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Title: What Jesus Taught

Author: Osborne J. P. Widtsoe

Release date: March 6, 2017 [eBook #54292]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by the Mormon Texts Project (


Light of the World



Written for The Deseret Sunday School Union



Author of

"The Restoration of the Gospel," Etc.

Published by





No other teacher in the history of the world has wielded so profound an influence upon humanity as has Jesus the Christ. Practically the whole world has been Christianized. His doctrines have entered not only into households but also into governments and nations. But the Christianity that prevails generally, is the doctrine of Jesus highly merged with the opinions of men. Indeed, the world's Christianity is often more largely man-made than Christ-made. A perfect knowledge of Jesus cannot be gained, however, until men learn more about what He Himself taught, and less about what scholars have said about His doctrine.

This little book is an attempt modestly to present in popular form the teachings of Jesus. It is intended for boys and girls of high-school age. It is to be understood, then, that there is here no exhaustive treatise of the teachings of Jesus; nor is there conducted a study and investigation of profound scholarship. Such a work from the Mormon point of view must be deferred, if desirable at all. But it is hoped that what Jesus taught—in part at least—is here presented simply and plainly and truly, so that anyone who reads may understand. It is further hoped that the writing of these lessons has been "moved by the Holy Ghost," so that those who read them may learn to love the teachings of Jesus, and to know and to love God, and His Son, Jesus, whom He sent to redeem the world. "Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." O. J. P. W.

Salt Lake City, December 12, 1917.


The Illustrations

Light of the World.

1. Christ and the Doctors.

2. Nazareth, Palestine.

3. Simeon Blessing the Lord.

4. Jesus and the Woman of Samaria.

5. Jesus and Nicodemus.

6. Christ Healing the Blind Man.

7. The Sower.

8. The Temptation of Christ.

9. Market Scene at Bethlehem.

10. The Forgiving Father.

11. The Consoling Christ.

12. Jesus Praying.

13. The River Jordan, Palestine.

14. "Lord, Help Me."

15. Raising the Dead.

16. The Garden of Gethsemane.

17. Baptism of Jesus.

18. None.

19. Jesus and the Fishermen.

20. Christ's Charge to Peter.

21. Christ Teaching from a Boat.

22. "Consider the Lilies."

23. Christ and the Rich Young Ruler.

24. Lazarus at the Rich Man's House.

25. The Sermon on the Mount.

26. None.

27. Jesus Blessing Little Children.

28. Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

29. The Good Samaritan.

30. Christ in the Home of Mary and Martha.

31. Jesus Washing Peter's Feet.

32. The Wise and the Foolish Virgins.

33. Christ Driving Out the Money-Changers.

34. Jesus Healing the Sick.

35. Christ before Pilate.

36. Touch Me Not.

37. The Good Shepherd.

38. Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor.

39. The Ascension.

40. Angel Moroni.


Table of Contents


His Father's Business

Testimony of Napoleon—Universal worship of Jesus—Purpose of this book—Duties of Jesus at age of twelve—Jesus in the temple—His Father's business—What is eternal life?—Special mission of Jesus.


What It Means to Know God

Abraham's determination to serve God—God Himself—God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob—First Commandment—What does it mean to know Jesus Christ?—Necessary to understand God's plan—Divine mission of Jesus—What we would do if we had learned to know God and Jesus—The condition of eternal life.


The God of Israel

A very important question—The truth is simple and easy—Jesus's explanation of God—The testimony of Paul—God is our Father—A real joy to know the true God.


What Jesus Said of Himself

Jesus's testimony to the woman of Samaria—The testimony of the people of Sychar—Jesus taught always that He is the Christ—The answer to John—The confessions at the trials of Jesus—And on the way to Emmaus—How shall we find out Christ?


The Special Witness of Jesus

The end of the period of preparation—The testimony at the baptism—John's testimony—Who the Comforter is—The mission of the Holy Ghost—The Holy Ghost in Jesus and the apostles—The Holy Ghost amongst the Nephites—How to confer the Holy Ghost—Nature of the Holy Ghost—Importance of the Holy Ghost.


Before There Was An Earth

A remarkable vision—The pre-existence of Jesus—The spirits of all men eternal—The man born blind—Conclusion.


The Presence of Evil

A review—The problem of evil—The parable of the sower—The meaning—The devil the power of evil—A council of the spirits—Jesus volunteers—Lucifer volunteers—Lucifer rebels—The declaration of Jesus.



Why Evil is in the World

The devil's desperate hope—The temptation of Jesus—The application—Guard against suggestions of the devil—Why there is evil—The trial of man—A state of probation—The free agency of man.


The Crown of Creation

A wonder-rousing sacrifice—Why should God be mindful of man?—The parable of the lost sheep—Man's soul without price—Man the offspring of God—The questions answered—Reverence for God—Reverence for personal honor—Reverence for personal purity.


The Forgiving Father

The parable of the prodigal—The forgiving father—Condemnation of the self-righteous—The publican and the Pharisee.


Sincerity in Worship

Finding and losing one's life—The necessity of harmony—Three forms of temptation—Instruction in praying and alms-giving—The real value of worship—Humility and sincerity.


How to Pray

The Lord's prayer—Jesus had found God—The prayers of the Jews—The prayer of Jesus—The Lord's prayer analyzed—Teach us to pray.


Persistence in Prayer

The Lord will answer—Pray often and persistently—The importunate friend—The unrighteous judge—An urgent desire necessary—Implicit trust necessary—Seek first the Kingdom of God—Labor and confidence hand in hand—The sin of worry—God knows best—Thy will be done.


The Power of Faith

Confidence vs. faith—The incident of the fig tree—Forgiveness accompanies prayer—Reason for concrete examples—The interpretation—Jesus's own interpretation—Examples of the power of faith—The dispensation of the fulness of times, the wonderful example.



The Handmaid of Faith

The case of Mr. Baldwin—Words added to faith—The principle of works—A parable—The works of Jesus—The works of man—Conclusion.


The Meaning of Repentance

The irreverence and ruthlessness of Pilate—The necessity of repentance—The barren fig tree—Repentance a fundamental doctrine—Jesus's exclamation against the wicked—Repentance a universal principle—Things of which to repent—The service principle of the Gospel.


Baptism by Immersion

The first principles and ordinances—Baptism essential to salvation—Humility and obedience the psychology of baptism—The law of obedience in daily life—The example set by Jesus—The purpose of baptism—The door of the sheep-fold.


The Gift of the Holy Ghost

What Jesus told Nicodemus—The laying on of hands—The teaching and practice of Paul—The practice of the apostles—The teaching and practice of the apostles derived from Jesus—What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?—The conditions and the source of intelligence.


The Foundation Stone

A few questions—Parables by the sea—The meaning of the parables—The Church and the Kingdom—The testimony of Peter—The testimony of Jesus—Its significance.


The Test of Authority

The figure of the architect—The application—One mark not sufficient—The submission of Jesus—The submission of the apostles—The second mark—Two orders of priesthood.


The Third Mark

The horror of darkness—The speech of the Indian Chief—The figure of the architect again—The plan of eternal life—The necessity of plans—The application—The principles of the Gospel—Men judged by the Gospel—The three marks.



Single Minded Loyalty

A supreme privilege—The true worth of membership—Conditions of membership—Single minded loyalty—No man can serve two masters—A simple application—A parable in point—The light of the body—A summary—A paraphrase.


Riches and the Kingdom of God

A liberal man—An unnatural doubt—The case of the rich young ruler—The difficulty of the sacrifice—The conclusion of Jesus—The amazement of the disciples—The power of God—A promise of worldly blessings—The object of the world's desire—The parable of the unjust steward.


Succeeding With What One Has

The rich man and Lazarus—Wanted, a chance—The parable of the talents—A general law—The water boy—Intellectual endeavor—Spiritual growth—The lesson applied.


Think Right

The great commandment—The beatitudes—A high ideal of life—The great beatitude—The pure in heart—Things that defile—Vulgarity in thought, word and deed—Plain teaching.


The Ugliness of Anger

The story of Cain—The occupation of Abel—The brothers' sacrifices—The anger of Cain—The murder of Abel—The lesson at home—The power of the mind—The teachings of Jesus—Jesus an example—The strength of self-control.


With What Measure Ye Mete

The two school girls—The theft—The suspicion—The discovery—The tables turned—An every day occurrence—The mote and the beam—What Jesus said.


The Golden Rule

Positive instruction—The doctrine of reconciliation—The attitude of a citizen of the Kingdom—The doctrine of forgiveness—The parable of the unforgiving servant—The meaning—The right attitude towards our enemies—The golden rule.



The Good Samaritan

The law of love—The reward of brotherly love—Questions of the tempting lawyer—The parable of the good Samaritan—A discussion—The real neighbor—The fulness of the answer—The lesson clinched—The command renewed.


No One Can Live to Himself

The fable of the body and its members—The time of Aesop—The growth of society—A football squad—The teachings of Jesus—The family—The family sacred—The state—The state divinely instituted—The Church—Duties of membership—The teachings of our own Church.


He That Exalteth Himself

The old law and the new—The teaching of Jesus psychological—A concrete example—The motive all important—Jesus's doctrine of rewards—A parable in point—A sound psychological principle—A further illustration—Peter and the question of recompense—The reward worth while—Conclusion.


Extra Service

The parable of the laborers—The value of service in the world's work—The value of service in the Church—The test of profitableness—The application to the day's work—The application to the Church service—An exclamation against mere formal—performance of duty.


A Prophet in His Own Country

A perfect man and an exemplary leader—A work full of wonder—A healer and worker of miracles—The conditions in Palestine—A mission of love—The centurion's servant—Stilling the tempest—The raising of Lazarus—In His own country.


The Meaning of Miracles

The explanation of the scribes—The universal presence of law—The miracle of the telephone—Other miracles of science—The power of the Priesthood—The purpose of miracles—The privilege of the sick.



An Atoning Sacrifice

An incredible thought—Jesus's foreknowledge of His death—The necessity of Jesus's death—The significance of the death of Jesus—Worldly views of how Jesus's death can save—The real significance of the death of Jesus—The Nephite explanation—Why Jesus submitted to His enemies—The new testimony of Jesus.


The Place Called Paradise

A well established fact—The five appearances of the risen Christ—Five more appearances of the Christ and the ascension—The value of the testimony—Where had Jesus been?—Today in Paradise—The Gospel to the dead—A plain explanation—Every knee and every tongue.


Other Sheep

The first commission to the twelve—The leaven of the Gospel—The Kingdom of the Gentiles—The case of Cornelius—The preaching of Barnabas and Paul—"Other sheep"—A puzzling question—Forty days—In the land of the Nephites—The appearance of Jesus to the Nephites.


Our Advocate With The Father

The householder and the husbandmen—God the great householder, Jesus the Son—The exaltation of Jesus—Our advocate with the Father—Many mansions in the Father's house—Lord of Lords and King of Kings—Jesus to come again—The nearness of Jesus.


The Living Christ

Jesus the living Christ—The testimony of Napoleon—The conviction of an English philosopher—Declarations of Emerson and Webster—Additional testimony—Reasons for strong testimonies in the Church—Evidences of testimony in the Church—"The testimony last of all."


A Religion Worth While

The feeding of the five thousand—The meat that endures to everlasting life—What Jesus taught—The acts of the apostles—The great apostasy—The restoration of the Gospel—A religion that satisfies—A comprehensive religion—A Church of authority—The bread of life.





What Jesus Taught



The testimony of Napoleon.

When the great military hero and world conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte, lived in exile on the island of St. Helena, he declared that Jesus was so supremely great that it is impossible to make comparisons between Him and any other being in the world. "I know men," said Napoleon, "and I tell you that Jesus is not a man. Everything in Him amazes me. His spirit outreaches mine, and His will confounds me."

The universal worship of Jesus.

It is wonderful that a man like Napoleon, whose natural arms were fire and the sword, should be so deeply impressed by the life and teachings of the lowly Nazarene. But Napoleon is not alone in his admiration and love. Throughout the nineteen centuries that have passed since the Master lived upon the earth, men of every clime have learned to know Him and to worship Him. Today there are but few peoples known to mankind that do not acknowledge Jesus the Christ. The wonderful story of His life has thrilled both the young and the old the world over since first it was told. The wisdom, the justice, and the loving kindness of all His teachings, have inspired the nations to make them better. No other man in all the history of the world has exerted so profound an influence on the lives of his fellowmen, and on the laws that govern them.

{14} The purpose of this book.

Now, you have read in other books the story of the life of Jesus. You know when and where He was born; how God the Father protected His Son; how he grew to manhood, waxing strong in spirit; how He taught, and wrought miracles amongst His own people; how they rejected Him and crucified Him; and how He rose from death and returned to His Father in heaven. It is a strangely beautiful story. But we do not want to retell it here. It must be our purpose, in this little book, to tell as interestingly as may be what Jesus taught. Certainly, it must be interesting to know something of the teachings of the Man who has made so profound an impression upon the history of the world. We want to know what the life-work of Jesus means to us and to our fellowmen. And to begin, we must try to find out what Jesus Himself thought about His mission on the earth.

The new duties of Jesus at the age of twelve.

When Jesus reached the age of twelve years, He entered—according to Jewish custom—upon a new and important period in His life. You may be used to thinking of Jesus as a very wonderful boy, altogether different from other boys. That is not quite true. Jesus was a perfectly natural and normal boy. He liked to run and jump and play the games that other boys played. He had to go to school as other Jewish boys did—first at His mother's knee, then at the village synagogue. Jesus was unlike other boys in that He began early to understand something of the nature of His mission upon the earth. This made Him like serious things, and often to think about the teachings of {15} God; for it was the aim of all Jewish education to learn about God and His commands, and how to keep them. Now, when Jesus became twelve years of age, there came to Him many new duties. The Jewish law required that He should assume all the religious responsibilities that devolved naturally upon a faithful Jew. Amongst other things, Jesus must hereafter go to the temple three times a year, to fulfill the demands of the law. Accordingly, when Joseph and Mary set out for Jerusalem, to observe the Feast of the Passover, soon after their eldest son's twelfth birthday, they took Him with them.

Jesus in the temple.

It is needless here to follow in detail the journey of the pilgrims over the great highway, across the Plain of Jezreel to Bethshean, down the western side of the Jordan Valley to Jericho, and then four thousand feet upward over the barren, robber-infested hills of the wilderness of Judea to Jerusalem. Jesus seems to have been much impressed by the road, for He referred to it later in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

When the celebration of the feast of the Passover was accomplished, Joseph and Mary set out to return to Nazareth. They had complete confidence in Jesus, so they did not look for Him till they reached Bethany. Jesus was not there to be found. Anxious at heart the parents returned to Jerusalem; and there, after three days, they found Him discoursing in the temple with Shammai and the learned teachers of the temple. The boy's zeal for knowledge had caused Him to remain at the temple even after the feast was over. "And all that {16} heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers."

When Mary saw her son in the midst of the learned men of Israel, she cried to Him, "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."

"And He said unto them. How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"

"And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them."

His Father's Business.

It was, indeed, a strange saying to understand. Not Joseph and Mary alone, but countless thousands of people have failed to understand it. Do you think you know what the boy Jesus meant? Of course, to understand, one must know what the Father's business is. Then we can understand what Jesus thought about His mission on the earth. "For," Jesus said many years later when He had grown to manhood, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me."

What, then, is the will of God? What is His Father's business? Once, many hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God gave to a man named Moses a marvelous revelation. Moses saw how the earth had been formed, and how living things were put upon it. He saw how man was shaped in the image of God and placed upon the earth to have dominion over it. Then God said to Moses, "Behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

{17} This, then, is the Father's business; this is His will. It is exactly what Jesus told Joseph Smith, the great American Prophet, in our own dispensation: "And if you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." And it is also exactly what Jesus taught while He dwelt among men. Said He, "And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

What is eternal life?

But perhaps it is not quite clear yet what the Father's will is. Perhaps you are asking yourself, What is eternal life? Of course, eternal, or everlasting life, is a condition of being—or of living—in which there is no death. When we gain the gift of eternal life, we shall go on living for ever and ever. Jesus gave once an excellent definition of the conditions of eternal life. He had spent considerable time exhorting His disciples, and instructing them in things that were yet to come. Then He raised his eyes to heaven and prayed; and in the course of that prayer, He said, "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

The special mission of Jesus.

Now we may begin to understand fully what Jesus thought about His mission on the earth. God did not put men on the earth to destroy them. He put them here to save them, if they would be saved. It is the glory of God to save men, to bring to pass their salvation and everlasting exaltation. This is the Father's business. But to gain the gift of eternal life men must learn to know {18} God. Here then we discover the nature of Jesus's mission. As child and boy and man, Jesus devoted His life to learning to know God and to the teaching of His brethren also to know Him. Through the love and sacrifice of Jesus, we may gain eternal life. In the temple, the boy of twelve was about His Father's business, learning and explaining. As a man, He fulfilled the will of His Father, making it possible for men to know God. In His death. He accomplished the general salvation of mankind, making it possible for them to gain eternal life.

It is small wonder that Napoleon revered the Man who thus unselfishly devoted His life to the good of His fellowmen, and finally laid it down for their salvation. We shall be glad to study the teachings of this Man. But first, we must understand what it means to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.


Luke 2:42-52. Moses 1:39.

John 6:38-40. Doc. and Cov. 14:7.

John 17:1-3.


1. What, in your opinion, is the value of Napoleon's testimony of Jesus?

2. What does Napoleon admit in his testimony?

3. What peoples in the world today do not acknowledge Jesus the Christ?

4. Name some points in which the world has been affected by the teachings of Jesus.

5. Outline briefly the story of the life of Jesus.

6. Why should it be more important to know the teachings of Jesus than merely to know the story of His life?

7. What new responsibilities came to Jesus when He reached the age of twelve years?

{19} 8. Why did Jesus remain at the temple in Jerusalem when the feast of the Passover was accomplished?

9. What was the answer that puzzled His mother?

10. Why were men placed upon the earth?

11. What are the conditions of eternal life?

12. In what sense has Jesus always been about His Father's business?

13. What should be our attitude toward the Father's business?







Abraham's determination to serve God.

What does it mean to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent? About two thousand years before Jesus was born, there lived in a land called Ur of the Chaldees, a young man whose name was Abram. Abram seems to have been a very intelligent and serious-minded person. Like many another good man in ancient and modern times, he strove to find out the true and living God. But it was very difficult to do so in Abram's time, for most of Abram's people had forsaken the worship of Jehovah, and had turned to the worship of idols and graven images. This grieved Abram very much. He determined that he would serve the true God; and that if necessary, he would move away from his father's house to a strange place, in order that he might worship as his conscience demanded. The priests who served the strange gods worshipped by Abram's kindred, heard of Abram's righteousness, and his refusal to worship the images of wood and stone and metal they had set up. They determined, therefore, to seize Abram and to sacrifice him on the altar of Elkanah.

God Himself.

But Abram had found a true friend. It was the true and living God Himself. He delivered Abram from the hands of the false priests, and the Lord God said to Abram, "I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven, the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say {22} to the mountains, Depart hence, and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly."

The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.

This was the true and living God, the God Almighty, creator of the heavens and the earth and all that lives therein. In the midst of the worship of idols and graven images and strange gods of many lands, Abram had learned to know God—that is, he had learned to recognize the true God, the living God of power. He was not confused. He did not mistake an image of stone for the true God.

Afterwards Abram's name was changed to Abraham. He became the father of Isaac, and the grandfather of Jacob. These three men all served the true God. From them sprang the Children of Israel, all of whom learned also to worship the true God of heaven and earth. That is why He is often spoken of as the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.

The first commandment.

In the days of Moses, God gave a commandment in these words, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." That commandment was still in force at the time of Jesus, and is still in force today. Of course, there are not many idols or graven images held up to worship today; but there are still many different kinds of God worshipped even in the Christian world. To some, God is merely a spirit; to others, He is merely an influence, or a power; to others still, there is no real God, but the name is used merely to designate the forces of nature—and so on. Naturally, we cannot gain eternal life through any such conceptions as these. Like Abraham we must learn to recognize the true and living God. We must not be deceived by false {23} doctrine. This is life eternal, to know—to recognize and to worship—the true God, the living God—of heaven and earth.

We know now the meaning of the first part of Jesus's statement. We know what it means to know God. But what does it mean to know Jesus Christ, whom God sent?

What does it mean to know Jesus Christ?

Two young men were sitting at luncheon one day in the dining-room of a students' club house. One of them was registered in the School of Divinity of one of the oldest and largest universities in America, and was studying to become a minister. The other was preparing to become a teacher.

"Do you believe that Jesus was really the Son of God, and the Savior of the world?" asked the young teacher.

"I believe," replied the preacher—the would-be representative of Jesus—deliberately, "that Jesus was a great leader, a great teacher, a great philosopher—in every way a great man. But I do not believe that he was really the Son of God, nor really the Redeemer in the usually accepted sense."

It is necessary to understand God's plan.

Had this young minister, who was preparing to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, learned to know Him? Surely not. It is not enough merely to recognize the true and living God, and to distinguish Him from the many false gods of the world. One must learn also to understand God's plan for the salvation of mankind, The first man, Adam, was just like us. He did not {24} understand the plan of salvation until it was taught to him. One day, when he was offering sacrifice outside of the Garden of Eden, an angel appeared to him. The angel told Adam many things about the Fall, and sin, and death. These things we shall learn more about later. The important thing to learn now is this: Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, it became necessary to send Someone to the earth to lay down His life for the salvation of men.

The divine mission of Jesus.

God selected our Elder Brother Jesus, to perform this noble mission. He came to the earth—the Only Begotten of the Father—and taught men, took their sins upon Himself, and finally allowed His life to be taken to redeem mankind from the effects of the fall in the Garden of Eden. Was Jesus, then, merely a great leader, a great teacher, a great philosopher? He was all that, to be sure. But He was also more than that. He was—He is—the Only Begotten Son of the Father, the Savior of the world. To know Jesus Christ whom God hath sent, is to accept the divine mission of Jesus, to believe that He is really the Christ. This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.

A third step.

Now we understand, in part, what it means to know God and Jesus Christ. But a third step is necessary before one can claim complete knowledge. If a man should claim to know the principles of the telephone, then should try to talk to someone at a distance without connecting the wires with the transmitting instrument, should you believe that he really knew what he claimed to know? Would you not {25} rather think, "If this man understood and recognized the principles of the telephone, he would do what they require?"

What we would do if we had learned to know God and Jesus.

It is just so in knowing God and Jesus Christ, His Son. If we have really found the true God, and sincerely believe in the mission of Jesus Christ, we will surely do the things that They command us to do. Indeed, we cannot claim a complete knowledge without doing God's will. Once, when John the Beloved was writing to some members of the Church, he said to them, "Hereby we do know that we know Him (Jesus Christ), if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in Him."

The condition of eternal life.

Now we may claim to have learned the conditions of eternal life. To know the true God is to recognize the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob—the God of Israel, and not to confuse Him with any one of the many false gods worshipped in the world. To know Jesus Christ is to recognize Him, and to accept Him and believe in Him as the Savior of the world. To know God and Jesus Christ, is to keep the commandments They have given to man. It was the whole aim of Jewish education to learn to know God and His commands, and how to keep them. It should be the aim of all education. Only by knowing the true God and Jesus Christ, can we hope to enter the kingdom of God.

{26} "To us, there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."

It shall be our pleasure from now on to learn what Jesus Himself taught, that we may learn the better to know Him and the Father, and thus gain eternal life.


Abraham Chs. 1,2. Moses 5:1-11.

Exodus 20:3. 1 John 2:3-5.

1 Cor. 8:6.


1. What was the real problem that confronted Abram in his search for God?

2. Why is the true God called the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob?

3. What is the first of the ten commandments?

4. How does it apply in this age?

5. What does it mean to know God?

6. What do men of the world often think of Jesus?

7. Why was Jesus necessary in the plan of salvation?

8. What does it mean to know Jesus Christ?

9. What does it mean in full to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent?

10. What should be an aim of all true education?








A very important question.

What kind of being is God, the Father, of whom are all things? If you should be sent into the missionary field to preach the Gospel, you would find this one of the most difficult questions you would have to answer. For God is somewhat of a mysterious being in the opinions of most men. Very few men have ever claimed to have seen God, or to have held converse with Him. And for that which seems mysterious, men like to find hard, complicated answers. The simple truth does not satisfy them.

The truth is simple and easy.

Yet, the simple answer is nearly always the right one. A missionary to the South Sea Islands found himself one day trying to explain to the natives the nature of hail. There is neither hail nor snow nor sleet on the islands. There are really but two seasons—the dry and the wet. When it is wet it rains. The missionary tried by many various roundabout ways to make the natives understand that hail is frozen raindrops. The natives knew nothing about frost. They had no previous knowledge with which to associate his explanation. And, as you know, we cannot understand anything new unless we can tie it up with something that we already know.

The missionary became desperate. Finally, he thrust his hand into a bowl of rice standing on the floor, lifted a handful, and allowed it to fall again in a shower to the ground. "Hail," he said, "is like that." Instantly {30} the natives got the picture. They saw the raindrops turned white and hard, and pelting the earth in their fall. The simple explanation went home.

Jesus's explanation of God.

Now, Jesus's explanation of what kind of being God is, is even more simple and clear than is this illustration of what hail is like. But men have strayed into the worshipping of many different kinds of God, because they have refused to accept the simple truth.

Near the close of His mortal life on the earth, Jesus delivered a very excellent farewell discourse to His disciples. It is full of words of cheer and comfort. Amongst other things Jesus said:

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.

"Philip saith unto Him, Lord shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

"Jesus saith unto him. 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?"

The meaning of Jesus's answer.

Is not this answer very simple and very clear? Is there any good reason for mistaking this answer? You hear it said very often of a young man that he is the very image of his father. If you should some day say to a young man, "I should like very much to see your father," what should you think the father looked like, if the young man were to answer, "He that has seen me has seen my father"? {31} Could you possibly in reason help thinking that the father and the son were alike?

We know what manner of man Jesus was. Jesus possessed a body of flesh and bones; or, as John the Beloved, said, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." Besides, Jesus was so much like other men that His own people could not see anything different in Him. When Jesus went into His own country and taught in the synagogue, the people were astonished. "Whence hath this man this wisdom," they asked, "and these mighty words? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" To His own people Jesus was but an ordinary man.

The testimony of Paul.

But the disciples of Jesus learned to understand what Jesus meant by His teaching about God. Said Paul, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 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."

The truth about God.

It is not necessary, then, to go a round-about way to find out the nature of God. The simple explanation is the true one. The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob—the supreme God of this world—is a person. He possesses a body of flesh and bones. His Son is so much like Him that {32} He could say in truth, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Jesus was the express image of God's person.

God is our Father.

Jesus's favorite name for God was Father. This beautiful word means many things to us in the teaching of Jesus. First, Jesus was really the Son of God, and could rightfully speak of Him as "My Father." But Jesus taught us more than that. Not only is Jesus the Son of God—the Only Begotten in the flesh—but we are all the children of God. He is the Father of our spirits, so that we may also rightfully pray to Him as "Our Father who art in heaven." Then, if God is really our Father, He must have the same kind of feelings for us that fathers always have for their children. Indeed, since He is God, His feelings must be deeper and truer than those of any earthly father. Jesus put it thus:

"What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

A real joy to know the true God.

It is a matter of comfort and joy to know the true God—to worship a God whom we can understand, whom we may recognize. It is no wonder that people everywhere become confused when they try to pray to a God who is something yet nothing, who is everywhere yet nowhere, who sits on the top of a topless throne, and so forth. It is no wonder that people are looking for the true God.

{33} "We know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them—that He created man, male and female, after His own image and in His own likeness, created He them, and gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve Him, the only living and true God, and that He should be the only being whom they should worship."


John 14:6-9. Heb. 1:1-3.

John 12:45. John 1:14.

Matt. 13:35. Doc. and Cov. 130:22.

Col. 1:15. Matt. 7:9-12.

Phil. 2:6. Doc. and Cov. 20:17-19.


1. How do we learn to know things?

2. Why have men strayed from the true conception of God?

3. What kind of being is God?

4. What did Jesus say God is like?

5. What did His disciples understand Jesus to mean?

6. In what sense is God the Father?

7. How is He like other fathers?

8. Why could you not worship any other God than a personal God?

9. What did Jesus teach Joseph Smith concerning God?







Jesus's testimony to the woman of Samaria.

One day, early in His ministry among the Jews, Jesus "left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well; and it was about the sixth hour.

"There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her. Give me to drink. . . . Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that thou being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst: but the water that I {36} shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. . . .

"The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

"The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come. He will tell us all things.

The testimony of the people of Sychar.

"Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He." When she heard this remarkable declaration, the woman ran back to the city of Sychar and told the people what Jesus had said to her, asking them, "Can this be the Christ?" The people of Sychar went out themselves to see Jesus, and invited Him to stay with them. Jesus stayed there for two days, and many believed in Him because of His teachings. And when He left them to continue His journey to Galilee, the people said to the woman who had first met Jesus, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the World."

{37} Jesus taught always that He is the Christ.

This experience of Jesus with the people of Sychar is full of interest and rich in meaning. We might spend much time in discussing it. But it is not necessary now to consider more than the fact that from the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus taught that He was really the Christ, the Savior of the world. He was not always so successful in getting the people to recognize Him—in getting them to know God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent—as He was here at Sychar. When at one time He bore the same testimony in the Temple, the priests and the people took up stones and would have stoned Him to death, had He not miraculously walked out of their midst. But always Jesus taught of Himself that He is the Christ.

The answer to John.

When the messengers of John the Baptist came to Him and asked, "Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered promptly, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." These things were all signs of the coming of the Christ, and the answer was the same as if Jesus had said, "Yes, I am He that should come; ye need not look for another."

The confessions at the trials of Jesus.

It was thus plainly and fearlessly that Jesus, at the end of His earthly life too, taught that He was the Redeemer of the world. When Jesus was haled before the high priest. {38} the high priest demanded, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus answered boldly, "I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." And to Pilate's question, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "Thou sayest."

And on the way to Emmaus.

These answers and explanations are so clear to us now that it seems hardly possible the disciples of Jesus did not also understand them. Yet it was so; the disciples looked apparently for a powerful, earthly king. When Jesus was crucified, they were overwhelmed. For a while they did not know what to make of it. But Jesus Himself made all things clear. One day, after the crucifixion, two of the disciples were journeying toward Emmaus, talking about the strange things that had happened. Suddenly, the resurrected Savior joined them. Because these disciples had failed to understand the meaning of His mission on the earth, Jesus said to them, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets. He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself." Thus did Jesus after His resurrection bear testimony to His teaching that He is verily the Christ, the Son of God.

How shall we find out Christ?

The knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, is, as we have already learned, necessary to gain eternal life, the greatest of all gifts. But how shall we come into possession of that knowledge? Shortly before His {39} death, Jesus taught His disciples thus: "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." And a little later, "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me." So, then, we may gain the knowledge, the testimony, that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world, through the inspiration of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. And to be influenced by the Spirit of Truth, we must ourselves worship in spirit and in truth. Sooner or later the testimony must be obtained, for it is decreed that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.


