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The Gospel Trilogy

By Cleon Skousen
Trilogy Parts One Through Three
Trilogy One
Building Blocks of the Universe
This talk was first presented, at the invitation of President Mike Glauser, to approximately 180 missionaries
at the Georgia Atlanta Mission on ovem!er "#$, "000% The morning hours were spent &overing the !asi&
stru&ture of this presentation% The afternoon hours were spent in answering 'uestions%
Introduction
(ne of the most gratifying things a!out going on a mission is the opportunity to really learn a!out the gospel%
And we learn it on two levels%
The first level is what Paul &alls the M)*+ level of the gospel learning ,-AT the a&tual re'uirements of the
gospel are to lead us !a&k to the presen&e of the .ather/ for example, faith, repentan&e, !aptism, the gift of
the -oly Ghost, o!eying the &ommandments and enduring to the end% (f &ourse, we don0t minimi1e the
sa&red importan&e of the M)*+ level !e&ause it tells you in the simplest terms ,-AT you must do to rea&h
the &elestial kingdom%
The se&ond level is what Paul &alled the M2AT level whi&h explains ,-3 ea&h prin&iple of the gospel is
essential and -(, it works% 4o the milk is the ,-AT of the gospel% The meat is the ,-3 and the -(,%
The differen&e !etween milk and meat is made very &lear in the s&riptures% -ere is how Paul distinguished
!etween these two different levels of gospel study% -e said5
6) have fed you with milk and not with meat/ for hitherto ye were not a!le to !ear it, neither yet now are ye
a!le%6 71 8orinthians $5"9
3e have need that one tea&h you again whi&h !e the first prin&iples of the ora&les of God/ and are !e&ome
su&h as have need of milk, and not of strong meat% .or every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of
righteousness/ for he is a !a!e% :ut strong meat !elongeth to them that are of full age, even those who !y
reason of ;ha!itual< use have their senses exer&ised to dis&ern !oth good and evil% Therefore ;6(T6
a&&ording to =oseph 4mith< leaving the prin&iples of the do&trine of 8hrist, *2T >4 G( ( >T(
P2?.28T)(/ not ;repeatedly< laying again the foundation of repentan&e from dead works, and of faith
toward God%6 7-e!rews @51"#1A plus B519
)saiah says the meat !elongs to those 6who understand do&trine and are weaned from the milk% %%.or
pre&ept must !e upon pre&ept, line upon line%6 7)saiah "85C#109
(f &ourse the great &hallenge to =oseph 4mith as the propheti& head of this new dispensation was the fa&t
that he did not re&eive new knowledge merely line upon line and pre&ept upon pre&ept !ut *A32? upon
*A32?% 4ometimes these layers were so enri&hed with heavy do&trines of gospel meat that =oseph0s
asso&iates &hoked on them and denoun&ed !oth =oseph and the most re&ent layer of revelation as false and
una&&epta!le% :ut =oseph0s time was short% -e &ould not wait for those who lagged !ehind% 8onse'uently,
ten mem!ers of the original Duorum of the Twelve faltered% The two apostles who stood valiantly with the
prophet were :righam 3oung and -e!er 8% +im!all%
,hile on a mission we &on&entrate on tea&hing the milk !e&ause these are the plain and simple things that
are essential to get us !a&k to the .ather0s 8elestial +ingdom% They tell us ,-AT to do% The key to su&&ess
on the milk level is (:2E)282, a willingness to follow the essential re'uirements of the Gospel% oti&e
that Paul !e&ame upset with the saints in his day !e&ause he &ouldn0t get them to go !eyond the milk and
learn the gospel meat AE T-2?2:3 G( ( >T( P2?.28T)(% oti&e )saiah0s warning that the meat
of the gospel &annot !e digested !y swallowing it in gulps% )t must !e prayerfully pondered, pre&ept upon
pre&ept and line upon line%
The Blessing of Having a Great Teacher
) got into the meat of the gospel shortly after ) arrived in the :ritish Mission% ) was only 1F when ) was &alled
on a mission and upon arriving in 2ngland ) found out that 2lder =ohn A% ,idtsoe was presiding over all the
missions in 2urope and he had his head'uarters in 2ngland% That meant that on&e in awhile ) would get to
see him%
President ,idtsoe was an apostle and a mem!er of the 8oun&il of the Twelve% -e had !een the president of
two universities, was a famous s&ientist, and was a mem!er of the ?oyal 4o&iety of 2ngland% :y reputation
he was &onsidered to !e one of the foremost s&holars of the gospel in the entire &hur&h and had written
!ooks on the tea&hings of !oth =oseph 4mith and the Eis&ourses of :righam 3oung%
(ne day when we were on the train together, ) was !old enough to ask 2lder ,idtsoe a gospel 'uestion% )
didn0t reali1e it at the time, !ut my 'uestion turned out to !e the most profound 'uestion in the entire gospel%
) said, 62lder ,idtsoe, ,hy did =esus have to !e &ru&ifiedG6
-e paused and then said, 6,ho told you to ask me that 'uestionG6
) said, 6,ell no!ody% )t0s my 'uestionH% ,hen ) was a small !oy in 8anada they would tell us at 2aster time
how =esus was la&erated with a whip, how he had a &rown of thorns put on his head, with !lood running
down his fa&e, and how he was nailed to the &ross and suffered the most terri!le agony% ) wondered who in
the world wanted all that sufferingG )f it had a purpose, what was itG .urthermore, how did the &ru&ifixion of
=esus have anything to do with my salvationG6
2lder ,idtsoe thought for a moment and then he said5 6) &ould answer your 'uestions, !ut you wouldn0t
understand the answers% 3ou don0t know enough a!out your -eavenly .ather%6
4o ) said, 6,ould you tea&h meG6
)t was an auda&ious thing to ask a heavily !urdened General Authority, !ut after a moment he said, 64in&e it
is your 'uestion, may!e you would have enough &uriosity and tena&ity to pursue the rather tedious task of
learning a!out it line upon line and pre&ept upon pre&ept#that is the only way you &an get the whole pi&ture%6
4o that0s how ) stum!led into one of the greatest !lessings of my entire life% ) !e&ame a student of the meat
of the gospel under the guidan&e of Apostle =ohn A% ,idtsoe%
Part 1
Everything in Existence is ade Out of !ust T"o Things
# $urprise Beginning
2lder ,idtsoe started me out a!out a hundred miles away from my original 'uestion &on&erning the
&ru&ifixion%
-e asked me if ) knew that everything in existen&e was made out of Iust two things% ,ell, ) had Iust
graduated from high s&hool and ) had learned in &hemistry a!out elements% ) told him there weren0t Iust two%
8hemists had identified over a hundred different elements%
6(h,6 he said, 6ea&h element is made up of millions of these two tiny parti&les that ) am talking a!out%6 4o )
asked him what these two tiny parti&les were%
-e said5 6,hen the prophet *ehi was on his death !ed, he explained to his sons that everything in existen&e
is made out of these two tiny !uilding !lo&ks% 4ee if you &an find what he &alled them in the !ook of "
ephi%6
) asked him why he didn0t give me the &hapter and verse% -e said, 6(h, ) wouldn0t deprive you of the thrill of
finding them%6 This was &hara&teristi& of my entire training under =ohn A% ,idtsoe% -e would des&ri!e the
prin&iple and tell me A:(>T where to find it and them leave it up to me% ) finally lo&ated *ehi0s statement%
-e said5
6There is a God, and he hath &reated A** things, !oth the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them
are, :(T- T-)G4 T( A8T AE T-)G4 T( :2 A8T2E >P(%6 7" ephi "51A9
2lder ,idtsoe then said, 6-eavenly .ather has &alled the thing whi&h a&ts !y a &ertain name and the thing
whi&h is a&ted upon !y another name% These are the two !uilding !lo&ks out of whi&h the *ord has made
everything in the entire universe% 4ee if you &an find out what he &alls them% 3ou will find these names a!out
three#fourths of the way through the Eo&trine and 8ovenants%6
) really had to dig for those verses% .inally ) found the names of these !uilding !lo&ks in se&tion C$, verses
"C#$$%
The *ord said that the thing whi&h 6a&ts6 is &alled an intelligen&e and that whi&h is 6a&ted upon6 is &alled
6element6 or primal matter% -e said these !uilding !lo&ks always existed% They are eternal% 7EJ8 C$5"C, $$9
They &annot !e &reated and they &annot !e destroyed, !ut they &an !e organi1ed, E)4organi1ed and
?2organi1ed%
4in&e the intelligen&e is the ingredient that 6a&ts6, it is assumed that the elements are inert, or as some have
said, 6)t is Iust stuff%6 -owever, :righam 3oung said that these tiny !its of primal matter or inert parti&les of
stuff, are 6&apa&itated to re&eive intelligen&e%6 7=ournal of Eis&ourses, F5"9 )n fa&t, :righam 3oung#who was
tutored !y the prophet =oseph 4mith seems to have had a &omplete grasp of the nature of intelligen&e and
its asso&iation with primal matter% -e said5
6There is an eternity of matter, and it is all a&ted upon and filled with a portion of divinity% 7God0s organi1ed
intelligen&es%9 Matter is to exist/ it &annot !e annihilated% 2ternity is without !ounds and is filled with matter/
and there is no su&h thing as empty spa&e% And matter is &apa&itated to re&eive intelligen&e%%%matter &an !e
organi1ed and !rought forth into intelligen&e, and to possess more intelligen&e, and to &ontinue to in&rease
in intelligen&e%%%learn those prin&iples that organi1ed matter &an !e made into animals, vegeta!les, and into
intelligent !eings &apa&itated to re&eive intelligen&e%6 7:righam 3oung, =ournal of Eis&ourses, vol% F, pg% "#
$9
Is there Intelligence in Everything%
These prin&iples were thoroughly understood !y =oseph 4mith and the early !rethren% As Apostle =ohn A%
,idtsoe said5
6)t was &learly &omprehended !y the Prophet 7=oseph 4mith9 and his asso&iates that intelligen&e is the
vivifying for&e of all &reation#animate or inanimate#the ro&k and tree and !east and man, have as&ending
degrees of intelligen&e%6 7=ohn A% ,idtsoe, =oseph 4mith, 4eeker After Truth, Eeseret ews Press, pp% 1@0#
1@19
And as :righam 3oung said5
6There is life ;or intelligen&e< in all matter throughout the vast extent of all the eternities/ it is in the ro&k, the
sand, in water, air, the gases, and, in short, in every des&ription and organi1ation of matter, whether it !e
