3 Nephi 20: 25-27

3 Nephi 20: 25-27:

“And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.  The Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant—  And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed—unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel.”

These verses connect a single doctrine. That doctrine is at the heart of “turning of the hearts of the children to the fathers,” which is the result of any restoration of the Gospel. The definition of “children of the prophets” is that one has accepted, believed, and followed the Lord’s true messengers. They become children of Abraham and receive priestly authority sealing them into the family of God, joining the “fathers.”  From the time of Abraham until today, all who are redeemed have become a part of his household.

The phrase “turning the hearts of the children to the fathers” is a reference to the restoration of sealing authority, allowing a connection between man living on the earth, and the fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). In this dispensation, that restoration occurred when Joseph Smith was given the sealing authority and priesthood whereby he could ask and receive answers. (D&C 132: 45-47.) As discussed earlier, this was sometime between 1829 and 1833, though I think it was more likely the earlier date as I have explained. Coincident with receiving this authority, Joseph’s calling and election was made sure. (D&C 132: 49.) I have explained this in Beloved Enos. This priesthood, having the hearts of the recipients turned to the fathers, and the promise of exaltation, are interconnected.

Abraham not only held this authority, but received the promise that all who received the Gospel after him would become his descendants.  From the time of Abraham to the present, every saved soul has had their heart turned to him, become his son or daughter, and receive that same priesthood. (Abraham 2: 10-11.) When Joseph received this, he was not merely sealed up to eternal life, but he became part of the family of Abraham. If you remember the diagram of the celestial kingdom referred to earlier on this blog, you know Joseph became one of those who was grafted into the family tree, and would then in turn preside over others who were sealed up to eternal life thereafter.

The sealing authority used by Joseph in December, 1832, was to seal others up to eternal life. (See D&C 88: 2-4.) This promise had been previously conferred upon Joseph in that portion of Section 132 referred to above. In fact, Joseph’s use of that authority in December, 1832 on behalf of others is evidence that the promise to him recorded in Section 132 was necessarily received earlier than December, 1832. If it had not been received earlier, there would have been no need to make the statement in D&C 132: 49 to Joseph, because of what is in Section 88. Why tell Joseph his calling and election was sure in 1843 if it had happened already in 1832? This is another reason you can know Section 132, although recorded in 1843, was in fact a revelation received by Joseph much earlier. It was reduced to writing in 1843 at Hyrum’s request. 

The reference to “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children” made by Elijah was not because Elijah conferred those keys upon Joseph in the Kirtland Temple (D&C 110: 16), for they arrived years earlier than 1836. Elijah was confirming that the keys were now all returned so the hearts of the children could turn to the fathers, and in turn the father’s hearts to the children. (D&C 110: 15.) And, so as to signify he was a true messenger, Elijah also showed a sign by his hand to Joseph whereby Joseph could recognize a true messenger. (D&C 2: 1.)

In Christ’s statement to the Nephite audience, He confirmed that they were “the children of the prophets” because they followed the prophets’ teachings. Therefore, because of their obedience they were “of the house of Israel” and had realized that status because “of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers.” That covenant was given “unto Abraham” promising to Abraham: “And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” All those after the day of Abraham who received this priesthood and sealing would become the seed of Abraham. They become heirs of the promise, and children of Abraham.  They are sealed up to eternal life and therefore their hearts have turned to the fathers. 

Christ was sent to these Nephites because, “The Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant.” Realizing the promises, and being visited by the Lord are also connected. When enough are ready to enter into this order, have their hearts turned to the fathers, receive the covenant, then the Lord will bring again Zion.

9 thoughts on “3 Nephi 20: 25-27

  1. I’m not trying to be irreverent in any way but I have to ask the question to DS and to Anonymous from today’s earlier post who has also received the 2nd Comforter. Do either of you know women who have received the 2nd Comforter before their husbands? If a higher Priesthood is required, which it is, before you can enter into the presence of the Father it seems apparent that a woman would of necessity follow her husband to that end.

    I believe that God is no respecter of persons but His house is also a house of order. Does, therefore, that order require that a woman can only come into the presence of the Father after or with her husband? Does that mean that a woman who is worthy before her husband must wait? That’s hard for me to understand and reconcile with the scripture that He is no respecter of persons. If however that is the case, hard as it may be to swallow, I will swallow it trusting in God.

    I’ve heard similar questions and it seems the one answering does a fancy dance on this blog. I would like a straight up answer – please! I really need to know what I’m striving for here.

  2. Hi Maggie,

    I wrote the post you referred to earlier today. The answer is YES you as a woman absolutely have the right to receive the Second Comforter independent from any man. I’m sure you are familiar with the scriptures which speak of these things, and of course the first person to see the risen Lord was a wonderful woman. My wife and I have a close personal friend (a woman) who has received this sacred gift of meeting the Savior, although her husband has grieved the Holy Spirit by the manner in which he conducts his life. You are certainly not held back by your husband.

    Seek the Savior with all of your heart. Coming into His presence will change everything about the rest of your life. As others on this blog have said, the trials and fiery furnace might be quite significant, but you will have a perfect and sure knowledge which will carry you through every challenge. There is absolutely nothing else in the human experience which compares with coming face-to-face with our God, and the knowledge which will be poured out in such an event. Moreover, once the veil has been pierced, an increasing number of these kinds of experiences can be expected. It’s our natural condition to experience these grand wonders more and more often, once we have been invited to do so. Just to think of it brings a deep sense of humility and meekness and lowliness and tears. Also, the scriptures will take on a new meaning and you’ll be stunned at the things hidden in plain sight which were never previously understood.

