Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Sanctified by the law.

Posted by NathanG on January 28, 2008

I read a scripture for the first time the other night. It made me stop to rethink my gospel framework.

I recommend reviewing more than just this verse to appreciate more of the context, but this is what stopped me:

D&C 88:35
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.

Particularly, why does it say that it cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment?

We (I) typically think of the law and justice as things that will work against us in the judgment, but this verse seems to use these concepts differently.

Is the converse of this verse true (even though the grammar is awkward)?

That which keepeth a law, and abideth by law, and seeketh to be one with the law, and willeth to abide in righteousness, and altogether abideth in righteousness, will be sanctified by law, as well as mercy, justice, and judgment. Therefore, they will remain righteous still.

The context of law spoken here refers to laws of the various kingdoms of glory and seems to be inherently different from the law of Moses, which is the law of death. Even with that difference in mind, how can the law (a better, higher law) lead to sanctification when our imperfect efforts of living the law would more justifiably condemn us?

What does it mean to ‘keep the law’ and how is that different from ‘abiding by the law’? From the original verse (not my made up version) what is “becom[ing] a law unto itself”?

Are we also sanctified by justice? Does this have something to do with Alma 41:2 and the law of restoration being requisite with the justice of God?

I have some thoughts, but I would like to hear some thoughts.

23 Responses to “Sanctified by the law.”

  1. Cherylem said

    Probably we need to think about what being sanctified means. Relating to the gospel, I have come to think of sanctified as becoming perfect. That is, sanctification is the process of becoming perfect, or in other words, one with God.

    We are justified when we repent (turn) toward God. As long as God/Jesus/Spirit is our focus, we are still in sin, but we are justified because we are turned toward the light, and have our backs to the darkness (walking on the path toward the tree of life). But sanctification is the further process of becoming more and more like God. The path to sanctification involves some significant spiritual experiences, gaining more knowledge, being filled with more light, experiencing and pouring ourselves out in love.

    So, in thinking of being sanctified by law (God’s law, different than man’s law, certainly different than Mosaic law or LDS law), as well as mercy, justice and judgment makes sense to me. Especially in light of Alma 41 and 42, which seems to me to incorporate all the ideas (and I noticed that you referenced Alma 41 in your post) found in this verse.

  2. m&m said

    I read this last night and have been thinking about it also this morning. Here are some thoughts, not completely thought out yet, but thoughts nonetheless.

    1. 2 Ne. 2 tells us the connection between law, sin, righteousness, happiness and the existence of God. It seems that all of that which is good that comes through the Atonement comes with law as the foundation. I’m still mulling over what that might mean here, but I think it might be relevant.

    2. D&C 132 gets to the importance of abiding by celestial law in order to obtain celestial glory. Perhaps being sanctified by the law is about receiving the glory corresponding to the degree of law we are willing to abide by.

    3. D&C 43:8 And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.
    9 And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me—
    10 That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.
    11 Purge ye out the iniquity which is among you; sanctify yourselves before me;

    How can we be sanctified by what we have received? He uses law and the concept of being sanctified together here, too. I am thinking of 2 Ne. 2 and this in concert…we can’t know what iniquity to purge without knowing the law of God. The law can help us know what to aim for and seek for to be sanctified.

    4. D&C 119:5 says: Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.
    6 And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you.

    Here, there is a connection between the law and sanctifying. In this context, sanctify seems to be tied to consecrating, giving the land to the Lord, making it sacred by keeping the law. Can we not do this for ourselves, making ourselves sacred, consecrated, and dedicated to God by keeping His laws?

    5. D&C 88:21 says: “And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.

    What is the ‘law of Christ’? I’m thinking the law is broad, encompassing all the “covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” (a la D&C 132) that bind us to Christ through priesthood power and (we hope) through the Holy Spirit of Promise (also a la D&C 132).

