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Jodi Stoddard - The Lord's Higher Blessings a Series: #3 Calling & Election Made Sure


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The Lord’s Higher Blessings Series – #3Calling & Election Made Sure

Compiled and presented 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: While the primary content of this presentation consists of scriptures as well as quotes from the Prophets and Apostles, any additional commentary is my own and in no way represents an official position of the Church of Jesus Christ.


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.


In this and the next video, I will mostly refrain from adding any personal insight. These are the more sacred of the Higher Blessings, and are best learned through the Holy Ghost.


SLIDE: 2 Peter 1: 10

  • "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."


SLIDE: Peter made it clear that a testimony of Jesus Christ is not in itself evidence that one’s calling and election has been made sure. Mentioning the manifestation on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Savior and his fellow apostles James and John (see Matt. 17:1–8), he said that although they had heard the voice of the Father declaring that Jesus was his Son, this was not sufficient to obtain the blessing — there was “a more sure word of prophecy” —the calling and election made sure. (See 2 Pet. 1:16–19.)


SLIDE: What is Calling & election made sure?

  • "The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood."

  • "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance."


SLIDE: Jodi: I remember the first day I went to the Temple and got my Endowments out, I thought “WOW! If I died today I would be guaranteed heaven! It’s like being baptized all over again, only better because the qualifications were even more than at baptism.” Since then, I realize how naïve that thought was. Baptism is a gate which leads to the Temple…. Which is another gate. The point isn’t to go through the gate and then think that we have ‘arrived’ (even though all roads in the Church DO lead to the Temple), but it is what lies inside that new pasture after we enter that gate. The gate of baptism lead us to a new gate where we could choose to be guided by the Holy Ghost in what we learned, how we acted and reacted differently to the new world we had entered. At the end of that pasture was another gate – the Temple Gate where we again enter new grounds filled with lush green grass on which to feast. In other words, while the Temple was a destination – it was a destination to higher learning. If Baptism was entering Kindergarten, then the Temple was entering the First Grade… we have a long way to go in our learning and understanding and spiritual growth – but it is a glorious journey.

If I might be so bold in my analogy, perhaps Calling & Election is graduation from the First Grade and entry into the Second.


SLIDE: Lorenzo Snow said:

  • “We, as Latter-day Saints, should understand and bear in mind that salvation comes through the grace of God.”

We need to understand Grace and how we can do nothing of ourselves, but only through the Grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ. We also need to be sure our children understand this.


SLIDE: WHY Should we seek our calling & election?



SLIDE: The influence of the Holy Ghost received by keeping the commandments also leads one to sanctification, or becoming holy and pure in heart, which involves forsaking all evil and learning to “love and serve God with all [our] mights, minds, and strength.”


(D&C 20:31

The process of sanctification comes gradually, over a long period of time, “overcoming every sin and bringing all into subjection to the law of Christ.” (Brigham Young, JD, 10:173.)


SLIDE: Synonyms for Calling & Election

The More Sure Word of Prophecy

Sealed up unto Eternal Life


SLIDE: Who Will Receive Their Calling & Election Made Sure?


SLIDE: Who Will Receive It?



SLIDE: Who Should Seek it?

  • Righteous followers of Christ can become numbered among the elect who gain the assurance of exaltation. This calling and election begins with repentance and baptism. It becomes complete when they “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end” (2 Ne. 31:19–20). The scriptures call this process making our calling and election sure. (2 Pet. 1:4–11; D&C 131:5–6).

  • Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests. Ex. 19:5–6 (Rev. 1:6).


SLIDE: WHEN?

God hath from the beginning chosen the elect for salvation. 2 Thes. 2:13.


SLIDE: The Way to Eternal Life (“The Way to Eternal Life, Lesson 50: Sections 131–32,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 99–100)

  • Having the more sure word of prophecy means knowing you are sealed up unto eternal life.


  • This knowledge can be obtained by revelation.


  • What does the Holy Spirit of Promise do for those who have entered into and been faithful to a fullness of gospel law?


  • D&C 124:124. First, I give unto you…. even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you.


SLIDE: Synonyms for Calling & Election

  • The More Sure Word of Prophecy

  • Sealed up unto Eternal Life

  • The Holy Spirit of Promise

  • Assurance of Exaltation


SLIDE: How do we go about receiving our calling & Election made sure?


SLIDE: From the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“From the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.” (Lectures on Faith, 6:58; see also D&C 98:11–15 and Teachings, p. 322.)


SLIDE: 2 Peter 1:10

  • "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."


SLIDE: 2 Peter 2:4


SLIDE: Exceeding Great & Precious Promises - David A Bednar Oct 2018 General Conf.


Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness includes the doctrine, the ordinances, the covenants, and the exceeding great and precious promises whereby we can become partakers of the divine nature.


My message emphasizes the importance of the exceeding great and precious promises described by Peter as true reminders of where we are going in our mortal journey and why.


