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This is one of the great promises the Lord made to the Nephites while He was visiting in Ancient America. Perhaps it is not easily understood.
III Nephi 25: 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
You will be helped to gain the needed understanding later in this post.
Let me first have you read the scripture in which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ emphasizes something He always expects of His followers. You may want listen to this as it starts with verse 1.
Quoting the words of Malachi which were recorded in our Old Testament, and then later, at His command, on the Plates of Nephi, the Savior taught the Nephites the necessity of their obeying His law of Tithing. In our day, through His prophet, Joseph Smith, the Lord reiterated His unchanging law of Tithing.
D. and C. 64: 23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.
In addition, the Lord's first Latter-day Prophet, Joseph Smith, also received the following revelation from the Lord on that same subject.
D. and C. 19:4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.Here is the complete Chapter 25 of III Nephi from which our TODAY'S THOUGHT was taken. Please click on the following scriptural link. (When the scripture appears on your screen, please click on the word, Listen. This will assist you in concentrating on this message given to the Nephites by our Savior).
III Nephi 25:1-6 (See Malachi 4:1-6)
Elijah the Prophet Appears to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery -by Gary E. Smith
D. and C. 110:13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors. (emphasis added)This turning of hearts has already been taking place since soon after that recorded visit from Elijah. The power from Jesus Christ was given to His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in our day to seal by the power of the Spirit of the Lord, family members one to another for all eternity!
This sealing doesn't just automatically happen. Worthy family members who have been baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, must attend to or have attended to, this business for their dead in one of the more than 130 temples that have already been built by this Church world-wide, with even more having been already scheduled to be built.
After the baptisms and other ordinances and sealings are done by these living members for themselves, they can then, vicariously, do these same ordinances for their ancestors whose records they have diligently and carefully researched (often with assistance from qualified others. Other qualified church members can also perform the temple work in place of us where needed.)
For your information here is evidence that the Apostle, Paul, serving with the other apostles who had been called of the Lord, in the near East after our Savior's resurrection, knew of the ordinance of baptism for the dead: Here is the remaining portion of the scriptural link you were given at the end of the previous post. In it the sixth Latter-day Prophet, Joseph F. Smith explains how our Savior, Jesus Christ, between His death by crucifixion and His resurrection, prepared the way that the unrighteous dead could be taught His Gospel by righteous spirits whom He assigned to that important work.
I Corinthians 15: 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
You will also learn from this upcoming scripture that the Lord, Jesus Christ, has seen to it that temple work has been set up in our day so that the ordinance of baptism and other necessary ordinances for salvation can be done vicariously here on earth for those among the unrighteous spirits who listened to the message brought them by those appointed by the Lord in His visit between His crucifixion and His resurrection there.
Here is the information that was revealed to the Prophet, Joseph F. Smith in the remaining portion of the scripture we read and listened to in the last post. (Please take note that because the voice recording begins at verse one, you will not be able to listen to this scripture which begins at verse 25.) However, you may choose to begin at verse 1 this time also, and then read all the way through this entire scripture after having clicked on, Listen.
|President Joseph F. Smith|
D. and C. 138:25-60
I will end this post by showing you pictures of six of these 130 (so far, and many more are coming) very beautiful and very functional temples along with two typical temple baptismal fonts where baptisms can be performed vicariously for your and my beloved deceased ancestors, back as far as their records can be found.
Something you must realize; all of these blessings that can be brought to our deceased ancestors who weren't taught the Savior's Gospel during their lifetimes, can be done for them only by doing this work for them vicariously in Temples of the Lord, according to what the Lord Jesus Christ has instructed His Latter-day Prophets, beginning with the Prophet, Joseph Smith.
There is a great cost involved in providing sufficient temples for the vast amount of work that is yet to be done for our dead ancestors. Because of what you were taught earlier in this post, you can surely guess how the Lord wants these costs to be taken care of.
You are right! Through the tithing of His people! His law of Tithing works very well. By personal experience I can tell you that it is easy to be a full tithe-payer. Before retirement my salary was very average. Their mother and I, raised nine children. I know by experience, paying a full (10% gross income) tithing helps you put your priorities in the right place! Remember, it is our Savior's law, He who who suffered and died for us!
You and I and surely everyone should be very grateful for the birth of our Savior at Bethlehem and for His successful completion of His life's mission culminating in His atoning sacrifice so that our personal salvation and this great reuniting with loved ones, known, and not yet known, could take place! One more clarifying thought: I hope that all of of you can see clearly how that the Lord Jesus Christ continues to be very surely and actively involved, most often undetected by most of us, in blessing us that we might achieve His greatest blessings. Remember His, what I call, "sacred job description":
Pearl Of Great Price, Moses 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.We are also taught another principle which is such a vital part of our Lord's great plan: This is in the words of His prophet Lehi,
II Nephi 10:23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.These pictures, from top to bottom, are as follows: Mexico City, Mexico Temple, San Diego, California Temple, Hong Kong, China Temple, a baptismal font of an unidentified LDS Temple, Santiago, Chile Temple, Baptismal font of the Salt Lake City Temple, Washington D.C. Temple, and the Helsinki, Finland Temple. Something you may want to know: The twelve oxen holding up each of all our temple baptismal fonts, represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
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