Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Calling and Election Made Sure - Update

I found this Mormon Channel episode (part 1 and 2) all about this subject. It answered all my questions from the previous post. Take a listen if you have the time. It's worth it :)


Monday, November 25, 2013

What Does it Mean to Have Your Calling and Election Made Sure?

My sister and I have been talking about this subject off and on over the past year. From the experiences of others whom we have talked to or read about, it almost sounded as though this was something that was special and secret calling/ordinance administered in the temple. It was something you are selected for, quite rare and something you just don't hear people talk about.

To have your calling and election made sure or to receive your second anointing means that that you have had your exaltation sealed upon you in this life. From what I learned, once you have had your calling and election made sure, if you commit no murder or deny the Holy Ghost, you will come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into exaltation.

“The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.” (D&C 131:5.)

 After further looking into the subject, to my surprise I have found that anyone who has entered into all the temple covenants and desires to have their calling and election made sure can do so. Because it is done so through the priesthood, I'm not sure if that means you must receive it through laying on of hands or just through your own personal witness (which seems to be the latter from what I have read). I have more reading up to do, but I want to share with you some interesting links that I found. Bruce R. McConkie touches on it in more detail in his book Mormon Doctrine:

Those members of the Church who devote themselves wholly to righteousness, living by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, make their calling and election sure. That is, they receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life. Peter summarized the course of righteousness which the saints must pursue to make their calling and election sure and then (referring to his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration with James and John) said that those three had received this more sure word of prophecy. (2 Pet. 1.)

Joseph Smith taught: “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter.” To receive the other Comforter is to have Christ appear to him and to see the visions of eternity. (Teachings, pp. 149–151.)

Thus, as the prophet also said, “The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy through the power of the Holy Priesthood.” (D. & C. 131:5.) Those so favored of the Lord are sealed up against all manner of sin and blasphemy except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood. That is, their exaltation is assured; their calling and election is made sure, because they have obeyed the fulness of God’s laws and have overcome the world. Though such persons “shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation.” (D. & C. 132:26.)

The Lord says to them: “Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; . . . and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths.” (D. & C. 132:19.) The prophet, for one, had this seal placed upon him. That is, he knew “by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood,” that he would attain godhood in the world to come. To him Deity said: “I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father with Abraham your father.” (D. & C. 132:49.)

It should be clearly understood that these high blessings are not part of celestial marriage. “Blessings pronounced upon couples in connection with celestial marriage are conditioned upon the subsequent faithfulness of the participating parties.” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 46–47.)
[Pp. 109–10 in McConkie, Bruce R. 1966. Mormon Doctrine. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft.]

Here is a great ensign article that goes into more detail:


Lastly, here is a link I found to a thread that discusses how to receive it for yourself.


If you have had your calling and election made sure, I know it is very personal and not something to be discussed on the internet. But what a glorious thing to have an assurance of. How much better will your life be living in this manner and knowing that you are exalted. I would love to hear more insight about this subject if anyone would like to add to what I have written. In the meantime, I'm going to read more about the subject and get back to you with what I find.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Seek and Ye Shall Find...

Lately, I have had the strongest desire to gain more knowledge, more quickly than I ever have before. I guess you could say I'm hungry for the doctrine, I'm hungry for revelation,  I'm hungry to know the mysteries and I'm hungry to find the answers.

I decided to stop by the library and check out some books about different gospel subjects. I didn't have anything in mind - I just went to see what I could find. When I found an isle that was full of LDS books I began grabbing whatever looked interesting until I had about 5 large, heavy books that seemed to be enough.

Wondering how I was going to find the time to read these all, I told myself that I would browse through them and get a feel for which books I should read first, and which ones could wait, or maybe didn't matter at all. I love the library because if I don't like the book, at least it was free and I can give it back. Plus I don't have the money to be spending on books right now.

