[these articles have been transferred from the other site.]
“I will tell you in your mind and in your heart”
It has been awhile since I have posted anything on this site. I recently posted an article about the Fulness of the Father over on the Anarchy Site.
I also recently did a post over there about Trying the Spirits. That topic has been on my mind lately. In the post I mention a recent press release pertaining to the bright star currently in the heavens that supposedly heralds the emergence of Maitreya, a coming world teacher;
“Bright star heralds the emergence of Maitreya the World Teacher
LONDON, January 22 /PRNewswire/ –
I included in the post, an article by Joseph Smith which talks about the seducing spirits in the earth and how important it is to be able to try the spirits. (I highly suggest you read the article by Joseph Smith on Trying the Spirits if you have not done so)
The Prophet begins his article with the following paragraph;
“Recent occurrences that have transpired amongst us render it an imperative duty devolving upon me to say something in relation to the spirits by which men are actuated. It is evident from the apostle’s writings that many false spirits existed in their day, and have “gone forth into the world,” and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise. “For no man knows the things of God, but by the spirit of God.”
In the article Joseph Smith points out that virtually all groups have a distinctive spirit about them. There is a specific guiding spiritual force behind every religion and virtually every group.
I have certainly noticed that as I have taken the opportunity to speak with many people from many religions.
One day, years ago, a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on our door back when we were living in Holiday. I love speaking to anyone about religion so we got into an interesting discussion with her.
She was a very typical Jehovah’s Witness. By that I mean, she had the same spirit about her that all of the JW’s have had that I have spoken with over the years. She was guided by the exact same spirit they all are guided by.
About half way through the conversation I felt prompted to looked her in the eyes and asked “Why did you leave the LDS Church?”
She was surprised at the question because she had not said anything to indicate she had ever had anything to do with Mormonism. In fact she had gone out of her way to pretend ignorance about LDS doctrine. She said “what makes you think I used to be LDS?”
I didn’t answer her question; I simply said “you WERE ONCE LDS, why did you leave the Church?”
Finally she confessed that she had left the Church and proceeded to give us the details.
Strangely enough, the spirit about her was totally the one that governs the JWs. It was only through the prompting of the spirit that I knew she had previously been a Mormon.
Anyway, I have spoken to countless people from various churches over the years and I have noticed that although there are individual and unique personalities with differing doctrinal opinions even within the religious organization they belong to, there is a very distinct spirit that governs each organized group of people.
We live in a day when so much delusion and deception is going forth in the earth.
I have watched as “Christopher” the false prophet that claims to have brought forth the sealed portion has accumulated a following of believers, solely based on his charismatic personality and the scriptural ignorance of those that follow him.
Within days of posting the article about trying the spirits, one fellow replied to a post who claimed to have sacrificed all things. The implication of his remarks is that he has parted the heavens and received the greater things.. even the mysteries. He condescendingly let the group know that if they had been as enlightened as he has been, they would be discussing different topics. Which spirit guides this person? Only someone who can discern spirits can really know.
Also within a very short period of time, another person made a reply. She is a native America Woman that claims that God has revealed greater truths to her and she is to enlighten any of the darkened LDS people that will listen to her… which spirit is guiding her? Only those who can discern the spirits can really know.
I feel that within a very short period of time the amount of false spirits in the earth and the depth of deception associated with them will be magnified ten fold.
It is going to become increasingly important for people to know how to discern false spirits and how to avoid receiving false revelations.
With this in mind, I have asked my wife if she would be willing to share an experience she had years ago;
“I WILL TELL YOU IN YOUR MIND AND IN YOUR HEART”
My experience in being deceived
By WaitingAndWatching alias Mrs. Watcher
With comments by OneWhoIsWatching
It was mid – 1980s. We had just moved from a two bedroom home into our new five bedroom home in Holiday, Utah and life was great! We now had a larger home, we had four wonderful kids and we were enjoying a very happy marriage.
My husband had recently been issued a computer by the company for which he worked. Although his personal goal had been to pass away of old age before learning how to use a computer, it had been mandated by his employer.
After finding out that it was not that difficult to use, he eventually discovered “infobases” a word crunching software program he purchased from Deseret Book that enabled him to search the scriptures. He used to lovingly refer to this computer and software program as his terrestrial urim and thummin.
He became a bit obsessed with and addicted to his new toy. There were some days he would get involved in his searching from sun up to sun down and then deep into the night.
He had a sales job with a quota. His boss said if he fulfilled his weekly quota by Wednesday, the rest of his time was his own. He spent nearly every spare minute searching the scriptures with the aid of the computer and then compiled the information and documentation of concepts he had learned into a book.
I remember a neighbor friend of mine asking me why the corner light in our house, where he studied the scriptures, was on until 2:00 in the morning so many times.
One day I went into my husband’s office and he looked at me as though he had had a profound epiphany.
He shared with me the conclusion he had come to.
I felt sick to my stomach.
He was suggesting that my religious paradigm might be wrong.
There were certain things in my belief system that I was positive would NEVER change.
Armed with the teachings of my youth and preconceived notions of “what was what” I declared;
“You are wrong”.
I then slipped away into the other room, closed the door and got on my knees to get a confirmation on what I thought the Spirit had told me.