solid, li'uid, or gaseous, parti&le operating with parti&le%6 7=ournal of Eis&ourses, vol% $, p% "FF9
Ho" the &ather anages His 'ast Host of Intelligences
These intelligen&es have ea&h atta&hed themselves to parti&les of matter% After this has o&&urred A!raham
refers to them as 6organi1ed intelligen&es%6 7A!raham $5""9 God &an talk to these intelligen&es and after
they have !een thoroughly trained they &an &onform to the highly &omplex instru&tion they re&eive from the
.ather, the 4on, or mem!ers of the Priesthood authori1ed to perform &ertain a&ts under the guidan&e of the
.ather or the 4on%
The *ord says this ela!orate pro&ess of training this host of eternal entities to &onform to the ela!orate
&omplexity of God0s design is !y having 6intelligen&e &leave unto intelligen&e6 a&&ording to a pres&ri!ed
pattern% 7EJ8 885A09 4&ientists are gradually identifying these &omplex patterns and have mapped out their
intri&ate &omposition% The patterns are uni'ue for ea&h entity throughout nature and are referred to as their
EA%
Part (
Ho" )o I Get #c*uainted +ith y O"n Individual Intelligence%
) asked 2lder ,idtsoe what an Hintelligen&e6 would look like% -e told me to look in the mirror sin&e ) was an
intelligen&e% ) said, 63ou mean all of meG6 he said, 6o, Iust the little 6) Am6 in you that -eavenly .ather has
!een training ever sin&e he !rought you in from outer darkness%
-e &ontinued, 6,e know you were valiant during your training as an intelligen&e !e&ause .ather gave you a
spirit !ody patterned after his own% And !e&ause you were valiant in the spirit world he has allowed you to
have a physi&al !ody with millions of intelligen&es organi1ed in your temporal ta!erna&le and faithfully
serving you here on earth%6
6,ell,6 ) asked, 6where is my personal intelligen&eG6
-e said, 6Put your hand on top of your head% )s that a!ove you or !elow youG6 ) said, 6)t0s a!ove me%6
-e said, 6Take hold of your &hin% )s that a!ove you or !elow youG6 ) replied, 6That0s !elow me%6
6Take hold of your ear%6 ) said, 6That0s !eside me%6
Then 2lder ,idtsoe asked, 6,here is this little M2 you keep talking a!outG6
) said, 6)t must !e way !a&k in there somewhere%6
-e replied, 6) think so%6
) asked, 6)s my hand part of M2G6 -e said, 6o% That hand is 3(>?4, !ut it is not the M2 or little ) AM you
keep talking a!out%6
) asked 2lder ,idtsoe why we &all the M2 in ea&h of us 6a little ) AM%6
-e said, 64hut your eyes% ow tell me if you think you a&tually exist% )t is interesting that you a&tually +(,
you exist% As the famous philosopher, ?ene Ees&artes, de&lared5 K8ogito, ergo sum#) think, therefore ) am%H
Ees&artes was a .ren&hman who lived from 1@CB to 1B@0 and is &onsidered !y many to !e the father of
modem philosophy% -e !elieved everything &onsisted of two things5 thinking su!stan&e the mind and
extended su!stan&e or matter% (ne thing he knew for &ertain, the fa&t that he personally existed% And !y
&arefully following a series of propositions, he was &ertain that God also existed%6
At this point, 2lder ,idtsoe said5 6ow, with your eyes shut, first noti&e your self awareness and then noti&e
that everything else exists (>T4)E2 of you% )t is outside of your self#existing entity% *ike Ees&artes you
know that 3(> A?2 or to make it more personal, you &an say, ) AM% This is your individual intelligen&e
talking% 3ou not only know you exist !ut God says you A*,A34 existed% 3ou didn0t have to !e &reated
!e&ause you were always there% And God was always there% -e wasn0t always God !ut he was always an
existing entity% ,hen Moses asked God what his name was, he said5 0) AM, that ) AM%0 72xodus $51A9 )n
other words he has always !een a self#existing !eing and we now know that he as&ended under his .ather0s
guidan&e until he !e&ame a God% ow, 2lder 4kousen, your little K) AMH is on that same &ourse of eternal
progression% )f you are faithful, you &an !e&ome like your -eavenly .ather%6
# &urther Exa,ination of +here +e -a,e &ro,
) asked 2lder ,idtsoe5 6)f we always existed, where did we &ome fromG6 -e said, 6(uter Earkness%6 ) asked,
6-ow do we know thatG6
-e said, 6The *ord has revealed what happens to the sons of perdition, and !y tra&king their disintegration
we learn where ,2 &ame from% .or example, .ather *ehi was on his death!ed when he addressed his two
wi&ked sons, *aman and *emuel% -e said they were in danger of !e&oming sons of perdition% They had
seen an angel and heard the voi&e of God reprimanding them for several hours% *ehi therefore said that if
they &ontinued to try to murder ephi and refused to repent of their heinous sins, they would !e&ome sons
of perdition% Then he told them what that meant% -e said they would !e stripped of their resurre&ted !odies,
6:(T- :(E3 AE 4(>*%6 7" ephi 15""9
:righam 3oung des&ri!es the pro&ess of depriving sons of perdition of !oth !ody and soul as mentioned !y
.ather *ehi% -e said5
6They will !e de&omposed, !oth soul and !ody, and return to their native element% 7)n other words, the
elements of their resurre&ted !odies will !e united with the resurre&ted earth9%%%They will !e disorgani1ed,
and 7it9 will !e as though they never had !een, while ,2 will live and retain our identity, and &ontend against
those prin&iples whi&h tend to death or dissolution%%%) want to preserve my identity, so that you &an see
:righam in the eternal worlds Iust as you see him now%6 7=ournal of Eis&ourses, vol F5@F9
-e further explained that 4atan and his angels would !e stripped of their spirits% )n !oth &ases this leaves
the individual intelligen&e without any em!odiment whatever% 2a&h one has lost his former identity% with
nothing remaining !ut the naked, individual intelligen&e%
o dou!t this is what the lord meant when he said5
6,hosoever repenteth not is -2, down and &ast into the fire/ and there &ometh upon them again a
spiritual death, yea, a se&ond death, for they are &ut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness%6
7-elaman 1A5189
And again5
6:y and !y the end &ometh, and they are -2, down and &ast into the fire ;of outer darkness<, from
when&e there is no return%6 7$ ephi "F5119
At that point ) &ouldn0t help asking, 6,hat happens to these stripped, disem!odied, naked intelligen&esG6
2lder ,idtsoe then &alled my attention to Eo&trine and 8ovenants, 885$" where it says that these affli&ted
entities will 6?2T>? AGA) to their own pla&e%6 The s&ripture says this ) mean5
6They shall go away into outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and nashing of teeth%6 7EJ8
1$$5F$9
.rom all of this we learn that the s&riptures &learly tea&h that we all originally &ame from outer darkness and
the sons of perdition return AGA) to the pla&e from whi&h we all originated%
$atan.s Battle to Prevent the )isorgani/ation of his $pirit Body
At the end of the Millennium the s&ripture says 4atan will wage a fero&ious war to prevent the disorgani1ing
of his spirit !ody as des&ri!ed !y :righam 3oung% -is war will also !e to prevent the disorgani1ing of his
followers in&luding the resurre&ted sons of perdition%
The s&ripture says5
6And when the thousand years are expired, 4atan shall !e loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to
de&eive the nations whi&h are in the four 'uarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to
!attle5 the num!er of whom is as the sand of the sea% And they went up on the !readth of the earth, and
&ompassed the &amp of the saints a!out, and the !eloved &ity, and fire &ame down from God out of heaven,
and devoured them%6 7?evelation "05 F#C9
This was the destru&tion 4atan and his hosts are determined to prevent% :ut they will lose the war% Then
they will !e 6hewn6 down% 4atan and the third of the .ather0s &hildren who followed after him will lose their
spirit !odies whereas 8ain, =udas )s&ariot and all of the sons of perdition 7who were on the 4avior0s side in
the war in heaven and therefore 'ualified to get mortal !odies9 lose their resurre&ted !odies !e&ause they
!etrayed God and were therefore resurre&ted without any glory or &apa&ity to &ontinue existing% 7EJ8 885"A9
They are therefore 6hewn6 down with nothing left !ut the naked, disem!odied intelligen&e% 4o what happens
to these stripped, naked intelligen&esG ,e have already mentioned the s&ripture, whi&h des&ri!es their
doom5
6These shall go away into outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth%6 7EJ8
1$$5F$9
And in another pla&e it says5
6And the devil that de&eived them was &ast into the lake of fire and !rimstone, where the !east ;4atan< and
the false prophet are, and shall !e tormented day and night .(? 2L2? AE 2L2?%6 7?evelation "05109
(f &ourse it would not !e Iust for God to &ast the !odies of the sons of perdition into outer darkness Iust
!e&ause the master intelligen&e in &harge of ea&h spirit or resurre&ted sons of perdition had &ommitted an
unpardona!le sin% Those tiny intelligen&es in those !odies had !een o!edient to God% Therefore, the
material in the spirits and the resurre&ted !odies of 4atan0s hosts will !e &onsigned !a&k to the earth and
thereafter !e glorified when the earth is 8elestiali1ed%
The great tragedy of all this is that all those who !e&ame servants of 4atan &an never return% 7EJ8 "C5"C9
They &annot !e swept up in some future round of &reation and re&y&led% -aving !etrayed God after !eing
endowed with tremendous spiritual !lessings they have lost their pla&e in God0s program of eternal
progression forever% -undreds of millions of other intelligen&es are awaiting their turn% :e&ause the sons of
perdition have !etrayed God they have &ompletely forfeited their eternal !lessings%
-an God or His $ervants 0earrange the Building Blocks%
.inally, ) said to 2lder ,idtsoe, 64in&e everything is made out of the two simple !uilding !lo&ks &onsisting of
intelligen&e and !its of primal matter, are there any instan&es when God has transposed one thing into
something entirely differentG6
63es,6 2lder ,idtsoe replied% 6God has done this for his prophets so they &ould &omprehend the extent of
the .ather0s supreme power% .or example we have the story of Moses set forth in 2xodus, 8hapters $ and
A%6 -ere is what happened5
