THE PROBATIONARY TEST OF MORTALITY
Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Address given at the University of Utah Institute of Religion January 10, 1982
I’m very pleased and honored to have this opportunity to meet and worship with you on this special occasion. Earlier, President Swinton intimated to me on the telephone that perhaps I’d like to say something here tonight that I had said recently at the Brigham Young University. I’ve been thinking of that since and have come to the conclusion that the students up here didn’t have the things to repent of that the Brigham Young University students had. I think I won’t say more upon that line. But I hope very much that I may be guided by the power of the Spirit to say what ought to be said tonight.
On any occasion where speakers in the Church get in tune with the Holy Spirit, they end up saying what the Lord wants to have said. Another way of expressing that is that they end up saying what the Lord would say if he personally were present. In a very literal and real sense, we’re the agents and representatives of the Lord. We have no message of our own. There’s nothing that I, as an individual, can devise which will ennoble, exalt or, above all, save another person. All things that are good and uplifting and that have saving virtue and power rest in the Lord. He has given us, as His servants, something that’s called the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and that entitles us to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead if we’re faithful and true. On any occasion that we manage to get in tune with the Spirit, we say what ought to be said on that particular occasion. Then, everyone who hears, who is in tune with the same Spirit, is receptive and believes and understands the expressions that are made. Our revelations say that when that situation exists where the speaker speaks by the power of the Spirit, and the hearers hear by the same power, perfect worship results. Now, I hope that’s what we can have here tonight in this very pleasant and wholesome setting where we join together.
I thought, if properly guided, I’d like to talk to you about a great test that everyone of us is obligated to take. I suppose that during our student days we’re acutely and particularly aware of testing processes. We do a lot of studying and preparation so that we can pass this test or that — whether it’s oral, a written comprehensive test, or whatever — for a degree. Let’s center our attention tonight on the greatest test that any individuals will ever be called upon to take in all eternity. That test is going to come, or does come, to every living soul born into the world, and it’s the test of mortality. We’re engaged in a mortal life at the moment. We’re living in a period that has been defined prophetically as a probationary estate — that language applying to the status and condition of man since the Fall.
Now, what I’d like to do, if I might, with your supportive and prayerful help, is give a broad overview of what is involved in the Plan of Salvation. If we can have that broad overview and have our minds centered on what the Lord has done and is in the process of doing for all of his children, then we can get in a position to know what we need to do in every field of activity in order to pass the test of this probationary estate.
Let me suggest some great concepts or truths which will have the effect of giving this overall view of the plan of eternal salvation. One way of approaching the subject would be to say that there are three great and eternal events that have preeminence over and supersede all others in importance from eternity to eternity. In all the eternities that have been or will be — as far as we’re concerned — there are three things that stand preeminent. We know a little about each one of them. We do not know very much about any of them, but we do know enough so that we can see the relationship that they have to each other and the effect they ought to have on us as individuals. These three events are the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. There are no events that have ever occurred in all eternity, or ever will, as important to us as individuals as the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, and the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement are wrapped together in one package to form what is called the Plan of Salvation.
Let’s begin our consideration here tonight by just going back to basics and stating some things that all of us, I hope, know and are aware of, but stating them anew in relation to other events with which they are connected so that we may get a comprehensive and well-integrated and well-woven together view of what’s involved in the great and eternal Plan of Salvation.
Obviously, we begin with the fact that we’re the offspring of God. We begin with the fact that God, our Heavenly Father, is a glorified, exalted, and perfected Being, who has all wisdom, all power, all might. In Him is the perfection of every godly attribute. He’s a resurrected being. The Prophet taught that God was the only supreme and independent being. In Him all fullness and perfection dwell. He said that He was omnipotent, omniscient, and by the power of His spirit, omnipresent — meaning that He has all power and knows all things. Through the indicated way, He is in and through and round about all things — He being, of course, a personal being, a personage of tabernacle who has a body of flesh and bones.