During my prayer I got a strong spiritual confirmation that I was correct and that my husband was mistaken.
I triumphantly went back into his office and happily informed him of my confirmation.
I remember how calm he was and not even the least annoyed or threatened at my “profound answer”. He then asked me if I would be willing to do him a favor.
“What is it,” I asked.
“I would like you to read this list of scriptures, pondering them over, then go and pray the same prayer”.
I thought it was a rather strange request but had no problem doing it.
I remember saying, “Sure, fine.”
As I read the scriptures I could feel a subtle feeling taking place in my heart and in my mind, but outwardly, I was still convinced that I was right.
After finishing the passages I confidently knelt back down, knowing that the answer would be the same. Feeling somewhat defiant, I thought, “I will show him the error of his ways, I know my prayer will be answered.”
I went to my bedroom to pray. I had a spring in my step feeling like this was no big deal, I would get the answer I was expecting.
I was so sure I would be right that the consequence of if I was wrong never even entered my mind.
I was blissfully unaware that my life was about to change to a degree and manner that I never could have imagined.
This time as I prayed, I got the same strong manifestation I got before EXCEPT that this time, it was confirming just the opposite answer to me.
This time it was confirming to me that my husband’s interpretation of the scriptures was correct.
I was stunned.
I was stunned, not only that my husband’s interpretation was correct and the implications of this, but mostly, that I could be so deceived. How could I get two different answers to the same question and the exact same prayer?!?!
My mind went back to when I was 16 years old and had questioned if everything I believed in, as far as religion was concerned, was correct.
I had decided to read the whole Book of Mormon by myself and test the promise at the end of the book of Moroni. I read the entire book within a couple of months and, by myself, in my bedroom, knelt down by my bed, and asked if what I had read was true.
I received the most amazing witness with the burning in my bosom and my body and mind being illuminated and beyond a shadow of a doubt, knew it was, indeed, the word of God.
This and other experiences led me to believe that I could receive answers and would receive an answer to this current dilemma.
I fasted and prayed.
I knelt down in a depth of need from my Father that was one of the greatest needs for any answer that I had ever had. I told God;
“I want the truth at all costs.”
I really meant it. I didn’t care what the answer was; I just wanted to know the truth! I started reading at the beginning of the Doctrine and Covenants, feeling like I would find my answer there.
As I read in the D&C, I was reminded about what the Lord had told Oliver Cowdery in sections 8 and 9. I felt as though the words in these revelations were written specifically to me concerning this incredible dilemma I was having;
7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must astudy it out in your bmind; then you must cask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your dbosom shall eburn within you; therefore, you shall ffeel that it is right.
The Lord told Oliver that when he had a question, he needed to study it out in his mind.
The Lords statements to Oliver Cowdery helped me realize that the problem with my first prayer is that I had neglected to study things out in my mind.
I was also led to the words of Paul wherein he mentioned the importance of searching the scriptures and gaining knowledge so that I would have an accurate point of reference while studying things out in my mind;
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and asearched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
The Lord also told Oliver;
3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation…
I realized that I had to search the scriptures and know if the interpretations of the scriptures by those teachers in my youth were correct or if what my husband was presenting to me out of the scriptures was correct.
I realized I couldn’t just ask, I had to study it out in my mind by searching the scriptures and gaining knowledge first and then asking the Lord and getting an answer in my mind and feeling it in my heart.
When I had prayed about the truth of the Book of Mormon, I hadn’t just asked, I read the entire book. I followed the formula that Moroni had given me in chapter 10 of Moroni:
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I came to the conclusion that the second answer I got was the correct one because I took the time to search the scriptures and to prayerfully study it out in my mind instead of just asking.
It has now been nearly 20 years of intensive word search cross-referencing in the scriptures and I now have a much stronger testimony of the answer I got back then, I have also been blessed with a much deeper love and understanding of the scriptures. I know from my personal scripture searches that all 4 standard works testify of each other and they promise and prophecy of the same things.
I have gained a very strong testimony of the importance of searching the scriptures.
A couple of months ago a very dear person to me mentioned that he felt he was a good person and that he didn’t really need to study the scriptures. I shared the following scripture with him;
“9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.”
As we study the Word with heed and diligence, if we will not harden our hearts against what the Spirit reveals in the scriptures, we will receive the greater portion of the word until we know the mysteries of God in full.
We seem to be receiving a pattern of which comes first. Joseph Smith frequently seemed to ask a question based on questions that would surface while he was reading or translating the scriptures and then God would answer the question. He would get the answer to the question and then God would also give him more information.
Another experience I had about 4 years after the first experience I told you about, also had a profound impact in my life in the realization of one of the ways deception and discernment works and of the importance of having a strong foundation in the Word of God in order to avoid being deceived.
Before relating this to you I want to share a statement that is in my husband’s patriarchal blessing. It says “you will not be afraid of the truth.” He has never been afraid to talk to anyone and check out their claims or facts or opinions. So much so, that I have been fascinated at the different people that he has been willing to listen to.
Some of these people I would probably have prematurely judged and discounted. But the message is more important than the messenger and as the Apostle Paul says, we need to be willing to prove all things. He has been willing to dig into the scriptures and other historical documents in order to gain a more accurate understanding of what went on in LDS Church history.
