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Ascending to God’s Presence

Following the pattern of identifying a scriptural destination and

charting a course to it, the destination is God and His glory. If we find the

glory of God we find God. What is the glory of God?

“The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

Light and truth forsake that evil one” (D&C 93:36-37, emphasis

added).

God’s glory is His intelligence composed of light and truth. It is

impossible to possess light and truth and reside in darkness. Light and

darkness cannot co-exist in the presence of one another when manifest in

their fullness. Like a light with a dimmer switch, as the switch is pushed

upward light increases and darkness fades until it disappears. The opposite is

true as well.

We are like a bulb connected to a dimmer switch, receptacles of light

and spirit.1 Like the room increasing in light as the dimmer switch slides

upward, we see things more clearly as our mind absorbs light and truth or

Spirit from Heaven.

“We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of

instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed

and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect;

and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views,

and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and

lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith

where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up

to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man

ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government

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1 “For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even

the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” (D&C 84:45).


and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in

some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and

consistency of the same” (TPJS., p.51, emphasis added).

God accumulated greater intelligence, or light and truth through His diligent

heed over eons of time and experience. As His offspring, we inherit the capacity

and potential to follow His pattern, a straight and narrow path2 according to our

heed and diligence. Heed, in that we are in constant search for light and truth.

Diligence, in that when we discover light and truth, we wisely accept and apply it

in our lives.

Mankind has the capacity to be “enlarged” in their intelligence as they

receive light communicated to them from Heaven,3 according to their heed and

diligence. It follows a natural process, purging evil from the hearts of mankind as

they grow nearer to God. Like God, they lose desire for sin. Eventually, like many

accounts in scripture, they are transformed or “wrapped in the power and glory of

their Maker.”What does it mean to be “wrapped in the power and glory of their

maker?”

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the

energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed

upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become

the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall

see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as

he is pure. Amen” (Moroni 7:48, emphasis added).

To be a son or daughter of God and be “like Him” is to have in our hearts the

same charity for others Christ has in His heart for all.4 Our acts, our feelings

towards our fellow man becomes our testimony to the Father, that Christ is our

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4 “You pray each time you partake of the sacrament to always have my spirit to be with you. And what is

my spirit? It is to love one another as I have loved you” (T&C 157:51, emphasis added).

3 “If men and women will receive what is offered now, they will be added upon for ever and for ever. In

other words, each person moves up the ladder by his or her heed and diligence in this cycle of creation.

As they do, they will have so much the advantage in the next cycle. They can choose to move upward

and be added upon or choose to remain as they are, worlds without end” (A Glossary of Gospel Terms,

Worlds without End, p.840). See also D&C 50:24.

2 Matthew 7


Father. We act as He did.5 If we do as our Savior did, we are transformed and

purified to become as He is, His children.6

Before arriving at this blessed state, greater light and knowledge informs us

about each kingdom we desire admission in. When we receive light communicated

from Heaven and live according to the laws of each kingdom, God invites us to

enter with the rights and privileges associated with that kingdom. Those who obey

the laws upon which those blessings are predicated are allowed into the kingdom

associated with those laws.7

God’s Motives and the Mystery of Godliness Revealed

In the Savior’s teachings we find tidbits of information providing insight

into the societal order in Heaven and God’s true nature. For example, in the Lord’s

prayer the Savior reaffirms that society on earth was created to reflect or recreate

the society in Heaven.

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”

(Matthew 6:9-10).

Earth began as a microcosm of Heaven. Man was created in the image of

God, male and female.8 Jesus taught:

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose

his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Jesus sacrificed His own life in mortality out of love for His Father in

Heaven and His desire to save and exalt His creation and all who dwell thereon. He

did not seek glory or recognition for Himself, His desire was singularly focused on

glorifying His Father who was in Heaven.

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8 Genesis 1:26

7 D&C 130:18-21

6 Mosiah 5:2-7

5 John 8:3


“Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do

dishonour me.

And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth

(John 8:49-50).

