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The Work of the Father

We are all familiar with the story of Jesus in His youth. When He was twelve years old, He went with His parents to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover. After the celebration ended, His parents began to travel home. Unbeknownst to them, however, Jesus remained in Jerusalem. After a day's journey His parents returned to Jerusalem and found Him teaching in the Temple. His mother, Mary, asked Him why He had done this. And Jesus replied, "Why is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:40–49). Likewise, the Lord Jesus Christ has called us in these latter days to be about His Father's business, which is also known in the Scriptures as "the work of the Father."

But what is the work that the Father will do in these times, what is its purpose, and what role are we to play in this work? The answers to these questions are, of course, found in the Scriptures. There are only five occurrences of the phrase "the work of the Father" in the Scriptures and they appear only in the Book of Mormon. As we shall see from the following scriptures, this phrase has a specific meaning and is directly related to the Father's work in end times.

Remember ... when ye shall receive this record [the Book of Mormon], ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land. (Ether 1:114; italics added)

Then at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants which he hath made to his people, who are of the house of Israel. (1 Nephi 3:237; italics added)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, When these things [the Book of Mormon) shall be made known unto them [the Gentiles] of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you [the children of Lehi] ... it shall be a sign unto them [the children of Lehi], that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel.... For in that Any, for my {Jesus Christ's] sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them. (3 Nephi 9:89, 93, 95; italics added)

But if they [the Gentiles] will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I [Jesus Christ] will establish my church among them... that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in ... unto the New Jerusalem.

And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst, and then shall the work of the Father commence, at that day even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people.

Verily, I say unto you, At that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people; yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father, to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name; yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father, among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight; for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward. And then shall that which is written come to pass. (3 Nephi 10:1–8; italics added)

The above scriptures indicate that the beginning point of the work of the Father was at the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. And since the appearance of God and Christ to Joseph in the Grove was the authoritative precursor to receiving the Book of Mormon, we can say that the work of the Father actually began with Joseph's experience in the Grove. In addition, we understand from the above scriptures that the work of the Father is the gathering of all the House of Israel (the twelve tribes) to the lands of their inheritance according to the promises made by the Father to them. According to these scriptures, this is to be accomplished by several events. Jesus Christ will establish His Church, which He did in 1830. Zion, the New Jerusalem, will be built. In addition, Christ will come to Zion as a celestial being for He said, "I ... will be in the midst." However, according to an article written by Richard Price in Vision #53, at this time He will not have the fullness of His glory as He will at His Second Coming. Also, the above scriptures indicate that the priesthood of His Church will receive the Endowment, for "then shall the power of heaven come down among them" and they will preach His Gospel in power to everyone in the world (3 Nephi 10:4). All who will obey it, including the House of Israel, will be gathered into His Kingdom. And according to Matthew 24:32–38, after the gathering and prior to the Second Coming of Christ, the wicked will be destroyed.

Thus, the work of the Father began with Joseph's vision in the Grove and will culminate with the great and last gathering and the destruction of the wicked. The purpose of the work of the Father is to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in His glory, for Jesus said in the above scriptures, "for my sake shall the Father work a work." It is called "the work of the Father" because when the great and last gathering occurs under the power of the Endowment, all will know it is the Father—not man—who is doing this work. As is quoted above, "I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward."

When the work of the Father culminates with the great and last gathering under the power of the Endowment, it will be a miraculous event greater than any of the previous miracles performed by God for the deliverance of His people. The apprehension of this truth came to me by the power of His Spirit in the spring of 2009 as I read Doctrine and Covenants 108 in preparation for a sermon. Section 108 is about the priesthood going out under the power of the Endowment to gather out His elect before the day of the coming of the Lord. As I began reading it, even though there were many distractions in the room, His Spirit rested on me in power. This section had never been more real and alive to me than it was that night. As I read, I felt as though I was literally experiencing what I was reading, although I did not see the events in open vision. His Spirit was with me so powerfully that tears ran down my face. My soul was thrilled with the joy of feeling that I was a part of this great event— going to the ends of the earth to warn the people of the coming of the Lord and to gather out the righteous.

During this experience, the Lord opened my mind and heart to understand several things about the great and last gathering in the work of the Father. I understood that when the priesthood goes out under the power of the Endowment, no power will be able to stop them. In addition, no harm will come to them, for they will be protected by the Spirit as was Samuel the Lamanite when he preached to the people from the walls of Zarahemla (Helaman 5:111–112). Their words will be carried forth by the power of His Spirit and will be like thunder to the ears of all mankind. I understood that this event will be the most important event in the lives of everyone in the world. Nothing else will matter to them except the decision as to whether to believe and gather to Zion or not to believe and remain where they are. Everyone—people of all races, cultures, and languages who live anywhere from the most populated spots to the remotest regions of the world—will hear His Gospel in the full power of His Spirit. As Doctrine and Covenants 1:1b states, "the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape, and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated...." And if they choose to obey His Gospel, they will be gathered to His Kingdom in Zion or Jerusalem.

I also understood that when the priesthood go out under the power of the Endowment, those who have demeaned and slandered Joseph Smith, Jr., and the work the Father restored through him will no longer be allowed to speak against him and the work. Because Joseph was chosen to initiate the work of the Father and was faithful to his calling, the Father will not allow his name to be had anymore for evil but only for good. Their mouths will be shut and the restored Gospel will roll forth in power uncontested.

This experience was so real to me that all other earthly concerns seemed to melt into insignificance, and any wonderings I had as to how the Father was going to accomplish His work fled from me. There was no doubt in my mind that the work of the Father—the spreading forth of His Gospel in power and gathering in His elect from the four quarters of the earth—would be victorious. This experience and the desire to be a part of these future, miraculous events have burned within my soul ever since I apprehended these truths.

Today, we are a part of the Father's work, for we are members of His true Church restored through His servant, Joseph Smith, Jr., and continued through His son, Joseph Smith III in the Reorganization. We have been called to assist Him to prepare the world for the Second Coming of His Son, Jesus Christ, in the fullness of His Glory. May we "be about our Father's business." May we sanctify our lives so He will set His Church in order and cause this Gospel to roll forth in power to the ends of the earth to fulfill His work—the work of the Father.

 
 

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