As we press forward submissively with faith in the Savior, then because of His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, “a mighty change [takes place] in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”


5 We are “born again; yea, born of God, changed from [our] carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God.”

6 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


(Born again is also Baptism of Fire where we receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost)


God promises us, according to our faithfulness, the constant companionship of the third member of the Godhead, even the Holy Ghost.


As we are wise and invite the Holy Spirit to be our guide, I promise He will teach us what is true. “He will testify of Christ, [and] light our minds with heaven’s view” as we strive to fulfill our eternal destiny and become partakers of the divine nature.


I bear my witness that the exceeding great and precious promises associated with our ordinances and covenants are sure.


SLIDE: Synonyms for Calling & Election

The More Sure Word of Prophecy

Sealed up unto Eternal Life

The Holy Spirit of Promise

Exceeding Great & Precious Promises

Partakers of the Divine Nature


SLIDE: Who else has said we should seek our Calling & Election Made sure?


SLIDE: Joseph Smith:

During his sermon at Yelrome, the Prophet Joseph Smith also spoke about the “more sure word of prophecy” mentioned in 2 Peter 1:19. He taught the Saints in that settlement that a “more sure word of prophecy” is a confirmation from the Spirit that allows a person to know that his or her calling and election has been made sure; it is reassurance given to faithful followers of Jesus Christ “that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God.” He explained that this knowledge would be “as an anchor to the Soul sure and steadfast, though the thunders might roll, and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation.” He also counseled the Saints to seek for this gift: “I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God, until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.”


SLIDE: And the Prophet Joseph said:

“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure.” (Teachings, p. 150.)


SLIDE: Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“Those who press forward in righteousness, living by every word of revealed truth, have power to make their calling and election sure. They receive the more sure word of prophecy and know by revelation and the authority of the priesthood that they are sealed up unto eternal life. They are sealed up against all manner of sin and blasphemy except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood. But the mere fact of being married for time and eternity in the temple, standing alone, does not give them this guarantee. Blessings pronounced upon couples in connection with celestial marriage are conditioned upon the subsequent faithfulness of the participating parties.“ (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:46)


SLIDE: President Marion G. Romney:

Admonished the Saints in general conference to make their calling and election sure and said: “The fullness of eternal life is not attainable in mortality, but the peace which is its harbinger and which comes as a result of making one’s calling and election sure is attainable in this life. The Lord has promised that ‘… he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.’ (D&C 59:23.)


SLIDE: Bruce R. McConkie:

“Those members of the Church who devote themselves wholly to righteousness, living by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, make their calling and election sure. That is, they receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life.“ (Mormon Doctrine, p. 109)


SLIDE: Book of Mormon examples of Calling and Election made sure:


SLIDE: Mosiah 5:15

  • "Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen."

(this scripture is in the Topical Guide under the heading of Calling & Election)


SLIDE: Mosiah 26:20

  • "Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep."


SLIDE: 3Nephi 28:10

  • "And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy;"


SLIDE: Enos 1:27

  • "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen."


SLIDE: 1 Nephi 1:6

  • "And it came to pass as he (Lehi) prayed unto the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did quake and tremble exceedingly."


SLIDE: An Anchor to the Soul….

Concerning this instruction and testimony from Peter, Joseph Smith said:


“Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure. …They then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation.” (Teachings, p. 298.)


SLIDE: Synonyms for Calling & Election

  • The More Sure Word of Prophecy

  • Sealed up unto Eternal Life

  • The Holy Spirit of Promise

  • Exceeding Great & Precious Promises

  • Receive a Fulness of JOY

  • Partakers of the Divine Nature

  • Sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God


SLIDE: Jeffrey R Holland “Lord I Believe” - April 2013 General Conference

“These things I declare to you with the conviction Peter called the “more sure word of prophecy.” What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng


SLIDE: WARNING: We must learn to be content, not only with what the Lord decides to reveal to us but with what form he chooses to send that revelation. As Elder Packer warned, if we try to force a spiritual manifestation to our liking, we open the way for us to be deceived.


Jodi: Remember, as we enter the gate of a new pasture, it will take time for us to eat our way to the other end. There is so much to learn. Let us find JOY in the JOURNEY while still being excited to stretch and desire these higher blessings. Love ourselves where we are. Only the Lord knows US completely. He knows what we need next. This is not a race. It is not a trophy to be placed upon a shelf and admired, nor used to show others our achievements….. This is a pure act of selflessness, of sanctification, of service, of learning to love others like Christ loves us.

We must be sure our motives are pure, and that we glory only in our God. Our heart must be broken and our spirit contrite at all times. For me this feels like I am less than the dust of the earth, for even the dust obeys; and at the same time a royal child of heavenly parents. If my heart is not broken and my spirit not contrite, then I must find my way back to that place of pure humility and being teachable. Once discovered, it is easier to find it each time you seek that place in your heart, and you will find you are back on track again.


Blessings to you on your Journey. In Jesus name… Amen



SLIDE: REFERENCES







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