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(Gospel) of the Lord: Our Duty and Our Quest
The Law and the Word of the Lord:
Our Duty and Our Quest
Key premise for this "Greater
Things" web site.
"...for out of Zion shall go
forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
-- Isaiah 2:3; 5:24
The Word, or the gospel, relates to
personal, spiritual salvation. The law of the Lord relates to government or
national, temporal salvation. We are to be a light to the world on both
issues. How are we doing?
This Essay/Talk is Featured At:
Zion 101 Fundamentals - Zion is a society of
individuals whose hearts have been changed by God, who helps them realize and accomplish their
unique missions in life for the betterment of all mankind.
TALK --The Law and the Word
of the Lord: Our Duty and Our Quest
by Sterling D. Allan
Purpose of Prophecy
We live during the most exciting and challenging time in the history of the world. We have
embarked on an adventure that far surpasses anything Hollywood ever produced. We have important
foreordained destinies to fulfill. The forces of evil that are now arrayed must be overcome, both
individually and collectively. Individually we are striving ultimately to come unto Christ.
Collectively we are striving to build up Zion.
The struggles that lies ahead will try us to the very core--even as Abraham. (D&C 101:4.)
That is the purpose of the trials. Great tribulations will produce a sanctified people worthy to
raise up the city of Zion. Individually, if a person is faithful, tribulations like unto Abraham's
will bring the blessings of Abraham.
Nearly one third of all scriptures deal with prophecy. Many of those prophecies focus on the
very day in which we live, it is so crucial. Joel called this crucible of time, "the valley
of decision." (Joel 3:14.) The decision of which he spoke lies at the core of the dreadful
events that are shortly to come.
The picture that the prophecies paint of that which is just ahead is not pleasant. Yet the main
purpose of prophecies is not to frighten us--though they do stir us up in remembrance of the Lord.
They are given so that we might believe, repent, understand, and prepare. (Hel 14:11-13; D&C
84:117; Hel 14:9.)
3 Nephi 16 Gentiles Trodden Under Foot
In Third Nephi, Christ prophesied that the time would come in the latter days that the Gentiles
would sin against the gospel and reject it. (3 Ne. 16:10.) He said they would be "lifted up
in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole
earth...." (3 Ne. 16:10.) President Benson, in the last April General Conference, addressed
this issue of pride. He reminded us of the warning in the Doctrine and Covenants that states,
"Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old." (D&C 38:39.) We must
remember that pride not only caused the Nephites' utter destruction. (Moro. 8:27.) It also brought
punishing destructions upon them, to chasten them. (Hel. 15:3.) The situations presented in the
book of Helaman parallel remarkably the conditions we find in the world today and the chastening
destructions that apparently await us.
Christ continued his prophecy, declaring that if the Gentiles would not repent and hearken unto
him that they would be "as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for
nothing but to be cast out and...trodden under foot...." (3 Ne. 16:15.) Many other prophets
have also described how this hypocritical Gentile nation shall be trodden down.(1)
The two points I would like to address are the reasons behind this awful scene that will unfold
and the stance we should take as we enter into it. These two points, the reasons and the solution,
seem to hinge on the same factors.
D&C 103: Salt That Has Lost Its Savor
As members of the Church, collectively, our garments are not completely clean of the
degeneration of our society. In the one hundred and third section of the Doctrine and Covenants,
the Lord told us that He set us up "to be a light unto the world and to be the saviors of
men." (103:9.) Have we adequately performed our obligations over the years? The Lord seems to
suggest that had we been diligent in our duties, our world would not have fallen
to the state that it is now in. Continuing his above statement--this time specifically referring
to the negligent members--the Lord said, "inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they
are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out an
trodden under foot of men." (103:10.) Note that some of the wording here is identical to that
in the prophecy in Third Nephi about our gentile society in general. (3 Ne. 16:15.) Is the reason
our society as a whole has fallen from God's favor because the salt has lost its savor?
In this same revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 103, the Lord promised that if the saints
would hearken to all his counsels, they would prevail against the kingdoms of the world and would
"never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under [His] feet, and the
earth is given unto the saints, to posses it forever and ever." (103:7.) However, he then
warned that if the saints would not hearken altogether unto his precepts and commandments that the
kingdoms of the world would prevail against them. He reassured us that Zion will "be
established, no more to be thrown down." (103:14.) However, he said that this blessing will
come "after much tribulation." (103:12.)
