Preliminary draft 8 (CCR) 15 Feb. 1983
(Latest Version. Read at Women’s Conference 17 Feb. 1983)
I appreciate the opportunity to contrast in this paper the two principal rootstocks onto which are grafted the works of mankind. The good root is the Royal Law; if it nourishes our life and work, everything we touch is uplifted. The evil root is noblesse oblige; all human acts that draw nourishment from it result in degradation. Living by the Royal Law is the most difficult and most important feat which any human being can perform. Living by noblesse oblige is the counterfeit which is natural, easy, and widespread.
We shall focus the contrast between these two rootstocks by noting the difference each makes to the miseries of mankind. The catalogue of human misery is long: hunger, malnutrition, poverty, foolishness, disease, birth defects, oppression, unhappiness, ignorance, insanity, etc. Every person of conscience in this world is gripped by the enormity of this misery and seeks to alleviate it. There are only two main ways to alleviate those miseries. The two ways are the Royal Law and noblesse oblige, the feat and its counterfeit.
II. The Royal Law.
The Royal Law is the first and second great commandments as given by God to men in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Doctrine and Covenants. The first law is that we should love the Lord our God, with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. The second is that we should love our neighbor as our self. We shall here interpret this Royal Law in the framework of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this interpretation, we reword the first law to say that we should love, emulate, and obey our God in the exact pattern in which our Savior, Jesus Christ, loves our Father. We reword the second law to say that we should love our neighbor in the exact pattern in which our Savior loves us. Our Savior loves us by loving, emulating, and obeying the Father in all of his love for us. Thus the second law is like unto the first, and stems from it. By living these laws we may become like unto our Savior. For the Savior is our great exemplar, the high priest of our profession, the father of all those who are born again unto God. To love as he loves should be our ideal. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Only in him can salvation from sin, misery, and oppression come unto mankind. Only in him can we become like the Father.
That all mankind may know and understand the exact pattern of his love, our Savior has given to man three grand windows by which to learn of him and his ways. The first is the scriptures, which are the testimonies of dead prophets concerning how he loved. The second is the testimonies of the living prophets today who tell us how he loves. The third is the whisperings of the Holy Spirit which tells us how he will love and how we may love our God and our neighbor as he does. These three witnesses are not separable. If we search and pray until we see the unity of witness among them, we rise above our own private interpretation to a true understanding of the way of Christ. No man is saved faster than he gains this true understanding. Let us point out how the Saviors love fulfills the Royal Law.
The Savior loved our Father with all of his heart. He relinquished all of his personal desires and chose to do nothing and say nothing except that which his father instructed him to do. He loved our Father with all of his mind. He learned and believed all that the Father taught him, declining instruction from any human being. He loved our Father with all of his strength. He gave all of his energy and skill to fill completely the mission which our Father gave him, culminating in the voluntary giving up of his life. He loved the Father with all of his might. He used his priesthood power, his persuasion with men, his ability to control people, spirits, animals, plants, the waters, the earth, and the universe, to order all things exactly as the Father wanted them to be. His love was complete, perfect.
Our Savior loved our Father so because of the goodness, the righteousness, the fullness of the Father’s love for him. The Father is a perfect man. Man of Holiness is his name. He is a god of righteousness, for his only work and glory is to share all that he has with others to help them to become as happy as they can stand to be. The Father loves personally, fully, purely, with an intensity that rights every wrong, heals every wound, comforts every grief. All the perfection of soul that eternity could contain is fully represented in our Father. He is loved by every intelligent being. Our Savior, more intelligent than any of us, loved him fully, returning the fullness of his love. Thus our Savior keeps the first and great commandment.
Each of us is neighbor to the Savior. So the Savior loves us as his Father loves him. Acting under the Father’s love and instruction, the Savior loved us by volunteering to fill the Father’s plan in the council in heaven. He, our Savior, created this earth and all things in it to show forth the Father’s love to us. Because we are fallen, he shows us the way back to the Father’s presence, building a bridge for us with his own pain, spirit, and life-blood. He it is who pleads with each of us to turn from the world to love the Father. He pleads with the Father that our Father might accept our imperfect love. Our Savior tries to share with us all that the Father has given him. His ultimate hope for us is that we might turn from our sins and become one with our Father, even as he is, even as he has shown us the way, even as he loves. There is no stone in all eternity that the Savior does not turn to help us to attain our own individual greatest happiness. Thus the Savior loves us, his neighbors, just as the Father loves him. Thus he fulfills the Royal Law. Our Savior has shown us the way. It is now our turn to live the Royal Law.
