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Discourse, 16 May 1841, as Reported by Times and Seasons

Discourse, 16 May 1841, as Reported by Times and Seasons

perfect but Jesus, and why was he  perfect? because he was the son of  God, and had the fulness of the Spirit,  and greater power than any man.—  But, notwithstanding our vanity, we  look forward with hope, (because “we  are subjected in hope,”) to the time of  our deliverance.
He then made some observations on  the first principles of the gospel, obser ving that many of the saints who had  come from different States and Nations,  had only a very superficial knowledge  of these principles, not having heard  them fully investigated. He then brief ly stated the principles of faith, repen tance, and baptism for the remission  of sins, which were believed by some  of the religious societies of the day,  but the doctrine of laying on of hands  for the gift of the holy ghost, was dis carded by them.
The speaker then referred them to  the 6th chap. of Heb. 1. and 2. verses.  “not laying again the foundation of re pentance from dead works &c., but of  the doctrines of baptism, laying on of  hands, the resurrection and eternal  judgment &c.” The doctrine of eter nal judgment was perfectly understood  by the apostle, is evident from sever al passages of scripture. Peter preach ed repentance and baptism for the re mission of sins to the Jews, who had  been led to acts of violence and blood,  by their leaders, but to the rulers he  said, “I would that through ignorance  ye did it, as did also those ye ruled.”—  Repent, therefore, and be converted  that your sins may be blotted out,  when the times of refreshing (redemp tion), shall come from the presence of  the Lord, for he shall send Jesus  Christ, who before was preached unto  you &c.” The time of redemption here  had reference to the time, when Christ  should come; then and not till then  would their sins be blotted out. Why?  Because they were murderers, and no  murderer hath eternal life. Even Da vid, must wait for those times of refresh ing, before he can come forth and his  sins be blotted out; for Peter speaking of  him says, “David hath not yet ascend ed into Heaven, for his sepulchre is  with us to this day:’ his remains were  then in the tomb. Now we read that  many bodies of the saints arose, at  Christ’s resurrection, probably all the  saints, but it seems that David did not.  Why? because he had been a murderer.
If the ministers of religion had a  proper understanding of the doctrine  of eternal judgment, they would not  be found attending the man who had for feited his life to the injured laws of  his country by shedding innocent blood;  for such characters cannot be forgiv en, until they have paid the last far thing. The prayers of all the minis ters in the world could never close the  gates of hell against a murderer.
The speaker then spoke on the sub ject of election, and read the 9th chap.  in Romans, from which it was evident  that the election there spoken of was  pertaining to the flesh, and had refer ence to the seed of Abraham, accor ding to the promise God made to Abra ham, saying, “In thee and in thy seed  all the families of the earth shall be  blessed.” To them belonged the adop tion, and the covenants &c. Paul said;  when he saw their unbelief I wish my self accursed—according to the flesh— not according to the spirit.
Why did God say to Pharoah, “for  this cause have I raised thee up?” Be cause Pharoah was a fit instrument—a  wicked man, and had committed acts of  cruelty of the most atrocious nature.
The election of the promised seed  still continues, and in the last days,  they shall have the priesthood restored  unto them, and they shall be the “Sav iors on mount Zion” the “ministers of  our God,” if it were not for the rem nant which was left, then might we be  as Sodom and as Gomorah.
The whole of the chapter had refer ence to the priesthood and the house of  Israel; and unconditional election of  individuals to eternal life was not taught  by the apostles.
God did elect or predestinate, that  all those who would be saved, should  be saved in Christ Jesus; and through  obedience to the gospel; but he passes  over no man’s sins, but visits them  with correction, and if his children  will not repent of their sins, he will  discard them.
This is but a very imperfect sketch  of a very interesting discourse, which  occupied more than two hours in deliv ery, and was listened to with marked  attention by the vast assembly present. [p. 430]
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JS, Discourse, Nauvoo, IL, 16 May 1841; in Times and Seasons, 1 June 1841, 2:429–430.

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