,hen Moses was 80 years of age the *ord &ommissioned him to go down into 2gypt and !ring out the
enslaved &hildren of )srael%
Moses had left 2gypt at the age of A0 under a death warrant for slaying a slave master% Therefore Moses
was afraid to return to 2gypt% The *ord assured Moses that he would go with him, !ut Moses was still afraid%
Therefore, the *ord determined to demonstrate to his newly &alled prophet that having the power of God to
go with him was a fantasti& advantage%
To illustrate his power, God &ommanded Moses to &ast his shepherd0s staff onto the ground% ,hen he did
so, the staff turned from the fi!ers of wood in the staff to the &ellular flesh of a snake% This greatly frightened
Moses and he !egan to flee, !ut the *ord told him to pi&k up the serpent !y the tail and when he did so, the
&ellular flesh of the snake turned !a&k into the wooden fi!ers of his shepherd0s staff%
The *ord then told Moses to put his hand into his !osom% Moses was a!out to learn something very
remarka!le a!out a human hand% To !egin with, it is made of dirt, Iust ordinary &ommon dirt% ,hen the spirit
leaves that hand it returns to dirt% :ut that dirt is saturated with intelligen&es% 4o the *ord said to those little
entities, don0t go !a&k to dirt !ut simulate leprosy% They did so, and when Moses was told !y the *ord to
withdraw his hand from his !osom he was horrified to see it dripping with in&ura!le leprosy% -e must have
wondered what God was doing to himG The *ord then told Moses to put his hand !a&k in his !osom, whi&h
he gingerly did% Then the *ord &ommanded the leprous &ells to !e&ome healthy flesh as they were !efore%
The *ord then told Moses to take his hand from his !osom and when he saw that it was now !eautiful pink
flesh he was greatly relieved and gratified !eyond expression%
The *ord promised Moses other mira&les if they were needed#su&h as turning water into !lood% 72xodus A5C9
-owever, this was suffi&ient to demonstrate the power of God to &ommuni&ate with the intelligen&es in
matter and there!y &hange wood to flesh and, later on, produ&e water gushing out of solid ro&k% 7um!ers
"05 119 )n the final analysis, everything is made of Iust two things and God &an &ommuni&ate with the vast
host of intelligen&es to have them !e&ome whatever he wishes%
+here #re the Gods Building Their 1ingdo,s%
)t was also in the early part of my mission that ) ran a&ross a statement of the *ord in 4e&tion F1 of the
Eo&trine and 8ovenants addressed to =oseph 4mith and 4idney ?igdon )t said5
6%%%open your mouths in pro&laiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, expounding the M34T2?)24
(>T (. T-2 48?)PT>?24%6 7EJ8 F1519
) told 2lder ,idtsoe that ) didn0t know of any mysteries in the s&riptures% They seemed very plain to me% (f
&ourse this was a 1F#year#old missionary speaking%
2lder ,idtsoe knew this young missionary needed a lesson in humility%
-e said, 62lder 4kousen, turn to se&tion 88 of the Eo&trine and 8ovenants% There are many mysteries in
that se&tion of the s&ripture, and ) want to have you explain one of them to me% -e said, 6.or example, )
want you to read verse $F des&ri!ing God0s 6spa&e%6 6(h,6 ) said, 6spa&e is easy to define% )t0s everything
from here on out%6 6,rong,6 said 2lder ,idtsoe% 6?ead verse $F%6 )t said5
6And there are many kingdoms/ for there is no spa&e in whi&h there is no kingdom/ and there is no kingdom
in whi&h there is no spa&e, either a greater or a lesser kingdom%6
A &areful analysis of this verse tells us two things% .irst that 6spa&e6 is a defined region out in the eternities
where the family of the Gods are !uilding their vast network of kingdoms, and se&ond, they do not !uild any
kingdoms outside of 6spa&e6 or the sa&red region under their ex&lusive &ontrol% This is the somewhat hidden
meaning of the phrase5 6There is no kingdom in whi&h there is no spa&e%6 2lder ,idtsoe said this is one of
the mysteries in the s&riptures%
) asked 2lder ,idtsoe why God would &all this passage a 6mystery in the s&riptures%6 2lder ,idtsoe said,
6,ell, that passage &ontained a revelation defining Kspa&e,H and even though you had read it many times
you never understood it% >ntil today it was a mystery to you%6 ) was !eginning to get the idea%
+hat Is Outside of $pace%
This led me to ask 2lder ,idtsoe, 64in&e spa&e is the sa&red workshop of the Gods, what is outside or
!eyond spa&eG6
2lder ,idtsoe said the Gods &all the region !eyond spa&e 6outer darkness%6 4o ) asked, 6,hat exists in
outer darknessG6 -e said5 6Last, unlimited 'uantities of >organi1ed intelligen&es and >organi1ed !its of
primal matter% These are the two !uilding !lo&ks we have !een talking a!out% )t is from these vast resour&es
in outer darkness that the Gods gather out the vital elements or !uilding !lo&ks to set up ea&h new round of
&reation%6
.inally ) asked5 6,ho is in &harge of outer darknessG6 -e replied, 6o one% The primitive intelligen&es and
!its of primal matter exist in total, disorgani1ed &haos without any organi1ing power over them or any
influen&e to guide them%6
4ome of the early !rethren suggested the -oly 4pirit might !e hovering over this outer darkness% -ere is
:righam 3oung0s response5
6:rother (rson -yde was dwelling upon this same theory on&e, and in &onversation with :rother =oseph
4mith advan&ed the idea that the -oly 4pirit might !e hovering over the !oundless eternities whi&h he
mistakenly &alled !oundless spa&e%
6:righam 3oung said that after (rson had !een portraying his views upon that theory very &arefully and
minutely, he asked !rother =oseph what he thought of it% -e =oseph replied that it appeared very !eautiful,
and he did not know of !ut one serious o!Ie&tion to it% :rother -yde asked, 6,hat is thatG6 =oseph replied,
6)t is not true%6 7=ournal of Eis&ourses A5"BB9
This is what led the *ord to remind the prophet )saiah that, 6:efore me there was no God formed 7for you9,
neither shall there !e after me%6 7)saiah A$5109
)n other words, it is a great !lessing to !e gathered in from outer darkness !y our -eavenly .ather and !e
allowed to parti&ipate in a round of &reation% God wanted )saiah to also know that if he should !etray God
and !e&ome a son of perdition, there would never !e an opportunity to have some other God gather him up
and give him another &han&e%
To help demonstrate these enlightening s&riptures &on&erning 6spa&e6 and the organi1ing of kingdoms !y
the family of the Gods, we have tried to portray them s&hemati&ally 7along with the s&riptural referen&es9%
This illustration is lo&ated on the last page of this !ooklet 7page A@9%
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
Trilogy (
The Path"ay to Godhood
The .ather revealed so many things to =oseph 4mith a!out himself, that the prophet was relu&tant to share
mu&h of it with the 8hur&h until three months !efore his assassination% )t was at the April &onferen&e of the
8hur&h in 18AA that he gave a funeral sermon in honor of +ing .ollette who had Iust passed away% =oseph
felt inspired to use the spiritual environment of this sa&red o&&asion to tell the saints some ama1ing things
a!out our -eavenly .ather% -e said5
6God himself was on&e as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavensN6
7Tea&hings of =oseph 4mith, p% $A@9
This statement has stupendous impli&ations% )t means that the .ather went through the same pattern of
eternal progression we are now experien&ing% This meant that our -eavenly .ather, or 2lohim, has his own
-eavenly .ather who gathered him up from outer darkness and gave him the opportunity to parti&ipate in a
round of &reation% This laun&hed our -eavenly .ather on a pathway of eternal progression whi&h eventually
allowed him to !e&ome an exalted !eing% =oseph 4mith said5
6The first prin&iples or individual intelligen&es of man are self#existent with God% God himself, finding he was
in the midst of intelligen&es and glory, !e&ause he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws where!y
the rest of the intelligen&es &ould have a privilege to advan&e like himself% The relationship we have with
God pla&es us in a situation to advan&e in knowledge% -e has power to institute laws to instru&t the weaker
intelligen&es, that they may !e exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all
that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligen&e whi&h is re'uisite in order to save them in the world of spirits%6
M 7The re&order originally put the word 6spirits6 in this pla&e !ut :% -% ?o!erts noted that it should have !een
6intelligen&es%6 4ee Tea&hings of =oseph 4mith, p% $@A9
This inspired statement &ontains the following essential elements5
1% 2lohim, our .ather, was on&e in outer darkness with us%
"% :ut he was gathered up !y a -eavenly .ather and progressed during a round of &reation in his .ather0s
domain%
$% After perfe&ting himself !y o!taining !oth a spiritual and temporal !ody, he was resurre&ted and attained
the highest degree of the &elestial kingdom in his .ather0s domain%
A% )n the plan of eternal progression, any of the sons of God who rea&h this stage are eligi!le to !e given the
powers of Godhood% As :righam 3oung explained5
6)n the resurre&tion, men who have !een faithful and diligent in all things in the flesh, have kept their first and
se&ond estates, and are worthy to !e &rowned Gods, even the sons of God, will !e (?EA)2E T(
(?GA)O2 MATT2?%6 7=ournal of Eis&ourses vol% 1@, p% 1$F9
@% (n&e 2lohim had !een given this power to organi1e matter, he &ame !a&k to the edge of spa&e and
gathered up from outer darkness those of us who were to &omprise our present round of &reation% -e also
s&ooped up a suffi&ient 'uantity of primal matter with whi&h our intelligen&es &ould !e 6organi1ed%6
4o this tells me how we got where we are% (ur -eavenly .ather &ame !a&k for us so we &ould parti&ipate in
a round of &reation and progress Iust as he has done%
2ver sin&e ) learned this ex&iting information, ) have earnestly thanked my -eavenly .ather repeatedly for
in&luding me in this present round of &reation% And ) have thanked him for in&luding my wife and my &hildren
and the host of wonderful people ) have &ome to know as my friends% ,hat a !lessing for all of us to !e
