have us remain meek and humble in thought, in word, and in deed,
innocent of any selfish act. Then will He recompense us with a reward,
indeed: satisfaction, contentment, spiritual light, the goods of this
world as we shall need them, and life everlasting, the greatest gift of
God.

  "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
  And he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

THE REFERENCES

Luke 14:1, 7-14. Luke 18:28-30.

Mark 10:31.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What is the difference between the Old Law and the New in the
teaching about acts and motives?

2. Show that the teaching of Jesus is psychologically correct.

3. Illustrate the process of the action growing from the thought by
some instance other than that of the cigarette smoker.

4. What was the attitude of Jesus toward the doctrine of material
rewards?

5. How does the question of motive affect this doctrine?

6. Discuss the parable of the Wedding Feast.

7. Why is it well to do good where there can be no hope of recompense?

8. Explain the answer of Jesus to Peter.

9. What is the nature of the reward worth while?

10. How shall we gain the reward worth while?

{243}

{244} PICTURE: THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS, Wainwright

{245}



XXXII

EXTRA SERVICE

Teaching further the nature of service, and what kind of service is
pleasing to God, Jesus told His disciples the parable of the laborers
in the vineyard.

[Sidenote: The parable of the laborers.]

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which
went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And
when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them
into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others
standing idle in the market place, and said unto them: Go ye also into
the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went
their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did
likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others
standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand you here all the day
idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto
them. Go ye also into the vineyard: and whatsoever is right, that shall
ye receive.

"So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his
steward. Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from
the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the
eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first
came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they
likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it,
they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying. These last have
wrought but one hour, and thou hast {246} made them equal unto us,
which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

"But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong:
didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go
thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not
lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil,
because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for
many be called but few chosen."

[Sidenote: The value of service in the world's work.]

In the world's work, there are many today who become offended for
the same reason that the laborers, who had borne the burden and the
heat of the day, became offended. But that is because they do not
understand the principle of service and wages. In every industrial or
commercial institution rewards in the way of salary or promotion are
made dependent, not upon the length of service, but upon the quality of
service and the spirit put into the service. In a certain mercantile
institution, for example--an institution with which you are perhaps
all acquainted--there was employed not many years ago a young man of
unusual ambition and energy. There were then in the department in which
he was placed, men who had been in the employ of the institution for
fifteen or twenty years. This young man gave value received in return
for the compensation he was given. He put quality into his service; he
put spirit into his service; he threw himself into his work body and
soul. Before long, he was made head of the department. Those who had
served for many years were offended, and murmured against the manager.
But the reward came, as rewards worth while must {247} always come, for
quality and spirit of service. The young man has continued to give to
the institution the best that it was in him to give; he has continued,
too, to advance; today he stands next to the superintendent, with the
outlook that ere long, when the superintendent retires, he may become
himself the superintendent. In the meantime, men of long years of
service are still in the same positions that they held when this young
man entered the employ of the institution. Promotion and reward are
based on merit.

[Sidenote: The value of service in the Church.]

If we turn now to the spiritual life, we shall find that the same
principle obtains. Length of membership, or service, in the Church
does not assure exaltation. Indeed, there are many men in the Church
who have belonged to it from childhood to a ripe old age, who may
nevertheless receive a very meager compensation. Theirs has been a
life of membership only. They have rendered little or no service; and
such service as they have rendered has been of inferior quality and
questionable spirit. In reward, they will receive whatsoever is right.
On the other hand, men who have had the privilege of belonging to the
Church in this life for only a short time may receive as large a reward
as the others, or even a larger reward than theirs. For again, these
members of few years, have in those few years rendered service of a
quality far superior to that of those of long years of membership. In
the spiritual life or in the temporal life it is true that one may hope
to get in return only as much as one gives. It is a law of physics
that action and reaction are equal and opposite. An adaptation of that
law may be applied here. {248} When we enter into service, temporal or
spiritual, our lord will give us whatsoever is right.

[Sidenote: The test of profitableness.]

A question like this may now arise in your minds: How shall we know
whether or not our service is sufficient and adequate? Another parable
of the Lord's will help us find the answer to the question. "Which of
you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by
and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And
will not rather say unto him. Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird
thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward
thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the
things that were commanded him? I trow (believe) not. So likewise ye,
when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say,
We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to
do."

[Sidenote: The application to the day's work.]

In any position in life, there are certain duties which we are required
to do. The cash-boy in the department store, the elevator boy, the
clerk behind the counter, the stenographer in the manager's office,
the bookkeeper, the what not, has each one a specified kind of work
to do. But if each one does only that which he is required to do, no
more, he is in a sense an unprofitable servant. He can lay claim to
no special consideration, no special reward. But if one of them does
more than merely what is required of him; if he comes early and stays
late; if he plans and toils to make the business more attractive, more
efficient; if he promotes business, then is he indeed a profitable
servant. When we enter into {249} the employ of others, it is our duty
to do faithfully all that is required of us; it is our privilege to
give extra service, to make ourselves thoroughly useful and wholly
efficient, to merit special consideration.

[Sidenote: The application to Church service.]

So is it also in the Church of Jesus Christ. There are many things
we are required as members to do. It is our duty--and a duty full of
pleasure it should be--to attend the regular services of the Church, to
partake of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, to magnify one's calling
in the priesthood, to give offerings cheerfully to help the poor, to
pay tithing, and so forth. But if we do these things only, the duties
required by virtue of membership, we do only the things commanded us to
do. We may count ourselves unprofitable servants. To become profitable
servants, we should look after the thousand and one other opportunities
that lie about us. It is our privilege to perform extra service.

[Sidenote: An Exclamation against mere formal performance of duty.]

One day when Jesus was apparently wrought up by the hypocrisy of the
scribes and the Pharisees, He exclaimed against them thus: "Woe unto
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and
anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to
leave the other undone."

[Sidenote: A privilege to give extra service.]

It is right that we should pay our tithes and offerings, and attend
to the duties of our membership. These ought we to do. But in doing
them we ought not to leave undone other things that may possibly be
of even greater weight in {250} the estimation of God. Reward cannot
come merely because of length of service, but must come because of the
quality and the spirit of the service. And to become truly profitable
servants, we must seize every opportunity for extra service.

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 20:1-16. Luke 17:7-11.

Matt. 23:23.

THE QUESTIONS

1. On what terms were the laborers of the parable employed in the
vineyard?

2. How can you justify the paying of the same wage to the laborers who
were employed at the eleventh hour as to those who worked all day?

3. What is the application of the lesson of this parable to man's daily
work?

4. What is its application to Church service?

5. How shall we know when our service is sufficient and adequate?

6. Why did Jesus condemn the scribes and the Pharisees?

7. Show that extra service is a privilege.

{251}

{252} PICTURE: CHRIST DRIVING OUT THE MONEY CHANGERS, Hofmann

{253}



XXXIII

A PROPHET IN HIS OWN COUNTRY

[Sidenote: A perfect man and an exemplary leader.]

In all the history of the world there has never been another man like
Jesus, nor another mission like that which He performed. We have
heard so much of the meekness and humility of Jesus, of His suffering
all things and resenting nothing, of His going like a lamb to the
slaughter, that many people have formed a picture of Jesus that is
wholly unworthy of Him. Some of you, even, may possibly think of
Jesus as a weak sort of man who takes all kinds of abuse. But such a
conception of Jesus considers only one of the virtues in the man, and
does not consider the whole man. Jesus was just such a man as every boy
and girl delights to see. In body He was strong, robust, physically
perfect, with a wholesomeness of body quite unequalled by any other
man. No trial or hardship deterred Him from pushing forward to the
goal on which He had fixed His mind. No danger daunted Him. For His
spirit was as wholesome and as perfect as was His body. When He was
aroused by righteous indignation. His fearlessness knew no bounds.
Picture Him, for example, alone and unafraid, with a scourge in His
hand, driving the money changers and the petty merchants out of His
Father's house! In body and in spirit, Jesus was perfect--of the purest
athletic type. But Jesus was also a perfect leader. Hence, He had
Himself in perfect control. While He suffered pain as {254} do other
men; while He experienced the thrill of affection and love as do other
men; while He could become angry, and possessed the passions that other
men do--yet He had so subdued the mortal in Him to the divine, that the
baser nature never once gained power over the Son of God. In this He
set us an example of how we should live. It was because of His perfect
self-control that He appeared always as the meek and lowly Nazarene. It
is not difficult to understand that such a man aroused the wonder and
admiration of the people to whom He ministered. Such a man we ourselves
delight to worship.

[Sidenote: A work full of wonder.]

The daily work of Jesus aroused as much wonder as did the physical and
spiritual characteristics. His enemies even were constrained to admit
that no other man ever spoke with such power and authority as did
Jesus. And certainly, no other man has ever displayed such divine power
as did Jesus. Throughout Judea, Samaria and Galilee, Jesus demonstrated
His marvelous power and authority in healing the sick, in restoring the
halt and the maimed, in quieting the storm, and even in raising the
dead. It was, indeed, a marvelous work and a wonder. It reads almost
like a fairy tale. And yet these things Jesus, the Son of God, actually
did. In this lesson, we shall consider briefly some of the statements
of the strange miracles Jesus performed.

[Sidenote: A healer and worker of miracles.]

While laboring in Galilee, Jesus performed an untold number of
miracles. Mark tells us how the fame of Jesus as a miracle worker had
spread abroad, {255} and how the afflicted flocked to Him. One day,
when the offended Pharisees and Herodians were taking counsel against
Him, Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a
great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea, and from
Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about
Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great
things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a
small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they
should throng Him. For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed
upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits,
when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art
the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make
Him known."

[Sidenote: The conditions in Palestine.]

With a little exercise of the imagination, you can easily visualize the
remarkable scene described thus vividly by St. Mark. But in order to
understand how such a condition could be possible it becomes necessary
to know something about Galilee in the time of Jesus. Historians agree
in telling us that ever since the days of Alexander the Great, all the
vice and the wickedness of both the East and the West had literally
poured into Palestine. The land of the chosen people had become
corrupt, as had the chosen people themselves. Their bodies had become
afflicted and their minds diseased through habits of wrong living and
wrong thinking. Beggars were as common as the turns in the roadway; and
nearly every beggar was distorted by some {256} terrible and loathsome
disease. The insane, and those possessed of evil spirits, were almost
without number. Their condition, too, was pitiable. In all the land
that was blessed by God to become the home of His own people, there was
no one to help the unfortunates. Instead of a land flowing with milk
and honey, it had become a land poisoned with vice and corruption.

[Sidenote: A mission of love.]

It was into such a land, and amongst such a people, that the physically
and spiritually perfect Jesus came to minister. Devoted to a mission
of love. Jesus turned the strength of His own perfection and the power
of His divine authority to the healing of the sick and afflicted, to
the assuaging of the sufferings of the poor, and to the saving of
the ignorant. It was a manifestation of divine power and compassion,
without thought of reward or honor, for He always charged those to whom
He ministered, "See that thou tell no man."

We have neither time nor space to consider the miracles of Jesus in
detail. Let us read only three. The first exhibits the power of Jesus
over physical illness; the second, His power over nature and the
elements; the third. His power over death itself.

[Sidenote: The centurion's servant.]