God enjoys a type, a kind, and a status of existence of life that is called eternal life, and eternal life consists of two things. It consists of, number one, life in the family unit. It consists, number two, of having the power, dominion, might, and omnipotence of the Father — all of which is described under the heading, “The Fullness of the Father,” or, “The Fullness of the Glory and Power of the Father.” Now, the name of that kind of existence is eternal life. You and I have the potential of gaining eternal life, meaning that it is within our power to advance from the state in which we now are to the state of glory and exaltation so that we will be like Him and live the kind of life that He lives — life in the family unit. Of course, that means celestial marriage and all that grows out of it. It means advancing, progressing, and growing from grace to grace as Christ Himself did as He worked out His salvation, until we become as God is. Well, that’s what is in store. God, our Father, ordained and established the system that would enable us to do that.
Joseph Smith said that God, Himself — finding that He was in the midst of spirits and glory — ordained laws whereby we might advance and progress and become like Him. The name of those laws is the Gospel of God — meaning God, our Eternal Father. We talk about the Gospel of Christ, and when we do it, what we mean is that the Lord Jesus adopted His Father’s plan. He espoused it, He promoted it, He became the central figure in it and worked out the Atonement so that salvation comes by Him. We properly call God’s great and eternal plan the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that we’ll center our attention in the Redeemer who did the things that put the plan into full operation. He’s the One who gave it efficacy and virtue and force by working out the infinite and eternal atonement. When Paul described it, he did it in the perfect language. He said, “The Gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh.”
Well, God ordained and established the Plan, and it had as its purpose the salvation of all His spirit children who would believe and obey, including His Firstborn Son, who is Christ. Christ Himself had to work out His salvation the same as all of us do. He was the Firstborn, and He had might and omnipotence and power. He obtained these things in the preexistence by His devotion and obedience there until He is described in the revelations as being like unto God.
Now, having in mind that there is this premortal existence in which we are the spirit children of God and that He is providing a system enabling us to gain eternal life, we note that He is the Creator of all things, that His program provided for a Fall, and that His plan required a redemption, an atoning sacrifice. We have the three things that I mentioned: the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, and He has given us a little knowledge about each one of them. We know enough now about the Creation so that we can understand what is involved in the Fall, and really, that’s all we know. We don’t have the capacity, in our present finite circumstances, to understand the Creation. It is beyond any mental or intellectual capacity that any living mortal has to comprehend or understand how God created the universe and how He created this earth. We know, in principle, that He is the Creator of worlds without number and that He did it by and through the Only Begotten. He has not given us the details. If He did, we would not be able to comprehend them. Someday we’ll get into a position where we can. We know certain things. We know the manner and form in which created things came into existence, and we know that in order to enable us to comprehend what was involved in the Fall. Now, that’s all the Lord has ever revealed about Creation — just enough to let us comprehend the doctrine of the Fall.
What we know about Creation is that all things were created in a paradisiacal state, a state that is higher than and superior to the state in which created things now exist. This applies to the earth and to all forms of life on the earth. There was no death in that day. Now, you have to understand that much about the Creation so that you’ll be able to comprehend what the Fall is. Creation was essential. If there had been no Creation, there would have been no earth. There would be no place for the spirit children of God to come and get a mortal body and undergo the probationary test of which we’re speaking, so Creation is first.
Secondly, is the Fall. We know enough about the Fall to enable us to understand what the atoning sacrifice of Christ is, and that’s about all that we know. We’re not able to comprehend, in it’s entirety, what the Fall of Adam was. But we do know this — that the Fall brought temporal and spiritual death into the world. There was neither temporal death nor spiritual death for man, or any form of life, prior to the Fall. The earth fell and Adam fell and all forms of created life fell, meaning that they changed from the state in which they were after they were created into a mortal state, and you fall downward, not upward. When you fall, you get into the state of mortality that now exists, and with this mortal type of existence came death and procreation. There was neither death nor procreation prior to the Fall, either for Adam or any form of life. Now, we know that concept. All we need to know about the Creation is what lets us know about how the Fall could operate. And all we need to know about the Fall is sufficient to enable us to understand how the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus operates.
The Atonement is founded on two great principles. On the one hand, the Atonement is possible because of the divine Sonship of the Lord, meaning that He was born into this world as the Son of God. If He hadn’t been born in that manner, He wouldn’t have been able to atone for the sins of the world. On the other side, the other foundation stone of the atonement, is the Fall of Adam. Adam brought temporal and spiritual death into the world. Christ came to ransom men from the effects of temporal and spiritual death. The ransom from the natural death is immortality. The ransom from the spiritual death is eternal life. Christ came to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, and He did it because death came by Adam, and life came by Jesus Christ.