John 4:1-42. Matt. 27:11.

John 10:24, 25. Luke 24:25-27.

Matt. 11:3-6. John 14:16.

Mark 14:61, 62. John 15:26.


1. What is the meaning of the Christ?

2. What is the significance of Christ's ministry at Sychar?

3. On what other occasions did Jesus publicly declare Himself the Christ?

4. Of what particular value is His testimony to the disciples on the road to Emmaus?

5. How is a testimony of the Christ to be obtained?







The end of the period of preparation.

It was the day of the baptism. Jesus had completed the years of preparation for His ministry of service. We know very little of what He did during the eighteen years from the time of His first visit to the temple to the time of His baptism. The historian Luke tells us that Jesus went down to Nazareth with His parents and was subject to them. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." The day of the baptism was momentous, however; for it was the day on which the special witness of Jesus made special recognition of Him as the Christ.

The testimony at the baptism.

John the Baptizer was performing the ordinance of baptism in the river Jordan for all those who requested it. Thither, then Jesus went; for He, too, wished to be baptized. But when Jesus approached, John felt that in Him was One greater than he; just such a One as he had himself predicted, whose shoestrings he was unworthy to untie. When, therefore, Jesus asked for baptism, John replied, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"

"And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.

"And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straight-way out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he (John) saw the Spirit of God {42} descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him. And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased."

John's testimony.

A little later, John bore testimony to those assembled about him, thus: "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and It abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

Who the Comforter is.

Now, this Spirit that John saw descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus was the same Spirit that Jesus later promised—as we learned in the preceding chapter—and that was to testify of Him. Concerning this Spirit Jesus said also just before His crucifixion, "I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."

Who, then, is this Spirit, this Comforter? Jesus tells plainly: "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." The Holy Ghost, then, is a special witness to Jesus; and the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead in heaven. When Jesus commissioned the apostles after His resurrection to preach the Gospel, He said to them, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing {43} them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." It is further clear that, as a member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost is a member separate and distinct from God and the Son; for at the baptism of the Son, all three were individually and separately present.

The mission of the Holy Ghost.

The duties of the Holy Ghost are many. When Nicodemus came by night to be instructed by Jesus, Jesus assured him that, "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;" for, said He, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This means, of course, that when one receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, one enters upon a new spiritual life. And in bringing about such a new spiritual life, the Holy Ghost convinces the sinner of his evil deeds, and leads him to the truth, testifying as we have already learned of the Christ.

The Holy Ghost in Jesus and the apostles.

Jesus, himself, was "full of the Holy Ghost." After the ascension. His promise of a Comforter was literally fulfilled to the Apostles. On the day of Pentecost, they "were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

The Holy Ghost amongst the Nephites.

On the American continent, too, as you must remember, Jesus chose twelve apostles. The Holy Ghost rested mightily upon them, and the way in which Jesus conferred the Holy Ghost on them is interesting. The third Nephi records the incident in these words: "It came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of these sayings, {44} He touched with His hand the disciples whom He had chosen, one by one, even until He had touched them all, and spake unto them as He touched them." Moroni describes the incident more fully: "The words of Christ, which He spake unto His disciples, the twelve whom He had chosen, as He laid His hands upon them. And He called them by name, saying, ye shall call on the Father, in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this, ye shall have power that on him whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles."

How to confer the Holy Ghost.

As Jesus Himself did, then, amongst the Nephites, and as He instructed the Nephite apostles to do, so also did the Jewish apostles. They conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. It is the proper way. When the Church was re-established by the great American, Joseph Smith, the ordinance of the laying on of hands was restored with it.

Nature of the Holy Ghost.

Now, you may be wondering, what kind of being is the Holy Ghost, that it may be conferred by the laying on of hands? Many people have wondered about the same thing. Indeed, even learned men have wondered so much that they have become utterly confused. Yet, here again, the truth is very simple. Jesus said to Joseph Smith, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

{45} Importance of the Holy Ghost.

You can readily see that the Holy Ghost is a very important personage. First, He is a member of the Godhead. Then, through His influence we are led from darkness into light, and are thus enabled to recognize the truth. Then He testifies of Jesus Christ, and of God who sent Him. Indeed, so important is the testimony of the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ Himself asserted that all sins may be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost. And to Joseph Smith, Jesus said that the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost consisted in the denying of the testimony that Jesus is the Christ, after having once received that testimony, and thus approving of His death. The denial of such a testimony would be the denial of the Holy Ghost also; for "no man can know that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost."


Matt. 3:13-16. John 3:34.

John 1:32-35. Acts 2:1-4.

John 16:7, 8, 13. 3 Nephi 18:36, 37.

John 14:26. Moroni 2:1,2.

Matt. 28:19. Doc. and Cov. 33:15.

John 6:53. Doc. and Cov. 130:22.

Luke 4:1-20. Doc. and Cov. 132:27.


1. How old was Jesus when He went to John to be baptized?

2. Why was Jesus baptized?

3. How did John recognize Jesus as the Son of God?

4. Who is the Comforter?

5. What is His relation to God and to Jesus?

6. What is the mission of the Holy Ghost?

7. How is the Holy Ghost conferred?

8. What kind of being is the Holy Ghost?

9. Why is the Holy Ghost of special importance?







A remarkable vision.

The brother of Jared had cut from Mount Shelem sixteen small stones, clear and transparent as glass. The barges in which his people were to cross the ocean were prepared; but he had been unable to devise a means of lighting them. So, with childlike faith and complete confidence he called upon the Father.

"I know, O Lord," said the brother of Jared, "that Thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever Thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with Thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light when we shall cross the sea . . . .

"And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth His hand and touched the stones, one by one with His finger; and the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was like the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear."

You may easily imagine that such a vision would amaze any man. And the brother of Jared, though he was a very good and righteous man, and a prophet of God, seems not to have suspected before this time that God and Jesus Christ had bodies of flesh as material {48} and tangible as man's. What the brother of Jared thought God to be, we do not know. But when the Lord saw that he had fallen to the ground in amazement, He said, "Arise, why hast thou fallen?"

"And he saith unto the Lord, I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest He should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood."

But much as the brother of Jared was astonished at this marvelous revelation, there remained for him yet greater wonders. The Lord commended him for his great faith, which had made it possible for him to see the finger of the Lord. Then the Lord asked, "Sawest thou more than this? And he answered Nay; Lord, show Thyself unto me."

"Behold, the Lord showed Himself unto him, and said....Behold, I am He who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have light, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. And never have I shown myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning, after mine own image.

"Behold, this body which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit, and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the flesh."

{49} The pre-existence of Jesus.

This marvelous vision, the brother of Jared beheld many hundreds of years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Do you think you understand the great truths that Jesus here revealed to the Jaredite prophet? First, it must be evident to everyone that Jesus had existence—that He lived and worked—before He was born in the flesh upon the earth. But what kind of existence was this pre-existence? It was an existence in the spirit state. And the spirit body of Jesus is in form and shape just like the mortal body; so that, when Jesus helped to form man. He formed him after the image of His own body. This is the second great truth we learn from the remarkable vision. And a third is, that Jesus was appointed "from the foundation of the world" to redeem mankind. In the pre-existence He labored for us; there He was chosen to redeem us. His mission upon the earth, and the sacrifice of His noble life, were but the completion of a plan formulated long before He was born.

The spirits of all men eternal.

Now, you may say, "Of course, we know that Jesus lived before He was born in the flesh, and that He had a spirit of the same form and shape as His mortal body, and that He was chosen in that pre-existent life to redeem the world from sin. But it may not be so with man."

That is one of the wonderful things about life. We are here passing through only one small stage of it. Jesus taught that the spirits of all men are eternal just like His own. For Jesus truly recognized and understood His own pre-existence. Said He, once, as He prayed, "And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with {50} Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." And at another time He asked, "What and if Ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." Thus, with complete assurance He spoke of the time that had been before; and with the same assurance He accepted the teaching that man, too, existed before he was born in the flesh.

The man born blind.

One day, in the temple, Jesus had taught this very doctrine to the Jews. In answer to one of their questions. He had replied, "Verily, verily, I say unto you. Before Abraham was I am." The answer provoked the Jews, and they took up stones to stone Him. "But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

Then follows a remarkable little story, touching the doctrine He had just presented in the temple, and here discussed in this chapter. "As Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Now, we must remember that in those days people believed affliction to be always a punishment for some sin or other. We can easily understand that the parents of the man might have sinned; and through their sin, they might have brought blindness upon their son. But since he was born blind, how could the affliction have come as the result of his own sin? In only one way. If the man had had an existence before he was {51} born in the flesh, he might there have sinned. The Lord might then have punished him for his sin by causing him to be born blind.

Evidently, the disciples understood that there is a pre-existent state. But were they right? If they were not, surely Jesus would correct them. Listen. Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." Jesus, then, did not rebuke them. He, too, accepted the doctrine. At least, the affliction of blindness was not because of sin committed in the spirit world. And the works of God were truly made manifest in the miracle which Jesus then performed.


From the teachings of Jesus, in the spirit and in the flesh, it is clear, then, that the spirits of all men existed in the spirit world long before they were born into bodies of flesh in this world; that the body of the spirit is like the mortal body in form; and that Jesus was chosen before the earth was organized to redeem mankind from sin.

"We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of Spirits, and live?"


Ether 3:4-16. John 17:28.

John 17:5. John 9:1-7.

John 6:62. Heb. 12:9.


1. Relate the story of the vision of the brother of Jared?

2. What was it that enabled the brother of Jared to behold so remarkable a vision?

3. What three important points are taught in the vision?

4. How did Jesus show in His teachings in the flesh that He believed in a pre-existence?

5. What lesson do you derive from the story of the healing of the man born blind?

6. What is the teaching of Jesus brought out in this lesson?

7. How should this knowledge of a spirit existence affect our lives on the earth?








A review.

Let us stop now for a moment and think before we proceed to the special subject of this chapter. It is clear, from what we have learned, that Jesus had a very specific mission to perform on the earth. He did not come merely to display miraculous power. He came to save mankind—to teach them to know God and His commands, and to show them, further, how to keep the commands. And the wonderful thing about the mission of Jesus is that He was willing to suffer as no other man has ever suffered and finally to lay down His life in order to bring about the purpose of God.

And the great purpose of God in this world is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. For just as Jesus did not come merely to show how He could perform wonders, so God did not organize the earth and put living things upon it only to display His power. He had a far greater and higher purpose. That the purpose may be accomplished, man must learn to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.

The problem of evil.

Now, it may seem to you that, if God were so desirous of saving mankind that He was willing to give His only Begotten Son to accomplish the desire, He could have made it very easy for men to keep His commands. Indeed, He might have made His will the only possible thing to do. But it is not so. It is not ever really difficult to keep the commands of God if one sets his mind to keep them; but there are always so many other things {56} possible to do that one is tempted to neglect the word of God. Evil is always in the way. We wonder why there should be evil in the way, and how evil came to be. Men have wondered about the same thing for many ages. It would be so much easier to be good if there were no wrong. In this lesson, therefore, we want to learn how evil came into the world; in the next one, we shall learn why it is here.

The parable of the sower.

One day, when a great multitude of people had assembled about Him, Jesus related the parable of the sower. Said He, "A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold....

The meaning.

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good {57} heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

The devil the power of evil.

It is the devil, then, who, in this world, is the power of evil. Directly or indirectly he gets between man and the path of duty. Although a man may know the way of righteousness, the devil tempts him to neglect it, or even to depart from it and to walk in the way of evil. But who is the devil? Whence did he get such power? How came he to be the devil?

A council of the spirits.

In the pre-existent state, of which we learned in the preceding lesson, all the spirits of men lived together in a world of spirits. It was there that they first heard of the plan of salvation—the Gospel. The plan was explained at a great meeting, or council, of the spirits. God Himself presented the plan to them, and showed them how, in order to carry out the plan, there would be needed a Savior—someone to perform the very mission that Jesus has actually performed for us. Then, when he had fully presented the Gospel plan, God asked, "Whom shall I send?"

Jesus Volunteers.

There was present at the council a spirit of supreme intelligence and humility. He was Immanuel, the Son of God. This spirit stepped forward and volunteered unselfishly, "Father, here am I, send me. Thy will be done, and the glory be Thine forever."

Lucifer volunteers.

But there was present at the assembly a proud and haughty spirit named Lucifer, the Light-bringer, a Son of the Morning. Lucifer also volunteered, saying, "Behold—here am I, {58} send me, I will be Thy son and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me Thine honor."

One can easily imagine that not only God, but the whole multitude of spirits also, must have been astounded at the selfishness and the arrogance of Lucifer. He was willing to try to save mankind—to force their salvation, in fact—but as reward he would thrust God from His throne, and claim for himself the honor and glory of God. It was as if he had said in his heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God."

Lucifer rebels.

It is no wonder, then, that God said simply, "I will send the first." Naturally, Lucifer became angry, and rebelled against God, carrying with him one-third of the spirits of heaven. But in the war which followed, Lucifer and his host were defeated, and were cast out of heaven. "And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto (God's) voice."

The declaration of Jesus.

That is how evil came into the world; and that is why Jesus said once to the Jews who rejected Him, "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and am come from God: neither came I of myself, but He sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode {59} not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."


Luke 8:4-15. Isa. 14:12, 13.

Moses 4:1-4. Doc. and Cov. 29:36-38.

Abraham 3:27, 28. Doc. and Cov. 76:25-27.

John 8:42-44.


1. Why is one tempted to neglect the word of God?

2. What is the lesson of the parable of the sower?

3. Who is the sower of evil in the world?

4. How did Satan come to be the devil?

5. What is the devil's mission on the earth?

6. How did Jesus characterize the devil?







The devil's desperate hope.

No better illustration of the mission of the devil on the earth can be found than the story of the temptation of Jesus. You remember, that, when Jesus was grown to manhood He went to the river Jordan and was baptized by John. "Then," we are told, "was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered."

This was a very important and a critical moment in the history of the world. Jesus was about to begin the splendid ministry which was to culminate in His death on the cross for the redemption of the world. If He should succeed in His mission, the power of evil would be broken, and it would become possible for man to return to the presence of God. Of course, Satan was much disturbed at such a thought. He had gained such power on the earth that he had come to be called the prince of this world. It angered him to think that he might lose that power. In desperation, he determined to try his strength with Jesus. If he could but bring about the downfall of the Son of God, God's plan would certainly be thwarted, and Satan might hope utterly to possess the earth. It was a wicked ambition; but it was in fulfillment of his mission among men. So Satan set about to tempt even the Only Begotten of the Father.

The temptation of Jesus.

"And when the tempter came to Him (Jesus), he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He (Jesus) answered and {62} said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written. He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him."

The application.

This impressive story of the strength and ultimate victory of innocence and purity is full of significance. In the performing of his mission of evil, Satan never stops with one kind of temptation alone. He attacks man at every point where weakness may lie. First he appealed to the appetites of the flesh. But though Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, and was hungry, yet He resisted the evil suggestion of the tempter. Then Satan appealed to the love of glory and the praise of men. But Jesus was content to wait, knowing that the glory and praise which would come to Him, from {63} honest and worthy endeavor, would be greater and far more lasting than that which might come from mere display. Finally, Satan appealed to the love of riches and power. But Jesus had the will and the strength to command him to depart; for the riches and the power gained through evil are necessarily but fleeting, whereas the blessings derived through the service of God endure forever. Thus did Jesus overcome the great temptation, and show all men how to resist evil.

Guard against suggestions of the devil.

You may readily understand, that because of His own experience, Jesus appreciated fully the tempting power of the devil. In the parable of the sower, you remember, Jesus urges men to guard against the suggestions of the devil. It is because of the hearkening to those suggestions that so much of the seed fails to bear fruit. And not only do those suggestions withhold men from good deeds, but they inspire evil thoughts and draw men into sin. There are in history many examples of this truth; but there is none more shocking than the example of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed the Christ to His enemies. "When He (Jesus) had dipped the sop," we read in the Gospel of St. John, "He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him) Satan entered into him." Judas had not the strength to resist the suggestions of the devil, and thus brought condemnation upon himself.

Why there is evil.

But you are still wondering why there is evil in the world. Why should even Jesus, the Christ, be subjected to temptation by the devil? Let us consider the source of our love and adoration of Jesus. If God had made it no trial {64} or task at all, but altogether pleasant, to redeem mankind, should we experience the affection and the worship that we now feel for Jesus? If He had not suffered; if He had experienced no pain; if He had passed through no agony of body nor anguish of heart, could we feel indebted to Him as we do now? If He had suffered no temptation, if it had never been a struggle for Him to do the right—as it was in Gethsemane—could we admire His strength, and profit by His teaching? In short, could the atoning death of Jesus be called a sacrifice, if there had been no suffering, no overcoming of temptation and evil? It was through overcoming that Jesus proved Himself worthy to be the Son of God.

The trial of man.

In just the same way, evil is put before man to tempt him, that he too may show his worthiness or unworthiness. We admire the boy who has the The trial of courage and the will-power to say No to the suggestion of evil. We recognize in him strength of character. We see in him a pillar of strength for the future. We are likely to despise the boy who always yields to temptation, who allows his character to be broken down by evil, and who finally becomes a slave to Satan. Such a boy is a weakling; he will be of little or of no service to the world.

A state of probation.

With these facts in mind, it is easy to understand the words of Jesus in the Spirit world. At the great council of the spirits—about which we have already learned—Jesus said to those around Him, "We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these (spirits) may {65} dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." And in our own dispensation, Jesus said to the Prophet, Joseph Smith, "It must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves, for if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet."

The free agency of man.

Here of course lies the secret of the matter. God has endowed us with free agency. He does not try to force us to be good, but we may do good or evil as we ourselves please. And as we gain strength to overcome evil, we grow in character and in power, and become more nearly worthy to return to the presence of God. It was partly because he wanted to destroy the God-given free agency of man, that Lucifer was cast out of heaven. Only the person who sturdily and persistently resists temptation retains his free agency. He who yields to temptation becomes soon a servant to the devil, and loses the free agency with which God endowed him.

Through overcoming temptation and evil Jesus triumphed over the devil and redeemed the world. Through overcoming temptation and evil, man, too, may triumph over the devil, and have glory added upon his head for ever and ever. "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given unto them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil."


Matt. 4:1-11. Abraham 3:24,25.

Matt. 13:19. Doc. and Cov. 29:39.

John 13:2-26, 27. 2 Nephi 2:27.


1. Why should the devil be concerned after the baptism of Jesus?

2. Discuss the temptation of Jesus.

3. To what do the suggestions of the devil lead?

4. How did Jesus prove Himself worthy to be the Son of God?

5. How may man prove himself worthy to be a son of God?

6. Why was man placed upon the earth?

7. What is the meaning of free agency?

8. Why is evil upon the earth?








Have you ever felt the wonder of the poet as he sings,

  "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
  Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me;
  I tremble to know that for me He was crucified,
  That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died."

A wonder-rousing sacrifice.

It is truly the most wonderfully unselfish sacrifice, and the sincerest demonstration of love, you will find anywhere recorded. As He approached the day of the awful sacrifice, Jesus Himself declared to His followers, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And as God the Son manifested thus His great love, so also did God the Father. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Why should God be mindful of man?

Now, it is only natural that one should ask, as did the great psalmist, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that Thou visitest him? Why should there be devised in the heavens a gracious and liberal plan of salvation? Why, because of man, should the hosts of heaven be plunged into the horrors of civil war? What is man, that the noblest of the spirits of heaven should lay down His life for man's redemption? It is an answer to these questions that we want now to find in the teachings of Jesus.

The parable of the lost sheep.

{70} One day when the publicans and the sinners drew near to Jesus to hear Him, "the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And He spake this parable unto them, saying, "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

Man's soul without price.

Jesus could hardly have told a better story to show what great value God places upon man. It is in perfect accord with many other sayings of His, some of which you should know, Said He, at one time, "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." At another time He said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." In the teaching of Jesus, then, the soul of man—his true life—is beyond any earthly price. Indeed, its value is far beyond the worth of the whole material world.

{71} And Jesus did not place this high value on the soul of any particular man. To Him the souls of all men are priceless. He is no respecter of persons. The Father "maketh His sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." There is none so humble that he is beyond the reach of the love of God, nor none so worldly great that he does not need it. Said Jesus, "Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

Man, the offspring of God.

It is because Jesus knew and recognized the divine possibilities of every man, great or small, that He thus valued him so highly. Jesus taught always that God is the Father in heaven—and that not figuratively. We are indeed the offspring of God; and being the offspring of God, there resides in all of us the possibility to become gods. Indeed, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which we live, it has been revealed that God is Himself an exalted man; that He has Himself passed through such a probationary state as that in which man now lives; and that it is possible for man to become like God. Jesus, likewise, taught this truth to those who heard Him. When the Jews were about to stone Him because He declared Himself the Son of God, Jesus said, "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods?" When exhorting the people to live righteous lives, He urged, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." And the disciples caught the meaning of {72} the doctrine; for, wrote John, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

The questions answered.

Since, then, the soul of man is of such divine origin, and therefore of such surpassing value, we need seek no further for the answer to our questions. The heavenly Father feels the loss of a child even more keenly than does an earthly father. Man is a son of God, and may himself become a god; therefore, God is mindful of him.

Reverence for God.

Now, since he is the offspring of the Almighty Father, man owes certain duties both to God and to himself. In the first place, as a faithful and devoted son, he should hold the Father in reverence. "Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time," said Jesus, "Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King." The Father of us all is to be held in awe. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain."

Reverence for personal honor.

In like manner, the value and dignity of man require that he should hold his own personal honor in reverence. His word should be as good as his bond. It should not be necessary to bind a bargain with an oath. Such practice leads easily to profanity. Jesus said also, "Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not {73} make one hair white or black. But let your communications be Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

Reverence for personal purity.

Again, the divine possibilities in him, demand that every man should be willing to make any worldly sacrifice rather than defile his soul with evil. As Jesus put it, The light-of-the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."

Thus we learn, that, in the teachings of Jesus, man is the crown of creation. He is the noblest work of God. He has in him the possibilities of Godhood. He is indeed the son of God. That is why there has been manifested such unstinted love for him. And that is why man should cultivate sincere reverence for God, and reverence for his own personal honor, and reverence for his own personal purity.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

(See Shakespeare's Apostrophe to Man in "Hamlet.")


John 3:16. Mark 9:42.

John 15:12-13. Matt. 10:29, 31.

Ps. 8:4. Matt. 5:33-37, 45, 48.

Luke 15:2-7. Matt. 6:22, 23.

Mark 8:36, 37. Luke 9:47.

1 Cor. 3:16, 17.


1. What does the parable of the lost sheep illustrate?

2. What value did Jesus place on a man's soul?

3. What difference did a man's station in life make to the love of Jesus?

4. Why did Jesus place so high a value on the soul of man?

5. What duty does man owe God?

6. What duties does man owe himself?

7. How is the body of man the temple of God?








The parable of the prodigal.

"A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said. How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat. and be merry: for this my son was dead {78} and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.

"Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come: and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.

"And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgress I at any time thy commandment and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

"And he said unto him. Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."

The forgiving Father.

Of this beautiful parable, the great Dickens said very truly, "It is the most touching passage in all literature." Most people think of it and speak of it as the story of the prodigal son. It is really, however, the story of the forgiving Father. Jesus wanted the Jews to learn to know God as the Father of all men—great and small—and therefore interested in the welfare of all of them. Jesus knew only too well that sin held possession of the lives of the people of His day. He {79} saw plenty of evidence of it. Men were living corrupt lives. Corruption had defiled their minds as well as their bodies. They crowded about the Master to be healed of both mental and physical diseases, that, in many cases, had come upon them because of their sins. Jesus knew, too, that no hope was held out to the sinner in the perverted doctrines of the rabbis. These doctrines made it impossible for the sinner ever to return to the presence of God. But Jesus wanted men to think of God not as a stern, severe, and relentless being, but as a loving and forgiving Father to all men. So, when the younger son of the parable had recognized his sins, had sorrowfully repented of them, and had returned and had confessed them freely, the father forgave them freely, and received him again joyfully into the household. Of course, the prodigal son, though forgiven, would never be able wholly to efface from his soul the marks of his offenses, any more than you would be able to remove from a post the hole made by a nail you had driven in. You may be sorry and pull out the nail, but the hole remains; and even though you fill the hole with putty, and cover all with paint, yet in the post remains the mark made by that nail. However, that the Father will fully forgive the penitent sinner without upbraiding is indeed a consolation worth knowing. It was without doubt the desire of Jesus to illustrate God's intense love even for the sinner and His eagerness to reclaim him.

Condemnation of the self-righteous.

Now there were present, when Jesus related the parable of the forgiving father and other parables teaching the same comforting lesson, a number of the scribes {80} and Pharisees. These self-righteous men derided Him, and found fault with Him because He treated sinners as if they too were men with souls. To these self-righteous ones, Jesus spoke after this wise: You scribes and Pharisees, you justify yourselves before men. You think yourselves so righteous that you need no repentance. But God knows your hearts; and often that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination before the Lord. The great brotherhood of man are all children of God; when one who has sinned repents and returns to Father's home, there is more joy over his return, than over ninety and nine like you who think they need no repentance. To illustrate your case, I may tell you this parable:

The publican and the Pharisee.

"Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Fortunately, then, God the Father is ready, nay, eager, to forgive the sins of the wrongdoer who repents. Likewise, He is ready, eager, to answer the prayer that is spoken in sincere humility. But there is no justification for him who thinks he has no need {81} of repentance, or who self-righteously exalts himself above his fellowmen. Said Jesus to our own great Prophet, "I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven."


Luke 15:11 ff. Doc. and Cov. 1:31.

Luke 18:9-14.


1. Retell the story of the Forgiving Father.

2. Justify Dickens's statement that this is the most touching passage in literature.

3. What was Jesus's purpose in telling the story?

4. What views did the Jews generally hold concerning sinners?

5. What did Jesus say about the self-righteous?

6. What lesson do you get from the prayer of the publican?

7. What is God's attitude toward sin?







Finding and losing one's life.

One day Jesus called to Him the twelve disciples whom He had chosen to be His special witnesses and instructed them in the business of their mission. Amongst other things, Jesus said to them, "He that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it."

Perhaps you may be surprised to know that this little saying has caused many people to wonder. Or, perhaps, you may wonder yourself what Jesus meant. Why should a man who has found his life lose it? Indeed, how can a man both find and lose his life at the same time? And how can a man who has lost his life find it? What does it mean to lose one's life, and to find one's life? Undoubtedly, the answer to these questions must be of great importance to men.

In seeking for that answer, we must recall the fundamental purpose of the mission of Jesus, and of His loving sacrifice for the salvation of the rest of Father's children. Jesus strove to teach men to know God, and, through His cruel death, to bring men back into the presence of God. All of Jesus's teaching, therefore, was based upon the fact that the chief thing in a man's life is to recognize his divine right as a son of God, and to come into close, real, and constant touch with the Father in heaven. But how shall a man come into such close touch with the Almighty Being who rules the universe?

The necessity of harmony.

{84} Our lives upon the earth are full of illustrations of how necessary it is for us to put ourselves into perfect harmony with our environments when we wish to attain certain ends. If we wish to mingle with so-called society, we must conform to the artificial standards of society in dress, and manners, and speech, and many other things; otherwise, we become outcasts from society and are despised. Or again, if we set up an apparatus for wireless telegraphy, we must, whether we like it or not, make all connections close and in proper way, and we must use the right kind of materials in both the transmitting and the receiving instruments; otherwise, we can neither send nor receive messages. If in the society of men, and in the application of the principles of science, it is so urgently necessary to observe the rules of society and the laws of science, it is very easy to understand that, if we would come into close and constant touch with God, we must observe also the laws of such divine communion. Anything at all that might come between one and real communion with God would be disastrous. Indeed, in the teaching of Jesus, it would constitute the greatest sorrow, the greatest tragedy in human existence. Since it is life eternal to know God, not to know Him, not to find Him, is loss eternal. Although a man may prosper, then, in this life—although he may find his life, as it were, in this world—yet shall he lose it eternally, if he has not found God. If we stop now, and think this out clearly, we may understand very easily what Jesus meant when He said to His disciples, "He {85} that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it."

Three forms of temptation.

We may now ask ourselves, What is likely to come between us and close touch with God, to prevent us from finding God, and thus to prevent us from gaining life eternal? You will recall what we have already learned about the temptation of Jesus. The devil tempted Jesus first through the physical, the bodily, appetites; then through the desire, the love of wordly praise; and lastly, through the love of worldly power and riches. It was these very forms of temptation that Jesus feared might come between man and God. Especially did He fear that the love of the praise of men might tempt people and bring about their destruction. So, as He taught one time those who followed Him, He explained to them the right attitude in worship.

Instruction in praying and alms-giving.

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men," said Jesus, "to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.

"And when thou prayest," said Jesus further, "thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to {86} pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

"Moreover," continued Jesus, touching the third conventional form of worship, "when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."

The real value of worship.

Now, it is not necessary to think that these sayings of Jesus are to be taken literally. It is not absolutely necessary that, in order to pray in secret, one should retire to his chamber and shut the door, then pray; nor is it absolutely necessary that, in fasting, one should anoint one's head and wash one's face. Jesus used these figures merely to portray a condition opposite to that assumed by the hypocrites. But Jesus wanted to teach that the value of worship depends upon the motive that inspires it. If one gives alms to be seen of men and to be praised therefore, one's reward lies there in the praise one receives. God will bestow no other favor. Likewise, those who pray and fast to be praised of men, get their reward in the worldly praise they receive. They have not found God. They {87} are not in real, vital touch with Him. Worldly ambitions have come between them and Him. In gaining the life of this world they have lost life eternal. They have yielded to the temptation of mere ostentation and display. And this spirit has entered unfortunately, into the service of many churches. "Obviously," says a noted student of the Bible, "many of the elaborate forms and ceremonies which have developed in connection with the worship of the Christian Church are contrary to His (Jesus's) spirit and teachings. Only in so far as they lead the individual into closer personal touch with God are they justifiable or of real value."

Humility and sincerity.

What then is the right attitude in worship? God Himself has declared, you remember, that those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. The motive of worship is of more importance than the form. The value of worship lies in humility, in laying aside all worldly ambitions, in approaching close to God for the sole purpose of communing with Him. It is better to lose one's worldly life in the service of God, than to gain that worldly life and fail to find God; for he who thus loses the worldly life, shall find life eternal.

"I give unto you these sayings," said Jesus once to Joseph the Prophet, "that ye may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of His fulness; for if you keep my commandments you shall receive of His fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace."


Matt. 10:39. Matt. 6:5, 6.

Matt. 6:1-4. Matt. 6:16-18.

Doc. and Cov. 93:19, 20.