"When Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a
centurion, beseeching Him, and saying. Lord, my servant lieth at home
sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I
will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not
worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof: but speak the word only,
and my servant shall be {257} healed. For I am a man under authority,
having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth;
and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and
he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that
followed. Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no,
not in Israel.... And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as
thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed
in the selfsame hour."

[Sidenote: Stilling the tempest.]

"When the even was come. He saith unto them. Let us pass over unto the
other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him
even as He was in the ship: and there were also with Him other little
ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into
the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the
ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master,
carest Thou not that we perish? And He arose, and rebuked the wind,
and said unto the sea. Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there
was a great calm. And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is
it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to
another. What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea
obey Him?"

[Sidenote: The raising of Lazarus.]

"Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead; and I am glad
for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe;
nevertheless let us go unto him. . . . Then when Jesus came, He found
that he had lain in the grave four days already. . . . Then when Mary
was {258} come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at his feet,
saying unto Him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not
died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping
which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and
said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see.
Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! And some of
them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have
caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again
groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay
upon it. Jesus said. Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him
that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he
hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her. Said I not unto thee,
that, if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.
And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said. Father, I thank Thee that Thou
hast heard me. And I knew that Thou hearest me always: but because of
the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou
hast sent me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice,
Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and
foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.
Jesus saith unto them. Loose him, and let him go."

More marvelous power than that recorded in these three instances cannot
be imagined. Our admiration is wrought up to the highest point; and in
imagination {259} we see the strong, pure, healthy and wholesome Man,
giving freely of His strength and life-force to those who come to Him,
ministering to them, and saving them from their own evil lives and
evil habits of thought. We wonder that there could be anyone who would
reject such a Leader.

[Sidenote: In His own country.]

And yet, when He left the seashore and returned to Nazareth and His
own country, Jesus was rejected by His own. "When the sabbath day was
come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were
astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what
wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are
wrought by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the
brother of James and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not His
sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him.

"But Jesus said unto them, A Prophet is not without honour, but in his
own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And He could
there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick
folk, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief."

THE REFERENCES

Mark 3:7-12 Matt. 8:5-10, 13.

Mark 4:33-41. John 11:1-44.

Mark 6:1-6.

{260} THE QUESTIONS

1. What kind of man was Jesus physically?

2. What kind of man was Jesus spiritually?

3. What quality made Jesus a great leader?

4. What was the condition of Galilee--and all Palestine--at the time of
Jesus?

5. How did Jesus manifest His divine power?

6. Describe some miracles wrought by Jesus.

7. Why is it surprising that all Palestine did not believe in Him, and
accept Him?

8. What principle did Jesus teach concerning a prophet in his own
country?

9. Why could Jesus do no mighty work in His own country?

{261}

{262} PICTURE: JESUS HEALING THE SICK, Schoenherr

{263}



XXXIV

THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

After reading of the wonderful miracles that Jesus performed in
Galilee, one begins to wonder what a miracle really is. One begins to
wonder by what power a miracle is performed. The miracles of Jesus are
in the main so unusual, so extraordinary, so apparently in violation of
all known laws of nature, that one begins almost to wonder how Jesus
could upset the laws of nature.

[Sidenote: The explanation of the scribes.]

Apparently, Jesus's marvelous miracle-working power puzzled the people
of His own generation. They knew little of the laws of nature, of
course. They had been taught to believe in the possibility of miracles.
But they were loath to grant any degree of divine power to Jesus.
Hence, on one occasion, "the scribes which came down from Jerusalem
said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out
devils." Of course, such a suggestion was absurd. Jesus Himself said
to His disciples, "How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be
divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be
divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up
against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end." To
this argument, there is, of course, no answer. It proves conclusively,
that Jesus did not perform miracles through the power of Beelzebub.
What a miracle is, by what power it is performed and why miracles are
permitted, are questions that we shall consider in this lesson.

{264} [Sidenote: The universal presence of law.]

Let us consider first, then, what a miracle really is. As a matter of
fact, a miracle is never an act accomplished in violation of law. You
must understand that the universe is ruled by law. Everything that
happens, happens through the operation of law. If we live wisely--eat
right and think right--then it follows by the law of nature that we
shall have strong, wholesome bodies like the Christ's, and clear,
active minds like His. But if we violate the rules of right living,
then come certain laws of retribution, and we are made to pay the
penalty of our wrongdoing And so it is throughout the universe The
heavenly bodies are directed and governed by law; God's creatures
everywhere are subject to law; the earth on which we dwell, with the
strange and marvelous and mighty phenomena which we here daily observe,
is a product of law. Would it not be inconsistent, then, to think that
Jesus--who is Himself the God of law--should work in violation of law?
His own words in refutation of the statement of the scribes that He was
in league with Beelzebub, is a sufficient answer to such a supposition.
"If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." We
must conclude, therefore, that a miracle, no matter how unnatural it
may seem, is accomplished through the operation of some law of the
universe. Yet, how can this be true, when some miracles that are well
authenticated seem to be so utterly in violation of the laws of nature
known to us?

[Sidenote: The miracle of the telephone.]

There was a time--and that not so very long ago--when it was thought
impossible that a man should ever be able to speak clearly and
distinctly to a friend a {265} hundred miles away, and hear in return,
as clearly and as distinctly, the voice of his friend. Certain men,
however, who were prying into the secrets of nature discovered
some things about sound. They learned that sound travels through
some medium, like the air, by means of waves--waves of alternate
condensation and rarefaction of the air, for example. Then these men
studied the human ear, and they learned that as these sound waves
struck the ear, the drum of the ear was made to vibrate back and forth
as a condensed part of the air or a rarefied part of the air struck
it. The men became interested; further study revealed the fact that
almost any disk, like the drum of the ear, could be made to vibrate to
sound waves. It was found that these sound waves could be transmitted
through string, or wire. It was discovered that a small current of
electricity flowing through a wire aided in the conducting of the
sound wave. Little by little science progressed, until by and by
there appeared a telephone. It was crude, and it reproduced the human
voice with a terrible roar. But the men of science worked at it; they
perfected first one part of it, then another, as they learned better
to understand the laws governing the reproduction of sound. Finally
came the perfect telephone. Today it is possible to telephone--not a
hundred miles merely--but from New York to San Francisco, clear across
a continent, a distance of several thousand miles. Such an achievement,
if it had been shown suddenly, would have been considered a miracle.
It would have been in violation of all the known laws of nature. But
now we know that this {266} miracle has been accomplished through
the harnessing of natural laws not known to our forefathers. The
achievement is the result of neither violation of law, nor co-operation
with Beelzebub.

[Sidenote: Other miracles of science.]

The story of the achievements of science is full of wonders like that
of the telephone. Any one of them, if it had been revealed suddenly,
would have seemed as unusual, as extraordinary, certainly in violation
of natural law, as the turning of water into wine, or as any of the
miracles of healing performed by Jesus. Think of the achievement of
the telegraph which covers with a network of wires every land area in
the world; think of the huge cable slung undersea tying together the
nations; think of the Marconigraph making it possible to send messages
the world over without the medium of wires; think of the X-ray and the
wonderful photography made possible by it; think of the innumerable
achievements of modern medicine, relieving pain, effecting cures
of ills that were once thought incurable, correcting deformities,
restoring sight and hearing, almost giving new life to the dead. These
and countless other wonders of modern life should teach us what a
miracle is. Man performs every day wonders that may almost be called
miracles only--since he possesses very limited power--it takes him a
long time to get his results. Jesus, acting with divine power, called
into play the laws of life, and accomplished in a moment what it would
take the man of science an indefinite period to do. In other words,
just as the wonderful achievements of science have been made possible
through the discovering and the harnessing of the laws of the {267}
universe, so a miracle such as Jesus performed is made possible through
the rapid assembly and harnessing of the natural laws that govern the
case in hand.

[Sidenote: The power of the Priesthood.]

But by what power did Jesus marshal the laws of nature, and direct them
to His own desires? By the power of the priesthood of God. No man can
hope to perform miracles who does not possess the authority of that
priesthood. Jesus Himself was the Son of God, and held the authority
of His own priesthood. And any man upon whom Jesus has conferred that
priesthood may go forth likewise, and heal the sick and do other mighty
works in His name. Men holding the priesthood of the Son of God need
only to go out in the strength of their manhood, in the cleanness and
purity of their lives, and in the fearlessness of their convictions.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and
in the power of their priesthood, they, too, may command the higher,
yet unknown laws of the universe, and effect cures and restorations
as marvelous as those recorded in the ministry of Jesus and the first
apostles. "I came unto my own," said Jesus to the Prophet of the
dispensation of the Fulness of Times, "and my own received me not; but
unto as many as received me, gave I power to do many miracles, and to
become the sons of God, and even unto them that believed on my name
gave I power to obtain eternal life."

[Sidenote: The purpose of miracles.]

For what purpose are miracles wrought? In all generations there have
been people who have sought signs, by which they might be converted.
But miracles are not given for the {268} purpose of converting the
unbelieving. The scribes and the Pharisees came to Jesus, saying,
"Master, we would have a sign from Thee. But He answered and said
unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign."
What then is the purpose of miracles? Miracles come as the result of
faith; they do not come to create faith. In His own country, Jesus even
could perform no mighty work because the people had not faith in Him.
Miracles are a kind of reward of faith, and serve to strengthen faith
already born. "It shall come to pass," said Jesus in modern times,
"that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto
death, shall be healed; he who hath faith to see shall see; he who hath
faith to hear shall hear; the lame who hath faith to leap shall leap."
All these good things come by faith to increase our faith.

[Sidenote: The privilege of the sick.]

So, in the providence of God, it is given to the authority of the
priesthood, through faith, to do mighty works--to command forces of
nature not yet understood by man, and thereby to perform miracles, for
the increasing of faith and the perfecting of the saints. Said James
the apostle, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of
the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the
name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the
Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be
forgiven him."

{269}

THE REFERENCES

Mark 3:22-26. Matt. 12:38, 39.

Doc. and Cov. 45:8. Doc. and Cov. 42:48-52.

James 5:14, 15.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What questions are aroused by the reading of the miracles performed
by Jesus?

2. How did the scribes explain Jesus's miracle-working power?

3. What was the answer of Jesus?

4. How can it be shown that the universe is ruled by law?

5. Explain the miracle of the telephone?

6. What other miraculous achievements have been made by science?

7. How does a miracle differ from one of these achievements of science?

8. Show that it is no more difficult to believe in one of the miracles
than in one of the achievements of science.

9. By what power are miracles performed?

10. What is the purpose of miracles?

11. What privilege does everyone of us enjoy when he is sick?

{270} PICTURE: CHRIST BEFORE PILATE, Hofmann

{271}



XXXV

AN ATONING SACRIFICE

[Sidenote: An incredible thought.]

As He went about His Father's business teaching the means of eternal
life, Jesus presented many principles that it was difficult for His
followers to understand, but you may readily imagine that He presented
no other thought so hard for them to comprehend as the thought that
He must lay down His own life. To His disciples, Jesus was the Mighty
King come to establish His reign on earth. They thought that He would
establish an earthly kingdom; that He would overthrow the dominion of
Rome in Palestine; that He would restore the independence of the Jewish
nation. It did not occur to them that His was more largely a spiritual
kingdom, than a material kingdom. The thought that He should lose His
life seemed impossible to them; indeed, it was abhorrent to them. Many
of them did not learn to understand Jesus's sayings about His death
until after He was actually laid away in the tomb.

