Pages

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alvin R. Dyer - For What Purpose















Alvin R. Dyer (1903-1977)

This blog post is about a talk given by Elder Dyer in 1961 to LDS Missionaries in Oslo, Norway.  I read it while on my mission, and thought it good enough to hold on to.  There has been some controversy about this talk, and I am not unaware of that.  This issue of priesthood blessings for all worthy members of the Church was resolved with the administration of President Spencer W. Kimball (Official Declaration 2) in 1978.

If there are errors (punctuation, spelling, etc.) they are mine.  I copied this straight from a copy of the text I had access to.

Update:
Early in December 2013, the LDS Church released a document called "Race and the Priesthood".  This new document is an official statement of the Church that reviews the history, misunderstandings, and potential reasons for problems with the Church concerning this issue.  The document was well researched, includes all references used, and is recommended reading for the interested student.

==================================================

For What Purpose
by
Alvin R. Dyer

Talk given: March 18, 1961
Oslo, Norway
Missionary Conference

The following is a talk given by President Alvin R. Dyer at the missionary conference in Oslo, Norway, March 18, 1961.  It is recommended that each missionary should read this message several times in order to get a better understanding of the purpose of the restored Gospel.

--------------------

We have talked a lot about missionary work and heard the testimonies of those who have spoken.  I want to talk to you a little bit now about something that is not missionary work and what I say is not to be given to your investigators by any matter or means.

In the Korean War there was a thing that took place that, I don't know as it brought disgrace upon our country, but it tends to prove the fact that so many of the young men of America didn't have the concept of liberty and freedom as sponsored by our own beloved country.  This was such a shock to our leaders that a program was instituted throughout the country, which still carries on, to better prepare our young people to meet the future, both physically and mentally.  I was disillusioned at what took place.

Always in my life I have thought that a “Yankee” or an American was just about the greatest of everything in the world.  I have always been a kind of hero-worshipper anyway, and a great football player or a great baseball player or something like that has been more or less my ideal.  Anything American was the best.  I still feel that way when it comes to my personal inward feelings.  I still have an affinity for that.

There was an episode that took place in the Korean War that was very hard for me to take, and hard for me to understand.  I am sure that it was much harder for those who were in it, who were called upon to endure the privations of that war, or any war for that matter.  After the war was over, the information concerning the behavior of our young men who had been captured by the Koreans (Communist Koreans) revealed the fact that they behaved most ashamedly and with almost cowardice.  In the interrogations that were made of our young men, there was less than 5% of them that even knew why they were fighting and what was meant by liberty and freedom and the America way of life.  Less than 5% of them were reactionary to the point that they wanted to fight to live, though they had been prisoners, and I know that they must not have had a very easy life.  But the official records also reveal that 38% of the American soldiers that were taken prisoners by the Koreans, who died in prison camps, didn't die from starvation or from any punishment.  They simply quit and laid down and died because they did not have the moral stability to fight.  This was the disgraceful thing about it all.  Nearly 4 out of 10 of the American prisoners died because they didn't have the will to live.  They did not have any reason or rhyme for what they were there for.

When this became known to our leaders, they immediately called into conference a great body of men and established in America what they called a physical fitness program.  Ezra Taft Benson and Marion D. Hanks and several others from the Church were called upon and they are still serving on it.  I was glad to see that President Kennedy has reinstated this program among our young people.

You might say, “What has that to do with us?” It doesn't have a great deal to do with us except that I would feel rather embarrassed, as a leader of the Church, if any one of our missionaries did not know why he was in the mission field, and all you could say is, “I am here preaching the Gospel and I have been sent out here. I know the Gospel is true and I have a testimony of it.”  If that is all you could say, you don't have the full meaning for the purpose of missionary work.

