Is the End of the World at Hand?

This entry is part 21 of 57 in the series Mysteries

Question 22

Is the End of the World at Hand?

Believers have often talked about the end of days, or the end times, as if they are just around the corner.  As I write this I am 69 and this attitude has not changed in my lifetime. I remember back when I was a kid that religious people were telling me that the Second Coming of Jesus, the end, or some type of general apocalyptic doom or collapse was coming within a couple years. “The time is so close at hand that it’s scary to think about,” was the general tone I heard.

After I learned a little history I discovered that the end times has been seen as something just around the corner for thousands of years, dating back to the Bible itself. The Apostle Paul wrote this:

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: I Thess 4:15-16

The fact that Paul said, “we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord” indicates that he personally believed that many in his day would live to see the end times.

Talk of the end times did not cease with the death of Paul and his generation.  Each succeeding generation had their prophets and teachers warning the people that the time was short.  As the year 1000 approached concern about the time of the end increased and then faded for a while when nothing happened.

In the 1800s there was a renewed interest in the end of days. The Mormons officially called themselves “Latter -Day Saints” because they thought the Second coming and the end of times were at hand. Most of those who joined at the founding of the church believed they would live to see Jesus coming in clouds of glory. Now more than 180 years has passed since the founding of the church and life is still going on as normal.

The Adventist movement was another in that century that was anticipating the end of days. William Miller and Samuel S. Snow were famous for preaching that Jesus was going to arrive no later than sometime in 1844. Many thousands were expecting this and some went so far as to give away all their possessions.  After the date came and went the followers were greatly disappointed to the extent that the time was even named “The Great Disappointment.”

Charles Taze Russell who founded the Jehovah Witnesses predicted that 1914 would mark the time of the end.  When that didn’t materialize other dates surfaced and failed.

Since that time there have been too many end time predictions to mention. We read about some strange ones in the news on a regular basis.  Several known to most people involve the Hale Bopp Comet, Y-2K and the 2012 Mayan prophecies.

So what is the reason that so many have such a high expectation of the end of the world?  Does the Bible spell it out?

It appears on the surface that Jesus is responsible for all this expectation of the end of the world. In Matthew Chapter 24 we read of an answer he gave to his disciples’ inquiry:

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matt 24:3

There it is.  The disciples asked for signs of the end of the world and Jesus answered them with lots of predictions.

The problem is that a key word here is mistranslated which alters the whole meaning.  The Greek word from which “world” is translated is AION.  This is the word from which the English “eon” was derived and has a similar meaning.  The disciples were not asking about signs of the end of the world, but of the end of the age. Most of the newer versions now translate this correctly, but until recently this mistranslation set a false tone for an end, which was not really predicted.

An age has a beginning and an end.  The end of an age is the end of a cycle of time, not the end of the world.

The second Biblical scripture that gives people the idea that the world is coming to an end is the Book of Revelation. If a believer reads this through and expects the events predicted to literally take place then, yes, it would seem that the Bible predicts the world is coming to an end, and soon.  After all, that is what the first verse of the book says – that the things in the book “must shortly come to pass.”

Actually, the grasping of that first verse is the key to understanding that the Book of Revelation has been misunderstood for 2000 years.  Let us take a look:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”  Rev 1:1-3

John was shown things “which must shortly come to pass.”

This seems to be an odd statement indeed when almost 2000 years has passed since it was written and most believe that the events have still not come to pass. Where is the great comet striking the earth? Where is the antichrist and where are the waters that are turned to blood, etc? 2000 years is not a short time by any standard, yet the scripture says these things would “shortly come to pass.”

Now note the end of verse three: “the time is at hand.” Not only is the time short, but the time is at hand.

2000 years is a long time in anyone’s book and who would say today, that “the time is at hand,” if they were writing today and predicting events that would take place in the year 4000 and beyond? No one.

