Saturday, August 29, 2009
Consecration Celestial Living and Eternal Inheritance
In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord teaches us that we must prepare ourselves to live in his presence in the eternal worlds by learning to be equal in earthly things. The law of consecration was given to help us understand the bond that exists in heavenly things. This law will also help us, as a church, to "stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world (D&C 78:5-14). Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave a general conference talk which points us in this direction. Click here to read his talk, "Stand Independent above All Other Creatures."
When the saints were working to establish Zion in Jackson County, Missouri, some were not willing to enter into the full law of consecration. William W. Phelps wrote to the Prophet asking for advice and guidance. Doctrine and Covenants section 85 was part of a letter written by the Prophet giving the solution to the problem. William W. Phelps also wrote an article in the Church newspaper "Evening and Morning Start" which counsels the Saints as to what is required to help build Zion,
Let Every Man Learn His Duty.
EVERY man ought to know his duty to God and man; especially the saint that has the benefit of revelation to guide him: he ought to know his duty, not only to say, but to do in all things. He ought to practice holiness before the Lord, that he may be counted worthy of an inheritance in Zion, and meet his Savior in peace.
Every soul that comes up to Zion for an inheritance, for the present, must prepare temporally and spiritually. He should settle all his concerns with the world, and owe no man: he should overcome the world, and be ready, when he arrives at the place of gathering, to consecrate all to the Lord, through whom the Lord has appointed for that purpose, that he may be prepared to keep the commandments, and do the will of his heavenly Father: otherwise he may not hold communion with the brethren: nor can he expect an inheritance, according to the regulations and order of the church.
While the gathering is sounded, that Israel may come in from his long dispersion, and also, as many of the Gentiles as will, the invitation is free, but unless the articles and covenants, the law and regulation; yea, verily all the commandments, are kept, all is vain. The Lord has order, and many that may come to the land of Zion, for an inheritance, without obeying all the requirements of the Lord, will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. It is not every one that says Lord, Lord, that shall abide the day of tithing. Every soul that is saved in the celestial kingdom, will be saved by its own faith and works: therefore, how necessary it is, that the saints should keep all the commandments, that others seeing a good example, may go and do likewise. If any should ask what is my duty! Let him read: To love the Lord supremely: To love his neighbor as himself: To consecrate all to the Lord: To be faithful to the end, and, above all, to have charity. A saint must be holy, or he cannot have a portion in the holy city.
Again: Let all things be in order. Let every one that quits the world for the sake of eternal life, act consistent in every thing: by obeying the commandments; by paying his just debts; by taking care of his property, if any, if not, by assisting others to do so: not hurrying up to Zion with some and leaving some to what the appetite of an over anxious world. The Lord is never in a hurry, but gives every thing its proper proportion of time. Be cleanly; no matter what condition yours may be, cleanliness is a virtue, that will be required in Zion. Heaven shines with glory, and the Lord clothes his angels with WHITE ROBES: How necessary, then, that his saints should be decent.
In relation to consecrating, and continuing worthy, and faithful to the end, we make the following extract of a letter:-
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; and also, their manner of life, and their faith and works: and also, of all the apostates, who apostatize after receiving their inheritance.
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; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records, or histories of the church: their names shall not be found, neither the names of their fathers, or the names of their children, written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts; yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things: and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:-And it shall come to pass, that I the Lord God will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words, while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritance of the saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man who was called of God, and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; 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 there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself, therefore, as the Lord speaketh he will also fulfil.
And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off out of the church, as well as the lesser Priesthood; or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the saints of the most High: therefore, it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priests, as it is written in the second chapter, and 61st and 62nd verses of Ezra: And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai: which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
(Let Every Man Learn His Duty., Evening and Morning Star, vol. 1 (June 1832-May 1833), Vol. I. January, 1833. No. 8., p.61-61)
(Evening and Morning Star Vol. I)
It is important to note that those who do not learn the lessons of consecration by entering into this law will have no inheritance in the Celestial World. In essence, the law of consecration is the Lord's law by which he gives us access to and eternal inheritance in his presence.