[Sidenote: Jesus's foreknowledge of His death.]

But the knowledge of His approaching and inevitable death, seems
to have been always present with Jesus Himself. Very early in His
ministry, Jesus foreshadowed the coming end. "The days will come," He
declared to those assembling about Him, "when the bridegroom shall be
taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days." Somewhat
later. He spoke of His death as a "baptism," and asserted that it
would become a kind of test to determine, who was for him and who was
against Him." "I am come to send fire on the earth," declared He; "and
what {272} will I if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be
baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose
ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you Nay; but rather
division; for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided,
three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided
against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against
the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law
against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her
mother-in-law." The division in the family would be caused, of course,
because some members would accept Jesus, whereas others would reject
Him; some would find in His sinless death reason for worship, whereas
others would find in His sufferings sufficient reason for rejection.

After Peter's confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living
God," at Caesarea Phillipi, Jesus began more definitely to proclaim a
violent death. Immediately, "He began to teach them, that the Son of
man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the
chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise
again. And He spake that saying openly," we read. "And Peter took Him
and began to rebuke Him." Or, as Matthew expresses it, Peter rebuked
Him, saying, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee."
It is evident then that even though Peter was inspired to know that
Jesus was the Christ, he had not yet received an understanding of
the fact that Jesus must suffer death at the hands of His enemies in
order to fulfill His great mission to the earth. And if Peter did not
understand this truth, you may easily believe, that the thought of it
{273} was intolerable to the rest of the disciples. They could not
conceive of their divine leader's failing to establish the kingdom of
God as an earthly dominion. Then further to impress upon His disciples
the fact that His death was required by the law of sacrifice, He told
them that they must themselves not expect to profit in a worldly or
political way through their association with Him; but rather must they
expect to suffer persecution and to sacrifice themselves. For sacrifice
and service are demanded in the kingdom of God. "Whosoever will come
after me," said Jesus to the awe-stricken disciples, "let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save
his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake
and the gospel's, the same shall save it."

[Sidenote: The significance of the death of Jesus.]

It is not necessary here to quote further in detail the sayings of
Jesus which indicate that He foreknew the violent death which He was
destined to suffer. He assured James and John, when they sought places
of honor and power in His Kingdom, that they were not able to drink
the cup that He had to drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with
which He was to be baptized. And at the last supper, when He instituted
the ordinance we call now the sacrament. He said of the broken bread,
"Take, eat; this is my body;" and of the cup, "Drink ye all of it; for
this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins." From these statements, it is apparent that certain
facts were clearly understood by Jesus, and that He endeavored as
clearly to teach them to His disciples. These points are four, and you
should try to remember them. First, Jesus foreknew and {274} proclaimed
that the hatred of His enemies--the scribes and the Pharisees and the
rulers in general--would finally bring about His death. Then, He knew
equally well, and asserted with the same assurance, that His death
was divinely appointed. Again, He assured His disciples that if they
would gain places of honor in His kingdom, they too must be prepared
to practice self-denial, to humble themselves and render service, and
even, if necessary, to lay down their own lives for the Gospel's sake.
Finally, Jesus announced that, through His death, mankind would be
redeemed from sin, and that His death was therefore not a defeat but a
glorious victory.

[Sidenote: Worldly views of how Jesus's death can save.]

These teachings are certainly inspiring and hopeful. The last one is
particularly consoling. But, of course, it is only natural to ask,
From what does the death of Christ actually deliver us? How can His
death deliver us from sin? These questions have been asked by men ever
since the crucifixion. It is almost amusing what strange notions people
have held--and do still hold--in answer to these questions. Thus, some
people believe that the death of Jesus represented the price paid to
Satan to prevail upon him to release man from his power. Others believe
that when Jesus gave His life for many, it was to protect them, or
deliver them, from the fear of death. Still others hold that through
His death Jesus broke the bonds that held His disciples to the belief
and understanding that God's kingdom, was an earthly and temporal
kingdom, and that the salvation which Jesus taught was earthly. Of
course, no one of these theories--nor any one of several others not
here mentioned--satisfies the conditions of the sacrifice made by
Jesus. It does not really reveal from what {275} His death rescues us,
nor how it is possible for His death to rescue us at all.

[Sidenote: The real significance of the death of Jesus.]

It is strange that there should be so much confusion about the nature
and purpose of Jesus's atoning sacrifice. It is well known that through
the sin of Adam, death came into the world. That death was not only
physical but spiritual; for man was driven out from the presence of
God. Adam broke a divine law. Necessarily, punishment, came to him.
Now, in accordance with the law of justice, Adam and his children could
be redeemed from death, and restored to the presence of God, only by
satisfying in some way the broken law. How could that be done? We have
learned, you remember, that there was a council in heaven before the
earth was formed. There the whole plan of salvation was revealed. Jesus
was appointed to become the Christ. His mission was to teach men to
know God, that they might be prepared to return to Him, and through
His own death to satisfy the demands of justice and thus to break the
bands of physical death. This may, perhaps, be a little difficult to
understand, but it is certainly what Jesus taught; for the learned Paul
wrote, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all
men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become
the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by
man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own
order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at
His coming." This, too, is the testimony of John the Baptizer, who
exclaimed when he saw Jesus approaching from the distance, "Behold
{276} the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;" and
also of John the Beloved, who wrote in his Book of Revelation, "All
that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not
written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of
the world."

[Sidenote: The Nephite explanation.]

To the Nephites, the nature and purpose of the atoning sacrifice was
made particularly plain. We read thus: "Now, behold, if Adam had not
transgressed, he would not have fallen; but he would have remained
in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created, must have
remained in the same state which they were after they were created; and
they must have remained forever and had no end. And they would have
had no children; wherefore, they would have remained in a state of
innocence; having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for
they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom
of Him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are
that they might have joy.

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that He may redeem the
children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from
the fall, they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act
for themselves, and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment
of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments
which God hath given."

[Sidenote: Why Jesus submitted to His enemies.]

It was, then, in fulfillment of the divine plan that Jesus allowed
Himself to be taken prisoner in the garden of Gethsemane; that He
endured trial before His enemies; and that He suffered untold agony on
the cross. With His death, {277} the world itself became canvulsed. The
heavens became shrouded in darkness; and the earth was torn, and shaken
and distressed. But at that awful moment, the bands of death were
broken; the original sin was expiated; and the way was opened whereby
man might return to his Maker.

[Sidenote: The new testimony of Jesus.]

"Behold," said Jesus to our own Prophet, "I, God, have suffered these
things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent,
but if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I, which
suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble
because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both
body and spirit: and would that I might not drink the bitter cup
and shrink--Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and
finished my preparations unto the children of men."

Truly, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his
life for his friends."

THE REFERENCES

Mark 2:20. 1 Cor. 15:19-23.

Luke 12:49-53. John 1:29.

Mark 8:31-35. Rev. 13:8.

Mark 10:38-41. 2 Nephi 2:22-26.

Matt. 16:28. Doc. and Cov. 19:16-19.

{278} THE QUESTIONS

1. Why could not the disciples think that Jesus would be killed?

2. Show how Jesus foreknew His death.

3. How was Jesus's death necessary to satisfy the law of sacrifice?

4. What was the real significance of the death of Jesus?

5. From what does the death of Jesus save the world?

6. How does the death of Jesus save?

7. Discuss the explanation given in 2nd Nephi.

8. Explain the attitude of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and after.

9. How did Jesus describe His sufferings to the Prophet Joseph Smith?

10. What do we owe to Jesus?

{279}

{280} PICTURE: TOUCH ME NOT, Plockhorst

{281}



XXXVI

THE PLACE CALLED PARADISE

[Sidenote: A well-established fact.]

Of all the many well-attested incidents in the life of Jesus, there
is none more firmly established than the fact that Jesus rose from
death to a newness of life. His resurrection was an actual uprising
of the physical body which He had laid down, and a renewal of all the
life forces. Jesus had plainly foretold that He would rise from the
tomb on the third day after His death; but such a performance was so
foreign to the experience of His disciples, that they failed to grasp
the full significance of His sayings. You can appreciate yourselves how
difficult it would be for you, even with your present knowledge, to get
the full meaning of such a saying as this: "Destroy this temple, and in
three days I will raise it up." But it is never safe to question a fact
merely because we have not experienced it ourselves. We walk by faith,
and by faith is accomplished all the world's work. Our faith in the
resurrection of Jesus is doubly assured by our faith in the testimonies
of those who knew Him and saw Him.

[Sidenote: The first five appearances of the risen Christ.]

Ten separate and distinct appearances of the risen Redeemer are
recorded in the New Testament. First, on the morning of the
resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene, who had come early in the
morning with Mary, the mother of Jesus, Salome and Joanna to anoint
the body of Jesus with spices. When Mary recognized Him, she said to
Him in Hebrew, {282} "Rabboni." Jesus answered, "Touch me not, for I
am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto
them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your
God." Soon thereafter, Jesus appeared to the other three women and
called to them, "All hail. And they came and took hold of His feet,
and worshipped Him." Then, in the afternoon of the resurrection day,
Jesus appeared to Cleopas and another of the disciples as they were
journeying to Emmaus, and interpreted to them the scriptures concerning
Himself. The fourth appearance of the risen Christ was to Peter; but
when or where we do not know. At the fifth appearance, Jesus appeared
suddenly to ten of His disciples, and said, "Peace be unto you. But
they were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a
spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts
arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself;
handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see
me have. And when He had thus spoken. He shewed them His hands and
His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He
said unto them. Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a
broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before
them."

[Sidenote: Five more appearances of the Christ and the ascension.]

When Jesus appeared thus suddenly and partook of the broiled fish,
Thomas was not present. Eight days later, when the disciples were
again behind closed doors, Jesus stood again suddenly amongst them
and said, "Peace be unto you." This time Thomas was present. Jesus
said to him, "Reach hither thy finger, and {283} behold my hands;
and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not
faithless, but believing." When next Jesus appeared, there were only
seven of the apostles present. They were at the sea of Tiberias, and
had gone fishing. Jesus appeared before them, and directed them where
to cast their nets. Then the apostles recognized Him. It was at this
appearance that Jesus charged Peter as the leader of His apostles to
feed His sheep. At the next appearance, Jesus showed Himself to the
eleven apostles and probably more than five hundred brethren, who
had assembled on a mount in Galilee appointed by Jesus. Here Jesus
commissioned His apostles to preach the Gospel to all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost. The ninth appearance was to James, the Lord's brother. Of this
we know only the recorded fact. At the last appearance, Jesus came to
the eleven apostles somewhere in Jerusalem. After He had instructed
them at some length, He led them out of Jerusalem toward Bethany. Then,
"He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He
blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven."

[Sidenote: The value of the testimonies.]

These testimonies, you see, are of such a nature that they cannot be
doubted. Altogether more than five hundred persons saw Jesus after His
resurrection. And His appearance in many instances was accompanied by
such evidence that there can be no doubt that the resurrected body
of Jesus was an actual body of flesh and bones, as material and as
tangible as was the body before death. {284} And with this material
body Jesus ascended into heaven before the adoring eyes of His devoted
followers.

[Sidenote: Where had Jesus been?]

