3 Nephi 27 - Between the Lines
And so as the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and as they were performing the ordinance of baptizing in the name of Jesus, the disciples gathered together and united in mighty prayer and fasting.
And Jesus appeared to them again, for they were praying to the Father in his name as Jesus had instructed them in Bountiful; and Jesus came and stood in the middle of them, and said to them: What is your request?
And they said to him: Lord, we would like you to tell us the guiding principles for the church; for there are arguments among the people concerning this matter.
And the Lord said to them: I will give you the true answer. But I must ask, why is it that the people complain and argue about this? I declared to you that my doctrine is to do away with such things as contending and complaining.
Have they not read the scriptures that were organized in Bountiful, which say you must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name and my principles and doctrine you will be called out at the last day; and whoever takes upon him my name, by immersing himself in my doctrine, and doesn't give up, the same will be saved at the last day. Therefore, whatever you do, you should do it in my name and by my guiding principles; therefore, you should establish my doctrine to guide the church. And you should all call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
But how can it be my church unless it guided by my doctrine and principles? For if a church is called in Moses’ name, then it will be Moses’ church and have his guiding principles; or if it is called in the name of a man then it will have the articles of faith of a man; but if it is called in my name then it is my church and my doctrine, as long as it is built upon my foundation, rock, doctrine and gospel.
The truth is, you are presently built upon my gospel as I established it; therefore, you should gather, serve and call anything you do call, in my name; therefore, if you pray and call upon the Father in behalf the church, if it is in my name, my rock, my doctrine and my guiding principles, the Father will hear you. Furthermore, if the church is built on my foundation, gospel, and guiding principles the Father will show his marvelous works and miracles in it through you, which will be very convincing to the people who are the recipients of the blessings.
But if the church is not built upon my foundation, gospel, and guiding principles and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, the truth is that those in the church will have joy in their own works and desires for a season, and after a while the end comes, and they will be cut down and cast into the fire, (from where there is no return), and not lifted up. For their works will follow them, and it is because of their own works which lack charity that they are cut down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.
Look, I have taught you about my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given to you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after I would be lifted up upon the cross, I could draw all men to me. As I have been lifted up by men who afflicted me, even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be of my name and good or whether they be of men or the devil and evil—and this is the reason I have been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
And whoever repents of doing works for their own sake, and is immersed in my foundation, gospel and guiding principles will be filled with charity and the gifts of the Holy Ghost; and if he does not give up, I will hold him guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
And whoever does not endure to the end will be cut down and thrown into the fire, from where they cannot return, because of the justice of the Father. And this is the word which he has given to the children of men. And for this reason he fulfills the words which he has given. And he does not lie, but fulfills all his words.
And since no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom, nothing can come into his rest except for those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith and belief that my way does not fail, and repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness to the end, and following my guidance.
Now this is my guidance: Repent, all you ends of the earth, and come to me and be baptized in my name, that you may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that you may stand spotless before me at the last day. In other words, change your approach to my way, which as I have said is to do away with such things as complaining and arguing, and immerse yourselves in these principles, and be guided by them, that I can tell the Father that you are guiltless and he can show forth his works through you by giving you charity and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
I tell you in truth: this is my gospel, my foundation and my guiding principles; and you already know the things that you must do in my church; for you should do thing things you have seen me do; therefore, if you do these things you will be happy and even ‘more blessed,’ for you will be lifted up at the last day, by lifting others.
You are my witnesses. Write the things that you have seen and heard, except for those things which are forbidden. Write the works of this people going forward, just like what has been written so far. Because out of the books which have been written and will be written, this people will be judged. And by the records their works will be made known to men. And all these things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which my witnesses write, the world will be judged.
And you should know that you are the judges of this people because you are the witnesses, according to the judgment which I give to you, which will be just. Therefore, what manner of men should you be? You should be even as I am. And what gospel, foundation and principles should guide you? My doctrine. In whose name should you be immersed and baptized? My name, which represents these things.
And now I go to the Father. And tell you in truth, whatever you ask of the Father in my name will be given to you. If the purpose of your prayer is to carry out my doctrine and does away with contention, then it will be granted. Therefore, ask, and you will shall receive; knock, and the door will be opened to you; for he that asks will receive; and unto him that knocks, the door will be opened.
And now my joy is great, even completely full, because of you, and also this generation. Yes, and even the Father rejoices, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost. But I need to clarify so that you understand; I mean those who are now alive in this generation are not lost; and in them I have a fullness of joy.
But I am sad because of the fourth generation from this generation. For they are led away captive by the one who was the son of perdition; for they will sell my flesh, my sacrament for silver and for gold, and for that which the moth corrupts and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.
[Again, I need to clarify that you understand. The reason the fourth generation will fail is because the church will not be built up on my foundation, my guiding principles, my rock and my gospel. You see, of my twelve witnesses, only three of you desired my will to bring the lost and fallen of the world to me. It is because of these three that this generation is saved. For they will go to their adversaries using my guiding principles. They will be thrown into pits of fire and wild beasts by their enemies, but because they have been more blessed by the gifts which I have given them, they will not be harmed. In fact, those who threw them into the pit will see the love my three witnesses have for them and be converted to my name.
However, because the nine desired to be in my presence, receive my rest and comfort and have their mortal ministry come to an end instead of desiring charity for their fellow man, they were not built on my rock. My principles did not guide their desires. And while they are good men and are blessed because of their desire to be with me instead of being upon my foundation which never fails, the sand will shift and the church will fall. Those who follow in their place will eventually corrupt the law which I have given them and will sell the sacrament for money. They will say that the gold and silver (which thieves can steal) is to adorn their synagogues to show respect to God. And they will say that fine clothing to cover their bodies (which can be corrupted by moths) is to revere the Holy One, in whose kingdom they want rest and comfort; but this will cause them to be proud. It will also create a caste society where there are levels of rank and hierarchy, and will cause contention and complaining among the people, which is not my doctrine.
And because the people will have your writings and know my gospel, there will be no excuse for them. They will brag about their gifts of the Spirit which I will have so abundantly poured out to them, and so the Spirit will be taken from them, and they will be left without my protection and will contend with their offended brothers until they are completely destroyed.]
And when Jesus had ended teaching them, he said to his witnesses, the disciples: Enter in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find and immerse themselves in my guiding principles; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel in that way, until the night comes, at which place no man can work.