Anyway, we were invited to go to someone’s house to listen to a speaker. For the purposes of this article I will simply refer to him as “Tolman”.
We joined several other couples, one of whom was a very good friend of the speaker. This same couple had told us, as we drove to the meeting together, that Tolman was one of the most knowledgeable and spiritual people they had ever met.
We were really excited to hear this person as we had heard so much about him even before our friends invited us to the presentation. This person had created a remarkable memory system that had been marketed nationwide. He had also written several popular books.
We walked into a large room and within a few minutes he proceeded to speak to us all.
My husband was perched with legs crossed just below where Tolman was seated. His head was bent upward and it appeared he was taking in everything that Tolman was saying.
Tolman began talking about the importance of Zion and said he had felt impressed to purchase some property in Jackson County.
He then began presenting a new form of consecration that involved groups of 12 couples. Polyandry was a part of this new system that Tolman was proposing, all of the wives in each grouping were to be married to all of the husbands in the group. My heart sank as I realized what was being proposed and as I noticed my husband intently listening to Tolman, I was worried that my husband might be believing it.
As I listened to the teachings of this fellow, and to the statements he was making, I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
In the room, the overwhelmingly good feeling and “spirit” was so thick you could cut through it with a knife. However, different scriptures that I had studied in the last several years came to mind and proved this fellow’s teachings were not correct.
In my heart was a feeling of peace as I was assured this man was deceived and was deceiving others. I had never supposed that the spirit and feeling attending false doctrine could feel so warm and intoxicating.
I was feeling confident in my answer but as I looked over at my husband a feeling of concern enveloped me because he had a faint smile and was listening intently to Tolman.
I worried that my husband might not be having the same supernatural experience I was having. As I sat there, the Holy Ghost was putting the scriptures in my mind that disproved the false doctrines being taught and it was bearing witness to me of the truth, yet I was also aware of the charismatic aura of the speaker and the warmth of the seducing spirit everyone was feeling.
Tolman kept talking, almost exclusively to and looking at my husband. He kept making comments about how much he connected with and liked my husband and that he could tell they were going to be fast friends.
I had a heavy heart and wanted to talk to my husband in private to tell him my experience, yet people were around us and there was no opportunity.
We drove home, I in silence, and my husband chatting away with the couple that had driven us and that admired Tolman so much.
We walked into our home and I immediately went to a back bedroom and prayed to God committing myself to Him and telling Him that if my husband believed Tolman and decided to follow this strange group into the wilderness, then I would give up my husband to follow God.
It was VERY TRAUMATIC AND INTENSE.
I then asked my husband to come into the back room alone with me so I could talk to him. I asked him;
“So….. did you believe this guy?”
“are you kidding? What a bunch of BS! Of course I didn’t… that guy is going to destroy a lot of marriages”
I burst into tears of complete relief and told him that it looked like he believed the guy. He said he not only didn’t believe him but told me he had a similar experience to that which I had. He felt that intoxicating warmth of the spirit and the magnetic personality of the speaker while all of the scriptures condemning the false doctrines being taught kept going through his mind.
I was overcome with the grace of God. This Tolman fellow had such an incredibly magnetic personality and spirit, if I hadn’t known the scriptures and hadn’t been blessed with the Spirit witnessing of the error of his teachings, I would have very possibly been deceived by his message.
Although this experience was unique and extreme, I have come to realize that a similar phenomenon happens frequently in church meetings from ALL branches of Christianity.
People are seduced into believing false doctrines because of warm and intoxicating feelings.
Again, the realization that the feeling in the room could feel so good and that the message could be so wrong had never occurred to me.
The thought of how we need to study it out in our mind (facts, in this case, of how the doctrine measured up to the scriptures) and in our hearts (feelings of the Spirit) were both imperative to not be deceived. Just having one or the other would not be sufficient for a witness.
The first time I prayed about my husbands conclusion, I had been greatly influenced by the “Traditions of my Fathers” (see D&C 93:39)
How grateful I am for this incredible experience in deception that God was kind enough to let me experience. I know that we are commanded to “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good”.
This has to do with ALL teachers.
I have learned to be more concerned with the message than with the messenger.
Many well loved and trusted people in or out of the church may say things that are not true. No matter what we are “feeling” we need to compare the doctrine that they teach with the scriptures. We need to use the four standard works as the measuring yard sticks to measure EVERY man’s doctrine. As Joseph Fielding Smith’s inspired statement that he made when he was president of the church states:
“It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teaching of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine.
You cannot accept the books written by the authorities of the Church as standards in doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works.
If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it.”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 203.)
The Prophet Hosea made this profound observation;
My people are destroyed for lack of aknowledge: because thou hast brejected cknowledge, I will also reject thee… I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings…. they shall commit whoredom… for the bspirit of cwhoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God… therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit aadultery.
It was heart breaking to see the couples that were deceived by the teachings of Tolman because they were not familiar with the word of God.
Within less than a year, the attempt at Tolman’s version of consecration and Polyandry ended in heartache and the dissolution of several marriages. Many lives were shattered.
As we read the scriptures under the power of the Holy Ghost, the scriptures become our Iron Rod;
1 Nephi 15:
23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the arod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?