together in this great adventure of eternal progression%
+hat It eans to #chieve Godhood
2ventually, all of the priesthood holders who attain exaltation and are ordained to organi1e matter will do
exa&tly what our .ather has done !efore us% ,e will go out to the edge of spa&e as .ather did and gather up
from outer darkness a host of intelligen&es, together with an appropriate amount of primal matter, so that we
&an !egin our own round of &reation%
Thus "e "ill learn for ourselves "hat it is like to 2e a God3
(ur first task will !e to sort out these !illions of intelligen&es and organi1e them with !its of primal matter%
Then we will tea&h them to love us and o!ey us as we unite them with one another in a vast array of orderly
&om!inations% ,e will then explain to them how we plan to organi1e a galaxy of our own% This will help
expand the 6spa&e6 of the Gods and add to the glory of those who went !efore us%
A very signifi&ant part of this stage of training will !e to help these individual intelligen&es de&ide where they
want to fit into this vast new order of things% (ne might think that they will all want to !e&ome Gods, !ut not
so% A!raham tells us that as the intelligen&es are graded they will &hoose different levels of existen&e
a&&ording to their desires% 7A!raham $51C#""/ Tea&hings of =oseph 4mith, p% $F$9
4ome want to !e part of the planet, whi&h will eventually !e resurre&ted% 4ome will !e attra&ted to
parti&ipation in the kingdoms of plant life% (thers will desire to !e part of the animal kingdom% And a smaller
segment whi&h &onstitute the foremost intelligen&es will aspire to have opportunities &ompara!le to that of
their -eavenly .ather%
The most signifi&ant aspe&t of this epi& of training and de&ision#making is the fa&t that on&e the de&isions
are made they will last through all eternity% 2a&h intelligen&e will not only &hoose its role in the spirit world
and in earth life !ut also in the eternities following the resurre&tion%
evertheless, ea&h intelligen&e will have had the satisfa&tion of knowing that it made its own free &hoi&e and
there!y fixed the &ourse of its development forever%
,hen it &omes time for the laun&hing of the spirit &reation, ea&h intelligen&e will take its &hosen pla&e%
=oseph 4mith des&ri!es this remarka!le transition as the intelligen&es move eagerly from mere theoreti&al
anti&ipation to a&tual parti&ipation% -e says5
6The organi1ation of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly !eings, was agreea!le
to the most perfe&t order and harmony/ their limits and !ounds were fixed )??2L(8A:*3 and
L(*>TA?)*3 su!s&ri!ed to in their heavenly estate !y T-2M42*L24, and were !y our first parents
su!s&ri!ed to upon this earth%6 78hur&h -istory vol% L), p% @19
This tells us that after the intelligen&es have &hosen the eternal role, whi&h they desire to fulfill, the signal
will !e given, and they will all immediately take their pla&es in the most perfe&t order and harmonious
arrangement% Then every intelligen&e in God0s ela!orate stru&ture for this round of &reation will !e ready to
re&eive its spiritual em!odiment% ,ith this ex&iting and glorious &ommen&ement of the spirit &reation, the
.irst 2state will have !egun%
+hat #2out Those +ho )esire to Beco,e 4ike Heavenly &ather%
)t may seem pu11ling that all the intelligen&es do not aspire to !e&ome Gods% -owever, when we refle&t on
the statement of A!raham that the intelligen&es are graded a&&ording to their attri!utes it is understanda!le
why the intelligen&es of lesser development would resist the responsi!ilities asso&iated with the higher
levels of existen&e% )n fa&t, the genius of ea&h round of &reation is that there are opportunities for
parti&ipation, whi&h extend from the most simple involvement to the extremely &omplex responsi!ilities of
Godhood%
The s&riptures make it &lear that an exalted !eing who is a mem!er of the Priesthood and has !een
ordained to Godhood will undou!tedly en&ounter at least three monumental &rises that, &an Ieopardi1e his
role as a -eavenly .ather and threaten to destroy his immediate round of &reation%
Three Heavenly -rises
The first &risis will !e a revolution during the spirit &reation% This o&&urs when an over#am!itious leader
de&ides to &hallenge the .ather and put himself in &omplete &ontrol of the whole round of &reation%
-ow &ould this happenG
)t is the very nature of intelligent !eings who have risen to a level whi&h they &onsider to !e e'ual or superior
to their -eavenly .ather, to suddenly aspire to take over and repla&e the very !eing who has helped them
gain their high status of a&hievement% (!viously this passionate aspiration of an arrogant spirit &onstitutes a
&hallenge to a -eavenly .ather sin&e he must deal with this explosive eagerness lest it su!vert and
&ompletely shatter that parti&ular round of &reation%
Therefore this is a maIor &risis even among heavenly !eings% The .ather must defuse this am!itious usurper
and, if ne&essary, suppress an out!reak of an angry &onfli&t in heaven% ?estoring pea&e will !e the first
threatening &risis fa&ing a -eavenly .ather%
The se&ond &risis will o&&ur during the se&ond estate when the .ather0s &hosen ?edeemer falters in terror
as he draws near to the agonies &onne&ted with the redemptive sa&rifi&e% -owever sin&e the .ather knows
the end from the !eginning he reali1es that eventually the 8hosen (ne will over&ome his terror and fulfill his
great &alling% evertheless there is a moment of supreme &risis as this round of &reation hangs perilously in
the !alan&e%
The third &risis &omes at the end of the Millennium when 4atan mo!ili1es his vast host of followers to make
his final desperate attempt to overthrow the .ather and his ?edeemer 4on% The intensity of the final war is
magnified !y 4atan0s reali1ation that if he loses this war, he and his followers will !e disem!odied and &ast
!a&k into outer darkness as stripped naked intelligen&es% To prevent this horri!le Iudgment of losing their
very identity, they will make this war the most violent upheaval in all human history%
(f &ourse, a 4upreme :eing in &harge of a round of &reation will know the end from the !eginning% -e will
know that ea&h of these &rises will !e su&&essfully resolved, !ut this knowledge will not make the solution
any less violent or strenuous to endure until it is over%
(f &ourse, all of us know that up to the present time, our -eavenly .ather has already passed through the
first two &rises in this round of &reation% )t is part of our edu&ation in this life to know what happened%
)t all !egan when 2lohim, our -eavenly .ather, sele&ted the most advan&ed intelligen&e in our family of his
&hildren to !e trained for the role of general manager over this round of &reation% -e !e&ame the first !orn of
all of the .ather0s &hildren, and our .ather gave him the name of =ehovah%
The Training of !ehovah
)t was a long and somewhat tedious task to prepare =ehovah for Godhood% Ama1ingly, =ehovah had to
attain the status of Godhood even in the spirit world !efore he &ould !e&ome the .ather0s general manager
of this round of &reation%
=ohn the :aptist re&orded the following &on&erning the 4avior0s initial training% This was later revealed to
=oseph 4mith5
6), =ohn saw that he =ehovah re&eived not of the fullness at the first, !ut re&eived gra&e for gra&e%%%and he
was &alled the 4on of God, !e&ause he re&eived not of the fullness at the first%6 7EJ8 C$51"# 1A9
4in&e the restoration of the gospel, we have learned myriads of ex&iting details &on&erning the early stages
of our present round of &reation% These all took pla&e on the &elestial residen&e of our -eavenly .ather
lo&ated near the huge planet +olo! whi&h is &lose to the &enter of our galaxy% 7A!raham $5"#$9
,e think of this opening period when the vast 'uantity of intelligen&es were !eing gathered in from outer
darkness and trained as the first stage of our existen&e as part the .ather0s kingdom%
The $pirit -reation
ow the .ather populated his &elestial planet with a vast 'uantity of &hildren% Paul said these &hildren were
all the 6offspring6 of the .ather 7A&ts 1F5"C9 !ut =ehovah is given &redit for assem!ling the highly refined
spiritual matter from whi&h their spirit !odies were made% Thus we read5
6Therefore, in the !eginning the ,ord was, for he was the ,ord even the messenger of salvation%%%The
worlds were made !y him/ M2 ,2?2 MAE2 :3 -)M%6 7EJ8 C$58#109
The s&ripture is plain that =ehovah was the general manager of the entire spirit &reation#planets, people,
plants and animals% 7Moses "5$"#$$9% -is intimate relation with the hosts of intelligen&es throughout this
round of &reation made him !eloved Iust as they loved the .ather% As we shall see later, this was a!solutely
essential to 'ualify him for his role as the ?edeemer%
The &irst -ouncil in Heaven
.inally the .ather was ready to transfer this mighty host of spirit &hildren to their own planet where they
&ould !e trained and prepared for the 4e&ond 2state% This would !e a tremendous undertaking and so the
.ather held a massive &oun&il meeting with all his &hildren parti&ipating% The s&ripture says5
6ow the *ord had shown unto me, A!raham, the intelligen&es that were organi1ed 7with spirits9 !efore the
world was%%%And there stood one among them that was like unto God%6
oti&e that this leader was not God, !ut someone 6like unto God6 who would undou!tedly !e =ehovah or
=esus 8hrist% This person knew what the .ather wanted done, and so he said5
6,e will go down for there is spa&e there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth
whereon these may dwell% And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the
*ord their God shall &ommand them%6 7A!raham $5"A# "@9
The stru&turing of this new planet was a &olossal undertaking% As :righam 3oung taught, it was !uilt in the
vi&inity of the .ather0s &elestial residen&e whi&h was near the planet +olo!% 7=ournal of Eis&ourses vol% 1F, p%
1A$9
The preparation of the earth took millions of years% )t had to provide the resour&es for tens of thousands of
generations of !oth animals and mankind%
