And yet to accomplish the ultimatum of his previous

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And yet, to accomplish the ultimatum of his previous existence, and consummate the grand and glorious object of his being, and the salvation of his infinite brotherhood, he had to come and take upon him flesh. He is our example. The works he did, we are commanded to do. We are enjoined to follow him, as he followed his Head; that where he is, we may be also; and being with him, may be like him. If Christ knew beforehand, so did we. But in coming here, we forgot all, that our agency might be free indeed, to choose good or evil, that we 5
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might merit the reward of our own choice and conduct. But by the power of the Spirit, in the redemption of Christ, through obedience, we often catch a spark from the awakened memories of the immortal soul, which lights up our whole being as with the glory of our former home.—Contributor, 1883, Vol. 4, pp. 114, 115. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p.13, emphasis added) Then just as we wisely deny the requests of our faithful, trusting children when we know from our prior experience that granting such requests would not benefit them, so our Father denies our faithful petitions when the outcomes would be detrimental to our eternal progress. One would scarcely accuse a parent of not caring, or being cruel for protecting their child from harmful activities. Then why are we so quick to accuse God of not caring or being vindictive when He, with His infinite foreknowledge, denies our faithful pleadings? How does a faithful son or daughter learn to exercise faith unto salvation? Perhaps we should do as the apostle Paul counseled in Romans 8:26 which the Prophet Joseph Smith clarified to read: “The Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” It would be better thus: “The Spirit maketh intercession for us with striving which cannot be expressed” ( Documentary History of the Church 5:264). Prefacing our petitions should be a prayer for the Spirit, which, if we are sincere in wanting to know the will of God and not just ordering Him around heaven with His omnipotent power, would result in aligning our petitions to be one with His Divine will. In that way, we would never ask anything that wouldn’t be granted because we would be continually asking for the fulfillment of His will. Nephi counseled us: “But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy 6
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performance may be for the welfare of thy soul” (2 Nephi 32:9). Nephi’s explicit directive to pray before doing anything in the name of the Lord suggests that our performance might not only benefit the recipient of the blessing, but would redound for our good as well.
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