24 And I said unto them that it was the aword of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would bhold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the ctemptations and the fiery ddarts of the eadversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give aheed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the bfaculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.
Nephi reveals to us what the iron rod is, that it is the word of God that would protect us from blindness and that we should hold fast to it.
The Holy Spirit validates and confirms what we learn in the scriptures. The mysteries we learn will not contradict them. I would like to end this testimony of mine by witnessing that the only way to “the Love of God” which is the Tree of Life is by holding on to the Word of God. This would be the words of the prophets in the scriptures which would be the measuring yardsticks for ANY revelations by ANYONE.
I realize that some people think the word of God spoken of in the above passage is limited to personal revelation; however, I have come to believe that those who bypass studying the scriptures leave themselves wide open to be deceived when they pray for personal revelation.
New revelations would never contradict previous revelations.
Observations by OneWhoIsWatching——————————–
The experiences that Mrs Watcher has shared have had a tremendous impact on both of our lives. I have really come to realize the importance of how God speaks to our Minds and our Hearts. I think this provides a checks and balances in discerning personal revelation.
It is so easy for human beings to become lop-sided in how we receive personal revelation. Some people rely almost completely on what they are feeling in their hearts. They quickly pray for an answer without searching Gods word and searching out and pondering what they are asking God about. This leaves a person wide open to being deceived.
Others do just the opposite. They approach prayer in a very left brain way, putting lots of thought and study into it without being sensitive to the Spirit and listening to the confirmation of the Spirit. This also leaves a person wide open to being deceived.
We must combine the heart and mind as we pray so that we will get the true answer back, witnessing to both our mind and our heart.
Revelation is a sobering undertaking…
In Ezekiel the Lord states that if the Elders of Israel come to the Lords anointed prophet and ask a question when in fact, their hearts are not right before God and they are practicing idolatry, God will give them a false answer. He will actually answer them according to the wickedness of their hearts;
“Then came certain of the aelders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their h eart, and put the stumblingblock of their ainiquity before their face: should I be benquired of at all by cthem? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the astumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.” Ezek 14
David Whitmer tells of an amazing experience he had with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He reveals that even Joseph Smith got deceived from time to time, he learned that some revelations come from the devil.
“We were waiting on Martin Harris who was doing his best to sell a part of his farm, in order to raise the necessary funds. After a time Hyrum Smith and others began to get impatient, thinking that Martin Harris was too slow and under transgression for not selling his land at once, even if at a great sacrifice.
Brother Hyrum thought they should not wait any longer on Martin Harris, and that the money should be raised in some other way. Brother Hyrum was vexed with Brother Martin, and thought they should get the money by some means outside of him, and not let him have anything to do with the publication of the Book, or receiving any of the profits thereof if any profits should accrue. He was wrong in thus judging Bro. Martin, because he was doing all he could toward selling his land.
Brother Hyrum said it had been suggested to him that some of the brethren might go to Toronto, Canada , and sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon for considerable money: and he persuaded Joseph to inquire of the Lord about it. Joseph concluded to do so. He had not yet given up the stone. Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada , and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon.
Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father’s house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada .
Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking.
Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: ” Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man : and some revelations are of the devil.” So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man.
When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord.” From David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, p.30 – p.31 [It will be on slightly different pages in different editions of Whitmer’s pamphlet. Emphasis added]
Posted by Someone who is watching at 9:24 AM
- Someone who is watching said…
- Just Peachy-
Is there an email address that I could correspond with you personally with?
Please leave it in a comment and I will not publish it.
- March 2, 2009 11:32 AM
- Anonymous said…
- If I might ask, what was it that your husband said that at first you did not believe?
- March 2, 2009 3:04 PM
- Someone who is watching said…
Actually, that information was intentionally left out of the article because we wanted to focus on the topic being addressed… namely the importance of prayer and how easy it is to be deceived when one asks questions without searching and pondering first and when one only relies strictly on “feelings”..
We didn’t want to bias readers with the doctrinal conclusion that created the situation.
As always, the important parts of any articles posted on this blog are the scriptural references and how the Holy Spirit tells you to interpret them.
All other opinions and doctrinal interpretations given should only be taken seriously if the Holy Spirit directs thusly.
Additionally, we feel that the conclusion referred to might distract from the main theme and purpose of this blog.
Thank you for visiting and keep watching.
- March 2, 2009 3:41 PM
- truthseekertoo said…
- Great article.
I think most members like the comfort of the saying “the prophet will never lead you astray” or the broader one “the leaders of the church will never lead you astray.” My bishop just used the broader saying in class a few weeks ago.
It takes the pressure off of us. Fact is, we are mostly lazy in our faith and duty to God.
There are a lot of “stories” out there that might make you cry or feel warm and fuzzy. Like any well written book or movie (or fake email story LOL). Doesn’t make them true or “of God.”
It is uncomfortable to think about how easily we can be deceived. As a group and as individuals. My thoughts now are on how important it is for us to be open to whatever answer we might get and not try to sway God. It’s like the saying “Be careful what you ask for!”
