Power of Godliness
Power of Godliness
This is tied to opening the Heavens and receiving assignments, confirming revelation, or blessings from God. All power is tied to Heaven. When the powers of Heaven are withdrawn from someone, then their authority comes to an end, and they have no power. If you want to have the power of godliness in your life, it must be gained through Jesus Christ, access to Whom is available to all men on equal terms.1 Godliness is different from virtue. It is even different from righteousness. Godliness requires you to become godlike in your sentiments and in your meekness before Him. Whether men understand you or attribute motives to you, the relationship is between you and the Lord. Godliness is when your walk here is along the path He has chosen for you.2 The power of godliness (T&C 82:12) is inseparably connected with the ordinances (T&C 139:5). Without the power of godliness our rites are much like the apostate world Christ condemned in His initial visit with Joseph Smith. (JSH 2:5). The power of godliness and “the authority of the priesthood” are connected with “seeing the face of God, even the Father…” (T&C 82:12).3
Teachings & Commandments 82:12
12 And this greater Priesthood administers the gospel and holds the key of the mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of the Knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the Power of godliness is manifest, and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the Power of godliness is not manifest unto man in the flesh, for without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
Denver Snuffer Blog, “Received of His Fullness, Part 3,” 7/6/2012
The often-quoted verses in Section 84 have an objective event that is consistently ignored. It is not merely “the ordinances” of the priesthood which are of value. The “power of godliness” (D&C 84: 20) is inseparably connected with these ordinances. (D&C 121: 36.) Without the “power of godliness” our rites are much like the apostate world Christ condemned in His initial visit with Joseph. (JS-H 1: 19.)
D&C 84: 20-22 tells us about:
–Power of Godliness
-Authority of the Priesthood
-Seeing the face of God, the Father
These verses do not vindicate ordinances as an end in themselves. Far from it. Instead, they commend us to reach upward. If the ordinances alone were enough, there would be no mention of “power of godliness” and “authority of the priesthood” and “seeing the face of God, even the Father.” Therefore, how ought you to view the ordinances? If they have value, what value do they have? Why do we want or need them? What should they inspire within us?
Where and how did Joseph and Sidney “receive of His fullness?” (D&C 76: 20.)
Why, in speaking of “the power of godliness” and “the authority of the priesthood,” does it then connect with “seeing the face of God, even the Father?” (D&C 84: 22.)
Why, in the “oath and covenant of the priesthood” (as we have taken to identifying it), does it mention “receivingChrist?” (D&C 84: 36.) Is this to be taken as descriptive of receiving the priesthood, or as merely some future vague promise for the afterlife? If you read it as the afterlife, where do you find support for that reading in the revelation? Is that reading consistent with mortals having priesthood? If the priesthood is gained in mortality, why then is “receiving Christ” only post-mortality? Or, does the priesthood then become post-mortal as well?
Why does the Lord say if we “receive Him” we will also “receive His Father?” (D&C 84:37-38.) How is coming into Christ’s presence related to coming into the Father’s presence? Are these connected? How? And how does this connect with “priesthood” since that is the topic of the revelation? Is the priesthood proprietary, meaning that it belongs like a franchise to some group, institution or individuals? Or is the priesthood instead best viewed as a relationship between God and man? If a relationship between God and man, then is it based on trust? Personal trust between God and the specific man? If that is the case, what is required to receive priesthood?
Who are His “servants” He requires you to “receive?” (D&C 84: 36.) How would such a servant aid you in coming to God and receiving priesthood? What is the relationship between receiving a servant, then receiving Christ, then receiving the Father? How is Joseph Smith an example of this?
Does the statement given in 1835 in D&C 107: 1 describe the condition of the church at that time? Or, does it describe a continuing presence of priesthood forever thereafter? Can priesthood be lost? (D&C 121: 37.)
Do you have His fullness? Why not? How do the scriptures say you receive it?
Is this what Nephi said he did in his record? Why does he walk us through his own experience? Is he bragging, or is he instructing and inviting us to do likewise?
Are ordinances enough? Do they testify to an underlying truth? Why receive the testimony of the ordinances and ignore the underlying truth?
No matter what we have received, retained or discarded from Joseph Smith, doesn’t his entire ministry come down to affirming James 1:5? Can you ask of God also? Will He not “give liberally” to you? Then it is not lack of faith in Joseph’s ministry or your personal lack of keys held by those in higher priesthood offices that keeps you apart from God. Instead it is your unwillingness to do as James instructs, and your failure to ask God in faith.
Moroni told Joseph that Joel had not yet been fulfilled, but would be soon. He linked this to the “fulness of the Gentiles” which signals their end. (JS-H 1:41; see also Joel 2:28-32.) Is that time upon us?
Is the reason so few are “chosen” even though many are “called” related to this very subject? (D&C 121: 34.) Would you be better off trying to please God rather than getting noticed by other men?
Does it occur to you that this process in these revelations is the fullness of the Gospel in action? That the fullness of the Father, as well as the fullness of the priesthood, are part of the relationship which you are required to develop with God? Directly between you and Him, and not between you and someone else? If this is so, then what light is shed when the open vision given to Joseph and Sidney where the past rebellion of an angel in a position of authority is revealed, and the future final destiny of man is shown to them? Why is a man saved no faster than he gains knowledge? (TPJS, p. 217.)
Why did Joseph comment on the vision (in Section 76) by stating: “I could explain a hundred-fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them.” (TPJS, p. 304.)
The description “a strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness” (Moroni 7:30) involves at a minimum the following:
-Strong faith is obtained by obedience and sacrifice, as explained in the Lectures on Faith. It requires the sacrifice of all things to obtain favor with God. No one attains to this by cowardice or respecting the views of men above the commandments of God.
-Every form includes not merely passing acquaintance with the Lord’s will, but an earnest search into the things God wants from you. And, as you find His will, then to obey it. Everything must be put on the altar. Whether it be friends, property, or life itself, it must be every form.
–Godliness is different from virtue. It is even different from righteousness…Godliness requires you to become godlike in your sentiments and in your meekness before Him. Whether men understand you or attribute motives to you, the relationship is between you and the Lord. Godliness is when your walk here is along the path He has chosen for you.
If you want to have the power of godliness in your life, it must be gained through Jesus Christ; access to whom is available to all men on equal terms.
There is a key verse which passes by quickly. It establishes an important identity for Lehi. The verse confirms that Lehi saw God the Father sitting on His throne. (1 Ne. 1:8.) In other words, Lehi beheld the face of God, the Father. This key verse identifies Lehi’s authority.
Following immediately after this view of the Father, sitting on His throne, Christ descended in His glory and ministered to him. His glory was above the brightness of the sun. (1 Ne. 1: 11-13.)
After Christ ministered to him, Lehi put the Father’s activities into perspective, declaring “unto the Lord: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty!” (1 Ne. 1: 13.)
He saw the face of the Father. He was ministered to by the Son. This cannot occur unless Lehi had the highest form of priesthood. This is required for a man to see the face of the Father and live. (D&C 84: 19-22.)
Lehi required priesthood: “without… the authority of the priesthood, and the power of godliness…no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.” (D&C 84: 21-22.) Lehi saw Him. Therefore, part of the ministry of Christ to him necessarily included conferring priesthood.