Before I went to library I was on the phone with my sister and we were talking about personal revelation, being deceived by false doctrine, and finding your purpose. It's been on my mind a lot lately to discover my true purpose. So, the first book I happened to open up last night and read started out with these very topics. I read three chapters and then picked up a second book and read the first chapter, which happened to be titled, "The Honest Truth Seekers" which taught me how to seek truth the best way and get answers. In fact it quoted (D&C 88:118),

 "..seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also be faith".

 I couldn't believe that out of my random stack of books, the ones I had selected were answering questions I had on my mind that day. This chapter had confirmed what I was doing. I felt it was the Lord telling me, "Yes, you are doing what I would like you to do. I commend you."

 After I finished reading, I knelt down to pray and asked that I might better learn my purpose and to know if a certain book I had read was true (after others had said it to be false). When I finished my prayer I went to read my scriptures where I had last left off - and lo and behold, this is what I read (2 Nephi 32: 1-5)

 "And now behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?

"Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
"Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye do not understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.

"For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do."

I leaned that the power of the Holy Ghost is also the words of Christ. So, if I receive the Holy Ghost, I am receiving the words of Christ. He will show me all things that I should do - if I feast upon His words.

I was so happy! This scripture spoke to me! These are His words - telling me that I am on the right path. I am feasting through scripture and good books. I am asking through prayer and He will show me what I should do (my purpose).

Anyways, this was exciting. It had been a while since I had really put some effort into study, learning and getting answers. I forgot how quickly they can come. All you have to do is ask. I could feel my spirit jump for joy as it must have known that I was finally on the right path - trying to learn my purpose so I can make sure I'm doing it and not distracted.

I know that if anyone has a question for the Lord and they ask, believing He will answer; He will!  I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How Special You Really Are - Consider This...

Next time you are having a bad day, feeling unimportant, unnoticed, talentless, like a failure or dissatisfied with your life; consider this:

First of all, think about all the billions of people who have lived on this planet and are yet to be born.

Second, think about all of the planets/other worlds that our Heavenly Father has been sending his children to from the spirit world/preexistence. Not all of them are sent to Earth.

Lastly, realize where you live and what generation/dispensation you live in.

Yes, to have been born on the planet where our Savior Jesus Christ was born, to have been born in the last dispensation during the restored gospel and furthermore to be living in the land where he will return to rule and reign over or even to have been born into the gospel or to have found it and received it - says a lot about how special you really are.

Think about the odds, the small number of spirits who were privileged to have been born in such circumstances and to be a part of this great missionary work. Amazing!

After reflecting on my last post, I thought to myself; wow - I was born in America, into the gospel and during this last dispensation. What on Earth did I do to deserve that? I must have done something to show the Lord that I could be counted on in this great work.

With that in mind, we should find out what it is we were sent here to do. No, I don't mean what WE think we were sent here to do, but what HE sent us here to do. The only way to know that is to ask.

In regards to asking, Joseph Fielding McConkie said in his book Answers (p. 4),

"In the realm of gospel answers we generally find what we want. If we want justification for a particular course of action, we often will search until we find it. If we want to defend some idea, we may filter out anything that does not sustain it. And if we want to discover the mind and will of the Lord, we generally find that also. We cannot inquire of the heavens with real intent and a sincere heart if we have already determined what we will accept as an answer."

Keeping that in mind, if you go to the Lord in sincere prayer, He will tell you what your purpose is. Sheri Dew said in her book No Doubt About It (p. 2) "When it comes time to step across the veil, don't we each hope to be able to give the same report at the end of our mission here, 'I did what I was sent to do.'"

You are special which is why you are here now at this time in the place where you are - which means you have a very special and important assignment and purpose. I have always thought I knew what my purpose/mission was - but the more time I spend into trying to make that happen the further away I get from my goal. This has had me thinking lately, that maybe I am wrong. Maybe that's why things aren't happening the way I would like them to because I'm focusing on something that was not a part of what I was sent here to do. Though it sounds great to me, and I so badly have wanted to believe that has been my mission - I may be very wrong. So, I have taken this topic to heart and have decided to pray (without an answer I hope to receive already in mind) and ask what it is I should be doing right now so that I can fulfill this mission. I challenge you  to do the same and I know you will be blessed in doing so. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


It's unbelievable lately how all the Sunday school lessons seem to correlate so well with things going on in my life.