- March 7, 2009 3:23 PM
- JL said…
- I had a similar experience once. Except, I had pondered, prayed and read my scriptures. During the testimony meeting, the Holy Ghost gave me a confirmation in my heart and mind. However, I felt the others around me close off to the truth. A very different spirit came into the meeting at that point.
I agree that it is a solemn road to go down, seeking revelation. I think many members are too focused on the probability of deception versus the further light and knowledge from revelation.
Thank you for sharing
- March 14, 2009 4:44 AM
- Younger Dude said…
- Which versions/editions of the BOM/Bible/D&C/PGP would you recommend for study? And what is the easiest way to get hard copies of those versions/editions?
Thanks for one of the best posts in the history of posts.
- March 15, 2009 9:08 PM
- Someone who is watching said…
- Younger Dude
I think that is a personal preference type of thing.
I have friends who prefer reading the original copy of the Book of Mormon and the original copy of the Book of commandments because they feel that reading it in paragraphs instead of broken into small verses is better and they have a stronger spirit attending them.
In theory I think there could be come truth to this, however I am so use to the standard versions of the standard works and all of the notes and references that I have written in them over the years that I can’t break away from using them. (I like the larger print since I don’t see as good but I would use them anyway because they provide more space for marking things)
I kiddingly refer to my set of the standard works as the “inspired version” simply because I have so many cross references and color coding and notes, etc.that I have hand written in to each chapter that I feel lost when reading out of someone else s..
Although the cross references at the bottom of the standard LDS editions of the scriptures are lacking in some areas, they can be very helpful in others.
I would highly encourage you to mark the heck out of your scriptures as you use key word searches to connect the dots in Gods word.
Be sure to really watch for the changes in the JTS which are often notated in the footnotes.
Thank you for visiting.
- March 15, 2009 10:52 PM
- NEPT said…
- Younger Dude,
If I’m not mistaken, the multi-volume series of the “Joseph Smith Papers” by Bushman, et al. is going to contain original versions of the BoM, BoC, and PoGP. Hopefully, they get them published before it’s too late! Correct me if I’m wrong Watcher.
- March 16, 2009 7:20 AM
- NEXT ARTICLE
[Editorial Note: This article created quite a spirited discussion on the LDSAnarchy Website.. There were some rather unChrislike comments that were generated and I felt a little uncomfortable with the low vibratory frequency that some people were generating… including the taking the Lords name in vain. Hence, in the spirit of Anarchy.. I decided to relocate this article. Everyone that wants to discuss doctrine from a scriptural point of view and not attack individuals are welcome to comment.
There are some components of this article that strike at the heart of the New Age Movement and New Age Teachings and therefore it really struck a nerve with certain people who have accepted the belief that “all people are perfect just the way they are”.
The thought that man is in a fallen state in need of the atonement of Jesus Christ is abhorrent to those who are claiming their own divinity. Ironically, when the Vision known as section 76 was given to the Church, many members apostatized because the concept of three degrees of glory resulting from how Gods children respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the atonement was so foreign to how they wanted things to be.” ]
Years ago I attended an interesting tax and wealth generating seminar that made a huge impression on my mind.
The tax attorney that was speaking began his presentation by stating something similar to this;
“There are two completely different tax systems or sets of tax laws in the United States.
Both of them are completely legal.
One of them has been developed for the wealthy and for those who want to accumulate wealth. It is used by those who are knowledgeable.
It allows them to control the use of their gross income and to make their purchases and investments FIRST and then pay taxes on whatever money is left over.
The other tax system is for the masses those that don’t understand how to play the game.
It was devised to keep them poor and in financial bondage.
It requires them to pay taxes first on their gross earnings and then whatever is left over may be used for purchasing the items they need, seldom is there anything left over for serious investments and the accumulation of wealth.”
The opening statement was pretty good at catching the attention of the audience.
The tax attorney went on to explain the difference in how tax law treats W-2 wage earners verses 1099 individuals and corporations, etc.
Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but by and large, most poor people in America are W-2 wage earners while most of the wealthy who own businesses and real estate by-pass that system altogether using 1099 status or at least use 1099 “straw man” entities to recoup money withheld from W-2 earnings.
The moral of the story according to the tax attorney was that knowledge is power.
Interestingly, the majority of the attendees went away shaking their heads at the information that was provided because they either didn’t understand it, felt the concepts presented were immoral, or worried that they were illegal.
Of course the intricacies of the tax system and the goal of accumulating wealth are a moot point since the accumulation of wealth is contrary to the commandment to be equal.
Besides, now that Mistress Babylon is on life support, before long the masses and also those who have excelled in the money game in the past will be much more preoccupied with where their next meal is coming from than how to accumulate wealth.
I mention the tax seminar because, in some ways, the reaction of many of the attendees was not unlike the next seminar experience I want to mention.
Years ago a fellow by the name of James Cox began holding seminars entitled “How to Qualify for the Celestial Kingdom today”
A dear friend of mine by the name of Tom, who is always searching for the deeper truths, called me and said;
“you need to come hear what this guy is speaking about. He is having a profound effect on many lives, including my own”
The provocative title of the seminar made my wife and I curious, and with the endorsement of a trusted friend, we decided to see what all of the chatter was about.
This particular seminar was designed to be a series of seminars.