We come to mortality with our minds and memories clouded over so that the choosing we do will be with our hearts, not our minds. We are born into this world with body, mind, and opportunity greater than any other creature we see. We are given a home of beauty, regularity, and abundance on this earth. we can think and feel, speak, laugh, cry, strive, and overcome. We have power to create heaven on earth; or hell.
For our Father has given us a choice. We may choose between righteousness and selfishness. To make that choice more explicit, our Father has sent our Savior to show us the way of righteousness and to witness to us of the Father’s love for us. the Father also sent Satan to intensify the way of selfishness; Satan urges and inspires us to do just as we please on this earth as long as we don’t love the Father and our neighbor as the Savior does.
Let us now summarize the truths of the Restored Gospel which highlight this mortal opportunity and the importance of the Royal Law.
“1. In God we live, move, and have our being. we are not “”natural”” creatures of the earth. Our breath, our strength, our health, our intelligence, our freedom, are all gifts of God to each of us, moment by moment. Our God is the author of all we call “”good”” in our lives. He is also the author of all we call “”evil”” in our lives.”
“2. The evil in our lives is sent from that we might clearly see the difference between good and evil. The good is sent from God that we might choose it over evil.”
“3. The great probation of this life is to see if we choose good over evil only for ourselves, or do we choose it for others also. Those who choose good only for themselves are the selfish, the children of Satan. Those who choose good for others are the righteous, the children of our Savior.”
“4. The way of selfishness is easy to find. It is a broad path. To find it one only has to act naturally, to yield to whatever desire one happens to have.”
“5. The way of righteousness is difficult to find. It is a strait and narrow way. To find it one must hunger and thirst after righteousness. One must search and strive until one finds the very best way to help others.”
“6. The very best way to help others is to find the way of Christ, which is to love God and our neighbor as the Savior did. It is the Royal Law.”
“7. No human being can implement the Royal Law by his own power. That power comes only through the ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“8. The essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to have faith in Jesus Christ. This faith is to receive direct revelation from him, to believe it, and to obey it.”
“9. What the Savior reveals is how to replace our desires for good, for ourselves and for others, with righteousness. Then instead of doing what pleases us we begin to turn to the Royal Law, to love and please the Father instead of ourselves.”
“10. As we act in faith and begin to love God with all of our heart and mind, his love begins to shower blessings upon us. A blessing is something that enables us to become more like God. Our breath, our strength, our health, our wealth, are not blessings to us until we begin to live the Royal Law through faith in Jesus Christ. If we are faithful, everything becomes a blessing to us.”
“11. If we are faithful servants of Jesus Christ, he shares with us his power through the ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, because we love the Father with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength, the Savior gives us the knowledge and power to love our neighbors as he loves us, to share our blessings with them.”
“12. As we share our blessings with our neighbors in his love, we bear witness of the Father’s love for them. If they hunger and thirst after righteousness, they too will learn of the Father’s love, become grateful for it, and have the opportunity to turn and to live the Royal Law themselves.”
“13. On the day of judgment, every soul will look back to his probation and acknowledge:”
” a. that he was in the hand of God at all times;”
” b. that God’s love was showered upon him; and”
” c. that his sorrow, if any, is that he did not return God’s love sooner.”
“14. If we are really interested in relieving the suffering and the miseries of mankind, here and now, we will realize that man’s resources and abilities to do so are insufficient. But Gods resources and abilities are infinite. Man does not have the understanding, the wisdom, the goodness, the strength, or the might, to solve man’s problems. But God has all the resources necessary to solve every human problem and is only waiting for men to live the Royal Law through faith in Jesus Christ so that relieving their misery would be a blessing and not a curse.”