I have always felt that if you would place in the minds of anybody the reason for doing things and the purpose behind it, you wouldn't have to worry about what that person would do.  If you young men and women know why you are here and why the Lord is so anxious for us to preach the Gospel today, and then would ask yourselves a number of questions connected with that, such as:  Why is it that you are born today instead of 2,000 years ago?  Why is it that you are sitting in this room today and were for some reason, not born in the day of Moses or in the day when Christ was upon the earth?  Or do you think that is just something haphazard – that it just happened that way – that nobody had anything to do with it?  You would ask another question maybe:  Why is it that you are white and not colored?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?  Who had anything to do with your being born into the Church?  Why not born a Chinese or a Hindu or a Negro?  Is God such an unjust person that he would make you white and free and make a Negro cursed under the cursing of Cain, that he could not hold the Priesthood of God?  Who do you think decided and what is the reason behind it?  Then maybe you would ask yourselves another question:  Why is it that you were kept in the Spirit World until the last dispensation to come forth among the children of men?  Was there any reason for that, and who  decided it?

When you begin to get the answers to these questions, then perhaps you will begin to understand why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached in the world today, and why the plan of salvation is taking its affect upon people.  I think that every missionary ought to know the answers to those questions.  When he does know the answers, he stands before the Lord without excuse to go forth and labor with all his strength to serve the Lord.

There isn't anyone in this room that would have the fantastic notion that this life is of any great duration.  This life is merely a pinpoint or speck on the eternity of man's existence.  It is over so fast that it is merely a short period of time in the existence of eternal life of man here upon the earth – just a few short hours of the Lord's time.  To us it is many thousands of years.

I want to talk with you just briefly about this, not with any information that you would convey to your investigators, but that you, yourselves, may have a better understanding of what we are doing in the mission field today, and why it is that we come to you with encouragement to work with all your strength to get the people into the Church and why we set goals.  It isn't for the purpose of a goal.  That is just a kind of game between us to become physically motivated to go out and to do our best and work as a team and as a mission.  The real purpose behind this is more far reaching than that.

I will read to your from the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, “And the Lord said unto me,” speaking to Abraham, “These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they,” indicating that in the pre-existence there are three divisions of spirits.  “These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.”

This statement of Abraham's is directly connected with the degrees of glory because we taught that when people die, all shall be resurrected who are born in this life – sons of perdition and all.  They are then, after the Spirit World, assigned into one of these three degrees of glory – the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial.  Others who were spun off who can no longer repent, and because they can no longer repent, they can become Sons of Perdition and are not worthy to go into a degree of glory.  The consequence of this is that they shall go with Lucifer and the disembodied spirits who never were permitted to take upon themselves a body of flesh and bones.

You recall the scripture that missionaries very often use in Corinthians when Paul is speaking of the three divisions of people.  We often use that scripture as a resurrection scripture but we do not apply it properly. If you will read it carefully it says, “Such are they in the resurrection,” which means that Paul is calling to the attention of those who listen to him, that there are three degrees of glory of people who are in preparation on the earth while they live here.  Now let's suppose, to make this more plain, that the earth would end at this instant; that there would be no one upon the earth; that life would cease and that judgment was immediate.  Obviously the people who had been living on the earth would be assigned to one of these three places.  Therefore, the people are the embryos of these three kingdoms.

The suggestion here by Abraham is that they were born into this life with the same degree of division.  There were three divisions of mankind in the pre-existence, and when you are born into this life, you are born into one of three divisions of people.  There is an imposed judgment placed upon everyone who leaves the Spirit World, just as there will be when they leave this life and go into one of the three places.  When they left the Spirit World, they had already been judged by what they had done in the Spirit World and in their previous life.  When you understand that, you know then that God is not unjust to cause a righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black race, or to be cursed as one of the other people of the earth who has been cursed.  Everything is in order.  The procreation of man is orderly and is in accordance with the plan of life and salvation.

In keeping with this thought, when Noah went into the ark, here again he took with him his three sons – one representing the chosen lineage, the second representing the lineage of adoption, and the third representing the cursed lineage.  Thereafter, when men began to be born again into this life, they were born through one of these three sons of Noah, either through the lineage of Shem, Japheth or Ham.

