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Elizabeth Kuehn: The Lives and Letters of the Twelve Apostles and their Wives during the Second British Mission, 1839-1841

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Sometimes a little hard to read these. Some spill out with raw emotion and pain. It certainly does make one appreciate what the early saints were willing to endure for the sake of the gospel. 

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All of this is so sad..and in retrospect so much pain unnecessary..these stories are what keeps me partial in the world of mormonism.

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"Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life. It is in vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those, or can be heirs with them, who have offered their all in sacrifice, and by this means obtained faith in God and favor with him so as to obtain eternal life, unless they in like manner offer unto him the same sacrifice, and through that offering obtain the knowledge that they are accepted of him."

Why pity them for gaining their eternal crowns?  We who sacrifice little may have much more work yet to do to gain ours.

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

"Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life. It is in vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those, or can be heirs with them, who have offered their all in sacrifice, and by this means obtained faith in God and favor with him so as to obtain eternal life, unless they in like manner offer unto him the same sacrifice, and through that offering obtain the knowledge that they are accepted of him."

Why pity them for gaining their eternal crowns?  We who sacrifice little may have much more work yet to do to gain ours.

I love that quote, and it cuts to the core. Who are we to think we can get exaltation without offering all that the former day saints did?

Books like “Odds are you’ll get exalted” laugh in the face of the previous sacrifices of ALL that the saints had to give. Giving up some coffee or technology is very little in comparison to the sufferings od not only the early church but Abraham and the patriarchs. 

It’s stories like these in the letters that remind how much work I have to do before such a crown could ever be mine.

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4 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

I love that quote, and it cuts to the core. Who are we to think we can get exaltation without offering all that the former day saints did?

Books like “Odds are you’ll get exalted” laugh in the face of the previous sacrifices of ALL that the saints had to give. Giving up some coffee or technology is very little in comparison to the sufferings od not only the early church but Abraham and the patriarchs. 

It’s stories like these in the letters that remind how much work I have to do before such a crown could ever be mine.

This is a tangent, so I'm not necessarily expecting an answer, and perhaps your (what I see as) clumsy use of a metaphor is simply an imprecise use of words.  I agree with you that from most any perspective, many modern-day Latter-day Saints have it easier than their counterparts in the early days of the restoration. 

While I've never read the book (so perhaps you're one up on me on that score, as well), I do wonder why would you say that Brother Gaskill's attempt to encourage his fellow Latter-day Saints that salvation and exaltation are not simply hopeless endeavors "laughs in the face" of the sacrifices made by the Saints in the early days of the restoration.  https://deseretbook.com/p/odds-youre-going-exalted-evidence-plan-salvation-works-alonzo-l-gaskill-25289?variant_id=79687-paperback

Brother Gaskill comes from a Greek Orthodox tradition.  While I have not studied that faith at all, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that, in certain parts of the world, its members have been subjected to persecution.  I doubt Brother Gaskill would "laugh in the face" of those woes.  His own conversion created a rift in his family, so, while it's true that perhaps there's no comparison between sacrifices many make today and those made by early restoration Saints, it's not as though he's entirely unaware that, often, committing to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ entails a good deal of sacrifice.  https://www.deseret.com/2017/8/25/20618234/from-greek-orthodox-to-mormon-one-professor-s-lds-conversion-and-other-lessons-at-byu-education-week#alonzo-l-gaskill-a-professor-at-byu-spoke-of-his-lds-conversion-and-shared-lessons-intended-to-help-church-members-welcome-new-converts-into-the-fold

Edited by Kenngo1969

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7 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

This is a tangent, so I'm not necessarily expecting an answer, and perhaps your (what I see as) clumsy use of a metaphor is simply an imprecise use of words.  I agree with you that from most any perspective, many modern-day Latter-day Saints have it easier than their counterparts in the early days of the restoration. 

While I've never read the book (so perhaps you're one up on me on that score, as well), I do wonder why would you say that Brother Gaskill's attempt to encourage his fellow Latter-day Saints that salvation and exaltation are not simply hopeless endeavors "laughs in the face" of the sacrifices made by the Saints in the early days of the restoration.  https://deseretbook.com/p/odds-youre-going-exalted-evidence-plan-salvation-works-alonzo-l-gaskill-25289?variant_id=79687-paperback

Brother Gaskill comes from a Greek Orthodox tradition.  While I have not studied that faith at all, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that, in certain parts of the world, its members have been subjected to persecution.  I doubt Brother Gaskill would "laugh in the face" of those woes.  His own conversion created a rift in his family, so, while it's true that perhaps there's no comparison between sacrifices many make today and those made by early restoration Saints, it's not as though he's entirely unaware that, often, committing to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ entails a good deal of sacrifice.  https://www.deseret.com/2017/8/25/20618234/from-greek-orthodox-to-mormon-one-professor-s-lds-conversion-and-other-lessons-at-byu-education-week#alonzo-l-gaskill-a-professor-at-byu-spoke-of-his-lds-conversion-and-shared-lessons-intended-to-help-church-members-welcome-new-converts-into-the-fold

I think I probably chose some poorer words in my analogy. I appreciated Brother Gaskills book in the idea that it was designed to help people who are overthinking their exaltation. The answers to their questions are in the scriptures and Brother Gaskill does a great job in bringing attention to those verses in a simpler way.

However, I only took some issue with the title and some of the conclusions (its been awhile since I've read the book). Joseph Smith, and others, believed thoroughly the sacrifice that was required to obtain exaltation included putting everything on the altar, including your life potentially. Obtaining that crown is not as easy as we think it is and doesn't come purely because of ordinances in and of themselves. It does require an actual sacrifice. Of course Brother Gaskill may have had some persecutions and thus have a better understanding of what that means to make such a sacrifice in the eyes of God, but that persecution doesn't occur to the same extent here in the states. So a title saying "Odds are you'll be exalted" isn't exactly true because it makes it feel like the path is much easier then it is, along with some of his conclusions in the book. 

Of course, this is just my opinion of the book and the process whereby exaltation is gained which not everyone shares. 

However, this is a different topic then the thread! I loved these stories and letters, so extremely inspiring and motivating. It also is heartbreaking in so many ways knowing what other trials awaited them going forward. 

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