III. Mortal examples of living the Royal Law
Moses was born into the misery of the slavery of the children of Israel in Egypt. Because God loved Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he looked carefully after their children and saved Moses: life. He saw that Moses was raised as an Egyptian then drew him to Midian where he learned the Royal Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Moses was grateful for God’s love and loved him in return. Keeping that first commandment enabled Moses then to love his neighbors, the Egyptians and Israel, as he was loved. But Moses did not pretend to the power to bless Egypt or Israel. He went to teach them of the true and living God, that each might be blessed of God if they would love him.
Moses taught the Egyptians of God and his power, and gave them a chance to serve God by letting Israel go. They chose selfishness over righteousness. Moses taught Israel of God and his power. Israel learned enough to become barely obedient, and were made free. Acting on faith in God, Israel went under the sea walls and was saved. Acting in the satanic anger of selfishness, Egypt went under the sea walls and was destroyed.
In Sinai Israel lacked water and food. Moses implored the Lord, and God sent water, manna, and meat. Their clothing did not fail, nor their shoes wear for forty years. Moses loved Israel, his neighbors, but what he gave them did not save them. He gave them his time, and his strength. He gave them witness of the true and living God. As Israel learned to love God as Moses did they were saved. Those that did not return God’s love were left in misery.
In Moses’ last great labor with Israel, the Book of Deuteronomy, he implored them to love the Lord, to keep the Royal Law. He told them of the blessings they and their children would receive for that faithfulness. He told them of the misery which would come upon them if they turned away from God and served selfishness. But Israel had rejected the higher law, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its ordinances. The lesser law which took its place was to point their minds to the higher law but did not give them the power to live the Royal Law. Thus Israel suffered in misery down through the centuries, embracing the idea of the Royal Law but rejecting the power which made living it possible.
The Savior himself came in flesh and blood to show Israel the way. He reaffirmed the Royal Law and restored the Gospel and its ordinances. `Most’ of Israel rejected him and his Gospel, even while professing to love God, to live the Royal Law.
In these latter days the Lord has set his hand again to gather and restore Israel to the Royal Law through the preaching of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. He sent the Prophet Joseph to show the way. The Father and the Son loved Joseph for his faith, and Joseph loved them with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength. Through Joseph the Lord restored the Gospel message and all of the ordinances which pertain to salvation. Joseph loved his neighbors as God loved him, and sought to share his knowledge and power from God wherever it was appropriate in God for him to do so. The love of God and of the Prophet Joseph and of all others who love God continue to reach out today to invite every soul on earth to come to the feast of God’s love and partake without money or price.
To emphasize again the nature of the Royal Law we note the following. Love of the Lord must precede love of neighbor because no man of his own wisdom knows how to do what is best for his neighbor. When a person loves the Lord as the fountain of all righteousness, that fountain flows unto him as living water, so that he never hungers nor thirsts again. His gratitude for this living water is so great that he has then a great desire to share his blessings with his neighbors. He implores the Lord for guidance, then imparts of whatever riches he has according to the Lords instructions, never fearing diminution of his fountain. His fountain is endless, infinite: he knows that his personal needs will always be met as he obeys the Lord. So he gives and shares without worry, for love. He give’s and shares that his neighbor might know of the goodness of God. He knows that whatever he gives his neighbor, it is a pittance compared with the love of God that neighbor will know if the neighbor turns to love God. The purpose of the Royal Law is identical with the work and glory of God, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Men on earth become participators with God in the grand design as they beget children to a mortality that leads to immortality and as they love their neighbors in a world full of misery in a way which presages the blessings of God. This world that abounds in misery is the handiwork of a kind and loving Father who has carefully allowed this misery that he might teach his children the true riches of time and eternity. The misery exists for two basic reasons: 1) that those who love God will have ample opportunity to share what God has given them with their less fortunate neighbors as they witness of God’s love, and 2) that-those who reject God might better realize that there are consequences for having done so here in this life as well as hereafter.
In summary, keeping the Royal Law is what every man can and should do to help to relieve the miseries of mankind. As any man keeps it, he opens the channel of godly love that flows between God and himself, and between his neighbor and himself. Thus every human misery that should be relieved will be relieved. Each will be relieved when faith in God makes that relieving a blessing. Every man who keeps the Royal Law voluntarily makes himself a servant of God and also a servant to his neighbor.
