Saturday, April 25, 2009

You Can't Take It With You, Or Can You?

Sometimes we joke that we don't see any U-Haul trucks at funerals because you can't take it with you. However, the Law of Consecration has some unique features that allow us to believe that in some ways we can take it with us.

The Prophet Joseph Smith was once commenting on Revelations 14:13. The phrase in focus was ". . . their works do follow them." Here is his statement,

They rest from their labors for a long time, and yet their work is held in reserve for them, that they are permitted to do the same work, after they receive a resurrection for their bodies. But we shall leave this subject and the subject of the terrestrial bodies for another time, in order to treat upon them more fully.
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.171) (emphasis added)

Don't we all wish that the Prophet would have lived long enough to get back to that subject. We see a similar phrase in D&C 63:48,

D&C 63:48
48 He that sendeth up treasures unto the land of Zion shall receive an inheritance in this world, and his works shall follow him, and also a reward in the world to come. (emphasis added)

In our doctrine, the earth becomes the Celestial kingdom because of the efforts of the righteous, combined with the atonement of Christ, and the grace and power of our Father in heaven. Whatever efforts that one puts into the building up of Zion through the law of consecration, their works will follow them.

In D&C 63:47-53, the Lord helps us better understand the purpose of consecration as it is combined with the power of the resurrection. It appears from the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith that the spirit children of God have no inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom. They must be born again, through the atonement of Christ and be raised in the resurrection before they can inherit the Celestial Glory. Death is the destroyer of these blessings and therefore must be overcome before one can enjoy the presence of his God in the eternities.

A close look at these verses will reveal that doctrine,

D&C 63:47-53
47 He that is faithful and endureth shall overcome the world.
48 He that sendeth up treasures unto the land of Zion shall receive an inheritance in this world, and his works shall follow him, and also a reward in the world to come.
49 Yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, when the Lord shall come, and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die after, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city.
50 And he that liveth when the Lord shall come, and hath kept the faith, blessed is he; nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man.
51 Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.
52 Wherefore, for this cause preached the apostles unto the world the resurrection of the dead.
53 These things are the things that ye must look for; and, speaking after the manner of the Lord, they are now nigh at hand, and in a time to come, even in the day of the coming of the Son of Man. (emphasis added)

Notice, the purpose of teaching the resurrection of the dead was to confirm the fact that they could receive and inheritance through the law of consecration in the world to come. Therefore, one of the major purposes of the law of consecration is to secure us a place in the world to come, that is the Celestial Glory where God and Christ live.

In the early history of the Church there were those who went to Zion but did not want to consecrate. William W. Phelps wrote the Prophet wanting to know how to handle the situation. The Prophet responded with D&C 85. Verses 1-4 and verse 9 are very telling in relation to the things just mentioned above.

D&C 85:1-4, 9
1 IT is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop;
2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances.
3 It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God.
4 Neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the church.

9 And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. (emphasis added)

Here we learn that those who have received legal inheritances from a bishop in the law of consecration have an inheritance in the world to come. Those who refused the law of consecration have no inheritance at the day of judgment. In my opinion, one of the most powerful aspects of the law of consecration is the power that it has to convey an inheritance in the world to come (Millennium) and then on into the Celestial Kingdom.


In The Doghouse said...

This past week I have been revisiting the Lectures on Faith. This principle is so clearly taught in lecture six. It is amazing that some deny these truths.

the Warden said...

Well said. :)