    And one word of caution I might offer is this; when you have the experience of meeting Jesus or a ministering angel, I would not sit down with your bishop or stake president and expect to find an understanding ear. Most likely they are ministering the best they can, but they will have no experience at all with these things… with RARE exception. One friend of mine who tried to speak with the bishop about a sacred encounter with an angel and a great vision, was told by the bishop that since he had never had that experience, that there was no way that my lowly friend had the experience. What an arrogant and stupid reply. The bishop subsequently tried to get my friend excommunicated for telling him about the experience. Luckily the stake president intervened and stopped the action of the bishop.

    We believe in the ministering of angels, and the holy and sacred advent of the Second Comforter, (at least we like to talk about it in scholarly terms, just don’t you dare actually have the experience…….) and when you do have the experiences, don’t tell anyone but your most trusted and like-minded friend, or the persecution could be awful.

    I pray that you’ll soon find this sweet reward to fulfill the desires of your heart.

    A friend!!!

  3. Denver:

    You refer to a time when Joseph “was given the sealing authority and priesthood whereby he could ask and receive answers”. I have recently assumed that everyone who goes to the temple is given three keys:
    1. The key to the ministry of angels
    2. The key to ask and recieve and
    3. They key to the knowledge of God

    Your statement above suggests that one must recieve the Patriarchal priesthood and the sealing authority before one has the key to ask and recieve. Is that so? If so, then what keys do temple goers hold?


  4. Fantastic! My heart rejoices in the comments that have been made and in finding that there are other like minded individuals, who have felt and yearned and sought after these experiences. We say that we know that the scriptures are true, BUT do we truly believe them. I have often said, and found myself in trouble each time, if we really believed in the things that we say that we do, our lives would be completely different.
    I have never been able to get the “hearts turned to the the fathers” to jive with just genealogy. This feels and tastes good to me. After all what did Abraham seek for? The blessings of the fathers.
    The same that I am trying to seek for.
    – Just another Anonymous face in a crowd

  5. Dear Anonymous 9:16

    Thank you, with tears or joy thank you! I wanted to check the blog to see if anyone had answered before I went to bed but I almost didn’t dare…didn’t think I wanted the answer I might get. I finally just plucked up the courage and there was your joyous answer. I don’t think even I realized what a stumbling block this has been for me until I started reading your comment. From the first sentence I’ve wept and wept. I realize now that having this in the back of my mind for so long has actually slowed my progression. I’m going to hold on to this – tightly! I so needed to hear from you. You are a friend.

  6. What are we to understand by the covenant with father Enoch?

    JST 14

    27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

    28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;

    29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

    30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;

    31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

    32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

    33 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order;

  7. Father, forgive us, for we upheld the traditions of our Father’s, and unaware lost connection with YOU, our true Father and God. We know You have given us more sacred text and historical knowledge than others in the past, and we are deeply regretful for not truly believing and understanding them – to know where we truly stand with you. Give us the strength to do all we can to repent and return to you in our fallen state and obtain all that Thou has to give here and here after. For this is Thy Glory, and I seek for the building up or Your glory and Family. Have mercy Father, help us to turn to you individually and to help others do the same. You need us, and we need You. Show us the way. Show us what more we can do. Grant us power from on high to do all we can for Your work and glory. Amen

  8. Amen to that prayer from Anonymous @10:33 AM

    I feel it is relevant to relay briefly what can be accomplished by the Lord to heal past errors, especially when the realizations that are coming from Denver’s blog hit so hard to the core and sometimes we can feel stuck in a corner and unable to be freed from the consequences of things that have already happened. Forgive this personal example, but it will illustrate the point:

    Last night I dreamed in such a way that a veil was placed over my mind and I was in a condition as if I was a teenager, but with the wisdom I have now (meaning I forgot about a lot of historical events in my life, but had my wits about me). This has been happening at least over the past three nights.

    In each dream I meet a girl that I’ve never met before, or others I already knew. I am either dating them or asking them on a date for the first time. I eventually become aware of what characteristics I’m not interested in anymore and I have the ability to respectfully break off further dating with them. I am made to feel as if I am redeemed for my ignorant and foolish notions about dating when I grew up. It brings a lot of peace to my soul. At the end of each dream, there is an aching that comes and grows into the remembrance that I do have a wife and then I am filled with more gratitude for her and her many virtues in comparison to what I put up with in my youth and what I did wrong then. The remembrance is like having this temporary “dream veil” removed as I come out of the dream state and as I’m closer to waking up.

    Miraculously, through these dreams, I am put in a situation where I can be tested to see if I will ask and date correctly, and I succeed in a real realm of faith. Obviously, I can’t do that in real life, because of my marriage vows. In this way the Lord seems to go back and, through His grace, heal and correct the errors of the past and prove to me that if I had the knowledge I have now, I would’ve done it correctly.

    It is by this principle that anyone can be tested in ways they don’t have opportunities for at present or in the foreseeable future, therefore nothing can be withheld from the sincere seeker of truth. Some may say that this doesn’t “count”, but I can verify that my past history is changed for me now and that that teenage boy who messed up so much is becoming more and more of a stranger to me now as my younger childhood feelings become more relevant. This can happen through events when you are awake or asleep, depending on the situation needing healing.

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