III. Noblesse Oblige
Having given a basic explanation of the Royal Law, the living of which is the greatest and most rewarding feat which any human being or god can perform, let us turn briefly to the counterfeit which is noblesse oblige. Noblesse is the French word for nobility: oblige means `oblige’. Together they mean that to be of the nobility obliges one to do good for others.
To begin our account we must make a few observations about nobility.
There is a striking propensity in every human society for people to stratify, to establish a pecking order. Almost every person who exists desired to be able to look down on someone else, anyone else. The desire to look down on someone seems to be almost as basic as the need for human company. In many people it is matched by a desire to look up to someone, a “hero” to worship. Much of what we see in human relationships is varieties of this look-up, look-down syndrome.
One outgrowth of that syndrome has been the creation of a noble caste or class in almost every society, an “in” group to which not everyone can belong. Devices which have been used to create nobility or “in” groups are: age, blood line, language spoken (e.g., French over Anglo-Saxon), clubs, clothing, priesthood, physical strength, physical prowess, education, degrees, physical possessions of land, money, technical devices (e.g., possession of a Rolls Royce), skin color, height, obesity or lack of it, etc. We see the same drive for superciliousness influencing the royalty of a country to see themselves as being far superior to commoners as we see when third- graders taunt the “kindergarten babies.” For many people, success in this world is just having someone to look down upon. This is a worldwide psychological Ponzi scheme to live psychologically high the expense of those at the bottom of the social pyramid. We note that the nobility are self-appointed. Their noble line began in case when some ancestor had power, either military or economically monopoly power, and through that power obtained holdings that ensure family wealth. Family wealth has been exploited to differentiate the noble family from others in perpetuity.
Because they believe they are nobler, thus better than whoever else is beneath them in the social pyramid, the nobility believe they have obligations to make up for the deficiencies of the “great uneasy” Because their actions are typical and world-wide, we will focus on the obligations which historically have attached to the nobility of Europe.
The first obligation is to maintain a clear line of difference between themselves and their inferiors. They are obliged to do this because they perceive that the world would be worse off if they were not true and loyal to the inherent betterness of their class. Devices used to institutionalize that line of difference are:
a. Distinctive dress, speech, gracious manners, and demeanor in all public appearances. This is what they call “breeding.”
b. Fostering differential and deferential behavior in their underlings; such as bowing, kneeling, sitting lower than, saying “sir” and “maam.”
c. Controlling their public image by getting the “right reports of their being seen and being mentioned at “right” occasions.”
d. Recognizing and making much of each other.
e. Total avoidance of productive manual labor. That would utterly disgrace them.
f. The need to appear to be affluent even if the family fortune has fallen on hard times.
The second obligation is to be influential in government to protect the interest of the “people,” the community, the nation. They do this by wielding “influence” in whatever government currently stands. Should the government be threatened and military force become necessary or expedient they, because of their inherently super wisdom and because of their breeding, always become the officers. They seize the government for themselves, where possible.
A third obligation is the need to support “fine art.” Fine art is the art of the medieval court. If they, the nobility, did not support it, it would die, since the masses have little taste for it. So it is the obligation of the nobility to support opera and ballet companies, symphony orchestras, art museums, etc., in order to preserve what is “noble” in art for the benefit of all mankind.
(Note: Their support of science is a practical matter, science has commercial and military technical applications which make its support necessary. But because fine art is not in the same sense necessary, voluntary support of fine art is a truer test of “nobility than is support of science.)
A fourth obligation of the nobility is the need to be charitable, be involved in good causes to help the poor. This obligation manifest in three main ways:
a. They support charitable organizations which engage in the immediate physical relief to the suffering, such as hospitals, and soup kitchens.
b. They support government welfare programs which will maintain the quietness and steadiness of the masses to be ready to serve in the military or in industrial enterprises should the need for their labor arise.
c. They support compulsory public education so that the masses will be sufficiently educated that they can serve well in the military and industrial occasions of the society. Professional training of the brightest persons is essential so that they can run the government bureaucracies, the military organizations and the industrial complies with greater efficiency.
Thus do the nobility preserve their status and fortunes.