    6. As I read about laws and covenants, they are intimately intertwined. The covenants God has made are bound to the laws He has set. So, as we fulfill and keep the law and commandments, the promised sanctifying power of the Savior’s atonement, available through the gift of the Holy Ghost (what a gift!), sanctifies us. The law is also the word, and the word is Christ. His word is also tied to promises of being perfected in Him if we keep the commandments.

    7. Christ is also called the law. His light is “the law by which all things are governed” so being sanctified by the law to me can also bring that to mind. We are sanctified through Him and all that the law and light and His power entail.

  3. Jim F said

    Just a logical point: The converse of “If A, then B” is not “If not A, then not B,” for the first could be true and the second false. The classic begining logic example is “If it rains, then the sidewalks are wet,” but it is not true “If the sidewalks are wet, it has rained.” (The converse is “If not B, then not A.”)

    So, “If something breaks a law, refuses to abide by a law, etc., then that thing cannot be sanctified by law, judgment, mercy, etc.” does not raise the question of whether if something does abide a law, it will be sanctified. All that the verse in question does is tell us what happens to those who refuse law. It neither says nor implies anything about those who don’t refuse it.

    Of course, there may be other reasons for asking the question. My only point is that the verse in question doesn’t raise it.

  4. Excellent post and comments!

    To simply restate, what seems to matter most is our current attitude and direction. Repentance can bring a forgiveness of sins in our past. When we are willing to commit to keep God’s commandments – as we do in the sacrament – then we are putting ourselves in the right direction. The people being addressed in the verse appear to not be willing to make such a convenant.

    I believe that the atonement is consistent with eternal law, and does not really rob justice.

    To address some of your questions, I see no real difference between keeping the law and abiding by the law. Am I missing something?

    I think becoming a law unto itself means following your own will and desires instead of following God.

    And I believe we are sanctified by justice if it can be said that the atonement is consistent or part of eternal law.

  5. NathanG said

    Cherylem and m&m: Thanks for your comments. I particularly like the comments that connect the law with covenants (which m&m states explicitly, but Cherlyem describes part of what I see in covenants “some significant spiritual experiences, gaining more knowledge, being filled with more light, experiencing and pouring ourselves out in love.

    Jim F: Thanks for the correction on terminology. What is my example more appropriately called? I recognize that substituting opposites is not necessarily valid, but I do think the context of the verse allows my made up verse to at least be considered. m&m pointed out D&C 88:21 dealing with sanctification by the (celestial) law (which is what piqued my interest to begin with), which is at least somewhat consistent with what I was trying to explore.

    By the way, is your example at the end of your first paragraph supposed to be “if B, then A” instead of “if not B, then not A”

    Eric: Maybe there isn’t a difference between keeping and abiding by a law and that could be due to my limitations with language, but the original verse talks about breaking a law and not abiding by a law. Someone may break a law in a moment, but still be interested in abiding by the law that they broke. That person may turn around and repent and continue abiding by the law. They may, however, sin again and break the law again. At some point they may cross some line where within themselves they have lost their desire to abide by the law and their likelihood of repentance is very low. This may be why the Book of Mormon refers to the wicked Nephites as the Spirit no longer strived with them. Can similar patterns be true when we are keeping the law. We may go through the motions of keeping the law without letting it encompass our lives. At the same time, the laws could be such that it is not possible to obey the laws without abiding by the laws because the laws are not about actions, but attitudes.

  6. brianj said

    Great thoughts, everyone, and m&m thanks for all the references.

    Nathan: I think that Alma 41-42 is very relevant. It points out that “justification” blesses the righteous but damns the wicked. I’m not saying that justification and sanctification are synonymous (they are not). The concept is important because we might view the relationship between law and sanctification the same way.

    “We (I) typically think of the law and justice as things that will work against us in the judgment, but this verse seems to use these concepts differently.”

    Then why praise God for his justice? (e.g., 2 Ne 9:14) It seems that we must see God’s justice as a ‘good thing’—not just for maintaining order in the universe, but also a good thing for me and you personally. Again with Alma in mind, why wouldn’t the righteous person go before God and hope for justice?

    “…inherently different from the law of Moses, which is the law of death.”