But there remains a statement made by Jesus during the first recorded
appearance after His resurrection, which needs to be explained. When
Mary Magdalene would have touched Him, you recall, Jesus prevented her,
saying, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Now,
the common belief of the world is, that, at death, the spirit of the
righteous departed ascends immediately to heaven, into the kingdom of
God. Jesus had been nearly three days dead; still, at His resurrection.
He had not yet been in the presence of His Father. Where had He been?
What had He been doing? Do the scriptures give us any information in
answer to these questions?

[Sidenote: Today in Paradise.]

Evidently, Jesus had been in a place called Paradise. When Jesus was
put to death, two thieves were crucified with Him. "And one of the
malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, it is recorded, "saying,
If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering
rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the
same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward
of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto
Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus
said unto him, Verily I say unto thee. Today shalt thou be with me in
paradise." Can there be any doubt that Jesus went at His death to the
place called Paradise and abode there? But where is Paradise, or what
kind of place is Paradise?

{285} [Sidenote: The Gospel to the dead.]

Where Paradise is we may not be able to determine; but what kind of
place it is, it should not be difficult to discover. Teaching at
Jerusalem one day, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The
hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the
Son of God: and they that hear shall live." But how could the dead hear
the voice of the Son of God, unless He should minister also in the
place of the dead? This undoubtedly is what Jesus meant; this, too,
must be what He meant when He said to the malefactor, "Today shalt thou
be with me in Paradise." And this is what the apostles learned to know
to be the meaning of these sayings of Jesus. Peter, writing to the
scattered churches, declared the truth in these words: "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 to 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." And again, in the same
epistle, Peter said, "For, for this reason 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." This makes it
clear to us, then, that Jesus's promise to the malefactor, meant that
Jesus would meet him that day in the abode of spirits. For thither
did Jesus go that the dead also might hear His voice. His mission to
the living was accomplished; He had yet to minister to the dead. Only
{286} when that ministry was finished could He return to His Father and
report His labor accomplished. We may not know where Paradise is; but
we know that the place called Paradise is the abode of the spirits of
those who have lived in the flesh and have not yet been resurrected.

[Sidenote: A plain explanation.]

As usual, modern revelation makes plain to us things that are somewhat
obscure in the Jewish Scriptures. The great Nephite prophet and
philosopher, Alma, writing under the direction of an angel and the
inspiration of Jesus Christ, explains very clearly the state of the
spirit during the time between death and the resurrection. Says he,
"Now there must needs be a space betwixt the time of death, and the
time of the resurrection. And now I would inquire what becometh of the
souls of men from this time of death, to the time appointed for the
resurrection? Now concerning the state of the soul between death and
the resurrection. Behold, it has been made known unto me, by an angel,
that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this
mortal body; yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil,
are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come
to pass that the spirits of those who are righteous, are received into
a state of happiness, which is called 'Paradise'; a state of rest; a
state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from
all care, and sorrow, etc. And then shall it come to pass, that the
spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil; for behold, they have no part
nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil
works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did {287}
enter into them, and take possession of their house; and these shall be
cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and
gnashing of teeth; and this because of their own iniquity; being led
captive by the will of the devil. Now this is the state of the souls of
the wicked; yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful, looking
for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they
remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the
time of their resurrection."

[Sidenote: Every knee and every tongue.]

Not only in His life, but in the spirit ministry and in His
resurrection, Jesus taught truths of vital importance to man in his
search after God and eternal life. Resurrection is an actual uprising
of a tangible physical body. In the resurrection we shall be as Jesus
was. And the privileges of the divine plan of salvation are extended to
the dead as well as to the living. That is why we perform the saving
ordinances for the dead in the House of the Lord. "At the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and
things under earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 28:1-20. 1 Cor. 15:5-7.

Mark 16:1-20. John 5:25.

Luke 23:56-24:53. 1 Peter 3:18-20.

John 20:1-21:25. 1 Peter 4:6.

Philip 2:9-11. Alma 40:6-14.

{288} THE QUESTIONS

1. What was the nature of Christ's resurrection?

2. What evidence can you adduce to prove that Jesus was actually
resurrected?

3. How can you prove that the resurrected body of Jesus was a tangible
body of flesh and bones?

4. Where was the Spirit of Jesus while His body lay in the tomb?

5. What kind of place is paradise?

6. What Gospel privileges are extended to the dead?

7. What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to us?

{289}

{290} PICTURE: THE GOOD SHEPHERD, Plockhorst

{291}



XXXVII

OTHER SHEEP

[Sidenote: The first commission to the twelve.]

When Jesus called the twelve apostles and sent them out to preach
His word, He gave them these instructions, "Go not in the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go
rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go preach,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Evidently, then, the
apostles were not to trouble to deliver the glad message of the Gospel
to any who were not purely of the house of Israel. They were to "heal
the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils;" but
none of these good works were they to do amongst the Gentiles, nor in
the land of the Samaritans. It seemed almost that Jesus did not want
those not of Israel to enjoy the privileges and blessings of His great
redemption.

[Sidenote: The leaven of the Gospel.]

But such an intention was only apparent; it was not real. All men, of
whatever race or color, are the children of God; and the great atoning
sacrifice was made for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews. Said Jesus
once in a parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which
a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was
leavened." The whole world is to be leavened with the Gospel of Jesus
Christ; indeed, the Savior's last charge to His apostles was that they
should go into all the world, and preach the word of God. Only when the
Gospel has been heard by every nation, tongue, and people, will the end
come.

{292} [Sidenote: The kingdom to the Gentiles.]

The apostles were slow, however, to understand this truth, though
Jesus taught it to them plainly. It was right, of course, that they
should minister first to the children of Israel. Israel constituted
the chosen people. From them, and through them, had come to the world
the knowledge of the one great God--the God of Abraham, of Isaac,
and of Jacob. From them, too, had come now the Messiah, by whom was
to be wrought the salvation of the world. What the apostles did not
appreciate, however, was that the Jews would prove themselves unworthy
of their Savior. Yet, Jesus taught this, too; and in teaching this
truth, He declared further that the Gospel would be given to others.
To the woman of Samaria, Jesus declared, "Woman, believe me, the hour
cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem,
worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we
worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now
is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and
in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." No longer,
after the ministry of Jesus, should Jerusalem be the center of divine
worship. The world over, men should learn to worship God in spirit and
in truth. Not only so; but Jesus asserted also that because of the
unbelief of the Jews, the privileges of His Church should be taken away
from them and given to others. "Did ye never read in the scriptures,"
Jesus asked of the Jews, "The stone which the builders rejected, the
same has become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes? {293} Therefore say I unto you, The
kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing
forth the fruits thereof." And, indeed, such a transfer of privilege
and responsibility was almost necessary to fulfill the ancient
prophecy, "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom
my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon Him, and He shall
shew judgment to the Gentiles. . . . And in His name shall the Gentiles
trust."

[Sidenote: The case of Cornelius.]

When the apostles were left to themselves, however, they continued
still to minister only to the Jews. It required a special revelation
from heaven, to arouse them to the fact that the Gospel was for
the Gentiles also. There lived in Caesarea a Roman centurion named
Cornelius. Cornelius was a devout and God-fearing man, though a
Gentile, and prayed much that he might learn what to do to gain eternal
life. One day an angel appeared to him, and instructed him to send
messengers to Joppa for one Simon, surnamed Peter, who should tell
Cornelius what to do. Cornelius sent two of his men immediately to
seek out Peter. Meanwhile, Peter, at Joppa, "went up upon the housetop
to pray about the sixth hour: and he became very hungry, and would
have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw
heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been
a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild
beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a
voice to him. Rise, Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord;
for I have {294} never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And
the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed,
that call not thou common." This vision appeared to Peter three times;
and while he was pondering on the meaning of it the messengers of
Cornelius arrived. Peter hurried to Caesarea to minister to Cornelius;
and when he saw that God had blessed Cornelius, Peter understood the
meaning of the vision. "Of a truth," said he, "I perceive that God is
no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and
worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him."

[Sidenote: The preaching of Barnabas and Paul.]

Thenceforth, the apostles preached to the Gentiles as well as to
the Jews. Paul and Barnabas told the truth fearlessly to the Jews
themselves. "It was necessary that the word of God should first have
been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves
unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath
the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the
Gentiles, that thou shouldst be for salvation unto the ends of the
earth. And when the Gentiles heard this they were glad, and glorified
the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life were
saved."

[Sidenote: "Other sheep."]

Thus was the word of God carried to the Gentiles. But Jesus did not
Himself minister to them during his earth-life. While yet ministering
to those who followed Him in the Holy Land, however, Jesus uttered a
strange declaration. He said, "I am the good shepherd, and know my
sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth {295} me, even so
know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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."

[Sidenote: A puzzling question.]

From the time that Jesus made this statement until the restoration of
the Gospel in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, it has never
been fully understood by men. That Jesus is the Good Shepherd is clear
enough. He has earned the undisputed right to that title by the devoted
sacrifice He made for His sheep. But what did He mean by "other sheep"
not of the fold of Palestine, who must also hear His voice, that there
might be one fold, as there was one shepherd? Where else did Jesus
personally minister besides the Holy Land and Paradise? These questions
have puzzled many; and because of failure to find any other adequate
answer, the "other sheep" have been usually interpreted to mean, the
Gentiles. But how the Gospel came to the Gentiles has been pointed out.
They could not have been the "other sheep," who were to hear the voice
of Jesus. Who, then, were the "other sheep."

[Sidenote: Forty days.]

You will remember that after His resurrection Jesus appeared at ten
different times to His disciples in Palestine. It seems, however, that
between the resurrection and the ascension there elapsed a period of
about forty days. What did Jesus do during those forty days? Of course,
we cannot hope to be able ever to account for all those days, nor
would it help us much perhaps to do so. {296} But it was during that
interesting but shrouded period of forty days that Jesus visited the
other sheep.

[Sidenote: In the land of the Nephites.]

Far over the waters, in another and then unknown land, lived the
Nephites. They had been taught to look forward to the coming of the
Lord. When He was born a babe in Bethlehem, the star of promise shone
brilliantly in the land of the Nephites. For three days there was
light, and no darkness at all. Again, after thirty-three years, the
land of the Nephites became shrouded in darkness when the Lord was
crucified. The earth was shaken and torn asunder. Cities were sunk into
the sea, and places that had been sea were made dry land. Mountains
were levelled and valleys were upheaved. And countless numbers of the
wicked were destroyed. When the terrible convulsions and the darkness
had passed, there was a multitude of the people of Nephi assembled near
the temple in the land Bountiful. Suddenly, a voice spoke to them out
of heaven. It was the voice of God declaring, "Behold my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name: hear ye
Him." The people cast their eyes upward; and lo! they saw a man clothed
in a white robe descending out of heaven.

[Sidenote: The appearance of Jesus to the Nephites.]

It was Jesus. He came and stood in the midst of His people, the
Nephites; and He showed them the prints in His hands and in His feet,
and the wound in His side. Then He proceeded to teach them as He had
taught His disciples in Palestine, and to choose twelve apostles, and
to organize His church, so that the people might enjoy the privileges
of the priesthood and of a {297} holy worship. Jesus appeared to
these people more than once; and on one occasion, He said, "Ye are my
disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of
the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance;
and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the
Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at
Jerusalem; Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment,
that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house
of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did
the Father command me, that I should tell unto them. That 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. And
now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my
word: therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning
this thing unto them. But, verily, I say unto you, that the Father
hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from
among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their
iniquity, that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again,
that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is
because of their iniquity, that they know not of them. And verily, I
say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said, 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."

