“We are the offspring of God, and God in these last days has seen fit to place us in communication with himself. He has, through the revelations of himself and of his Son Jesus Christ, by the ministry of holy angels and by the restoration of the holy priesthood which emanates from God, and by which he himself is governed, placed us in a position whereby we can fulfil the object of our creation. (“Chapter 1: , 1)
We have discussed in earlier blogs, Who am I and where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where am I going? But President John Taylor, the 2nd called prophet, seer and revelator in these latter-days, has such a wonderful testimony of the plan of salvation. His teachings portray such a deep love of Jesus Christ and of the gospel, one can’t help but feel the joy.
If I can do nothing more for you than this in your journey for further light and knowledge of Jesus Christ, I hope that I am able to impress upon you the following:
“In one point of view, man appears very poor, weak, and imbecile, and very insignificant: in another point of view, he appears wise, intelligent, strong, honorable, and exalted. It is just in the way that you look at a man that you are led to form your opinions concerning him. In one respect, he appears, as it were, as the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven. He is changeable in his opinions, in his thoughts, reflections, and actions. He is idle, vain, and visionary, without being governed by any correct principle. He comes into existence, as it were, like a butterfly, flutters around for a little while, dies, and is no more.
“In another point of view, we look at him as emanating from the Gods—as a God in embryo—as an eternal being who had an existence before he came here, and who will exist after his mortal remains are mingled and associated with dust, from whence he came, and from whence he will be resurrected and partake of that happiness for which he is destined, or receive the reward of his evil deeds, according to circumstances. …
“If we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God, and being his son, he is, of course, his offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryonic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father . . .
“[Man] stands erect on the earth in the likeness of his great Creator; beautifully constructed in all his parts, with a body possessing all the functions necessary for the wants of humanity; standing, not only by right, but by adaptability, beauty, symmetry and glory, at the head of all creation; possessing also mental powers and the capacity of reflecting upon the past, with capabilities to reason upon cause and effect, and by the inductive powers of his mind, through the inspiration of the Almighty, to comprehend the magnificent laws of nature as exhibited in the works of creation; with the capacity also of using the elements and forces of nature, and of adapting them to his own special benefit; and by his powers penetrating into the deep, ascending into the heavens, rushing with mighty velocity across the earth, making use of the separate or combined forces of nature with which he is surrounded and subjugating them to his will; as, likewise, by his intelligence, he has dominion over the fishes of the sea, over the fowls of the air, and over the cattle.” (“Chapter 1: The Origin and Destiny of Mankind,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 1)
Animals do not have dominion over us, we have dominion and guardianship over them and all the earth. We are to care for and tend the earth, but we are not to crush who we are in the process. We do stand at the head of all creation, as is explained in the Creation story in Genesis, Moses and Abraham. But even with the understanding we have of the creation of this world and our role in it, we cannot be saved except through Jesus Christ. He is the only path to eternal salvation, and by no other way may we return into the presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Without Him we will grow old, weak, infirm and eventually die. Had Jesus Christ not descended from His heavenly throne and suffered the indignities of a cruel and unbelieving people, paid the price of justice in the Garden of Gethsemane, been crucified on Golgotha and rose again from the tomb of Joseph of Aramathea . . . we would remain old, weak, infirm and eventually die. We would have remained forever in our sins, buried in the grave, unable to return to our heavenly home and the presence of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.
It is for the exaltation of mankind that Jesus Christ was sent to earth. It is for the salvation of His children Heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price in our behalf.
If the God of heaven and earth has done so much for you, can you do less for yourself? Please, remember who you are and recognize the divine spark which exists with you. Remember that you are not an insignificant piece in God’s ultimate creation. You are critical and all that has been done by God in the heavens has been done for you.
Today, I ask you to stand and shake off the troubles of the earth. Borrow of the Balm of Gilead, kneel and offer your gratitude, worries, troubles, hopes, dreams and fears unto the Father . . . and listen. Once you have listened then follow. You are a child of God and denying it will not make it less true. He believes you can do this, you can triumph over mortality. Now you have to believe it too.