I suppose you often may have heard missionaries say it, or have asked the question:  Why is a Negro a Negro?  And you have heard the answer:  “Well, they must have been neutral in the pre-existence or they must have straddled the fence.”  That is the most common saying – they were neither hot nor cold, so the Lord made them Negros.  This, of course, is not true.  The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence.  This is the reason why you have Negros upon the earth.

You will observe that when Cain was influenced by the power of Lucifer to follow him to fall down and worship him in the beginning, it was then that the Lord came to him and said, “Cain, if you will abide the law – if you will keep the commandments, you too can be acceptable to me.”  But Cain rejected the counsel of God.  He rejected again the Priesthood as his forebearers had done in the preexistence.  Therefore, the curse of the pre-existence was made institute through the loins of Cain.  Consequently you have then, the beginning of the race of men and women into which would be born those in the pre-existence who had rejected the Priesthood of God.

There was another division in the pre-existence – those who were not valiant in the acceptance of the Gospel.  You see, there is a great difference between one who accepts and one who accepts and does something about it.  We had a division in the pre-existence who did not reject the Priesthood, neither did they fully accept the plan of salvation that was advanced by the Christ.  They, therefore, in accordance to the plan of the Gospel, became those of the lineage of adoption.

I want to read to you a very important scripture in the Old Testament.  We talk about studying books and reading manuscripts to prepare ourselves to teach the Gospel, but there are very few missionaries who ever study they Old Testament.  The 10th chapter of Genesis, according to my information, has had at least 2,000 volumes written about it – just about this one chapter.  It is so important because the whole plan and purpose of life was understood by the ancient people of Israel and they knew and understood what was meant by the teachings of the Old Testament here given to us by Moses.  I want to read something to you and make an explanation. “And Ham, the father of Canaan,” this is in the 9th chapter of Genesis, “saw the nakedness of his father and told his two his two brethren without.  And Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and went backward and they saw not their father's nakedness.”  Now, that is a Jewish story – that is a Hebrew story, in legend form, that merely implicates the fact that Ham reinstated the curse of the pre-existence when he rejected the Priesthood of Noah, and in consequence of that, he preserves the curse of the earth.  Therefore, the Negros to be born thereafter or those who were to become Negros were to be born through the loins of Ham.

All of this is according to a well worked out plan, that these millions and billions of spirits awaiting in the pre-existence would be born through a channel of race of people.  Consequently the cursed were to be born through Ham.  We cannot accept this story literally because, in order to understand that, you have to read the Pearl of Great Price very carefully.  Because, in the early days when the Egyptian government was established under its first rulers, the Pharaohs, they set up a system that was exactly like the Priesthood of God.  It was exactly like the Patriarchal Order, but they said, knowing that they could not have the birthright, they thought to capitalize on the form, or the order of administration.  The Pearl of Great Price tells us specifically that they knew that they could not hold the Priesthood, yet they used the type of organization.  Gradually the sons of Pharaoh began to denounce that concept and assumed unto themselves that they were the princes and not the descendants of Shem.  There is a great deal more to it than that, but I wanted to point this out to you that all of this that we talk about with people is not just merely a little message that we proclaim to them; but all that we are doing is part of a great plan that was inaugurated under the same direction of the Christ in the pre-existence.

Listen to what Noah said to his other two brethren:  “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.  And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”  And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.”  Who is Shem?  Shem is who is known as the father of the Shemitics or the Semitics.  He became the father of the children of Israel.  Through the loins of Shem's descendants, were born Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and then twelve sons of the twelve princes of Israel.  Therefore, Shem became the father or the progenitor of those who were to be born into this life who were the noblest of the intelligences who Abraham speaks of here when he said, “Notwithstanding that these two spirits are intelligent and one is more intelligent than the other – there is still another spirit or another division that is more intelligent than both of them.”  Then the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; and the Lord saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them and said:  These I will make my rulers, for he saw that they were good, and he said unto me; Abraham, thou art one of them:  thou wast chosen before thou wast born.”  This is true with everyone who fits into the category of Israel.  This is a part of the plan the world does not know anything about.  The Christian churches never mention it.  They never teach it because they know nothing about it.

