“The Faithful Will Receive an Inheritance upon the Transfigured Earth; a Full Account of the Events on the Mount of Transfiguration Has Not Yet Been Revealed; the Obedient Receive the Mysteries of the Kingdom”

Doctrine and Covenants 63:20–23

20 Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come;
21 When the earth shall be transfigured, even according to the pattern which was shown unto mine apostles upon the mount; of which account the fulness ye have not yet received.
22 And now, verily I say unto you, that as I said that I would make known my will unto you, behold I will make it known unto you, not by the way of commandment, for there are many who observe not to keep my commandments.
23 But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Verses 20 and 21, section 63 [of the Doctrine and Covenants], are as follows:

“‘Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come;

“‘When the earth shall be transfigured, even according to the pattern which was shown unto mine apostles upon the mount; of which account the fulness ye have not yet received.’

“While the Lord has not revealed to us the fulness of the glorious vision which He gave to the three Apostles on the mount, yet He has made known to us many things bearing upon that day. We have taught that we are living in the day of restoration, in which all things are to be brought back to a similar condition to that which was in the beginning; the day spoken of, as stated by Peter, was prophesied of by all the prophets since the world began [see Acts 3:21]. Paul taught this doctrine to the Ephesian Saints [see Eph. 1:8–10] and the Savior told His disciples that Elias should come to bring to pass the restoration of all things. Moreover in the Articles of Faith [see Articles of Faith 1:10] the Prophet declares that there will be such a restoration in which the earth shall be ‘renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.’ All of this is to take place in the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which we live. When this is accomplished this earth will again appear as it did in the beginning. The sea will be driven back to the north; the islands will be joined to the mainland and the lands will be brought together as they were before the earth was divided [see D&C 133:22–24].

“We know that when Adam was placed on the earth it was pronounced ‘good,’ and he, as well as the earth, was not subject to death. There was no ‘curse’ on the earth. There was no blood in his body, but he had a spiritual body until it was changed by the fall. A spiritual body is one which is not quickened by blood, but by spirit. Before the fall, Adam had a physical, tangible body of flesh and bones, but it was not quickened by blood. The partaking of the forbidden fruit caused blood to exist in his body and thus the seeds of mortality were sown and his body then became temporal, or mortal, subject to the vicissitudes of mortal change. The Lord created all things upon this earth physically and immortal, or free from the seeds of death. The fall of Adam brought the change upon the earth and all things upon its face partook of the conditions imposed upon Adam in the fall [see 2 Nephi 2:22].

“The transfigured earth, seen in vision, evidently was this earth in its renewed condition as described by the prophet Isaiah [see Isa. 65:17–25] as it will appear when it is prepared for the millennial reign.

“The Lord endeavored to impress upon the minds of the Saints that all who inherit Zion must keep His commandments. Great promises are made to those who will be obedient. The mysteries of the kingdom are to be theirs, and the same shall be as living water, springing up unto everlasting life. Why is it that so many members of the Church—in fact all of us to some extent—are so shortsighted that we fail to comprehend these things? If we would live as Saints should live in full and strict obedience to all that the Lord has revealed to us and commanded us to do, we should never fail of a testimony of the truth nor of the blessings of the Lord. In our weakness, selfishness, and lack of vision, we see the temporalities and fail to comprehend the things of greatest value which lead to eternal life.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:231–32.)

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