The occupations of the nobility traditionally were war and government. Now they are war, government, and business. Part of their success (that not due to their power and wealth) has been due to the mystique which they have engendered about themselves. Non-nobility traditionally look Lip to the nobility as the wisest, the bravest, the best of persons. The never-never land of all fairy tales and romantic literature is for some low-born person to join the nobility and live happily ever after. Low-born persons, not esteeming themselves, attempt to imitate the speech, the dress, the sports, the vacations of the nobility. When a low-born person gets wealth, he often will immediately seek to acquire the eternal trappings of the nobility and will try to join them. If his son or daughter can marry someone of “noble” blood, he has succeeded. But the nobility resist penetration. They are careful to count as “their own” only pedigreed persons of ancient wealth; interlopers are disdainfully regarded as nouveau riches (the newly rich).
An interesting application of the nobility mystique is seen at the wedding receptions in our own LDS culture. Not esteeming ourselves because we believe we are not nobility, LDS families seize upon this one special occasion to become kings and queens, knights and dukes, for a day. We rent the tuxedo trappings of the nobility and parade before all of our family and friends in the accoutrements of the “noble” rich to make the occasion “very special,” to be somebody. But of course we do homage in other ways, such as buying designer clothes, desiring the “right” kind of automobile, desiring to live as high on the hill as possible, etc.
An historic example will help to clarify the meaning of what we are saying as to the pervasive nature of the “nobility” frame of mind and its obligations. In the 19th Century, Tsarist Russia was a typical European kingdom ruled by a nobility which fitted the general descriptions given above. During the second half of the century (1861-1907), in response to great internal pressure, reforms were undertaken to abolish serfdom and to institute some representative government. But the outrageous inequity and inefficiency of the government as run by the nobility forced the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917.
In the power struggle which ensued, the Bolsheviks eventually gained control of all of Russia. And how did they govern? By creating a new aristocracy. They replaced an aristocracy of blood and power and money by an aristocracy of intellect and power, the members of the Communist Party. The years since 1917 have shown; insufficiency of the intellectual claim of Communism, so now Russia ruled by another aristocracy of blood, money, and power, who have all of the attributes of a traditional nobility anywhere and respond under exactly the same obligations. They differentiate themselves socially from the masses, run the government, support the same fine art, and practice the same condescending charity as the nobles whom they smashed in 1917 to 1920. They, too, rule by noblesse oblige.
Now it is time for a caveat. We desire to be understood as speaking in types, and average when we talk about the historic nature of aristocracy, the so-called nobility. Among the nobility doubtless there have been pure souls who recognized and attempted to live the
Royal Law, and their good works were genuine selfless help to those less fortunate than they. Had such souls been a majority, the history of the earth would have been very different, much happier. But such have not been in the majority. As a class, the influence of the nobility has always been more that of Satan than of God.
Recognition of that generalization caused the Founding Fathers of the United States expressly to forbid the establishment of a peerage. The wisdom of that move has been plain, at least to those who see with Restored Gospel eyes. But their refusal to recognize a nobility did not prevent the assembling of a defacto peerage which has carried on the European traditions of the nobility wherever enough money could be assembled to launch a dynasty.
While it can correctly be said that the world might be worse off were it not for the rule of the nobility (anarchy has few devotees), our point is that there is an alternative to aristocracy and noblesse oblige; the alternative is the Royal Law. To sharpen the contrast between these two approaches to solving the problems of mankind, let us now sum this feit and the counterfeit to make clear their striking differences.
1. In the Royal Law, God is loved and worshipped because of his righteousness, and the worshipper counts himself as nothing without God. In noblesse oblige, God is far, far away, if he exists at all. The nobility must take the place of God to the people.
2. In the Royal Law, God showers spiritual and temporal blessings upon all those who love his name and diligently keep his commandments. To be saved is to learn to love as God loves.
In noblesse oblige, one must amass and maintain fortune and power as one can. The end justifies the means of slavery, tyranny, oppression, and all manner of legal extortion. To be saved is to be of the nobility, to lord it over others.
3. In the Royal Law one loves ones neighbor as Christ loves him. He goes to the Father and seeks direction to know how, when, and where he should share what the Father has given him to help to relieve his neighbor’s misery, and is willing to share, to give, all that he he has.
