Updated: Oct 28, 2020
This is the first presentation in Sister Stoddard's new series called, "The Lord's Higher Blessings."
The only way we can be partakers in the higher blessings that the Lord wishes to bless us with, it is of the utmost importance that we first create a solid foundation on which to lay our faith.
This foundation consists of the basic and fundamental gospel principles and doctrine. Once you have this unshakable foundation, only then can it be added upon.
I give a big thank you to Sister Stoddard for teaching us!
Enjoy the presentation.
Please note: All of Sis. Stoddard's video permissions are now private. To watch video, press the play button, then click on "Watch this video on YouTube" which will be at the top under "Video unavailable."
The Lord’s Higher Blessings Series –#1 The MYSTERIES
By Jodi Stoddard
…. from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
While the primary content of this presentation consist of scriptures and quotes from the Prophets and Apostles, my additional commentary is my own and in no way represents an official position of the Church.
I admonish everyone to pray for the power of discernment in ALL things, including this presentation, and seek to be taught by the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, and/or the Lord.
SLIDE: Sheri Dew says in her book “How To Open The Heavens”:
"There is, of course, a fundamental challenge: We are imperfect people trying to understand and communicate a perfect message. Therein lies the source of many challenges. As one example, being offended by how others fulfill their callings or express their feelings about the gospel is a fruitless exercise. We are all mortals, and we all make mistakes, offend each other, “undersell” or misrepresent truths, and at times even teach (usually unknowingly) false doctrine. Imagine how much false doctrine is taught around the world on any given Sunday simply because the Lord has entrusted that teaching to millions of imperfect people whose knowledge and ability to impart that knowledge are insufficient (meaning, all of us). He is apparently not terribly worried about that, though. The greater concern is when we stop seeking to understand how much the Lord will make available to those who love and follow Him. . . "
SLIDE: A FOUNDATION IS PARAMOUNT
…….In order to understand the Lord’s Higher blessings, we must first have the basics and foundation of gospel principles and doctrine. But when building a structure, after creating a firm foundation, we add walls and a roof to complete it. Once our foundation is secure, then we can seek what the Lord has taught about His offered higher blessings.
If you feel prepared to add on, let’s discover what the scriptures say about the Mysteries of God, if we should seek them, and how we should go about it.
SLIDE: Pres. Nelson’s talk Ministering With the Power & Authority of God.
NOTE: This was his FIRST General Conference after becoming the Prophet. I would think he might be excited to share what he believes are the MOST important things to let us know. Each prophet seems to have a central mission in what they have taught to the people. Kimball’s was to get the scriptures into the hands of the people and encourage them to bring scriptures to church – even the kids! Benson’s mission was to preach repentance and warn about the future of Freedom if we didn’t repent. Hunter’s short prophetic mission was to push Temple attendance, which was timely because Hinckley then begin building Temples with great speed. I think we can easily see what Pres. Nelson’s mission is. He is so excited about the return of the Savior and in getting us prepared that he can hardly stand it.
“I fear that too many of our brothers and sisters do not grasp the privileges that could be theirs.”
Then he references these scriptures in footnote #3:
SLIDE: Doctrine & Covenants 84:19 19
And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
*That was the end of the referenced scriptures – but let’s read on.
23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his danger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of his glory.
SLIDE: Doctrine & Covenants 107:18
The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—
19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.
SLIDE: President Russell M Nelson -- June 27, 2020 * Mission Leadership training
“The Prophet Joseph’s experience can also be your experience, as you seek for — and prepare yourself — to receive heaven’s help. I promise you that this is true.
“You, too, can and will be guided by heaven in your work as you seek direction, guidance and inspiration from on high.”
SLIDE: JST Genesis 14:30 & 31 (Nelson 2) (FRAMED BY VS.29 & 32)
29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.
30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.
32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.
SLIDE: So where do we start?
How do we get there? What are the Lord’s Higher blessings?
ASK ASK ASK
Pres. Nelson: I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.
”Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!”
SLIDE: Alma 26:22
22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal THINGS WHICH NEVER HAVE BEEN REVEALED; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.
SLIDE: Matthew 13
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
SLIDE: Alma 12
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.
SLIDE: Parable of the Ten Talents Matthew 25:14 –25
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Those with 5 and 2 talents doubled theirs by investing… he with only one was afraid of losing it, so he buried it….
To the two the Lord said this: 23 ... Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
But to the one He said this: 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
This is about GROWING SPIRITUALLY! Whenever we act in FEAR, we are DAMNED!
SLIDE: Jacob 4:88
Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.
As I read this it teaches me that we are NOT to judge the paths that the Lord sends other people on… nor the revelation He gives them – or that they feel has come from Him. “Despise not the revelations of God” to me also means that I am not to condemn another person’s journey if they feel they were sent that way by Him. Let me illustrate that with a story from:
SLIDE: Elder Holland – Wrong Roads.