)n &ontemplation of this mighty task, the *ord said5
6,hom shall ) sendG And one answered like unto the 4on of Man5 -ere am ) send me% And another
answered and said5 -ere am ) send me% And the *ord said5 ) will send the first% And the se&ond was angry,
and kept not his first estate/ and at that day many followed after him%6 7A!raham $5"F#"89
The +ork of the &irst Estate
Meanwhile there were divine la!ors that had to !e performed !y =ehovah and the &oun&il of the 6no!le and
great ones6 su&h as A!raham, )saa&, =a&o!, Moses, =oseph 4mith and others who would !e the leaders of
the various dispensations%
Tens of !illions of the .ather0s &hildren also had to !e sorted out and designated for the various nations and
empires that would o&&upy the earth during the seven thousand years of its temporal existen&e%
The work was further &ompli&ated !y the fa&t that empires and the distri!ution of population had to !e
&al&ulated in terms of the availa!ility of the *ord0s leaders, &alled )srael or 4oldiers of God% Moses des&ri!es
this &hallenging task% -e says5
6%%%ask thy father, and he will shew thee/ thy elders and they will tell thee, when the most high divided to the
nations their inheritan&e, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the !ounds of the%%%people
A88(?E)G T( T-2 >M:2? (. T-2 8-)*E?2 (. )4?A2*%6 7Eeuteronomy $"5F#89
Another arduous task during the preexisten&e was ordaining all of those who were designated for Priesthood
leadership during the 4e&ond 2state% Priesthood is simply a 6&all to servi&e,6 and many of those who were
eligi!le for the Priesthood reIe&ted this 6&all to servi&e%6 Alma des&ri!es this phenomenon5
6And this is the manner after whi&h they were ordained !eing &alled and prepared from the foundation of the
world a&&ording to the foreknowledge of God, on a&&ount of their ex&eeding faith and good works%%%while
others would reIe&t the 4pirit of God on a&&ount of the hardness of their hearts and !lindness of their minds,
while if it had not !een for this T-23 M)G-T -AL2 -AE A4 G?2AT P?)L)*2G2 A4 T-2)? :?2T-?2%6
7Alma 1$5$#A9
The +ar in Heaven
After the preparations for the 4e&ond 2state were in order the .ather &alled another massive &oun&il of all
his &hildren% The purpose was to &hoose a ?edeemer or mediator without whi&h this entire round of &reation
would !e lost%
.irst of all, the .ather explained that with ea&h round of &reation there has to !e a ?edeemer% -e then asked
who would provide the redemptive sa&rifi&e% 4uddenly, a fantasti& development o&&urred% *u&ifer leaped
forward%
4atan hated the idea of an atoning sa&rifi&e whi&h re'uired an infinite 'uantity of suffering !y the mediator
whi&h would !e so &ompelling that the hosts of intelligen&es would overlook the sins of the repentant and
grant all the spe&ial !lessings for whi&h the 4avior might plead in our !ehalf as we as&ended the pathway of
eternal progression%
)t is highly signifi&ant that 4atan had not kept his first estate 7A!raham A5"89 !ut spent his time &onIuring up
a s&heme whi&h he wanted the .ather to a&&ept in pla&e of the atoning sa&rifi&e whi&h the family of the
Gods had used down through the eternities% 4atan was so proud of his s&heme that he wanted the full honor
of inventing it% 7EJ8 "C5$B9
The &ore of 4atan0s plan was to suspend free agen&y during the 4e&ond 2state and for&e the .ather0s
&hildren to &onform to &elestial law so that none of them would !e lost !e&ause of sin% -e &arefully explained
how his marvelous s&heme would operate% >nder 4atan0s plan there would !e5
o ne&essity for an atoning sa&rifi&e%
o sin would !e allowed%
o evil would !e permitted%
o suffering would have to !e endured%
o Iudgment would !e re'uired%
o punishment would !e infli&ted%
o failures would o&&ur%
The entire family of the .ather would !e automati&ally saved under 4atan0s plan%
(f &ourse, 4atan had missed one important fa&t% The whole purpose of the 4e&ond 2state was to help the
.ather0s &hildren distinguish !etween good and evil% Their exposure to evil and the &onse'uen&es of its
influen&e was needed to galvanize them against the temptations of evil throughout eternity% :ut o!viously,
4atan0s plan would not do this% )t would a&tually deprive them of the &apa&ity to experien&e evil or even
re&ogni1e it% )n fa&t, under 4atan0s plan the .ather0s &hildren would go through life in a *u&iferian strait Ia&ket
and learn nothing%
Therefore, when =ehovah per&eived how the a!omina!le plan of 4atan was shrewdly designed to ro! the
.ather of his throne and deprive =ehovah of his divine mission, he stepped forward and volunteered to go
through the agonies of the redemptive sa&rifi&e and there!y save this whole round of &reation%
)mmediately, the .ather a&&epted the offer of =ehovah and reIe&ted the su!versive plan of 4atan%
4uddenly there was an uproar in heaven%
A large portion of this vast multitude liked the plan proposed !y 4atan% After all, it guaranteed them salvation
without any effort on their part% )t made all the &hoi&es for them% )t eliminated the awful ne&essity of a !lood
sa&rifi&e and it offered them &omplete salvation on a silver platter% This multitude &ompletely agreed with
4atan and they were willing to wage war to have it adopted%
4o the .ather0s first great &risis roared out a&ross the fa&e of the new planet% :ut this war was fought in a
pe&uliar way% o weapons were used% =ohn the :eloved says the furious en&ounter was fought with
argument and &ontentious de!ate% =ohn says the servants of God fought with their testimonies% 7?evelation
1"5119
The line of argument pro!a!ly went something like this5 )f they followed 4atan they would never get temporal
!odies, they would even lose their spirit !odies%
)t is interesting that those who la!ored on !ehalf of the 4avior were &alled 6The 4oldiers of God6 or 6)srael6
even in the preexisten&e% They testified with the most earnest passion that the only hope for the .ather0s
&hildren was to a&&ept the .ather0s de&ision and follow =ehovah%
The &asualty rate in this war was very high% )n a very real way it was a war to the death% (ne third of the
.ather0s vast host of offspring gam!led away their lega&y in God0s +ingdom !e&ause they wanted the .ather
to adopt 4atan0s plan% o amount of reason and patient testimony#!earing would persuade them% .inally the
.ather felt &ompelled to &ommand Mi&hael to for&e the host of mutinous re!els into exile#a&ross the veil and
into the temporal world%
There, for the next six thousand years, the war would &ontinue, and at the end of the seventh thousand
years 4atan and his followers would fa&e their ultimate doom%
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
Trilogy 5
The $ecret ission of !esus -hrist
Introduction
The first estate involved the sele&tion of the .ather0s general manager for the stru&turing of this entire round
of &reation% Then the .ather had to sele&t a redeemer for the se&ond estate% 4atan thought the redemptive
sa&rifi&e of the ?edeemer was virtually stupid and he therefore offered a plan that had never !een tried
!efore% ,hen the .ather &hose the traditional plan with =ehovah or =esus as the ?edeemer, it &aused a war
in heaven !e&ause so many of the .ather0s &hildren preferred 4atan0s plan% 4atan wanted to eliminate the
need for a ?edeemer and guarantee salvation for all of the .ather0s &hildren whether they wanted it or not%
The only draw!a&k to 4atan0s plan was the fa&t that it was !ased on for&e, and that is why the .ather
reIe&ted it% This resulted in a war in heaven and &on&luded with one#third of the .ather0s &hildren !eing
eIe&ted from their heavenly home%
The se&ond estate was filed with perils under the traditional plan !e&ause everyone was at li!erty to use his
or her free agen&y so they &ould learn the differen&e !etween good and evil%
(f &ourse, everyone would !e held a&&ounta!le for their a!use of free agen&y and would !e punished for
their misdeeds to the uttermost farthing%
:ut what if a person learned the differen&e !etween good and evil and wanted to avoid the punishment for
past offenses% 8ould this !e a&hievedG
The .ather said there was a way if you knew how it worked% )t was &alled the Atonement%
) urgently !egged 2lder =ohn A% ,idtsoe with whom ) had !e&ome a&'uainted to explain the Atonement so )
&ould &omprehend it%
-e !egan !y &arefully tea&hing me everything we have &overed in Trilogy 1%
Then ) was extremely anxious to have him get to the su!Ie&t of the Atonement !ut, as usual, he !egan the
dis&ussion a!out a hundred miles away from the su!Ie&t% )n fa&t, he !egan with several 'uestions% The first
one was, 6,here do you think our .ather got his powerG6
) suggested that he pro!a!ly got it from -)4 .ather%
2lder ,idtsoe said, 6o, that is not &orre&t% All he got from his .ather was the authority or the keys to !uild a
new round of &reation% -is .ather did not give him the power to do it%6
-e then asked me a se&ond 'uestion% 6,hat makes a great !ishopG6 ) told him ) thought it was his
ordination% 6o,6 he said, 6a !ishop merely gets his A>T-(?)T3 from his ordination, !ut his P(,2? to !e a
great !ishop &omes from the same pla&e that God gets his%6
)n total frustration ) asked, 6,ell then, where does God get his powerG6
-e said, 6Two passages in the s&riptures will give you the key% They are !oth from the Eo&trine and
8ovenants% )n 4e&tion "C, verse $B, the *ord says, 0M3 -((? )4 M3 P(,2?%0 Then in 4e&tion B$, verse
@C it says K) am from A:(L2, and my power lieth :22AT-%H
2lder ,idtsoe then asked me what exists !elow God that honors him and gives him power, or, for that
matter, what is there !elow a :ishop that gives him honor and therefore his powerG
After a moment ) said, 6,ell, with God it is the vast host of intelligen&es !elow God that honor him and
therefore o!ey him% That &ertainly gives him power% And ) suppose you &ould say, the same thing a!out a
!ishop who is honored and o!eyed and therefore from them he derives his power%6
62xa&tlyN6 said 2lder ,idtsoe% 6This is a Priesthood prin&iple% God and his servants a&'uire their power from
those over whom they preside%6