If we take the scripture at its word then obviously it was not talking about the end of the world. The first sentence gives us a key of understanding. It says the book is a “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” “Revelation” here comes from the Greek APOKALUPSIS. Does this Greek word look a little familiar? It should, for it is the word from which “Apocalypse” is derived. The book is sometimes called “The Book of Revelation” and other times “The Apocalypse,” but in reality the name is the same. “Apocalypse” is the Greek rendition but “Revelation” is the English of the same original word. Let us examine the Greek word a little more carefully. APOKALUPSIS is translated in a variety of ways including, “revelation, be revealed, to lighten, manifestation , coming and appearing.” It is derived from the Greek APOKALUPTO which means “to take off the cover.” This is perhaps the reason the Concordant Version translates the word as “unveiling.” In fact, their translation does not name the book Revelation, or the Apocalypse, but “The Unveiling Of Jesus Christ.”

“Unveiling” has a deeper meaning than the word “revelation”. A revelation of Jesus Christ could occur by having a brief vision and seeing his image. But an unveiling is a different story. A brief vision could not do this. To unveil Jesus Christ would imply the revealing of his mystery, layer after layer until there is a full understanding of the Master himself.

That which will shortly come to pass for the reader is not the end of the world, but the understanding of the mystery of Christ.  This understanding is presented throughout the book in symbolic language that reveals this mystery and was not intended to tell us the world was going to end soon.

I have written a whole book, called “The Unveiling” explaining the meaning of the Book of Revelation. Here the reader will be amazed to discover a fascinating interpretation unlike any seen before.

The original question was, “Is the end of the world at hand?”

The answer is no.  The world will continue for millions of years. The real question should be, “Is the end of the age at hand?”

The answer is yes.  A new age is dawning upon us and the old is passing away.  It is up to us to make sure the coming age is a good one.

Copyright by J J Dewey 2014

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Reincarnation and the Bible, Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Reincarnation & the Bible


During my childhood I did not go to any particular church and my parents did not try to influence me toward any particular religion or philosophy.  Therefore, as I look back I see that my earliest thoughts on life were those of a little child forming his most natural conclusions.

One of those natural ideas I formulated was that if God is indeed good  as everyone had said then he must give us all the chances we need to gain all the experience we want and to live full abundant lives.  I thought of how much I looked forward to growing up and making my mark on the world, then of how terrible it would be if some accident took my life.  I thought that surely God would provide some way for me to come back and have the opportunity to fulfill my hopes and dreams.

One day a visiting neighbor was telling my mother about a book she had read entitled:  The Search For Bridie Murphy and she explained the theory of how we are born again and again into this earth life.  I was immediately attracted to this idea for it blended in with my natural thoughts and I continued to believe it until I became active in a conservative church about the age of thirteen.

Around this period I mentioned my belief in reincarnation to one of the brethren.  He seemed shocked and said:  “You’ve got it all wrong.  Reincarnation is the doctrine of the devil. We only live one life, then we are resurrected  to die no more.”

I asked him if there was anything in the  scriptures about having only one life.

At that point he turned to Hebrews 9:27 and read:   “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

I then looked at the verse and read it several times.  Sure enough.  The Bible did seem to say that we live only once.  There fore, there could be no reincarnation.  I was  very disappointed. It seemed unfair that many people are cut off and unable to enjoy the full fruits of mortality.

On the other hand, I was told by the brethren that the next world was better than this one and it was really a blessing to die early to escape trials and tribulations.  This idea did not help, however, for I looked forward to whatever trials this life may have to offer and, furthermore, I noticed that my fellow church members did not look forward to ending their life either. None seemed anxious to enter that better “other world”;  instead, I heard comments such as:  “I hope Jesus doesn’t come till I am older and I get a chance to do a few things.”    Or:  “I hope I live until I can raise my family.”  Often they would express an interest in living until they are a certain ripe old age.

Nevertheless, I reluctantly accepted the idea of the one life “because the Bible said so” and held to it faithfully for about

fourteen years.    But during this period I did not feel satisfied with the answers I had to the questions of: Where did I come from? Why am I here?  and Where am I going?  The church had pat answers, but they left many unanswered questions they called mysteries that were not important to our salvation.