Noah made another promise at this point and he said, “God shall enlarge Japheth, who was the eldest son, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.”  (tent or house).  In those days that is the only thing they lived in.  “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the house of Shem.”  What is the house of Shem?  The House of Israel.  Therefore, the descendants of Japheth shall be enlarged and they shall be permitted to dwell in the House of Israel.  Therefore, we call the descendants of Japheth the children of the adoption.  Now, who are the descendants of Japheth?  The descendants of Japheth are in all of Europe.  They are in America; they are in Japan and Korea.  They are in India and all these people can be traced.  For example, we have here the generations of Shem as the Lord gives it to us in the tenth chapter of the book of Genesis.  Those ancient prophets were careful to preserve those generations, and those genealogies, knowing their full meaning which the world does not understand but which we know by revelation from the Lord.

“Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth:  and unto them were sons born after the flood.  The sons of Japheth; Gomer” they are the French; “and Magog,” they are the Slavs; “and Madai,” they are the Hindu, the Korean, the Indian, the Japanese and the Phillipenos.  We know who the people are who migrated eastward through India in the area of the Tungus and then into Korea and Japan.  This is the reason today why we are having such tremendous success among the Koreans and the Japanese, because it is the day the Gospel is to be preached to them.  Then he goes on to say, “Javan” the people of Greece and Italy and of Turkey, “and Meschech”, the Meshechites, the Russians, “and Tiras,” the Siberians.  These are the descendants of Japheth.

The day was to come, according to Noah, that these people and their descendants would come in and dwell in the tent, or the house, of Shem, or the House of Israel.  You have to know what the Lord is doing today in preaching the Gospel unto the Gentiles, because this is the day of the Gentile.  They are the people of Europe.  They are the people of America.  This is the time of the Gentile.  Only one portion of the House of Israel is being called, and they are the children of Ephraim.

Everyone of you here, I assume, has had a Patriarchal Blessing.  Is there anyone here who is not of the lineage of Joseph?  You know what I mean?  They are the only ones of the House of Israel that are being called – the lineage of Joseph, through Ephraim, and there is a reason for that.

I want to mention again, the teaching of Christ unto the Nephites.  You will find this in the 21st chapter of 3rd Nephi; the sign of the Father's work, the glorious destiny of the repentant Gentiles, the condemnation predicted for the impenitent and the coming of the New Jerusalem or the city of Zion.  And the Lord himself, speaking unto the Nephites said this:  “And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place – that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O House of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion.”  Then he goes on to tell that the first of this day shall be the day of the Gentiles, and you read that entire chapter.  I won't take the time to do it, but he says, “in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.”  (The Prophet Joseph Smith).  “But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them.  Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.”  The Prophet Joseph Smith suffered martyrdom but he was not harmed, and he said to his brother in Carthage prison, just before he was shot:  “Fear not, brethren.  They may take our lives and destroy the body, but they cannot kill us.”  This is what the Lord was saying here.  If you read the rest of the chapter, you will read how the Gospel is to be taken to the Gentiles.  The Lord said in verse 22:  “But behold if the Gentiles will repent,” meaning who”?  The French, the German, the Norwegian, the Yiddish, the Finlander, the people of Denmark and the people all over the countries of Europe.  “If they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance.”  This was spoken of before by Nephi, and you will read it in the 13th and 14th chapters of the Book of Mormon, where the Lord makes plain that the day will come when the Gentiles will receive the gospel and will come in and be numbered among the Children of Israel.