-e &ontinued, 6) think you also know what makes a great !ishop% )t is every!ody in their pla&es for the
4unday servi&es% )t is dea&ons ready to serve the sa&rament and worthy priests to !less it% )t is tea&hers well
prepared and radiant with the 4pirit% )t is young priests who make themselves &onversant with the gospel
and are anxious to !e &alled on missions% )t is vigilant ?elief 4o&iety visiting tea&hers who are 'ui&k to dete&t
the needs of the si&k and the poor% These are the things that make people say, KMy, what a great !ishopNH
(!viously, his power &omes from the support of his ward and the honor, whi&h is demonstrated !y the
mem!ers of the ward responding enthusiasti&ally to his guidan&e and leadership%
Then he &ontinued5 6)t is the same way with God% The honor and o!edien&e whi&h he re&eives from his vast
legion of intelligen&es is what gives him his power%6
Ho" God -ould 4ose His Po"er
Then he surprised me !y saying5 6Eid you know our -eavenly .ather &ould lose that powerG6
(f &ourse that was a new do&trine to me, so ) said, 6-ow would that !e possi!leG God is all#powerful% At
least that is what ) was always taught%6
-e said% 6This ama1ing do&trine that God &ould lose his power is found in Alma &hapter A"% There it plainly
tea&hes that God is the great ar!iter of the universe and ea&h intelligen&e is depending on him to !e
a!solutely honest, a!solutely Iust, a!solutely fair, and a!solutely un&hangea!le, otherwise -2 ,(>*E
82A42 T( :2 G(E% 7Alma A"5 1$, "", "@/ Mormon C51C9 This is why the s&ripture says, KGod &annot look
upon sin, with the least degree of allowan&e,H 7Alma A@51B/ EJ8 15$19 or if he did, he would &ease to !e
God% (r, in other words, G(E ,(>*E .A**N6
Then he 'ui&kly added, 6:ut, of &ourse, he isn0t going to fall !e&ause he knows how to prevent it% -owever,
he wants us to know that he 8(>*E fall% The .ather wants us to know that if he doesn0t maintain the
&onfiden&e and honor of the host of intelligen&es in this round of &reation, they would &ease to honor him,
and then &ease to o!ey him, and without his honor, he would &ease to !e God% This is the powerful
message set forth in Alma, &hapter A" and Mormon C51C%
-aving set down these ama1ing and somewhat surprising prin&iples, he &ontinued !y saying5 6ow, we are
ready to learn why the Atonement of =esus 8hrist was indispensa!le to the .ather% -e needed =esus to do
something of supreme importan&e, whi&h the .ather &ould not do himself% )f he tried to redeem his &hildren
after they had fallen, he would &ease to !e GodN6
+hy +as the &all 6ecessary%
(n&e ) re&ogni1ed the dilemma of the .ather in the se&ond estate, ) asked, 6,hy was the fall ne&essaryG6
:riefly, here is what he told me% (n the pathway of eternal progression it is ne&essary during the 4e&ond
2state for mankind to learn the differen&e !etween good and evil% They must not only know the differen&e
!etween the two !ut they must engrain into their very souls a determination to em!ra&e the good and a!hor
the evil% They must reIe&t the evil with an instin&tive vehemen&e that will &hara&teri1e their !ehavior in the
family of the Gods forever% This is of paramount importan&e, parti&ularly for those who are aspiring to
!e&ome Gods%
(ur -eavenly .ather knew that we are in&apa!le of en&ountering sin without partaking of some of it% )t is
inherent in our very nature that !y attempting to learn a!out sin we &annot avoid some degree of
&ontamination% Therefore, under &elestial law, our en&ounter with sin automati&ally &uts us off from the
presen&e of the .ather% Paul stated emphati&ally that !e&ause of the fall5 6A** -AL2 4)2E AE 8(M2
4-(?T (. T-2 G*(?3 (. G(E%6 7?omans $5"$9
This leaves the .ather helpless insofar as re&overing his fallen &hildren is &on&erned% This is what led ephi
to say5
6o un&lean thing &an dwell with God/ wherefore ye 7who have sinned while learning a!out sin9 are &ast off
forever%6 71 ephi 105"19
4o ,hat is the AnswerG
:ut, of &ourse, if we have learned the differen&e !etween good and evil !ut &annot get !a&k to the domain of
our -eavenly .ather so as to &ontinue our eternal progression, the .ather0s plan to have us exalted and
!e&ome Gods is defeated% Therefore, the family of the Gods had to adopt a devi&e that would Iustify the
.ather in restoring us to his &elestial realm and &ontinue our eternal progression without Ieopardi1ing his
Godhood%
The o!Ie&t of the Atonement was to get the intelligen&es to overlook our imperfe&tions ) 4P)T2 of our sins%
The Protestant s&holars !elieved that this was a&&omplished !y having =esus 6pay for our sins6 through his
suffering and there!y !alan&e the s&ales of Iusti&e% -owever, this theory involves a monumental pro!lem
and that is the fa&t that it isn0t Iust to have one person pay for the sins of another% Amulek points this out in
Alma $A511#1"%
Amulek then goes on to explain that the Atonement is not !ased on trying to !alan&e the s&ales of Iusti&e
!ut it is !ased on M2?83 ,-)8- ,)P24 (>T T-2 E2MAE4 (. =>4T)82% 7Alma $A51@9
)t turned out that this was the genius of the Atonement%
Ho" )oes the #tone,ent +ork%
There are three essential re'uirements in a divine Atonement to a&&omplish something, whi&h the .ather
&ould never do himself% .irst, there must !e someone who is loved !y all the hosts of intelligen&es% They
must love this person as mu&h as they love God himself% This was a&hieved !y making the ?edeemer the
general manager of the entire round of &reation% :y this means every intelligen&e learned to love and honor
the great =ehovah%
4e&ond, this mu&h#loved person must go through a horrendous &risis of infinite agony and suffering whi&h is
so intense that it arouses an out&ry of &ompassion in every single intelligen&e who !elongs to this round of
&reation%
Third, this mu&h#loved person must then re'uire repentan&e and a &omplete surrender to the re'uirements
of the gospel so that =esus will inter&ede and petition for the sake of his suffering that the &onvert &an return
to the .ather and &ontinue on the pathway of eternal progression%
Therefore, to summari1e5 ,ith ea&h round of &reation there has to !e an infinite sa&rifi&e that arouses su&h
a flood of mer&y in the &ons&iousness of every intelligen&e that it &onsents to permit the .ather to !ring us
!a&k into his presen&e so as to &ontinue our training and exaltation%
ow we &ome to the &limax of our dis&ussion%
+ho $hould Put the $avior Through the #toning $acrifice%
)n order to provide a redemptive sa&rifi&e, someone must slay the 4avior under ex&ru&iating &ir&umstan&es%
,ho should do thisG 4hould it !e planned in advan&e, or Iust left to &han&e and &ir&umstan&esG o dou!t
this ugly 'uestion was dis&ussed at length !etween the .ather and the 4on in the preexisten&e% ,e are led
to presume that a dis&ussion similar to the following dialogue must have taken pla&e !e&ause that is exa&tly
the way it turned out5
The .ather5 My son, as you know, with ea&h new round of &reation we have to &hoose someone to make a
redemptive sa&rifi&e% ) am grateful that you volunteered to provide the needed sa&rifi&e for this present round
of &reation% ow, whom are you planning to !e responsi!le for !ringing to pass your redemptive sa&rifi&eG )n
other words, who should slay youG
The 4on5 ) would like to have my redemptive sa&rifi&e !rought a!out !y some of those who loved me and
who valiantly supported me during the ,ar in -eaven% 4in&e ) will !e &oming into mortality through the loins
of Eavid, ) !elieve ) would like to have the =ews !ring a!out my &ru&ifixion%
The .ather5 :ut they would never &ru&ify you if they knew who you were% )n fa&t, as Paul will later say, 6-ad
they known it, they would not have &ru&ified the *ord of Glory6 71 8orinthians "589%
The 4on5 Then ) must arrange it so they will not reali1e who ) am until after the &ru&ifixion is over%
The .ather5 -ow will you !ring that a!outG
The 4on5 -ere is my plan% ) will have the =ewish prophets reveal that the Messiah will !e a =ew and that the
=ews will think he is an impostor and slay him% (f &ourse, their leaders will say that they would never kill
their Messiah% o dou!t they will denoun&e the prophe&y as a myth and &onsider it an insult to the =ewish
people% They will not only for!id anyone to prea&h this do&trine !ut pronoun&e a death penalty on anyone
who dares to prea&h it% ) am sure they will also remove from the s&riptures the writings of any prophet who
has taught that the Messiah will !e killed !y his own people% As a result of this, they will have no way of
knowing who ) am when ) &ome among them as the ?edeemer% They will only know a!out my 4e&ond
8oming when ) will &ome in power as the great +ing Messiah% As a result, when ) &ome to the earth the first
time, they will expe&t me to &ome in power and set up a worldwide =ewish kingdom% ,hen this fails to
materiali1e, they will think ) am an impostor and allow me to !e killed%
The .ather5 Then what will happen to those who &onsented to your death !e&ause they thought you were an
impostorG
The 4on5 4in&e they merely assented to my death, thinking ) was an impostor, they will not !e guilty of
murder% Therefore, they &an !e forgiven !e&ause of my atoning sa&rifi&e, whi&h they themselves will have
helped me !ring a!out% After my resurre&tion ) will explain to them that this was arranged in heaven !efore
the world !egan% ) will tell them that ) wanted to have the =ews, my own people, assist in !ringing a!out my
sa&rifi&e% (n&e it is explained to them how they inno&ently helped me through my redemptive ordeal, they
&an repent of their sins, in&luding assenting to my death% ) &an then invite them to !e !apti1ed for the
remission of their sins and wel&ome them into my kingdom%
The .ather5 :ut what a!out any of those who do not a&&ept your invitation to enter your kingdom or still
!elieve they assented to the &ru&ifixion of an impostorG
The 4on5 They will !e like anyone else who knowingly sins against the truth and reIe&ts the message of the
gospel% They will have to suffer the &onse'uen&es%
The .ather5 ) approve of the plan% )t is identi&al with the one we have used in other rounds of &reation
throughout eternity%
Putting the Plan Into Operation