The unfairness of orthodox doctrine is what bothered me most. What about people who die with dreams unfulfilled?   What about babies that die with no chance of participating in mortality? What about those who are killed before accomplishing their heart’s desire?

The mindless answer that God would take care of things just left me vacant and helped to keep my mind open to greater light and truth.

It was my study of regression, however, that caused me to seriously consider reincarnation again.  It has long been known that a person can be guided back to any time in his past and relive it as if it were occurring all over again.  This can be done through hypnosis or by merely directing the mind to return.

I did many experiments with regression and watched with fascination as people returned to their early childhood, even the day they were born to recall events verified by older family members. I was often tempted to take individuals back beyond the date they were born, but for a long time I almost felt it was sacrilege,. I also found myself being somewhat fearful and apprehensive of what I may find.

Nevertheless, one can only suppress curiosity so long and eventually I did take someone back before birth.

The first person I regressed to a previous life was  a young lady. I was quite surprised at the ease and familiarity with which she went back.   She recalled a life over one hundred years ago in the North east of England and began speaking in an English accent recounting events from that life.   Anyone listening would have been amazed at the accent coming  from one who had never been to England in this life.  However, I was particularly startled because I had spent several years in Britain and most of it in the area she described.

Anyone who travels England becomes acutely aware that most of England does not speak the “Queen’s English”, but there are numerous dialects.  There can be a noticeable accent change in a distance of fifty miles.  However, there is a marked difference between the way the people in the North and South of England speak.  I believe it is a greater difference than the accent change between the North and South of the United States.

What amazed me is that this young lady said she had lived in the northeastern part  of England and her accent exactly duplicated the dialect in that area.  We must take into consideration that the Northeast British accent is much more difficult to imitate than the Queen’s English which is usually used by movie stars.

In America one rarely hears a North British accent over the media and I was 99% sure that the female involved had never even once heard a North Englander speak – at least in this life.

Another time I was attending a church party and decided to liven it up somewhat.  I told the group that I could take people back to any point in their lives, even the day of birth, and have them re call it.  People seemed interested in this and the first volunteer was a newly married lady whose husband was out shopping for some snacks for us.

I not only took her back to her youth, but before the entire non believing crowd I took her back into three past lives.  In two of them she knew her current husband.  One life was back in prehistoric times when they had no names and the other was in the days of the Roman Empire.  She said she was married to a Roman senator named Marcus Aurelius who was later killed in a battle.

The details she gave certainly awed everyone there, but the best was still to come.  When her husband came home everyone insisted that I take him back also.  He was a good subject and regressed to prehistoric times and described the same surroundings that his wife had. But then, amazingly, he went back to the days of the Roman Empire and said his name was Marcus Aurelius, a Roman senator who was killed in Battle.

Everyone was so stunned at this that they began to doubt their belief in the   church and I found myself being the one to reassure them that the church was correct and not to let this bother them for I still felt that there must be some logical explanation besides reincarnation.  Even this and other amazing regressions did not make me cast aside my church’s doctrine in the one mortal life.

I will not make the effort here to recall how, time after time, I was presented with evidence that there is more than one mortal life, but each time I refused to believe it until I was hit with an explosive piece of personal evidence  that had no other explanation than reincarnation.  I found myself face to face with reality. I had to either deny the logical process completely and doubt my own ability to come to a truthful conclusion, or open my mind and sincerely ask myself if I could have been wrong.

Then the thought occurred to me:  If reincarnation is a true doctrine I should be able to find evidence of it in the Bible.  I will “search the scriptures” with an open mind and see what is truly there.

As I started my search I realized that I knew of only one scripture that seemed to refute reincarnation and that was the one previously quoted from Hebrews 9:27:   “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.”

The “once to die” sounds like an absolute statement not open to debate until we realize that it is boldly contradicted by the Bible itself:  “They (the dead) were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast (to suffer a second death) into the lake of fire.”  Rev 20:12-15

The book of Revelations has quotes from John, an angel, and Jesus Christ, all using the phrase “second death” so we know there has to be one.  Thus it is quite obvious that if Paul were writing the truth he did not literally mean “once to die” except perhaps once per lifetime, or that  there is one general mortality passed upon all mankind.