In the unselfish ministry of Jesus Christ there is no one forgotten.
All the children of Israel are ministered {298} to; the dead hear the
voice of Jesus; and the Gentiles have the Gospel preached to them.
The Jewish Scriptures are united with the Nephite Scriptures in the
personal ministry of Jesus to His "other sheep."

[Sidenote: A promise to us.]

"I am in your midst," said Jesus to the Prophet Joseph Smith, "and I am
the good Shepherd, and the Stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this
rock shall never fall, and the day cometh that you shall hear my voice
and see me, and know that I am, watch, therefore, that ye may be ready."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 10:5-7. Acts 10:1-48.

Matt. 13:23. Acts 13:44-49.

John 4:21-23. John 10:14-16.

Matt. 21:41-44. 3 Nephi 15:12-21.

Matt. 12:14-21. Doc. and Cov. 50:44-46.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What was the nature of the first commission to the twelve apostles?

2. What is the meaning of the parable of the leaven?

3. What did Jesus teach concerning the kingdom of God and the Gentiles?

4. What do we learn from the case of Cornelius?

5. What did Jesus say about "other sheep"?

6. What did the Nephites know about the coming of Jesus?

8. What promise has Jesus made to us?

7. What did Jesus tell the Nephites?

{299}

{300} PICTURE: COME UNTO ME ALL YE THAT LABOR, Bloch

{301}



XXXVIII

OUR ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER

[Sidenote: The house-holder and the husbandmen.]

A parable Jesus related to the chief priests and elders of the
Jews while He was yet with them in the flesh: "There was a certain
householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about,
and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to
husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit
drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might
receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and
beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other
servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But,
last of all, he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my
son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves,
This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his
inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and
slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he
do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him. He will miserably destroy
those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen,
which shall render him the fruits in their seasons."

[Sidenote: God the great householder, Jesus the Son.]

Just so is it with the kingdom of God; for just as the wicked
husbandmen did with the servants and with the son of householder, so
did the stiff-necked children of Israel with the prophets, and with
the Son of God. {302} Therefore was the kingdom taken from them, as we
have already learned, and given to the Gentiles. And therefore will
the Great Householder miserably destroy the wicked who persecute His
servants, kill His prophets, and reject His Only Begotten Son. But
the righteous will He bless, and all those who serve Him; and even
though we should fall into error, yet need we not despair. For if we
repent, God will forgive our sins, so only we do not as did the wicked
husbandmen of the vineyard. "My little children," wrote the Beloved
John in a letter to the saints, "these things write I unto you, that ye
sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not
for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

[Sidenote: The exaltation of Jesus.]

It is, indeed, a joyful thought that, even though Jesus was slain by
the husbandmen. He was not and Mark assures us that when He ascended
into heaven, Jesus assumed the place of honor at the right hand of the
Father. "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them. He was received
up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God." There Stephen was
privileged to see Him in vision some time later. Stephen is described
as a man full of faith and power, who did great wonders and miracles
among the people. Stephen preached fearlessly to the Jews the fact
that Christ had risen. The Jews became enraged, and stoned him; but
before his death, Stephen, "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up
steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, {303} and Jesus
standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens
opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." To Jesus
had come the deserved glory for which He had wrought. In His exaltation
was fulfilled literally the sayings He had taught to His disciples,
"Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
himself shall be exalted." "Whosoever would be great among you, let him
be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be
your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,
but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."

[Sidenote: Our advocate with the Father.]

Now, it is perfectly plain that the great mission of Jesus was not
entirely finished during His sojourn upon the earth. That for which He
came was accomplished, it is true. But just as we needed a Savior--one
who would unselfishly lay down His own sinless life for the sins of
others--so we need even now, when that sacrifice has been made, a
mediator, an advocate, to intercede for us with the Father. For we are
all sinful at the best; weaknesses of various kinds beset us, and if we
were to be rewarded strictly according to our merits, many of us would
get but little in the way of blessing. Jesus continues then to be our
Redeemer, pleading our cause before the Father. "Wherefore He is able
also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He
ever liveth to make intercession for them." So did Paul, the Apostle to
the Gentiles, express to the Hebrews his faith in the mediating power
of Jesus; and to the Romans he wrote, "Who is He that condemneth? It is
Christ that died, yea rather, that is {304} risen again, who is even
at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Jesus
continues, then, His great redeeming labor, bringing salvation and
exaltation to those who accept Him and diligently seek Him.

[Sidenote: Many mansions in the Father's house.]

And He prepares a place also for His own, that they may be
appropriately received when they shall go to their eternal reward. One
day when Jesus was talking to the apostles about His coming sacrifice,
and the apostles were sorrowful because they thought that He intended
to go away, He said to them, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye
believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many
mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a
place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come
again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be
also." Even as He promised His disciples that He would prepare a place
for them, so is there a place prepared for each one of us. For in many
respects the future life will be ordered like the present. In this
life we are generally able to achieve such advancement as we work for.
If we honestly and conscientiously make the most of the opportunities
that lie about us; if we strive to make the most of what we have, never
hiding the God-given talent in the earth--we are bound to progress and
to succeed. But there are in the world many degrees of diligence, and
therefore many degrees of success. So will it be in the kingdom of God.
There, there are many mansions; and such a one will be prepared for us
as will satisfy fully the degree of diligence with {305} which we have
served. The risen Christ is not only our advocate with the Father, but
also our judge.

[Sidenote: Lord of lords and Kings of kings.]

To this judge all power is given. So declared Jesus Himself when He
appeared after His resurrection to the apostles and the five hundred
brethren who had assembled on a mountain in Galilee. "Jesus came and
spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and
in earth." Moreover, Jesus, to whom all power is given, is the sole
mediator between man and God. Said Paul to Timothy, his own son in
faith, "There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man
Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all." And in this exalted position
as Lord of lords, and King of kings, Jesus shall reign forever. "The
kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His
Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever."

[Sidenote: Jesus to come again.]

You see, then, what a wonderful hope is prepared for those who serve
Jesus. This earth is to come to an end. It is to be purified and
sanctified; then there will appear a new earth as an abode for the
blessed. But before that time shall come Jesus, Himself, is to come
again to minister to His people upon the earth. When the apostles stood
gazing up into heaven, whither Jesus had ascended, there appeared
before them suddenly two men in white apparel. These men said, "Ye men
of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which
is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
have seen Him go into heaven." This truth Jesus Himself declared in
{306} the trial before the high priest. When the perjured witnesses
testified against Him, Jesus made no reply. Then, "the high priest
asked Him, and said unto Him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the
Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting
on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." When
this wonderful occurrence shall take place, no one knows; it has never
been revealed, but is known to the Father alone. But it appears that it
is to take place at a time when the earth is troubled, and the end is
not far off. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the
sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars
shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then
shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of
man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." If we
are to be worthy of the ministry of Jesus when He shall come again, we
must learn to know Him, and to live according to His teachings; for He
has declared that He will be ashamed at His coming of those who are
ashamed of Him. "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my
words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the
Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with
the holy angels."

[Sidenote: The nearness of Jesus.]

Even in His coming He will be our advocate and our judge. How close
then Jesus stands to us. He came into the world to enlighten the world,
that they might learn to know God and Jesus Christ {307} whom God sent;
He laid down His life as a voluntary sacrifice to redeem the world from
the original sin; now He sits at the right hand of God the Father and
intercedes for those who believe in Him; and ere long He shall come
again in clouds of glory, again to minister to men, that they may have
the better chance to gain eternal life. The love and anxious sympathy
of Jesus know no bounds.

"Listen to Him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading
your cause before Him, saying, Father, behold the sufferings and death
of Him who did no sin, in whom Thou wast well pleased; behold the
blood of the Son which was shed--the blood of Him whom Thou gavest
that Thyself might be glorified; wherefore, Father, spare these my
brethren that believe in my name, that they may come unto me and have
everlasting life."

THE REFERENCES

Matt. 21:33-41. 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.

1 John 2:1.2. Rev. 11:15.

Mark 16:19. John 14:1-3.

Acts 7:56. Acts 1:11.

Heb. 7:25. Mark 14:62.

Rev. 8:34. Matt. 24:29,30.

Mark 28:18. Mark 8:38.

Doc. and Cov. 45:3-5.

{308} THE QUESTIONS

1. Interpret the parable of the householder and the wicked husbandmen.

2. What is the position of Jesus in heaven?

3. In what sense is Jesus our advocate with the Father?

4. What did Jesus mean by many mansions in His Father's house?

5. What power is given to Jesus?

6. How do we know that Jesus is to come again?

7. What is to happen when Jesus comes again?

8. In what way may we sense the nearness of Jesus?

{309}

{310} PICTURE: THE ASCENSION, Biermann

{311}



XXXIX

THE LIVING CHRIST

[Sidenote: Jesus the living Christ.]

From what we have learned in the preceding lesson, it is plain that
Jesus, the son of Mary of Nazareth, is in truth the Living Christ.
Jesus was from before the beginning of this world, and will continue in
power and glory throughout the endless eternities. In the great council
in heaven, He volunteered to become the Christ and to save the children
of God without force. He fulfilled His noble but agony-filled mission
without faltering. He gave up His life with a prayer on His lips for
those who brutally persecuted Him and killed Him. He was approved of
the Father, and exalted to sit on the right hand of the throne of
power. He is worshipped by untold millions, to whom He has brought
consolation, hope, and love. And it is not only on the so-called common
people of the earth that Jesus has made so wonderful an impression that
He is worshipped as the very Son of God, but also over the greatest
intellects in the world has He wielded so powerful an influence
that they bow in admiring adoration. Poets, artists, philosophers,
scientists, and statesmen alike acknowledge Jesus, the Living Christ
and Advocate with the Father.

[Sidenote: The testimony of Napoleon.]

As we learned at the beginning of this book, Napoleon avowed his
admiration of Jesus, while living an exile on the island of St. Helena.
Napoleon's further testimony is interesting. "Superficial minds see a
resemblance," said {312} Napoleon, "between Christ and the founders
of empires and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not
exist. There is between Christianity and other religions the distance
of infinity. Everything in Christ astonishes me. Here I see nothing
human. The nearer I approach everything is above me. Alexander, Caesar,
Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the
creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ alone founded His
empire upon love, and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.
Christ proved that He was the Son of the Eternal."

[Sidenote: The conviction of an English philosopher.]

Other great men, too, have been as profoundly impressed by the divinity
of Jesus as was Napoleon. The great English philosopher, John Locke,
expressed his convictions in these words: "Before our Savior's time,
the doctrine of a future state, though it were not wholly hid, yet it
was not clearly known in the world? He brought life and immortality to
light. And that not only in the clear revelation of it and in instances
shown of men raised from the dead; but He has given an unquestionable
assurance and pledge of it, in His own resurrection and ascension
into heaven. How has this one truth changed the nature of things?
The philosophers, indeed show the beauty of nature, but leaving her
unendowed, very few are willing to espouse her. It has another relish
and efficiency to persuade men that if they live well here, they shall
be happy hereafter. Upon this foundation, and upon this only, morality
stands firm; and this is the gospel Jesus Christ has delivered to us."