I will just read one of these scriptures, although there are many found in 1st Nephi, the 14th chapter, starting with the first verse:  “And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles;” let me explain now again who the Gentiles are.  In the eyes of the Jew, anyone who is not a Jew is a Gentile.  But correctly speaking, the Gentiles are the descendants of the House of Japheth, the oldest son of Noah.  The cursed people are the descendants of Ham.  The chosen people are the descendants of Shem the second of the three sons of Noah.  Through these lineages the spirits that compare with their station are born in this life.  This is why you have colored people, why you have dark people and why you have white people.  The Lord is speaking of the Gentiles. “And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles,” the descendants of Japheth, “shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks.”

In other words, where they have resisted the church, resisted conversion, the Lord will remove the stumbling blocks, “And if they harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be a blessed people.”  You see, this is the promise that was made anciently by Noah when he blessed Japheth. Because why?  Because he did not rebel against the Priesthood that Noah held, like Ham did, neither did Shem.

We have a fulfillment of this scripture.  When the Kirtland Temple was finished, there were a number of ancient prophets that made their appearances in the temple.  The Christ was the first to come and receive the temple, and gave instructions to Joseph Smith many of which we have never been privileged to know about.  Following this, there appeared unto them, Moses, and then came Elias and then came Elijah, each of them committing the keys of their specific work.  Let me call your attention to the key of Elias.  In the first place, who is Elias?  Elias is Noah.  Here we have the same one who gave the covenant unto Japheth anciently, that he would be blessed and that he would come in and dwell in the house of Shem.  He returned to the earth to give the key unto the prophet Joseph Smith, to fulfill the promise to Abraham, that through the loins of Abraham, or the chosen seed, all of the children of the earth would be blessed.

There is another thing that you must understand for yourselves, to understand this whole thing, and that is that this life, or the day of this life, so far as the Gospel is concerned, begins the day you were born and ends after the period of the Spirit World – not when you die in this life.  So the day of this life, so far as the plan of life is concerned is from the day you were born until the end of your period in the Spirit World.  For this reason then, we can function and carry on the program than the Lord has intended in the Spirit World, so that they can be preached to, and have work done for them here upon the earth and that work will be binding in the worlds that are to come.

Now I want to go back again to the statement of Abraham and to emphasize here the importance of what we are doing.  “Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers.”  All right, what did the Lord mean by that?  I call to your attention now, the washing and anointing that you received in the temple.  All of you have been through the temple, I assume.  When you went into the washing an anointing room where you were washed and anointed with water and oil, you were given a new name, and you were promised that some day you would be called up to be a King and a Priest or Queen and Priestess.  Don't ever suppose that it is for this life.  It is not.  It is for the next life, and the Lord is preparing today, the rulers that will be the administrators of these degrees of glory after the Spirit World.  The consequence of this is that the Celestial Kingdom must be peopled first because it becomes the kingdom of administration; so all of it becomes a part of the plan.

The Terrestrial Kingdom will receive its administration through the Christ and the Melchizedek Priesthood, and there will be a system of government established upon that kingdom.  The Telestial Kingdom will receive its administration through the ministering angels of the Terrestrial Kingdom, and they will have their form of government, but they will exist and live under a government.  They will be controlled by laws and regulations of advancement and development and growth all in accordance with the plan of the Lord – the same in the Terrestrial and Celestial Kingdoms.

Now let us suppose that we were a board of directors here today and we were going to establish a vast corporation that would hire millions of men and women.  Would we go out and hire all these men and women right at the outset, or would we first build an administrative building and hire our executives or administrators, and then place them over to control and govern?  It is the same thing in the plan of life.  The Celestial Kingdom must be founded first because it becomes the kingdom of administration.  The Lord has revealed these things to us.  They are very plain, and what we are striving for today is to find those whom the Lord wants to make His rulers.

You like to think, I know, and I do too, that the Gospel is going to be received by everyone, but it isn't.  I call to your attention to the statements of Christ when He said, “Straight is the way and narrow the gate, and few there be that find it.”  There won't be many but these the Lord has chosen in the preexistence.  If they are worthy and prove their worthiness in this life and this probation, then they receive the endowment.  When they get the endowment, they are promised that they will be leaders.  We call them Kings and Priests, but the correct word in our terminology would be administrators, a leader, an executive who will have power to govern and control the millions and millions of people who will go into these other degrees of glory.