There are other scriptures that are quite deceiving if they are read with a black and white state of mind:  A pertinent one was made by Paul again.  He said:  “I die daily.”  I Cor 15:31 He also said:  “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience…It is a shame for women to speak in the church.”  I Cor 14:34-35  Paul also advised the saints to remain single as he was (I Cor 7:7) and if they were married to not have sex (I Cor 7:29).

Jesus told us to cut off our right hand if it offends us (Matt 5:30) and talked about making oneself a eunuch (literally a castrated person) for the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 19:12)

If we do not read difficult passages like these in their correct context and with some knowledge of the customs and beliefs of that ancient era we may reject the whole Bible as being the work of madmen.

Let us examine the verse that precedes the “once to die” scripture:  “But now once in the end of the world hath he (Christ) appeared to put away sin by sacrifice of himself.”  Heb 9:26

If we read this verse literally we are led to believe that Jesus appeared only once at the end of the world to sacrifice him self.  Two thousand years has passed since then so those who thought Paul was talking about the real “end of the world” were wrong. Also, Jesus did not appear once  but appeared many times to many people.

To interpret this  scripture accurately one has to read it in its correct context as well as examine the Greek from which it was translated.

In examining the Greek we find that the word “world” is a mistranslation.  It comes from the word AION.  The modern English word “eon” is derived from this and it means “an age”.  Thus we see that Jesus came once at not the end of the world, but the end of the ages as the word is plural here. We realize that his “one” coming refers to his general life (with all his numerous appearances counted as one) at the end of one age and the beginning of a new one.

Here we see that Hebrews 9:26 cannot be interpreted in a black and white literal manner.  How about the next verse?  Does it mean what it seems to mean?  Are we really appointed only “once to die” or is there more meaning here below the surface?  Are there many deaths within the one death as there were many “comings” within the one general first coming of Christ?  Is it talking about physical death or spiritual death?  If it is talking about spiritual death, then that would leave open the possibility of more than one physical death.

In examining this scripture there are three words that are generally overlooked:  “men”, “but”, and “judgment”.  We’ll quote this scripture one more time emphasizing  these:   ‘And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  Men comes from the Greek ANTHROPOS which in this context indicates the human race as a whole.

The word “but” here is quite interesting.  It comes from the Greek DE  which literally means  contrariwise.   In other words, it indicates that the information that is forthcoming may contradict that which has just been said.

That would  mean   that “after this the judgment” may have an opposite meaning to “it is appointed unto men once to die”. It would indicate an exception as in the sentence:  “I rise every morning at 8:00 A.M., except when the alarm doesn’t go off.”

“After this the judgment” does not sound like it contradicts or has an opposite meaning to “once to die” so let us look closer to see  what the original language says.  Judgment comes from the Greek  word  KRISIS.  This is one of the most misunderstood words in the entire Bible.  Translators don’t quite seem to know how to handle it and seem to render it according to their bias rather than the actual meaning.  In the King James version they have rendered it:  accusation, condemnation, damnation, and judgment.  These words all have diverse meanings, but none of them are an exact translation.

The modern English word “crisis” (which is derived from the Greek KRISIS) is a more accurate rendering than the Bible translations. The actual Greek word implies a decision that brings correction. If it is used in connection with the word “judgment”  the idea of a corrective judgment should be implied.

Another mistranslation in this verse is the phrase “to die”. It is more correctly rendered “to be  dying”.  Let us now take into consideration these corrections and render the verse as close as possible to the Greek:   “And as it is reserved for mankind once tr. be dying, but on the other hand, after this [after the state of dying is over we have] the judgment [or KRISIS the decision to correct the state of death].

The verse could be describing either a spiritual death, physical death or both.

The word KRISIS is used in another very interesting scripture:

“The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (KRISIS).” John 5:28-29

Notice here that John tells us that there are two resurrections: (1) The resurrection of life, and (2) the resurrection of damnation or KRISIS.

“Damnation” is an incorrect word for translators to use.  The second resurrection should more appropriately be called “the resurrection of correction” or “the resurrection which forces correct decisions”.