Under noblesse oblige one is obliged to do something for the suffering, struggling masses. So one gives them policemen to establish order, government to promote trade so they can have jobs, medical programs so they can have better health, schools so they will not be illiterate. But very little, if any, of the family fortune every goes into any of these causes unless it can be recouped in good will or tax advantage. To be noble is to fling coins at the masses.
4. In the Royal Law, the main hope in sharing one’s wealth with the poor is the hope that one can help the poor turn to the Father and that they can learn to keep the Royal Law themselves. For if the poor do that, all of their problems will be solved. They will inherit all that the Father has, both temporally and spiritually, in both time and in eternity. Then they will be wealthy in a way that no earthly or mortal system could possibly match.
In noblesse oblige the main hope in helping the poor is to keep them fed, pleasured, working, and obedient, so that they will not disturb the status quo. Or if the nobility are religious, the reason for helping the poor is so that the poor can successfully endure the miseries of this world long enough to do their serf work; then God will reward them for their goodness and suffering in the next world.
It surely is true that God will reward the righteous poor. But a rich person rarely has a heavenly future.
As we turn to the world in which we live for examples of noblesse oblige, we see them everywhere. All are varieties of: I am noble. In condescend to relate to you who are inferior, e.g.,
- Professional people who condescend to relate to laymen.
- People in expensive homes who condescend to admit that people in hovels are human beings also.
- Professors who condescend to teach students.
- Elders who condescend to relate to younger people.
- Younger people who condescend to acknowledge that the elderly are human beings.
- The cultured who condescend to admit that the uncultured people do exist.
- The strong that lord it over the weak.
- The literate that lord it over the illiterate.
- The married that lord it over the single.
- Men who lord it over women.
- Parents who lord it over their children.
- The professional women who lord it over the housewife.
- The housewife who feels superior to the professional woman.
- The people high on the hill who look down on the people in the lowlands.
- The athletes who swagger around those who didn’t make the team.
- The verbal who tease those who struggle to speak.
- The fortunate who note how the misery of the unfortunate is well-deserved.
- The beautiful people who feel sorry for ordinary people.
- The white people who look down on people of other colors.
- The Mormons who look down on non-Mormons.
- The government official who deigns to render a service to a citizen.
- The “saved” who look down on the sinners.
It is plain that the list is virtually endless. It is also plain that most humans would gladly have some edge on others so they could lord it over others. All instances of this noblesse oblige have two things in common which are the perverse parallels to the Royal Law.
The first law of the nobility is to love and perpetuate that difference that sets one off from the masses. The second law of the nobility is to flaunt that difference which sets them off from the masses by displaying the difference whenever possible, but always in a condescending way. Noblesse oblige is the epitome of arrogance and selfishness, even as the Royal Law is the epitome of godly love.
It remains now in this paper to make plain how certain specific human miseries are to be cured through the ministrations of those who live the Royal Law. (We take it for granted that noblesse oblige never will nor never could solve any of these problems on a societal scale: the evidence for that is six thousand years of one miserable failure after another as the miseries and oppression of mankind have been perpetuated by the self-styled lords and landlords of humanity.)
IV. Solutions to Human Misery
Misery #1. Poverty.
Under the Royal Law every covenant servant of God sets the totality of his earthly goods in reserve to be ministered unto the poor. He holds nothing back, knowing that should he need to give away or lose all of his earthly substance to fulfill the Lord’s plan, then the Lord would yet make it possible for the labor of his two hands and the sweat of his brow to provide for the needs of his family. Having put all he has in reserve, he then makes diligent inquiry of the Lord as to whom the Lord would have him give what. Having received instructions he will give away his substance, directly or through the Church, as the Lord directs. If so instructed, he will bear witness of the goodness of God to the recipient and will encourage the recipient to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; but if instructed not to say a word, he will give and not say a word. But he will pray mightily for that recipient, hoping that the Spirit of the Lord will penetrate to his heart, that he, the recipient, might turn and begin to love the Lord with all of his soul through the Restored Gospel.
Only thus will humanity see the world-wide end of poverty.
Misery #2. Ignorance.