The central thing in the whole gospel system is the atoning sacrifice of the Lord. There isn’t any single event that ever has occurred or ever will occur from Creation’s dawn, as long as eternity lasts, that in any way compares in importance with the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the great cornerstone of revealed religion. That is an act — again incomprehensible to us — performed by a divine being that had the effect of putting into operation and giving efficacy, virtue and force to the entire Plan of the Father. The Plan of the Father operates because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. If there had been no atonement, there would be no resurrection; meaning there would be no immortality. If there had been no atonement, there would be no eternal life, meaning that those raised in immortality would not then be raised unto eternal life, as the language of our scripture says. Everything that we have grows out of the atonement. Without it we would have nothing, the purposes of God would vanish away, and the reason for Creation itself would cease to exist. There isn’t any language that any mortal person has ever been given that enables him to express with sufficient definity, power, and ability the tremendous and glorious, infinite and wondrous import of the atoning sacrifice. The revelations refer to it as being “infinite and eternal.” No language can go beyond those two words.
All things center in the Atonement. Salvation itself, in all its forms, all that we have and are, centers in the Atonement. The Atonement grows out of the Fall, and the Fall comes because of the nature of the Creation that God our Father provided. I’m saying to you — in just giving a broad overview of what is involved — that the three greatest events in all eternity are the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement.
The Fall placed us in a state where we are described as being carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature. That means that we’re here in a state where we’re subject to evil, ill, devilishness, carnality, and all of the ills of the flesh — deliberately and advisedly so placed in order to have a probationary estate in order to have a test that grows out of preexistence. That state exists, and it’s mortality. In this mortal state the scriptures describe the human body as being corruptible. We have corruptible bodies and what that means is we have bodies that decay; and they’ll go back, in due course, to the dust. They’re not the perfect eternal bodies that exist in a celestial world. Paul talks about being raised from “corruption to incorruption;”-meaning in the resurrection — and from “mortality to immortality.” We’re going to get a different kind of a body in due course, but we’re in a corruptible state now. Being in a corruptible state, we’re subject to disease, afflictions, and all the ills and vicissitudes that go with mortal life. It is deliberately so ordained.
We’re here to get some experience — some experience that we couldn’t get in any other way. There are some things in life that can only be known by experience. There are some things that you can’t describe in language, that you can’t tell to someone else by any power of the intellect or persuasiveness of the tongue. There are some things that can only be understood by experience. I think, perhaps, the best illustration — at least the best I can think of–would be trying to describe color to a blind person. If someone were born blind and you had the obligation to explain to him what red, yellow, and blue were, you would utterly fail. There’s no way of using some language to get over to a person who’s never seen a ray of light what’s involved in color and the difference between one color and another. There are some things that can be known only by experience, and I’m using that as an illustration to apply to mortality. There are some things that can only be known, by an eternal offspring of Deity, by experience, and so we get a mortal state where we will experience disease, pain, afflictions, and sorrow. If we didn’t experience these, they would never become part of us and be engraven in our souls in the manner in which they will be. We’re here to get experience in mortality.
It’s common among us to say that life never was intended to be easy. You hear it said very frequently out in the world — by people without understanding and knowledge of the Plan of Salvation — that they can’t believe in a God who would permit war or they can’t believe in a God who would permit someone to suffer and die of cancer or something else. In the world, all that kind of an expression means is that the speaker has no comprehension whatever of what is involved in mortality, of why we came here, and the reason for our mortal being and existence. We’re here to get the kind of experience that could not have been gained in any other way. If we did not get this experience, we never could go on and become like God, our Father. We never could become immortal if we had not first been mortal. We could never have eternal life unless we got the kind of a body that God our Heavenly Father possesses. It’s all part of one cohesive plan. I say that to give an overview.
I want to say something else to give an overview. I’d like to compare the probationary experiences of preexistence with the probationary experiences of mortality. We lived as the spirit children of God in His presence While we were there, we had agency for one thing — freedom of choice, complete and untrampled. For another thing, He gave us laws, and these laws enabled us to advance or progress if we chose to obey them.
