Lectionary Readings for Friday, February 18th, 2022
Book of Discipline Chapter 2
GOD EXPLAINETH THE FIRST AND SECOND RESURRECTION, AND THE DIFFERENCE IN MANIFESTATIONS FROM THEM.
1. HEAR me, O man, and consider the weight of the arguments of thy God. Thou hast communed with the spirits of the dead; thy father and mother and sister and brother who are gone from mortality have spoken to thee in spirit, and thou art convinced.
2. And thy kin and thy neighbor have done so likewise; yea, from east to west, and north to south the communion of angels and a multitude of miracles have stirred up thousands and millions–to know that the souls of the dead do live.
3. Moreover thou wert taught in thy youth to say: I believe in the holy communion of angels.
4. And of a truth this hath come to pass. And thou rejoicest with all thy heart and soul. Thou puttest aside the ancient scriptures, saying: Why shall I read them? Do I not converse with heaven itself? Behold, I have seen my father and mother and brother and sister who were dead; they have spoken to me; there is no devil nor place of hell.
5. For a season thy God hath suffered this also to come to pass–that the spirits say there is no God; that there is no higher heaven than to dwell upon the earth, to enjoy the things thereof; to be reincarnated, and to live over and over in mortality.
6. That the evidence of my words might be substantiated by thy experience, and thou be led to consider the testimonies, present and past, in order to comprehend the plan of Jehovih’s works, and the glory and completeness thereof.
7. Consider then the result of angel communion as thou hast found it, and bear witness that Jehovih was wise in providing comfort to both the dead and the living by this proximity of spirit unto them, rather than a heaven far remote.
8. Nevertheless, this also hath been proved unto thee–that there are false angels and wise angels, as well as false seers and wise seers, and that out of the multitude of revelations from them, there hath come neither harmony nor good works.
9. They have been pullers down and clearers away of the ancient revelations, doctrines and religions; but they have built not an edifice of unity and glory to the Almighty.
10. And it hath been shown thee that not only the seer, prophet, su’is, and miracle worker, but that all people are subject to the influence of the spirits of the dead, even though unconsciously to themselves.
11. And it hath been shown that the spirits of the dead possess for a long period of time the same characteristics and prejudices as when in mortality; and since there is neither harmony nor community of life amongst mortals, neither is there harmony nor community of life nor of teaching amongst the angels who manifest unto them.
12. For the angels through one prophet teach one doctrine, and through another prophet another doctrine, after the manner of the doctrines of the prophets themselves.
13. Consider also the multitude of infants, that die without any knowledge of either earth or heaven. And the multitude of unlearned, and foolish, and depraved; for all of these as well as the wise and good enter the first resurrection.
14. And of the wise and good, who strive for continual elevation–how few, compared to the whole! Yet such is the relative proportions of angels of light and angels of darkness in proximity to mortals.
15. Thus hath it ever been. Nevertheless, in time long past, the minority, who were wise and good were moved by the spirit of Jehovih upon them, saying:
16. Come ye together, O all ye who desire to rise to a higher heaven; my heavens are for raising the soul upward for ever and ever.
17. And thy God gathered them together, and said unto them:
18. Behold, this darkness is more than we can bear; let us hence and inhabit a heaven by ourselves, where there shall be no wrangling, or falsehood, or malice, or blasphemy against our Creator.
19. And they responded: Yea, let us hence. And we will covenant ourselves unto Jehovih to return no more to these regions, nor to mortals on earth. For doth not the behavior of mortals invite darkness rather than light? Do they not want us for servants–to find lost treasures or riches, or social indulgence? or to entertain them with miracles?
20. Thus it came to pass that the wisest and best angels departed away from the earth; away from mortals, and away from the inharmonious presence of the legions of the spirits of the dead, and they inhabited a heavenly region by themselves.
21. And they covenanted themselves unto Jehovih not to return again single-handed to minister unto mortals; neither to return again to mortals save they came in phalanxes, and only when duly authorized and directed by their most Holy Council, and their chief, who was God.
22. Such then was the beginning of the second resurrection; and the condition of membership required the renunciation of all associations and conditions below it. And the rank of all such angels was, ANGELS OF GOD, or ANGELS OF JEHOVIH, in contradistinction from the angels of the first resurrection, who know no organization for righteousness’ sake.
23. But that mortals be not left in darkness, behold thy God and his holy council prepared certain rules of discipline and conduct and commandments, whereby the angels of the second resurrection should be as a unit in their duties and teachings thereafter.
24. Chief of which rules was, that the angels of Jehovih should never manifest themselves as individuals unto mortals, lest mortals become servants to, and worshippers of the spirits instead of the All Highest, Jehovih.
25. Second to this–that when the angels of Jehovih should be appointed to mortals, it should be as guardians over infants, to inspire them by way of the natural consciousness within, as to what was right and good in reference to eternal life. And that such guardian angels be in phalanxes of millions and tens of millions (but still in close membership with thy God and his Holy Council) in order to relieve one another on guard.
26. For, by the inspirations of the angels of thy God, the individual entity of a mortal is directed in its normal growth; but by the angels of the first resurrection, mortals are used abnormally, by entrancement, by miracles, or by sar’gis, oracles or otherwise.
27. That the angels of God might inspire mortals with the same inspiration, behold, he and his Holy Council prepared certain instruction with rules, words and commandments adapted to the understanding of mortals for the good of their souls, pandering not to their earthly desires. Such words being designated as sacred writings in the original, though for the most part perverted or lost sight of afterward.
28. Chief angels over these phalanxes being Lords, Marshals, Captains, and so on, the second resurrection being orderly, disciplined and organized in its glorious work.
29. Thus my Lords have angels under them who are authorized and ordained in my name, and in the name of Jehovih to abide for times and seasons with mortals as guardians and inspirers; to provide dreams, thoughts and visions in the minds of mortals, and to otherwise labor in elevating them in purity, love and wisdom.
30. Such then are the angels of God and of Jehovih. And their teachings are the same as my Lord’s and thy God’s; nor doth one of them teach a matter in one way, and another teach it differently; howbeit there are different grades and systems adapted to the different degrees of intelligence of the different peoples on earth.