The word “resurrection” comes from the Greek ANASTASIS which literally means “to stand up again” or “to come to life again”. The word does not imply that the new life will always be an immortal one as indicated by the following scripture:  “Women received their dead raised to life again (from the same Greek word ANASTASIS): and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.”  (ANASTASIS) Heb. 11:35.

The reference “women received their dead raised to life again” refers to miracles performed by Elijah and Elisha where the dead were revived to a mortal existence.  Here the word ANASTASIS refers to something other than an immortal life.

Here is another interesting scripture spoken by the Christ years before his resurrection:  “The Son can do nothing of him self, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise…For as the Father RAISETH UP THE DEAD,  and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”  John 5:19h21

Here we are plainly told that the dead were raised to life again by the power of the Father BEFORE the resurrection of Jesus.

On the other hand Paul said that Jesus was “THE FIRST that should raise from the dead.”  Acts 26:23.

This seems like a paradox.  On one hand we are told that there were resurrections before Jesus and that both the Father and the Son raised up any of the dead that they wished.  On the other hand it is written that Jesus was the first to raise from the dead.  How is this to be explained?

It is quite simple.  There are two resurrections.  Jesus was the first to attain to the resurrection of life.   But the second type of resurrection, the resurrection of KRISIS or correction has been occurring since the beginning.

The resurrection of KRISIS or correction can refer to one being revived to mortal life in the same body as Lazareth was, or it could refer to being “born again” in a new body with a new life experience giving us an opportunity to “correct” our imperfections.

Jesus was not the first to attain the resurrection of KRISIS, but he was the first to gain the resurrection of life.

It was the resurrection of life that Paul spoke of when he said that it was something he had to attain:  “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after.”  Phil 3:11-12.

Paul indicates that we must be “perfect” to “attain” this resurrection.  He can  only be referring to the resurrection of life for Jesus said that all the evil ones go to “the resurrection of correction”  while they who have done good attain the “better resurrection”.

This makes sense doesn’t it?  We are sent again and again to the resurrection of correction to live life after life on the earth and then when we have corrected our errors and become without sin as was Jesus we “attain” unto the resurrection of “life” and “this mortal must put on  immortality”. I Cor 15:53.

How do we avoid the resurrection of correction?  The Lord tells us:  “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (from KRISIS, the resurrection of correction): but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

The scriptures plainly tell  us that by hearing, believing, and doing the words of God so that we are perfected leads to escaping the resurrection of Krisis and “attaining” the resurrection of life.

With this knowledge in mind we can place still another interpretation on Hebrews 9:27:  “And as it is appointed unto men once to die (in this present age), on the other hand after this comes the resurrection of correction” (where we will be born and die again in a future age.)

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Eternal Lives, Chapter 7

This entry is part 7 of 17 in the series Eternal Lives

Eternal Marriage

One may ask: Why be sealed for eternity if there is reincarnation and we will come back again anyway? What one often forgets is that we are living in eternity now as Joseph Smith indicated: “The past, the present, and the future were and are with Him (God) one eternal Now”’. History of the Church Vol. 4 Pg. 597.

Let’s examine carefully what is written on the sealing powers to see what is unfolded. We are told that those who are sealed according to the New and Everlasting covenant “shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection the next resurrection (A future life or incarnation) and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, all heights and depths – “ D&C 132:19 Then we are told that as long as they do not shed innocent blood they will come forth and be Gods sometime in the future. We are told that “All things are theirs whether LIFE OR DEATH.” D&C 76:59 It is interesting indeed that a celestial being can choose life or death. In other words he can choose a continuation of life in the celestial world or sacrifice and take an incarnation in the lower worlds where he will be subject to death. Many of the prophets in history as well as other great men were celestial spirits who volunteered to come here to help the race of men. They chose “death” for a season that they might have more power to serve.