In the preexistence we lived in the presence of God. All of us have seen God, our Father. No person on earth lives who, back in that sphere, did not see the face of God, and we knew that all of the teaching that came from Him was His, that it originated with Him, that He was our Father. We were taught, obviously, by other people in pre-existence who represented Him in various schools, as it were, that we attended. But all of the truths were His, and we knew it. That kind of a life is described as “walking by sight.” Please note — we walked by sight because we knew the source of the teaching, and we were spirit beings.
We don’t understand everything about a spirit. We know a spirit is a man or a woman. We do know this: When we came down here into mortality, we came under circumstances where the curtain was drawn and we wouldn’t remember preexistence, and instead of walking by sight, we would walk by faith. That’s one thing.
Secondly, we would be subject to the ills of the flesh, and there would be passions, appetites, and desires planted in the mortal body that were not there when we were in the preexistent sphere. Now, that dramatizes the test between the preexistence and the test of mortality. Back there we walked by sight. Down here we walk by faith, and we have to believe and obey the Holy Gospel when it’s taught to us by the Lord’s representatives. We no longer have the personal knowledge that the truths are coming from God. Back there we were tried and examined and on probation as spirit beings. Down here we’re on probation as mortals, where appetites control our bodies, where we have lusts, and where we’re subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue, disease, sexual appetites, and all the rest. That makes this an entirely different kind of test than the one we took in preexistence.
You prepare for a test. We have no way of knowing how long we lived in the premortal sphere. It is inevitable that we lived there. It’s unavoidable to reach the conclusion that we lived there for an infinite period of time. We’ve heard some of the early brethren talk in terms of millions of years. It certainly was that. I would suppose that we can get some vision and understanding of how long we lived in the premortal life by just reciting some of the things that happened. We know that here’s a being who is called the Firstborn Spirit, who is the Lord Jesus, and that He lived there long enough to advance and progress to become like God and to become, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number. It’s implicit in that kind of a concept that long periods of time — totally beyond mortal conception — were involved. That means that we prepared, for what we would designate as an infinite duration of time, for the privilege and opportunity of coming down here and taking the test of mortality, and so this mortal life becomes the final examination for all of the life that we lived back there. We prepared and went to school. Now we’re taking the examination to see if we will be awarded the degree, and the degree — in this sense — is eternal life. Whereas, this mortality is the final examination for all that went before, in a manner of speaking. If you want so to designate it, this mortality is the entrance examination into the high state of glory and honor as found in the various kingdoms that are prepared.
What I’ve done by giving that broad overview of the Plan of Salvation (I think that’s what I’ve done) is to single out mortality and to designate this mortality as the most important part of all eternity. That’s why I said that we’re here, taking a test, and that this is the greatest and most important test that any person will ever take. This is a probationary estate.
I’ve talked about concepts and doctrines. I sat down this afternoon and pulled out of the theoretical blue, as it were, five fields. These fields I named spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical. It doesn’t make a particle of difference, really, how you outline these things. You can outline them in any way you’d like in order to get the concept or the overview. The fact is, that by outlining things in those five fields, you inevitably have a lot of matters that overlap. For purposes of getting the picture before us so that we’ll understand what is involved, what I’m saying is that everything that we do in this mortal life can appropriately, if we want to twist it and jam it into the outline, be put into one of the five heads that I have named.
Now, we’re undergoing a test. We’re going to be tested for everything in mortality. You don’t get tested in just one field and let the rest of life’s experiences go by the board. You get tested where the whole man, the whole personality, is concerned. We read a lot of things that, seemingly, are strange in the scriptures. Jesus says, “For every idle word that men shall speak they will give account in the day of judgment.” We’re going to be judged by the words that we speak.
The Book of Mormon designations and scriptures talk about the fact that we will be judged by our thoughts, by our words, and by our acts. What I’m saying is that in this mortal probation we’re going to be judged by everything that we do. Now, some things have far greater import than others. There isn’t any question in any Latter-day Saint mind that the most important field of judgment is the spiritual. We’re going to have to answer some questions where the spiritual is concerned. I don’t know what questions we’ll be asked and what we’ll have to answer, but I do know the general fields. When we’re judged in the realm of spiritual things, we’re going to be judged by what we thought of the Lord Jesus Christ, — that above all else — whether we accepted Him as the Savior and Redeemer, whether we took the counsel that He gave — “learn of me,” “take my yoke upon you,” and so on.