Today's lesson was about missionary work. It was so fitting because we had a missionary farewell in our ward today and the entire topic in sacrament meeting was about Preach My Gospel. Because it was a farewell we had many visitors attending our ward today; members and non-members.

After sacrament, most of the visitors left but one of them who happened to be a relative of the missionary and also a bishop from Arizona stayed and came to Sunday school. He shared some very insightful comments throughout the lesson but there was one in particular that he shared which sent wonderful chills up and down everyone's spine.

He said that there was actually more than one third of the hosts of heaven who rejected the Savior's plan and supported Lucifer. Because our Father in Heaven loved them so much he sent his other children to go find them and bring them back. He said that we were missionaries before we even came to this earth. We went and reached out to our fallen brothers and sisters and brought as many back as we could. The rest who would not come back remained cast out of heaven.

He then went on to say that because we showed the Lord our willingness to find and bring back His lost children, we were then selected as "the chosen" generation to come to the earth at this time to find His lost children again.

My patriarchal blessing talks about things I had done in the preexistence that were very pleasing to the Lord and earned me the right to be born in the environment  I was born in. I have always wondered what it was I might have done. After hearing this good brother speak about the missionary work we did in the preexistence I couldn't help but wonder if that might have been what I did that was pleasing to the Lord and earned me the right to be born in a good environment and in the gospel.

I felt a wave of warm peace come over me as I thought about this. It was something I had never considered before and I felt that the spirit had taught me a new truth today.

Further into the lesson  the instructor talked about our ancestors having to make sacrifices and leave behind wives and children to serve missions. He also talked about things that stop young men and women from going on missions today. He asked if any of us could share an experience about this from one of our own ancestors.

Just last week I came across a new story of an ancestor of mine as I was compiling family history. It was a great, great, great uncle of mine, Labriel Pickett. Instead of serving a mission as a young man he married instead.  He and his wife were married in the Manti temple in 1918. When he became a 2nd counselor in the bishopric of his ward,  it was a time when there was a great missionary shortage in the church.

President Grant sent out a plea for married men to go on a six month mission.

He was called to the Chicago, Illinois mission and left wife home to raise four small children and take care of the small farm. After four months he came back home when his father died. He always felt bad and wanted to go and serve another mission. In 1948 He and his wife were called to serve in the Gallup, New Mexico mission which was a Natvive American mission. They labored two years and were asked to stay an extra six months which they did. They had only been home two years when they were called again to the same mission. Six months into their mission Labriel died of a sudden heart attack while helping the saints cultivate their garden on May 25, 1953.

This story reminded me of a story spoken of by Elder Richard G. Maynes during the last General Conference. He spoke of his great grandfather who in 1910 was called to serve a mission in England, leaving his wife and children back home in Utah. He suddenly died of a heart attack while changing a bike tire.

He said, “This is what the gospel gives us—not immunity from death, but victory over it through the hope we have in a glorious resurrection. … It applies to [Joseph Maynes]. … It is a pleasure, and it is a satisfaction and joy to know that men lay down their lives in righteousness, in the faith, true to the faith.”

I shared the story of my ancestor with my Sunday school class. Reflecting on all of this has me truly believing that the members of the church are of the chosen generation who were the Lord's best missionaries in the preexistence, are His best missionaries on Earth and again will be in the post mortal life. 

I testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and you were born at this time where you now live for a reason. You have a great work to do! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hastening the Work Part 2

As I mentioned in part 2, I just devoted an entire Saturday to completing most of the work for a pile of my ancestor's names. It was a wonderful feeling of service for people who I hadn't met in this life but who I knew loved me and knew me. I felt that good things were on the horizon because of the large sacrifice I had made.