To understand the sealing more fully one must understand what the scriptures mean when they speak of everlasting or eternal life. One should understand that when God gave us the modern scriptures they were written “after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” D&C 1:24 Since Joseph Smith was unaware of all mistranslations in the Bible they also carried over into some of his revelations. For instance the word for the Lord “Jehovah” is universally agreed to be a mistranslation. The English word was invented by the Catholic church many centuries ago. Most believe the word was at one time pronounced “Yahweh”. Even the word “Jesus” is not correct today. In the Greek it was pronounced “Yaesu”. But God did not bother with trivialities and let the revelations come forth in a language that Joseph and his followers were familiar with. If he did not do this much difficulty would have been created, and the missionaries would have spent all their time arguing over the meaning of words instead of teaching revealed truths. There were certain disadvantages, however, especially caused by the words “eternal” and “everlasting”. For the true meaning of these words we must examine the original language of the Bible from whence they came.

Contrary to popular belief, neither everlasting or eternal life means to live forever just as eternal damnation doesn’t mean that one will be damned forever: “Nevertheless, it is not written there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again it is written eternal damnation.” D&C 19:6-7 And why did the Lord allow it to be written this way: “Wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, THAT IT MIGHT WORK UPON THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN OF MEN altogether for my name’s glory.” Verse 7.

Yes, in the past, and for many in the present the Lord has allowed a misunderstanding of his words to work upon our hearts for our good, but the truly honest in heart are always the most highly motivated by that which is truest.

Much of the confusion comes from the Greek word AION and a comparable word AIONIOS. These words are translated as “eternal,” “forever,” “everlasting,” “world,” “age” and “course” in the King James Version. One does not have to look hard to see that “age” and “course” certainly have a different meaning than “eternal” or “forever”. What is the true meaning of these Greek words? It can be clearly shown from the scriptures that the meaning is not “forever:” The disciples said “Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the END of the world”(Greek: AION) Matt 24:3 “I am with you alway, even to the END of the world” AION) Matt 28:20. Here the translators did not dare translate AION as everlasting, eternal, or forever. We know that Jesus is not coming at the end of forever. It can also be shown that AION has a beginning: “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since THE WORLD (AION) BEGAN” Luke 1:70; “Since the World (AION) began…” John 9:32; Also Acts 3:21. Here we easily establish that AION has both a beginning and an end, It’s most correct translation is an “age” which age has both a beginning and an end. Sometimes it is used in the same context that we use the word “dispensation” today. However, it sometimes refers to numerous dispensations. One has to read the context.

The Greek AIONIOS is derived from AION and means approximately the same except the word implies a quality not found in AION. The word “eternal” in eternal life is generally translated from this word. For instance this is eternal (AIONIOS) life, that they might know thee…” John 17:3 This implies that one will have a high quality of life that will last for an “age” if one comes to know God and Christ. We find the same implication in other scriptures: “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting (AIONIOS) life.” John 3:16 AION and AIONIOS were not meant to imply deathlessness or immortality. The word meaning such is ATHANASIA and is only used three times in the whole Bible. The three references are: I Cor 15:53 & 54; and I Tim 6:16.

Joseph Smith’s teachings were in harmony with the above. He said over and over that if a thing has a beginning it must have an end and if something did not have a beginning then it will have no end. There is no such thing as a beginning with no end. See History of the Church Vol. 6; pg 311

This was one of the most important statements Joseph ever made, as much truth can be derived from it. For instance, if there is a beginning to a punishment, then there must be an end. On the other hand, if there is a beginning to a reward there must also be an end. If there is a beginning to our entering into the telestial, terrestrial, or celestial kingdom, then eventually there must be an end. If there is a beginning to us being a God there will be an end. If there is a beginning to a marriage there will also be an end.

When we apply this principle to various cherished doctrines, it may fill the breast of a devotee with horror. For instance if there is a beginning to having a body there will be an end. Yet Joseph Smith clearly stated that “which has a beginning as God lives will have an end.” Some of these applications almost makes one declare that Joseph Smith must have been mistaken in this point. But I believe the doctrine not only because Joseph said it, but because of its simple logic. He is mathematically correct.

If Joseph Smith was right then what is the real meaning of eternal marriage? Does it have an end?

