08) TRYING TO KEEP COMMANDMENTS: Is the Gospel Covenant different for each person?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Fielding Smith

We have all been taught the doctrine of personal free agency and that no individual is ever compelled by force or other means to comply with divine edicts and philosophy. We have been informed that a long time ago in the pre-existence there was a rebellion in heaven, and because one notable character, who had been entrusted with great authority, rebelled and led many away with him, he had to be cast out of the kingdom. However we should remember that every principle and law existing in the celestial kingdom has been proved to be perfect through the eternities through which they have come. If any individual proves himself worthy for the exaltation in that kingdom, it will be by strict obedience to every principle and covenant here existing. Therefore we may be assured that every law and principle thereunto pertaining is perfect and cannot be amended or discarded because of its perfection. However there is no reason to believe that under such conditions there could arise differences of judgment or opinion in relation to any principle or commandment, for everything has reached the stage of perfection.

ALL DIVINE LAWS HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY TESTED We may well believe that since our Eternal Father has been building worlds, peopling them, and having them go on to perfection through countless ages, that every divine law and commandment has been so thoroughly tested that there could not come at any time a condition where an individual who reaches the exaltation could discover wherein any principle or commandment could be discarded or in any way amended to improve the conditions of that kingdom. [1]

WORTHY TO BE BLESSED IN KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM Here we are informed that those who are worthy of the exaltation will be blessed in knowledge, wisdom, truth, and light, so that they will, like our Lord, eventually know all things and be bathed in light and truth. When this time comes there could not arise any differences of opinion. There could be no ambitious souls who would be dissatisfied, or who would wish to introduce any individual notions or wish to change the laws by which all things in perfection are governed. Since the joy of all who dwell there is perfect there could arise no occasion for a difference of opinion or a conflict of ideas. The weakness and imperfections of mortality will all be brushed aside, and those who receive this exaltation will be bathed in wisdom, light, and truth in their perfection.

Should there arise a person or persons who wish to change the order, then the perfect order would cease to exist. Neither could any person or group discover any principle or commandment that would need to be modified, for the eternal state of perfection has been reached. [2]

Spencer W. Kimball

If we have felt disheartened or inadequate, we need only turn to our Heavenly Father and plead for his help. He will give it! It is a promise he has made to us that he will not break. Thus, so long as the Spirit is striving with us, there is always hope. But when we say “This is the way I wish to live” or “I am different” or “God made me this way” or “My parents or upbringing are responsible,” then we have arrived at a tragic state in our relationship with ourselves and with God.

If we will earnestly seek our Heavenly Father’s help and apply the steps that constitute the doctrine of repentance, then we will find peace and joy both in this life and in eternity. 1


Contrasting Statements

Supporting Statements

  1. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 4: 69
  2. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 4: 71
  1. “The Gospel of Repentance,” Ensign, Oct. 1982.
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