1. What did Jesus mean by the saying "He that findeth his life shall lose it?"

2. What is the chief thing in a man's life?

3. Show how it is necessary to put ourselves in harmony with our environments.

4. What is likely to come between us and close communion with God?

5. What is right attitude in worship?

6. Wherein lies the value of worship?








"And it came to pass, that, as (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

"And He said unto them, When ye pray, say,

The Lord's prayer.

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins: for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."

This is the wonderfully simple prayer uttered by the Lord Himself—a prayer that has guided the faith of Christians since first it was spoken. You may have learned it as the disciple Matthew has recorded it. Matthew's version is just a little different from Luke's, which is here given. But Luke's version makes two or three points just a little clearer, perhaps, than does Matthew's; so, we shall use it for our text in this lesson.

Jesus had found God.

According to St. Luke, Jesus gave this prayer to His disciples in response to the request, "Lord, teach us to pray." You have observed, of course, that Jesus prayed often. He lived in close communion with the Father in heaven. He Himself had found God; and He knew that God will answer the prayer of the righteous. He knew, too, that only through the prayer of faith can a man come close to God, and obtain in full the blessings that {92} belong to him as a son of God. Therefore, Jesus prayed often, and as no other man has prayed.

The prayers of the Jews.

But if you will study carefully the prayers of Jesus, and compare them with other prayers preserved in the records of the Jews, you will find His prayers quite different from those other prayers. The prayers used anciently—and still used—in the Jewish service are very beautiful, noble in their faith and devotion. But they were distinctly the prayers of a special people, inspired by the thought that this special people was also a chosen, a select people. The type prayer which Jesus gave, on the other hand, while individual is yet universal in its appeal, and in its application; it is concrete and practical, yet it is profoundly spiritual. Of course, it was not intended by Jesus that all men should repeat this prayer only and no other. He gave it merely as a type, a model. Certainly, then, if we wish to know how to frame our own prayers, it will be well to analyze this one.

First, then, you will observe that this prayer possesses the characteristics that distinguish most of Jesus's prayers.

The prayer of Jesus.

It is brief.

It is direct.

It is sincere.

It is unselfish.

It expresses a simple, unshakable confidence in the goodness of God.

Jesus addresses God as Father. So should man address God. Man should learn to think of God as the Father of our spirits, and go to Him with the same simple trust and confidence manifested by a little child {93} when it runs with outstretched arms to its earthly father. Jesus felt and manifested that perfect unity between father and son.

The Lord's prayer analyzed.

"Hallowed be Thy name." In this phrase, Jesus taught that we should recognize the sanctity of the name of Jehovah, and at the same time that we should show our reverence and devotion. This is a personal, individual and profound emotion on the part of him who prays sincerely.

Then Jesus prayed, "Thy kingdom come." Perhaps you do not fully realize what this petition means when you repeat it in your prayers. What is the use of praying for the kingdom of God to come to earth if we do not help in its establishment? When we utter this petition, then, we virtually promise that we ourselves will do all in our power to help. Only then can God's will be done, "as in heaven, so in earth." And the doing of the will of God is, throughout the teachings of Jesus, the essential element in the establishment of God's reign.

These petitions, you will notice, are of universal interest. Now, Jesus asks for that which will meet and satisfy personal needs. "Give us day by day our daily bread." But even here, the petition is an expression of implicit confidence in God's power to provide, and in His unlimited love, rather than merely a request for some specific gift. Its meaning has been interpreted in these words: "Provide for us each day that which Thou, in Thy Fatherly care and wisdom, seeth is needful for us."

The fourth petition is also full of meaning. "Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us." Jesus emphasized time and again in His ministry the necessity of forgiving others, if we would ourselves be {94} forgiven. Only in a spirit of humility and sincere worship can we approach the throne of God.

The last petition has been often misunderstood. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Certainly the words as they are here recorded do not clearly represent the meaning of Jesus. Yet, perhaps, even in the days of the apostles some people had failed to understand. For James wrote once, "Let no man, who is being tempted, say, 'my temptation is from God,' for God is not to be tempted Himself by evil and He tempts no man, but each man is tempted with evil when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed." The petition in the Lord's prayer is, therefore, a petition for strength to overcome. Its meaning is, "Deliver us from temptations which we can not withstand." Or, as our own Prophet has phrased it, "Leave us not in temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Teach us to pray.

These general points in the type prayer given by Jesus, it is well to remember. God is not to be reached by many words. It is the broken spirit and the contrite heart that call down the love of the Father. Neither will the hollow, selfish prayer please the Father of us all. But as we pray, finding our own words in which to express the desires of our hearts, let us remember the characteristics of the prayer that Jesus gave.

It is brief.

It is direct.

It is sincere.

It is unselfish.

It expresses a simple, unshakable confidence in the providence of God.

{95} Moreover, Jesus prayed often. So should we all. Only then may we hope to live in the presence of God.

  "O Thou by whom we come to God,
  The Life, the Truth, the Way!
  The path of prayer Thyself hath trod;
  Lord, teach us how to pray."


Luke 11:1-4.


1. Repeat the Lord's prayer.

2. What prompted Jesus to utter this prayer?

3. What is the difference between the Lord's prayer, and the prayers of the Jews in general?

4. What are the characteristics of Jesus's prayers?

5. Analyze the Lord's prayer.

6. What do we learn to guide us in our own prayers?







The Lord will answer.

Everyone who has prayed devoutly and sincerely has undoubtedly experienced at times the keenest kind of disappointment because he has not received an immediate answer to his prayer, Perhaps you have yourself prayed sometimes for something that you wanted badly. It was an insistent, an urgent desire. You felt that you could hardly wait even to utter the prayer. Yet, your prayer has remained apparently unanswered. At such times you may have found comfort in this beautiful Sunday School hymn:

  "Unanswered yet? Tho' when you first presented
  This one petition at the Father's throne,
  It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
  So urgent was your heart to make it known.
  Tho' years have passed since then, do not despair;
  The Lord will answer you, sometime, somewhere."

This is a beautiful hope, a sublime faith; and every one of us should cultivate such hope, such faith. Moreover, everyone of us should practice such persistency in prayer as is described by the poet in this hymn.

  "The prayer your lips have pleaded
  In agony of tears these many years?"

For very often, without question, our prayers fail to move the Father, because they are not urged upon Him, nor are they upheld by that hopeful trust which knows no wavering. Jesus emphasized two points in this connection that we should grapple to our hearts.

Pray often and persistently.

As we have already learned, Jesus condemned long. {98} repetitious prayers. He despised also the hypocrite, and the hollow prayer of the hypocrite. But Jesus did not mean by such condemnation that we should not appear often before the persistently. Father, and press the case for which we are pleading. On the contrary, as you will readily see from the following parables, Jesus emphasized the importance of persistency in prayer.

The importunate friend.

"And (Jesus) said unto them. Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."

The unrighteous judge.

"And (again) He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city: and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for awhile: but afterward he said within himself. Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear {99} long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily."

An urgent desire necessary.

These parables speak sufficiently for themselves. The lesson that Jesus wanted to impart is clear. It is important that we persist in the prayer that we want urgently to be fulfilled. However, it was not Jesus's purpose to teach His disciples merely to repeat constantly an urgent prayer. Merely repeating a prayer is really of no more worth than uttering a long prayer full of repetitions. Jesus taught that Father gives His best and choicest gifts only to those who desire them intensely. We keep on praying for those things that we truly want, because the desire for them is urgent, intense and insistent; and we keep on keeping on.

Implicit trust necessary.

But there is a second element that must necessarily enter into the right attitude in prayer to God. Not only should our prayers express our intense desires, and be spoken frequently, but they should be accompanied by a simple, childlike trust and confidence in God.

Seek first the kingdom of God.

"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink," taught Jesus; "Nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature.

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, {100} neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? . . . .

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Labor and confidence hand in hand.

Now, Jesus did not mean by this splendid teaching that we should not plan for the future; nor that we should not be industrious and spin and weave and harvest. His illustrations impress the thought that we should not allow ourselves to fret over the petty worries and anxieties of life. God knows our needs before we utter them. We should rely implicitly then upon His providence, knowing that if we serve Him and do our best, He will care for us as well as for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.

The sin of worry.

Undue anxiety may be called almost a sin. It preys upon the peace of mind and happiness of untold thousands of men and women. The most learned and efficient men in the world have devoted much of their time to the study of worry; but no one of them has found a cure for it. Many books have, however, been written advising this or that course of life to overcome the evil, and all these books possess value. But it is to be noted that the cause of worry in any man is {101} usually something over which man has no control. Neither worry, nor any other thing that man may do, can change the nature of things. We are forced therefore to admit that the only cure for worry known to man is that presented by Jesus. His cure consists of a childlike faith and trust in the goodness of God—a trust so simple and strong that anxious care can find no place in the mind. It consists of such a confidence in the providence of God as Abraham displayed when he was commanded to offer his dearly beloved son Isaac on the altar of sacrifice. Abraham wavered not; he worried not; and God provided the sacrifice that was meet. Of course, it requires courage, patience, and persistent effort to cultivate so supreme a degree of faith. Yet, one who has it not can hardly say with truth that he has learned fully to know God. Indeed, such sublime faith alone marks the truly converted and nobly devoted soul; whereas the lack of such faith reveals a lack of fulness of trust in God—almost a disloyalty to God. One cannot in this world attain to real peace and happiness without implicit faith in God. Without it, one can not keep on keeping on in fervent prayer to God.

God knows best.

Finally, it must be remembered that another phase of this childlike trust may affect the answer to our prayers. If they remain unanswered, it may be because it is best for us so. No other man has ever suffered as did Jesus in Gethsemane. No other man has ever prayed as Jesus did there. Yet, recall the spirit of that prayer. "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from {102} me: nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt." This is the true spirit of faith-inspired prayer.

Thy will be done.

Such petitions Jesus would have us utter. He would have us pray constantly for those things that we desire intensely. He would have us repose implicit childlike trust in the Heavenly Father. He would have each one of us feel always, "Nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done." And in this spirit He would have us always keep on keeping on.


Luke 11:5-8. Matt. 6:25-30.

Luke 18:1-8. Matt. 6:33-34.


1. What should be the feeling of one whose prayer is not immediately answered?

2. What is the lesson conveyed in the Sunday School hymn "Unanswered Yet?"

3. Why are our prayers often unanswered?

4. What is the difference between long repetitious prayers and frequent prayers?

5. What is the meaning of the parable of the importunate friend?

6. What is the lesson of the parable of the unrighteous judge?

7. Why is childlike trust and confidence in God necessary in prayer?

8. What did Jesus mean by teaching "Take no thought for your life?"

9. How can anxiety or worry be called almost a sin?

10. What lesson do we derive from the attitude of Jesus in the wonderful prayer in Gethsemane?



LORD HELP ME. Plockhorst

"LORD HELP ME." Plockhorst




Confidence vs. Faith

It is, of course, evident to you now that the two essentials of acceptable prayer are implicit reliance on the wisdom and the goodness of God, and the spirit of forgiveness. The first is the only attitude that can be rightly assumed toward God; and the second is the attitude that we should all assume toward our fellowmen. There is certainly no use in praying to God if we do not trust Him; and as certainly, God will not forgive us and answer our prayers, if we are unwilling to forgive our fellowmen and help them. But this attitude of unwavering trust in God is really more than merely an essential of prayer. It is a principle of power in both the spiritual and the temporal life of man. In this lesson we shall consider the power of faith—the invincible power of childlike confidence.

The incident of the fig tree.

It is recorded that Jesus cursed one morning a certain fig tree that it should no more bear fruit. The next morning, as Jesus and the disciples passed by from Bethany to Jerusalem, they saw that the fig tree was dried up from the roots. "And Peter, calling to remembrance, saith unto (Jesus), Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away!

"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you. That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

{106} Forgiveness accompanies prayer.

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Like the other sayings of Jesus, this one, too, is full of meaning and interest. But as with the other sayings, too, the meaning of this one is easy to find. If we try to remember what we have learned in the preceding lessons, we shall be able easily to understand this one.

Reason for concrete examples.

Many people have stumbled because of this forceful saying of Jesus. How can a man by the exercise alone of faith remove mountains? But such people have failed to understand Jesus's method of teaching. Whenever He could, Jesus emphasized His doctrine with concrete example. Because Jesus did not teach abstractly, even little children may understand Him. And the people whom He taught during His earthly life, were almost like little children. He had to make everything very clear to them. So, now, He wanted to impress them with the unlimited power of faith. He used, therefore, the vigorous and startling figure of moving a mountain into the sea: or as St. Luke has worded it, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree (mulberry tree), Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."

{107} The interpretation.

You will remember, however, that nowhere did Jesus ever teach His disciples to pray for material things, except to supply their daily needs. Neither did He ever teach them to ask for things impossible or impracticable for God to give. It is to be understood, then, that Jesus did not intend to encourage men to try to move mountains by the mere exercise of faith. He intended a larger, a spiritual meaning. Faith is so powerful a principle, that, through the exercise of it, one may remove obstacles to sublime spiritual blessings, as difficult to be moved as a mountain. By such a striking figure did Jesus impress upon His disciples that nothing is impossible to faith.

Jesus's own interpretation.

That this was what Jesus wanted to impart, is apparent from His own application of the concrete illustration. "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Or, as the statement is worded in a modern translation, "Believe that you shall receive all things for which you pray and ask and you shall have them." And this invincible power of faith in prayer is supported by the words of Jesus to the Prophet, Joseph Smith. "All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith."

Examples of the power of faith.

In the story of the ministry of Jesus, there are many examples of the necessity of cultivating unlimited faith. Do you remember what happened when Jesus walked to the boat one evening on the sea of Galilee? Most of the disciples became afraid when they saw Him, and cried {108} out, "It is a spirit." But when they became assured that it was really Jesus, Peter said, "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water."

"And (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

At another time, we are told, "there came to (Jesus) a certain man, kneeling down to Him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples and they could not cure him.

"Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

"Then came the disciples to Jesus apart and said. Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them. Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Such examples as these might be cited indefinitely. These are enough, however, to show how profoundly Jesus impressed upon the minds of His disciples the necessity of cultivating the gift of unfaltering {109} faith—faith, the one great principle of power, without which, as the learned Paul later said, it is impossible to please God.

[Sidenote: The dispensation of the fulness of times, the wonderful example.]

But perhaps the greatest wonder that has ever been accomplished, in all the history of the world, through the invincible power of unhesitating faith, is that which we ourselves experience every day of our lives. Continuing the doctrine he had learned from Jesus, "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ," wrote thus to the scattered twelve tribes: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." When he was perturbed in spirit, not knowing whither to go to find God, Joseph Smith heard these words, and pondered them. He had implicit faith in God. He did not waver. He prayed earnestly. In response to his simple, faith-provoked prayer, God revealed Himself to Joseph Smith, and through him, established the Church of Christ anew.

Are not the things that have been accomplished through faith, wonderful? Must it not be a joy, a comfort, to possess the gift of unlimited faith? Like the apostles of old, we feel to pray, "Lord, increase our faith."


Luke 17:5, 6. Doc. and Cov. 103:36.

Mark 11:21-26. Matt. 14:24-31.

Matt. 21:21, 22. Matt. 17:14-21.

James 1:5, 6.


1. What principle did Jesus teach in the incident of the fig tree?

2. What is faith?

3. Why must forgiveness accompany prayer?

4. Why did Jesus use concrete examples in His teaching?

5. What did Jesus mean by saying that mountains might be removed by faith?

6. What did the Prophet Joseph Smith teach concerning the power of faith?

7. Recite some examples of the power of faith.

8. Show how the establishing of the dispensation of the fulness of times is one of the most wonderful examples of the power of faith.








The case of Mr. Baldwin.

Nearly a hundred years ago was built in America the first locomotive engine of American design. Everybody knows nowadays what a locomotive is. Nearly every boy and girl in the world has seen one; many boys, particularly, can tell you how the locomotive engine operates; and more than one boy can even operate the locomotive himself. But it was not so one hundred years ago. The locomotive was a rare machine. And all the locomotives that people saw then in America had been made in England. But in 1831, the officers of the Germantown and Norristown Railway commissioned a young mechanical engineer, named Matthias Baldwin, to build for them a locomotive engine. The Germantown and Norristown Railway operated a horse-power line six miles long.

The Cambden and Amboy Railroad Company had only recently imported a locomotive from England. When Mr. Baldwin received his commission, he went immediately to Cambden, where were the parts of the English engine not yet assembled. There he "carefully observed the various parts of the machine, made a few measurements and at last crept under the ponderous boiler. Here he remained in absorbed study for nearly half an hour. As he emerged from his retreat, his face was glowing with enthusiasm, and he exclaimed 'I can do it.'"

{114} Words added to faith.

So far so good. Mr. Baldwin was inspired by a sublime faith in his power to build a locomotive engine. But had he stopped there, he would never have become the builder of the first American locomotive. Mr. Baldwin set determinedly and industriously to work to accomplish the task he had faith he could do. He met countless difficulties; his trials and disappointments were many, and often discouraging. But he kept bravely, manfully on. He did much of the work with his own hands, and personally trained the workmen who assisted him. At length, after six months of unremitting industry and painstaking labor, "Old Ironsides," the first American locomotive was completed. Matthias Baldwin had vindicated his enthusiastic exclamation born of faith, "I can do it."

Now it was the observance of the principle that enabled Matthias Baldwin to make good, which Jesus urged upon the multitudes assembled to hear Him teach during His ministry on the earth. "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord," declared Jesus, "shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

The principle of works.

This teaching is so simple that anyone may understand it. And it is true everywhere in life, in every kind of calling. Would you not think Mr. Baldwin foolish, if after exclaiming "I can do it" he had remained inactive and had not tried to build "Old Ironsides?" Can you imagine that a carpenter might ever enjoy the fame of master-builder if he never practiced the trade he had learned? Do you think it would be possible for a sinking ship {115} to send out the signal of distress, if the operator on the ship did not put into practice the laws governing wireless telegraphy? In other words, knowing how to build a locomotive will never construct one; knowing how to build a house will never erect even the smallest structure; knowing how to operate the telegraphic instrument will never send a message. It is only by actually putting into operation the principles underlying these activities, and working in obedience to them, that one can accomplish the desired end. And if this is true of material, earthly things, how much more ought it to be true of spiritual, heavenly things. Without faith it is impossible to please God. But faith is of no avail without works. Works constitute the handmaid of faith, and one is not without the other in the Lord. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

A parable.

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them," taught Jesus, "I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

The works of Jesus.

Jesus manifested great power during His earthly ministry. He healed the sick; He made the lame to walk and the blind to see; He rebuked evil and cast out {116} devils; He raised the dead to life again; and He spoke with authority as no other man has ever spoken, either before or since His time. Without question every boy and girl would like to be able to do the things that Jesus did. Every boy and girl in the Church of Jesus Christ believes in Jesus—knows indeed, that He is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. Why, then, should not everyone long to emulate Him. But notice what Jesus declared: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father. If ye love me keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

The works of man.

It is not impossible, then, for man to possess the power to do the works that Jesus did. Indeed, man may do even greater works than those Jesus performed. But to gain the power so to do, one must not only believe in Jesus, one must also keep His commandments. In short, one must add works to faith. Mere belief will save no man, just as mere confidence in one's own ability will never build a locomotive. But when our works make practical our faith, and prove it really true and worth while, then we may claim a realization—a fulfillment—of all that is promised through our diligence.

{117} Conclusion.

Now, it is no more difficult to prepare a mansion in the kingdom of our Father, than it is to build a locomotive. Should not every boy and girl, after having learned Christ's teaching, exclaim as Baldwin did, "I can do it?" Then go to undauntedly and do it.


Matt. 7:21. James 2:26.

Matt. 7:24-27. John 14:12, 15, 21.


1. What element of character did Baldwin display in the building of the first American locomotive?

2. What principle of life and action made it possible for him to accomplish his work?

3. What did he have to add to this principle in order to make good?

4. Why will not everyone who crieth "Lord, Lord," be admitted into the kingdom of heaven?

5. Explain the Lord's parable of the wise and the foolish man.

6. Under what conditions may we be enabled to do works as great as those Jesus did?

7. What is the duty of every member of the Church?







The irreverence and ruthlessness of Pilate.

Some time before the close of the ministry of Jesus, there occurred at Jerusalem two unfortunate incidents, both of which served to give Jesus an opportunity to preach one of the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel. Pilate, the Roman governor had undertaken to construct some great conduits to supply Jerusalem with a better and a larger supply of sweet water. The venture was apparently both difficult and costly; and he derived no support from the people, whom he hated, and who hated him and all pagan rule in return.

One day a serious accident happened. Connected with Pilate's undertaking, apparently, was a large tower on the top of Ophel, opposite Siloam. This tower fell, without warning, and buried in the ruins eighteen men who had been working on it. Of course, the people held the accident to be the judgment of God upon the men who had helped in the sacrilegious labor. Then Pilate fell short of funds. To defray the expenses of the enterprise, the irreverent Pilate resorted to the temple, and ruthlessly appropriated a part of the treasures of the temple. These treasures amounted to vast sums derived from the temple dues voluntarily paid by Jews all over the world. Naturally, the people became enraged, and rose in rebellious demonstration against the governor. Incited by their priests and rabbis, the mob stormed Pilate's residence, and demanded that the work on the water system be abandoned. They railed against him, the Roman {120} governor, and hinted at sedition. Pilate became in his turn indignant. He sent a large number of soldiers, dressed in plain clothes and armed only with heavy clubs, who surrounded the mob, and beat them so remorselessly that great numbers of them were killed. The soldiers pressed the mob to the very temple, then entered the holy precincts of the temple itself, and there slew many of the poor pilgrims who were killing their own sacrifices. Their blood was mingled with the blood of the beasts they were preparing for sacrifice, and thus, according to the law, the House of God was polluted. The news of this outrage spread throughout Palestine. The country was filled with indignation. In Galilee, the feeling was particularly strong, for the men who had been slain were Galileans.

The necessity of repentance.

Jesus was journeying at this time in the province of Perea, expounding His teachings to great multitudes that followed Him. When news of the disasters in Jerusalem reached them, these multitudes were stirred by the wildest kind of excitement. They were particularly indignant at the murders in the temple. As for the eighteen men buried under the tower, and the Galileans slain in the tumult, the people accepted their death, in characteristic Jewish fashion, as the judgment of God for sins committed. But the pollution of the temple could not be overlooked. So there grew up a strong feeling for a national uprising to avenge the unprecedented evil.

But Jesus did not approve of their sentiment; neither did He believe that those who had suffered in these two calamities were especially sinful. He seized the {121} opportunity, therefore to preach to the multitude the necessity of repentance on the part of everyone, and to correct the notion that a calamity of any kind is necessarily the judgment of God. "There were present at that season," writes the historian Luke, "some that told Him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

The barren fig tree.

"He spake also this parable: a certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down: why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto Him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, . . . . and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that Thou shalt cut it down."

Repentance a fundamental doctrine.

As always, Jesus presented very clearly the doctrine He wished the people to learn to understand. For nearly three years. He had Himself ministered to His people. Yet, He could find no fruits of repentance. In the long-suffering of God, the people would be spared yet a little while. But their end was inevitable. Unless they should {122} repent, they should all perish, even as did the Galileans, and the eighteen men buried under the tower at Siloam. And this doctrine of repentance was fundamental in the ministry of Jesus. First, John had come, crying in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Then Jesus Himself had gone to Galilee, after John had been put into prison, and had preached, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." And when He sent out the twelve apostles two and two. He instructed them to preach everywhere that men should repent.

Jesus's exclamation against the wicked.

That the people did not observe the word of Jesus is, however, very evident from the way in which He upbraided them, and pointed out to them that the lot of the wrongdoers who repented would in the end be better than that of the selfrighteous who repented not. "But whereunto shall I liken this generation?" exclaimed Jesus one day. "It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, he hath a devil. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. . . . Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have {123} repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

Repentance a universal principle.

It is evident, then, that in the teaching of Jesus, repentance from evil is absolutely necessary if one would enjoy the blessings of the Lord. This is so self-evident a truth that it should not be necessary to state it. In all the affairs of life—in business, in politics, in the industries, in science, in art, in war, in what not—repentance is a fundamental principle of true success. In our daily work we are accustomed to calling our wrongdoings mistakes; but we have to correct those mistakes before we can achieve the end for which we are working. Sometimes the mistakes we make are of such a nature that we cannot correct them. Then we have to begin over again, and have to try to avoid those serious mistakes; but the memory of those mistakes remains with us forever, and the waste, or loss, or suffering, caused by them can never be made right. In the great world war now raging, many costly mistakes have been made. Officers and men have often been forced to repent; and many men, because they have violated their orders, have lost their lives. For them, repentance in this life has been made impossible. So it will be also with those who persist in evil. The day {124} will come when they will be taken away suddenly. Then the opportunity to repent in this life will be lost. Jesus would have us repent here and now, and devote ourselves to works of righteousness that we may gain eternal life.

Things of which to repent.

But of what would Jesus have us repent? The learned apostle, Paul, who, it seems, understood perfectly the spirit of Christ's teachings, which to wrote certain instructions to the Ephesians which reveal exactly what kind of men Jesus would have us be. Malice, dishonesty, immorality in thought or word or deed—these things unfit a man for an inheritance in the kingdom of God. Paul expresses the doctrine, in part as follows:

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {125} Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

The service principle of the Gospel.

This is the true spirit of the Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Those who would hold membership in His Church, and receive the blessing of His love and redeeming sacrifice, must have faith in Him, then they must add to their faith works. And the first bit of work to be done is to repent of all evil—repent "after a godly manner," as Paul says, which will lead to salvation. Thus repentance becomes the second fundamental principle of the Gospel. And "by this," said Jesus to the great American prophet, "ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins. Behold, he will confess them and forsake them."


Luke 13:1-9. Mark 6:7, 8.

Matt. 5:1-2. Matt. 11:16-24.

Mark 1:14, 15. Eph. 4:17-32.

Doc. and Cov. 58:43.


1. How did the Jews explain suffering of any kind, and calamity?

2. What did Jesus say about the death of the men under the tower, and of the Galileans?

3. Interpret the parable of the barren fig tree.

4. What did both John and Jesus say to the people?

5. What do we learn from Jesus's exclamation against the cities where His greatest works had been done?

6. How is repentance a fundamental principle in our daily work?

7. Of what does Jesus want people to repent?

8. How is repentance the second principle of the Gospel?

9. Of what does true repentance consist?








The first principles and ordinances.

When the Prophet Joseph Smith was asked to make a statement of the principal doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he prepared what we know now as the Articles of Faith. The Articles of Faith are very plain, and touch the fundamental tenets of the Church. The third article of faith states that "we believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel;" and the fourth article declares that, "we believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." Those who profess faith in Jesus must forsake the way of evil, and learn to take delight in the law of the Lord. This, we have learned, constitutes the requirement of the first two principles of the Gospel.

  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
  Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
  Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
  And in His law doth he meditate day and night.

  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
  That bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
  His leaf also shall not wither;
  And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
  The ungodly are not so;
  But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
  Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous;
  But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

{130} Baptism essential to salvation.

It is not enough, however, that the man who professes faith in Jesus, shall merely forsake the way of the ungodly. Jesus fulfilled in His coming the law of carnal commandments—a law which Paul asserts was but a sort of schoolmaster to train the people and prepare them for the coming of Jesus—and established through His ministry "the more perfect law" of the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation. And that law requires that those who believe in Jesus, and repent of their evil doings, shall further take upon them His name in the ordinance of baptism. One night, there came to Jesus a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. "Rabbi," said Nicodemus, recognizing in Jesus a power greater than his own, "We know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus was puzzled; for he thought, of course, only of a physical rebirth, and could not understand how such a remarkable thing could happen. So he asked, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Then Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." This Jesus said, of course, of the ordinance of baptism and of the Holy Ghost. Not only, then, must one believe and repent, but one must also be baptized in water in fulfillment of the requirement of the law. Without such a renewal of the spiritual life, a man may not even see the kingdom of God.

{131} Humility and obedience the psychology of baptism.

There are some people who pretend not to see any value in the ordinance of baptism. How can baptism make one any better, they ask, or have any effect on one's subsequent life? These people do not understand the true nature of the ordinance. There was once a Syrian captain named Naaman who became afflicted with the loathsome and infectious disease of leprosy. At the suggestion of an Israelitish captive, Naaman sought out the Prophet Elisha in the land of Israel, that the affliction might be rebuked. Elisha did not even come forth to see Naaman, but sent a messenger to him with this word: "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee and thou shalt be clean." Then Naaman became angry, because he did not understand the principle of obedience. Why should he wash in Jordan? Were not the waters of the rivers of Damascus better than the water of Jordan? But his servants prevailed upon him, saying, "If the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean." Here was sound reasoning, Naaman listened; he went down to the Jordan and dipped himself seven times; he came forth with his flesh as clean as that of a little child, and was healed. What was it that healed Naaman? Was it the water of Jordan, with curative powers greater than those of the rivers of Damascus? Certainly not. Naaman bowed his haughty and powerful will to that of God. He humbled himself; he was humiliated. He learned the lesson of obedience, which is better than sacrifice. And the Lord God has chosen the ordinance of baptism as the means whereby men may show their humility, {132} their complete acceptance of the mission of Jesus, their sincere repentance, and whereby further they may become initiated into the Church of Jesus Christ. Here the Lord makes use of a wonderful psychology, and baptism literally washes away sin.

The law of obedience in daily life.

Moreover, obedience and humility of the kind required by the ordinance of baptism is demanded also in the daily walk of life. A young man in a chemical obedience in laboratory attempted one day, by a process of electro-plating, to put a new covering of yellow gold over his watch case. He prepared very carefully the solution of gold-leaf in aqua regia; he built up an excellent voltaic battery; he made all the connections close and secure; and he cleaned carefully the old watchcase that the new gold might be deposited upon it evenly and smoothly. Then in the evening, when everything was in readiness, he suspended the case properly in the gold solution, closed the circuit, and went home, hoping to find his watch case in the morning with a beautiful new coating of yellow gold ready to polish. But when he entered the laboratory the next morning, and went to examine his electro-plating, he found to his horror that his watch case was as black as coal. What had happened? Everything was as he had left it the evening before. So far as he could tell there was no reason why his experiment should not have been successful. Then he resorted to his books again. After patient searching, in the volumes on his desk, he arose a wiser and a more careful man. He had overlooked one requirement of the law. In the process of electro-plating, he remembered now, the gold is deposited in its usual yellow form only when the gold solution is warm. When the electric current is {133} passed through a cold solution, the gold is deposited in an unusual black form. The young chemist had learned that obedience is better than sacrifice.

The example set by Jesus.

