Sunday, June 22, 2008

Co-Eternal Spirit and Purchased Possession

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught in the King Follett Discourse that our spirits have always existed. Our spirits together with their inherent characteristic of will are co-existent with God and are without beginning or end. Will is essential characteristic of existence. While we possessed will, we were not free. There is a difference between will (the ability to choose) and agency or freedom (choices). While we possess will, without Christ, we would have had no choice but death and hell. Through Christ we can choose righteousness and eternal life.

D&C 93:29-30 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.

Abr. 3: 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized (not created ex nihilo) before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

That the spirits and will of man are co-existent with God and therefore have always existed is why the only sacrifice acceptable to God is of a broken heart and contrite spirit or a willing heart and a willing mind. That is the only thing that God did not own and why the scriptures say that God bought or purchased us. Christ in the garden demonstrated the complete surrender of His will to the Father " nevertheless not my will but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39)

God has created all things both in heaven and earth. But creation means organized or formed like a builder builds a house or a potter molds clay. In this way we were created/organized children of God but not created from nothing (ex nihilo). God made us free but did not give us will. With Gods infinite foreknowledge, had God given us will that would be like giving a gun to to a known mass murderer. Instead, He gave us freedom and opportunity to exercise our will to choose righteousness.

God did not create Satan from nothing (ex nihilo) either, because then God would be responsible for creating a defective creation. But God calls us purchased possessions. In fact Paul warned that false teachers would enter in the church and deny that God purchased us. Some are confused about what was purchased or bought and what was the price and how was payment made (Acts 20:28, Eph. 1:14, 1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Cor. 7:23)

2 Pet. 2: 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Our souls including our will are the purchased possession. This is the only thing that God did not own and why God says the worth of souls is great (D&C 18:10). God did not buy sin; that was the price. The price of our souls is the consequences of sin or death and hell. What need would God have with sin, death or hell. Sin has no current or future value. Instead, we are God's purchased possessions. And while worthless in our current state, through Christ, we can be adopted children of God and can be made like God, making the potential worth of man infinite. The payment was done by the blood and body of Christs atonement (Acts 20:28).

God is eternal and has no beginning and no end. God created all things and organized the spirits of man as His children. But if man was created from nothing (ex nihilo) because the opposite of created is eternal, then man, a created being, could never become eternal and receive eternal life.

We own our own souls which are self-existent and co-eternal with God. Therefore we can sin and lose ourselves to the penalties of death and hell (Mark 8:36–37). We can hire ourselves out, receiving the wages from that spirit we listeth to obey (Alma 3:27, Mosiah 2:33), and sell ourselves for naught (1 Ne. 21:4). But God has said, in his mercy and by His grace He has redeemed and purchased us by paying us the price of sin by Christ's blood therefore we are no longer our own but are purchased possessions. The purchased price goes to us in exchange for our souls. This is a free gift.

We are the ones who will judge ourselves and send ourselves to hell. Justice is our own perfect recollection of all our guilt and our uncleanliness before God, and our broken promises to God. Justice will exists in our minds and will demand payment when the veil is lifted from our minds at the final judgement. God pays the demands of justice which we will exact upon ourselves. God is merciful and will be our advocate and not mention our sins to us. But we will. {Secret: we grade our own exams}

We then are expected to surrender our entire will to God in this world and hold nothing back. We do this by repentance and entering into the process of sanctification in Christ who will save us from our sins and not in our sins. Because no unclean thing can enter into the presence of God. The process of sanctification will continue in the Millennium.

We are promised to be glorified with Christ, become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ and receive all things. These are the sheep who will be with Christ on the right hand of God. These are they who will be considered children of God who will go on to exaltation to sit with Christ in His thrown.

On the other hand, those who accept the the blood of Christ but are not sanctified and purified because although they accept payment they do not fully give their whole souls to God but retain some back. They do not sell all they have, or like Ananias and Sapphira who "kept back a part of the price." These are the goats who will be on the left hand of God. They will be saved from hell but will be ministering servants (angels) and circle the throne of God but will not sit in Christ's throne with Him. They will not be heirs of exaltation. There will be saved beings who do not go to Hell but are damned and cannot enjoy eternal progression and exaltation. Angels will forever be with God, but will not be like God.