{313} [Sidenote: Declarations of Emerson and Webster.]

Two notable Americans may be here cited also to show the influence of
the work of Jesus upon men of great intellect. Ralph Waldo Emerson,
philosopher and poet, wrote, "Jesus is the most perfect of all men that
have yet appeared. The unique impressions of Jesus upon mankind are not
so much written as ploughed into the history of this world. He saw with
open eye the mystery of the soul. Alone in all history, He estimated
the greatness of man." And Daniel Webster declared in his argument in
the Girard Will Case, "I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. The
miracles which He wrought establish in my mind His personal authority
and render it proper for me to believe what He asserts."

[Sidenote: Additional testimony.]

Testimonies of this kind might be added upon without limit. Of course,
there may be found also many men who reject the testimony of Jesus.
But the interesting fact about the influence of Jesus is that the
farther we become removed from the time of His earth-ministry, the more
strongly is His influence felt, and the closer does the world really
come to Him. In spite of the war that Satan has waged in the world
against Him, Jesus is dearer to men today than He has ever been before.
Even the great world war now raging is turning the hearts of men to
Jesus; and many more men of learning and leadership are expressing
their faith in the teachings of Jesus the Christ. It is to be hoped
that all men will soon come to the conviction of the great German
philosopher, Kant: "In the life and the divine doctrine of Christ,
example and precept conspire to call men to the regular discharge of
every moral duty for its own {314} sake. Christ is the founder of
the first true Church; that is, that Church which exhibits the moral
kingdom of God upon earth."

[Sidenote: Reasons for strong testimonies in the Church.]

Now, if the men of the world can get such testimonies and can feel so
strongly that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, surely the children of
the Latter-day Saints ought easily to learn to know this sublime truth.
Jesus came to earth, as He Himself declared, when He was twelve years
old, to attend to His Father's business. That business, we learned,
is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. And we
have learned also that it is life eternal to know God and Jesus Christ
whom He sent. Jesus devoted His life to expounding the principles
of eternal life. He showed in His own person what kind of being God
is. He explained His own relationship to God the Father. He revealed
the nature and the office of the Holy Ghost. He taught the essential
principles of the Gospel, which Paul called the power of God unto
salvation. He emphasized the necessity of divine authority in order
to act officially in the things of God. He explained by parable and
by teaching the duties that man owes to God. He made perfectly clear,
too, the duties that man owes to his fellowmen. He established by His
wonderful life and work His own divinity as the Son of God. He overcame
death, the barrier between God and man, by laying down His own life.
He proved the actuality of the resurrection and the life after death
by arising Himself from the tomb. He continues as the Living Christ,
interceding with the Father for us. All this the children of the
Latter-day Saints have had taught to them as clearly as it has been
{315} taught to the children of the world. In addition, the children
of the Latter-day Saints have membership in the true Church of Jesus
Christ. The Holy Priesthood is here established. The Gospel in its
fulness has been restored. The Church believes in continual revelation,
and is favored with the living word of God. These are the marks of the
Church of Christ. The inspiration of the Holy Ghost ought, therefore,
to cause the testimony of Jesus to burn brightly in the bosom of
every Latterday Saint. To us also Jesus has revealed the means of
salvation, by His teaching, by His personal example and influence, by
His death and resurrection. And to us He has delivered the keys of the
Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.

[Sidenote: Evidences of testimony in the Church.]

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do know
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. They recognize
the fact that the object of Christ's life-work was to reveal God,
to teach men to know God as their Father, to persuade them to live
lives of righteousness, and to redeem them from the sin of the garden
of Eden. And as intellectual, men of the world have avowed their
conviction that Jesus is the Christ, so also have the leaders of
"Mormon" thought and life. Almost every meeting held in the Church
is a meeting of declaration of faith in Jesus. The monthly testimony
meetings, particularly, are filled with assurances of faith in Him.
The Presidency of the Church, the twelve apostles, and all the members
of the quorums of general authority, devote their lives as special
witnesses of Jesus to the testifying to His divine Sonship. And of all
the testimonies of Jesus as the true and living Christ, {316} the ever
present and ever active advocate with the Father, there is no other
so strong and effective as that of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, and his
associate Sidney Rigdon.

[Sidenote: "The testimony last of all."]

"We, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the
sixteenth of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight
hundred and thirty-two. By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened
and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand
the things of God--Even those things which were from the beginning
before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through His
Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the
beginning, of whom we bear record, and the record which we bear is the
fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and
with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.

"For while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had
appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth
chapter of John, which was given unto us as follows. Speaking of the
resurrection of the dead, concerning those who shall hear the voice
of the Son of Man, and shall come forth; They who have done good in
the resurrection of the just, and they who have done evil in the
resurrection of the unjust. Now this caused us to marvel, for it was
given unto us of the Spirit; and while we meditated upon these things,
the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about; and we beheld the glory
of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of {317} His
fullness; and saw the holy angels, and they who are sanctified before
His throne, worshipping God, and the Lamb, who worship Him for ever and
ever. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him,
this is the testimony last of all, which we give of Him, that He lives;
for we saw Him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice
bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father--That by Him
and through Him, and of Him the worlds are and were created, and the
inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God."

To us, then, removed nearly two thousand years from the time of the
birth of Jesus, comes with a new significance the chorus of the angels.
"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which
shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of
David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord . . . . Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

THE REFERENCES

Doc. and Cov. 76:11-24. Luke 2:10, 11, 14.

THE QUESTIONS

1. In what sense is Jesus the Living Christ?

2. To what does Napoleon testify?

3. Upon what is John Locke's conviction based?

4. What did Emerson and Webster say of Jesus?

5. What truth does Kant derive from the life of Jesus?

6. Why should the Latter-day Saints have exceptional testimonies of
Jesus?

7. How can you show that the Latter-day Saints do have exceptionally
strong testimonies of Jesus?

8. What is the powerful "Testimony last of all"?

9. What do the teachings of Jesus mean to us?

10. Explain what it means to know God and Jesus Christ.

{318} PICTURE: ANGEL MORONI

{319}



XL

A RELIGION WORTH WHILE

[Sidenote: The feeding of the five thousand.]

In a desert place in Galilee, Jesus performed one of the most
impressive and awe inspiring miracles recorded in His whole career.
A multitude of the five of approximately five thousand people had
gathered to hear Him teach. All the day He had instructed them, and
explained to them the law of the Gospel of salvation. Then the evening
drew near. The people were tired and hungry; but there was no adequate
supply of food available. The apostles would have had Jesus send the
multitude away. But He asked how much bread was to be found amongst
them. The apostles reported five loaves and two fishes. Jesus took the
five loaves and the two fishes, "looked up to heaven, and blessed, and
brake the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them;
and the two fishes divided He among them all. And they did eat and
were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments,
and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five
thousand men."

[Sidenote: The meat that endures unto everlasting life.]

This wonder-rousing miracle Jesus performed just before He left Galilee
forever, and while His popularity was at its height. One can easily
imagine how the people marvelled at what Jesus had done. And yet, a
miracle of feeding, more wonderful even than this, has Jesus performed
in turning the hearts of men toward Him. It is really not so very
strange that this Man, who could change water into wine, and open the
eyes of the blind, and cast out devils, and still the {320} tempest,
and raise the dead to life again, should be able also to multiply
five loaves and two fishes so as to feed a multitude of men. He who
is endowed with infinite power might easily be able thus to collect
the elements and to increase the quantity of available food. This was
a miracle of the physical world, calling into action some natural law
with which we are not yet acquainted. But in His ministry and death and
resurrection, Jesus has performed a spiritual miracle more wonderful
even than this. Jesus Himself considered the spiritual conversion much
more significant than the physical achievement. John records the fact
that the people sought Jesus again after this great miracle; and when
they found Him, He said to them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye
seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the
loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but
for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of
Man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed. . . . I am
the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that
believeth on me shall never thirst." It may be said now that the whole
world has heard of Jesus, and that most of it has learned to look to
Him as its Savior. New life and spiritual light has Jesus given to the
world. But while the world has learned to recognize Jesus, the teachers
of the world have perverted His doctrine so much that the people hardly
know which way to turn. They hunger still, and they thirst for the
true teachings of Jesus; they are looking still for the true Church of
Christ, with a religion worth while.

{321} [Sidenote: What Jesus taught.]

The history of the growth and spread of Christianity in the world reads
almost like fiction. Jesus Himself established His Church upon the
earth. We have learned that He called and ordained twelve apostles, and
others whom He called "seventy." He taught the fundamental principles
of the Gospel--faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands for
the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the many duties that devolve upon
faithful Church membership. Jesus revealed in His own person the
personality of God the Father, and taught clearly the true relationship
existing between the Father and His children. Jesus taught plainly,
too, the duties that men owe both to the heavenly Father and to their
fellowmen. In short, Jesus revealed and taught to His apostles, and
to the peoples of the Holy Land, all the principles of the Gospel
necessary for a life of righteousness upon the earth. And when He
ascended to heaven, He left with the apostles the authority of the Holy
Priesthood, an organized church, and the Gospel, the plan of salvation.
The Church of the apostles possessed the three essential marks of the
true Church of Christ.

[Sidenote: The acts of the apostles.]

After the departure of Jesus, the apostles began strenuous missionary
labors. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost came upon them, and
through their testimony of Christ risen, many who heard them believed
and were baptized. From that day forth, the apostles traveled and
preached and baptized and confirmed. Many miracles, too, did these
apostles perform, in literal fulfillment of the promise of Jesus
that they should be {322} able to do the works that He had done. And
everywhere in their missionary travels, the apostles organized branches
of the Church--or Churches as they were called. To carry on the work
of the churches the apostles ordained high priests, seventies, elders,
bishops, priests, teachers, deacons,--the regular officers of the
priesthood--and left these officers in charge of the local ministry
while they themselves continued their larger service. But it must not
be imagined that the apostles met with no opposition. On the contrary,
wherever they went, the apostles found enemies, and were maligned and
persecuted. Often they were haled before magistrates and governors, and
not infrequently they were imprisoned. But they persisted in preaching,
and in bearing their profound testimonies. Finally most of the apostles
were done to death by their enemies. Peter, it is said, was crucified
at Rome. James was beheaded. John was banished to the isle of Patmos.
Andrew was bound to a cross and thus slain. Philip was crucified.
Bartholomew was flayed alive. Thomas was pierced by a lance, Matthew
was killed with a battleax. James, the Less, was beaten to death.
Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows. Simon was crucified. Mark
was dragged to death in the streets of Alexandria. Paul was beheaded
by order of Nero. Barnabas was stoned to death by the Jews. Thus
the apostles and the chief leaders of the apostolic church were all
tortured to death--save one--and sealed their testimonies with their
life's blood. The various churches scattered here and there in the land
were left with only their local leaders.

{323} [Sidenote: The great apostasy.]

After the passing of the apostles, troubles arose among the local
churches, and it was not long before a complete apostasy had taken
place. Strangely enough, while the apostles organized all the local
churches in full, they did not perpetuate the quorum of apostles.
Dissension therefore arose among the churches themselves as to
which one was the chief and leader of all. Then, after some years
of unpopularity and persecution, the Christian church was suddenly
raised to favor by an edict of Constantine the Great. To satisfy now
the desires of the heathens, many pagan customs were taken into the
Christian service. The doctrines of the church were corrupted; the
ordinances and ceremonies were perverted; the church organization was
distorted. In a relatively short time, the accepted Christian church
of the world was no longer like the church that Jesus Himself had
instituted. It lacked all three marks of the true church. It denied
continual revelation. It had lost the authority of the priesthood. It
preached a corrupted Gospel.

