The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

June 20, 2016

Alma, Happiness, Wesley

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Wisdom, holiness, and happiness are one; are inseparably united; and are, indeed, the beginning of that eternal life which God hath given us in his Son.

John Wesley
Sermon 70, “Case of Reason Impartially Considered”

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Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

Alma 41:10

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November 2, 2015

Perfection, Wesley

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A note about the inclusion of quotes from a few non-LDS writers in a blog devoted to the Atonement as expressed in the restored Gospel, including in scriptures and by prophets and apostles in former days and latter days:

C.S. Lewis was sometimes called “The Thirteenth Apostle,” because he had so many deep insights into the Gospel of Jesus Christ without benefit of having much, if any, exposure to the restored Gospel.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, died prior to The First Vision and discovered much divine truth in the absence of the restoration of complete and perfect truth.  In considering Wesley’s writings, Latter-day Saints will remember that he was among the 100 great men who appeared to Wilford Woodruff and for whom President Woodruff was baptized in the St. George Temple.  Wesley was one of the few in this group to be ordained a High Priest.

Wesley was amazingly prolific in speaking and writing.  While some of Wesley’s expressed beliefs were clearly not correct and reflected errors common to Protestant teachings of his day,  I believe the following excerpt from one of his sermons is well-expressed and in keeping with LDS doctrine on the necessity of an Atonement and both our total dependence upon the Savior and the importance of our obedience to His commandments:

4. What is then the perfection of which man is capable while he dwells in a corruptible body? It is the complying with that kind command, “My son, give me thy heart.” It is the “loving the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind.” This is the sum of Christian perfection: It is all comprised in that one word, Love. The first branch of it is the love of God: And as he that loves God loves his brother also, it is inseparably connected with the second: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:” Thou shalt love every man as thy own soul, as Christ loved us. “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets:” These contain the whole of Christian perfection.

John Wesley

On Perfection, Sermon 76,  (text from the 1872 edition – Thomas Jackson, editor)

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November 2, 2015

Adversity, Hymns, Wesley

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Sometimes, our lives are easy and sometimes they are difficult.  For those times when life feels like a big battle, I appreciate the old words of Charles Wesley, included in one of my favorite hymns.  Even more importantly when I’m in a battle, trying to do what is right, feeling like I’m losing, I’m happy the Savior is on my side.

Oh, that each in the day of His coming may say,
“I have fought my way thru;
I have finished the work thou didst give me to do.”
Oh, that each from his Lord may receive the glad word:
“Well and faithfully done;
Enter into my joy and sit down on my throne;
Enter into my joy and sit down on my throne.”

Come Let Us Anew
Hymn 217
Text by Charles Wesley

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June 11, 2015

Charity, Enabling Power, Wesley

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Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

John Wesley
Rule of Conduct, Letters of John Wesley, ed. George Eayrs, p. 423, footnote

September 20, 2013

Grace, Hymns, Wesley, Woodruff

Comments Off on Come, Ye That Love the Lord

I woke this morning with an old hymn running through my mind, Come, Ye That Love the Lord.  I grew up in the Methodist Church and its founder, John Wesley, wrote the words.

Although he died before the Gospel was restored, we know from Wilford Woodruff that John Wesley was a good man.

There were, doubtless, millions of good men, who acted according to the best understanding that they had. There were such men as John Wesley (1703–1791) English theologian, Martin Luther (1483–1546) German reformer, Wickliffe (Wycliffe) (1320–1384) English reformer, Zwingli (1484–1531) Swiss reformer, Melancthon (1497–1560) German reformer, and thousands of others, who came forth in their day and preached the Gospel according to the knowledge and understanding they possessed.

Wilford Woodruff

“We Are Led by Revelation,” Tambuli, Dec 1978, 15

In 1877, while Pres. Woodruff was a counselor to Brigham Young and also serving as President of the St. George Temple, the first temple completed in Utah, Wesley requested that Pres. Woodruff perform temple ordinances for him.

“The spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, ‘You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we … remained true to it and were faithful to God.’ These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence [of the United States of America], and they waited on me for two days and two nights. … I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McAllister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham [1946], 160–61).

Wesley was inspired to write the words of this hymn by Jeremiah 31:6, where we see prophesied a future gathering to Zion of those men and women who love the Lord.  Jeremiah reveals that the tribe of Ephraim will play a significant role in this gathering.  An alternate title for Wesley’s hymn is “Marching to Zion.”

For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.

Jeremiah 31:6

Here are a few words from that good man, John Wesley:

There we shall see his face,
And never, never sin;
There, from the rivers of his grace,
Drink endless pleasures in:
Yea, and before we rise
To that immortal state,
The thoughts of such amazing bliss
Should constant joys create.

The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruit on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow:
Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We are marching through Immanuel’s grounds
To fairer worlds on high.

Come Ye That Love the Lord, words by John Wesley

Through the Atonement of Christ, it is possible for us to begin growing Celestial fruit today.

Below, I have inserted a partial page from the St. George temple records showing the work that Pres. Woodruff performed.  This is from the Religion 341-343 manual, page 417.

StGeorge

June 7, 2010

Service, Wesley

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One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since He is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve Him in our neighbor; which He receives as if done to Himself in person, standing visibly before us.

John Wesley

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection