Skousen Trilogy

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    The Gospel TrilogyBy Cleon Skousen

    Trilogy Parts One Through Three

    Trilogy One

    Building Blocks of the Universe

    This talk was first presented, at the invitation of President Mike Glauser, to approximately 180 missionariesat the Georgia Atlanta Mission on ovem!er "#$, "000% The morning hours were spent &overing the !asi&stru&ture of this presentation% The afternoon hours were spent in answering 'uestions%

    Introduction

    (ne of the most gratifying things a!out going on a mission is the opportunity to really learn a!out the gospel%And we learn it on two levels%

    The first level is what Paul &alls the M)*+ level of the gospel learning -AT the a&tual re'uirements of thegospel are to lead us !a&k to the presen&e of the .ather/ for example, faith, repentan&e, !aptism, the gift ofthe -oly Ghost, o!eying the &ommandments and enduring to the end% (f &ourse, we dont minimie thesa&red importan&e of the M)*+ level !e&ause it tells you in the simplest terms -AT you must do to rea&hthe &elestial kingdom%

    The se&ond level is what Paul &alled the M2AT level whi&h explains -3 ea&h prin&iple of the gospel isessential and -( it works% 4o the milk is the -AT of the gospel% The meat is the -3 and the -(%The differen&e !etween milk and meat is made very &lear in the s&riptures% -ere is how Paul distinguished!etween these two different levels of gospel study% -e said5

    6) have fed you with milk and not with meat/ for hitherto ye were not a!le to !ear it, neither yet now are yea!le%6 71 orinthians $5"9

    3e have need that one tea&h you again whi&h !e the first prin&iples of the ora&les of God/ and are !e&omesu&h as have need of milk, and not of strong meat% .or every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word ofrighteousness/ for he is a !a!e% :ut strong meat !elongeth to them that are of full age, even those who !yreason of ;ha!itual< use have their senses exer&ised to dis&ern !oth good and evil% Therefore ;6(T6a&&ording to =oseph 4mith< leaving the prin&iples of the do&trine of hrist, *2T >4 G( ( >T(P2?.2T)(/ not ;repeatedly< laying again the foundation of repentan&e from dead works, and of faithtoward God%6 7-e!rews @51"#1 plus B519

    )saiah says the meat !elongs to those 6who understand do&trine and are weaned from the milk% %%.orpre&ept must !e upon pre&ept, line upon line%6 7)saiah "85C#109

    (f &ourse the great &hallenge to =oseph 4mith as the propheti& head of this new dispensation was the fa&tthat he did not re&eive new knowledge merely line upon line and pre&ept upon pre&ept !ut *A32? upon*A32?% 4ometimes these layers were so enri&hed with heavy do&trines of gospel meat that =osephs

    asso&iates &hoked on them and denoun&ed !oth =oseph and the most re&ent layer of revelation as false anduna&&epta!le% :ut =osephs time was short% -e &ould not wait for those who lagged !ehind% onse'uently,ten mem!ers of the original Duorum of the Twelve faltered% The two apostles who stood valiantly with theprophet were :righam 3oung and -e!er % +im!all%

    hile on a mission we &on&entrate on tea&hing the milk !e&ause these are the plain and simple things thatare essential to get us !a&k to the .athers elestial +ingdom% They tell us -AT to do% The key to su&&esson the milk level is (:2E)22, a willingness to follow the essential re'uirements of the Gospel% oti&ethat Paul !e&ame upset with the saints in his day !e&ause he &ouldnt get them to go !eyond the milk andlearn the gospel meat AE T-2?2:3 G( ( >T( P2?.2T)(% oti&e )saiahs warning that the meat

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    of the gospel &annot !e digested !y swallowing it in gulps% )t must !e prayerfully pondered, pre&ept uponpre&ept and line upon line%

    The Blessing of Having a Great Teacher

    ) got into the meat of the gospel shortly after ) arrived in the :ritish Mission% ) was only 1F when ) was &alledon a mission and upon arriving in 2ngland ) found out that 2lder =ohn A% idtsoe was presiding over all the

    missions in 2urope and he had his head'uarters in 2ngland% That meant that on&e in awhile ) would get tosee him%

    President idtsoe was an apostle and a mem!er of the oun&il of the Twelve% -e had !een the president oftwo universities, was a famous s&ientist, and was a mem!er of the ?oyal 4o&iety of 2ngland% :y reputationhe was &onsidered to !e one of the foremost s&holars of the gospel in the entire &hur&h and had written!ooks on the tea&hings of !oth =oseph 4mith and the Eis&ourses of :righam 3oung%

    (ne day when we were on the train together, ) was !old enough to ask 2lder idtsoe a gospel 'uestion% )didnt realie it at the time, !ut my 'uestion turned out to !e the most profound 'uestion in the entire gospel%

