Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ" By Elder Robert D. Hales

Find this talk here.

  • The Father's love for Christ is definitely noticeable. I was thinking of that the other day when reading John 1:18, which the JST helpfully expands. The King James says that "no man hath seen God at any time", but Joseph Smith clarified that by adding "... except he hath borne record of the Son." Christ really is our intermediary in every way, so God the Father simply testifies that Christ is the one we need to pay attention to, and then He steps aside and lets Christ run the show.
  • "[Eternal life] comes through a matter of personal revelation" Absolutely true, and it's wonderful that someone would say this. Joseph Smith taught that we can only know we're on the proper course in our lives through revelation from heaven, and that if we obtain salvation it will be because Christ has come to us and promised it. The Church today will deny this interpretation, but D&C 76 is clear that we need to receive Christ while we're in the flesh in order to obtain the celestial kingdom. We must have Christ visit us and promise us eternal life, in order to get to the celestial kingdom. That's what it means to "know" God, and that's the personal revelation that gives us eternal life.
    • Fortunately, with some searching, we also learn that God is far more forgiving and merciful than most of us give Him credit for, meaning we're not nearly so eternally stuck as we might tend to believe, if we don't receive Christ in the flesh.
  • "this does not mean that some people will forever be dependent upon the testimonies of others." This, too, is very helpful. It's easy for people to despair when they don't believe as strongly as they'd like to, or put another way, they want to believe, like Alma said, but they can't yet find sufficient evidence to convince themselves. That's a hard position to be in, and we're all in it unless we've received our calling and election, or we're willing to lay hold on fallible, emotion-based evidence.
  • "My own testimony grew as I learned about Heavenly Father and the Savior from [various sources] and especially the Holy Ghost. ... In this process, seeking for personal revelation is a key" The scriptures tell us that faith comes from hearing the word of the Lord, so this is exactly how it should work
  • It's awfully nice to hear someone teach from the scriptures. We do that so rarely.
    • It's also nice to hear some actually testify of Christ

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