After the tri!e of =udah &ame into existen&e around 1800 :%8%, the prophets of )srael taught the people the
fullness of the gospel and explained to them that there would !e a Messiah who would serve as a mediator
to se&ure the forgiveness of their sins%
This seemed to !e understood and fully a&&epted, !ut around a thousand years later, when several prophets
taught how the =ews would help =esus through this ordeal they were stoned to death for prea&hing it%
This is what happened to the Prophet Oenos and Oeno&h 7-elaman 851C9 and in B00 :%8% when the prophet
*ehi des&ri!ed his vision of the 4avior !eing &ru&ified at the instigation of the =ews in the meridian of time,
he had to flee for his life% 71 ephi "51#"9
!esus Begins His Earthly inistry
)t is rather ama1ing !ut =esus appeared in the -oly *and right a!out the time the =ews were expe&ting their
+ing Messiah to arrive% This ex&iting anti&ipation was !ased on an erroneous interpretation of a prophe&y in
the se&ond &hapter of Eaniel%
)t will !e re&alled that around B"@ :%8%, +ing e!u&hadne11ar of :a!ylon had a terri!le dream !ut &ould not
afterwards remem!er it% The king threatened to exe&ute all of his wise men if they did not tell him what the
dream had !een and what it meant% Eaniel saved the lives of himself and three &ompanions, as well as all of
the king0s wise men, !y re&eiving a revelation from the *ord, whi&h told him what the king had dreamed and
also what it meant%
The king had seen a huge, grotes'ue image in his dream% The image represented the future kingdoms that
would rule the world% The head was of gold, whi&h turned out to !e :a!ylon itself% The &hest and arms were
of silver, whi&h turned out to !e Persia that would &on'uer :a!ylon% The !elly and thighs were of !rass,
whi&h turned out to !e Gree&e that would &on'uer Persia% Then the hips and legs, whi&h were made of iron,
turned out to !e the ?omans who &on'uered Gree&e and later divided into the two legs of the eastern and
western ?oman 2mpires% The feet of the image were made of iron and miry &lay whi&h turned out to !e the
many 2uropean gentile nations, whi&h developed, in more re&ent times after the ?oman 2mpire &ollapsed%
Eaniel then told e!u&hadne11ar that in the days of these kings those of iron and miry &lay shall the God of
heaven set up a kingdom, whi&h shall never !e destroyed5 and the kingdom shall not !e left to other people,
!ut it shall !reak in pie&es and &onsume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever%6 7Eaniel "5AA9
Eaniel had said that the final s&enes of this vision would take pla&e 6in the latter days,6 7Eaniel "5"89 !ut the
=ews in the days of =esus thought that sin&e the &ruel iron kingdom of ?ome had already !e&ome
esta!lished, the stone of God0s kingdom should !e &oming forth shortly under the great Messiah% They felt it
would not only destroy all of the existing worldly kingdoms, !ut last forever%
The =ewish ra!!is were not willing to wait until the latter days !ut wanted to interpret the se&ond &hapter of
Eaniel as !eing fulfilled in their day% The supreme key to their distorted interpretation was the overthrow of
the ?omans% They therefore taught that no matter how many mira&les =esus might perform, if he didn0t
overthrow the ?omans, he was not the Messiah% 4o the people were waiting for =esus to set up his kingdom
and overthrow the ?omans%
And we learn to our ama1ement that his apostles were expe&ting the same thing%
+hy the #postles +ere isled
,e now know that it served the purposes of !oth the .ather and the 4on to have the apostles look upon
=esus as the +ing Messiah%
)t was !y providential design, that all of the =ews in&luding the apostles#were allowed to think that =esus had
appeared on earth to fulfill the glorious prophe&ies of Eaniel &on&erning the &oming of the +ing#Messiah%
After all, hadn0t =esus said5 6) appoint unto you a kingdom%%%that ye may eat and drink at my ta!le in my
kingdom, and sit on thrones Iudging the twelve tri!es of )srael%6 7*uke ""5"C#$09 And the mother of =ames
and =ohn was so &ompletely &ertain =esus was a!out to set up his kingdom that she re'uested the 4avior to
give her sons preferred treatment after he took over as the +ing#Messiah of the world% 7Matthew "05"1#""9
The ew Testament makes it &lear that =esus was su&&essful in delivering his message without revealing
the fa&t that he had &ome as the ?edeemer rather than the +ing#Messiah% This was true even though =esus
spoke of his &ru&ifixion and resurre&tion several times% evertheless, the 4pirit hid it from the apostles and
also those who &onsidered themselves the 4avior0s dis&iples% *uke says, 6And they understood none of
these thing, and T-)4 4A3)G ,A4 -)E .?(M T-2M%6 7*>+2 185$A9 ,e also have the statement of Mark
who said5 6They understood not that saying 7a!out his death and resurre&tion9 and were afraid to ask him%6
7Mark C5$"9
The assignment of the -oly 4pirit was to erase from the minds of the apostles and the dis&iples of =esus any
referen&e to his death and resurre&tion% 4peaking of Peter and =ohn, the s&ripture says5 6They knew not the
s&ripture, that he would rise from the dead%6 7=ohn "05C9 )t was only after =esus was glorified that the 4pirit
restored to their minds everything he had said &on&erning his &ru&ifixion and resurre&tion during his ministry%
7=ohn 1A5"B9
The $avior.s Heavy Burden
,e do not know exa&tly when =esus first learned during his earth life that he was to provide the .ather0s
redemptive sa&rifi&e%
,e know that !y the age of twelve =esus knew that his real father was 2lohim and that he should 6!e a!out
his .ather0s !usiness%6 7*uke "5A"#AC9 -owever, it is unlikely the .ather would !urden his son with a
knowledge of the terri!le ordeal that lay ahead of him until he had a&tually !egun his mission in $0 A%E%
,e spe&ulate that a logi&al time for ministering angels to share the message of the redemptive sa&rifi&e
might have !een right after his !aptism% )t will !e re&alled that immediately after his !aptism he was
'ui&kened and led into the wilderness% There he re&eived spiritual ministrations during forty days and forty
nights% This would seem to have !een the sa&red interlude when ministering angels &ould have prepared
=esus for what lay ahead% )t was a holy season of spiritual reinfor&ement when he thrived six weeks without
!read% 7*uke A5"9
+hy )idn.t the !e"s 0ecogni/e !esus%
=esus performed his first spe&ta&ular mira&le at the wedding feast in 8ana and then prepared to go to
=erusalem when he would turn thirty years of age and !e eligi!le, a&&ording to =ewish tradition, to laun&h his
ministry%
?ight from the !eginning the ministry of =esus was spe&ta&ular% -e performed mira&les !y the hundreds% -e
healed the si&k, raised the dead, walked on water, &almed tur!ulent seas, and fed hundreds of people with
fish already &ooked and !read already !aked%
)n fa&t, right from the !eginning great throngs of =ews really did think =esus was the Messiah, !ut the +)G#
Messiah% Their !elief that he was the +ing#Messiah persisted right up to the last week of his life% :ut then
their expe&tations &ollapsed%
:y the end of the week he had not only failed to overthrow the ?omans !ut the ?omans had &ru&ified him%
.urthermore, =esus suffered death when the students of the prophe&y of Eaniel had de&lared he would live
forever%
!esus &alters at the 4ast $upper
As =esus drew near to the time of his !etrayal he seemed engulfed !y a dark and ominous shadow and
&ould not avoid &ontemplating the horri!le agony of the task that lay immediately !efore him% .inally he
&ouldn0t help telling his apostles that he was a!out to leave them%
Peter immediately wanted to know where he would !e going% The &hief apostle assured the 4avior that no
matter where he was going, Peter wanted to a&&ompany him and prote&t him from the enemies that seemed
to !e in&reasing !y the hour%
=esus &ut him short and said5
6,ilt thou lay down thy life for my sakeG Lerily, verily, ) say unto thee, The &o&k shall not &row, till, thou hast
denied me thri&e%6 7=ohn 1$5$89
This a!rupt predi&tion &ould have !een deeply offensive to Peter and 'uite out of &hara&ter for their loving
Master% -owever, =esus knew that within a few hours Peter as well as all the other dis&iples would have lost
their testimonies and !e&ome totally &onfused &on&erning his divinity%
)n &onne&tion with his great -igh Priest prayer re&orded !y =ohn, =esus said5
6.ather, the hour is &ome%%%And now, ( .ather, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory whi&h ) had
with thee !efore the world was%6 7=ohn 1F51,@9
Then he asked his apostles to a&&ompany him to his favorite pla&e of prayer on Mount Gethsemane% :y the
time they rea&hed Gethsemane the apostles !e&ame alarmed with the drasti& &hange in the 4avior0s
demeanor% )t seemed as though a mor!id depression had settled on his spirit% -e had always !een so
steadfast, so &ourageous, and so full of self#&onfiden&e% They had seen him defy storms, walk on the sea,
raise the dead, and &ast out devils% They had always !een so proud of their +ing Messiah% :ut now he had
&hanged and the dis&iples were sho&ked as his spirits &rum!led and he !egan a&ting like an ordinary
frightened human !eing% They heard him say5
6My soul is ex&eeding sorrowful, even unto death% 6 7Matthew "B5$89
All of this was so &ompletely out of &hara&ter for =esus that the inspired version says5
6The dis&iples !egan to !e sore ama1ed, and to !e very heavy and to &omplain in their hearts,
,(E2?)G ). T-)4 :2 T-2 M244)A-%6 7=4T Mark 1A5$B9 Their testimonies were &rum!ling%
The $avior &aces His $upre,e -risis
-e left eight of the apostles at the garden gate to guard it while he prayed% Then he took Peter, =ames and
=ohn further up the Mount of (lives% There the apostle sat down and almost immediately went to sleep% :ut
=esus went off !y himself and fell full length upon the ground% A&&ording to Mark 1A5$B he &ried out5
6A!!a .ather, A** T-)G4 -2 P(44):*2 >T( T-22% Take away this &up from me, nevertheless, not
what ) will !ut what thou wilt%6
)n other words, thou art God% 3ou are all#powerful% Please work this out some other way% Eon0t make me go