As always, Jesus Himself practiced the doctrine that He presented to His people. Jesus was baptized. Moreover, in His own baptism, Jesus taught both the necessity and the proper mode of baptism. John was baptizing in the river Jordan. Apparently, he selected places where the water was deep; for, later in the ministry of Jesus we read, that, John was baptizing in Aenon, near to Salim, "because there was much water there." When He was ready to begin His ministry, Jesus went to John to be baptized. But John forbade Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water." From this record, it is clear that Jesus recognized the ordinance of baptism as essential to salvation, and therefore set the example Himself. Then Jesus was baptized correctly; He went down into the water; He was immersed; He came up out of the water. For it is now an accepted fact that John baptized by immersion. In Stanley's Eastern Church occurs the following passage, which Dr. Geikie considers of such authority that he quotes it in his excellent Life and Words of Christ: "The mode of John's baptism has been and still is much discussed, but the practice of the Eastern Church, and the very meaning of the word, leave no sufficient grounds for questioning that the original form of baptism was complete immersion in the deep baptismal {134} water." This form of baptism it was certainly that the apostles themselves practiced, else there could be no meaning to the favorite figure of Paul, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."

The purpose of baptism.

Do you ask what is the purpose of baptism? As has been already suggested baptism serves to wash away sin, and to initiate the repentant believer into the Church of Christ. John's baptism was for "the remission of sins." Peter, the chief apostle, called to the people on the day of Pentecost, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." And it follows that since baptism is for remission of sins, those who have not reached the age of sinning have no need of baptism. There has grown up in the world a vicious habit of baptizing infants and little children. Such a practice is wrong. Jesus Himself said of little children, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Infants and little children have not learned to know the difference between good and evil. They cannot sin. Baptism should not be administered to them till they reach the age of discretion. "Little children need no repentance," wrote the Nephite prophet, "neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins."

{135} The door of the sheepfold.

This then did Jesus teach: Baptism is essential; it is correctly performed by complete immersion in water; it is for the remission of sins; it should be administered only to those who have reached the age of accountability; only by obedience to the law can one enter the kingdom of God. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. . . . I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." Only through Jesus, you see, can one enter the sheepfold, and become a member of it. And the way to enter by Jesus was thus stated in His final commission to the eleven apostles, just before He ascended to heaven. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be dammed."


Psalm 1. Acts 2:38.

John 3:1-5. Moroni 8:8-14.

2 Kings 5:1-14. John 10:1-18.

Matt. 3:13-16. Matt. 28:19-20.

Rom. 6:3-5. Mark 16:15, 16.


1. What are the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel?

2. Show that baptism is required by the teaching of Jesus.

3. By what process does baptism wash away sin?

4. How does the law of obedience operate in the daily affairs of life?

5. How did Jesus show in His own acts that baptism is essential to salvation?

6. What is the proper mode of baptism?

7. What is the purpose of baptism?

8. To whom should baptism be administered?

9. Summarize the teachings of Jesus concerning baptism.

10. What is the teaching of our own Church concerning baptism?




What Jesus told Nicodemus.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." We have just learned what it means to be born of water. When a man has gained the gift of faith and believes sincerely in the saving mission of Jesus Christ; when he has added to his faith works, and has learned to walk in the way of the righteous—then he must be baptized by immersion in order to fulfill all righteousness. As we have learned, such a man is then born of water: for, by obeying the law, he has laid aside his sins, and comes forth out of the water spiritually a new man, reborn. There are some people in the world who hold that when a man has done all this, he has fulfilled all the requirements, and may therefore hope to gain admittance into the kingdom of God without observing any further ceremony. But Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit." Evidently, then, to enter the kingdom of God, one must be born not only of water, but also of the spirit. And to be born of the spirit means to be born of the Holy Ghost. But, by what means may one be born of the spirit?

The laying on of hands.

This question is a very important one, since a man may not hope to enter the kingdom of God if he has not been born—or quickened—by the spirit. In the preceding lesson, it was stated that the Prophet, Joseph Smith, once stated the principal doctrines of the Church of Jesus {138} Christ of Latter-day Saints in a sort of creed, known as the Articles of Faith; and that the fourth article, in enumerating the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel, names the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost as the fourth essential step in becoming a member of the Church of Christ. According to this statement, then, one may be born, or quickened, of the spirit—after having been baptized—through the ordinance of the laying on of hands. But was this the teaching of the primitive church and of the Lord Jesus Himself?

The teaching and practice of Paul.

Anxious that the saints to whom he ministered should grow in the knowledge of God, and should not stand still merely rehearsing the first and practice principles of the Gospel, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Hebrews as follows: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands." It is very interesting to note that Paul lists here as one of the first four principles the ordinance of the laying on of hands. But what use did Paul make of the ordinance? It happened once that Paul, in his missionary travels, came, to the city of Ephesus, and found there certain disciples who had been baptized, apparently, by the followers of John the Baptist. Paul asked of these disciples, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him. We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, {139} Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied." This use, then, did Paul make of the ordinance of the laying on of hands: Upon those who had been baptized unto Jesus, Paul laid his hands, and he confirmed them, and the Holy Ghost then came upon them, endowing them with spiritual gifts. Moreover, this practice was not limited to the missionary labors of Paul alone; all the apostles likewise confirmed those who had been baptized and conferred thus the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them.

The practice of the apostles.

Furthermore, it was understood that only such men as possessed the necessary delegated authority from God might presume to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. It is recorded in the history of the doings of the apostles that Philip, a deacon, went down to Samaria and preached the Gospel to the Samaritans. Many of the Samaritans believed, and were baptized by Philip, among them a certain man named Simon, "which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one." But Philip, apparently did not hold the necessary authority to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, and he was too wise and righteous a man to attempt to do what he had no right to do. So, "when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard {140} that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: . . . . then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." Naturally, Simon the sorcerer was very much interested in this wonderful ceremony. Such power he had never seen manifested before. He longed himself to possess such authority. Therefore, he offered money to the apostles, saying, "Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him. Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." The lesson here is perfect. The authority to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost may not be merely assumed—not even by a man of such enduring faith as Philip's—neither may it be purchased with wordly goods.

[Sidenote: The teaching and practice of the apostles derived from Jesus.]

Of course, the apostles did nothing but what they had seen their Master do, or had been instructed by Him to do. In this they were wholly like Him; for He also declared, "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." There can be no question, then, that Jesus taught that the gift of the Holy Ghost should be conferred by the laying on of hands by men holding the proper authority. Jesus Himself practiced laying on of hands to confer blessings, to heal the sick, to ordain, to authorize, and for other purposes. And He taught very distinctly that God would not recognize any usurped authority. "Ye {141} have not chosen me," said Jesus to the apostles, "but I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give you."

What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?

But what is the gift of the Holy Ghost which is conferred upon the repentant and baptized believer by the laying on of hands? To His apostles Jesus made this promise, "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Again, Jesus said to them, further explaining His promise, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." And still continuing His instructions to these beloved disciples, Jesus said again, "Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." Now, we have already learned what the Holy Ghost is. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, and is a personage of spirit. But it appears that the special gift derived, through obedience, from the Holy Ghost is the gift of mental and spiritual insight—the gift of intelligence. The Comforter, said Jesus, is the Spirit of truth; it shall teach all things, and bring to remembrance {142} whatsoever has been heard; it shall guide into all truth, and speak only such things as it shall itself hear; it shall show things yet to come. To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, is then to receive the gift of light, and truth, and intelligence. Of this gift of the Holy Ghost, the great Joseph Smith has said many important things. Among others we find recorded this: "The first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is . . . powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge." In another place, is recorded the following: "We believe that the holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and that holy men in these days speak by the same principle; we believe in its being a comforter and a witness bearer, that it brings things past to our remembrance, leads us into all truth, and shows us of things to come; we believe that 'no man can know that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost.'"

The conditions and the source of intelligence.

In studying about faith, and repentance, and baptism, we learned that the same principles operate in the daily affairs of life, and underlie all material success. So it is also with the source of principle of the gift of the Holy Ghost. The young chemist who tried to cover his watchcase with gold, learned to understand the spirit of truth, and gained greater intelligence, when he obeyed fully the requirements going before. And as he learned further the principle of obedience, he grew steadily in scientific intelligence. So it is then with us. We are required to exercise faith in God, and in His Son, Jesus Christ; we are required to repent {143} of our sins, and to learn to live righteously: we are required to be baptized by complete immersion in water for the remission of sins; and then we are required to submit ourselves to the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we have done all this we have fulfilled the requirements of the law. Then our minds will be opened, and our understandings quickened; for then the Holy Ghost can act upon us to give us light and intelligence. This is being born of the Spirit; and therefore should everyone obey the commandment of the Lord, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of yours sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then Cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost."


John 3:5. John 14:16, 17, 26.

Heb. 6:1, 2. John 16:13,14.

Acts 19:1-7. Hist. of the Church, vol. 3, page 380.

Acts 8:5-24. Hist. of the Church, vol. 5, page 26.

John 15:16. Doc. and Cov. 33:11.


1. What twofold requirement is contained in the teaching of Jesus to Nicodemus?

2. How may one be born of the Spirit?

3. What was the teaching and practice of Paul concerning the laying on of hands?

4. What was the practice of the apostles in the matter of laying on hands?

5. Whence did the apostles derive their knowledge of the ordinance of laying on hands?

6. What is the gift of the Holy Ghost?

7. What parallel may be found in the work of the world?

8. What is the source of intelligence?







A Resume.

It is only natural that you should want to pause now, and review some of the teachings that have been considered in these pages. Jesus came to the earth to attend to His Father's business. That business consisted of learning, Himself, to know God the Father, of teaching all other men to know Him, and of bringing about the salvation of the children of God. To accomplish His wonderful mission, Jesus taught clearly what men should know about the Father and about Himself and about the Holy Ghost; what men should know about the pre-existent life, and why they are now upon the earth; and how they should worship God, cultivate childlike faith in Him, and do the things that success in worship requires. All these teachings, as we have seen, and all the requirements, too, are in perfect harmony with natural law. To succeed in any kind of endeavor one must follow just such steps as are outlined by Jesus for attaining success in the struggle for exaltation. And, certainly, we cannot rightfully hope to drift into the success of eternal life, any more than we can hope to drift into the presidency of the United States of America. Successful achievement is the crown of persistent effort.

A few questions.

Now, as it is natural that you should want to pause at this point and review these teachings, so it is natural that you should ask yourselves such questions as these: Did Jesus intend that His disciples should associate themselves in an organized community? Did He have in mind the {146} organizing of a Church? Did He organize a Church? How did He expect those who accepted His teachings to retain their devotion, and to grow in their knowledge of God and His requirements of the faithful? If He did establish a Church, how shall we recognize it? In this lesson we shall discover what Jesus taught in answer to these questions.

Parables by the sea.

One day Jesus went "out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore."

Teaching the multitude in parables, Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him. Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him. Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

{147} "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man: the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

The meaning of the parables.

Thus clearly did Jesus Himself see the condition of the world, and thus plainly did He teach it to His disciples. Now, for the purpose of this study, certain points appear. First, it is very evident that Jesus had in mind a distinct community life for those who followed Him. The kingdom of heaven, sometimes called the kingdom of God, is the organization in which dwells the righteous. Of course, all kinds of people gain access at times into the kingdom. In another parable, Jesus likens the kingdom to a net cast into the sea, which gathered of every kind of fish. When the net was drawn ashore, the fishermen placed the good fish in vessels, but the bad they cast away. Again, you see, the intent is that the followers of Jesus, or the righteous, are the children of the kingdom, and that the unrighteous have no place therein. The righteous in {148} their community—the believing community—shall shine forth as the sun. They constitute the kingdom of their Father.

The church and the kingdom.

You may object that this kingdom does not mean the organized Church, but the glorious kingdom embracing the whole world, over which Jesus is to reign as King. Perhaps you are right; but it makes no difference to the argument. For, in the first place, that kingdom must be organized. We are sure, then, that Jesus had in mind the assembling and organizing of His people. But, in the second place, that larger kingdom can never be accomplished without a smaller one from which it may grow. While the faithful number but a handful, they, too, must be organized and provision must be made for common worship, fellowship, and service. This smaller institution—included in the larger—is the Church. The wheat and the tares are even now growing side by side in the Church of Christ—in the kingdom of God—and will continue to do so until the day of the great harvest.

The testimony of Peter.

But there is recorded stronger evidence even than this that the disciples of Jesus are to be organized in a Church community. When Jesus asked testimony of His disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" the disciples answered, you remember, "Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Then, when Jesus put the question to them, "Whom say ye that I am?" Simon Peter declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

{149} The testimony of Jesus.

This declaration is wonderful in its simplicity and unfaltering faith. But the answer of Jesus to it is even of greater significance: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven . . . . and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Its significance.

Here, then, is found the final answer to our questions. Jesus appointed and ordained twelve apostles, He called other seventy, because it was significance. His purpose to organize His Church. The disciples appointed and ordained elders, and priests, and teachers, and deacons, and other officers, because they, too, were building up the Church of Christ. Moreover, these words of Jesus point the test of the true Church. Not every Church assembly that cries, Lo, here is Christ, is necessarily the authorized Church. That only can be the true Church which is founded on the rock of revelation. An organized Church there must be—without the worship of the disciples would dwindle away. But the foundation stone of that Church must be revelation; for where there is no revelation the people perish.


Matt. 13:24-30. Matt. 13:47-49.

Matt. 13:36-43. Prov. 29:18.


1. Review the foregoing lessons.

2. What questions are aroused by what Jesus has taught to his people?

3. Explain the parable of the tares.

4. How does it answer the question, Did Jesus intend to organize His disciples?

5. What is the difference between the kingdom of God and the Church of Christ?

6. What is the principal evidence that Jesus intended to organize a Church?

7. What is the first test of the Church of Jesus Christ?








The figure of the architect.

We have just learned that Jesus built His church upon the principle of revelation. It is the foundation stone. And it is only reasonable and natural that it should be so. You know very well that when an architect is directing the construction of a large building like a state capitol, employing hundreds of men, he has to be constantly on the watch to keep things going right. If he goes away, or neglects his duty, some foreman or other misinterprets the plans, or misunderstands the specifications; or some unscrupulous contractor or other tries to enlarge his own profits by using inferior materials and thus corrupts the structure. How necessary it is then that the architect shall watch over his building, by day and by night, until it is finished according to specifications.

The application.

Now, if men can so easily misinterpret, or misunderstand, the concrete instructions of their fellowmen, or if some men are so evil that they will try to corrupt the materials of an earthly structure, it requires no argument to prove that men may easily misunderstand or misinterpret—quite innocently, too—the word of God, if left to themselves. And there may even be men so wicked that they would maliciously corrupt the word for their own evil ends. It is even more necessary, therefore, that The Architect of eternal life—the Savior of mankind—shall be in constant communion with His workmen, than it is that the architect {154} of an earthly structure shall personally superintend, its erection. No man can be absolutely sure of the meaning of the teachings of Jesus without the spirit of inspiration, or revelation from Him. That is why the people drift away and perish when there is no vision. That is why Jesus founded His church upon the rock of revelation. That is why we may rest assured that the Church of Christ will always teach the necessity of continual revelation—the necessity of keeping constantly in touch with the Divine Architect.

One mark not sufficient.

But it would be strange, indeed, if there were but one mark by which we might recognize the Church of Christ. An apostate Church might claim to believe in revelation, and might even teach the necessity of it. Yet, it would of course never receive revelation; for God would not speak to such a Church. Still, because it teaches the necessity of revelation people might be deceived, and be led to become members of an apostate Church. For what other mark should we look, then, when trying to determine which is the Church of Christ?

The submission of Jesus.

Jesus has made the matter very plain in His life and teachings. One of the remarkable things about Jesus was His utter humility, and His complete submission subjection to authority. Although He was greater than the civil law, yet He submitted always to the requirements of that law. Nay, more, In His own labors. He recognized always the authority of a Superior Power under whose direction He worked. When we think of Jesus as a member of the Godhead, endowed with omnipotence, does it not seem strange to hear Him say, "I am not come of {155} myself, but He that sent me is true;" "my doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me;" "the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise?" Yet, these sayings express the reverence of Jesus for authority. It must be plain to everyone who reads the life of Jesus that He recognized the fact that He held no authority of Himself, that He was not self-appointed; but that His influence, His power, His very Messiahship were conferred upon Him by the Father.

The submission of the apostles.

This same recognition of the necessity of authority, Jesus impressed upon His disciples. "Ye have not chosen me," he declared one day to them, "but I have chosen you, and ordained you." And we learn that Jesus did call and ordain apostles and seventies; and that it was the custom in the early Christian Church to ordain by laying on hands other officers, such as, high priests, elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and bishops. Indeed, it must be clear to everyone, that only by such special call and ordination could the apostles rightfully go into the world to do the works that Jesus did. When the disciples of John the Baptist wondered that Jesus should surpass their master, do you recall what John answered them? Said he, "A man can receive (or take unto himself) nothing except it be given him from heaven." That is the point. No man can assume to act as a servant of God, in official position, unless He is called of God. Hence, Jesus said to His apostles, when He had finished His own lifework, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."

{156} The second mark.

From these teachings of Jesus, we learn, then, the second mark of the Church of Christ. Not only will that Church believe in the necessity of continual revelation and actually receive it, but it will recognize the necessity of specially delegated divine authority to officiate in the name of God, and will provide in its Church organization for all the officers belonging to the priesthood of God.

Two orders of priesthood.

The Scriptures are full of evidences that there are two divisions of divine priesthood—the Order of Aaron, and the Order of Melchizedek. Jesus Himself, was a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Without these orders of Priesthood, man can not legally officiate in the things of God, any more than superintendents, formen and workmen can rightfully proceed to erect a state capitol without official authorization from the commission in charge.

Do you know any Church that holds these two orders of priesthood in its organization? Does this Church recognize the fact that a man must be called and appointed of God to act in His name? Are the authority and power of the priesthood manifest in its operations? Does this Church also believe in and receive continual revelation from God? If so, it is possibly the Church of Christ. A third mark remains. That we shall consider in the next lesson.


John 7:28, 29. John 15:16.

John 9:4. John 3:27.

John 5:19. John 20:21.


1. What would probably happen if the architect in charge of the construction of a large building should go away for a long time?

2. What would happen if God should cease to speak to His people?

3. What was the attitude of Jesus toward authority?

4. Whence did He derive His authority?

5. What did He impress upon His disciples concerning authority?

6. What did John the Baptist say about authority?

7. How many orders of divine priesthood are there?

8. What then, is the second mark of the true Church?







The horror of darkness.

Have you ever stopped to think how terrible it would be if we had no Guide to show us the way of eternal life? Do you think you can imagine the bitter disappointment of those who have sought a guide and have failed to find it? We may now pass over lightly some of the more serious questions of life; we may even at times reject the teachings of our instructors as unnecessary. But there is a fixed fact which all the world has come to recognize—one that sooner or later confronts every individual. It is that the greatest thing in life after all is the knowledge of God and the satisfaction of having found the way of eternal life. The disappointment that follows the failure to find that way is expressed in words of beauty and childlike simplicity by an Indian. In 1832 a chief of the Flatheads, with some of his associates sought the wigwams of the white man in quest of the Way of life. This is what the chief of the Flatheads said when he turned to go back to his people:

The speech of an Indian chief.

"I came to you over a trail of many moons, from the setting sun. You were the friends of my fathers, who have all gone the long way, I came with an Indian an eye partly open for my people, who sit in darkness. I go back with both eyes closed. How can I go back blind to my blind people? I made my way to you, with strong arms, through my enemies, and strange lands, that I might carry back much to them. I go back with both arms broken and {160} empty. Two fathers came with us. They were the braves of many winters and wars. We leave them asleep here by your great water and wigwams. They were tired with many moons (of journeying) and their moccasins were worn out (on the trail).

"My people sent me to get the 'White Man's Book of Heaven.' You took me to where you allow your women to dance as we do not ours, and the book was not there. You took me to where they worship the Great Spirit with candles, and the book was not there. You showed me images of the great spirits and pictures of the good land beyond, but the book was not among them to show us the way. I am going back the long, sad trail to my people, in the dark land. You make my feet heavy with gifts and my moccasins will grow old in carrying them, yet the book is not among them. When I tell my poor, blind people after one more snow, in the big council, that I did not bring the book, no word will be spoken by our old men, or by our young braves. One by one they will rise up and go out in silence. My people will die in darkness, and they will go a long path to other hunting grounds. No white man will go with them, and no White Man's Book to make the way plain. I have no more words."

It will be difficult to find in modern literature words more pathetic than these. Yet, how vividly and impressively they describe the condition that exists in the Christian world. The Indian came out of a land of darkness to seek Light, and finds only a world of darkness. He seeks a guide, a book that shall point the way to heaven; he finds grossness, and a worship of the {161} flesh-pots of Egypt. He must of necessity enter alone upon the long journey to the happy hunting grounds. It will be his great adventure.

The figure of the architect again.

And so it should be with all of us, were it not for the fact that to us God has revealed the "Book of Heaven." In the preceding lesson we used the figure of the architect superintending the erection of a large building. Let us continue that figure briefly. Naturally, the architect cannot be in every part of the building at the same time. While he is directing workmen in the basement, men laying up the wall of the second story must get along without him. But how shall they know, in the architect's absence, that they are doing the work right?

The answer is not hard to find. The foremen and the workmen have access to plans and specifications. The plans are minute, and the specifications in detail. The workmen may then see for themselves how the building is to be erected. If only they read right, and interpret correctly, they may go ahead indefinitely. It is because they are prone to misinterpret, and sometimes tempted to defraud the owners, that the architect has to make his regular rounds and watch carefully.

The plan of eternal life.

It is just so with those who are building life eternal. The Indian chief was right. He was looking for the plans and specifications of eternal life, furnished by the Great Architect. The Indian chief did not find them. He did not enquire at the right wigwam. The plans and specifications of eternal life constitute the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The presence and the practice of that Gospel—in fulness and in simplicity—in the {162} Church of Christ, form the third mark of its divine authority.

The necessity of plans.

Why are plans and specifications necessary? Ordinary plans and specifications accomplish three very important things. First, they direct what is to be done and how it is to be done. Secondly, they furnish a basis of judgment whereby to determine whether or not the work of the contractors fulfills the terms of agreement. Thirdly, they furnish a standard of judgment whereby to determine whether or not the materials used, the proportions mixed, the measurements taken, and all else, are of the quality and fulness required by the builder, and agreed to by the contractor.

The application.

So also, the teachings of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ are necessary to man for very important reasons. It is through the Gospel, that we learn of God and His work—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. It is through the Gospel that we learn of Christ's wonderful atoning sacrifice. It is through the Gospel that we learn to know what is man's duty to God, and man's duty to man. The Gospel, too, then directs men what to do and how to do it. It furnishes a basis of judgment whereby to determine whether a man's actions are good or bad. It furnishes a standard of judgment whereby to determine the true and exact quality of the structure of eternal life which he has built up.

The principles of the Gospel.

It is not the purpose of this lesson to review all the principles of the Gospel. Faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, by one holding authority from God, the {163} conferring of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands of men holding authority, are fundamental principles and initiatory rites. All the teachings contained in this little book, and many more besides, belong to the Gospel of Jesus. The true Church of Christ must hold strictly to all that Jesus taught. "After that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God."

Men judged by the Gospel.

Of the Gospel—the plan of eternal life—the Great Architect was jealous. "He that rejecteth me," asserted Jesus, "and receiveth not my words, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day," And the end can not come till all have heard the plans and specifications of eternal life. Said Jesus again, "This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

The three marks.

Like the chieftain of the Flatheads, others, too, may come over a trail of many moons, from the setting sun. They may come from a land of darkness, in search of Light. They may need the Book of Heaven to make the way of eternal life plain. Surely, the scroll may be found in only one place—The Church of Jesus Christ. It is founded upon the rock of revelation; it is ribbed by the quorums of the priesthood of Aaron and of Melchizedek; and it is clothed in the teachings of Jesus—the Gospel of the Son of God.

These are the three never-failing marks of the Church of Christ.


Mark 1:14, 15. John 12:48-50.

Matt. 24:14.


1. What is the significance of the speech of the Flathead chief?

2. Why does an architect prepare plans and specifications for a proposed building?

3. How is the Gospel like such plans and specifications?

4. What is the Gospel?

5. How did Jesus show His great concern for the Gospel?

6. What are the three never-failing marks of the Church of Christ?








A supreme privilege.

It is indeed a privilege beyond measure to belong to a Church founded upon divine revelation, presided over by the Lord Jesus Himself and conducted by a divinely appointed priesthood, and regulated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the divine plan of salvation. Not many people appreciate fully what a priceless blessing is within their reach. They clamor and struggle, sometimes, for membership in some secret brotherhood or other, which will avail them nothing when they shall pass into that other world; and they neglect—nay, ignore—membership in the open brotherhood of Jesus the Christ, which might be made to profit them much upon the earth, and which would give them hereafter free access into the larger kingdom of God. Is not the vision of man imperfect?

The true worth of membership.

Jesus, however, recognized the true worth of membership in the kingdom of heaven. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field," He declared; "the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it."

These are pretty parables, but what do they mean? Why, simply, that a man who has found the Church of Christ should be willing, if necessary—indeed, he {168} will be willing, if necessary—to give up every material possession in order to attain membership therein. It is a blessing, of course, to possess sufficient of this world's goods; but it is far better to have secure one's place in the kingdom of God.

Conditions of membership.

This lesson Jesus taught always. To gain entrance into the kingdom, one must forsake all personal, unworthy ambitions. "The time is fulfilled," Jesus cried on His preaching tours, "and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." And when the disciples of Jesus would stop the parents from bringing their children to the Master, Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." This all teaches that to secure the coveted membership, we must not only renounce all the evils of our past, but we must put ourselves in the attitude of little children, eager to receive the divine word of God, and to help in its establishment upon the earth.

Single-minded loyalty.

Now, it needs no long explanation to show that those who have succeeded in placing themselves in the attitude of little children, are also in an attitude of single-minded loyalty to God. Jesus insisted that men must be loyal to God, and that, too, with singleness of purpose and singleness of thought. You have learned in your daily lives which associates you can trust and which you cannot trust. You know very well that if a boy's thoughts are always good, he is not very likely to become guilty {169} of any seriously wrong act. You know that if a girl's motives are good, she is not likely to become guilty of evil. Jesus knew these truths, too. He was anxious, therefore, that the minds of men should become filled with thoughts of God—that the dominating motive in their minds should be to serve God. For He knew very well that a man dominated by the motive of Godly service would be arrayed against sin; whereas, one not so dominated might easily be overcome by the wily suggestions of the tempter.

No man can serve two masters.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is there will your heart be also."

When we learn that, in the Jewish belief, the heart was the seat of thought and intelligence, then this saying of the Teacher becomes plain indeed. It is impossible for anyone to have two chief centers of interest. If a man devote his thought and intelligence to the laying up of wealth, he will of course neglect his duty to God. For, said Jesus, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."

A simple application.

Everyone knows how true this saying is. Let us apply it to some of our own likes. All boys and most girls like baseball. Every boy and every girl should like {170} to keep the Sabbath holy. Now, if a boy begins to yield to the temptation to play baseball on Sunday, it is not long, ordinarily, before his surrender is complete, and the playing of baseball on Sunday becomes for him a regular practice. What has then happened to his attendance at the Sunday School and the sacrament service? The boy is scarcely if ever seen there. Do you ask why? This boy started by trying to serve both God and Mammon. But the things of God are displeasing to Mammon; and the things of Mammon are displeasing to God. Oil and water, you know, will not mix. As the boy grew in his love for baseball on the Sabbath, he grew also in his hatred for the duties he owed to his God. As he held tenaciously to his baseball on the Sabbath, he despised the service of the great King. Truly, one cannot have two chief centers of interest. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."

A parable in point.

And the folly of the worship of Mammon is so clear, that it is surprising that men will ever fall into error. Jesus illustrated this truth with an excellent parable. "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him. Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things {171} be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

The light of the body.

Again, Jesus said when speaking of laying up treasure in heaven, and serving God and Mammon, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" In the Old Testament, the evil eye stands for avarice and greed, the good eye for generosity. Is there anyone, then, who does not see that if a man fosters thoughts of selfishness and greed, he blinds himself, to all the better and higher things, and gropes in darkness.

A summary.

In this way, then, Jesus taught that men should serve God with single-minded loyalty. In His sayings and parables, He presents four reasons: (1) The life of man is in the hands of God. He gave it and He will take it away. No one is sure how long he may be privileged to enjoy worldly pleasures. But the life of the spirit is everlasting. Its joys shall never end. (2) Worldly goods and pleasures are perishable and fleeting. We may lose them when we think we have them most securely. The things of the spirit are eternal. They can not be taken from us, so long as we worship in spirit and in truth. (3) It is impossible for man to hold two equally important and equally cherished objects of interest. One of the two will inevitably be neglected. (4) If a man's motives are selfish and worldly, his soul becomes darkened to truth, and to spiritual things.

{172} A paraphrase.

For these excellent and sufficient reasons, man should cultivate an attitude of single-minded loyalty to God. Instead of toiling and sweating for things of passing value only, man should strive for the things of permanent joy and satisfaction. Jesus's message, as has been aptly said, may be paraphrased thus:

"Look up. Get a goal before you that is worth while. Let the one passion of your life be loyalty to God. Then your joys will be wholesome and permanent, and you shall walk in the light, not in darkness."


Matt. 13:44-46. Matt. 6:13-21.

Mark 1:13, 14. Matt. 6:24.

Mark 10:13-16. Luke 12:13-15.

Matt. 6:22-23.


1. How does man show himself short-sighted when considering the things of God?

2. What is the significance of the parable of the treasure and the pearl of great price?

3. What do we learn from Jesus's attitude toward little children?

4. Name and discuss the first two reasons given by Jesus why we should cultivate single-minded loyalty to God.

5. Name and discuss the second two reasons why we should cultivate single-minded loyalty to God.

6. Name as many instances as you can in which we might practice single-minded loyalty in our own lives.








A liberal man.

When Matthias Baldwin, who built the first American locomotive, had made good and had accumulated a fortune, he was wont to distribute liberal gifts freely among those who had been less prosperous than he. So generous, indeed, was he that when he had not the cash by him he would give personal notes instead. "Nobody hesitates to sign promises to pay in the future in order to get capital for business," he would say. "Are we to trust the Lord to take care of our affairs, and not His own?" Sometimes, it is said, this practice would get Mr. Baldwin into small difficulties; but on the other hand it often helped him when he needed business notes for himself. Said one bank president to another, once, "You refuse to help him because he does not know what to do with his money. We will stand by him because he is determined to do good with his money. His collaterals are God's promises." And that bank president was right.

An unnatural doubt.

Now, the teachings of the previous lesson may have aroused some questions in your minds as to whether or not there will be found a place in the kingdom of heaven for the rich man—for him who has devoted much time apparently to the service of mammon. Perhaps you have heard from some one that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God;" and you have therefore concluded that heaven is for only the poor. There are some people who hold {176} so narrow a notion. In this lesson, however, we shall learn how riches should be used; and that poverty is no larger guarantee of salvation than are riches.

The case of the rich young ruler.

One day, not long after Jesus had blessed the little children brought to Him, there came to Him a rich young ruler, who said, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"

"And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

"He saith unto Him, Which?

"Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

"The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

"But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."

The difficulty of sacrifice.

This simple little story reveals to us the truth. The rich young ruler was essentially a good young man. From his youth up he had striven to observe the law of Moses. He had committed no gross offense; he was guilty of no heinous sin; as he understood the law, he loved his neighbor as himself. But the more perfect law of the Gospel, which Jesus taught, called for sacrifice. The things the young man had done had been easy. He had {177} refrained from evil, because he loved not evil. But when he was bidden to part with his wealth, and to give it to others more needy than he, the center of his affection was touched. For he loved his riches. It was not the riches, then, that stood between him and eternal life. It was the love of those riches. The thing he loved he could with difficulty give up.

The conclusion of Jesus.

Therefore did Jesus say to His disciples, "Verily I say unto you. That a rich man shall hardly (with difficulty) enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

The amazement of the disciples.

Naturally, such a statement puzzled the disciples just as it has puzzled men from that time to this. So the disciples asked, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus answered only, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

The power of God.

While this answer may seem evasive, yet one can readily see in it the possibility implied. Of course, with God all things are possible. He can touch the heart of man so that it shall not be centered on wealth—so that the chief affection of man shall not be, Midas-like, the love of gold. Riches in themselves are of no value; but riches as a means of service may be righteously desired. And the Lord Jesus has Himself promised the blessings of the earth to those who honestly seek Him.

A promise of worldly blessings.

"Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink," urged Jesus, "Neither be ye of doubtful mind. {178} For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you."

The object of the world's desire.

Riches, then, should be righteously acquired; and the acquiring of them should be made secondary to the learning to know God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. It is natural that every boy and girl should plan for the future, and that the plans should include the accumulation, if possible, of some of this world's goods. But Jesus would not have those who know him to be like the nations of the world. They seek after the riches of the world merely for the sake of the riches themselves. They love money—and Paul said, you know, that, "the love of money is the root of all evil." The disciples of Jesus will never serve mammon; they will make mammon serve them, and use riches for good. Money itself will not be the object of their love, but the service that money can be made to render. Jesus taught this lesson in a parable often misunderstood.

The parable of the unjust steward.

"There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods, and he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself. What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship. I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may {179} receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him. Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another. And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him. Take thy bill, and write four score. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you. Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."

Now, Jesus did not approve of the actions of the steward. They were decidedly dishonest, and Jesus calls him an unjust steward. But from the conduct of this steward, Jesus draws a profitable lesson. The steward was a man of the world. The children of the world are wise in their generation. When, therefore, the steward was in trouble, he made the mammon of unrighteousness his servant, and secured for himself a comfortable living when he should be put out of the stewardship. A somewhat similar use should the children of light make of such wealth as they are appointed stewards over. They should look after the poor, care for the needy, shed comfort and cheer, and make for themselves friends by means of their wealth. First must come obedience to the commandments of God, and a diligent seeking after Him. Then worldly goods must be made to serve in helping to prepare a habitation in the eternal home.

{180} Paul, again, who seemed always clearly to comprehend the teachings of the Master, put it thus: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

In the teaching of Jesus, then, riches are not a bar to eternal life. The terms of salvation are the same to the rich and the poor alike. It is not poverty that saves a man, but humility of spirit and obedience. So it is not riches that condemn a man; but love of riches, and disobedience. Many there are who, like the rich young ruler, turn and go their way because they have great possessions. Many others there are who, like Matthias Baldwin, exclaim, "I feel more thankful for the disposition to give largely than for the ability to give largely; for I know that immense wealth can be acquired a great deal easier than the heart to use it well. My money without a new heart would have been a curse to me."


Matt. 19:16-22. Luke 12:29-31.

Luke 18:22. 1 Tim. 6:10, 17-19.

Luke 16:1-10.


1. What disposition did Matthias Baldwin develop with the accumulation of riches?

2. Why do some people think that heaven is not for the rich man?

3. Why could not the rich young ruler follow Jesus?

4. What did Jesus mean by the statement concerning the rich man and the camel?

5. What use should be made of riches?

6. What is the root of all evil?

7. What lesson did Jesus teach in the parable of the Unjust Steward?

8. Why have the poor no greater assurance of salvation than have the rich?

9. Which is the great gift, wealth or the disposition to give?







The rich man and Lazarus.

In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Lazarus lies sick and hungry at the door of the Rich Man who only the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table. The Rich Man failed to recognize his opportunity; and when these two passed beyond, Lazarus was taken into the bosom of Abraham, while the Rich Man was consigned to the torments of everlasting punishment.

Wanted: a chance.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus must cause each one of us to reflect, that, undoubtedly, he has himself many opportunities lying unnoticed at his door. Indeed, while nearly every boy is prone to say when he sees a successful man, "If only I had his chance," the fact remains that he probably had as good a chance as the successful man but failed to make the most of it. Jesus understood well the weakness in men that makes for failure, both temporal and spiritual, and as was his wont illustrated his point by means of a significant parable.

The parable of the talents.

"The kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five {184} talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

"After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

"Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid my talent in the earth: lo, here thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from {185} him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

A general law.

In this parable, Jesus has stated a far-reaching law of truth. It applies to every boy and to every girl, to every man and to every woman. And it operates in every field of endeavor—in the temporal world, in the mental world, in the spiritual world. Perhaps everyone knows someone else who is waiting for an opportunity. Perhaps, you yourselves, like the snail in Hans Christian Andersen's tale of "The Snail and the Rose Bush," think that you have a great deal in you, and say to yourselves as did the snail, "Wait till my time comes, I shall do a great deal more than to yield roses, or to bear nuts, or to give milk as cows do." But in thinking so and saying so you forget the eternal truth taught by Jesus in the parable of the talents. The big opportunity can come only if every day, like the rose bush, you make the most of that day's chance, and contribute the roses and the fragrance of your life to the world.

The water boy.

Let us consider a concrete case. Not so very long ago, there was employed in one of the great American steel works, a young boy to carry water. You all know what that means. And it must be admitted that there is but small opportunity in the humble calling of water-carrier. His master had entrusted the boy with a single talent. But as the master went the rounds of inspection, he observed that the water boy was always on the job. No matter how early the master came, the boy was there {186} before him; no matter how late the master stayed, the boy stayed later than he. He worked, he observed, he studied; he was making his talent grow. By and by, a vacancy occurred higher up. The master did not hesitate. He called to him the water boy, and gave to him the work of greater responsibility. That was but the beginning. Today the water boy is one of the most highly honored and trusted men in the great steel industry of America. No place, you see, is so humble but that it has its own opportunity for service. And that opportunity improved, there lie always greater chances ahead. That opportunity neglected, failure only can follow. One can become ruler of many things only if one has proved oneself faithful in few.

Intellectual endeavor.

Examples might be multiplied to prove the truth of the law taught by Jesus. When boys and girls go to school, it is those who make the most of that opportunity that grow in intelligence and power. They progress steadily until they become leaders of men. Knowledge is added to knowledge, until they master the field in which they are working. On the other hand, those who neglect the opportunity afforded by school attendance, become relatively more and more ignorant. The world forges ahead in knowledge and wisdom. Their industrious associates go forward by strides. But they, themselves, lag ever farther and farther behind. Verily, to him who hath is given, until he possesses in abundance; whereas from him who hath not, is taken even that he had.

Spiritual growth.

But it was not to temporal and mental things only that Jesus meant to apply the law illustrated in the {187} parable of the talents. Perhaps His chief purpose was to apply it to the spiritual life. There, as in the physical life, one must serve, and do one's utmost, in whatever calling God may have placed one. According to one's courage and faithfulness will one's reward be. And that reward, you must note, does not consist of a commission in money. It consists of a larger responsibility, a larger opportunity to serve, a place of greater honor in the kingdom of God. Such a reward—whether in the physical or in the spiritual life—is after all the only reward worth while.

The lesson applied.

Let us grapple to our souls, then, the lesson of this parable. The lasting reward of effort of any kind is not the material gain derived therefrom, but the effect upon one's character—ability developed to do bigger and nobler things; the confidence inspired to carry larger trusts. So, two of the servants of the lord developed in efficiency and ability to do. The other feared. He feared failure—he dared not attempt—he dreaded to venture. His ability, such as it was, became paralyzed. As a result he inspired no confidence—nay, he lost the confidence his lord had reposed in him. Moreover, through his failure to make use of his little opportunity, the slothful servant lost confidence in himself, and thereby squandered his native power to achieve, however small it may have been.

God requires of all of us that we shall serve Him diligently. And service of Godly kind means that we give ourselves wholly to the Lord, all that we have and all that we are. Time, and means, and life, are His, {188} and every word, every thought, every act, should be prompted by loyalty to God and His kingdom. Then are we profitable servants; and then are we multiplying the talents God has entrusted to our care. "Thou shalt not idle away thy time," said Jesus in our own dispensation, "neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known."


Matt. 25:14-30. Doc. and Cov. 60:13.


1. What is meant by a "chance?"

2. How much smaller opportunity had the servant with one talent than the servant with five?

3. What does the story of the water-boy illustrate?

4. How does the parable of the talents apply to the school life of boys and girls?

5. How does the parable apply to one's spiritual life?

6. What is man's duty to God?








The great commandment.

Once when a lawyer asked Him temptingly which is the great commandment in the law, Jesus answered unhesitatingly, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Divinely inspired, Jesus returned a very wise answer. The tempter was unable to catch Him. And now we all understand that answer is in very truth the sum of the law and the prophets. For if a man truly loves God, and also loves his neighbor as himself, there is no offense he will—or can—commit. All sin consists of evil done to oneself, or to one's neighbor, or to one's God. True love such as Jesus defined makes sin impossible.

The beatitudes.

At another time, when a great multitude followed Him from almost every part of the Holy Land, Jesus went up into a mountain and preached to the disciples that assembled near Him. It was at this time that He uttered the wonderful sayings commonly known as the Beatitudes. In these rich and beautiful sayings, Jesus describes the moral character that He requires in those who are to constitute His kingdom. In other words, everyone who would belong in full faith and fellowship to the kingdom of God must possess the qualities here named.

{192} "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

A high ideal of life.

Here, indeed, is an ideal toward which to train one's life. To be poor in spirit, to mourn over imperfection, to be meek, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to be merciful, to be pure in heart, to make peace amongst the quarrelsome, to be strong in persecution for righteousness' sake, to rejoice when men do us evil wrongfully, for Jesus's sake—these are goals worth while. Every man should keep the beatitudes in mind, and should try so to order his life that he may not fail to obtain {193} any one of the promises associated with a good, moral life.

The great beatitude.

Yet, as one reads the beatitudes, one wonders what the great Master would answer if someone should ask Him—as did the lawyer about the commandments—which is the great beatitude. As you read them over, do you feel that any one is greater than the rest? Do you feel that the attaining of a certain one of them would comprehend the rest? Of course, we may not assume to say what Jesus would answer. But let us think the beatitudes over ourselves and try to pick out one very important one; one that expresses a moral quality the attainment of which will at least help in the attainment of all the rest; one that expresses a moral quality more often trampled under foot than any other; one that expresses a moral quality the neglect of which leads always to iniquity.

The pure in heart.

Have you found it? The sixth saying reads thus: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Here is a condition with a promise indeed! To see God! To associate with Him! And what must one be to see God? One must be pure in heart. When we remember that in the Jewish belief the heart was the seat of thought and intelligence, then we understand this saying better. To be pure in heart is to be pure in thought, to be pure in mind. To be pure in heart is to entertain no evil thought, to hold no impure desire. To be pure in heart is to weed out of the mind every evil or sinful suggestion, and to plant instead thoughts of righteousness. The wise man of old appreciated the full value {194} of purity of heart. Said he, As a man "thinketh in his heart so is he." And to the Prophet Joseph Smith Jesus said, "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God, and the doctrine of the Priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." May we not hope, then, since God is a God of purity, that we have found here the great, the comprehensive beatitude? If one is truly pure in heart, one can not but possess the other moral virtues also.

Things that defile.

Jesus was very forceful in His teaching of the necessity of purity of heart. At one time, He called the people to Him and taught them thus: "Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand. There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him, can defile him: But the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

"And when He was entered into the house from the people. His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. And He saith unto them. Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, . . . . And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye (greed), blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all {195} these evil things come from within, and defile the man."

Vulgarity in thought, word and deed.

It is very apparent, then, that vulgar stories of the kind that boys often tell each other on street corners, are begotten of an impure mind. The telling of vulgar, or "smutty" jokes, the reading of lascivious literature, the taking delight in obscene pictures and suggestive plays, the practising of secret abuses—all these are born of an evil mind. Surely, it must be plain to every boy and girl that those who indulge such thoughts and practices of evil are not pure in heart. They shall not see God.

The good tree and the corrupt.

Teaching again on the same subject, Jesus said at another time, "A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit: for of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."

Plain teaching.

Has ever any man taught more plainly? The kingdom of God is to be made up of men and women rich in moral virtues. And the chief of those virtues is purity of heart. The vulgar, the profane, the lascivious, and all those who foster evil thoughts will find no place near God. Only the pure in heart shall see Him. Remember, then, the great commandment. Remember the great {196} beatitude. Remember that as a man thinketh in heart so is he. Therefore, think right.


Matt. 22:34-40. Doc. and Cov. 121:45.

Matt. 5:1-13. Mark 7:14-24.

Prov. 23:7. Luke 6:43-45.


1. What is the great commandment in the law?

2. Show that the answer of Jesus does really cover the law and the prophets.

3. What are the beatitudes?

4. What kind of people do they describe?

5. Which is the great beatitude?

6. Show how this beatitude may possibly cover all the rest.

7. What did Jesus teach of things that defile?

8. How may a tree be known?

9. Apply these teachings to your own lives.

10. Explain the saying, As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.




The story of Cain.

There is no more pitifully tragic story in all the world than that of Cain, the fratricide. Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve of whom the Scriptures make specific mention. Cain was a tiller of the soil. The riches of the earth were his, and the fulness thereof. With joyful heart, he might have plowed and tilled and garnered, and, at the last, ended a well-spent life in ease and comfort; with praise and thanksgiving, he might have worshipped God, acknowledging gifts already bestowed, and receiving daily more as he pursued his honest toil; with contented mind, he might have mingled with his brothers and sisters, and given unstintingly of his prosperous help in the establishing of man's dominion on earth. But Cain was of a jealous and envious disposition. His mind was darkened with thoughts of avarice and greed and hatred of others who prospered in the new world.

The occupation of Abel.

Cain had a brother named Abel. He was the second son of Adam and Eve mentioned by name in the Scriptures. Abel was a shepherd, a tender of flocks. Abel prospered, too, in his occupation. True, Abel was not so independent of his fellows as was his brother Cain, the tiller of the soil. Abel's calling produced him only meat to eat and wool to wear. He grew no fruits, nor grains, nor vegetables, nor other foods in variety produced by the soil. But Abel was happy and contented. He was unselfish. He loved his brothers and sisters, {198} and rejoiced in their successes. He loved God. And as he tended his flocks, Abel worshipped God who had placed his father and mother, and their children, upon the earth to subdue it.

The brothers' sacrifices.

One day Cain and Abel carried sacrifices to offer to the Lord. Cain brought grudgingly of the fruits of the field. Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof without thought of withholding anything from the Lord. When the sacrifices were presented, "the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect." Now, this difference was not because Abel's offering was better or more desirable than Cain's. The Lord pays not respect to worldly things. The widow's mite is as acceptable to Him as the rich man's millions, if offered in the spirit of truth. For it is the spirit in which a sacrifice is made that counts with the Lord. And Cain did not come in the spirit of love, and thanksgiving, and worship. He gave grudgingly. Perhaps, even, he did not give of the best of his crops. Therefore the Lord did not accept his offering.

The anger of Cain.

Then, when he saw that his own offering was rejected, while Abel's was accepted, Cain became filled with anger, and his countenance fell. The Lord in His mercy spoke to Cain, and declared to him one of the great fundamental truths of life. "Why art thou wroth?" asked the Lord, "and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my {199} commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire." But the anger and the envy of Cain were not appeased.

The murder of Abel.

Not long thereafter, Cain and Abel were together in the field. Cain had brooded over the incident of the offerings. His anger had waxed hot, till it was ready to burst into furious flame. Satan had gained possession of his mind, had filled him with envy, and had inspired him to hate his brother. So, as he talked with his brother in the field, Cain suddenly arose in ungovernable rage and struck his brother down and killed him. It was a day of horror in man's history. It was a day of blackness and blood. Cain was a brother-murderer—a fratricide. And it had come about because he had yielded to anger and envy and hate. Satan had gained possession utterly of his soul. Therefore, Cain was cursed by the Lord and cast out from His presence. In the story of Cain is illustrated wonderfully the truth of the saying of the Wise Man of Israel: "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?"

The lesson at home.

The story of Cain is a story of long ago. But we all know many instances of the ugliness of anger in our own day. In every prison house in the world are confined men who have committed crime in fits of anger. "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression," said the Man of Wisdom. When a man is angry, he loses control of the good that is in him. He returns to the state of the beast. He speaks words of which afterward he is ashamed. He does things for which afterward he sorrows. Anger is an {200} infernal poison, administered by the father of lies himself, which courses through the blood, makes the heart pound, and creates delirium in the mind. There are many ugly sights in the world; but there is perhaps none uglier, more repulsive, than a man furiously angry. Therefore is it said, "Make no friendship with an angry man and with a furious man thou shalt not go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

The power of the mind.

Everyone knows how unpleasant is the company of a quarrelsome boy, or of a quarrelsome girl. The best of sport and the choicest of company can be spoiled by one angry countenance. The truth taught in the preceding lesson may here be emphasized. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." According to your habits of thought, you are agreeable or disagreeable. According to your habits of thought, you find quarrel in a straw, or peace and serenity in turmoil. According to your habits of thought you may become a strife-breeder or a peacemaker. "A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth anger." And since it rests with yourself, is it not deplorable that you should follow in the footsteps of Cain?

  "The human will, that force unseen,
  The offspring of a deathless Soul,
  Can hew a way to any goal,
  Though walls of granite intervene."

As a boy wills to be pleasant and cheerful, or to be disagreeable and quarrelsome, so then will he be. We know now that we may all be masters of ourselves, and hewers of our own fates.

{201} All these things Jesus taught plainly. Said He, "Ye have heard it said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and then rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave then thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."

Jesus an example.

There is in history no finer example of serene calm and self-control than that manifested in the earth life of the Savior of the world. When James and John, "the Sons of Thunder," asked permission to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritan village that had refused to entertain Jesus, the Lord rebuked them, saying, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And when during the days of trial and suffering, men insulted Him and did Him physical injury, Jesus went like a lamb to the slaughter.

{202} The strength of self-control.

All examples and precepts, then, admonish us to acquire self-control, to be slow to anger, to banish hatred, and to eschew envy. "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God;" and "he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."


Moses 5:16-41. Matt. 5:21-26.

Prov. 27:4. Luke 9:51-56.

Prov. 29:22. James 1:20.

Prov. 22:24. Prov. 16:32.

Prov. 15:18.

"Angry Words, Oh Let Them Never," S. S. Song Book.


1. What caused the downfall of Cain?

2. What effect does anger have upon the mind?

3. Why does not anger work for righteousness?

4. What do you think of a quarrelsome boy with a grouch?

5. What did Jesus teach about anger?

6. How does self-control make for strength?








The two school girls.

Two little girls came home from school one day carrying on a very lively discussion. Their animation, and their complete absorption in the subject were very inspiring to see. One could not help but thrill at the manifestation of buoyant, interested, and healthful youth. But when they came into the house, and their mother overheard the nature of their conversation, she was woefully disappointed. These girls were not discussing the problems raised by their lessons; neither were they rejoicing at the prospect of the coming girls' hike to the canyon. In fact, the subject of their animated discussion was neither uplifting nor invigorating. On the contrary, it was disgusting—so thought their mother; and she was sorry to hear her girls indulge in such conversation. For the girls were gossiping; nay—they were slandering.

The theft.

It appears that someone had lost some money that day at school. The loser declared, however, that she had not merely lost the money. It had been stolen! The principal had called the pupils together, and had stated the case plainly to them. He had said that if anyone had actually stolen the money, it would be much better for the thief to confess than to be discovered, or even successfully to conceal the dishonest act. Such a thing would leave a scar upon one's character for life. But no one confessed. The lost coin was not found.

{206} The suspicion.

Our two little friends, however, had observed that Mary Jones, who sat not far away, acted very suspiciously when the principal came into the room. She turned quite pale, and looked afraid. When the principal appealed to the offender to make a clean breast of his guilt, Mary had hung her head. Was it not proof positive that Mary had stolen the money; or that, at least, she knew where it was? At recess, and after school was out, the girls had talked it over. They had confided their suspicions to a few intimate friends; these in turn had confided in other intimate friends; soon the whole school was in possession of what was assumed to be a fact, that Mary Jones had stolen the money, but that she would not confess. The two little girls who first suspected Mary had grown firmly to believe their suspicions, and assured their mother that they knew that Mary was the thief.

The discovery.

The developments of the next few days, however, proved to these little girls how much truth there really is in the little bit of doggerel verse their mother had taught them.

  "There is so much that is bad in the best of us,
  And so much that is good in the worst of us,
  That it doesn't behoove any of us
  To talk about the rest of us."

Poor Mary Jones suffered keenly for three days. Both the boys and the girls shunned her as if she were a leper. The girls huddled together and whispered when she passed. Once a rude, unfeeling boy called after her, "Why don't you 'fess up, Mary?" But Mary had really nothing to "'fess up," and on the third day {207} the truth came to light. Out in the hallway, the janitor noticed something shining in a little crack between the boards of the floor. It was in the afternoon, and the light coming through the transom of the west door fell just then upon the spot. The janitor stooped to see what the shining object was. It was money! He pried it out with his pocket knife. It was of the same denomination as that which had been reported stolen. Immediately, the janitor returned it to the teacher with a full explanation.

The tables turned.

It is strange how things turn and turn about. When the money was returned to the girl who had lost it, with the janitor's story, she remembered that she had been skipping there in the hallway, and that she had thought she had heard something strike the floor; but since she had seen nothing she had forgotten it. The girls who had suspected Mary and had shunned her, now flocked about her and assured her that they had never believed her guilty. The two who had started the slander stood shame-facedly apart. The school turned on them, and for many days they were avoided, and were shut out of the school games, as Mary had been. They were mischief-makers, said the pupils. It was only after Mary herself had pleaded for them, that a complete reconciliation was effected, and the school society moved harmoniously forward as before.

An everyday occurrence.

You think that this is a story? Yes, it is a story; but it is a true story. And the sorrowful thing about it is that just such unkind and unfounded judgments as that formed by the little school girls are passed every day upon {208} innocent men and women. You yourselves pass judgment, without any evidence on which to base that judgment. You condemn your playmates for this or for that. You find fault with what your parents do, not knowing the many problems they have to solve. You criticize the bishop of your ward, or the president of your stake, or even the president of the Church, without knowledge of a single item of the vast amount of information which he has and which compelled him to do as he did. It may be that some of your associates have faults. Those faults stand out glaringly enlarged to you. You are offended by them. You are prompted to criticize, or to try to correct the defects. But you forget that you may have faults as glaringly apparent to your associates as theirs are to you. You do not stop to think that the little girls who suspected Mary Jones were also guilty of a grievous offense in judging and condemning without cause. You forget what the Lord Jesus taught, "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother. Let me pluck out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

The mote and the beam.

Is it not simple and common sense? How can a man see clearly to correct the faults of others, when his vision is distorted by his own faults? Have you ever set a stick into a pool of clear water? Have you noticed how the stick has been distorted in size and shape? The light {209} waves passing from water to air, or from air to water, are refracted, bent, so that you do not get a correct image of the object immersed. Just so is it when we, who are immersed in our own faults and weaknesses, attempt to pluck the mote from a brother's eye. Our vision is defective; the image is distorted; we are ourselves in worse condition than our brother.

What Jesus said.

Jesus set Himself strongly against such unkind judgment as that passed by the two little school girls, and as that we are tempted every day to Jesus pass upon our neighbors. "Judge not," He taught, "that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

Here is sound philosophy, of which few men stop to think. It is easy to pass judgment on others. It is easy to think that one is the center of the universe and that all things else revolve about that center. It is easy to think that one's own opinion is always right, and that the opinions of others are wrong. But one should not forget that others also hold opinions. It is almost certain that one will be judged as one judges; and that one will have measured to one as one measures to others.

Now, what Jesus points out is that the spirit of fault-finding and criticism is to be condemned. One cannot correct the faults of others until one has corrected one's own faults. One cannot even get a good hold on one's self, and find the right estimate of one's self, until one learns to see only good in others, and to {210} struggle with one's self to overcome faults. Moreover, fault-finding and criticism, like anger, hate, and envy, destroy one's peace of mind. One who judges and condemns cannot possibly maintain mental and spiritual health. Harsh judgment is far more hurtful to the man who exercises it than to the man whom he judges.

  "Judge not!—thou canst not tell how soon the look of
  bitter scorn
  May rest on thee, though pure thy heart as dewdrops
  in the morn.
  Thou dost not know what freak of fate may place
  upon thy brow
  A cloud of shame to kill the joy that rests upon it now.
  Judge not!


Matt. 7:1-5.


1. What was wrong in the action of the two little school girls?

2. Why is it wrong to find fault, and to criticize?

3. What did Jesus say about the mote and the beam?

4. Explain Jesus's saying, "Judge not that ye be not judged."

5. Show that it is the spirit of fault finding that is sinful, rather than the act.

6. Who is most injured: the man who criticizes or the man who is criticized?








Positive instruction.

Jesus was not content to teach merely "Judge not, that ye be not judged." In a way, that is only negative teaching. It exhorts men to withhold judgment, but does not exhort to positive action. But the nature of the teaching of Jesus is generally constructive. His "don'ts" are always directed against prevailing evil, and are almost immediately followed up with constructive directions as to what to do. So now He continues, "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye"; and further, from place to place. He instructs men how they shall deal with their fellowmen. One's duty is not fully done when one merely withholds judgment; there remains yet to be done some positive act of good—a kind word, a charitable deed, an effort at reconciliation with one of ill-will if such a one there be.

The doctrine of reconciliation.

In the matter of friendly association, good-will, and forgiveness, Jesus spoke very definitely. "If thy brother shall trespass against thee," said He, "go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

{214} The attitude of a citizen of the kingdom.

Long suffering, slow to anger, not vengeful, and without condemnation, should the citizen of the kingdom be. How many of us follow the course here outlined, when an associate "trespasses" against us? How many of us go to him first and talk it over? If the matter is not settled then, how many of us try again, and take two or three friends along to help arbitrate the difficulty? And if still a reconciliation is not effected, how many of us appeal in a spirit of love to the church—the court of last appeal in matters spiritual? Unfortunately, most of us are prone to cast off the brother who has done us wrong without looking into the causes that prompted him to act as he did. If we take steps to settle the difficulty, it is too often not through the mediation of friends or the spiritual influence of the Church, but through the cold procedure of the civil court. And worst of all, we yield not infrequently to the temptation to talk. We gossip; we slander; we start scandal; we wrong much more than we have been wronged. Jesus would not have it so. Agree with thine adversary quickly.

The doctrine of forgiveness.

Sometimes it happens that a brother offends more than once. How many times shall he then be forgiven? This question troubled Peter. He of came therefore to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?"

"Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee. Until seven times: but until seventy times seven." Of course, Jesus did not mean that one should forgive an offender exactly seventy-seven times, no more, no less. He {215} meant that there is no limit to the number of times that we should exercise the gift of forgiveness; but that we should forgive freely and cheerfully as often as the offender repents. Then, in order that there might be no question as to the meaning of His teaching, Jesus told the parable of the unforgiving servant.

The parable of the unforgiving servant.

"Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents (or about $10,000,000). But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

"But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, who owed him an hundred pence (or about $20): and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

"So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldst not thou also have had compassion on thy {216} fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

"So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

The Meaning.

About the meaning of this dramatic story there can be no question. Our indebtedness to God the heavenly Father is incalculable; our dependence upon Him is infinite. God recognizes our helplessness, and our inability to pay, and He forgives us our shortcomings, even as we pray, "Forgive us our debts." The indebtedness of our fellowmen to us is slight in comparison; their dependence upon us is nil. Yet, we are likely to render harsh judgment against them, and to withhold forgiveness from our hearts, even though we utter in prayer the words, "as we forgive our debtors." But if we deal harshly with our fellowmen who owe us so little, can we expect God, whom we owe so much, to deal gently with us? If we want the Great Creditor to forgive us our large indebtedness, should not we—small creditors that we are—forgive without the asking, and from our hearts, the little debts of our fellowmen?

The right attitude toward our enemies.

Such was the teaching of Jesus concerning our association with our friends and fellowservants. But Jesus's teaching of love and reconciliation did not stop there. It is our duty—since we all want God to bless and favor us—to love even our enemies, and those whom we are by nature prompted to hate. For, said Jesus, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy {217} neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

The Golden Rule.

So, then, it appears that the practicing of the Golden Rule makes a large stride toward perfection. We should do good to all, forgive all, love all. Then can we come in strength before the Lord and plead for patience and forgiveness.

  "He prayeth best, who loveth best
  All things both great and small;
  For the dear God who loveth us,
  He made and loveth all."

Jesus put it thus: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."


Matt. 18:15-17. Matt. 5:43-48.

Matt. 18:21-35. Matt. 7:12.


1. Why could not Jesus be content to teach merely "don't"?

2. Of what does the doctrine of reconciliation consist?

3. What is the proper attitude of a citizen of the kingdom toward his fellow-citizens?

4. How often should one forgive an offender?

5. How does the parable of the unforgiving servant show why we should forgive our fellowmen?

6. What should be the attitude of a citizen of the kingdom toward his enemies?

7. What is the meaning of tolerance?

8. Show how the Golden Rule may be made to enrich your own lives and make them happier.








The law of love.

There is, perhaps, no principle of conduct that Jesus emphasized more in His teachings than the law of brotherly love. As we have already learned, the first great commandment requires that we love God; and the second requires that we love our neighbor as ourselves. It is not enough, then, that we withhold judgment and condemnation; nor that we do unto others—even unto our enemies—as we would have others do unto us. We must forget self; bury self, as it were; and cultivate for others a real affection—such an affection as God has for us, for God is love. The reward of such a God-like love of our fellowmen is beautifully expressed in a poem—oft but never too often quoted—written by the English poet Leigh Hunt.

The reward of brotherly love.

  "Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase)
  Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
  And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
  Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
  An angel writing in a book of gold:—
  Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
  And to the presence in the room he said,
  'What writest thou?'—the vision rais'd its head,
  And with a look made of all sweet accord,
  Answered, The names of those who love the
  'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
  Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
  But cheery still; and said, 'I pray thee then.
  Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

  The angel wrote and vanish'd. The next night
  It came again with a great wakening light,
  And show'd the names whom love of God had
  And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest."