    You know that I bristled at that. {smile} Care to explain your take on the Law of Moses? This is the law which had as its sole purpose to point souls to Christ after all (Cf. Jacob 4:5).

    “how can the law lead to sanctification when our imperfect efforts of living the law would more justifiably condemn us?”

    Maybe, Nathan, you are thinking about God’s laws the wrong way. Why does he give laws? To punish? to divide? to control? I don’t think so. I think he gives laws for the same reason he does everything he does: to create opportunities for sanctification. I agree that we will fall short, but I’m not convinced that that really matters. Note how the verse in D&C emphasizes desire.

  7. brianj said

    (Okay, I was going to write this as a separate post, but since it’s so relevant here….)

    Last night I had a great discussion with my brother and sister. Among other topics, we talked about old age, death, etc. One important point we discussed is the concept of this life being a “test.” My brother compared this life to living in the testing center at BYU: things are a whole lot nicer after you die, just like life is nicer once you finally get out of the testing center; nobody enjoys taking tests.

    Let me cut to the important point: We say “this life is a test” and we quote Abraham 3:25. My question: “What is the question on that test, and is it a trick question?” Abraham says that the question is “Will you do everything I tell you to?” There are those who respond, “Yes,” and then live their lives trying to live up to that promise, do all they are commanded, etc. (i.e., live the law perfectly). As you point out above, we all fall short and so we are doomed—if this is our “answer”—to fail the test.

    But suppose it is a trick question. Suppose that it’s not as important whether or not we do “all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command,” as it is that we enjoy trying.

    To draw an analogy with repentance: Do I dread repentance, but hold my nose and “go through the steps”? Or do I look forward to every opportunity to repent, relishing the feeling of drawing nearer to my God?

  8. NathanG said

    I think with regard to the law Moses I was thinking of all the references to death in relation to the law. If you live by the law you receive death, but through Christ the law becomes dead to you. When people recognized the purpose of the law, it became dead unto them (but that didn’t mean they stopped living it).

    I like your idea of a trick question.

  9. Jim F. said

    Eric, no the example is right: If not B, then not A.

    Of course the problem is that “converse” means different things in different contexts. I’m using it to mean an if-then sentence with the same truth-value and the antecedent and consequent switched. Now that I think about it, however, there are probably those who use it to mean simply an if-then sentence with the antecedent and consequent switched. By that definition of “converse,” you were right that the statement you wondered about is the converse of the scripture.

    My main point, however, was that the scripture doesn’t logically entail what you called the converse. Perhaps the scripture makes one think of the idea you asked about because of some associations you make. As you note, m&m points out some of those possible associations. However, when you came to the idea, it wasn’t because something about the logic of the verse itself suggested the idea.

    But, then, logic isn’t the primary ingredient in scripture study. It is necessary, but not most important. Imagination (in the good sense) is more important than logic, and you were clearly using your imagination.

  10. Jared said

    I have always looked at this verse (D&C 88:35)in awe. It says so much about the Lord’s ways of “saving” His children.

    But I think the point of the verse is to say that those who cannot be saved become perdition because they are filthy still, by choice.

    I view sanctification to mean one is “perfected”. The savior was perfect because He never sinned, therefore he is sanctified by the law. He is the only who lived without sin. All others who are sanctified will do so by means of mercy, justice, or judgment; which principles exist because of the atonement of Christ.

  11. brianj said

    Nathan: The law of Moses itself is dead, and I would argue that all laws are dead (or should be dead to us). Does temple marriage bring about exaltation, or does that come through faith in Christ? Does obedience work out our salvation, or is that also through faith? Etc., etc. All laws are dead—the only reason that the law of Moses gets singled out (especially by Paul) is because that was The Law (i.e., singular) at the time; they didn’t talk in terms of multiple laws the way we do.