Now you see how the plan opens up, and there is purpose and meaning as to what we are doing.  I have often said this, “It is a frightening thought but it is undoubtedly true, that only those who are worthy of leadership will enter the Celestial Kingdom because that is the Kingdom of administration.  Others who are less valiant, who do not have the qualities of leadership and direction, will necessarily have to settle for the Terrestrial Kingdom.

I don't know whether the knowledge or the revelation of these things will have an effect upon you as a missionary, but I know that it has an effect upon me because, if I am to fulfill my destiny and my purpose here in this mission (life), as has been given to me, and proven to me by my pre-existent identity, then I would do everything in my power to measure up to what I was in the pre-existence because if we could this day, by some miraculous means be permitted to see who we were, I wouldn't be President Dyer up there, or you wouldn't be Elder Smith or Brown or President Gunderson.  Oh, no.  You would be someone else, and the day will come when you will know who you are, because you are a person of nobility.  You may not fully know that now but you were a person of nobility in the preexistence.  If you were not, you would have been born into one of these other channels, and you would not have been born in this day and age because the Lord has withheld the choice spirits of the preexistence to come forth in this, the last dispensation and the reason for this is obvious.  Why?  Because in the world will be just that many righteous spirits who supported and sustained Him, and who accepted Him in the pre-existence.  That is why today I am telling you now to preach the Gospel to the people.  They do not need to have long teaching.  These people today who are accepting the Gospel know all about it because they have been selected to know.  That is why they recognize it when they feel the charge and the impact of testimony and spirit.  Then it all unfolds to them and many of them are even more brilliant than we are because of the place which they had.

This is not like any other day in the history of the world.  The Lord now is preparing to establish His Kingdom – the kingdom that will govern the earth for 1000 years before we go into the judgment period that leads into the establishment of the degrees of glory.  In consequence of that, He has wisely chosen the ones that are to come into the world in this day and age.  It is a battle.  He fought the power of Lucifer, in the pre-existence.  He had to use His best spirits to defend Him, and here again He will have to do the same thing and He knows that. Now what does that mean in a probation?

In the wisdom of our Heavenly Father, He has made this life a probation which means that a person who is born in a lower division can accelerate through this life to a higher division.  For example, if a colored person, being born into the Telestial division, will receive and accept the Gospel he can be elevated to the Celestial division or the Terrestrial division.  That is the purpose of a probation.  That is why the Lord set the plan of the Gospel, so that those who had not merited it in the pre-existence, may merit it here through this life of probation.  Don't you see that?  Don't you see the purpose of the probation, the planning of the Gospel, to provide even this last opportunity in this life while men are taking upon themselves the element of a body, to have another chance to improve their place over what they had done in the pre-existence?

Now I want to read to you from the Book of Mormon on that.  This scripture will have new meaning to you, I am sure, as you understand the things that I have spoken.  The prophet Alma understood this very plainly, and I want you to pay particular attention to what he says.  This is found in the 24th chapter, beginning with the 31st verse.  I am sure you have read it, but let's read it now for this concept. “Yea, I would that you would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer, for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation.  And therefore if you will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.”  Don't you see?

All a man has to do is repent and open his heart to the Lord and immediately the plan will be made known to him.  That doesn't say the missionary will make it known to him.  The power of the Holy Ghost will make it known unto him.  He already knows it, because he stood in the councils of heaven and supported and sustained this plan.  He recognizes Christ.  He recognized the prophets, etc.  “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God.”

If life did not extend beyond the grave, then why did Christ go to the Spirit World, undoubtedly where Elder Wheat went.  Isn't it something that he was driving on the highway doing missionary work, and in the twinkling of an eye he was doing missionary work in the Spirit World.  He had changed from life to death still a missionary.  It came upon him and he will never know what happened.  I know as well as I know anything that he is preaching the Gospel there.

