Talk by Cleon Skousen
Summarized by godspecies
President Kimball taught that we only have a limited priesthood authority here on the earth. There are some ordinances that can only be done after this life. Such as Resurrection and begetting spirit children.
He said, “You’ll be able to have access to the intelligences in the universe and organize them and make planets and organize kingdoms.”
Brother Cleon asks, Why Jesus had to suffer? Why couldn’t Heavenly Father just let us back in his presence after we repented? He is God after all and has all power.
Later on his mission he asked his mission president those same questions. The mission president helped him out. He then gives some scriptures 2 Nephi 2:14
And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and He hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
Here we learn there are two things in the universe. Those things that act and those things that are acted upon.
Here we learn that those things that act are intelligences. He says, “These intelligences are independent and act voluntarily. They are not compelled. The heavens wait on them until they obey. …And our Heavenly Father built the whole universe with this element of action, this energy factor in the universe is intelligence and it only operates as fast and in a direction that it is willing to follow.”
In Abraham 3:19 we learn that all intelligences are not the same. They have different levels of intelligence. The lowest intelligences were to become the dust. Higher intelligence were to become plants. Even higher were to become animals. Still higher were to become the Spirit children of Heavenly Father.
We also learn in D&C 93:33 that there are elements in the universe. Without intelligence these elements could do nothing. Only be attaching an intelligence to an element can the elements move and react in our universe.
This is how elements can obey God’s word. If you command a mountain to move by faith then all those little intelligences obey and move their respective elements and as a whole the mountain moves.
In Alma we learn that if can cease to be God. Brother Cleon says, “And our Heavenly Father says, ‘I want you to know that I walk the razor’s edge of Celestial Law continually in order to maintain the confidence and the honor of all these who trust me because that’s the source of my power.’ This gives us a whole new understanding of our Heavenly Father. …If He were unjust, if He were arbitrary, if He were false in any sense, He would what? CEASE TO BE GOD.”
In 2 Nephi 9:9 it says that if not for the atonement we would be with Satan and His Angels. It is impossible for Heavenly Father to bring us back to him, without the atonement. Why? Because of the intelligences. Brother Cleon explains it, “Because He has to operate according to law and all the other intelligences would say, ‘Father, now they have sinned and come short of Thy glory. They cannot come back. Remember all the laws that held us back? We didn’t get to be those top people, we were graded down. Remember? Remember laws? You kept talking about laws . . .’ These are they who demand justice and will not let us return. And should God try it, as it says in Alma, they would cease to honor Him. And He would cease to be God. That’s the doctrine.”
because those lower intelligences were not able to progress further to become Spirit Children, because of the Laws, they demand that God follow the same laws with us. Because we have fallen we must be judged the same and cannot progress. If God broke this law he would loose the trust of the intelligences. The intelligences would give up following Him and would go out and do whatever they wanted. The universe would fall apart.
So in order to get back to Heavenly father there must be some way of getting around the intelligences’ sense of justice. So is it to be done? First the Spirit that is the best and most loved of all, Jehovah is needed. Then He is sent to earth and lives a sinless life as Jesus Christ. Then He has to suffer. Now because He is sinless He can return to the Father without the intelligences getting upset. But also because He suffered the intelligences have compassion on Him because He was sinless yet suffered for all sins. So when Christ pleads on our behalf, if we did the best we could, the intelligences will say, “Well, that person sinned they shouldn’t be able to go back, but since you suffered for them and you were sinless they can come back if you want.” This creates a sort of loophole in the Justice of the Intelligences. This loophole is called Mercy.
And these closing words from Brother Cleon, “You know as you begin to understand this beautiful doctrine–the intelligences in the universe, the fact that their honor of God is what makes Him God–the fact that if He lost their confidence, He’d cease to be God–these are basic doctrines of the restored gospel as it says in Jacob 2. Why don’t we talk about the atonement more? We don’t talk about the real basis of the atonement–we talk about it as a proven fact, without ever reaching out and saying, “Heavenly Father, I think I understand just a little. I think I understand.” I don’t know what it does for you but it has made me to love my Heavenly Father like I’ve never loved Him before. And I’ve learned to love the Savior Jesus Christ like I’ve never loved Him before. Now that I know what those two wonderful people did for me and you and our children and all the people of this world, the planet on which we live–and all the beautiful things that He’s blessed us with. It would have all been destroyed and lost if those two people hadn’t done what they did. I love them for that.
I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us. The atonement is real. The atonement is effective. The atonement works. There is a resurrection. There is forgiveness of sins. Though our sins be as scarlet, if we will truly repent, we can be restored and taken back to our Heavenly Father cleansed like white snow. (Isaiah 1:18) I pray our Heavenly Father that He’ll help us so we won’t let Him down, so we won’t betray the Christ, so we’ll be good missionaries and spread this great message to our neighbors. I pray that we may be worthy of the atonement and gospel of Jesus Christ which has been restored for us, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”