The seminar was a little bit similar to the tax seminar in that many people who went responded the same way. After attending once or perhaps twice many would shake their heads in disbelief and reject what was being taught.
Some simply couldn’t comprehend the simplicity of the doctrines being taught, other felt the concepts sounded to good to be true and others just couldn’t shake loose from the traditions of their fathers.
I suppose some people felt President Cox was teaching heretical doctrines.
As I recall, Brother Cox had been a born again Christian who converted to the LDS Church.
He gained a strong testimony of the restored gospel yet he didn’t buy into the saved by works spin that many LDS people ascribe to. He retained his strong belief in being saved by grace through faith that he had learned in his protestant background;
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2: 8
Not to long after his conversion, Brother Cox became a Stake President.
One evening after a long day of counseling so many LDS women in his stake who were struggling with depression he became alarmed at what he was observing and posed the following question to himself;
“Why are so many Latter day Saints overcome with stress, depression and fear? If we really are Gods people and are the recipients of the fulness of the Gospel, we of all people should be the happiest and most confident people in the world!”
He realized that one of the problems the sisters he was counseling were having is that they were trying so hard to satisfy a works oriented religion and meet a standard of perfection that resulted in greater feelings of guilt about their shortcomings.
There have been many articles about the “perfect mother in Zion” syndrome over the years that address the huge pressure that some LDS women feel.
(of course the male population of the Church, in my humble opinion has similar issues as the female population, we are simply too proud or delusional to seek help.. and in some cases we just realize that our priesthood leaders have the same issues)
Another article states that;
“The release of a recent study that found Utah is the most depressed state in the country is leading to controversial questions about whether there is a correlation between depression and the Mormon faith.
Ultimately, the reason behind Utah’s mass depression is unknown. However, Dr. Curtis Canning, a psychiatrist and former president of the Utah Psychiatric Association, believes there is a cultural factor involved, especially with Mormon women who may feel that in order to be a good mother and wife, they “have to put on this mask of perfection. They can’t show their tears, depression or agony.”
In addition to these articles, I am reminded of a very disturbing post about the perfect mom syndrome written by a non Mormon that provides a very revealing look at how some non-Mormons perceive their Mormon friends.
Critics charge that the rate of antidepressant use is much higher among Mormons than the general population. They claim this is evidence that participation in the LDS Church is inordinately stressful due to pressure for Mormons to appear “perfect.”
Others have provided studies to challenge the notion that the Latter day Saints experience more stress in their lives.
Whether or not those claims are true is really not the point in my opinion. The point is that the Saints of God should not be having the same problems and showing forth the same fruits as the worldly.
Apparently President Cox felt, from his vantage point, there was a direct correlation between the pressures that the LDS religion puts on the importance of being “perfect” and the large number of unhappy, fearful, depressed members that he was counseling.
President Cox felt that part of the problem he was seeing as he was counseling the Saints in his Stake was related to a lack of understanding of the true principles of the gospel.
He therefore put together the seminar that I previously mentioned.
Perhaps only 10% of the people who attended the first of a series of seminars that he was putting on caught the vision of what he was talking about and continued through the whole series. There seemed to be a huge fallout from people that just couldn’t accept his version of faith vs works, nevertheless the ultimate numbers of those who did embrace what he was teaching increased until the chapel of the stake center could no longer hold those who kept coming back for more.
Ultimately, the course which he taught evolved into a book which was sold at Deseret Book by the same name;
I am not going to try to encapsulate all of the concepts he addressed in his seminars in this article, but one of the most powerful ones that he taught was that our focus should not be on trying to be “perfect” right now but rather it should be on being “justified” in the eyes of God.
While it is not possible to become perfect anytime soon he taught, you can become justified through faith in the Grace of God RIGHT NOW by realizing and accepting the power of the atonement and following the spirit.
When people would ask him what justification is he would define it as being clean before God.
When they would ask him how to tell if you are clean, his response was “if you are feeling the holy spirit dwelling in you”.
He would teach that the holy spirit cannot dwell in an unclean tabernacle and therefore, if you are feeling the companionship of the spirit, you are clean. Not perfect, but clean, and therefore, justified.
That is the goal he stressed, don’t try to become perfect in one day, that will only frustrate and depress you. Simply concentrate on feeling and following the spirit.
He even stressed that if you are focusing on trying to live all of the commandments perfectly, you will loose the spirit.
One time he actually took 45 minutes in class to list all of the commandments and acts of good works that a good latter day Saints should be living and it was stressful just watching the list grow and thinking what a poor job I was doing.
Many of those that took his counsel and implemented the concepts began to experience a huge change in their lives.
The burdens they had been carrying were lifted as they began to focus on walking in the spirit instead of trying to be perfect in living the letter of the Law and trying to live up to what they or others felt the perfect latter day Saint should be.
The promise; “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” began to take on a very real and personal meaning to those who changed their paradigm.
I am sure I am not doing justice to what President Cox taught, so if you find the concept intriguing and would be interested in learning more about the other things he taught you might want to order his book..
After pondering the faith vs works doctrine over the years and hearing several persuasive arguments from both sides of the issue, I have come to the conclusion that both doctrines are true but they have to do with two separate and distinct gospel laws.