Daniel 7: War Against the Saints
This prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants is strikingly similar in wording and essence to
Daniel chapter seven. There also, Daniel spoke of how the saints shall eventually "possess
the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." (7:18; compare D&C 103:7.) He said that
before the saints would be given the kingdom, the kingdoms of the world would prevail against
them. The symbolic beast he described "shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down,
and break it in pieces." (7:23.) It will also make "war with the saints, and...[prevail]
against them" for three and a half years. (7:21,25; compare Rev. 13:5.) World conditions
today suggest that we stand on the brink of the fulfillment of this prophecy.
1 Nephi 14: Two Kingdoms
In First Nephi 14, Nephi describes the two sides of this war. He saw that all mankind would
either belong to the church of the Lamb of God, or they would belong to the church of the devil.
(14:10.) People will either be convinced unto peace and life eternal or they will be delivered to
the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds. (14:7.)
Accordingly, President Benson recently declared, "As the issues become clearer and more
obvious, all mankind will be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or with
the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will
Isaiah 5: Law and Word
Isaiah prepares us for this valley of decision by laying down the two issues into which all
other issues may be circumscribed. He said the reason destructions will come will be "because
[we] have (1) cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and (2) despised the word
of the Holy One of Israel." (Isa. 5:24.) The law and the word, though
related, are separate things.
We can readily identify the word of the Lord: it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Recall
Christ's prophecy above. He, like Isaiah, said the time would come that the Gentiles would reject
According to Presidents George Albert Smith and Harold B. Lee, the law of the Lord, on
the other hand, has to do with the principles of the Constitution of the United States.(3)
No wonder Presidents John Taylor and Ezra Taft Benson said, "Besides the preaching of the
Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the
maintenance of liberty, freedom, and the rights of man."(4)
The word of the Lord deals with individual salvation. Rebelling against the
word of the Lord brings spiritual captivity (which, of course, usually has physical
manifestations). The law of the Lord deals with the salvation of nations.
Rejecting the law of the Lord results in literal captivity.
In order to achieve personal salvation and overcome the temptations of the devil, we
must adhere to the principles of the gospel. In order to establish Zion and overcome the
kingdoms of the world we must adhere to hallowed principles of government. The word
of the Lord should be our personal pattern of government. The law of the Lord is
for the proper government of the masses.
These two, the spiritual and the temporal, are closely intertwined. We as members of the church
were set up to be a light unto the world on both issues. On both fronts collectively we have not
adequately fulfilled our responsibility. We have not held up the principles of the gospel as we
should both by sharing it and by the way we live our personal lives. Also, not enough of us have
stood up to defend our originally inspired and now faltering Constitution as it has eroded before
These issues constitute basic reasons for the coming chastening destructions. Renewing our
devotion to these principles will likewise save us. Perhaps a major purpose of the chastisement to
come will be to restore our determination to stand firm on both fronts.
Book of Mormon Parallel
From the book of Helaman, we discover that these same factors laid at the root of a division
that occurred among the Nephites. They too had come to despise the word of God. (Hel. 8:25.) They
had also cast away the laws of Mosiah, which hold remarkable similarities to the Constitution of
the United States. (Hel. 4:22.) For these reasons, chastening destructions came upon them. They
were delivered when they humbled themselves sufficiently and destroyed the Gadianton robbers from
off the face of the land. (Hel. 11:10.) This ancient secret combination, like one that threatens
the world today, had usurped the Nephites' virtuous government and even "seduced the more
part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works." (Hel. 7:4; 6:38.)
Revelations 13: War Against Saints
In Revelation chapter thirteen, John recorded a vision that closely resembles the one Daniel
saw. He described a symbolic beast that would make war with the Saints for three and a half years.
(13:5,7.) His graphic account suggests how influential, deceptive, and alluring this beast will
be. Only those saints whose names are "written in the book of life" will not worship the
beast and take the mark of the beast. (13:8,16.)
Revelations 12: War in Heaven
In the previous chapter, John described another war--the war in heaven. (12:7.) Then in the
same context he mentioned the war that Satan will wage yet again on the earth. (12:17.) Indeed,
the war that is now being waged on earth, and which will become most intense in the days ahead, is
a repeat of the war in heaven. Freedom is still the crux, this time on two arenas. The conflict is
not only spiritual, it is also physical.
Satan's alluring alternative and his arrogant aim were no different in the pre-existence than
they are today. Satan's soothing appeal was then, and is now that not one soul will be lost.
(Moses 4:1.) His plan then, as now, was not in reality a noble solution: he only wanted
unsurpassed praise as the autocratic global guardian. (4:1.)