[Sidenote: The restoration of the Gospel.]

After many years of spiritual darkness and of strife, the Lord again
revealed His will to man. A boy was chosen to become an inspired
prophet, an authorized leader, and a divinely instructed teacher. To
Joseph Smith appeared the risen Redeemer as He had appeared nearly two
thousand years before to the apostles at Jerusalem. To Joseph Smith
were revealed anew all the sublime teachings that Jesus had presented
during His own ministry upon the earth. Upon Joseph Smith was conferred
the Holy Priesthood, with all its keys {324} and authorities, and
through him was established anew the Church of Jesus Christ. It is
founded upon the doctrine of revelation; it is fortified and directed
by the complete organization of the priesthood of God; it is guided by
what Jesus Himself taught--by the Gospel in its fulness, omitting not a
single detail that Jesus made a part of the God-shaped plan. To us is
given the religion worth while, the bread of life.

[Sidenote: A religion that satisfies.]

And the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ--commonly called Mormonism--is
destined to conquer the world, for it meets and satisfies all the
needs of human kind. In the first place, Mormonism is the Gospel of
Jesus Christ. It is the perfect presentation of what Jesus taught. We
have learned in the preceding lessons many of the truths that He gave
to His followers. The world has considered these truths, too, but has
not comprehended them. This truth, however, nearly the whole world
has learned to accept: Jesus is the Christ, the bread of life. His
teachings are true. Any religion that would aspire to conquer the world
must, then, be based at least upon what Jesus taught. But Mormonism is
that very truth itself, restored with power and authority, and favored
with the living presence of "the bread of God . . . . which . . . .
giveth life unto the world."

[Sidenote: A comprehensive religion.]

Then, Mormonism is comprehensive; it accepts and includes all truth,
no matter whence the knowledge of that truth may come. It renews the
teachings of Jesus concerning right living and right thinking. It {325}
emphasizes the necessity of acquiring a full knowledge of truth--the
necessity of reading and studying, and of gaining intellectual power.
It outlines what Jesus taught of man's duties in life--his duties
toward God: his duties toward his fellowmen; his duties to himself. It
prescribes anew man's obligations and responsibilities in the family,
in the state, and in the Church. In short, Mormonism meets every need
in physical life, in mental life, in economic life, in social life, in
spiritual life. You have heard people speak of a one-day religion--of
a religion remembered on Sunday and forgotten on the other six days
of the week. Mormonism is not such a religion, for the doctrine of
Jesus is not such a doctrine. Mormonism--or what Jesus taught--is a
practical religion that enters into the work of every day--into every
calling and profession no matter how humble or exalted that calling or
profession may be. It teaches that every day should be a Christ-like
day. It teaches that we should partake freely every day of the bread
and water of life everlasting, and take less thought of the loaves
and fishes that fill but satisfy not. Mormonism is both a system of
religion and a system of ethics; for so are the teachings of Jesus. The
whole man must be saved. Mormonism--or what Jesus taught--holds forth
such ideals and such standards of life--physical and spiritual--that
the noble, unselfish aim of Jesus may be accomplished. Only a religion
thus enwarped and enwoofed in what Jesus Himself has taught, can hope
to conquer the world.

[Sidenote: A Church of authority.]

It is the duty of everyone to learn to know God, and His Son, Jesus
Christ. To teach men to know {326} God was in part the mission of
Jesus to this earth. But such knowledge will not come through the mere
satisfying of the bodily appetites. That religion is not worth while
which feeds only loaves and fishes. The hunger which must be satisfied
is the hunger of the spirit. That religion only is worth while which
guides and directs in temporal life, and affords complete satisfaction
and contentment in the intellectual and spiritual life. Mormonism does
this; for it is what Jesus taught. In no other church than the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may one find today the uncorrupted
teachings of Jesus and the authority of His priesthood. Mormonism is
distinctly, then, the religion worth while.

[Sidenote: The bread of life.]

The stone which the builders rejected has become the Christ, the Savior
of the world. He is the Keystone, of our salvation. He is our Master,
our Teacher, our Friend. He has restored His Gospel to us with all its
blessings and privileges. Him will we follow, and His commandments will
we keep; for it was He Himself who said, "I am the bread of life: he
that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall
never thirst."

{327}

THE REFERENCES

Mark 6:30-44. John 6:22-35.

THE QUESTIONS

1. What is the bread that endures unto everlasting life?

2. What did Jesus leave with the apostles?

3. How did the apostles carry on the work of Jesus?

4. What happened to the Church after the apostles had passed away?

5. How was the Gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the earth?

6. Why will Mormonism ultimately conquer the world?

7. In what sense is Mormonism a comprehensive religion?

8. Show that Mormonism is what Jesus taught.

{328} Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and
keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.--Eccl. 12:13.

{329}



INDEX

A

Abel, occupation, 197; offering accepted, 198; slain by Cain, 199.

Abou Ben Adhem, 221.

Abram, Abraham, 21; strove to find God, 21; seized by idolatrous
priests, 21; God delivered and spoke to him, 21; learns to know God;
father of Isaac and grandfather of Jacob who served God; from them
sprang the Children of Israel, 22; wavered not, 101.

Adam was like us, 23; taught by an angel, 24.

Aesop, fable of, 227.

Alms should be given in secret, 85.

Anger, fruits of, 199-200.

Apostasy, 323.

Apostles sent to preach, 291; slow to understand that the Gospel was
for all mankind, 292; their acts, 321; their deaths, 322;

Architect, figure of, illustrating Church of Christ, 153-4; 161; plans
and specifications of, 161; necessary, 162.

Articles of Faith, 129.

Ascension, 283.

Atonement of Jesus not understood by His disciples, 271; necessary,
272; theories regarding, 274; true theory, 275; Nephite explanation of,
276.

Authority, divine, test of true Church, 153; Jesus bowed to His
Father's; must be conferred, cannot be assumed, 155.

B

Baldwin, Matthias, an illustration of faith, 113-5; a liberal man, 175.

Baptism of Jesus, 41; essential; taught by Jesus to Nicodemus; a
rebirth, 130; necessity for it; case of Naaman; proof of obedience and
humility, 131-2; illustrated by chemical experiment, 132; Jesus taught
baptism and its proper mode; immersion, 133; purpose of; should follow
repentance; baptism of infants wrong, 134; summary of Jesus's teachings
regarding, 135; baptism of the Spirit, 137.

Beatitudes; high ideal of life, 192; great beatitude, 193. {318}
Beelzebub, Jesus's miracles attributed to, 263.

Book of heaven, 163.

Bread of Life, 326.

Brother of Jared cut sixteen small stones; asked God to touch them and
make them shine; saw the finger of the Lord; struck with fear, 45; the
Lord commends him for his faith; sees the Lord who was in the form of a
man; saw the body of God's spirit, 48.

C

Cain, story of, 197; offering not accepted; angry, 198; controlled by
Satan, slew Abel, 199.

Centurion's servant healed, 256-7.

Church organization necessary, 145-6; shown by parable of wheat and
tares, 146-7; meaning of the parable, 147; Church and Kingdom of God,
148; Church to be built on rock of revelation, 148-9; Church officers,
149; Jesus architect of His Church, 154; one test of true Church is
principle of revelation, 154; another is divine authority, 156; two
priesthoods, 156; architect's plans and specifications, 161; a third
test is presence and practice of the Gospel, 161; the three marks,
163; membership in the Church a supreme privilege, 167; conditions of
membership, 168; what it teaches, 233; established anew through the
Prophet Joseph Smith, 323-4; Church of authority, 326.

Comforter promised, 39; is the Spirit of truth, 39, 42; is the Holy
Ghost, a member of the Godhead, 42; came to disciples on day of
Pentecost, 43.

Commandment, great, 191.

Communities must exist, 228; must be organized, 228-9.

Cornelius, case of, 293.

D

Darkness covers the earth, 160.

Dead, gospel preached to, 285.

Defile, things that, 194.

Devil, power of evil; who is he? Lucifer the Lightbringer; volunteered
to be a Savior, 57; his plan rejected; he rebelled and became Satan,
the father of lies; a murderer from the beginning, 58; tempts Jesus,
61-2; entered into Judas Iscariot, 63; necessary that the devil should
tempt men, 65.

{329} Dickens, comment on parable of the prodigal son, 78.

Disciples learned about God, 31; overwhelmed when Jesus was crucified,
38; received Holy Ghost on day of Pentecost, 43; knew they were sons of
God, 72; why they could not cast out a devil, 108; regarded Jesus as
earthly King; could not understand atonement, 271; told by Him of his
coming death, 271-2.

Divorce, Jesus's teachings on, 230.

Duty to the state, 231; the Church, 232.

E

Emerson on Christ, 313.

Enemies, right attitude toward, 216.

Eternal life, greatest gift, 17; what is eternal life, 17; defined
again, 23; again, 24; conditions of, 25.

Eternal loss is to fail to find God, 84.

Evil always present, 56; how evil came into the world, 56; 58; devil is
power of evil, 57; why evil is in the world, 63-5.

F

Faith, power of; fig tree withered by faith; mountains may be removed
by faith, 105-6; interpretation of this saying; victory comes by faith,
107; Jesus walking on the water, 107-8; Peter failed for lack of faith,
108; impossible to please God without faith, 109; Matthias Baldwin, an
illustration, 113-5.

Fall of Adam made savior necessary, 24.

Family basis of society. 227-8; sacred, 229.

Fast, how to, 86.

Faults in others, 208-9.

Fault-finding wrong, 209-10.

Feast, call the poor to, 240.

Finding and losing one's life, Jesus's strange saying, 83.

Forgiveness should accompany prayer; unless we forgive God will not
forgive us, 106; law of, 214-15; must forgive to be forgiven, 216-17.

Free agency of man, 65.

Fundamental principles, 321.

G

Girls, two, story of, 205-7. God, work and glory of, "to bring to pass
the immortality and eternal life of man," 16; what it means to know Him
and Jesus Christ, 21; God speaks to {330} Abraham, 21; worshiped by
Children of Israel, 22; first commandment forbids idolatry, 22; false
conceptions of God, 22; what it means to know God, 23; what kind of a
being is God? 29; Jesus's explanation, "he that hath seen me hath seen
the Father," 30; God is a person, 31; called "Father" by Jesus, 31;
mankind are His children and He loves them, 32; to know God gives joy
and comfort, 32; what Saints know of God, 33; God is a spirit, 36; His
love for the world, 69; notes the sparrow, 70; no respecter of persons,
71; an exalted man, 71; reason for His love for man, 73; willing to
forgive, 80.

Gospel, possession of, test of true Church, 161; through it we learn of
God, and our duty, 162; fundamental principles of it, 162-3; men judged
by it, 163; was for the Gentiles, 292.

H

Hail used as illustration, 29.

Harmony with our environment, 84.

