1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul [not just some] who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me [turn their full heart to God], and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice [follows the revelations they receive], and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
This is a very direct promise regarding the “Second Comforter.” They key element of the above verse is to follow the revelations received. This is why learning to hear the voice of the Lord is so important. Asking questions, as led by the Spirit, and then acting upon the revelations received will lead a person in a direct course toward having a personal witness of the Lord. This is the perfect beginning to this profound section of the Doctrine and Covenants.
2 And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; [The Lord is the One that shows us the way.]
3 And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one— [Meaning that they abide in the same Holy Spirit that guides all light and truth.]
4 The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.
Here is the definition of Father: the being that makes it possible to receive of their higher glory. The Son: to condescend to the world and dwell among telestial beings so the Son can become their Father.
5 I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest. [The works of the Father were made known in the works of the Son. All was because of the glory of the Father.]
6 And John [the Baptist] saw and bore record [witness] of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed. [This witness that John beheld will also be revealed to you.]
7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;
8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word [The identity of the Only Begotten, in His name was Salvation and Creation.] was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—
9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.
11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace [resurrection, ascension] and truth [power of God], even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
I have learned that the word grace in scripture often is in reference to the divine ladder of progression that all follow as they receive of Father and Mother what is needed to ascend to a higher resurrection.
12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness; [And so it is with us, as we develop through the Everlasting Covenant of our Father.]
14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
15 And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son. [This was John’s initial witness of the divinity of Jesus, a vision and a voice.]
16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;
17 And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.
18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. [This is the Lord’s promise to us that if we are faithful to the revelations we receive, acting upon the Word given to us, that we will have the same “witness” of John. This record will be the reception of a personal Second Comforter experience.]
19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship [approach God], and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. [In order to properly approach God, it requires that we know more clearly who He is, and how to do it. There is a proper way that often is curtailed by unbelief.]
20 For if you keep my commandments [follow the revelations you receive] you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace. [Can it be any more clear than this? The mystery is laid before you.]
21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;
The Lord announces that He was in the beginning of this world and the Chosen Messiah.
22 And all those who are begotten [Become His Only Begotten] through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn. [A clue to its purpose and end.]
23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth;
24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
The Everlasting Covenant is this “knowledge” of the plan, fate, and progression of the Sons and Daughters of God.
25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning. [If you are outside of that description, you would belong to Lucifer and have no place in God’s Kingdom.]
26 The Spirit of truth [God’s power] is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;
27 And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.
28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.
We tend to think of commandments as basic guidelines given in scripture or from the pulpit. The Lord sees “commandments” as every word given to us by the power of His Spirit. This is personal revelation. It is critical that we learn to hear His voice.
29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth [what responds to God’s power], was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
Think of the word “truth” in the scriptural sense to represent “Law.” Every kingdom or realm of God’s creation abides by a law which directs who, what, and how it is to be administered. In that realm, each intelligence or spirit and matter is free to act for itself.]
31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. [This is referring to that intelligence which would not respond to God’s command. It would not receive light, and thus remained in its unorganized condition.]
32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.
33 For man is spirit. [an entity with the ability to act or be acted upon] The elements are eternal [without beginning or end, the means by which God creates], and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; [Without the ability to coinhabit with element it is without form and incapable of exercise faith to meet the full measure of its creation.]
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy. [no purpose]
35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple. [All creation must abide by the laws of its creation, or it is destroyed.]
36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. [In other words: the means by which God’s power is manifest is the creation of tabernacle for intelligence, to give life and purpose to it.]
37 Light and truth forsake that evil one.
38 Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; [before the world] and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God. [the effects of the Atonement]
39 And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. [This is unbelief, the misunderstanding of the true nature of God, and the blind following of paths that do not lead us to Him.]
40 But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
41 But verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams, you have continued under this condemnation;
42 You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction.
43 And now a commandment I give unto you—if you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house.
44 Verily, I say unto my servant Sidney Rigdon, that in some things he hath not kept the commandments concerning his children; therefore, first set in order thy house.
The Lord gives instruction to two disciples to focus on their children and own house, that this was hindering their ability to receive their own “witness” of Him. This is something to ponder in our own lives.
45 Verily, I say unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., or in other words, I will call you friends, for you are my friends, and ye shall have an inheritance with me—
The Lord takes a moment to define His relationship with us. “Friends” is a very familiar term to use. It implies a similar standing.
46 I called you servants for the world’s sake, and ye are their servants for my sake—[He sets the stage for their callings as His servants and the servants of the world for His’ sake. This reminds me of the ordinance of Washing of Feet in section 88.]
47 And now, verily I say unto Joseph Smith, Jun.—You have not kept the commandments, and must needs stand rebuked before the Lord; [The Lord often rebukes his prophets.]
48 Your family must needs repent and forsake some things, and give more earnest heed unto your sayings, or be removed out of their place. [to lose the stewardship and mission in which they are called, and be given over to the buffetings of Satan]
49 What I say unto one I say unto all; pray always lest that wicked one have power in you, and remove you out of your place.
50 My servant Newel K. Whitney also, a bishop of my church, hath need to be chastened, and set in border his family, and see that they are more diligent and concerned at home, and pray always, or they shall be removed out of their place.
51 Now, I say unto you, my friends, let my servant Sidney Rigdon go on his journey, and make haste, and also proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the gospel of salvation, as I shall give him utterance; and by your prayer of faith with one consent I will uphold him.
52 And let my servants Joseph Smith, Jun., and Frederick G. Williams make haste also, and it shall be given them even according to the prayer of faith [This is a kind of prayer in which one uses their creative imagination, allowing the Spirit to guide them.]; and inasmuch as you keep my sayings you shall not be confounded in this world, nor in the world to come.
53 And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you [Joseph] should hasten to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen. [Joseph is given the topics he is to study. Not that he will learn more than his peers by doing so, but that he will know what questions to ask the Lord.]