Chapter Four: The Peopling of the Earth and the Law of Agency
Divine records reveal the placement of Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1). In order to bring about a fall, which was necessary to fulfill the purposes of earth-life existence, they had to deliberately act of their own volition. This is why the scriptures tell us clearly that Adam was not deceived. Adam had to submit to the fall of his own free will. It could not be thrust upon him. Adam was not deceived; the woman was deceived; but Adam was not deceived, even though he transgressed.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression (I Timothy 2:14).As stated, had he been deceived and unknowingly had partaken of the forbidden fruit, his act could not have brought about the fall. This, of necessity, was the product of the exercise of agency. To explain this principle, reference is made to the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the exercise of his agency. Concerning his life, he said:
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:18).He had the power to resist death, but he voluntarily gave his life so that he could bring about the atonement by the law and principle of free agency. Though we do not understand fully how the fall and the atonement are actually effected, we nevertheless accept as an important part of our faith the efficacy of these two act necessary to our salvation.
Thus when Adam and Eve, because of their deliberate willingness to do what they did, and especially in the case of Adam, partook of the fruit, something happened in their bodies that caused a deterioration, and they became mortal and as such their offspring would also be mortal. Thus the procreation of mankind began:
And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth (Moses 5:2).
Plan of Redemption
Adam and Eve of their own choice yielded to the commandment of God to multiply their own kind by bringing into the world by mortal birth the vast concourse of spirits who waited in the three pre-mortal divisions to be born into this mortal probation. Unto them was the plan of redemption given:
And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou has fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will (Moses 5:9).
Division In Birth Is Manifested
Unto Adam and Eve was born Cain, who no doubt was a spirit of a lower division of the pre-mortal realm. The processes of earth-life obedience to the gospel, necessary to return to God's presence, found Cain rebellious against the family order of priesthood (Moses 6). Even though the Lord counselled him in the way he could be accepted:
... Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?
If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted (Moses 5:22-23).But he rejected the Lord's counsel and persisted in his rebellion against the patriarchal order, described as the same priesthood that was in the beginning and would be in the end. And thus through the lineage of Cain henceforth were to be born those spirits who had received a lesser appointment by foreordination. Undoubtedly they had received this judgment of mortal birth because they had rejected the proposed patriarchal order of the priesthood in the pre-mortal realm.
Objections to the Gospel Plan
Obedient to the commandment of God, Adam called upon his sons to repent and not rebelling, to obey God:
Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
And the Lord God called upon men by the Holy Ghost everywhere and commanded them that they should repent (Moses 5:8, 14).But Cain hearkened not saying, "Who is the Lord that I should know him?" which disobedience led to an influence of Satan over him. Thus, yielding to Satan, Cain came under the influence of a priestcraft, or unrighteous dominion over others, such as to get gain by murder.
And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord.
And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers' daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.
And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear they brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for it they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that they father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands (Moses 5:18, 28, 29).
And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness (Moses 5:31).
The Sons of God
The sons of Adam who did not rebel, who repented, were called the Sons of God and had conferred upon them the priesthood, or that of righteous dominion, the behavioral principles of which gave them place in a patriarchal order (or that type of order that pertained to the relationship of Father over Son), throughout all generations.
Speaking particularly of this, following the murder of Abel by Cain, in the exercise of unrighteous or evil dominion, the birth and place of Seth, to whom God revealed himself, is referred to:
And he rebelled not, but offered an acceptable sacrifice, like unto his brother Abel (Moses 6:3).This was a behavioral act of obedience, involving righteous dominion.
The Family Order
Thus an order was established in the infancy of the earth-life experience of man pertaining to inter-relations between father and son and the son's son - the performance of which was preserved in a patriarchal book of remembrance which was a genealogy record of the Sons of God (Moses 6:5 and 8).
For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language (Moses 6:46).The Lord, in referring to this order, refers to it as the priesthood.
Now this same priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also (Moses 6:7).
The Sons of Men
But the "sons of men" seeking power and evil dominion did not partake of this order:
And the children of men were numerous upon all the face of the land. And in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed; and a man's hand was against his own brother, in administering death, and because of secret works, seeking for power (Moses 6:15).Because of such action:
Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him, and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God (Moses 6:49).For an explanation of unrighteous dominion, or priestcraft, which has been referred to, the Prophet Joseph received this revelation:
That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God (D&C 121:37:38).Thus it was with Cain in the beginning.
Righteous Dominion The Behavioral Patter of the Priesthood
As to righteous dominion, is given the behavioral pattern which involves the true function of the Priesthood:
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness and love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile -
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him who thou has reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
The Holy Ghost shall by thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever (D&C 121:41-46).Thus we learn that righteous dominion is synonymous with Priesthood, by which the obedient sons of Adam were bound by patriarchal order. The disobedient Cain and son were bound by a priestcraft. For this, Cain had a mark placed upon him for the overt act of murder.
