October 18, 2007

The Great Gospel Sermon

A footnote to the 3-part exposition on Brigham's "Great Gospel Sermon."
Brigham Young  
August 8, 1852

Brigham Young's epic sermon of August 8, 1852 encompassed an incredible variety of subjects dealing with the plan of salvation. I am very impressed by the fact that Brigham practically never preached from a prepared text, this sermon was delivered off the cuff with inspiration from God. I recommend reading it in entire.

When Christ was on the cross he uttered the words "it is finished" (John 19:30). These timeless words have led some to assume everything is accomplished, no more to be done. Conversely, we know "the works of God continue, and worlds and lives abound."[1] In a revelation Joseph called the "Olive Leaf," we are told of a future time when "it is finished" will again be stated, this time in loud acclamation by the seventh angel, who will make the declaration just before the saints are "crowned with glory" (see D&C 88:106-107).
Brigham Young added his thoughts to the concept of "one eternal round" as it pertains to preaching the gospel:

...my understanding with regard to preaching the Gospel of Salvation is this: there is but one discourse to be preached to all the children of Adam; and that discourse should be believed by them, and lived up to. To commence, continue, and finish this Gospel sermon, will require all the time that is allotted to man, to the earth, and all things upon it, in their mortal state; that is my idea with regard to preaching.
No man is able to set before a congregation all the items of the Gospel, in this life, and continue these items to their termination, for this mortal life is too short. It is inseparably connected one part with the other, in all the doctrines that have been revealed to man…

As Orson Pratt explained in this discourse, as posted before, no book in the world can contain the truths of eternity. They are simply too vast. The one eternal discourse of God our Heavenly Father is best described in a simple selection found in the Pearl of Great Price:
And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:38-39).
Even the work of our Savior, Jesus Christ continues:

[Christ] will finish his Gospel discourse when he overcomes his enemies, and puts his last enemy under his feet-when he destroys death, and him that hath the power of it-when he has raised up this kingdom, and finished his work which the Father gave him to do, and presents it to his Father, saying, 'I have done the work, I have finished it; I have not only created the world, but I have redeemed it; I have watched over it, and I have given to those intelligent beings, that you have created by me, their agency, and it has been held with perfection to every creature of intelligence, to every grade of mankind; I have preserved inviolate their agency; I have watched over them, and overruled all their actions, and held in my hand the destinies of men; and I have finished up my Gospel sermon,' as he presents the finished work to his Father (see 1 Corinthians 15:25-27).
Brigham said the righteous are all awaiting that great day- be there here or in the Spirit World:
[Their] happiness will not be complete-their glory will not attain to the final consummation of its fulness, until they have entered into the immediate presence of the Father and the Son, to be crowned, as Jesus will be, when the work is finished. When it is wound up, the text is preached, in all its divisions, pertaining to the redemption of the world, and the final consummation of all things; then the Savior will present the work to the Father, saying, "Father, I have finished the work thou gavest me to do;" and the Son will give it up to the Father, and then be subject to Him, and then he will be crowned, and that is the time you and I will be crowned also.

This is the glorious and great gospel sermon.
You cannot find a compass on the earth, that points, so directly, as the Gospel plan of salvation. It has a place for every thing, and puts everything in its place. It divides, and sub-divides, and gives to every portion of the human family, as circumstances require.(Brigham Young, JD 3:80-97).


"If You Could Hie To Kolob," Hymns, 292.

1 comment:

ralleyclimber said...

It would have been so nice to be present during any one of these talks!

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