  12. Robert C. said

    Regarding logic, the formal terminology used in math, at least what I’ve always seen, is as follows:

    * Original statement: if A then B

    * Converse: if B then A (not necessarily true, even if original claim is true)

    * Inverse: if not A then not B (not necessarily true, even if original claim is true)

    * Contrapostive: if not B then not A (if the original statement is true then the contrapositive is also true, at least according to the traditional rules of logic—this is closely related to the technique of proof by contradiction often used in mathematics, though there is a small group of “constructivist” mathematicians who oppose this method of proof…)

    I think Jim is right, however, that these definitions are used somewhat differently in different circles.

  13. Robert C. said

    Others have mentioned Christ as being commonly referred to as the law, but I think it’s worth pointing out explicitly that this occurs earlier in section 88 in verse 13:

    [Christ is t]he light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

  14. m&m said

    If you look at the verse in context, it says that the light of Christ is the light in all things and the law by which all things are governed. I am not sure if there is a difference between saying Christ is the law (which is scriptural) or saying the light of Christ is the law by which all things are governed, but I thought that was an interesting difference in that D&C 88 verse.

    Note also that the verse speaks of something at first (which) until it refers back to God, when it switches to ‘who.’

  15. NathanG said

    I wonder if all laws really must become dead to us, or if there is something inherently unique about the laws pertaining to the celestial kingdom that actually bring about life (is the purpose of this section of scriptures on laws pertaining to kingdoms suggesting this). I suggest this with one thought in mind, that the laws of the celestial kingdom seem to already have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a foundation. These are laws that don’t just turn us toward Christ, but lead us to become like Christ. I don’t have time to try to collect my thoughts to write it tonight, but hopefully tomorrow evening I’ll propose what some of these celestial laws may be and why I think they are different from the law of Moses, as well as share some made up scenarios on law, justice, mercy, and judgment. Of course if anyone gets to it before me, I’d love to hear it.

  16. m&m said

    I don’t have time, either, Nathan, to give thoughts on what you have shared, but I like where it’s going. I think the law and covenants and the Atonement’s power are all tied together in the gospel. It’s one of the things that made it the higher law, in my mind.

    Think Elder Oaks’ becoming talk….

  17. joespencer said

    As I read the D&C, there seems to be only one law that is called the law of the celestial kingdom, and that is the law of consecration. Of course, I think there is scriptural evidence (as well as evidence from other important spheres) that this should be paired with the law of chastity. Taken together, those two laws determine the way we deal with others vertically (parent-child relationships) and horizontally (sibling relationships): together they lay upon us the whole law of the family.

    But I think Brian is moving in the right direction when he says that all laws must become dead to us. I would perhaps phrase it this way: when they are taken outside of consecration/chastity, all laws simply are dead, are oriented by death, aim only at keeping the passing order of earthly things under control. But this means, also, that all such laws are precisely given life through consecration/chastity: the Word of Wisdom, for example, only has real significance, I think, when it is taken up within consecration. Hence, one could say that there is a single (split) law that gives life to all other laws, that there is a kind of typological relationship between the laws and the Law, between every law and what Elder Oaks (as well as Elder Bednar) spoke of in terms of becoming.

    But then why is this one Law called a law, and doesn’t that mean that it too must become dead? I think that is an important conundrum, and it is one that would perhaps force us to think about the structure of law, about what happens in the institution of law, and so about how even a god must be structured by the celestial law. If the Law is the law of the family…

  18. brianj said

    Nathan: I’m looking forward to your thoughts. You know, of course, that I’m going to be stubborn. For example, I could argue (stealing your words) that “the laws of Moses seem to already have faith in Jehovah as a foundation. These are laws that don’t just turn us toward Jehovah, but lead us to become like Christ.”

    It seems to me that restoration-era laws (i.e., modern church) are “higher” than the law of Moses in two basic ways:
    1) Some demand a greater degree of submission to God. Jesus made this point clear in his teaching: “You’ve been told that you shouldn’t steal, but I’m going to push you even harder and say that you should give freely to your enemies.” The law of Moses was a foundation for treating others with justice, honesty, and mercy, and the “new” Gospel takes it a step further. Thus, some new laws are higher in degree but not in nature.
    2) Some new laws are attached to covenants that are somehow more eternal in scope. The difference is difficult to articulate, however, because much of the law of Moses is clearly spiritual: if you’re a selfish jerk (i.e., not following the law of Moses), then you’re destined for hell. It’s sort of like parsing the eternal significance of baptism versus taking the sacrament versus temple marriage. Thus, some new laws are higher in nature.