Yes it is true that straight is the gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto life eternal and therefore only one Lord one faith and one baptism and therefore only one Gospel. But that is only true if you are speaking about the Fulness of the Gospel which pertains to the highest kingdom of glory.
There are, nevertheless multiple gospel laws leading to multiple glories.
Section 88 speaks of three different gospel laws that result in three separate and distinct glories;
“And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.
For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.”
The scriptures reveal that both celestial and terrestrial law will ultimately result in the gift of salvation in a kingdom of glory and their redemption comes before the millennium begins.
“Celestial Law” was created for the elect of God. It is also referred to as the “Law of Christ”. The Book of Mormon also identifies Celestial Law as the GOSPEL OF GRACE or the GOSPEL OF MERCY.
“Terrestrial Law” is also referred to in the scriptures as the LAW OF JUSTICE.
These two laws enable people to come forth and be redeemed in the first resurrection while those who live Telestial Law cannot be redeemed until after receiving spiritual therapy for the space of 1,000 years.
Those who live Celestial Law are redeemed in the “morning” of the first resurrection while those who live Terrestrial Law are redeemed in the “afternoon” of the first resurrection.
Those who live Celestial Law are those who repent of their sins of their own free will and choice after hearing the gospel.
Those who live Terrestrial Law are those who don’t truly repent until after they feel the chastening hand of the wrath of God.
The scriptures identify those who live terrestrial law as the honorable men of the earth who are blinded by the craftiness of men. They also identify the Jews who are finally redeemed after their pain as living terrestrial law.
For centuries Christians have argued over faith vs. works.
Everyone agrees that faith and works are part of the salvation equation. The question is, how do faith and works interrelate with each other.
You can make a strong case that the gospel is predicated upon faith in works and you can make a strong case that the gospel is predicated upon faith in the grace of God which produces good works..
I believe the reason this argument exists between gospel scholars is because you can indeed prove the existence of both laws in the scriptures.
Both of them are clearly there.
Some Latter day Saints contend that the two are really compatible and not in conflict with each other.
I must disagree.
Although faith brings forth good works and although the effort to do good works requires faith, I would suggest that faith and works each, when identified as the main component of salvation, represent two different gospel laws.
Those that see the law of the gospel as being predicated upon works are correct. There is indeed a gospel law predicated on faith in works. It is the law of Justice or Terrestrial Law.
Those that see the law of the gospel as being predicated upon the grace of God through faith, with good works as the fruits that follow are also correct.
There is such a gospel law predicated on faith in the Grace of Jesus Christ. It is called the Law of Mercy, Gospel Law and Celestial Law.
The Law of Justice is unforgiving, rigid and exacting
Those that choose to put their faith in outward works always fall short because no matter how righteous you feel you are, the law of Justice always weighs you in the balance and finds you wanting.
No matter how righteous you are, you can never satisfy the demands of justice;
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Rom. 3: 23
Those who are living the gospel of personal improvement get beat up pretty good by the law of justice. The harder you try the more exquisite your pain is as your shortcomings are only made all the more manifest to yourself and others.
Let me say that one more time, those that chose the terrestrial gospel of works always fall short. There is no human being that has been righteous enough to satisfy the demands of justice in their own behalf; only a perfect atonement by a perfect God can satisfy the demands of justice.
Yes, if they are good honorable people who believe in God, they are ultimately saved, but only as a result of the atoning sacrifice of Christ and after they have been humbled by the almighty power of God.
Mercy vs. Justice
I love the way the Book of Mormon so clearly explains and distinguishes between the law of Justice and the Law of Mercy;
“And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atonement for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.” Alma 34: 15-16
“And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.
For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.
What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.” Alma 42: 13, 15, 21-25, 30
Those that are judged according to their works are those that fall under the law of justice because they are not repentant and not penitent. Interestingly, Justice is a He.
Mercy claimeth the penitent and repentant through the merits of the atonement. Those that Mercy claimeth avoid being judged according to their outward works. They are shielded from the demands of justice. Interestingly, Mercy is a She.
Again, the word of God assures us that the Savior broke the bands of death and atoned for our sins and by doing so, satisfied the demands of justice;
“Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satified the demands of justice.” Mosiah 15: 9
There are scriptures that give us reason to believe that all of those who lived terrestrial and telestial law during probation will be returned to the earth in the flesh to experience the judgments of God during the end times.
Yet it appears from the scriptures that those living celestial law repent and enter into the rest of the Lord even while in the flesh;
“And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time.
Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.” Moro. 7: 3
Those living terrestrial law live in fear and pain and ultimately need to be chastened by the Lord before they repent sufficiently to lay hold upon the atonement and be redeemed before the millennium.
Those that fall under telestial law are subject to the demands of justice for the space of 1,000 years. President Cox used to refer to this as a thousand years of therapy.
“Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your suffering be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
For behold, 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.
Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.” D&C 19: 4, 15-18, 20
We know from the infallible word of God that those who live telestial law and fail to repent during probation will be exposed to the demands of justice and have to suffer for their own sins.
Even the terrestrial spirits seem to require the chastening hand of God to humble them into a true state of repentance.
So, again, how does know that they are living the celestial law of grace and that they will avoid being exposed to the demands of the Law of Justice?
