“The Lord Is God; the Mysteries of the Kingdom Will Be Revealed to All the Faithful”
Doctrine and Covenants 76:1–10
1 Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye inhabitants thereof, for the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior.
2 Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.
3 His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.
4 From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.
5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
9 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.
10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
“Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants in its sublimity and clearness in relation to the eternal destiny of the human family . . . has not been surpassed. It should be treasured by all members of the Church as a priceless heritage. It should strengthen their faith and be to them an incentive to seek the exaltation promised to all who are just and true. So plain and simple are its teachings that none should stumble or misunderstand.
“Speaking of this revelation the Prophet Joseph Smith has said:
“‘Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the Kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witness the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the idea; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrowmindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: “It came from God!”’ [History of the Church, 1:252–3].”
“It should be apparent to all that such soul-stirring and exalting sentiments and the consistency of the story told, could not come from the mind of man. God alone could make known such a revelation. President Charles W. Penrose has said:
“‘There is nothing in the book called the Bible that can compare with it. It is full of light; it is full of truth; it is full of glory; it is full of beauty. It portrays the future of all the inhabitants of the earth, dividing them into three classes or divisions—celestial, terrestrial, and telestial, or as compared to the glory of the sun, the glory of the moon, and the glory of the stars. It shows who will be redeemed, and what redemption they will enjoy; and describes the position the inhabitants of the earth will occupy when they enter into the future state’ [in Journal of Discourses, 24:92].”
“. . . The wisdom of man is made known in the various creeds of the churches. There is no clear, positive view in any of the manmade interpretations of the doctrine of man’s eternal destiny. Most of the Christian denominations divide mankind into two groups, one, which may be designated the ‘saved,’ and the other, those who are eternally ‘damned.’ Those who are saved are to dwell eternally in the presence of God, but no important duties or responsibilities, keys or powers, are awarded them, except that they rest from their labors and live in eternal happiness and rest. Those who are not so fortunate are banished from the presence of God and are doomed to dwell eternally in torment. These views have been modified to some extent since the restoration of the gospel, but in the main the doctrine of salvation and exaltation as understood by the peoples of the sectarian churches is extremely vague. Their wisdom shall perish; their understanding and prudence must come to naught; but these sublime truths in this revelation shall endure forever. All worldly wisdom must cease when the time comes as spoken of by Isaiah when ‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea’ [Isaiah 11:9]. If Joseph Smith had made no other contribution to the world, this knowledge of man’s destiny alone should stamp him as a divinely inspired prophet, for it transcends a thousand times all the knowledge the world possessed in 1832, pertaining to the glory of God and the possibilities for exaltation for the human family. It appeals to reason, it is merciful, and yet just in every particular, showing that our Father is in very deed a God of love as well as one of justice. The world should have accepted this knowledge with humble gratitude, instead of with bitter hate.”
(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:279–80.)