Zion Will Triumph
Though the kingdoms of the world will prevail for a time, the saints of God will eventually
triumph. Nephi saw that the saints would be "armed with righteousness and with the power of
God in great glory." (1 Ne. 14:14.) The challenge ahead is great, but the rewards will more
than match the trials that will precede them.
As we contemplate the trials that lie ahead, the following remarks of the apostle Paul become
reassuring. He counseled, "...Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when
thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he
receiveth." (Heb. 12:5,6.) Nephi declared that the Lord "doeth not anything save it be
for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world...." (2 Ne. 26:24.) Zion is our goal
collectively, and having our calling and election made sure is our goal individually. The
chastisements of the Lord are "for our profit, that we might be partakers of his
holiness." (Heb. 12:10.)
"No chastening for the present," continued Paul, "seemeth to be joyous, but
grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which
are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees...."
(Heb. 12:11.) Paul further indicated that if we do these things, we "shall see the
Lord." (12:14.) Like an individual must overcome the world to be redeemed, so must the saints
of God overcome the kingdoms of the world so that the world might be redeemed. The Lord will be
our staff and our stay, but we must be the instruments. This is our duty, this is our quest. May
we be faithful in this glorious responsibility.
- end talk -
Sterling D. Allan; Provo, Utah; September 24, 1989
To God be all praise, glory and honor
TALK'S POETIC STRUCTURE
of entire talk. First
focal point, regarding great division: "all mankind will either belong to the
church of the Lamb of God or they will belong to the church of the devil." Second
focal point, "the word of the lord deals with individual salvation..., the law
of the Lord deals with the salvation of nations."
Parallel of whole talk (download <PDF>
<WP.zip>). First third
parallels the second third with 50 consecutive matching points. The second third
parallels the third third of the text, also with 50 consecutive matching points.
smaller chiasms and parallels spanning entire talk.
Two Other Large
Chiasms within talk. Focal
point A, "We stand at the brink of the fulfillment of this prophecy." Focal
point B, "These same factors laid at the root of a division that occurred among the
Nephites. They too had come to dispose the word of God. They had also cast away
the laws of Mosiah, which hold remarkable similarities to the Constitution of the United
of discovering these non-intended poetic structures in this 10-minute talk. An
example of what anyone might be able to do with their writings given by the the Spirit of God.
Diagram of chiastic
& parallel structures.
reprint of talk and poetic formatting as published in Oct. 1992 Greater Things
> Will the Gentiles
Also Look Beyond the Mark?
(2/28/92) Expounds the thesis that the Mormons/Christians are today where the Jews were at the
time of Christ. The Jews were looking for what amounts to the "second" coming, but
were supposed to be the husbandmen to prepare for the first advent. Likewise, the Gentiles
have been foreordained to be the husbandmen in preparing for the second coming, but have
diverted their attention to the first coming and are therefore likewise looking beyond the
> Through a Glass
Darkly: First and Second Messianic Advents
Addresses the "strong delusion" and its manifestation in modern
political systems. Composed on Nov. 9: day 2 of 'Harmonic Convergence.'
Administration Building Address
Names and numbers of the address for the leadership headquarters of the Church
contains prophetic commentary about salt losing its savor.
> Hitler but a Foreshadowing of the Coming
(2/13/00) Overview of the rise of the New World Order, the lack of
resistance by the church, and the remnant who will arise through the destruction that is
> WORLD GOVERNMENT: Not if but whose
-- God's or Satan's
There is no such thing as absence of international government in a world
such as ours where nations interact as they do. The question is What kind of government
we will seek to establish?
1. Ps. 2:1-12; 7:1,2; 50:2-6,22,23; 60:11,12; Ezek. 6:1-10;
Isa. 8:7-13; 9:4,5,18-20; 10:1-27; 14:24-32; 30:31; 31:1-9; Jer. 4:6-13; 30:11,23,24; Lam. 4:5-22;
Dan. 7:8:23-25; Joel 1:6-20; Micah 4:11-13; 5:5-15; 7:10-13; Hab. 1:5-17; Zech 2:6-9; Rev.
13:3,13; 3 Ne. 16:10-15; 20:15-20; 21:8-21; D&C 103:8-11. [More]
2. Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 87.
3. George Albert Smith, Improvement Era, Oct. 1945,
p. 564; Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Nov. 1971, p. 15.
4. Ezra Taft Benson, CR., Oct., 1963, p. 16.
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