Jesus surrendered all desire for worldly recognition. He was sent as a

Heavenly guide,9 in the “express image” of our Heavenly Father10 to literally and

specifically become the “prototype of the saved man.”11

When Jesus spoke with Philip, Philip requested the Savior show them the

Father. In response to Philip’s request the Lord said:

“. . . Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known

me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou

then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9).

When the 7th lecture on faith declares Jesus is the prototype of the saved

man, it is a declaration of what and who the Father is. The Father in His

omniscience looked at the intelligence surrounding Him and determined the

highest, best use of His efforts and devotions is to bring to pass the immortality

and eternal life of man. The Father could best glorify Himself by concentrating on

providing opportunities for the intelligence surrounding Him. Not because He

selfishly sought to elevate Himself and bask in the adoration of His creations. This

was not the pattern set by Jesus. The efforts of the Father and Son were and are

completely sacrificial for the betterment of His creations.

“Now is part of eternity. Though mortal, man lives in eternity and

ought to take this opportunity seriously. The scriptures speak of things that

happened before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:4; Testimony of John

9:20; T&C 138:19) or in the first place (Mosiah 1:9; Alma 9:10) or from the

foundation of the world (Matthew 7:8; T&C 138:19; Revelation 6:11). These

statements make it clear that what went on before “this creation” did matter

and do affect mankind now. In the same way, what is accepted in this life by

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11 Lectures on Faith, lecture 7:9

10 Hebrews 1:3

9 T&C 171, Testimony of Saint John 2:1


one’s heed and diligence affects what comes after. This current course of life

has been ordained by God and is one eternal round (Lectures On Faith 3:15;

T&C 2:1; JSH 10:2). These statements make it clear that what went on

before “this creation” did matter and do affect mankind now. In the same

way, what is accepted in this life by one’s heed and diligence affects what

comes after.” (A Glossary of Gospel Terms, Worlds without End, pp.

840-841).

Our highest best hope for ourselves is to follow the Father and Savior’s

example explicitly and exactly so we may glorify ourselves by seeking to fulfill the

will of the Father in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. The

Father, from the very beginning was not motivated by a quest to add to His glory,

but because He loves His creations and finds the greatest gratification in pursuing

their advancement. In effect, He loves all of His creations.

The process introduced in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for our betterment is

designed to bring into our hearts the love Christ bestows upon those who are

followers of His Son, Jesus.


The Role of Truth in Our Ascension


Before we discuss the “process” leading to our ascension and a Christ-like

transformation, it is necessary to define various terms. The first term is “truth.”

“And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they

were, and as they are to come;” (D&C 93:24).

God transcends in intelligence or light and truth because He experienced and

knows more about the past, present and future. For us to prepare to be “like Him,”

we have to increase our light and knowledge or intelligence about our past, our

present and our future.

For us to be transformed into His image we must do as He has done. Birth

into mortality is another phase of a continual learning process. In this life we begin

with our minds veiled by the body we begin to inhabit. We learn by diligent

observation, study, and application or experience. Some things may be taught by

precept, while others lessons may only be gained by individual experience.

The lower rungs on the ladder of ascension begin with gaining knowledge of

the past, and more specifically our individual past, before we came here. Light and

truth regarding premortality explains where we came from and our relationship and

connection to God.

“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the

light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has

placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is

no existence.

Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the

condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning

[premortality]12 is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the

light.

And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under

condemnation.

For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and

element inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy (D&C

93:29-34, emphasis added).


The Work and Glory of God


The Lord explained to Moses what His work and His glory is:

“For behold, this is my work and my glory- to bring to pass the

immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

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12 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emphasis added).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2, emphasis added).


God’s glory and work is to take “intelligence” that has the capacity to be

expanded upon or added to and nurture them to achieve immortality and eternal

life. As earth was patterned after heaven, God in His infinite wisdom determined

the best use of His efforts is to nurture the intelligence surrounding Him and place

them in an environment where they can thrive. This process is not a singular

process but a collaboration between Heavenly Parents who together, take the

intelligence that could not be created and add upon them.


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