We’re going to be judged by whether we walk by faith. We’re going to be judged by the truths we believe, and if we don’t believe all the gospel truths that we should, there’s a deficiency. If we believe something and accept it as truth, which is not, that’s going to be taken into consideration in our judgment.
Now, I’m perfectly well aware of the theoretical postulates that go around about creation and evolution, and all the rest, and I know that the theories have changed radically from when I studied them here at the University of Utah to the day when you are now studying them. When your children and grandchildren study them they’ll be changed again, and every generation of teachers will think that they’re setting forth eternal, absolute, and ultimate truth. But nonetheless, these are the theories of men and they don’t accord in many respects with the revelations. They assume, for instance, that death has always been in the world, and so on.
Well, we’re going to be judged by what we believe, and we’re going to be judged by what we think about Joseph Smith. We’re going to be judged by whether we receive the Priesthood and magnify our callings. We’re going to be judged by our attitude towards the Church. The Church happens to be the agency that God has established on earth to administer the gospel and to raise a standard of truth and light to the world. If the Church says this or that on a moral issue-such as the ERA — and we take a different stand, we’re going to be judged by that when the day comes that we stand before the bar of Jehovah. We’re going to be judged in the spiritual realm by how many of the gifts of the spirit we manage to get into our lives.
There isn’t any real way to differentiate these headings. They overlap, and some items might be under other headings, but we’re going to be judged about moral things. That well could include under that heading all of the standards of the gospel — every principle of decency and sexual morality, every principle of honesty and integrity.
We’ve had a little fad sweeping Utah. I read in the paper — people who pretend to know — that Utahns were subject to more scam arrangements and financial abusive schemes than anybody else. Well, if we get involved in some of these pyramiding things, we’re going to be judged for the lack of sense and understanding and wisdom that we had in that field aside from the fact that we’ll probably lose everything that we put into it.
We’re going to be judged by social matters. I suppose that could include marriage relationships that we form, the fellowship that we have in this organization or that among our fellowmen, the service that we perform for others, how we operate in the programs of the Church, the institutes and the seminaries, the Relief Society and Priesthood quorums. We’re going to be judged by the power that we seek to get in political ventures and the wealth that we desire to acquire.
We’re going to be judged in an intellectual field, and certainly, that’s going to involve the seeking of truth and study. It’s going to involve false doctrine. I think that a good deal of the false doctrine that goes around is purely an intellectual enterprise in the hands of those who believe it. They rationalize this or that to make the conduct that they have harmonious. I can’t think of a better illustration of that than this Adam-God philosophy that goes around. People say they believe that Adam is God, that we worship him, and that he is the father of our spirits as well as the father of our bodies. They want to believe that, and the reason is that they can quote somebody of the past who seems to have said it and somebody of the present who denies it’s true. Then, they can say, “Well, Spencer Kimball says this and somebody of the past said something else, and I’ll choose to believe what somebody in the past said,” and that enables them then to say that somebody of the past believed in plural marriage and Spencer Kimball doesn’t. “And because the past prophets are true and the living prophets aren’t, I think I’ll enter plural marriage,” and, of course, they lose their souls. Now that’s just a perfect intellectual enterprise on their part to justify the lusts and appetites of the flesh.
Well, there are moral issues all over, and we’re going to be judged by them; there are intellectual pursuits, and we’re going to be judged by them. We’re going to be judged by physical things. We’re expected to do things in the physical field that are right. We have a revelation in which the Lord says all things unto Him are spiritual, and He’s never given a temporal commandment unto the children of men. Then, He says a very interesting thing, “. . . neither to Adam your father.” All you have to do is go back and look at the list of commands that He gave to Adam. Almost every one of them that’s in Genesis or in the Book of Moses is temporal, but the Lord calls them spiritual. That this means is that we’re going to be judged by the way we plow our ground, plant our crops and harvest them, and everything we do in our business affairs as well as our spiritual affairs.
Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I have just opened a door to investigation. I haven’t pretended to say the last word on this subject except that what I’ve said, as far as the principles of the gospel are concerned, is certainly sound and is true. But for our practical approach, I’m opening a door of investigation. I’m saying to you that there are certain great, overriding concepts and that if we understand them, we get into a position where we can apply individual truths to our lives. What I think all of us need to do is to determine where we stand in every field of mortal endeavor. Then, based on the general overall concepts that are clear and plain, we make a determination on how we will live in this field or in that field in order to pass the probationary estate in order to succeed in the test of mortality. If we make the right choices, we’ll go on to eternal reward, and if we do not, then we’ll get some lower and lesser place in the kingdoms that are prepared.
Let me append to what I’m saying there — something that is needed to give a rounded picture. It’s not quite on the subject, but it gives a rounded picture of what’s involved. You could take the expressions that I’ve made and say they’re a little severe, or they’re harsh or difficult, and hence, it’s hard to gain eternal salvation. I’d like to append to them the fact — and this a true gospel verity — that everyone in the Church who is on the straight and narrow path, who is striving and struggling and desiring to do what is right, though is far from perfect in this life; if he passes out of this life while he’s on the straight and narrow, he’s going to go on to eternal reward in his Father’s kingdom.
We don’t need to get a complex or get a feeling that you have to be perfect to be saved. You don’t. There’s only been one perfect person, and that’s the Lord Jesus, but in order to be saved in the Kingdom of God and in order to pass the test of mortality, what you have to do is get on the straight and narrow path — thus charting a course leading to eternal life — and then, being on that path, pass out of this life in full fellowship. I’m not saying that you don’t have to keep the commandments. I’m saying you don’t have to be perfect to be saved. If you did, no one would be saved. The way it operates is this: you get on the path that’s named the “straight and narrow.” You do it by entering the gate of repentance and baptism. The straight and narrow path leads from the gate of repentance and baptism, a very great distance, to a reward that’s called eternal life. If you’re on that path and pressing forward, and you die, you’ll never get off the path. There is no such thing as falling off the straight and narrow path in the life to come, and the reason is that this life is the time that is given to men to prepare for eternity. Now is the time and the day of your salvation, so if you’re working zealously in this life — though you haven’t fully overcome the world and you haven’t done all you hoped you might do — you’re still going to be saved. You don’t have to do what Jacob said, “Go beyond the mark.” You don’t have to live a life that’s truer than true. You don’t have to have an excessive zeal that becomes fanatical and becomes unbalancing. What you have to do is stay in the mainstream of the Church and live as upright and decent people live in the Church — keeping the commandments, paying your tithing, serving in the organizations of the Church, loving the Lord, staying on the straight and narrow path. If you’re on that path when death comes — because this is the time and the day appointed, this the probationary estate — you’ll never fall off from it, and, for all practical purposes, your calling and election is made sure. Now, that isn’t the definition of that term, but the end result will be the same.
There’s great hope for Latter-day Saints. There’s great hope for anyone who will repent, believe, obey, strive, struggle and seek to work out his salvation. There isn’t hope for anyone who will not. Our revelation says, “Surely every man must repent or suffer; for I, God, am Endless.” Well, either we suffer for our sins, according to the law of justice, or we repent, and through the atoning sacrifice, the Lord Jesus bears our sins and we become inheritors of mercy. Now we can go forward. We can have every reward that the scriptures speak of. We’re not an austere people. We don’t remove ourselves from the world. We’re deliberately in the world so that we’ll have opportunity to overcome the world. We can have in the Church every association and felicity and good feeling that anyone can have. Anything that’s wholesome and good is available to us. We’re denied nothing, and that’s good. In addition to that, we can have the hope of glorious immortality — meaning eternal life — in the realms and the worlds that are ahead.
Now, let’s have in mind as we conclude tonight, that the work we’re engaged in is true. Let’s just know that with absolute surety. Let’s know that the doctrine I’m teaching is true. The ideal testimony bears record that the doctrine taught is true and that the work is true. I’m teaching true doctrine, for one thing, and testifying that I am teaching, and I’m adding to that the testimony that the work is true. Because these things are true, they operate in the lives of men. Because they’re true, we can have peace and joy and happiness in this life, and we can be inheritors of eternal life in the world to come.
God grant that such a gracious and beneficent gift may come to all of us, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.