As mentioned earlier, President Cox claims you need to feel the Holy Ghost in your life and follow his promptings.
One of my favorite quotes by the Apostle Paul is as follows;
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
What a fascinating statement. I suspect that many gospel scholars would interpret this statement to mean this;
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law [of Moses].”
I don’t necessarily disagree that there is an application to the Law of Moses, however I think there is a deeper, more global meaning to be applied to Paul’s observation.
I have often wondered if perhaps he was saying;
“But if ye have taken the Holy Spirit as your guide, ye are not under the Law [of Justice].”
Perhaps a longer version of the scripture might be;
“But if ye have been born of God through the atonement of Christ and received the Baptism of Fire, having taken the Holy Spirit as your Guide and by so doing, have accepted the grace and mercy of God, you are no longer under the Law of Justice. It no longer has any power or claim over you.”
To me, this is how one avoids the consequences of the law of justice when the fullness of the Gospel is on the earth.
Terrestrial definition of Works
Celestial Definition of Works
Indeed, while the definition of works to those living terrestrial law could refer to anything from baking bread for a neighbor, comforting the sick, doing home teaching, paying tithing, participating in the ordinances of salvation and doing temple work, etc., the definition of works according to Celestial Law is quite different and quite simple;
“Then said they unto him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 5: 17, 20, 36
From this we find that believing on Christ is the ultimate works that God requires of us.
Definitions of Celestial Law are much simpler than those of terrestrial law.
Terrestrial Law of Repentance
Celestial law of Repentance
As a missionary, I used the following flipchart page to teach prospects the itemized steps of repentance that were required in order to keep the commandments so that they could live eternally with God in joy and peace;
Yes, I still think those are the steps of repentance, but I now tend to think they are the steps of repentance according to terrestrial law.
If you think that doing those steps will shield you from the demands of justice, you have a painful surprise awaiting you.
No matter how complete your works of “restitution” are, the demands of Justice is never totally satisfied by the works of man.
So what is the Celestial Law of Repentance?
According to the Greek lexicon the word repent means;
“A change of mind”
That’s right. To repent is to simply have a change of mind. Notice how restitution is absent in that definition.
I believe the scriptures amplify this definition by revealing that the spirit is what changes the mind and heart of man.
How does one return to God while in the flesh during probation?
By having his spirit dwell in you, guiding your thoughts and by thus doing, give you a change of mind! Is that not what the sacramental prayer speaks about?
“That we may always have his spirit to be with us”.
Each Law has it Fruits
Furthermore, the scriptures seem to identify the fruits of Celestial Law in the state of Grace as LOVE. The Love of God and Love for our fellow men.
The fruits brought forth by those living Terrestrial Law who are putting their faith in works is FEAR.
Once you have tasted of the love of God and have entered into a justified state, you have unconditional love for your fellow man. The Book of Mormon gives a delicious explanation of how those who hold on to the word of God, make it to the living waters and the tree of life which represent the love of God;
“And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.” 1 Ne. 11: 25
With this understanding, it is not surprising that the Lord simplified the gospel and reduced the first two commandments down to love;
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls” Mosiah 4: 11
Again, lets review my interpretation of what Paul said;
But if ye have been born of God through the atonement of Christ and received the Baptism of Fire, having taken the Holy Spirit as your Guide and by so doing, have accepted the grace and mercy of God, the Law of Justice no longer has any power or claim over you.
I would submit that the above interpretation describes how one enters into the rest of the Lord even while in the flesh… even before becoming translated, when the fullness of the Gospel is on the earth.
But what about those who live during darker times?
What about those who only have access to the preparatory gospel?
What about those who have the scriptures and water baptism but don’t yet enjoy the full gifts of the spirit and miracles and the baptism of fire and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost?
I would submit that the spirit of Christ and the intermittent companionship of the Holy Ghost can still enable true believers to become justified and clean before God and therefore avoid the devastating consequences of the Law of Justice.
True to the form of a heretic and at the risk of squabbling over semantics, I would take Cox’s definition and explanation of justification one step further. I believe that you can become more than just justified today, I suggest that you can actually become perfect today, right now, through the mystical grace of God.
By totally accepting the atonement of Jesus Christ and by entering into a state of Grace as documented by the spirit of God dwelling in you.
The gospel of Grace actually enables a person to become perfect immediately by proxy, through Gods perfection.
Isn’t that really what justification is? Isn’t it the ability to become clean before God as a result of his atonement and grace instead of our own ability to make ourselves clean through works?
Why not become perfect through Christ’s perfection?
As we accept the fullness of the Gospel and become spiritually born again, be become justified and perfectly clean before God, not because of our own outward works, but because we are swallowed up in the grace of God through our faith in his atonement.
We become spiritually clean and perfect by proxy, through his perfection.
This is quite mystical because we continue in mortality outwardly showing forth our outer mortal imperfection and yet if we are walking in the spirit as Paul says, we are no longer subjected to the law of justice.
We are told time and time again in the scriptures that the gospel makes our burdens light;
“And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen.” Alma 33: 23
I therefore want to suggest that not only can we qualify for the Celestial Kingdom today by becoming clean and justified before God, we can actually become perfect today through Christ’s perfection;
“come unto Christ
PERFECTED in him”