History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1393
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<​September 6​> verily believes the above statements and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those [HC 5:148] men by the Church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general Church Book. You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead, who should die without a knowledge of the gospel. And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, <​when he declared​> as you will find recorded in Revelations XX. 12. “and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the Books were opened; and another Book was opened, which was the book of Life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” You will discover in this quotation, that the books were opened; and another book was opened which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in these the books, according to their works: consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter, which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place, “that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.” Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the Priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ; wherein it is granted, that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth, shall be recorded in heaven and whatsoever you do not record on earth, shall not be recorded in heaven: for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has—— prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead. It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of; a power which records or binds on earth, and binds in heaven: nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence whatsoever those men [HC 5:149] did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah This is a faithful saying! Who can hear it? And again for a precedent Matthew xvi. 18.19. “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” and whatsoever loose on earth shall be [p. 1393]
September 6 verily believes the above statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those [HC 5:148] men by the Church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general Church Book. You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead, who should die without a knowledge of the gospel. And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared as you will find recorded in Revelations XX. 12. “and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the Books were opened; and another Book was opened, which was the book of Life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” You will discover in this quotation, that the books were opened; and another book was opened which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works: consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter, which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place, “that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.” Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the Priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ; wherein it is granted, that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth, shall be recorded in heaven and whatsoever you do not record on earth, shall not be recorded in heaven: for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has—— prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead. It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of; a power which records or binds on earth, and binds in heaven: nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence whatsoever those men [HC 5:149] did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah This is a faithful saying! Who can hear it? And again for a precedent Matthew xvi. 18.19. “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” [p. 1393]
Page 1393