    If that all seems very cloudy, try this simple excercise instead: Describe a law that is “higher” than what is entailed by “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

  19. NathanG said

    As soon as I submitted my comment I began thinking about how you would treat it:) I have to acknowledge that your position seems correct (at least mostly) and I agree that all laws and commandments pertaining to my own individual actions become dead similarly. I still have a hard time making that thought fit perfectly with “when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:21) So can someone who doesn’t obtain a celestial marriage (not just the ordinance, but truly a celestial marriage) obtain the highest of the three degrees of the celestial glory solely through faith in Christ, or is the dead work essential?

    Also, I think the higher law than “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

    BTW congratulations on Monday!

    I appreciate your comments on the law of consecration as that is where a lot of my thoughts were initially centered. In the end, I didn’t think I could personally make a convincing enough argument that the law of consecration didn’t need to become dead as well, but I really like your comments.

    So onto the law that does not need to die. Hopefully what I write will accurately represent my thoughts (and not ramble too much). First a couple more scriptures (which I’m sure is better than anything I can say)…

    D&C 88

    18 Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory;

    34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.

    I include these verses to point out more references of sanctification by the law and a little about sanctification. Verse 18 is specifically about the earth and how it will be the celestial kingdom or a place for sanctified, celestial people. So sanctification seems to be related to the celestial glory (and I can’t say more because it is a concept I really struggle to articulate).

    21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.

    What is the law of Christ. I can’t with authority say, this is the law of Christ and that isn’t. I have a feeling that the law of Christ encompasses obedience to all the commandments that we have been given. But, multiple other discussions and several comments on this thread have already pointed out that this aspect of the gospel often become dead because of our faith in Christ, or through our faith in Christ. Nephi wrote “we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled” (2 Nephi 25:24) and then “and the words which [Christ] shall speak unto you shall be the law which ye shall do.”

    Is the “law” that Christ spoke somehow more alive than the law of Moses? I don’t think that is Nephi’s point. He already said they needed to keep a dead law with steadfastness, so we can continue to do the same. But I don’t think the “law which ye shall do” is equivalent with the “law of Christ.” I think the law of Christ, in addition to obedience, encompasses more of the change of heart that has been described in various places in the scriptures. My current favorite example is from King Benjamin’s people, and to be brief I’ll just say that King Benjamin’s people were described as being obedient to the law of Moses and their king before the address and even arrived for the address ready to offer sacrifices at the temple. They didn’t seem to change from someone actively trying to destroy the church of God (Alma the younger or Saul). They didn’t even seem to be that wicked. Yet, somehow they had a change of heart. The key to their change of heart was the doctrine of Christ. They replaced their loyalty to their king and to the law of Moses with loyalty to Christ and a commitment to do whatever he commanded them. They came to know their Savior and came to love their Savior. This kind of change seems to be similar to the essence of Christ’s description of eternal life. “For this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Every time I think of this, the childish comeback of “it takes one to know one” pops into my mind. We need to become like God and Christ to know them. We can become like them by imitating them. We have Christ as an example. He has shown us obedience, he has shown us, service, and he has shown us love, and through his grace he has made it possible for us to emulate his life.

    So the law by which we can be sanctified or through which we can be sanctified seems to be in small part a law of doing and a large part a law of becoming and the thing we are becoming is like Christ and one with Christ. We just need to commit to allow ourselves to be governed by this law.

  20. NathanG said

    That was long.

    The other thing I said I would write about is some scenarios to illustrate how law, justice, mercy, and judgment can contribute to our sanctification. All of these situations are of necessity false because these principles are already in place.