{222} Questions of the tempting lawyer.

There came a lawyer to Jesus one day and asked Him what to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus, knowing that the lawyer came only to make trial of Him, answered, "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" The lawyer—who knew well the law—was forced then to reply, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself."

"Thou hast answered right," said Jesus: "this do and thou shalt live."

But the lawyer was not satisfied; and desiring further to justify himself, he asked, "And who is my neighbour?"

The parable of the good Samaritan.

"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of all his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

{223} "Which now of these three thinkest thou," asked Jesus, "was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?"

The lawyer answered, "He that shewed mercy on him."

"Then said Jesus unto him. Go, and do thou likewise."

A discussion.

The priest, who was the specially appointed servant of God among his people, and the Levite, who was closely associated with the priest in his ecclesiastical duties, ought to have had compassion upon the unfortunate traveller. It is to be assumed that he was a Jew. He was therefore of the chosen people. He might lay claim to the services of the priest and the Levite who officiated in the temple of his God. Moreover, these men above all others should have known the passage quoted by the lawyer in answer to Jesus's question, "What is written in the law?"—a passage repeated by every Jew in each morning and evening prayer. But these men had seen only the letter of the law; they had never felt the spirit of it. At the most, the love of neighbor meant only the Jewish interpretation of the passage, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Of the broad interpretation placed by Jesus on the meaning of the word "neighbor," these men of the temple service knew nothing.

The real neighbor.

The Samaritan however who was an outcast in the eyes of the Jew, for whom God Himself could hold no love; an apostate and a degenerate from the rich blood of Israel as unclean in {224} the opinion of the orthodox Jew as the loathsome leper—the Samaritan felt the thrill of the spirit of the great commandment "Thou shalt love thy neighour as thyself." He manifested that divine love—and that to one from whom he was an alien—which Jesus enjoined when He said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."

The fulness of the answer.

Jesus could not have answered the lawyer more completely; neither could He have silenced more quickly the man who came to make trial of Him. The story of tender love and sympathy was of such compelling nature that the lawyer himself was forced to admit that the good Samaritan was the real neighbor. And that conclusion forced upon the lawyer the plain answer to his question, "Who is my neighbor" Why, he is my neighbor whom it is within my power to help, no matter what may be his creed, or his nationality, or his color. There was no room here for the splitting of hairs. The lawyer was used to the refined arguments of the learned rabbis as to the meaning of the word neighbor. Here it was plainly set forth in a simple little story. There was no more to say.

The lesson clinched.

But as He concluded his story, and received the lawyer's answer, Jesus drove home the lesson. "Go," said He, "and do thou likewise." It was as if He had reverted to the opening question, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" If you would inherit eternal life love your neighbor as yourself; consider him your neighbor whom you can help; hold no class distinction; despise no man for his creed or his color; but hold yourself always in {225} readiness to do good, to serve, and to help those who need your help. Remember the Good Samaritan. Do not pass by on the other side, but show your love in deeds of love. Then shall you inherit eternal life.

The command renewed.

The Savior's law of love is a principle of divine beauty. And so important is it in the Gospel plan of salvation, that it has been specially renewed in our own dispensation. Said Jesus to Joseph Smith, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve Him.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

"Every man (shall seek) the interest of his neighbor and (do) all things with an eye single to the glory of God."


Luke 10:25-37. Doc. and Cov. 59:5, 6.

Lev. 19:18. Doc. and Cov. 82:19.


1. What more must men do besides withholding judgment and observing the golden rule?

2. Explain the lesson of Abou Ben Adhem.

3. What did the lawyer seek of Jesus?

4. What conclusion was forced, upon the lawyer by the story of the Good Samaritan?

5. How was this story a complete answer?

6. Why did it silence further questioning?

7. What does Jesus's admonition, "Go, and do thou likewise," imply?

8. How do these commandments affect us in the dispensation of the fulness of times?







The fable of the body and its members.

In the ancient book of wisdom ascribed to Aesop, there may be found the following fable with its moral: "The Members of the Body once rebelled against him. They said he led an idle, lazy life at their expense. The Hands declared that they would not again lift a crust even to keep him from starving, the Mouth that it would not take a bit more food, the Legs that they would carry him about no longer, and so on with the others.

"The Body quietly allowed them to follow their own courses, well knowing that they would all soon come to their senses, as indeed they did, when, for want of the blood and nourishment supplied from the stomach, they found themselves fast becoming mere skin and bone.

"No one can live to himself."

The time of Aesop.

Aesop lived in the long ago. Tradition declares that he was born five hundred and fifty years before the time of Jesus. But already in that remote age men had learned to appreciate the value of organizing themselves into communities and churches and governments. Already, men had discovered that to live to oneself was to fight alone a losing fight against all the forces of the world.

The growth of society.

From the time that Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, and their children began to settle two and two in the land to till it and to cultivate it, man has understood the advantages of friendly association. First it was the family. The family has always been, {228} and is still the actual basis of society. The members of the family clung together, and each one worked for the interest of the whole. Then, when the families increased they became associated in clans and tribes. Then, with the increase of population, came the organization of communities, religious association, governments. For protection, for worship, for education, for commerce and trade, for civilization, men have banded themselves together, and have worked for larger units, of which the individuals were but members. Only by such banding together can a community become socially efficient.

A football squad.

Now, we may easily understand what this means if we apply the principle to the organization of a football squad. There are eleven men, you know, in the "team." One of them is the captain. When the squad is in action, playing hard against an opposing team, no single man can hope alone to win the game. The strength of the squad depends upon its team work. While each individual must put forth the best that is in him, whether in bucking the line or in playing the open field, that best must be so directed as to add to the sum total of the strength and efficiency of the united eleven. No member of that team may live or play to himself. And the orders of the captain must be obeyed. Some player in the line may think the orders poor—wholly wrong in fact—yet he must obey those orders. If he does not, he will go down to ruin himself, and he may possibly drag his team with him to shame and disaster. For, as is clearly evident, when he neglects to follow the command of the captain, he stands alone; the other ten obey orders. {229} Alone he can accomplish nothing. Nor is that the worst; by disobeying orders, he may spoil the premeditated play and lose the game. The football man is required to learn, therefore, that he is only a member of a body; that he must act with the body; that if he attempts to act in opposition to the body calamity is sure to follow; that success can come only through concerted effort. The football squad is an organization of society for efficiency.

The teachings of Jesus.

As it is with the football squad so it is with society in the large. Men and women are organized into communities and associations of various kinds for greater efficiency, and are subject to the laws governing organized society. Now, since Jesus was not primarily a social reformer, nor a social teacher, we should not be surprised if He had little to say about man's duties to organized society. Yet since He touches in His teachings nearly all phases of temporal and spiritual life, we might expect that somewhere He has something to say about the larger aspects of society. And we do really find it so. The three chief social institutions in the world are the family, the state, and the church. About man's duties to each one of these Jesus has something significant to say. Let us consider briefly the most important sayings of Jesus concerning these three fundamental institutions.

The family.

In the teaching of Jesus, marriage is presented as a divinely appointed sacrament, and the family as a sacred institution One day the Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him, and asked, "Is it lawful for man to put away his wife? And {230} He answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh; so then they are no more twain but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let no man put asunder."

The family sacred.

Thus emphatically did Jesus teach that the marriage relation was ordained of God. And in doing so He declared also that the family is a sacred institution and its claims should never be put aside. The crying shame of the world today is the common practice of divorce. Boys and girls who become acquainted with the teachings of Jesus, should grow up with a horror of the divorce court. They should learn to look upon marriage as one of the highest privileges accorded to them by the heavenly Father. And boys and girls in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should rejoice in the thought, that, when the proper time comes, they may go into the House of the Lord and have there performed the divine sacrament of marriage for time and for all eternity. For the Lord has said in this generation, "Whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man."

The state.

Jesus was equally emphatic in His teachings of man's duty to the state—to organized civil government. Certain of the Pharisees {231} and of the Herodians were sent one day to try to catch Jesus in his words. "And when they were come they say unto Him, Master, we know that Thou art true, and carest for no man: for Thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them. Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto Him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at Him."

The state divinely instituted.

They had good cause, indeed, to marvel at Him; for, not only had He quieted them with a sufficient answer, but He had also declared a fundamental principle of the state. A government cannot exist without revenue to maintain its organization and to enforce the laws enacted for the protection and the welfare of its citizens. Caesar was doing much for Palestine. It was not only right, therefore, but just that the Jews should pay taxes to Rome. And so it is in our own day. "We believe," asserted Joseph Smith, "that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man." It becomes therefore the duty of every honest citizen to do his utmost to uphold the righteous laws of the government, and to help in the maintaining of peace and order. And it is not only right, but just, that we should pay the taxes imposed by the government. We all enjoy the benefits derived from civil organization—protection, liberty, {232} illumination, trade, good roads, and all. The man who tries, then, to evade the taxes and the responsibilities of the government is dishonest.

The Church.

But in declaring that it is right to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, Jesus also taught that man owes likewise certain duties to his The Church, religious organization. Render, said He, "to God the things that are God's." In line with this thought we are instructed by another experience of the Lord's. When Jesus and His disciples came one day in their journeyings to Capernaum, "they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your Master pay tribute (the temple tax)? He saith Yes, And when He was come into the house Jesus prevented (anticipated) him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon, of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children or of strangers? Peter saith unto Him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

These gatherers of tribute money, were, it appears, those who collected the taxes for the support and maintenance of the temple at Jerusalem. Jesus was Himself the son of God. He was the Master of the temple. He might have been free from the tax. But Jesus recognized the fact that the principle was right; therefore, He paid the tax. And in doing so, He taught the lesson {233} that it is right and just for every citizen in the kingdom of God to pay the taxes imposed for the maintenance of the kingdom. As with the state, so with the kingdom of God, he who tries to evade the temple tax is dishonest. "Behold," declared Jesus to the great modern Prophet, "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 burn at His coming."

The teachings of our own Church.

The children of the Latter-day Saints have much for which to be thankful. Here we are reared in the sanctity of the home, in love and in the fear of God. Our family relations are established to continue throughout the eternities. Here we are taught to yield honor and obedience to established government, and to deserve the benefits provided by it. Here we are taught to revere the priesthood of God, to pay ungrudgingly our tithes and our offerings, and to do our best from day to day in the upbuilding of righteousness. And this we do that we may live and profit and prosper together; for no one can live to himself alone.


Mark 12:13-17. Doc. and Cov. 49:15.

Matt. 17:24-27. Doc. and Cov. 134:1.

Doc. and Cov. 64:23.


1. What is the meaning of Aesop's fable?

2. Explain by means of the football squad how man can not live to himself.

3. What did Jesus teach concerning man's duty to the family?

4. What are a man's obligations to the state in which he lives?

5. What does a man owe to the church to which he belongs?

6. Why should the children of the Latter-day Saints be grateful above all other children?








The old law and the new.

Everyone who has compared the teachings of the law of Moses with those of Jesus must have been impressed with the essential difference between those teaching's. The old law always emphasized the actual, or material, elements of life, and provided punishment for deeds actually committed. Thus the law of Moses exhorted, Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not do this or that. And if one violated this material law, he became liable to the penalty—but only if he actually committed a deed in violation of law. Jesus, on the other hand, went back of the act to the state of mind that prompted the act. In other words, the essential thing in the philosophy of Jesus was not the act itself, but the motive back of it. Instead of "Thou shalt not kill," Jesus said, "Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment." Jesus did not say. Thou shalt not commit acts of immorality, but, He that entertains an impure thought is already guilty of the immoral act.

The teaching of Jesus psychological.

Jesus was not a psychologist in the modern sense, yet this teaching of Jesus is psychologically true. Our acts are but the fruits of thoughts that have found lodgment, care, and nourishment in our minds. Our minds, indeed, are but gardens. Seed-thoughts are blown into them by this wind and by that. Involuntarily as well as voluntarily suggestions come into the mind. Now, if the seed-thoughts that are waited into the mind-garden are good, and are carefully tended and nurtured, the garden {238} will bear good fruit—the acts performed will be charitable and clean. But if the seed-thoughts that find lodgment in the mind are noxious, and if these noxious seeds—these destructive weeds of the mind—be tended and nurtured, then the acts resulting therefrom will necessarily be evil.

A concrete example.

Let us turn from this abstract discussion to the concrete example. Do you know why a good boy, who has been taught all his life to keep his body clean from the loathsome poison of tobacco, sometimes takes to smoking cigarettes in spite of his teaching? The reason is perfectly clear. The boy has been tempted. A noxious seed-thought has found lodgment in the boy's mind. Now, had the boy been really strong, had he gone to like a good gardener, hoe in hand, and cleaned out the weeds, the noxious plants could never have bloomed nor borne fruit. But because the boy entertained the evil thought, gave it nourishment and tended it, it grew and spread until the good seed and fruitage of his conscience were crowded out of the mind. One thought, then, remained in power; and on that thought the boy acted. He became a smoker of cigarettes.

The motive all important.

Such examples as this might be multiplied without limit. If you will examine your own acts, you will find that every act of yours is the result of a preconceived thought, entertained and fed. Is it not clear, then, that the teaching of Jesus is far better than the teaching of the Old Law? It is more important to train the mind and to guard the motives, than merely to guard one's acts. If one's {239} motives are pure, wholesome, and sound, one's acts cannot but be so also.

Jesus's doctrine of rewards.

Now, just as Jesus differed in His teaching of the ultimate basis of the moral life from the teaching of the Old Law, so He differed from the Old Law in His teachings about rewards. Amongst the Jews of the time of Jesus, the fear of punishment or the hope of immediate good fortune constituted the primary motive of a good life. In other words, rewards—more or less material and immediate—were in the Old Law the inspiration to action. Jesus would do away with such an attitude toward charitable living. He would have people do good for the good's sake; He would have people live right for the sake of right living, He would have people work righteousness for the sake of righteousness. And He emphasized and drove home the thought that if any one worked merely to increase his own honor and to exalt himself in the eyes of men, he should fail, and should be humiliated in the attempt.

A parable in point.

"It came to pass," says the New Testament narrative, "as (Jesus) went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched Him. . . . "And He put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when He marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee. Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou {240} art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then thou shalt have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

"For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

A sound psychological principle.

Here again Jesus announces a sound, psychological principle. Men who crowd and push themselves forward always arouse the ill will and antagonism of their fellowmen; whereas those who are humble and meek stir the admiration of their fellowmen and are advanced by them. All our acts should be inspired, not by the desire for honor or for worldly reward, but by the desire to work righteousness.

A further illustration.

This principle Jesus illustrated further by a direct address to the Pharisee who had invited Him. "When thou makest a dinner or a supper; call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

Peter and the question of recompense.

The question of recompense has disturbed many people; unfortunately, it is still uppermost in the minds of some. It was undoubtedly the question of recompense that troubled Peter when he said to Jesus, "Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee." We may imagine that the rest of his thought ran somewhat like this: What shall be {241} our reward? Jesus very promptly answered, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."

"But many that are first shall be last; and the last first."

The reward worth while.

Jesus did not discourage entirely, then, the idea of rewards. But He emphasized the necessity of the pure and upright motive, and service for the sake of service. Then, those who serve shall receive a reward—not material, perhaps, but spiritual—which shall fill their lives here, and assure life everlasting hereafter. What does it matter, after all, if one lose one's worldly possessions but gain contentment of soul and an assurance of eternal exaltation? There are men who are possessed of untold material wealth who would give all to gain the simple testimony of Jesus possessed by the simplest and humblest member in the Church of Christ. Indeed, true contentment—which is the chief reward of a well-spent life—can come only as the result of service unselfishly rendered. Neither wealth nor poverty can bring about the worth-while, spiritual reward of an act prompted by a worthy motive. And without question, many that are first, in this world, shall be last in the day of judgment.


This we have, then, to let sink deep into our hearts: Jesus would have us guard the motives of our acts; He would have us understand that our acts are but the outward fruits of our inner {242} thoughts; with our motives pure, He would have us perform good deeds without thought of reward; He would have us do good where no recompense can be had; He would have us remain meek and humble in thought, in word, and in deed, innocent of any selfish act. Then will He recompense us with a reward, indeed: satisfaction, contentment, spiritual light, the goods of this world as we shall need them, and life everlasting, the greatest gift of God.

  "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
  And he who humbles himself shall be exalted."


Luke 14:1, 7-14. Luke 18:28-30.

Mark 10:31.


1. What is the difference between the Old Law and the New in the teaching about acts and motives?

2. Show that the teaching of Jesus is psychologically correct.

3. Illustrate the process of the action growing from the thought by some instance other than that of the cigarette smoker.

4. What was the attitude of Jesus toward the doctrine of material rewards?

5. How does the question of motive affect this doctrine?

6. Discuss the parable of the Wedding Feast.

7. Why is it well to do good where there can be no hope of recompense?

8. Explain the answer of Jesus to Peter.

9. What is the nature of the reward worth while?

10. How shall we gain the reward worth while?








Teaching further the nature of service, and what kind of service is pleasing to God, Jesus told His disciples the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.

The parable of the laborers.

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market place, and said unto them: Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand you here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them. Go ye also into the vineyard: and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

"So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward. Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying. These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast {246} made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

"But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few chosen."

The value of service in the world's work.

In the world's work, there are many today who become offended for the same reason that the laborers, who had borne the burden and the heat of the day, became offended. But that is because they do not understand the principle of service and wages. In every industrial or commercial institution rewards in the way of salary or promotion are made dependent, not upon the length of service, but upon the quality of service and the spirit put into the service. In a certain mercantile institution, for example—an institution with which you are perhaps all acquainted—there was employed not many years ago a young man of unusual ambition and energy. There were then in the department in which he was placed, men who had been in the employ of the institution for fifteen or twenty years. This young man gave value received in return for the compensation he was given. He put quality into his service; he put spirit into his service; he threw himself into his work body and soul. Before long, he was made head of the department. Those who had served for many years were offended, and murmured against the manager. But the reward came, as rewards worth while must {247} always come, for quality and spirit of service. The young man has continued to give to the institution the best that it was in him to give; he has continued, too, to advance; today he stands next to the superintendent, with the outlook that ere long, when the superintendent retires, he may become himself the superintendent. In the meantime, men of long years of service are still in the same positions that they held when this young man entered the employ of the institution. Promotion and reward are based on merit.

The value of service in the Church.

If we turn now to the spiritual life, we shall find that the same principle obtains. Length of membership, or service, in the Church does not assure exaltation. Indeed, there are many men in the Church who have belonged to it from childhood to a ripe old age, who may nevertheless receive a very meager compensation. Theirs has been a life of membership only. They have rendered little or no service; and such service as they have rendered has been of inferior quality and questionable spirit. In reward, they will receive whatsoever is right. On the other hand, men who have had the privilege of belonging to the Church in this life for only a short time may receive as large a reward as the others, or even a larger reward than theirs. For again, these members of few years, have in those few years rendered service of a quality far superior to that of those of long years of membership. In the spiritual life or in the temporal life it is true that one may hope to get in return only as much as one gives. It is a law of physics that action and reaction are equal and opposite. An adaptation of that law may be applied here. {248} When we enter into service, temporal or spiritual, our lord will give us whatsoever is right.

The test of profitableness.

A question like this may now arise in your minds: How shall we know whether or not our service is sufficient and adequate? Another parable of the Lord's will help us find the answer to the question. "Which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him. Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow (believe) not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."

The application to the day's work.

In any position in life, there are certain duties which we are required to do. The cash-boy in the department store, the elevator boy, the clerk behind the counter, the stenographer in the manager's office, the bookkeeper, the what not, has each one a specified kind of work to do. But if each one does only that which he is required to do, no more, he is in a sense an unprofitable servant. He can lay claim to no special consideration, no special reward. But if one of them does more than merely what is required of him; if he comes early and stays late; if he plans and toils to make the business more attractive, more efficient; if he promotes business, then is he indeed a profitable servant. When we enter into {249} the employ of others, it is our duty to do faithfully all that is required of us; it is our privilege to give extra service, to make ourselves thoroughly useful and wholly efficient, to merit special consideration.

The application to Church service.

So is it also in the Church of Jesus Christ. There are many things we are required as members to do. It is our duty—and a duty full of pleasure it should be—to attend the regular services of the Church, to partake of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, to magnify one's calling in the priesthood, to give offerings cheerfully to help the poor, to pay tithing, and so forth. But if we do these things only, the duties required by virtue of membership, we do only the things commanded us to do. We may count ourselves unprofitable servants. To become profitable servants, we should look after the thousand and one other opportunities that lie about us. It is our privilege to perform extra service.

An Exclamation against mere formal performance of duty.

One day when Jesus was apparently wrought up by the hypocrisy of the scribes and the Pharisees, He exclaimed against them thus: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

A privilege to give extra service.

It is right that we should pay our tithes and offerings, and attend to the duties of our membership. These ought we to do. But in doing them we ought not to leave undone other things that may possibly be of even greater weight in {250} the estimation of God. Reward cannot come merely because of length of service, but must come because of the quality and the spirit of the service. And to become truly profitable servants, we must seize every opportunity for extra service.


Matt. 20:1-16. Luke 17:7-11.

Matt. 23:23.


1. On what terms were the laborers of the parable employed in the vineyard?

2. How can you justify the paying of the same wage to the laborers who were employed at the eleventh hour as to those who worked all day?

3. What is the application of the lesson of this parable to man's daily work?

4. What is its application to Church service?

5. How shall we know when our service is sufficient and adequate?

6. Why did Jesus condemn the scribes and the Pharisees?

7. Show that extra service is a privilege.








A perfect man and an exemplary leader.

In all the history of the world there has never been another man like Jesus, nor another mission like that which He performed. We have heard so much of the meekness and humility of Jesus, of His suffering all things and resenting nothing, of His going like a lamb to the slaughter, that many people have formed a picture of Jesus that is wholly unworthy of Him. Some of you, even, may possibly think of Jesus as a weak sort of man who takes all kinds of abuse. But such a conception of Jesus considers only one of the virtues in the man, and does not consider the whole man. Jesus was just such a man as every boy and girl delights to see. In body He was strong, robust, physically perfect, with a wholesomeness of body quite unequalled by any other man. No trial or hardship deterred Him from pushing forward to the goal on which He had fixed His mind. No danger daunted Him. For His spirit was as wholesome and as perfect as was His body. When He was aroused by righteous indignation. His fearlessness knew no bounds. Picture Him, for example, alone and unafraid, with a scourge in His hand, driving the money changers and the petty merchants out of His Father's house! In body and in spirit, Jesus was perfect—of the purest athletic type. But Jesus was also a perfect leader. Hence, He had Himself in perfect control. While He suffered pain as {254} do other men; while He experienced the thrill of affection and love as do other men; while He could become angry, and possessed the passions that other men do—yet He had so subdued the mortal in Him to the divine, that the baser nature never once gained power over the Son of God. In this He set us an example of how we should live. It was because of His perfect self-control that He appeared always as the meek and lowly Nazarene. It is not difficult to understand that such a man aroused the wonder and admiration of the people to whom He ministered. Such a man we ourselves delight to worship.

A work full of wonder.

The daily work of Jesus aroused as much wonder as did the physical and spiritual characteristics. His enemies even were constrained to admit that no other man ever spoke with such power and authority as did Jesus. And certainly, no other man has ever displayed such divine power as did Jesus. Throughout Judea, Samaria and Galilee, Jesus demonstrated His marvelous power and authority in healing the sick, in restoring the halt and the maimed, in quieting the storm, and even in raising the dead. It was, indeed, a marvelous work and a wonder. It reads almost like a fairy tale. And yet these things Jesus, the Son of God, actually did. In this lesson, we shall consider briefly some of the statements of the strange miracles Jesus performed.

A healer and worker of miracles.

While laboring in Galilee, Jesus performed an untold number of miracles. Mark tells us how the fame of Jesus as a miracle worker had spread abroad, {255} and how the afflicted flocked to Him. One day, when the offended Pharisees and Herodians were taking counsel against Him, Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him. For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known."

The conditions in Palestine.

With a little exercise of the imagination, you can easily visualize the remarkable scene described thus vividly by St. Mark. But in order to understand how such a condition could be possible it becomes necessary to know something about Galilee in the time of Jesus. Historians agree in telling us that ever since the days of Alexander the Great, all the vice and the wickedness of both the East and the West had literally poured into Palestine. The land of the chosen people had become corrupt, as had the chosen people themselves. Their bodies had become afflicted and their minds diseased through habits of wrong living and wrong thinking. Beggars were as common as the turns in the roadway; and nearly every beggar was distorted by some {256} terrible and loathsome disease. The insane, and those possessed of evil spirits, were almost without number. Their condition, too, was pitiable. In all the land that was blessed by God to become the home of His own people, there was no one to help the unfortunates. Instead of a land flowing with milk and honey, it had become a land poisoned with vice and corruption.

A mission of love.

It was into such a land, and amongst such a people, that the physically and spiritually perfect Jesus came to minister. Devoted to a mission of love. Jesus turned the strength of His own perfection and the power of His divine authority to the healing of the sick and afflicted, to the assuaging of the sufferings of the poor, and to the saving of the ignorant. It was a manifestation of divine power and compassion, without thought of reward or honor, for He always charged those to whom He ministered, "See that thou tell no man."

We have neither time nor space to consider the miracles of Jesus in detail. Let us read only three. The first exhibits the power of Jesus over physical illness; the second, His power over nature and the elements; the third. His power over death itself.

The centurion's servant.

"When Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying. Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be {257} healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed. Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.... And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour."

Stilling the tempest.

"When the even was come. He saith unto them. Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship: and there were also with Him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish? And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea. Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another. What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

The raising of Lazarus.

"Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead; and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. . . . Then when Jesus came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already. . . . Then when Mary was {258} come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said. Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her. Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said. Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me. And I knew that Thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them. Loose him, and let him go."

More marvelous power than that recorded in these three instances cannot be imagined. Our admiration is wrought up to the highest point; and in imagination {259} we see the strong, pure, healthy and wholesome Man, giving freely of His strength and life-force to those who come to Him, ministering to them, and saving them from their own evil lives and evil habits of thought. We wonder that there could be anyone who would reject such a Leader.

In His own country.

And yet, when He left the seashore and returned to Nazareth and His own country, Jesus was rejected by His own. "When the sabbath day was come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him.

"But Jesus said unto them, A Prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief."


Mark 3:7-12 Matt. 8:5-10, 13.

Mark 4:33-41. John 11:1-44.

Mark 6:1-6.


1. What kind of man was Jesus physically?

2. What kind of man was Jesus spiritually?

3. What quality made Jesus a great leader?

4. What was the condition of Galilee—and all Palestine—at the time of Jesus?

5. How did Jesus manifest His divine power?

6. Describe some miracles wrought by Jesus.

7. Why is it surprising that all Palestine did not believe in Him, and accept Him?

8. What principle did Jesus teach concerning a prophet in his own country?

9. Why could Jesus do no mighty work in His own country?








After reading of the wonderful miracles that Jesus performed in Galilee, one begins to wonder what a miracle really is. One begins to wonder by what power a miracle is performed. The miracles of Jesus are in the main so unusual, so extraordinary, so apparently in violation of all known laws of nature, that one begins almost to wonder how Jesus could upset the laws of nature.

The explanation of the scribes.

Apparently, Jesus's marvelous miracle-working power puzzled the people of His own generation. They knew little of the laws of nature, of course. They had been taught to believe in the possibility of miracles. But they were loath to grant any degree of divine power to Jesus. Hence, on one occasion, "the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils." Of course, such a suggestion was absurd. Jesus Himself said to His disciples, "How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end." To this argument, there is, of course, no answer. It proves conclusively, that Jesus did not perform miracles through the power of Beelzebub. What a miracle is, by what power it is performed and why miracles are permitted, are questions that we shall consider in this lesson.

{264} The universal presence of law.

Let us consider first, then, what a miracle really is. As a matter of fact, a miracle is never an act accomplished in violation of law. You must understand that the universe is ruled by law. Everything that happens, happens through the operation of law. If we live wisely—eat right and think right—then it follows by the law of nature that we shall have strong, wholesome bodies like the Christ's, and clear, active minds like His. But if we violate the rules of right living, then come certain laws of retribution, and we are made to pay the penalty of our wrongdoing And so it is throughout the universe The heavenly bodies are directed and governed by law; God's creatures everywhere are subject to law; the earth on which we dwell, with the strange and marvelous and mighty phenomena which we here daily observe, is a product of law. Would it not be inconsistent, then, to think that Jesus—who is Himself the God of law—should work in violation of law? His own words in refutation of the statement of the scribes that He was in league with Beelzebub, is a sufficient answer to such a supposition. "If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." We must conclude, therefore, that a miracle, no matter how unnatural it may seem, is accomplished through the operation of some law of the universe. Yet, how can this be true, when some miracles that are well authenticated seem to be so utterly in violation of the laws of nature known to us?

The miracle of the telephone.

There was a time—and that not so very long ago—when it was thought impossible that a man should ever be able to speak clearly and distinctly to a friend a {265} hundred miles away, and hear in return, as clearly and as distinctly, the voice of his friend. Certain men, however, who were prying into the secrets of nature discovered some things about sound. They learned that sound travels through some medium, like the air, by means of waves—waves of alternate condensation and rarefaction of the air, for example. Then these men studied the human ear, and they learned that as these sound waves struck the ear, the drum of the ear was made to vibrate back and forth as a condensed part of the air or a rarefied part of the air struck it. The men became interested; further study revealed the fact that almost any disk, like the drum of the ear, could be made to vibrate to sound waves. It was found that these sound waves could be transmitted through string, or wire. It was discovered that a small current of electricity flowing through a wire aided in the conducting of the sound wave. Little by little science progressed, until by and by there appeared a telephone. It was crude, and it reproduced the human voice with a terrible roar. But the men of science worked at it; they perfected first one part of it, then another, as they learned better to understand the laws governing the reproduction of sound. Finally came the perfect telephone. Today it is possible to telephone—not a hundred miles merely—but from New York to San Francisco, clear across a continent, a distance of several thousand miles. Such an achievement, if it had been shown suddenly, would have been considered a miracle. It would have been in violation of all the known laws of nature. But now we know that this {266} miracle has been accomplished through the harnessing of natural laws not known to our forefathers. The achievement is the result of neither violation of law, nor co-operation with Beelzebub.

Other miracles of science.

The story of the achievements of science is full of wonders like that of the telephone. Any one of them, if it had been revealed suddenly, would have seemed as unusual, as extraordinary, certainly in violation of natural law, as the turning of water into wine, or as any of the miracles of healing performed by Jesus. Think of the achievement of the telegraph which covers with a network of wires every land area in the world; think of the huge cable slung undersea tying together the nations; think of the Marconigraph making it possible to send messages the world over without the medium of wires; think of the X-ray and the wonderful photography made possible by it; think of the innumerable achievements of modern medicine, relieving pain, effecting cures of ills that were once thought incurable, correcting deformities, restoring sight and hearing, almost giving new life to the dead. These and countless other wonders of modern life should teach us what a miracle is. Man performs every day wonders that may almost be called miracles only—since he possesses very limited power—it takes him a long time to get his results. Jesus, acting with divine power, called into play the laws of life, and accomplished in a moment what it would take the man of science an indefinite period to do. In other words, just as the wonderful achievements of science have been made possible through the discovering and the harnessing of the laws of the {267} universe, so a miracle such as Jesus performed is made possible through the rapid assembly and harnessing of the natural laws that govern the case in hand.

