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Friends of Christ

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As trials intensify, so does the comfort God extends from on high: “I now send upon you another Comforter . . . even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John. This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:3–4). To be “sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise” is thus to receive an “earnest of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13–14)—God’s guarantee of eternal life.

Transitioning from sons and daughters of Christ to becoming his “friends” who are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise marks a new relationship with Christ and with the Father that we attain on a higher spiritual level. The commandments we keep as we habituate from feasting on the words of Christ in the scriptures that “tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3) to being guided at all times by the Holy Ghost who “show[s] unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5) to Christ personally telling us what we should “observe to do” (2 Nephi 32:6), pertain to ever higher laws and covenants.

Says Jesus, “You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knows not what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for all things I have heard of my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14–15). Like Abraham, who knew God personally and “was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23), so “the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:49–50).

By the same token, as we transition upward toward a fulness of grace and truth, “it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment” (Moses 6:61). Those who are “quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:29). As with Jesus’ three Nephite disciples, we too may attain a translated state:

“There was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them” (3 Nephi 28:39). In the case of Nephi the son of Helaman, “The power of God was with him, and they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them” (Helaman 10:16). Being “quickened” even to a translated state could compare to a heavenly body that accumulates enough mass to start fusion like a star.

What differentiated Jesus’ three Beloved Disciples from the nine who found rest in Jesus’ kingdom (3 Nephi 28:2–3) was that they “desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand” (3 Nephi 28:9). For that reason they inherited “the kingdom of my Father” (3 Nephi 28:10). With regard to Nephi the son of Helaman, on the other hand, he “with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments” (Helaman 10:4).

The Three Nephites and others show where living the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ takes us: “The heavens were opened, and they were caught up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things. And it was forbidden them that they should utter; neither was it given unto them power that they could utter the things which they saw and heard; And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God” (3 Nephi 28:13–15).

Having attained the level of seraphs on Isaiah’s spiritual ladder, they became “as the angels of God” (3 Nephi 28:30) for the duration of their earthly ministries. To them, Jesus’ promise was that “your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one” (3 Nephi 28:10). To them applies the saying, “Those who are wise will shine as the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

(From Becoming Kings and Queens of the Gentiles, 66–68.)

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The Isaiah Institute was created in the year 2000 by the Hebraeus Foundation to disseminate the message of the prophet Isaiah (circa 742–701 B.C.). Avraham Gileadi Ph.D’s groundbreaking research and analysis of the Book of Isaiah provides the ideal medium for publishing Isaiah’s endtime message to the world. No longer can the Book of Isaiah be regarded as an obscure document from a remote age. Its vibrant message, decoded after years of painstaking research by a leading authority in his field, now receives a new application as a sure guide to a rapidly changing world. To those who seek answers to today’s perplexing questions, the Book of Isaiah is God’s gift to humanity.

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