First, if we use the Greek word AIONIOS for eternal or eternity, then eternal marriage would imply a high quality marriage lasting for an age. Thus one may be married in this world and the world to come, but keep in mind that there’s worlds to come after ‘“the world to come.” How long your eternal marriage will last is according to your free agency. If after ten million years you decide to go separate ways who is there to take away your agency??? If, after you become a God, you decide to step down and no longer be a God for a while who is there to take away your agency? Remember “All things are theirs whether life or death.” D&C 76:59

To find out if there really is an end to marriage we must merely ask if there ever was a beginning. We may be assured that the principle of marriage is without beginning and is ever present in nature clear down to the atom where we have a marriage of positive and negative forces creating something greater than themselves through their cooperation. Joseph Smith said that baptism was a symbol and it’s quite evident that marriage is also. Marriage merely symbolizes a union of souls or should I say a reunion for “Man was also in the beginning with God…” D&C 93:29 “The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal with God himself. I know my testimony is true.” History of the Church Vol. 6: Pg 310. When humanity were co-equal in the beginning there was a union of souls which was from eternity which union, or eternal marriage, we are again attempting to establish through the “New and everlasting covenant”. This is in fulfillment of the commandment: ‘“that they may be one as we are.” John 17-11. Thus since the oneness of Intelligences never had a beginning the time will never come when they will have an end; nevertheless there is always an ebb and flow in all things. At this point one feels to exclaim: “The mystery of Godliness, how great it is!” D&C 19:10 Eternal marriage is symbolic of the eternal union all Intelligences will eventually have,

The new and everlasting covenant is also a binding force that brings individuals together in the celestial kingdom as well as guarantees that you will meet in future lives. Now we not only want to meet our mates in future lives, but also our friends. This is why sealings were also done for individuals who were faithful and friends. Men were sealed to men as well as women. See Journal of discourses Vol. 9 page 269. Also Manuscript History of Brigham Young Jan. 16, 1847

This practice of sealing men to men and even groups was discontinued evidently through lack of understanding. Joseph Smith told a group of saints: “He (God) has given you all to me and commanded me to seal you up to everlasting life.” Autobiography of Mary E. Rollins Lightner Ms. Joseph also said: that “dominion and power in the great future would be commensurate with the number of wives, children and friends that we inherit (are sealed to) here, and that our mission to the earth was to organize a nucleus of Heaven, to take with us, the increase of which there would be no end.” From MY LIFE’S REVIEW by Benjamin F. Johnson. Zion’s Printing and publishing Co.; Independence, Mo. Page 10.

It is evident that Joseph was married in his past lives. Mary Elizabeth Rollins said: “Joseph said I was his before I came here and he said all the Devils in hell should never get me from him.” From JOSEPH SMITH, THE FIRST MORMON by Donna Hill. Page 351. Joseph Lee Robinson also gave an insight into Joseph’s past lives: “God revealed to him that any man that ever committed adultery in either of his probations (lives) that man could never be raised to the highest exaltation in the celestial glory.” Donna Hill Page 344. Since we are “judged according to the deeds which have been done in the MORTAL BODY.” (Alma 5:15) this other probation could not refer to a previous spirit life, but only a previous mortal life.

Of course, any sealing ceremony has no effect without love for we are told that “Charity (the pure love of Christ) never faileth.” I Cor 13:8. Love is the true sealing power whereas the ordinance is merely a symbol. If one is under the law he must go through the ordinance, but if he is not then the power of love itself will create a binding force so those two individuals will meet in future lives. Interestingly hate also seals two individuals to each other so they will meet again and work out their differences. The power of love was expressed by Paul: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of god which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38-39

The main advantage of the sealing powers of the Priesthood is that it seals a commitment to meet again and once registered in two souls the future union is assured. The future of those eternally progressing will be eventually to be as Gods to evolving human lives on other worlds. This, of course, is just the beginning. There are worlds and concepts above ours that we can comprehend no more than a slug can comprehend us, but someday, in our future eternal lives and endless expansion of our consciousness, we will comprehend.
Copyright 1996 by J J Dewey