The power of the Priesthood.

But by what power did Jesus marshal the laws of nature, and direct them to His own desires? By the power of the priesthood of God. No man can hope to perform miracles who does not possess the authority of that priesthood. Jesus Himself was the Son of God, and held the authority of His own priesthood. And any man upon whom Jesus has conferred that priesthood may go forth likewise, and heal the sick and do other mighty works in His name. Men holding the priesthood of the Son of God need only to go out in the strength of their manhood, in the cleanness and purity of their lives, and in the fearlessness of their convictions. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and in the power of their priesthood, they, too, may command the higher, yet unknown laws of the universe, and effect cures and restorations as marvelous as those recorded in the ministry of Jesus and the first apostles. "I came unto my own," said Jesus to the Prophet of the dispensation of the Fulness of Times, "and my own received me not; but unto as many as received me, gave I power to do many miracles, and to become the sons of God, and even unto them that believed on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life."

The purpose of miracles.

For what purpose are miracles wrought? In all generations there have been people who have sought signs, by which they might be converted. But miracles are not given for the {268} purpose of converting the unbelieving. The scribes and the Pharisees came to Jesus, saying, "Master, we would have a sign from Thee. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign." What then is the purpose of miracles? Miracles come as the result of faith; they do not come to create faith. In His own country, Jesus even could perform no mighty work because the people had not faith in Him. Miracles are a kind of reward of faith, and serve to strengthen faith already born. "It shall come to pass," said Jesus in modern times, "that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed; he who hath faith to see shall see; he who hath faith to hear shall hear; the lame who hath faith to leap shall leap." All these good things come by faith to increase our faith.

The privilege of the sick.

So, in the providence of God, it is given to the authority of the priesthood, through faith, to do mighty works—to command forces of nature not yet understood by man, and thereby to perform miracles, for the increasing of faith and the perfecting of the saints. Said James the apostle, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."



Mark 3:22-26. Matt. 12:38, 39.

Doc. and Cov. 45:8. Doc. and Cov. 42:48-52.

James 5:14, 15.


1. What questions are aroused by the reading of the miracles performed by Jesus?

2. How did the scribes explain Jesus's miracle-working power?

3. What was the answer of Jesus?

4. How can it be shown that the universe is ruled by law?

5. Explain the miracle of the telephone?

6. What other miraculous achievements have been made by science?

7. How does a miracle differ from one of these achievements of science?

8. Show that it is no more difficult to believe in one of the miracles than in one of the achievements of science.

9. By what power are miracles performed?

10. What is the purpose of miracles?

11. What privilege does everyone of us enjoy when he is sick?







An incredible thought.

As He went about His Father's business teaching the means of eternal life, Jesus presented many principles that it was difficult for His followers to understand, but you may readily imagine that He presented no other thought so hard for them to comprehend as the thought that He must lay down His own life. To His disciples, Jesus was the Mighty King come to establish His reign on earth. They thought that He would establish an earthly kingdom; that He would overthrow the dominion of Rome in Palestine; that He would restore the independence of the Jewish nation. It did not occur to them that His was more largely a spiritual kingdom, than a material kingdom. The thought that He should lose His life seemed impossible to them; indeed, it was abhorrent to them. Many of them did not learn to understand Jesus's sayings about His death until after He was actually laid away in the tomb.

Jesus's foreknowledge of His death.

But the knowledge of His approaching and inevitable death, seems to have been always present with Jesus Himself. Very early in His ministry, Jesus foreshadowed the coming end. "The days will come," He declared to those assembling about Him, "when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days." Somewhat later. He spoke of His death as a "baptism," and asserted that it would become a kind of test to determine, who was for him and who was against Him." "I am come to send fire on the earth," declared He; "and what {272} will I if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you Nay; but rather division; for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." The division in the family would be caused, of course, because some members would accept Jesus, whereas others would reject Him; some would find in His sinless death reason for worship, whereas others would find in His sufferings sufficient reason for rejection.

After Peter's confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," at Caesarea Phillipi, Jesus began more definitely to proclaim a violent death. Immediately, "He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He spake that saying openly," we read. "And Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him." Or, as Matthew expresses it, Peter rebuked Him, saying, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee." It is evident then that even though Peter was inspired to know that Jesus was the Christ, he had not yet received an understanding of the fact that Jesus must suffer death at the hands of His enemies in order to fulfill His great mission to the earth. And if Peter did not understand this truth, you may easily believe, that the thought of it {273} was intolerable to the rest of the disciples. They could not conceive of their divine leader's failing to establish the kingdom of God as an earthly dominion. Then further to impress upon His disciples the fact that His death was required by the law of sacrifice, He told them that they must themselves not expect to profit in a worldly or political way through their association with Him; but rather must they expect to suffer persecution and to sacrifice themselves. For sacrifice and service are demanded in the kingdom of God. "Whosoever will come after me," said Jesus to the awe-stricken disciples, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."

The significance of the death of Jesus.

It is not necessary here to quote further in detail the sayings of Jesus which indicate that He foreknew the violent death which He was destined to suffer. He assured James and John, when they sought places of honor and power in His Kingdom, that they were not able to drink the cup that He had to drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which He was to be baptized. And at the last supper, when He instituted the ordinance we call now the sacrament. He said of the broken bread, "Take, eat; this is my body;" and of the cup, "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." From these statements, it is apparent that certain facts were clearly understood by Jesus, and that He endeavored as clearly to teach them to His disciples. These points are four, and you should try to remember them. First, Jesus foreknew and {274} proclaimed that the hatred of His enemies—the scribes and the Pharisees and the rulers in general—would finally bring about His death. Then, He knew equally well, and asserted with the same assurance, that His death was divinely appointed. Again, He assured His disciples that if they would gain places of honor in His kingdom, they too must be prepared to practice self-denial, to humble themselves and render service, and even, if necessary, to lay down their own lives for the Gospel's sake. Finally, Jesus announced that, through His death, mankind would be redeemed from sin, and that His death was therefore not a defeat but a glorious victory.

Worldly views of how Jesus's death can save.

These teachings are certainly inspiring and hopeful. The last one is particularly consoling. But, of course, it is only natural to ask, From what does the death of Christ actually deliver us? How can His death deliver us from sin? These questions have been asked by men ever since the crucifixion. It is almost amusing what strange notions people have held—and do still hold—in answer to these questions. Thus, some people believe that the death of Jesus represented the price paid to Satan to prevail upon him to release man from his power. Others believe that when Jesus gave His life for many, it was to protect them, or deliver them, from the fear of death. Still others hold that through His death Jesus broke the bonds that held His disciples to the belief and understanding that God's kingdom, was an earthly and temporal kingdom, and that the salvation which Jesus taught was earthly. Of course, no one of these theories—nor any one of several others not here mentioned—satisfies the conditions of the sacrifice made by Jesus. It does not really reveal from what {275} His death rescues us, nor how it is possible for His death to rescue us at all.

The real significance of the death of Jesus.

It is strange that there should be so much confusion about the nature and purpose of Jesus's atoning sacrifice. It is well known that through the sin of Adam, death came into the world. That death was not only physical but spiritual; for man was driven out from the presence of God. Adam broke a divine law. Necessarily, punishment, came to him. Now, in accordance with the law of justice, Adam and his children could be redeemed from death, and restored to the presence of God, only by satisfying in some way the broken law. How could that be done? We have learned, you remember, that there was a council in heaven before the earth was formed. There the whole plan of salvation was revealed. Jesus was appointed to become the Christ. His mission was to teach men to know God, that they might be prepared to return to Him, and through His own death to satisfy the demands of justice and thus to break the bands of physical death. This may, perhaps, be a little difficult to understand, but it is certainly what Jesus taught; for the learned Paul wrote, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." This, too, is the testimony of John the Baptizer, who exclaimed when he saw Jesus approaching from the distance, "Behold {276} the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;" and also of John the Beloved, who wrote in his Book of Revelation, "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

The Nephite explanation.

To the Nephites, the nature and purpose of the atoning sacrifice was made particularly plain. We read thus: "Now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen; but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created, must have remained in the same state which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore, they would have remained in a state of innocence; having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy.

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that He may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall, they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves, and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given."

Why Jesus submitted to His enemies.

It was, then, in fulfillment of the divine plan that Jesus allowed Himself to be taken prisoner in the garden of Gethsemane; that He endured trial before His enemies; and that He suffered untold agony on the cross. With His death, {277} the world itself became canvulsed. The heavens became shrouded in darkness; and the earth was torn, and shaken and distressed. But at that awful moment, the bands of death were broken; the original sin was expiated; and the way was opened whereby man might return to his Maker.

The new testimony of Jesus.

"Behold," said Jesus to our own Prophet, "I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent, but if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I, which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit: and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."

Truly, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."


Mark 2:20. 1 Cor. 15:19-23.

Luke 12:49-53. John 1:29.

Mark 8:31-35. Rev. 13:8.

Mark 10:38-41. 2 Nephi 2:22-26.

Matt. 16:28. Doc. and Cov. 19:16-19.


1. Why could not the disciples think that Jesus would be killed?

2. Show how Jesus foreknew His death.

3. How was Jesus's death necessary to satisfy the law of sacrifice?

4. What was the real significance of the death of Jesus?

5. From what does the death of Jesus save the world?

6. How does the death of Jesus save?

7. Discuss the explanation given in 2nd Nephi.

8. Explain the attitude of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and after.

9. How did Jesus describe His sufferings to the Prophet Joseph Smith?

10. What do we owe to Jesus?



TOUCH ME NOT, Plockhorst

TOUCH ME NOT, Plockhorst




A well-established fact.

Of all the many well-attested incidents in the life of Jesus, there is none more firmly established than the fact that Jesus rose from death to a newness of life. His resurrection was an actual uprising of the physical body which He had laid down, and a renewal of all the life forces. Jesus had plainly foretold that He would rise from the tomb on the third day after His death; but such a performance was so foreign to the experience of His disciples, that they failed to grasp the full significance of His sayings. You can appreciate yourselves how difficult it would be for you, even with your present knowledge, to get the full meaning of such a saying as this: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." But it is never safe to question a fact merely because we have not experienced it ourselves. We walk by faith, and by faith is accomplished all the world's work. Our faith in the resurrection of Jesus is doubly assured by our faith in the testimonies of those who knew Him and saw Him.

The first five appearances of the risen Christ.

Ten separate and distinct appearances of the risen Redeemer are recorded in the New Testament. First, on the morning of the resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene, who had come early in the morning with Mary, the mother of Jesus, Salome and Joanna to anoint the body of Jesus with spices. When Mary recognized Him, she said to Him in Hebrew, {282} "Rabboni." Jesus answered, "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God." Soon thereafter, Jesus appeared to the other three women and called to them, "All hail. And they came and took hold of His feet, and worshipped Him." Then, in the afternoon of the resurrection day, Jesus appeared to Cleopas and another of the disciples as they were journeying to Emmaus, and interpreted to them the scriptures concerning Himself. The fourth appearance of the risen Christ was to Peter; but when or where we do not know. At the fifth appearance, Jesus appeared suddenly to ten of His disciples, and said, "Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have. And when He had thus spoken. He shewed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them. Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them."

Five more appearances of the Christ and the ascension.

When Jesus appeared thus suddenly and partook of the broiled fish, Thomas was not present. Eight days later, when the disciples were again behind closed doors, Jesus stood again suddenly amongst them and said, "Peace be unto you." This time Thomas was present. Jesus said to him, "Reach hither thy finger, and {283} behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." When next Jesus appeared, there were only seven of the apostles present. They were at the sea of Tiberias, and had gone fishing. Jesus appeared before them, and directed them where to cast their nets. Then the apostles recognized Him. It was at this appearance that Jesus charged Peter as the leader of His apostles to feed His sheep. At the next appearance, Jesus showed Himself to the eleven apostles and probably more than five hundred brethren, who had assembled on a mount in Galilee appointed by Jesus. Here Jesus commissioned His apostles to preach the Gospel to all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The ninth appearance was to James, the Lord's brother. Of this we know only the recorded fact. At the last appearance, Jesus came to the eleven apostles somewhere in Jerusalem. After He had instructed them at some length, He led them out of Jerusalem toward Bethany. Then, "He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven."

The value of the testimonies.

These testimonies, you see, are of such a nature that they cannot be doubted. Altogether more than five hundred persons saw Jesus after His resurrection. And His appearance in many instances was accompanied by such evidence that there can be no doubt that the resurrected body of Jesus was an actual body of flesh and bones, as material and as tangible as was the body before death. {284} And with this material body Jesus ascended into heaven before the adoring eyes of His devoted followers.

Where had Jesus been?

But there remains a statement made by Jesus during the first recorded appearance after His resurrection, which needs to be explained. When Mary Magdalene would have touched Him, you recall, Jesus prevented her, saying, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Now, the common belief of the world is, that, at death, the spirit of the righteous departed ascends immediately to heaven, into the kingdom of God. Jesus had been nearly three days dead; still, at His resurrection. He had not yet been in the presence of His Father. Where had He been? What had He been doing? Do the scriptures give us any information in answer to these questions?

Today in Paradise.

Evidently, Jesus had been in a place called Paradise. When Jesus was put to death, two thieves were crucified with Him. "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, it is recorded, "saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee. Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Can there be any doubt that Jesus went at His death to the place called Paradise and abode there? But where is Paradise, or what kind of place is Paradise?

{285} The Gospel to the dead.

Where Paradise is we may not be able to determine; but what kind of place it is, it should not be difficult to discover. Teaching at Jerusalem one day, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." But how could the dead hear the voice of the Son of God, unless He should minister also in the place of the dead? This undoubtedly is what Jesus meant; this, too, must be what He meant when He said to the malefactor, "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise." And this is what the apostles learned to know to be the meaning of these sayings of Jesus. Peter, writing to the scattered churches, declared the truth in these words: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water." And again, in the same epistle, Peter said, "For, for this reason was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." This makes it clear to us, then, that Jesus's promise to the malefactor, meant that Jesus would meet him that day in the abode of spirits. For thither did Jesus go that the dead also might hear His voice. His mission to the living was accomplished; He had yet to minister to the dead. Only {286} when that ministry was finished could He return to His Father and report His labor accomplished. We may not know where Paradise is; but we know that the place called Paradise is the abode of the spirits of those who have lived in the flesh and have not yet been resurrected.

A plain explanation.

As usual, modern revelation makes plain to us things that are somewhat obscure in the Jewish Scriptures. The great Nephite prophet and philosopher, Alma, writing under the direction of an angel and the inspiration of Jesus Christ, explains very clearly the state of the spirit during the time between death and the resurrection. Says he, "Now there must needs be a space betwixt the time of death, and the time of the resurrection. And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from this time of death, to the time appointed for the resurrection? Now concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection. Behold, it has been made known unto me, by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body; yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those who are righteous, are received into a state of happiness, which is called 'Paradise'; a state of rest; a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow, etc. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil; for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did {287} enter into them, and take possession of their house; and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and this because of their own iniquity; being led captive by the will of the devil. Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked; yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful, looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection."

Every knee and every tongue.

Not only in His life, but in the spirit ministry and in His resurrection, Jesus taught truths of vital importance to man in his search after God and eternal life. Resurrection is an actual uprising of a tangible physical body. In the resurrection we shall be as Jesus was. And the privileges of the divine plan of salvation are extended to the dead as well as to the living. That is why we perform the saving ordinances for the dead in the House of the Lord. "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Matt. 28:1-20. 1 Cor. 15:5-7.

Mark 16:1-20. John 5:25.

Luke 23:56-24:53. 1 Peter 3:18-20.

John 20:1-21:25. 1 Peter 4:6.

Philip 2:9-11. Alma 40:6-14.


1. What was the nature of Christ's resurrection?

2. What evidence can you adduce to prove that Jesus was actually resurrected?

3. How can you prove that the resurrected body of Jesus was a tangible body of flesh and bones?

4. Where was the Spirit of Jesus while His body lay in the tomb?

5. What kind of place is paradise?

6. What Gospel privileges are extended to the dead?

7. What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to us?








The first commission to the twelve.

When Jesus called the twelve apostles and sent them out to preach His word, He gave them these instructions, "Go not in the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Evidently, then, the apostles were not to trouble to deliver the glad message of the Gospel to any who were not purely of the house of Israel. They were to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils;" but none of these good works were they to do amongst the Gentiles, nor in the land of the Samaritans. It seemed almost that Jesus did not want those not of Israel to enjoy the privileges and blessings of His great redemption.

The leaven of the Gospel.

But such an intention was only apparent; it was not real. All men, of whatever race or color, are the children of God; and the great atoning sacrifice was made for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews. Said Jesus once in a parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." The whole world is to be leavened with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; indeed, the Savior's last charge to His apostles was that they should go into all the world, and preach the word of God. Only when the Gospel has been heard by every nation, tongue, and people, will the end come.

{292} The kingdom to the Gentiles.

The apostles were slow, however, to understand this truth, though Jesus taught it to them plainly. It was right, of course, that they should minister first to the children of Israel. Israel constituted the chosen people. From them, and through them, had come to the world the knowledge of the one great God—the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. From them, too, had come now the Messiah, by whom was to be wrought the salvation of the world. What the apostles did not appreciate, however, was that the Jews would prove themselves unworthy of their Savior. Yet, Jesus taught this, too; and in teaching this truth, He declared further that the Gospel would be given to others. To the woman of Samaria, Jesus declared, "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." No longer, after the ministry of Jesus, should Jerusalem be the center of divine worship. The world over, men should learn to worship God in spirit and in truth. Not only so; but Jesus asserted also that because of the unbelief of the Jews, the privileges of His Church should be taken away from them and given to others. "Did ye never read in the scriptures," Jesus asked of the Jews, "The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? {293} Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." And, indeed, such a transfer of privilege and responsibility was almost necessary to fulfill the ancient prophecy, "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. . . . And in His name shall the Gentiles trust."

The case of Cornelius.

When the apostles were left to themselves, however, they continued still to minister only to the Jews. It required a special revelation from heaven, to arouse them to the fact that the Gospel was for the Gentiles also. There lived in Caesarea a Roman centurion named Cornelius. Cornelius was a devout and God-fearing man, though a Gentile, and prayed much that he might learn what to do to gain eternal life. One day an angel appeared to him, and instructed him to send messengers to Joppa for one Simon, surnamed Peter, who should tell Cornelius what to do. Cornelius sent two of his men immediately to seek out Peter. Meanwhile, Peter, at Joppa, "went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: and he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him. Rise, Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have {294} never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." This vision appeared to Peter three times; and while he was pondering on the meaning of it the messengers of Cornelius arrived. Peter hurried to Caesarea to minister to Cornelius; and when he saw that God had blessed Cornelius, Peter understood the meaning of the vision. "Of a truth," said he, "I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him."

The preaching of Barnabas and Paul.

Thenceforth, the apostles preached to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. Paul and Barnabas told the truth fearlessly to the Jews themselves. "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldst be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life were saved."

"Other sheep."

Thus was the word of God carried to the Gentiles. But Jesus did not Himself minister to them during his earth-life. While yet ministering to those who followed Him in the Holy Land, however, Jesus uttered a strange declaration. He said, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth {295} me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

A puzzling question.

From the time that Jesus made this statement until the restoration of the Gospel in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, it has never been fully understood by men. That Jesus is the Good Shepherd is clear enough. He has earned the undisputed right to that title by the devoted sacrifice He made for His sheep. But what did He mean by "other sheep" not of the fold of Palestine, who must also hear His voice, that there might be one fold, as there was one shepherd? Where else did Jesus personally minister besides the Holy Land and Paradise? These questions have puzzled many; and because of failure to find any other adequate answer, the "other sheep" have been usually interpreted to mean, the Gentiles. But how the Gospel came to the Gentiles has been pointed out. They could not have been the "other sheep," who were to hear the voice of Jesus. Who, then, were the "other sheep."

Forty days.

You will remember that after His resurrection Jesus appeared at ten different times to His disciples in Palestine. It seems, however, that between the resurrection and the ascension there elapsed a period of about forty days. What did Jesus do during those forty days? Of course, we cannot hope to be able ever to account for all those days, nor would it help us much perhaps to do so. {296} But it was during that interesting but shrouded period of forty days that Jesus visited the other sheep.

In the land of the Nephites.

Far over the waters, in another and then unknown land, lived the Nephites. They had been taught to look forward to the coming of the Lord. When He was born a babe in Bethlehem, the star of promise shone brilliantly in the land of the Nephites. For three days there was light, and no darkness at all. Again, after thirty-three years, the land of the Nephites became shrouded in darkness when the Lord was crucified. The earth was shaken and torn asunder. Cities were sunk into the sea, and places that had been sea were made dry land. Mountains were levelled and valleys were upheaved. And countless numbers of the wicked were destroyed. When the terrible convulsions and the darkness had passed, there was a multitude of the people of Nephi assembled near the temple in the land Bountiful. Suddenly, a voice spoke to them out of heaven. It was the voice of God declaring, "Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name: hear ye Him." The people cast their eyes upward; and lo! they saw a man clothed in a white robe descending out of heaven.

The appearance of Jesus to the Nephites.

It was Jesus. He came and stood in the midst of His people, the Nephites; and He showed them the prints in His hands and in His feet, and the wound in His side. Then He proceeded to teach them as He had taught His disciples in Palestine, and to choose twelve apostles, and to organize His church, so that the people might enjoy the privileges of the priesthood and of a {297} holy worship. Jesus appeared to these people more than once; and on one occasion, He said, "Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem; Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment, that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them. That other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word: therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But, verily, I say unto you, that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again, that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of them. And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said, other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

In the unselfish ministry of Jesus Christ there is no one forgotten. All the children of Israel are ministered {298} to; the dead hear the voice of Jesus; and the Gentiles have the Gospel preached to them. The Jewish Scriptures are united with the Nephite Scriptures in the personal ministry of Jesus to His "other sheep."

A promise to us.

"I am in your midst," said Jesus to the Prophet Joseph Smith, "and I am the good Shepherd, and the Stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall, and the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am, watch, therefore, that ye may be ready."


Matt. 10:5-7. Acts 10:1-48.

Matt. 13:23. Acts 13:44-49.

John 4:21-23. John 10:14-16.

Matt. 21:41-44. 3 Nephi 15:12-21.

Matt. 12:14-21. Doc. and Cov. 50:44-46.


1. What was the nature of the first commission to the twelve apostles?

2. What is the meaning of the parable of the leaven?

3. What did Jesus teach concerning the kingdom of God and the Gentiles?

4. What do we learn from the case of Cornelius?

5. What did Jesus say about "other sheep"?

6. What did the Nephites know about the coming of Jesus?

8. What promise has Jesus made to us?

7. What did Jesus tell the Nephites?








The house-holder and the husbandmen.

A parable Jesus related to the chief priests and elders of the Jews while He was yet with them in the flesh: "There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But, last of all, he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him. He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons."

God the great householder, Jesus the Son.

Just so is it with the kingdom of God; for just as the wicked husbandmen did with the servants and with the son of householder, so did the stiff-necked children of Israel with the prophets, and with the Son of God. {302} Therefore was the kingdom taken from them, as we have already learned, and given to the Gentiles. And therefore will the Great Householder miserably destroy the wicked who persecute His servants, kill His prophets, and reject His Only Begotten Son. But the righteous will He bless, and all those who serve Him; and even though we should fall into error, yet need we not despair. For if we repent, God will forgive our sins, so only we do not as did the wicked husbandmen of the vineyard. "My little children," wrote the Beloved John in a letter to the saints, "these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

The exaltation of Jesus.

It is, indeed, a joyful thought that, even though Jesus was slain by the husbandmen. He was not and Mark assures us that when He ascended into heaven, Jesus assumed the place of honor at the right hand of the Father. "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them. He was received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God." There Stephen was privileged to see Him in vision some time later. Stephen is described as a man full of faith and power, who did great wonders and miracles among the people. Stephen preached fearlessly to the Jews the fact that Christ had risen. The Jews became enraged, and stoned him; but before his death, Stephen, "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, {303} and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." To Jesus had come the deserved glory for which He had wrought. In His exaltation was fulfilled literally the sayings He had taught to His disciples, "Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Whosoever would be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Our advocate with the Father.

Now, it is perfectly plain that the great mission of Jesus was not entirely finished during His sojourn upon the earth. That for which He came was accomplished, it is true. But just as we needed a Savior—one who would unselfishly lay down His own sinless life for the sins of others—so we need even now, when that sacrifice has been made, a mediator, an advocate, to intercede for us with the Father. For we are all sinful at the best; weaknesses of various kinds beset us, and if we were to be rewarded strictly according to our merits, many of us would get but little in the way of blessing. Jesus continues then to be our Redeemer, pleading our cause before the Father. "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." So did Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, express to the Hebrews his faith in the mediating power of Jesus; and to the Romans he wrote, "Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is {304} risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Jesus continues, then, His great redeeming labor, bringing salvation and exaltation to those who accept Him and diligently seek Him.

Many mansions in the Father's house.

And He prepares a place also for His own, that they may be appropriately received when they shall go to their eternal reward. One day when Jesus was talking to the apostles about His coming sacrifice, and the apostles were sorrowful because they thought that He intended to go away, He said to them, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also." Even as He promised His disciples that He would prepare a place for them, so is there a place prepared for each one of us. For in many respects the future life will be ordered like the present. In this life we are generally able to achieve such advancement as we work for. If we honestly and conscientiously make the most of the opportunities that lie about us; if we strive to make the most of what we have, never hiding the God-given talent in the earth—we are bound to progress and to succeed. But there are in the world many degrees of diligence, and therefore many degrees of success. So will it be in the kingdom of God. There, there are many mansions; and such a one will be prepared for us as will satisfy fully the degree of diligence with {305} which we have served. The risen Christ is not only our advocate with the Father, but also our judge.

Lord of lords and Kings of kings.

To this judge all power is given. So declared Jesus Himself when He appeared after His resurrection to the apostles and the five hundred brethren who had assembled on a mountain in Galilee. "Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Moreover, Jesus, to whom all power is given, is the sole mediator between man and God. Said Paul to Timothy, his own son in faith, "There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all." And in this exalted position as Lord of lords, and King of kings, Jesus shall reign forever. "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever."

Jesus to come again.

You see, then, what a wonderful hope is prepared for those who serve Jesus. This earth is to come to an end. It is to be purified and sanctified; then there will appear a new earth as an abode for the blessed. But before that time shall come Jesus, Himself, is to come again to minister to His people upon the earth. When the apostles stood gazing up into heaven, whither Jesus had ascended, there appeared before them suddenly two men in white apparel. These men said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." This truth Jesus Himself declared in {306} the trial before the high priest. When the perjured witnesses testified against Him, Jesus made no reply. Then, "the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." When this wonderful occurrence shall take place, no one knows; it has never been revealed, but is known to the Father alone. But it appears that it is to take place at a time when the earth is troubled, and the end is not far off. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." If we are to be worthy of the ministry of Jesus when He shall come again, we must learn to know Him, and to live according to His teachings; for He has declared that He will be ashamed at His coming of those who are ashamed of Him. "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

The nearness of Jesus.

Even in His coming He will be our advocate and our judge. How close then Jesus stands to us. He came into the world to enlighten the world, that they might learn to know God and Jesus Christ {307} whom God sent; He laid down His life as a voluntary sacrifice to redeem the world from the original sin; now He sits at the right hand of God the Father and intercedes for those who believe in Him; and ere long He shall come again in clouds of glory, again to minister to men, that they may have the better chance to gain eternal life. The love and anxious sympathy of Jesus know no bounds.

"Listen to Him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before Him, saying, Father, behold the sufferings and death of Him who did no sin, in whom Thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of the Son which was shed—the blood of Him whom Thou gavest that Thyself might be glorified; wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe in my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life."


Matt. 21:33-41. 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.

1 John 2:1.2. Rev. 11:15.

Mark 16:19. John 14:1-3.

Acts 7:56. Acts 1:11.

Heb. 7:25. Mark 14:62.

Rev. 8:34. Matt. 24:29,30.

Mark 28:18. Mark 8:38.

Doc. and Cov. 45:3-5.


1. Interpret the parable of the householder and the wicked husbandmen.

2. What is the position of Jesus in heaven?

3. In what sense is Jesus our advocate with the Father?

4. What did Jesus mean by many mansions in His Father's house?

5. What power is given to Jesus?

6. How do we know that Jesus is to come again?

7. What is to happen when Jesus comes again?

8. In what way may we sense the nearness of Jesus?








Jesus the living Christ.

From what we have learned in the preceding lesson, it is plain that Jesus, the son of Mary of Nazareth, is in truth the Living Christ. Jesus was from before the beginning of this world, and will continue in power and glory throughout the endless eternities. In the great council in heaven, He volunteered to become the Christ and to save the children of God without force. He fulfilled His noble but agony-filled mission without faltering. He gave up His life with a prayer on His lips for those who brutally persecuted Him and killed Him. He was approved of the Father, and exalted to sit on the right hand of the throne of power. He is worshipped by untold millions, to whom He has brought consolation, hope, and love. And it is not only on the so-called common people of the earth that Jesus has made so wonderful an impression that He is worshipped as the very Son of God, but also over the greatest intellects in the world has He wielded so powerful an influence that they bow in admiring adoration. Poets, artists, philosophers, scientists, and statesmen alike acknowledge Jesus, the Living Christ and Advocate with the Father.

The testimony of Napoleon.

As we learned at the beginning of this book, Napoleon avowed his admiration of Jesus, while living an exile on the island of St. Helena. Napoleon's further testimony is interesting. "Superficial minds see a resemblance," said {312} Napoleon, "between Christ and the founders of empires and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and other religions the distance of infinity. Everything in Christ astonishes me. Here I see nothing human. The nearer I approach everything is above me. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ alone founded His empire upon love, and at this hour millions of men would die for Him. Christ proved that He was the Son of the Eternal."

The conviction of an English philosopher.

Other great men, too, have been as profoundly impressed by the divinity of Jesus as was Napoleon. The great English philosopher, John Locke, expressed his convictions in these words: "Before our Savior's time, the doctrine of a future state, though it were not wholly hid, yet it was not clearly known in the world? He brought life and immortality to light. And that not only in the clear revelation of it and in instances shown of men raised from the dead; but He has given an unquestionable assurance and pledge of it, in His own resurrection and ascension into heaven. How has this one truth changed the nature of things? The philosophers, indeed show the beauty of nature, but leaving her unendowed, very few are willing to espouse her. It has another relish and efficiency to persuade men that if they live well here, they shall be happy hereafter. Upon this foundation, and upon this only, morality stands firm; and this is the gospel Jesus Christ has delivered to us."