through with it%
At this moment the .ather was suffering a pang of the deepest anguish% -e knew the overwhelming torment
through whi&h =esus was passing, !ut he also knew that unless he fulfilled his mission this whole round of
&reation would disintegrate and return to outer darkness% (f &ourse, the .ather knew the end from the
!eginning and reali1ed that =esus would persevere% :ut this knowledge did not diminish the penetrating
anguish, whi&h he knew his 4on was having to endure% -e therefore sent an angel to &omfort the 4avior%
7*uke ""5"$9 ,e don0t know who he was !ut ) would not !e surprised if it turns out to !e Adam or Mi&hael%
,e also don0t know what he said, !ut we &an well imagine that it might have gone something like this%
6=esus, you don0t have to do this% 3ou still have your free agen&y% :ut if you do not fulfill your &alling, you
ought to know what the &onse'uen&e will !e%6 -e then may have des&ri!ed for =esus the &rash of this whole
round of &reation%
The :ook of Mormon spe&ifi&ally des&ri!es what would have happened to the human family if there had
!een no Atonement 7Mosiah 1B5A#@9 and we feel this merely represents what would happen to this entire
round of &reation% 8on&erning mankind, every one of us would suffer the same fate as *u&ifer and his dark
angels% ,e would have !een disem!odied and left without any ta!erna&le, either spiritual or physi&al% Then
we would have !een &ast 6!a&k6 into outer darkness as stripped, naked intelligen&es% 7EJ8 885$"/F$9
And :righam 3oung des&ri!es what would have happened to =esus himself% -e says5
6=esus was foreordained !efore the foundations of the world were !uilt, and his mission was appointed him
in eternity to !e the 4avior of the world, yet when he &ame in the flesh he was left free to &hoose or refuse to
o!ey the .ather% 6-ad he refused to o!ey his .ather he would have !e&ome a son of perdition%6 7=ournal of
Eis&ourses, vol% 10 p% $"A9
This would mean that eventually =esus would have followed the disem!odied *u&ifer and the rest of us into
outer darkness%
:ut, praise !e to God, =esus &hose the thorny pathway of terrifying torture for whi&h he was !orn% -e said to
the .ather5 6Thy will !e done%6 2ven as he said it, a flood of total anguish flooded over him% As a result, he
sweat great drops of !lood% After the passion of it all had su!sided, he awakened his apostles and went
down toward the gate where =udas was already &oming with the soldiers from the temple%
Events leading up to the #postles 4osing their Testi,onies
Peter knew that =esus did not have to !e taken &aptive !y the soldiers% All he had to do was disappear as he
had done during &rises on a num!er of o&&asions in the past% :ut he didn0t disappear and when Peter saw
that they were a!out to take him prisoner he drew out his sword and stru&k at Mal&hus, a relative of the high
priest% The !lade slid off the side of his head and sli&ed off the ear of Mal&hus% =esus instantly healed it and
told Peter to put up his sword% )t all happened so 'ui&kly/ Mal&hus pro!a!ly never reali1ed that a mira&le had
!een performed% As the guards led =esus away the apostles fled in all dire&tions lest they !e arrested as
well%
*ater, Peter and =ohn went to the &ourtyard of the 4anhedrin where it was o!vious the highest religious
&ourt in )srael was legally ensnaring =esus so the ?omans would &ru&ify him% (!viously =esus was not going
to overthrow the ?omans%
This would !e the end of the hopes of the =ews% ,hen a woman asked Peter if he were a dis&iple of =esus,
he denied it% Another woman asked him if he were a dis&iple of =esus and he denied it% .inally, he was
&hallenged !y Maltheus whose ear had !een mira&ulously healed and this time Peter &ursed and swore% -e
said he didn0t know that man% Peter0s world was &rum!ling to pie&es% -e had lost his testimony and it says
he went out into the night and wept% 7Matthew "B5F$#F@9
)n no way would Peter have guessed the thrill that would animate his soul when he was suddenly visited !y
the resurre&ted 8hrist three days after his &ru&ifixion% And fifty days later, at the &ele!ration of the .east of
the Pente&ost he would explain the Atonement of 8hrist to a large &rowd of =ews and three thousand of
them would apply for !aptism% A short time later, he would give the same talk at the Temple and five
thousand would apply for !aptism% ,hat a glorious message he had for all who would listenN
!esus $aves Our Universe +ith His 4ife
ow we are &onfronted with one final &hallenge% -ow did the &ru&ifixion of =esus redeem mankind and save
this whole round of &reationG
There is only one pla&e in the s&ripture where you &an get the whole story% )t is in Alma &hapter $A where
Amulek the missionary &ompanion of Alma explained it to the Ooramites% -e !egins with the surprising
de&laration that the suffering of =esus was not to pay for our sins !e&ause one person &annot pay for the
sins of another, !ut what =esus did was to arouse the mer&y and &ompassion in all the hosts of intelligen&es
in our part of the universe so they would grant the 4avior anything he asked for in righteousness% As Amulek
points out, this means the Atonement was not !ased on Iusti&e#so mu&h suffering for so mu&h sin !ut on the
&reation of a vast reservoir of mer&y and &ompassion that would gain for us not only the forgiveness of sins
!ut all of the gifts of eternal life and the upward as&ent in our eternal progression%
There were two aspe&ts of 8hrist0s Atonement that only he &ould have fulfilled% .irst of all, the atoning
sa&rifi&e had to !e endured !y one who was 6infinitely6 loved% That means universally loved !y all the
intelligen&es in this round of &reation%
4e&ondly, the suffering had to !e so intense it would arouse a great reservoir of mer&y and &ompassion that
would last forever% That means it had to !e so agoni1ing that it would rea&h every tiny intelligen&e with su&h
intensity it would last eternally%
+eeping all of this is mind we &annot help !ut ask, how mu&h did he sufferG Many people have !een
&ru&ified down through the ages, so what was there a!out this &ru&ifixion of =esus that &hanged the history
of the worldG
2no&h had a vision of the &ru&ifixion that would &ome nearly A,000 years later% -ere is what he re&orded%
6And the *ord said unto 2no&h5 *ook, and he looked and !eheld the 4on of Man lifted up on the &ross after
the manner of men/ And he heard a loud voi&e, and the heavens were veiled/ and all the &reation of God
mourned/ and the earth groaned, and the ro&ks were rent%6 7Moses F5@B#@F9
This means that all the intelligen&es in this round of &reation shuddered in deepest anguish as the 4avior
endured those six hours of ex&ru&iating torture on the &ross%
The suffering of Mary was so heart#rending that =esus asked =ohn the :eloved to take her away, whi&h he
did%
:ut there was one other parti&ipant at the &ru&ifixion who%%%still had his torturous and ex&ru&iating role to fill%
)t was the .ather% )n order for =esus to have drunk the !itter &up of the &ru&ifixion to the depth the .ather
had to &ompletely withdraw his supporting spirit% =esus was Iust a!out at the end of his ordeal !ut the
.ather0s withdrawal of his spirit sent =esus into an in&reased surge of agony% -e &ried out 62loi, 2loi,6 My
God my God% 6*ama sa!a&hthani6 ,hy has T-(> forsaken meG )t was an inexora!ly &ruel &limax to his
suffering% -e later found it impossi!le to des&ri!e the agony of this moment% ,e don0t know how long it
lasted, !ut when the .ather0s spirit &ame surging !a&k into =esus, he literally &ollapsed% .inally he
whispered, 6)t is finishedN6 Then he said, 6.ather, into thy hands ) &ommend my spirit%6 And he died% At that
moment =esus !e&ame the 8hrist%
ow, as Amulek so powerfully des&ri!es it, =esus had filled the reservoir of mer&y and &ompassion to the
point where he &ould inter&ede to o!tain for us not only forgiveness of sins !ut eternal life and all the
!lessings of eternal progression% This is why every upward step must !e done in the name of =esus 8hrist
!e&ause unless he inter&edes to get us ea&h of these !lessings, nothing happens%
*et me now &lose with the 4avior0s passionate plea to the &hildren of men% )t is as though he were saying,
6Eon0t let my suffering !e in vain%6 )n the 1Cth 4e&tion of the Eo&trine and 8ovenants verses 1@#1C, he says5
KTherefore ) &ommand you to repent/ repent, lest ) smite you !y the rod of my mouth, and !y my wrath, and
!y my anger, and your sufferings !e sore/ how sore you know not, how ex'uisite you know not, yea, how
hard to !ear you know not% .or !ehold, ), God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if
they would repent/ :ut if they would not repent they must suffer even as )/ ,hi&h suffering &aused myself,
even God, the greatest of all, to trem!le !e&ause of pain, and to !leed at every pore, and to suffer !oth !ody
and spirit/ and would that ) might not drink the !itter &up, and shrink evertheless, glory !e to the .ather,
and ) partook and finished my preparations unto the &hildren of men%H
4o this is how =esus !e&ame our personal 4avior%
)mmediately after his resurre&tion =esus appeared !ut without his glory#near the garden tom!% Mary
Magdalene mistook him for the Gardner and asked where the !ody of =esus had !een taken% )t was then
that =esus said softly, 6Mary,6 4he re&ogni1ed him and immediately em!ra&ed him, !ut in the original Greek
=esus he is reported to have said5 68ease &linging to me% ) am not yet as&ended to my .ather in -eaven%6
Mary Ioyfully withdrew, and with the speed of thought =esus left the earth and arrived in his .ather0s
8elestial +ingdom near the glorious planet +olo!% As the resurre&ted =esus em!ra&ed the glorious
resurre&ted 2lohim, no dou!t =esus whispered into his father0s ear5 6) did it% ) did it% ) did it%6
,hat a glorious a&hievement% The plan =esus had proposed was a total vi&tory for !oth the .ather and the
4on% ow you know why the Atonement was so essential to the .ather as well as to us% And may ) &lose
with my most solemn and sa&red testimony that he did it% -e did it% )n the name of =esus 8hrist, Amen%