"There are times when the only way to get from A to C is by way of B. Having grown up in Southern Utah and enjoying all the wonders and beauties of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, I wanted to introduce my son to that, and I wanted to show him places that I had seen and enjoyed when I was his age, so his mother packed a little lunch for us and we took his grandfather's pickup truck and headed South onto what we call the Old Arizona Strip.
Noting that the Sun was going down we decided we better get back. But we came back to a particular fork in the road, really the only one, that at that point was absolutely unrecognizable. I asked my son to pray about which road to take, and he felt strongly that we should go to the right, and I did as well, and we went to the right and it was a dead end.
We went four or five or six hundred yards and it was an absolute dead-end, clearly the wrong road. We turned around, came back out, took the other road and clearly the road to the left was the correct road.
Somewhere along the way Matt said, 'Dad, why did we feel, after praying about it, that the right road was the proper one to take, the correct one to take, and it wasn't?' And I said, 'I think that the Lord, His wish for us there, and his answer to our prayer was to get us on the right road as quickly as possible with some reassurance, with some understanding, that we were on the right road and we didn't have to worry about it, and in this case, the easiest way to do that was to let us go 400 yards or 500 yards on the wrong road, and very quickly know, without a doubt, that it was the wrong road, and therefore with equal certainty with equal conviction that the other one was the right road.'
I have absolute certain knowledge, perfect knowledge, that God loves us. He is good, He is our Father, and He expects us to pray, and trust, and be believing, and not give up, and not panic, and not retreat, and not jump ship, when something doesn't seem to be going just right. We stay in, we keep working, we keep believing, keep trusting, following that same path and we will live to fall in His arms and feel His embrace and hear Him say, 'I told you that it'd be okay, I told you it would be all right.'"
(I have put the link to the video in the References)
As we LET GO of trying to label, judge, or condemn others for the path that they feel the Lord has set them on, we will be able not only to focus more on our personal journey, but also LOVE and LIFT others along our way. This is particularly true of our children. They need to find their own path to Christ and Home. We need to be okay with that. This is part of why our Christian brothers and sisters, and often our own children, don’t like us… they can feel our judgmental attitude which is NOT Christlike and they shrink.
Remember Christ does not condemn – that is satan’s M.O. Jesus unites… satan divides…
SLIDE: Doctrine and Covenants 76:7-10 Chapter Heading says: “Mysteries of the Kingdom will be revealed to all the faithful.”
7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.
SLIDE: Doctrine and Covenants 6:7,11-12
7 Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.
11 And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways.
12 Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things.
SLIDE: Doctrine & Covenants 42:61, 65
61 If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.
SLIDE: President Oaks visited our Stake Conference
Story of a friend he gave a Book of Mormon to-
The man didn’t feel anything when he read it.
Pres. Oaks said he then realized his friend wasn’t really seeking an answer. He cautioned that if we request something of the Lord – like to know the truth of the Book of Mormon – we’d better be ready to DO what is required after we receive the answer. Otherwise out of LOVE, the Lord will withhold the answer lest we be responsible for gaining knowledge that we don’t act upon.
Might that also be the case with Personal Revelation and the Mysteries or any higher blessing from the Lord? Don’t ‘triffle with’ or in other words – ‘don’t ask amiss’.
SLIDE: Doctrine & Covenants 8:10-11
10 Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not.
11 Ask that you may know the mysteries of God… and according to your faith shall it be done unto you.
SLIDE: Doctrine and Covenants 63:23
23 But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.
Keep the commandments to start receiving the mysteries. Those will become a ‘well of living water’ and lead you to ‘everlasting life’.
As with many scriptures there are layers to this one as well…
The well of living water is also a reference to Translation and/or the Terrestrial order. The fountain of living water was in the Garden of Eden. It will return to the New Jerusalem along with the Tree of Life. They will heal the earth. Both of those are also a similitude of Christ.
So, I purpose that interpreting this scripture in a telestial sense would symbolize the beginning of a journey of learning and obedience.
Then as you move up to the Terrestrial level, it takes on a deeper meaning of the Terrestrial Order and Translation, as well as the healing of the earth and restoring it to the Paradisiacal Order of which we get to be a part.
And on a Celestial level, we see the complete restoration that will lead to Everlasting Life…
All in this one short scripture.
SLIDE: 1 Nephi 10:19
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
SLIDE: 1 Nephi 2:16
16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.
SLIDE: Mosiah 2:9
9 And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.
SLIDE: JSH 1:74 AND FINALLY – HERE IS THE PROMISE:
"Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of.
"Do you desire this? I testify that it is available to you. ASK the Lord “What lack I yet?” and tell Him “Lord, I believe. Bless thou mine unbelief”, and see where He takes you. In Jesus name.