Questions From This Week

Since mentioning it, I’ve gotten a number of questions about President Eyring’s General Conference talk: Families Under Covenant. Part of his remarks are particularly insightful. After talking about the church’s ordinance, he elaborated:

The way to do that is clear. The Holy Spirit of Promise, through our obedience and sacrifice, must seal our temple covenants in order to be realized in the world to come. President Harold B. Lee explained what it means to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise by quoting Elder Melvin J. Ballard: “We may deceive men but we cannot deceive the Holy Ghost, and our blessings will not be eternal unless they are also sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. The Holy Ghost is one who reads the thoughts and hearts of men, and gives his sealing approval to the blessings pronounced upon their heads. Then it is binding, efficacious, and of full force.”

When Sister Eyring and I were sealed in the Logan Utah Temple, I did not understand then the full significance of that promise. I am still trying to understand all that it means, but my wife and I decided at the start of our nearly 50 years of marriage to invite the Holy Ghost as much as we could into our lives and into our family.

I agree that men may be and often are deceived about who is worthy and who is not. But the Lord alone will judge righteously. Therefore, He decides who will be sealed and who will not. President Eyring is teaching true doctrine.

The portion of the scroll (which was quite long and included different segments) Joseph translated the Book of Abraham from is described in church history. There are three critical features to this text:

The record of Abraham and Joseph, found with the mummies, is (1) beautifully written on papyrus, with black, and (2) a small part red, ink or paint, (3) in perfect preservation. (DHC Vol. 2; 348.)

Color Plates of the Hor Book of Breathings are available in Appendix A, starting on page 33 of The Hor Book of Breathings: A Translation and Commentary, Studies in the Book of Abraham, Vol 2; (FARMS/BYU Press 2002). The contrast between Joseph’s description in church history and the photographs of the recovered papyrus requires nothing more than looking at it.

The description “a strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness” (Moroni 7:30) involves at a minimum the following:
-Strong faith is obtained by obedience and sacrifice, as explained in the Lectures on Faith. It requries the sacrifice of all things to obtain favor with God. No one attains to this by cowardice or respecting the views of men above the commandments of God.
-Every form includes not merely passing acquaintance with the Lord’s will, but an earnest search into the things God wants from you. And, as you find His will, then to obey it. Everything must be put on the altar. Whether it be friends, property, or life itself, it must be every form.
-Godliness is different from virtue. It is even different from righteousness. I’ve explained both previously and won’t repeat it. Godliness requires you to become godlike in your sentiments and in your meekness before Him. Whether men understand you or attribute motives to you, the relationship is between you and the Lord. Godliness is when your walk here is along the path He has chosen for you.

Prophecy requires someone to fulfill it before you can know who was being identified. Until the work is done I think it is a foolish thing to speculate about identities. There’s probably been hundreds of potential individuals, living and dead, who might have done a greater work than they accomplished here. However, they are blinded by the craftiness of other men, or they fall victim to those who deceive, or they allow traditions to control their understanding and fall short of the glory they might have obtained. Hence the saying that many are called, but few are chosen.