    ) said, 62lder idtsoe, hy did =esus have to !e &ru&ified6

    -e paused and then said, 6ho told you to ask me that 'uestion6

    ) said, 6ell no!ody% )ts my 'uestionH% hen ) was a small !oy in anada they would tell us at 2aster timehow =esus was la&erated with a whip, how he had a &rown of thorns put on his head, with !lood runningdown his fa&e, and how he was nailed to the &ross and suffered the most terri!le agony% ) wondered who inthe world wanted all that suffering )f it had a purpose, what was it .urthermore, how did the &ru&ifixion of=esus have anything to do with my salvation6

    2lder idtsoe thought for a moment and then he said5 6) &ould answer your 'uestions, !ut you wouldntunderstand the answers% 3ou dont know enough a!out your -eavenly .ather%6

    4o ) said, 6ould you tea&h me6

    )t was an auda&ious thing to ask a heavily !urdened General Authority, !ut after a moment he said, 64in&e itis your 'uestion, may!e you would have enough &uriosity and tena&ity to pursue the rather tedious task oflearning a!out it line upon line and pre&ept upon pre&ept#that is the only way you &an get the whole pi&ture%6

    4o thats how ) stum!led into one of the greatest !lessings of my entire life% ) !e&ame a student of the meatof the gospel under the guidan&e of Apostle =ohn A% idtsoe%

    Part 1

    Everything in Existence is ade Out of !ust T"o Things

    # $urprise Beginning

    2lder idtsoe started me out a!out a hundred miles away from my original 'uestion &on&erning the&ru&ifixion%

    -e asked me if ) knew that everything in existen&e was made out of Iust two things% ell, ) had Iustgraduated from high s&hool and ) had learned in &hemistry a!out elements% ) told him there werent Iust two%hemists had identified over a hundred different elements%

    6(h,6 he said, 6ea&h element is made up of millions of these two tiny parti&les that ) am talking a!out%6 4o )asked him what these two tiny parti&les were%

    -e said5 6hen the prophet *ehi was on his death !ed, he explained to his sons that everything in existen&eis made out of these two tiny !uilding !lo&ks% 4ee if you &an find what he &alled them in the !ook of "ephi%6

    ) asked him why he didnt give me the &hapter and verse% -e said, 6(h, ) wouldnt deprive you of the thrill offinding them%6 This was &hara&teristi& of my entire training under =ohn A% idtsoe% -e would des&ri!e the

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    prin&iple and tell me A:(>T where to find it and them leave it up to me% ) finally lo&ated *ehis statement%-e said5

    6There is a God, and he hath &reated A** things, !oth the heavens and the earth, and all things that in themare, :(T- T-)G4 T( AT AE T-)G4 T( :2 AT2E >P(%6 7" ephi "519

    2lder idtsoe then said, 6-eavenly .ather has &alled the thing whi&h a&ts !y a &ertain name and the thing

    whi&h is a&ted upon !y another name% These are the two !uilding !lo&ks out of whi&h the *ord has madeeverything in the entire universe% 4ee if you &an find out what he &alls them% 3ou will find these names a!outthree#fourths of the way through the Eo&trine and ovenants%6

    ) really had to dig for those verses% .inally ) found the names of these !uilding !lo&ks in se&tion C$, verses"C#$$%

    The *ord said that the thing whi&h 6a&ts6 is &alled an intelligen&e and that whi&h is 6a&ted upon6 is &alled6element6 or primal matter% -e said these !uilding !lo&ks always existed% They are eternal% 7EJ C$5"C, $$9They &annot !e &reated and they &annot !e destroyed, !ut they &an !e organied, E)4organied and?2organied%

    4in&e the intelligen&e is the ingredient that 6a&ts6, it is assumed that the elements are inert, or as some havesaid, 6)t is Iust stuff%6 -owever, :righam 3oung said that these tiny !its of primal matter or inert parti&les ofstuff, are 6&apa&itated to re&eive intelligen&e%6 7=ournal of Eis&ourses, F5"9 )n fa&t, :righam 3oung#who was

    tutored !y the prophet =oseph 4mith seems to have had a &omplete grasp of the nature of intelligen&e andits asso&iation with primal matter% -e said5

    6There is an eternity of matter, and it is all a&ted upon and filled with a portion of divinity% 7Gods organiedintelligen&es%9 Matter is to exist/ it &annot !e annihilated% 2ternity is without !ounds and is filled with matter/and there is no su&h thing as empty spa&e% And matter is &apa&itated to re&eive intelligen&e%%%matter &an !eorganied and !rought forth into intelligen&e, and to po