Under the Royal Law, every covenant servant seeks after and treasures truth. He searches out the ways of nature and of the world until his faith in God is crowned with great understanding. He does not believe the opinion of any man, but tests all of the ideas he receives by the Spirit and by experiment, then holds fast to that which proves to be true and good. Then he consecrates all he has learned to the Lord and humbly seeks to know what to do with that knowledge. Usually his instruction will be to conduct his stewardship ably through the understanding he has gained and the further instruction he receives from day to day. But also, if so directed, he will share part of his truth with his neighbor. In so doing, he will warn the neighbor not to accept his human witness. He commends his neighbor to seek God: the Spirit of Truth, for in God that neighbor will find the greater treasures that he, the covenant servant, does not yet know. If the neighbor turns to love the Lord and to accept the Restored Gospel, that neighbor will then have access to the truth of all things in and through the Holy Ghost.
Thus can the ignorance and the chains of falsehood that bind mankind be dispelled and replaced by truth forever.
Misery #3. Foolishness.
Under the Royal Law, every covenant servant knows that the wisdom of the wisest man is foolishness before God. God sees all, knows all, understands all, but man sees little, and of himself knows and understands almost nothing. The covenant servant knows that God give liberally and upbraideth not when his servants ask in faith. So the servant asks, frequently, and obeys always and immediately. That obedience causes him to prosper, and his purposes fail not, because he loves that true and living God who purposes fail– not. In his success he sees a foolish neighbor who knows not God. The covenant servant seeks wisdom of God to know how to minister to the neighbor. The Lord may say “do nothing;” the servant will forebear. The Lord may say “give him money”! The servant will obey. The Lord may say “teach him how to avoid the pitfall that troubles him;” the servant will do so in all humility. The Lord may say “teach him the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. That I may make him wise;” the servant will comply. In every case, the servant prays mightily for the neighbor that the neighbor might come to know and love the Lord and partake of his wisdom.
Thus can the foolishness and failure of every human enterprise be turned to success and accomplishment of things eternally worthwhile by the living of the Royal Law.
Misery #4. Ill Health
Under the Royal Law, every covenant servant knows that health is primarily a spiritual but also a physical matter. It makes a difference what and how he eats, drinks, and exercises, but it makes more difference whether he is filled with the love of God or if he lets Satan rage within him in anger, self-justification, and punishment of others. So he attempts to love the Lord with all of his soul, that he might cleanse the inward vessel, knowing that is his real hope for strengthening the outward vessel. When his body is renewed and strong, he places that strength at the Lord’s disposal. He perceives a neighbor who is ill, and implores the Lord as to how to help. Having received the Lord’s instruction, he nurses the neighbor, expending his own strength. But in addition he prays for the neighbor, and if so further instructed, shares with the neighbor the Restored Gospel truths. If asked, he lays on hands and speaks the Lord’s blessing upon the head of the neighbor. The servant hopes in all this that the neighbor will turn and love the Lord, that the shower of love coming back from the Lord will heal the neighbor in heart, mind, and body. Then the neighbor will know exactly what to do for himself, to have faith inwardly and outwardly, that he too might be renewed and make his strength part of the hand of God in all things.
Thus may all of the ill-health of mankind be cured?
Misery #5. Lack of Power
The covenant servant of the Lord finds himself in a world where men have a great deal of muscle power and mental power but are not thereby able to solve many of the most pressing human problems. This servant, because of his love of the Lord, has sought and received additional power, the power of the Holy Priesthood. That priesthood is effective and operative exactly to the degree that the covenant servant hungers and thirsts after righteousness and places the Lord’s will above his own in all things. When he keeps his covenants, that servant can control fire, flood, earthquake, climate, storm, disease, pestilence, mountains, rivers, the rotation of the earth, etc. Anxious to share this power with his neighbor who does not enjoy the same, the covenant servant implores the Lord to know how and what to share. If the neighbor has not received the Gospel, under the Lord’s direction he shares with the neighbor the Gospel message. As that is received, and as the neighbor is able to receive, and as it is fitting in the Lords authority in his earthly kingdom -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-, the neighbor is brought to faithfulness and then to a sharing of the priesthood power and authority. Then the neighbor has the power to solve every problem situation that confronts him in the stewardship God gives him in mortality.
By this same means can the lack of power to solve earthly problems be overcome for all mankind.