Holy Ghost, member of the Godhead, the Comforter and a special witness,
42; duties are many, 43; rested on the twelve in America, 43; conferred
by laying on of hands, 129-138-40; baptism of necessary, 137-9; what is
the gift of the Holy Ghost? 141-2; conditions on which it is obtained,
142-3.

House divided, cannot stand, 263.

Humility taught by Jesus, 168; necessary, 239-40.

I

Indian's speech, 159.

Impurity, causes of, 194.

J

Jerusalem, place to worship, 36.

Jesus, almost universally acknowledged, 13; no other man has exerted so
profound an influence, 13; twelve years old, 14-5; a normal boy, 14;
attended school, 14; was serious, 14; duties, 15; goes with parents
to Jerusalem, 15; route, 15; missed by parents, 15; found in temple
with doctors, 15; zeal for knowledge, 15; astonishes His hearers, 16;
reproved by His mother He says, "I must be about my Father's business",
16; strange {331} saying not understood, 16; came to do His Father's
will, not His own, 16; His "Father's business" explained, 17; defines
eternal life, 17; nature of His mission, 17; a preacher's view of Him,
23; had not learned to know Him, 23; our Elder Brother, 24; chosen to
be the Savior, 24; assumed the sins of mankind, 24; gave His life to
redeem them, 24; was more than a great leader, teacher and philosopher,
24; was the Only Begotten of the Father, 24; to know Him, is to accept
His mission, 24; like the Father, 30; called "The Word", 31; like
ordinary men, 31; people astonished who knew His family, 31; image
of His Father's person, 31; called God "Father", 32; goes to Sychar
in Samaria, 35; talks with Samaritan woman, 35; able to give living
water, 35; declares Himself the Christ 36-7; answers messengers of John
the Baptist, 37; tells the high priest He is the Christ, 38; tells
Pilate He is King of the Jews, 38; after being crucified He appears
to disciples on the way to Emmaus, 38; will send the Comforter, 39;
subject to His parents, 41; increased in wisdom and stature, 41;
baptized by John the Baptizer, "to fulfill all righteousness", 41;
full of the Holy Ghost, 43; showed the body of His spirit to brother
of Jared, 48; His pre-existence, 49-50; chosen to be the Savior, 58;
fasted 40 days, 61; tempted by the devil, and resists, 61-2; triumphed
by overcoming evil, 65; commands us to love one another, 69; combatted
sin, 79; pictured God as a forgiving Father, 79; derided by scribes and
Pharisees; rebuked them, 80; strange saying about finding and losing
one's life, 83; tells how to give alms, pray and fast, 85-6; gives the
Lord's prayer, 91; analyzed 91-4; door to the sheep fold, 135; taught
baptism and its proper mode, 133; taught persistency in prayer, 99;
and to pray for the things of the Kingdom, 99-100; and resignation,
102; cursed the fig tree; taught that faith would remove mountains,
105; His meaning, 106-17; we should pray believing; walked on water;
saved Peter from sinking; {332} cast out a devil; why the disciples
could not cast it out, 108; wrought miracles, 115; promised same power
on condition, 116; comments on those killed when tower fell, and those
killed in temple by Pilate, 121; taught repentance, 121-4; bowed to
His Father's authority, 154-5; called little children to Him, 168;
teachings about riches, 175-8; all should improve their talents, 185;
what defiles, 194; forbade anger, 201; judge not, 209; with the lawyer,
222; marriage, 229-30; new law, 237; a perfect man in every way, 253-4;
divine power and marvelous works; unnumbered miracles, 254-5; environed
by wickedness and poverty, 255; His a mission of love; three miracles,
256-8; not honored in Nazereth; His own home, 259; scribes attribute
His miracles to Beelzebub; He refutes them, 263; foretold His own
death, 271-3; came to cause division in families, 272; significance of
His death, 273-5; institutes sacrament, 273; why He submitted to His
enemies, 276; new testimony concerning Him, 277; His resurrection and
many appearances after it, 281-3; evidence, 283; had been in Paradise,
284; preaching to the spirits in prison, 285; sends apostles to preach,
291; visited Nephites, 296-7; exalted, seen by Stephen on right hand of
God, 302-3; mission not finished on earth, 303; our advocate in heaven
with the Father, 303; is King of Kings and Lord of Lords; will come
again, 305; is the Living Christ; worshiped by untold millions, 311;
influence grows stronger with lapse of time, 313; what He has done, 314.

John the Baptist sends messengers to Jesus, 37; baptizes Jesus, 41; saw
Spirit of God like a dove rest on Jesus 41-2; bore his testimony, 42.

Jones, Mary, story of victim of slander, 206-7.

Joseph goes with Mary and Jesus to Jerusalem, 15; route 15; Joseph
and Mary start to return, 15; miss Jesus, 15; find Him in temple with
doctors, 15; Mary reproves Him, 16; His reply, "I must be about my
Father's business", 16; parents did not understand Him, 16.

{333} Judas Iscariot, Satan entered into him, 63.

Judge not, 209-213.

K

Knowledge of Christ, how gained, 39.

Knowing God and Jesus Christ, 17, 22, 24, 25; how to know God, 25;
should be aim of all education, 25.

L

Latter-day Saints have strong testimonies, 314-5; they have the Holy
Priesthood and fulness of the Gospel; they know that Jesus is the
Christ and the object of His life-work, 315.

Law and Gospel compared, 237.

Lawyer and Jesus, 222.

Lazarus raised, 257.

Lilies of the field, 99-100.

Living alone impracticable, 227.

Living water given by Jesus, 35.

Locke, John, on the Savior, 312.

Lord's prayer, 91.

Love, law of, 221-2-5.

Loyalty taught by Jesus, 168-9; 171; four reasons why men should be
loyal to Him. 171-2.

M

Man, what is he? 69; God values man, 70; divine possibilities of;
offspring of God, 71; may become a god; owes duties to God and himself,
72; must make sacrifices; man the crown of creation; should reverence
God; is the temple of God, 73.

Mammon, cannot serve God and, 169; what is serving Mammon, 170.

Marconigraph, 266.

Marriage a sacrament, 229; should be solemnized in a temple, 230.

Mansions, many, or degrees of glory in heaven, 304-5.

Miracles, many, performed by Jesus, 254-5; attributed to Beelzebub
by scribes, 263; what a miracle is, 264; telephone, 265; miracles of
science, 266; power of the priesthood; purpose of miracles, 267; they
come by faith; privilege of sick to be healed, 268; feeding of 5000
people; spiritual food more wonderful, 319-20.

Moses, revelation to, 16.

N

Naaman healed of leprosy, 131.

{334} Napoleon's Testimony of Christ, 13; revered Him, 18; further
testimony, 311.

Neighbor, who is my? 223.

Nicodemus comes to Jesus, what Jesus told him, 43; taught baptism by
Jesus, 130.

O

Opinions of great men on Christ, 312-3.

Opportunity should be improved, 183-5-6.

P

Palestine, condition of, in Jesus's time, 255-6.

Parable of the sower, 56; the lost sheep, 70; the prodigal son or the
forgiving father, 77-8; the Pharisee and the publican, 80; borrowing
three loaves; the judge and the widow, 98; the house built on a
rock, 115; barren fig tree, 121; wheat and tares, 146-7; treasure
hid in a field; pearl of great price, 167; earthly treasures, 170;
light of the body, 171; unjust steward, 178-9; rich man and Lazarus,
183; the talents, 183-4; unforgiving servant, 215; good Samaritan,
222; humility, 239-40; laborers in the vineyard, 245-6; leaven, 291;
householder and husbandmen, 300.

Paradise, Jesus in, 284; what it is, 286-7; Paul says Jesus was image
of His Father, 31.

Paul and Barnabas traveled and preached to the Gentiles, 294.

Peter's vision, 293; taught him Gospel, was for Gentiles, 294.

Pilate constructs conduit; tower falls killing 18 men; seizes temple
treasures; attacked by mob, 119; killed many in the temple; excitement,
120.

Political duty, 231.

Praise, love of, 85.

Pray, how to, 86; 94.

Prayer, should be persistent; hymns quoted, 97-8; urgent desire and
implicit trust necessary in, 99; things of God's Kingdom should be
prayed for, 99-100; God's will be done, 101-2; implicit reliance in God
and spirit of forgiveness essential in prayer, 105-6; prayer of faith
efficacious, 107; wisdom obtained by prayer, 109.

Pre-existent state; pre-existence of Jesus and mankind, 49-50; proved
in man blind from birth, 50-1; gospel taught there; council of the
spirits; Savior called for; {335} Jesus and Lucifer volunteer, 57;
Lucifer's plan rejected; he rebelled and became Satan, the father of
lies, 58.

Psalm, 1, quoted, 129.

Pure in heart, to see and associate with God, 193.

R

Rabbis did not teach forgiveness of sin, 79.

Reconciliation, law of, 213.

Religion that satisfies, 324; comprehensive, 325.

Repentance taught by Jesus, 121-2; He upbraided certain cities for not
repenting; universal principle, 123; things to be repented of, 124-5.

Rewards, Jesus's doctrine of, 239-41; promised, 241; spiritual, 241-2.

Rich man, entering Kingdom of Heaven, easier to pass through eye of
needle, 175-7; and Lazarus, 183.

Riches, Jesus's teaching about, 175-8; should be righteously acquired,
178; how used; not riches but love of them is evil, 180.

Rich young ruler and Jesus; unwilling to give up riches, 176-7.

Restoration of the Gospel and Priesthood to the Prophet Joseph Smith,
323.

S

Sabbath should be kept, 170.

Sacrament instituted, 273.

Sacrifice required, 176.

Samaritan, good, 222-4; lesson of, 224-5.

Second coming of Christ foretold, 305.

Self control shown by Jesus, 201; strength of, 202.

Service, what it means. 187; service pleasing to god, 245; compensation
for, 246; value of in the Church. 247; rewarded justly, 247-8; always
secular duties to perform, 248; some in the Church; formal performance
wrong; extra service a privilege, 249; quality and kind of service
determines reward, 259.

Sheep, other, meaning Nephites, 294-5; Jesus visited them, 296-7.

Sheepfold, Jesus is door to, 135.

Slander, sin of, 205-7.

Smith, Prophet Joseph, prepared Articles of Faith, 129; Gospel and
Priesthood restored to, 323.

Sparrow, God notes it, 70.

Spirit of Truth the Comforter, 39; like a dove rested on Jesus, 42.

Spirits in prison, Gospel preached to, 285.

{336} Stolen money, story of, 205-7. Suspicion caused by slander, 206.

Swearing forbidden, 72.

Sychar, Jesus goes to, 35; people of believe, 36.

T

Talents should be improved, 184-5-6-8.

Telephone used as illustration, 24-5; miracle of, 265.

Tempest stilled, 257.

Testimony of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, 316-17.

Theft, story of, 205-7.

Theories of salvation through Jesus's death, 274; true theory, 275.

Tithes and offerings should be paid, 249.

Tobacco, why a boy uses it, 238.

Treasures in heaven, not on earth, 169.

Tree known by its fruit, 195.

Trespasses, how dealt with, 213-4.

V

Vulgarity condemned, 195.

W

Water carrier, 185-6.

Webster on Christ, 313.

Word, Jesus called the, 31: made flesh, 31.

Worry almost a sin; no cure for it, found by men, 100; Jesus's cure,
101.

Worship, right attitude in; how to worship; what and why we worship, 87.

X

X-ray, 266.





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