Monday, April 25, 2016

The Three Degrees in One Parable

D&C 130:5 [T]here are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.

JST Matthew 25
32 When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he shall sit upon the throne of his glory;

33 And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth sheep from the goats; the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

34 And he shall sit upon his throne, and the twelve apostles with him.

35 Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

36 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me;

37 I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

38 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee; or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

39 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in; or naked, and clothed thee?

40 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

41 And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

42 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

43 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;

44 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

45 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

46 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not unto me.

47 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

The three degrees (D&C 76) are represented in this parable. The telestial are the goats, the terrestrial are the sheep, and the celestial are all the holy angels Christ brings with him. The holy angels are whom Christ refers to as "my brethren," which are they who hear the word of God and do it, and their treatment at the hands of the world is what the nations are judged by. Their mortal conditions are described by the Savior as an hungered, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, or in prison.

JST Mark 8
36 And when he had called the people, with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

37 For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; or whosoever will save his life, shall be willing to lay it down for my sake; and if he is not willing to lay it down for my sake, he shall lose it.

38 But whosoever shall be willing to lose his life for my sake, and the gospel, the same shall save it.

39 For 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?

40 Therefore deny yourselves of these, and be not ashamed of me.

41 Whosoever 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.

42 And they shall not have part in that resurrection when he cometh.

43 For verily I say unto you, That he shall come; and he that layeth down his life for my sake and the gospel's, shall come with him, and shall be clothed with his glory in the cloud, on the right hand of the Son of Man.

People are ashamed of Jesus's words, and will neither obey nor teach them because his commandments are neither pleasing nor prudent nor wise in the sight of the world; they predictably lead to discomfort in this life, and are therefore accounted as foolishness - after all, they may well lead to being an hungered, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or in prison. And maybe divorced on top of all that.

JST Luke 14
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper and bade many;

17 And sent his servants at supper time, to say to them who were bidden, Come, for all things are now ready.

18 And they all, with one consent, began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused.

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servants, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring hither the poor, and the maimed, the halt and the blind.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

23 The Lord said unto his servant, Go out into the highways, and hedges, and compel men to come in, that my house may be filled;

24 For I say unto you, That none of those men who were bidden, shall taste of my supper.

The supper appears to refer to an event that shall occur at his coming (D&C 27). The excuses given for failing to accept the invitation by keeping the commandments - such as "I have married a wife, therefore I cannot obey the commandments of Jesus" - give context for this.

25 And when he had finished these sayings, he departed thence, and there went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

Yes, he meant it.

JST Matthew 10
28 Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven.

29 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.

30 Think not, that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.

31 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

32 He who loveth father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he who loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.

33 And he who taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

34 He who seeketh to save his life shall lose it; and he who loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

The teachings of Jesus are what they are. If we are not reconciling ourselves to his will, then of what value is our seeming religiosity?

JST Matthew 12:25 He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

And if we are not keeping nor teaching his commandments, then are we not scattering abroad?