Until June 8, 1978, the opportunity to receive this power was not open to all men. On that day came a marvelous change. Why did the change come then? It had been prophesied that the change would come eventually, but why then? Two factors are important to mention: First, it was the Lord’s will, the right thing to do. Second, those who held the priesthood were very anxious to share the priesthood with every brother, who would love the Lord. The prayers of those who held the priesthood in behalf of their less fortunate brethren were undoubtedly a powerful influence to bring about the change. Their prayers and desire to share were a key aspect of making it right to make the change so that the Lord could instruct his prophet to make the change.
Misery #6. Being alone
Every righteous, healthy male covenant servant of the Lord of sufficient age is or has been married. Not so with many righteous female covenant servants of the Lord who desire to be married to a strong, good man and do not have that opportunity. It is one thing to tell them that they will get their reward in heaven. That is true. But it is like saying to the poor that the Lord has no power to lift their lot now, to the unlearned that the hidden treasures of knowledge are all reserved for the next world, or to the diseased and infirm that their cause is just but there is no healing power to help them. Following the principle that those who are rich have the opportunity to implore the Lord to know how to share with the poor, the changes which will enable the single righteous sisters of the Church to begin to fulfill their full earthly opportunities are much in the hands of the married sisters of the Church. When they who are rich implore the Lord that somehow the poor might be blessed in this regard, then it will become more right for the Lord to show forth his mighty arm. The poor in temporal resources in the Church yet languish because the rich do not yet love the Lord enough to implore him in their behalf. The ill in the Church yet languish because the healthy are not yet as concerned about them as they should be. The unlearned of the Church and the world are yet unlearned partly because the learned of the Church do not yet love the Lord enough to share more with them as the Lord directs.
May I now share with you the conclusion foregoing?
Conclusion #1: The measure of our love for the Lord is the degree to which we keep his commandments. To each of us he gives a mission as part of his commandments. He gives us a “what” and a “how.” Basically the “what” and the “how” are the same for each of us. The “what” of our missions is always to bear witness of him, to help to turn souls to him as we share our temporal blessings with them. The “how” of our missions is to do all that we do in righteousness, in and through covenants of the Restored Gospel and in the name of the Savior.
Conclusion #2: The measure of our love for our neighbor is the personal sacrifice we make to fulfill our mission to relieve our neighbor’s misery and to bear witness of the goodness of God to him. Whatever we get paid for doing, either in honor or money, is no sacrifice, and does not count as the work of God. Nor does it count if it is not done in the Lords own way. The work of God is always the free gift of love borne in sacrifice. The sacrifice always involves acting with a broken heart and a contrite spirit before God, and a giving up of our own time, strength, and substance to minister to genuine need. My belief is that it is the full-time mothers of this world who best perform this sacrifice and thus bust fulfill the Royal Law.
Conclusion #3: I have felt great anguish in my life because as a parent, spouse and neighbor I have been so imperfect. I have glimpsed the way of godliness but have been unable to exemplify it. Consideration of the Royal Law has brought me a new hope. That hope is in Christ. For I see that though my love and witness to my children is not perfect and I will never be able to minister fully to their miseries, I believe my love and witness have been sufficient to invite them to love the Lord. No man or men will ever be able to heal all of their wounds and troubles. But if each of them loves the Lord and fulfills his Royal Law, the Lord, who is perfect, will give them complete healing and blessing such as the people of this world have never dreamed. To pretend that man can save man, that the services one man can perform for another are sufficient for his needs, is as great a blasphemy as I know.
Conclusion #4: There is a worse hypocrisy in the earth than aristocracy. It is when the covenant servants of the Lord love him with only half of their heart, might, mind, and strength. They sit down in the gate of glory and will not go in themselves, nor will they help others to find the gate who would and could enter were the gate not blocked by double-minded carcasses. The kingdom has come a long way in 153 years. But the Royal Law yet beckons us to continue in faith unto the end.
The great truth of the Restored Gospel is that each human being can have a direct, personal, daily, saving relationship with God, now, in this world. If this relationship is sought humbly and intelligently by us through the laws and ordinances of the Restored Gospel, each of us shall know that bread of life, that fountain of living water, and shall never hunger nor thirst again. Unto this true nobility was each of us born. Thank you.