Gal. 4: 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Heb 1:3-4 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

So, while all mankind has been purchased, the question remains; will we give God everything that He is due. Will we come unto God with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, a willing heart and willing mind and our whole souls for which He has already bought and paid for with the body and blood of His Son.

Omni 1:26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

Mosiah 2:21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

"I have another subject to dwell upon, which is calculated to exalt man; but it is impossible for me to say much on this subject. I shall therefore just touch upon it, for time will not permit me to say all. It is associated with the subject of the resurrection of the dead—namely, the soul—the mind of man —the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so; and if you don’t believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. I will make a man appear a fool before I get through; if he does not believe it. I am going to tell of things more noble.

We say that God Himself is a self-existing being. Who told you so? It is correct enough; but how did it get into your heads? Who told you that man did not exist in like manner upon the same principles? Man does exist upon the same principles. God made a tabernacle and put a spirit into it, and it became a living soul. (Refers to the Bible.) How does it read in the Hebrew? It does not say in the Hebrew that God created the spirit of man. It says, “God made man out of the earth and put into him Adam’s spirit, and so became a living body.”

The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself. I know that my testimony is true; hence, when I talk to these mourners, what have they lost? Their relatives and friends are only separated from their bodies for a short season: their spirits which existed with God have left the tabernacle of clay only for a little moment, as it were; and they now exist in a place where they converse together the same as we do on the earth. I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven."
[The King Follett Sermon By Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805–1844)]

These temples are sacred structures in which eternal questions are answered, truths are taught, and ordinances performed so that we can live with an understanding of our divine inheritance as children of God and with an awareness of our potential as eternal beings. The house of the Lord helps you to see the end from the beginning. Just as the temples of God are sacred, so are your temporal bodies. The Apostle Paul said: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).
[Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “See the End from the Beginning,” Ensign, May 2006, 42–45]

I am indebted to President Boyd K. Packer, who made us aware of the fact that the term free agency appears nowhere in holy writ. Instead, the scriptures generally speak of agency or free will (Mosiah 18:28, D&C 58: 27), but when agency is modified, it is referred to as “moral agency” (D&C 101:78). . . . This wonderful plan of happiness was provided at a very high price. As the Apostle Paul taught the Corinthians: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19–20). That price, of course, was the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, (D&C 19:16–19).
[Spencer J. Condie, “Agency: The Gift of Choices,” Ensign, Sep 1995, 16]

You have agency, and you are free to choose. But there is actually no free agency. Agency has its price. You have to pay the consequences of your choices. Human agency was purchased with the price of Christ’s suffering. The power of Christ’s Atonement overcomes the effect of sin on the condition of wholehearted repentance. Through and by the Savior’s universal and infinite Atonement, all have been redeemed from the Fall and have become free forever to act for themselves (2 Ne. 2:26).
[Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “On the Wings of Eagles,” Ensign, Jul 2006, 10–15]

My beloved brothers and sisters, I invite you to join with me in a prayer that we may enjoy the Spirit of the Lord while I attempt to say a few things about the worth of a soul (D&C 18:10–11) . . . . In origin, man is a son of God. The spirits of men “are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24). Through that birth process, self-existing intelligence was organized into individual spirit beings. . . . It is in the attainment of eternal life, which man must earn in mortality, that he reaches his full potentiality. Man, being a child of God—who himself is a glorified, resurrected, immortal soul, enjoying eternal life—has, in harmony with the universal law of nature, the potentiality to reach, in full maturity, the high status of his Heavenly Father. John was alluding to this truth when he wrote, “We [are] the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him” (1 Jn. 3:2). . . . In comparison to eternal life, all else sinks into insignificance. For, as Jesus said: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36–37.)
[Marion G. Romney, “The Worth of Souls,” Ensign, Nov 1978, 13]

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