Many of the people in the world like the descendants of Meschech who are living in Russia, live and die without hearing the Gospel and go to the Spirit World, because their government won't let us do it here.  Then the descendants hear of it and they themselves wield a great influence.  In this way the Gospel is preached to all nations, kindreds and tongues.

“Now behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meed God; behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”  Now listen closely:  “And now as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end.”  What is the end?  The end of the Spirit World in this life.

“For after this day of life,” or from birth until the end of the Spirit World, “which is given us to prepare for eternity,” meaning if we do not improve our time while in this life, “then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”  Do you see how plain this is?  If we do not improve ourselves from one division to another, born into the world in a lower division, improving to one of the higher, then we can do nothing about it.

“If we do not improve our time and our place in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”  It is just as plain and simple as anything can be simple.

I wanted to talk to you about that today because I want you to know the reason why you are preaching the Gospel.  There is a purpose behind it and, knowing of your nobility, what kind of a missionary are you going to be from this day to the end of your mission?  I know what kind you want to be.  There will be no more wasted time because it is imposed upon you – the necessity of continuing you nobility, that you may prove your place.  That you may be a ruler and a king and a queen and a priestess, as you were promised in the temple of God, if you are faithful in the fulfilling of you obligations.

I have always thought and have proven the point many times, that if you will place into the mind of a boy or a girl, firmly that they are noble persons born of noble heritage in the pre-existence, they will never stoop to anything that is sordid.  They just won't do it. You don't need the preaching and the harassments of young people.  All you need to do is accept that as your ideology, and what you do from now on will be the important thing, that you may not have known before, but you know them now, because the Spirit bears record. I bear record of their truthfulness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

16 comments:

  1. I read this talk many years ago and I was just in the process of re-typing it so it would be more legible for my grandchildren. I think this talk is life changing. I read it to my last son as he left for his mission a few years ago. Thank you so much for posting it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. readers would do well to be cautious about the use of the above talk. See the note below published by Elder Dyer 8 or nine years after copies of this talk began circulating.

    "The author, while serving as president of the European Mission, during which time (1961-2) this volume was originally published, delivered an address to the missionaries of the Norwegian Mission at Oslo, based upon the materials contained in "The Day of the Gentile." This talk, taped at the time, has in various ways and places been published and republished in mimeographed and printed form under the title of, "For What Purpose," without the editing and approval of the author, except in one instance.
    This has resulted in the distribution of many thousands of copies. As might be expected, without editing, this distribution from many sources has resulted in some changes which do not reflect in a true light the knowledge and understanding of the author on certain subjects."
    (Alvin R. Dyer, The Meaning of Truth, rev. ed., p.ii, 1970)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to wonder who the "..except in one instance." was? Any ideas?

      Delete
    2. um...at one time the talk was published as a pamphlet by the church and available for purchase along with other tracts.

      Delete
  3. Anon, thanks for the word of caution and the references.

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  4. They'd do well to be cautious especially because the talk contains a good deal of racism, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. you think the world isn't racist by design?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why do Mormons continue to endorse racist teachings such as Dyer's, ones that Church leaders have consistently refuted for over 30 years?

    The idea that blacks are of a cursed lineage or were less-valiant in the pre-existence is complete and utter bull, and those that continue to promote them are no less racist than the uninspired church leaders that preceded them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. anonymous march 5...you don't know your doctrine.

    The First Presidency has issued only three official letters on "the Negro Question" (a term used by them in regards to the Church and the priesthood-ban on ordaining men of black African lineage). These letters reflect the "official" doctrine and policy of the Church. One can see by reading the 3 official First Presidency letters that:

    *Official Church doctrine [belief] said that Negroes are the descendants of Cain, and because of that they (Cainites) could not hold the Priesthood until the Abelites [descendants of Abel who was killed by Cain] first had the opportunity.

    *Official Church policy [practice] was that the Priesthood-ban was "of the Lord" and was instituted because Negroes were considered to be the descendants of Cain and under his curse; which included a ban on the Priesthood.