{313} Declarations of Emerson and Webster.

Two notable Americans may be here cited also to show the influence of the work of Jesus upon men of great intellect. Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and poet, wrote, "Jesus is the most perfect of all men that have yet appeared. The unique impressions of Jesus upon mankind are not so much written as ploughed into the history of this world. He saw with open eye the mystery of the soul. Alone in all history, He estimated the greatness of man." And Daniel Webster declared in his argument in the Girard Will Case, "I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. The miracles which He wrought establish in my mind His personal authority and render it proper for me to believe what He asserts."

Additional testimony.

Testimonies of this kind might be added upon without limit. Of course, there may be found also many men who reject the testimony of Jesus. But the interesting fact about the influence of Jesus is that the farther we become removed from the time of His earth-ministry, the more strongly is His influence felt, and the closer does the world really come to Him. In spite of the war that Satan has waged in the world against Him, Jesus is dearer to men today than He has ever been before. Even the great world war now raging is turning the hearts of men to Jesus; and many more men of learning and leadership are expressing their faith in the teachings of Jesus the Christ. It is to be hoped that all men will soon come to the conviction of the great German philosopher, Kant: "In the life and the divine doctrine of Christ, example and precept conspire to call men to the regular discharge of every moral duty for its own {314} sake. Christ is the founder of the first true Church; that is, that Church which exhibits the moral kingdom of God upon earth."

Reasons for strong testimonies in the Church.

Now, if the men of the world can get such testimonies and can feel so strongly that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, surely the children of the Latter-day Saints ought easily to learn to know this sublime truth. Jesus came to earth, as He Himself declared, when He was twelve years old, to attend to His Father's business. That business, we learned, is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. And we have learned also that it is life eternal to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. Jesus devoted His life to expounding the principles of eternal life. He showed in His own person what kind of being God is. He explained His own relationship to God the Father. He revealed the nature and the office of the Holy Ghost. He taught the essential principles of the Gospel, which Paul called the power of God unto salvation. He emphasized the necessity of divine authority in order to act officially in the things of God. He explained by parable and by teaching the duties that man owes to God. He made perfectly clear, too, the duties that man owes to his fellowmen. He established by His wonderful life and work His own divinity as the Son of God. He overcame death, the barrier between God and man, by laying down His own life. He proved the actuality of the resurrection and the life after death by arising Himself from the tomb. He continues as the Living Christ, interceding with the Father for us. All this the children of the Latter-day Saints have had taught to them as clearly as it has been {315} taught to the children of the world. In addition, the children of the Latter-day Saints have membership in the true Church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Priesthood is here established. The Gospel in its fulness has been restored. The Church believes in continual revelation, and is favored with the living word of God. These are the marks of the Church of Christ. The inspiration of the Holy Ghost ought, therefore, to cause the testimony of Jesus to burn brightly in the bosom of every Latterday Saint. To us also Jesus has revealed the means of salvation, by His teaching, by His personal example and influence, by His death and resurrection. And to us He has delivered the keys of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.

Evidences of testimony in the Church.

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. They recognize the fact that the object of Christ's life-work was to reveal God, to teach men to know God as their Father, to persuade them to live lives of righteousness, and to redeem them from the sin of the garden of Eden. And as intellectual, men of the world have avowed their conviction that Jesus is the Christ, so also have the leaders of "Mormon" thought and life. Almost every meeting held in the Church is a meeting of declaration of faith in Jesus. The monthly testimony meetings, particularly, are filled with assurances of faith in Him. The Presidency of the Church, the twelve apostles, and all the members of the quorums of general authority, devote their lives as special witnesses of Jesus to the testifying to His divine Sonship. And of all the testimonies of Jesus as the true and living Christ, {316} the ever present and ever active advocate with the Father, there is no other so strong and effective as that of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, and his associate Sidney Rigdon.

"The testimony last of all."

"We, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the sixteenth of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two. By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through His Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning, of whom we bear record, and the record which we bear is the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.

"For while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth chapter of John, which was given unto us as follows. Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, concerning those who shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth; They who have done good in the resurrection of the just, and they who have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust. Now this caused us to marvel, for it was given unto us of the Spirit; and while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about; and we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of {317} His fullness; and saw the holy angels, and they who are sanctified before His throne, worshipping God, and the Lamb, who worship Him for ever and ever. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony last of all, which we give of Him, that He lives; for we saw Him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father—That by Him and through Him, and of Him the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God."

To us, then, removed nearly two thousand years from the time of the birth of Jesus, comes with a new significance the chorus of the angels. "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord . . . . Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."


Doc. and Cov. 76:11-24. Luke 2:10, 11, 14.


1. In what sense is Jesus the Living Christ?

2. To what does Napoleon testify?

3. Upon what is John Locke's conviction based?

4. What did Emerson and Webster say of Jesus?

5. What truth does Kant derive from the life of Jesus?

6. Why should the Latter-day Saints have exceptional testimonies of Jesus?

7. How can you show that the Latter-day Saints do have exceptionally strong testimonies of Jesus?

8. What is the powerful "Testimony last of all"?

9. What do the teachings of Jesus mean to us?

10. Explain what it means to know God and Jesus Christ.







The feeding of the five thousand.

In a desert place in Galilee, Jesus performed one of the most impressive and awe inspiring miracles recorded in His whole career. A multitude of the five of approximately five thousand people had gathered to hear Him teach. All the day He had instructed them, and explained to them the law of the Gospel of salvation. Then the evening drew near. The people were tired and hungry; but there was no adequate supply of food available. The apostles would have had Jesus send the multitude away. But He asked how much bread was to be found amongst them. The apostles reported five loaves and two fishes. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fishes, "looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided He among them all. And they did eat and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men."

The meat that endures unto everlasting life.

This wonder-rousing miracle Jesus performed just before He left Galilee forever, and while His popularity was at its height. One can easily imagine how the people marvelled at what Jesus had done. And yet, a miracle of feeding, more wonderful even than this, has Jesus performed in turning the hearts of men toward Him. It is really not so very strange that this Man, who could change water into wine, and open the eyes of the blind, and cast out devils, and still the {320} tempest, and raise the dead to life again, should be able also to multiply five loaves and two fishes so as to feed a multitude of men. He who is endowed with infinite power might easily be able thus to collect the elements and to increase the quantity of available food. This was a miracle of the physical world, calling into action some natural law with which we are not yet acquainted. But in His ministry and death and resurrection, Jesus has performed a spiritual miracle more wonderful even than this. Jesus Himself considered the spiritual conversion much more significant than the physical achievement. John records the fact that the people sought Jesus again after this great miracle; and when they found Him, He said to them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed. . . . I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." It may be said now that the whole world has heard of Jesus, and that most of it has learned to look to Him as its Savior. New life and spiritual light has Jesus given to the world. But while the world has learned to recognize Jesus, the teachers of the world have perverted His doctrine so much that the people hardly know which way to turn. They hunger still, and they thirst for the true teachings of Jesus; they are looking still for the true Church of Christ, with a religion worth while.

{321} What Jesus taught.

The history of the growth and spread of Christianity in the world reads almost like fiction. Jesus Himself established His Church upon the earth. We have learned that He called and ordained twelve apostles, and others whom He called "seventy." He taught the fundamental principles of the Gospel—faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the many duties that devolve upon faithful Church membership. Jesus revealed in His own person the personality of God the Father, and taught clearly the true relationship existing between the Father and His children. Jesus taught plainly, too, the duties that men owe both to the heavenly Father and to their fellowmen. In short, Jesus revealed and taught to His apostles, and to the peoples of the Holy Land, all the principles of the Gospel necessary for a life of righteousness upon the earth. And when He ascended to heaven, He left with the apostles the authority of the Holy Priesthood, an organized church, and the Gospel, the plan of salvation. The Church of the apostles possessed the three essential marks of the true Church of Christ.

The acts of the apostles.

After the departure of Jesus, the apostles began strenuous missionary labors. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost came upon them, and through their testimony of Christ risen, many who heard them believed and were baptized. From that day forth, the apostles traveled and preached and baptized and confirmed. Many miracles, too, did these apostles perform, in literal fulfillment of the promise of Jesus that they should be {322} able to do the works that He had done. And everywhere in their missionary travels, the apostles organized branches of the Church—or Churches as they were called. To carry on the work of the churches the apostles ordained high priests, seventies, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, deacons,—the regular officers of the priesthood—and left these officers in charge of the local ministry while they themselves continued their larger service. But it must not be imagined that the apostles met with no opposition. On the contrary, wherever they went, the apostles found enemies, and were maligned and persecuted. Often they were haled before magistrates and governors, and not infrequently they were imprisoned. But they persisted in preaching, and in bearing their profound testimonies. Finally most of the apostles were done to death by their enemies. Peter, it is said, was crucified at Rome. James was beheaded. John was banished to the isle of Patmos. Andrew was bound to a cross and thus slain. Philip was crucified. Bartholomew was flayed alive. Thomas was pierced by a lance, Matthew was killed with a battleax. James, the Less, was beaten to death. Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows. Simon was crucified. Mark was dragged to death in the streets of Alexandria. Paul was beheaded by order of Nero. Barnabas was stoned to death by the Jews. Thus the apostles and the chief leaders of the apostolic church were all tortured to death—save one—and sealed their testimonies with their life's blood. The various churches scattered here and there in the land were left with only their local leaders.

{323} The great apostasy.

After the passing of the apostles, troubles arose among the local churches, and it was not long before a complete apostasy had taken place. Strangely enough, while the apostles organized all the local churches in full, they did not perpetuate the quorum of apostles. Dissension therefore arose among the churches themselves as to which one was the chief and leader of all. Then, after some years of unpopularity and persecution, the Christian church was suddenly raised to favor by an edict of Constantine the Great. To satisfy now the desires of the heathens, many pagan customs were taken into the Christian service. The doctrines of the church were corrupted; the ordinances and ceremonies were perverted; the church organization was distorted. In a relatively short time, the accepted Christian church of the world was no longer like the church that Jesus Himself had instituted. It lacked all three marks of the true church. It denied continual revelation. It had lost the authority of the priesthood. It preached a corrupted Gospel.

The restoration of the Gospel.

After many years of spiritual darkness and of strife, the Lord again revealed His will to man. A boy was chosen to become an inspired prophet, an authorized leader, and a divinely instructed teacher. To Joseph Smith appeared the risen Redeemer as He had appeared nearly two thousand years before to the apostles at Jerusalem. To Joseph Smith were revealed anew all the sublime teachings that Jesus had presented during His own ministry upon the earth. Upon Joseph Smith was conferred the Holy Priesthood, with all its keys {324} and authorities, and through him was established anew the Church of Jesus Christ. It is founded upon the doctrine of revelation; it is fortified and directed by the complete organization of the priesthood of God; it is guided by what Jesus Himself taught—by the Gospel in its fulness, omitting not a single detail that Jesus made a part of the God-shaped plan. To us is given the religion worth while, the bread of life.

A religion that satisfies.

And the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ—commonly called Mormonism—is destined to conquer the world, for it meets and satisfies all the needs of human kind. In the first place, Mormonism is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the perfect presentation of what Jesus taught. We have learned in the preceding lessons many of the truths that He gave to His followers. The world has considered these truths, too, but has not comprehended them. This truth, however, nearly the whole world has learned to accept: Jesus is the Christ, the bread of life. His teachings are true. Any religion that would aspire to conquer the world must, then, be based at least upon what Jesus taught. But Mormonism is that very truth itself, restored with power and authority, and favored with the living presence of "the bread of God . . . . which . . . . giveth life unto the world."

A comprehensive religion.

Then, Mormonism is comprehensive; it accepts and includes all truth, no matter whence the knowledge of that truth may come. It renews the teachings of Jesus concerning right living and right thinking. It {325} emphasizes the necessity of acquiring a full knowledge of truth—the necessity of reading and studying, and of gaining intellectual power. It outlines what Jesus taught of man's duties in life—his duties toward God: his duties toward his fellowmen; his duties to himself. It prescribes anew man's obligations and responsibilities in the family, in the state, and in the Church. In short, Mormonism meets every need in physical life, in mental life, in economic life, in social life, in spiritual life. You have heard people speak of a one-day religion—of a religion remembered on Sunday and forgotten on the other six days of the week. Mormonism is not such a religion, for the doctrine of Jesus is not such a doctrine. Mormonism—or what Jesus taught—is a practical religion that enters into the work of every day—into every calling and profession no matter how humble or exalted that calling or profession may be. It teaches that every day should be a Christ-like day. It teaches that we should partake freely every day of the bread and water of life everlasting, and take less thought of the loaves and fishes that fill but satisfy not. Mormonism is both a system of religion and a system of ethics; for so are the teachings of Jesus. The whole man must be saved. Mormonism—or what Jesus taught—holds forth such ideals and such standards of life—physical and spiritual—that the noble, unselfish aim of Jesus may be accomplished. Only a religion thus enwarped and enwoofed in what Jesus Himself has taught, can hope to conquer the world.

A Church of authority.

It is the duty of everyone to learn to know God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. To teach men to know {326} God was in part the mission of Jesus to this earth. But such knowledge will not come through the mere satisfying of the bodily appetites. That religion is not worth while which feeds only loaves and fishes. The hunger which must be satisfied is the hunger of the spirit. That religion only is worth while which guides and directs in temporal life, and affords complete satisfaction and contentment in the intellectual and spiritual life. Mormonism does this; for it is what Jesus taught. In no other church than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may one find today the uncorrupted teachings of Jesus and the authority of His priesthood. Mormonism is distinctly, then, the religion worth while.

The bread of life.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the Christ, the Savior of the world. He is the Keystone, of our salvation. He is our Master, our Teacher, our Friend. He has restored His Gospel to us with all its blessings and privileges. Him will we follow, and His commandments will we keep; for it was He Himself who said, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."



Mark 6:30-44. John 6:22-35.


1. What is the bread that endures unto everlasting life?

2. What did Jesus leave with the apostles?

3. How did the apostles carry on the work of Jesus?

4. What happened to the Church after the apostles had passed away?

5. How was the Gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the earth?

6. Why will Mormonism ultimately conquer the world?

7. In what sense is Mormonism a comprehensive religion?

8. Show that Mormonism is what Jesus taught.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.—Eccl. 12:13.



Abel, occupation, 197; offering accepted, 198; slain by Cain, 199.

Abou Ben Adhem, 221.

Abram, Abraham, 21; strove to find God, 21; seized by idolatrous priests, 21; God delivered and spoke to him, 21; learns to know God; father of Isaac and grandfather of Jacob who served God; from them sprang the Children of Israel, 22; wavered not, 101.

Adam was like us, 23; taught by an angel, 24.

Aesop, fable of, 227.

Alms should be given in secret, 85.

Anger, fruits of, 199-200.

Apostasy, 323.

Apostles sent to preach, 291; slow to understand that the Gospel was for all mankind, 292; their acts, 321; their deaths, 322;

Architect, figure of, illustrating Church of Christ, 153-4; 161; plans and specifications of, 161; necessary, 162.

Articles of Faith, 129.

Ascension, 283.

Atonement of Jesus not understood by His disciples, 271; necessary, 272; theories regarding, 274; true theory, 275; Nephite explanation of, 276.

Authority, divine, test of true Church, 153; Jesus bowed to His Father's; must be conferred, cannot be assumed, 155.


Baldwin, Matthias, an illustration of faith, 113-5; a liberal man, 175.

Baptism of Jesus, 41; essential; taught by Jesus to Nicodemus; a rebirth, 130; necessity for it; case of Naaman; proof of obedience and humility, 131-2; illustrated by chemical experiment, 132; Jesus taught baptism and its proper mode; immersion, 133; purpose of; should follow repentance; baptism of infants wrong, 134; summary of Jesus's teachings regarding, 135; baptism of the Spirit, 137.

Beatitudes; high ideal of life, 192; great beatitude, 193. {328} Beelzebub, Jesus's miracles attributed to, 263.

Book of heaven, 163.

Bread of Life, 326.

Brother of Jared cut sixteen small stones; asked God to touch them and make them shine; saw the finger of the Lord; struck with fear, 45; the Lord commends him for his faith; sees the Lord who was in the form of a man; saw the body of God's spirit, 48.


Cain, story of, 197; offering not accepted; angry, 198; controlled by Satan, slew Abel, 199.

Centurion's servant healed, 256-7.

Church organization necessary, 145-6; shown by parable of wheat and tares, 146-7; meaning of the parable, 147; Church and Kingdom of God, 148; Church to be built on rock of revelation, 148-9; Church officers, 149; Jesus architect of His Church, 154; one test of true Church is principle of revelation, 154; another is divine authority, 156; two priesthoods, 156; architect's plans and specifications, 161; a third test is presence and practice of the Gospel, 161; the three marks, 163; membership in the Church a supreme privilege, 167; conditions of membership, 168; what it teaches, 233; established anew through the Prophet Joseph Smith, 323-4; Church of authority, 326.

Comforter promised, 39; is the Spirit of truth, 39, 42; is the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead, 42; came to disciples on day of Pentecost, 43.

Commandment, great, 191.

Communities must exist, 228; must be organized, 228-9.

Cornelius, case of, 293.


Darkness covers the earth, 160.

Dead, gospel preached to, 285.

Defile, things that, 194.

Devil, power of evil; who is he? Lucifer the Lightbringer; volunteered to be a Savior, 57; his plan rejected; he rebelled and became Satan, the father of lies; a murderer from the beginning, 58; tempts Jesus, 61-2; entered into Judas Iscariot, 63; necessary that the devil should tempt men, 65.

{329} Dickens, comment on parable of the prodigal son, 78.

Disciples learned about God, 31; overwhelmed when Jesus was crucified, 38; received Holy Ghost on day of Pentecost, 43; knew they were sons of God, 72; why they could not cast out a devil, 108; regarded Jesus as earthly King; could not understand atonement, 271; told by Him of his coming death, 271-2.

Divorce, Jesus's teachings on, 230.

Duty to the state, 231; the Church, 232.


Emerson on Christ, 313.

Enemies, right attitude toward, 216.

Eternal life, greatest gift, 17; what is eternal life, 17; defined again, 23; again, 24; conditions of, 25.

Eternal loss is to fail to find God, 84.

Evil always present, 56; how evil came into the world, 56; 58; devil is power of evil, 57; why evil is in the world, 63-5.


Faith, power of; fig tree withered by faith; mountains may be removed by faith, 105-6; interpretation of this saying; victory comes by faith, 107; Jesus walking on the water, 107-8; Peter failed for lack of faith, 108; impossible to please God without faith, 109; Matthias Baldwin, an illustration, 113-5.

Fall of Adam made savior necessary, 24.

Family basis of society. 227-8; sacred, 229.

Fast, how to, 86.

Faults in others, 208-9.

Fault-finding wrong, 209-10.

Feast, call the poor to, 240.

Finding and losing one's life, Jesus's strange saying, 83.

Forgiveness should accompany prayer; unless we forgive God will not forgive us, 106; law of, 214-15; must forgive to be forgiven, 216-17.

Free agency of man, 65.

Fundamental principles, 321.


Girls, two, story of, 205-7. God, work and glory of, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man," 16; what it means to know Him and Jesus Christ, 21; God speaks to {330} Abraham, 21; worshiped by Children of Israel, 22; first commandment forbids idolatry, 22; false conceptions of God, 22; what it means to know God, 23; what kind of a being is God? 29; Jesus's explanation, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father," 30; God is a person, 31; called "Father" by Jesus, 31; mankind are His children and He loves them, 32; to know God gives joy and comfort, 32; what Saints know of God, 33; God is a spirit, 36; His love for the world, 69; notes the sparrow, 70; no respecter of persons, 71; an exalted man, 71; reason for His love for man, 73; willing to forgive, 80.

Gospel, possession of, test of true Church, 161; through it we learn of God, and our duty, 162; fundamental principles of it, 162-3; men judged by it, 163; was for the Gentiles, 292.


Hail used as illustration, 29.

Harmony with our environment, 84.

Holy Ghost, member of the Godhead, the Comforter and a special witness, 42; duties are many, 43; rested on the twelve in America, 43; conferred by laying on of hands, 129-138-40; baptism of necessary, 137-9; what is the gift of the Holy Ghost? 141-2; conditions on which it is obtained, 142-3.

House divided, cannot stand, 263.

Humility taught by Jesus, 168; necessary, 239-40.


Indian's speech, 159.

Impurity, causes of, 194.


Jerusalem, place to worship, 36.

Jesus, almost universally acknowledged, 13; no other man has exerted so profound an influence, 13; twelve years old, 14-5; a normal boy, 14; attended school, 14; was serious, 14; duties, 15; goes with parents to Jerusalem, 15; route, 15; missed by parents, 15; found in temple with doctors, 15; zeal for knowledge, 15; astonishes His hearers, 16; reproved by His mother He says, "I must be about my Father's business", 16; strange {331} saying not understood, 16; came to do His Father's will, not His own, 16; His "Father's business" explained, 17; defines eternal life, 17; nature of His mission, 17; a preacher's view of Him, 23; had not learned to know Him, 23; our Elder Brother, 24; chosen to be the Savior, 24; assumed the sins of mankind, 24; gave His life to redeem them, 24; was more than a great leader, teacher and philosopher, 24; was the Only Begotten of the Father, 24; to know Him, is to accept His mission, 24; like the Father, 30; called "The Word", 31; like ordinary men, 31; people astonished who knew His family, 31; image of His Father's person, 31; called God "Father", 32; goes to Sychar in Samaria, 35; talks with Samaritan woman, 35; able to give living water, 35; declares Himself the Christ 36-7; answers messengers of John the Baptist, 37; tells the high priest He is the Christ, 38; tells Pilate He is King of the Jews, 38; after being crucified He appears to disciples on the way to Emmaus, 38; will send the Comforter, 39; subject to His parents, 41; increased in wisdom and stature, 41; baptized by John the Baptizer, "to fulfill all righteousness", 41; full of the Holy Ghost, 43; showed the body of His spirit to brother of Jared, 48; His pre-existence, 49-50; chosen to be the Savior, 58; fasted 40 days, 61; tempted by the devil, and resists, 61-2; triumphed by overcoming evil, 65; commands us to love one another, 69; combatted sin, 79; pictured God as a forgiving Father, 79; derided by scribes and Pharisees; rebuked them, 80; strange saying about finding and losing one's life, 83; tells how to give alms, pray and fast, 85-6; gives the Lord's prayer, 91; analyzed 91-4; door to the sheep fold, 135; taught baptism and its proper mode, 133; taught persistency in prayer, 99; and to pray for the things of the Kingdom, 99-100; and resignation, 102; cursed the fig tree; taught that faith would remove mountains, 105; His meaning, 106-17; we should pray believing; walked on water; saved Peter from sinking; {332} cast out a devil; why the disciples could not cast it out, 108; wrought miracles, 115; promised same power on condition, 116; comments on those killed when tower fell, and those killed in temple by Pilate, 121; taught repentance, 121-4; bowed to His Father's authority, 154-5; called little children to Him, 168; teachings about riches, 175-8; all should improve their talents, 185; what defiles, 194; forbade anger, 201; judge not, 209; with the lawyer, 222; marriage, 229-30; new law, 237; a perfect man in every way, 253-4; divine power and marvelous works; unnumbered miracles, 254-5; environed by wickedness and poverty, 255; His a mission of love; three miracles, 256-8; not honored in Nazereth; His own home, 259; scribes attribute His miracles to Beelzebub; He refutes them, 263; foretold His own death, 271-3; came to cause division in families, 272; significance of His death, 273-5; institutes sacrament, 273; why He submitted to His enemies, 276; new testimony concerning Him, 277; His resurrection and many appearances after it, 281-3; evidence, 283; had been in Paradise, 284; preaching to the spirits in prison, 285; sends apostles to preach, 291; visited Nephites, 296-7; exalted, seen by Stephen on right hand of God, 302-3; mission not finished on earth, 303; our advocate in heaven with the Father, 303; is King of Kings and Lord of Lords; will come again, 305; is the Living Christ; worshiped by untold millions, 311; influence grows stronger with lapse of time, 313; what He has done, 314.

John the Baptist sends messengers to Jesus, 37; baptizes Jesus, 41; saw Spirit of God like a dove rest on Jesus 41-2; bore his testimony, 42.

Jones, Mary, story of victim of slander, 206-7.

Joseph goes with Mary and Jesus to Jerusalem, 15; route 15; Joseph and Mary start to return, 15; miss Jesus, 15; find Him in temple with doctors, 15; Mary reproves Him, 16; His reply, "I must be about my Father's business", 16; parents did not understand Him, 16.

{333} Judas Iscariot, Satan entered into him, 63.

Judge not, 209-213.


Knowledge of Christ, how gained, 39.

Knowing God and Jesus Christ, 17, 22, 24, 25; how to know God, 25; should be aim of all education, 25.


Latter-day Saints have strong testimonies, 314-5; they have the Holy Priesthood and fulness of the Gospel; they know that Jesus is the Christ and the object of His life-work, 315.

Law and Gospel compared, 237.

Lawyer and Jesus, 222.

Lazarus raised, 257.

Lilies of the field, 99-100.

Living alone impracticable, 227.

Living water given by Jesus, 35.

Locke, John, on the Savior, 312.

Lord's prayer, 91.

Love, law of, 221-2-5.

Loyalty taught by Jesus, 168-9; 171; four reasons why men should be loyal to Him. 171-2.


Man, what is he? 69; God values man, 70; divine possibilities of; offspring of God, 71; may become a god; owes duties to God and himself, 72; must make sacrifices; man the crown of creation; should reverence God; is the temple of God, 73.

Mammon, cannot serve God and, 169; what is serving Mammon, 170.

Marconigraph, 266.

Marriage a sacrament, 229; should be solemnized in a temple, 230.

Mansions, many, or degrees of glory in heaven, 304-5.

Miracles, many, performed by Jesus, 254-5; attributed to Beelzebub by scribes, 263; what a miracle is, 264; telephone, 265; miracles of science, 266; power of the priesthood; purpose of miracles, 267; they come by faith; privilege of sick to be healed, 268; feeding of 5000 people; spiritual food more wonderful, 319-20.

Moses, revelation to, 16.


Naaman healed of leprosy, 131.

{334} Napoleon's Testimony of Christ, 13; revered Him, 18; further testimony, 311.

Neighbor, who is my? 223.

Nicodemus comes to Jesus, what Jesus told him, 43; taught baptism by Jesus, 130.


Opinions of great men on Christ, 312-3.

Opportunity should be improved, 183-5-6.


Palestine, condition of, in Jesus's time, 255-6.

Parable of the sower, 56; the lost sheep, 70; the prodigal son or the forgiving father, 77-8; the Pharisee and the publican, 80; borrowing three loaves; the judge and the widow, 98; the house built on a rock, 115; barren fig tree, 121; wheat and tares, 146-7; treasure hid in a field; pearl of great price, 167; earthly treasures, 170; light of the body, 171; unjust steward, 178-9; rich man and Lazarus, 183; the talents, 183-4; unforgiving servant, 215; good Samaritan, 222; humility, 239-40; laborers in the vineyard, 245-6; leaven, 291; householder and husbandmen, 300.

Paradise, Jesus in, 284; what it is, 286-7; Paul says Jesus was image of His Father, 31.

Paul and Barnabas traveled and preached to the Gentiles, 294.

Peter's vision, 293; taught him Gospel, was for Gentiles, 294.

Pilate constructs conduit; tower falls killing 18 men; seizes temple treasures; attacked by mob, 119; killed many in the temple; excitement, 120.

Political duty, 231.

Praise, love of, 85.

Pray, how to, 86; 94.

Prayer, should be persistent; hymns quoted, 97-8; urgent desire and implicit trust necessary in, 99; things of God's Kingdom should be prayed for, 99-100; God's will be done, 101-2; implicit reliance in God and spirit of forgiveness essential in prayer, 105-6; prayer of faith efficacious, 107; wisdom obtained by prayer, 109.

Pre-existent state; pre-existence of Jesus and mankind, 49-50; proved in man blind from birth, 50-1; gospel taught there; council of the spirits; Savior called for; {335} Jesus and Lucifer volunteer, 57; Lucifer's plan rejected; he rebelled and became Satan, the father of lies, 58.

Psalm, 1, quoted, 129.

Pure in heart, to see and associate with God, 193.


Rabbis did not teach forgiveness of sin, 79.

Reconciliation, law of, 213.

Religion that satisfies, 324; comprehensive, 325.

Repentance taught by Jesus, 121-2; He upbraided certain cities for not repenting; universal principle, 123; things to be repented of, 124-5.

Rewards, Jesus's doctrine of, 239-41; promised, 241; spiritual, 241-2.

Rich man, entering Kingdom of Heaven, easier to pass through eye of needle, 175-7; and Lazarus, 183.

Riches, Jesus's teaching about, 175-8; should be righteously acquired, 178; how used; not riches but love of them is evil, 180.

Rich young ruler and Jesus; unwilling to give up riches, 176-7.

Restoration of the Gospel and Priesthood to the Prophet Joseph Smith, 323.


Sabbath should be kept, 170.

Sacrament instituted, 273.

Sacrifice required, 176.

Samaritan, good, 222-4; lesson of, 224-5.

Second coming of Christ foretold, 305.

Self control shown by Jesus, 201; strength of, 202.

Service, what it means. 187; service pleasing to god, 245; compensation for, 246; value of in the Church. 247; rewarded justly, 247-8; always secular duties to perform, 248; some in the Church; formal performance wrong; extra service a privilege, 249; quality and kind of service determines reward, 259.

Sheep, other, meaning Nephites, 294-5; Jesus visited them, 296-7.

Sheepfold, Jesus is door to, 135.

Slander, sin of, 205-7.

Smith, Prophet Joseph, prepared Articles of Faith, 129; Gospel and Priesthood restored to, 323.

Sparrow, God notes it, 70.

Spirit of Truth the Comforter, 39; like a dove rested on Jesus, 42.

Spirits in prison, Gospel preached to, 285.

{336} Stolen money, story of, 205-7. Suspicion caused by slander, 206.

Swearing forbidden, 72.

Sychar, Jesus goes to, 35; people of believe, 36.


Talents should be improved, 184-5-6-8.

Telephone used as illustration, 24-5; miracle of, 265.

Tempest stilled, 257.

Testimony of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, 316-17.

Theft, story of, 205-7.

Theories of salvation through Jesus's death, 274; true theory, 275.

Tithes and offerings should be paid, 249.

Tobacco, why a boy uses it, 238.

Treasures in heaven, not on earth, 169.

Tree known by its fruit, 195.

Trespasses, how dealt with, 213-4.


Vulgarity condemned, 195.


Water carrier, 185-6.

Webster on Christ, 313.

Word, Jesus called the, 31: made flesh, 31.

Worry almost a sin; no cure for it, found by men, 100; Jesus's cure, 101.

Worship, right attitude in; how to worship; what and why we worship, 87.


X-ray, 266.