The next day was Sunday. I had told myself that I needed to find out when the next ward temple night would be so that I could pass out my names to members in my ward and they could help me complete the endowments. The endowment ordinance takes about 2 hours to complete and you only do one name per person. I had male names that I could not do and I needed the help of many people. I still felt that urgency to get all the ordinances completed as soon as possible.

That day in sacrament meeting, the bishop mentioned in one of his first announcements that ward temple night would be this upcoming Friday evening at 7:00 pm. I was so excited! The timing was impeccable.

The very next day I received a random phone call from a stranger inquiring about something that I had been praying about for quite some time. I had been praying about this for a year and a half and even more specifically for the past few weeks. He offered a proposition that I just couldn't believe. I truly felt that this blessing was the Lord's and my ancestor's way of letting me know they were pleased and grateful for the sacrifices I had made on their behalf.  

Friday came pretty quickly, and I knew that U would need to arrive to the temple early to find members of my ward at the temple entrance so I could distribute my names. I was a little worried because I had reached out all week to my ward to see if anyone was going so I could pass out names ahead of time. I couldn't find one person who was going. I thought to myself, "What if no one comes? How will I find enough people to help me?" I wondered if it was a bad idea to even be going on a Friday night with the busy traffic. Then I realized that was Satan trying to talk me out of it and that the Lord would find a way for me to get these names done quickly. He always has a plan and is always in control.

With that in mind, I finished dinner with my family and then said goodbye and headed out the door. About fifteen minutes into my drive my heart sank as traffic came to a complete stop on the freeway and I could see the cars backed up for a few miles. It was about 6:15 pm and would take me another fifteen to twenty minutes to get to the temple if traffic were normal.

I knew in that moment I was going to miss the7:00 session with my ward. At first I thought that it was Satan trying to prevent me from doing this work. But then I reminded myself that even if it was true, God was still in control and he had a plan. It was either God's plan to delay me getting there at 7:00 or He was devising a plan to work around this delay. It didn't matter. What mattered was that I make it there, and God would take care of the rest.

After sitting in traffic several minutes it finally began to move slowly. While traveling at a snail's pace for a few miles I finally drove past the rolled over SUV and trailer. It had been cleared off to the side and the tow truck was there. I got the feeling that the passengers in the SUV would be okay. Onward I drove until arriving at the temple at 7:00 pm.

I parked underground and as I walked towards the basement entrance something told me that I would find someone to ask, who would help me do my names. As I looked around I saw a group of young men there to do baptisms and an older gentleman walking too quickly for me to catch up to him. I continued on all the way up to the clothing desk. There in front of me at the register stood a young couple. I thought to myself, "Well, this must be it. At least they can each help with a name - and that's better than nothing."

Just then they turned around and looked at me and I went for it. I asked them if they wouldn't mine helping me with some names. The wife smiled and said, "Yes, we'd be happy to. In fact, my entire family is here tonight and I will pass out all your names to them and get them done for you." My heart jumped for joy! I watched as she walked over to her Dad and siblings in the lobby and began passing out the names.

The Lord set this up so beautifully.I was so touched and humbled. I don't think very many people from my ward if any at all made it to the 7:00 session as I assumed they would have been caught in the same traffic jam as I and I would have seen them at the next session. There was no one there from my ward. The Lord set this up just right. What were the odds that I happen to ask a a couple who was here with just enough people to perform my stack of names? The Lord knew, and the Spirit ptompted me to ask.

It was a beautiful session and I felt at peace getting the work done. I could feel the love of my ancestors beyond the veil and I was so happy. The blessing I received that day was the huge increase in my testimony of this important work and that the Lord in always in control. I knew that the names I held were of real people who were waiting for their work to be done. They were the one's who had prompted me to get it done so quickly. They had accepted the gospel on the other side and had been waiting a long time for their ordinances to be done so they could further progress. They were anxious and relying on me to do their work.

I know this gospel is true and I know that the Lord is hastening the work in our day like we have never seen before. This gospel will go forth on the Earth and beyond the veil - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man...and all the blessings that go with it. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.