    *One day the curse would be removed and "the Negro" would receive all the blessings of the Temple and Priesthood [NOTE: the term "Negro" was considered the respectful term when these statements were issued].

    *The last official statement (Official Declaration 2 in the Doctrine & Covenants) does not repudiate the Curse of Cain doctrine nor the Priesthood-ban policy, but merely says the "time has come" that the restriction should be removed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I came across this talk in the mission field and was mostly interested in what it said about blacks. I agree with the above comment that says there were no fence sitters; we preach that everyone's here because they chose to follow Jesus, and I believe that that's true. That Ham married a descendant of Cain is indisputable; and that Ham's descendant, Pharaoh, was righteous but couldn't hold the priesthood is also indisputable. Everything else is speculation. We sometimes guess at reasons for commandments when the Lord has offered none, nor is it required of Him. This practice is both fruitless and false.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's interesting that many of those who delight in the fairness of a three-tiered system for the next life find the existence of such system repugnant in this life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's a most interesting talk. I have a typed copy of this talk obviously taken from the reel to reel as they listened to it. The paper used is like rice paper and not used any more. It's a utah brand I can't make out. I'm guessing it was typed in Utah some time shortly after the talk was given in 1961.
    I say that because the person typing it, went over it again to correct spelling and punctuation errors as they obviously listened a second time to the information. If they were copying from a previously typed copy, it should contain far less errors than it does.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are always "fence-sitters." Righteousness exists on a spectrum. Those whose sins could be potentially redeemed by the future Atonement were allowed to move on to the next estate. Those whose sins were too egregious were not. There is a theory that the "third part" of the host of heaven doesn't mean a mathematical third. Just a "third part." That there were 3 sections of people. The righteous, the good enough to move on, and those that weren't. That last third part could not continue to the next estate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Third-part: I hadn't heard that before. Thank you.

      Delete
  12. I would hope that the official statement, issued this week, puts to rest the racism that has infected the church for far too long. (Here is the link, in case you missed it: http://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood )

    I found this link on a post about how needed the statement was, but it was mostly curiosity, to see what lengths people had to go to, to justify racism, that led me to read all of the talk. Knowing the post was published in the last few years, I kept thinking, that by the time we got to the comments, there would be a basic denial of this faulty "doctrine."

    As someone whose grandparents struggled with the racism, of the pre-1978 ban, and a grandmother who almost left the church because she did not believe that her Jewish/Catholic parentage made her better than anyone else, I was always taught that the change in 1978 was long overdue.

    I had a seminary teacher who taught us that racism in the church might take a generation or two, to completely eradicate, that we (as the future leaders at the local level, and possibly farther up) must take a stand, and nit let racism influence our friendships, business relationships and choices, or our chance to learn from the experiences of black members, both during the ban, and after it was lifted. I believe it is absolutely vital that we recognize that the ban was not part of the restoration, and that Joseph Smith had welcomed black men and women as members, and that Joseph publicly ordained black men as Elders, not by accident, but because he had the prophetic vision to know that a man's skin color tells us nothing about whether he is righteous.

    In the years since the ban was lifted, I have had beautiful experiences, with dedicated members of the church who are African, and if African descent. While previous statements have not been quite as clear about whether the doctrine taught in this post was wrong, there are many statements by General Authorities, stating that the ban was not based on doctrine. I would hope that all members of the church would dismiss these blatant teachings of racism, no matter who said them. The comments here help me understand why it was vital to say bluntly, that racist ideas about the ban have always been speculation, no matter who said them or what tgeir calling was, or is.

    Andy, I hope that in light of the new statement put out by the church, that you will include a link to it, and a clear statement that unequivocally states that while this may be a historically accurate account of what was said, that it is not the teachings of the current Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that has been officially disavowed, as racist and not in line with gospel doctrine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia,

      Thank you. I appreciate your comments. I will copy link at the head of the post.

      Andy.

      Delete