And I the Lord said unto him: Whosoever slayeth thee, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And I the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him (Moses 5:40).
(Note: This constitutes an act of first degree murder.)
Curse upon Jews for the Exercise of Priestcraft
In passing, I refer to the curse placed upon the house of Judah as a people for the single incident of the exercise of priestcraft or unrighteous dominion:
But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified (II Nephi 10:5).This resulted in the following curse being placed upon them:
Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; and they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations (II Nephi 10:6).The curse was not as severe as that imposed upon Cain and his descendants, but nevertheless it was a curse, which has continued throughout these many centuries, caused by adhering to principles opposite to that of the priesthood.
In the case of Cain and his descendants, we learn by the following scriptures (direct revelation) that the lifting of the curse will not transpire at least until after the City of Zion has become a reality, concerning which Enoch speaks:
And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent;
And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them (Moses 7:12, 22).Of this we read in the Journal of Discourses,
Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings (Journal of Discourses 11:272; Brigham Young).
Birth Into Mortality in on an Ordered Basis
Birth into mortality in not a matter of chance occurrence or of uncalculated purpose. All is in accordance with a plan. Those who are in a lower division in the pre-mortal estate are born into this life under circumstances that best suit the opportunity to rise above that division, where the normal condition of their place has that encumbrance fitted to their own worthiness. Those who were in the less valiant division will be similarly born into mortality for the same intent of purpose. Those who were the noble ones, such as Abraham and such as all those who were born in the covenant of the patriarchal order, an order which was in the beginning and will be in the end (Moses 6:7), are consequently born into such a lineage of birth as will preserve their place which they had accepted in pre-mortality and are assigned to in mortality by foreordination.
[The book here says "See quotation on page 171 of this article." This is wrong. The original "The Meaning of Truth" published in 1961 actually had a page 171 that made sense. On that page is a reference to Compendiums of the Doctrines of the Gospel; see Foreordination. This particular reference corresponds to Chapter 8 of the book -- to be completed later in this blog.]
This explanation helps us to understand why there is a vast gradation of people upon the earth. Some are initially born to cursed lineages in varying degrees, such as the Negro, the Jew, and the Indian. Some are born to retarded civilizations although, as stated, within these lineages there are varying degrees.
For example, it is reported that in the northern part of India there is a rapidly diminishing people known as the Weddas. Had your spirit been born among them, your whole mortal life would have transpired in less than 21 years. Sixty percent of these people die before they reach the age of one. If you were fortunate enough to live a full 21 years, you would have had little or no memory. They can count only up to three or four and that by visual perception. They have only a few vocables in order to make themselves known.
The Parable of the Talents
Among the last of the parables related by the Lord before his crucifixion, is the parable of the "talents," which is often misused and the purpose of its true meaning lost. Some will say that the parable of the talents has to do with our educational, cultural, musical, or other personal traits or characteristics. There may of course be some meaning to this, but this does not seem to cover, in my judgment, its true meaning. I rather believe that the Lord is referring to the relative positions or divisions of mankind, as they come into mortality. Let us examine the two key scriptures of the parable which are most informative.
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.In other words, I believe if you interpret this correctly, unto those people who were of the noble lineage, based upon their pre-mortal achievement, he gave five talents.
And unto one he gave five talents.
. . . to another two.This category refers to those who were not so noble and great but still who did not rebel against the plan of the gospel in the pre-mortal estate, thus meriting birth into mortality to a condition indicative of two talents. For them to obtain five talents as with the first they would have to improve the two thus given. Let us say that these are potentially of the terrestrial kingdom unless they improve their place or talents (Alma 34:31-34) by abiding by laws of the celestial kingdom, represented by those who receive the foreordination of five talents. They will acheive no higher than the terrestrial kingdom by judgment, after mortality unless they retrograde to a lower Kingdom by judgment, for failing to maintain what they had. Even those with five talents can retrogress and lose their place.
And to another one.These are represented by still a lesser division, coming from pre-mortality. Among these are people who may never receive the fulness of the gospel and are heirs of the lesser or telestial kingdom after mortality. They too, as referred to in the parable, can improve their place, remain the same, or retrogress.
The pertinent key to the Master's words, as to the true meaning of the parable, is quoted:
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, . . . (Matthew 25:14, 15, 21-32).From this scripture we learn that the judgment concerning the use of talents, or mortal position to rise to a higher position, is finalized in the judgment of separating the people or mortal existence, according to the judgment meted out for the next estate. Here is the true meaning of the parable of the talents.