    Law: 2 Nephi 2 illustrates the necessity of law, so I won’t relate a situation with no law at all, but here’s a variation. A person may live a good, honorable life. He learned about Chrst in the Bible and had faith in Jesus Christ and repented of his evil deeds and tried to live a righteous life. He dies and stands to be judged. He then finds out that he doesn’t get the greatest gift because he never knew the laws and covenants related to the temple. He just can’t receive the higher blessings because he never was governed by those laws. God has declared that all blessings are received by obedience to the law by which they are predicated. Don’t live the law, don’t get the blessing. (Of course this is false because all people get a chance to accept all things necessary to receive eternal life.)

    Mercy: This next person has learned all the laws and ordinances of the gospel pertaining to his eventual exaltation. He abides by that law and allows himself to be governed by those laws. As we all do, he makes mistakes along the way, but overall those are pretty minor and he lives his life valiant in the testimony of Jesus. He dies and stands to be judged. It is determined that he is unclean because of his sins and no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of God. In spite all his work and all his desire, he doesn’t inherit any kingdom of glory because of his sins. (Of course Christ’s mercy will ensure this scenario does not happen).

    Justice: Another person abides by a celestial law and valiantly follows Christ. When he sins, he repents and feels forgiven. His overall desire is for God and his righteousness. He dies and stands to be judged. He is told that he has been a good and faithful servant and has been made spotless through the blood of Christ and inherits the telestial glory with people who did not desire righteousness. (Well that’s not fair, and through the justice of God we will be restored to what we were in earth.)

    Judgment I’ll leave alone, because I can’t decide what aspect of judgment to discuss.

  21. brianj said

    Nathan: I’m not denying obedience (D&C 130:21) any more than Paul denied works. I’m making the point that obedience to law does not precisely bring about any blessing whatsoever. Yes, D&C 130 uses that kind of wording, but I don’t believe it is meant to be taken so precisely. When you say to your child, “You get ice cream because you helped mom today,” you don’t really mean that helping mom causes ice cream to materialize in a bowl, rather you mean that your child’s kindness is sufficient reason for you to put ice cream in the bowl. Kindness does not dish up ice cream, dads do; Obedience does not bring blessings, God does. But tell me, how do you feel when your child says, “Daddy, I just helped mom fold the laundry, so now you have to get me some ice cream”? When your child says that, she is serving the law, not you or mom, and seeing the law as a living thing that grants rewards. Elijah’s struggle against the priests of Baal (2 Kings) was not to prove that Jehovah was the greatest god, but that Jehovah was the only god. When we see the laws as living things that create/grant/yield blessings, we make them into little demi-gods. Sure, we keep Jehovah at the loftiest point in the pantheon, but we place all these demi-gods before (in front of, down at his feet) him.

    I think that “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is simply another way of saying “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” If you have no other god besides Jehovah—nothing else to serve; i.e., love—then you will love him with all your heart etc. At any rate, “Love the Lord…” was Jesus’ summary of the Law of Moses.

  22. RuthS said

    Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants is called was called the olive leaf by Joseph Smith. It is the “Lord’s message of peace to us” (head note of section 88) So the whole section is given as comfort to those who are members of the church in the face of section 87, the section on war. In order to understand v. 35 one must read what comes before beginning with v. 20 and what comes after, ending with v. 40. The earth will be celestialized because it has filled the measure of its creation. It (the earth) will die and be quickened again and the righteous will inherit it. So all mankind will die and rise again and each person will receive the glory he is prepared for v. 29 “Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall receive of the same, even a fullness.” So one need not be perfect but have only a portion of celestial glory in order to receive a fullness.

    Verse 40 is the explanation of the law by which people will be sorted out at the judgment. “For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; . . . ”

    It is a self judgment. I don’t think it is refering to the law of Moses or any other temporal laws. It is an eternal law that applies to all things. Things are attracted by others that are similar to themselves.

    88 is a wonderful section. It holds so many truths. It is difficult to take it apart and accurately come upon any meaning without looking at the whole of it.

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