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Second Comforter

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Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:23–26).

The Holy Ghost abides with men in the absence of Christ. The Holy Ghost is known as the comforter.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God . . . then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints. . . . Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 150–51).

Thus, Jesus Christ is known to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Second Comforter.

Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever (John 14:16).

Those who receive the Second Comforter, or the promise of eternal life, have the privilege of communing personally and openly with the Man of Holiness and his Son Jesus Christ. The Prophet Joseph spoke repeatedly of the Saints communing personally with both God the Father and Jesus Christ. (See HC 1:283–4; 3:381; 5:530; 6:51.) [1]


President Joseph Fielding Smith has written: “There are thousands who believe in the promise of the Lord, ‘that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am’ (Doctrine and Covenants 93:1). And this promise is unto all men everywhere so that all may know if they will” (Improvement Era 33:726).

Experiences with the Second Comforter

  • Elder Orson F. Whitney, a young missionary in the eastern states, says that one night in a vision:
I seemed to be in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony. I saw Him as plainly as ever I have seen anyone. Standing behind a tree in the foreground, I beheld Jesus, with Peter, James and John, as they came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, the Son of God passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed. It was the same prayer with which all Bible readers are familiar: ‘Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’
As He prayed the tears streamed down his face, which was toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I also wept, out of pure sympathy. My whole heart went out to him; I loved him with all my soul, and longed to be with him as I longed for nothing else.
Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or impatience, asked them plaintively if they could not watch with him one hour. There He was, with the awful weight of the world’s sins upon his shoulders, with the pangs of every man, woman and child shooting through his sensitive soul—and they could not watch with him one poor hour!
Returning to his place, He offered up the same prayer as before; then went back and again found them sleeping. Again He awoke them, readmonished them, and once more returned and prayed. Three times this occurred, until I was perfectly familiar with his appearance—face, form and movements. He was of noble stature and majestic mien—not at all the weak, effeminate being that some painters have portrayed; but the very God that he was and is, as meek and humble as a little child.
All at once the circumstances seemed to change, the scene remaining just the same. Instead of before, it was after the crucifixion, and the Savior, with the three Apostles, now stood together in a group at my left. They were about to depart and ascend into Heaven. I could endure it no longer. I ran from behind the tree, fell at his feet, clasped Him around the knees, and begged him to take me with him.
I shall never forget the kind and gentle manner in which He stooped, raised me up, and embraced me. It was so vivid, so real. I felt the very warmth of his body, as He held me in his arms and said in tenderest tones; ‘No, my son, these have finished their work; they can go with me; but you must stay and finish yours.’ Still I clung to Him. Gazing up into his face—for he was taller than I—I besought him fervently: ‘Well, promise me that I may come to you at the last.’ Smiling sweetly, He said, ‘That will depend entirely upon yourself.’ ” [2]
  • While on his world tour and approaching Apia, Samoa, on a vessel, President David O. McKay “beheld in vision something infinitely sublime”:
In the distance I beheld a beautiful white city. Though far away, yet I seemed to realize that trees with luscious fruit, shrubbery with gorgeously tinted leaves, and flowers in perfect bloom abounded everywhere. The clear sky above seemed to reflect these beautiful shades of color. I then saw a great concourse of people approaching the city. Each one wore a white flowing robe, and a white headdress. Instantly my attention seemed centered upon their Leader, and though I could see only the profile of his features and body, I recognized him at once as my Savior! The tint and radiance of his countenance were glorious to behold! There was a peace about him which seemed sublime—it was divine!
The city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness.
“But who were they?
As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words:
These Are They Who Have Overcome The World—Who Have Truly Been Born Again!” [3]

The Second Comforter and "Calling and Election"

Although the process of obtaining exaltation continues even into the spirit world, the knowledge that one will become exalted with the privileges of continuing on to eternal life can be certain in this life. This is what making one’s calling and election sure is all about.
Peter admonished the ancient saints to “make your calling and election sure,” and the apostle Paul also gave thanks to the Lord for providing such a sealing. (See 2 Peter 1:10–11, Ephesians 1:13–14.) In addition, the Prophet Joseph Smith used this same expression in discoursing upon Peter’s exposition and Paul’s teachings. (See Teachings, pp. 305, 149.)
Peter made it clear that a testimony of Jesus Christ is not in itself evidence that one’s calling and election has been made sure. Mentioning the manifestation on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Savior and his fellow apostles James and John (see Matthew 17:1–8), he said that although they had heard the voice of the Father declaring that Jesus was his Son, this was not sufficient to obtain the blessing—there was “a more sure word of prophecy”—the calling and election made sure. (See 2 Pet. 1:16–19.)
Concerning this instruction and testimony from Peter, Joseph Smith said: “Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure. … They then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation” (Teachings, p. 298).
What, then, is the calling and election made sure? The following scripture gives the definition:
The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood (Doctrine and Covenants 131:5). [4]

As expressed by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

To have one’s calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is to receive the assurance of godhood; it is, in effect, to have the day of judgment advanced, so that an inheritance of all the glory and honor of the Father’s kingdom is assured prior to the day when the faithful actually enter into the divine presence to sit with Christ in his throne, even as he is ‘set down’ with his ‘Father in his throne’ (Revelation 3:21). [5]

As Elder McConkie goes on to indicate, the “unconditional guarantee” means that a person’s actions have been fully approved, that “there are no more conditions to be met by the obedient person” (P. 335). When one has been thus sealed up unto eternal life, he is “sealed up against all manner of sin except blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:46).

References

  1. Ivan J. Barrett, “‘He Lives! For We Saw Him’,” Ensign, Aug 1975, 17. [1]
  2. Orson F. Whitney, Through Memories Halls, 1930, p. 82.
  3. Cherished Experiences, comp. by Clare Middlemiss, Deseret Book Co., 1955, p. 102.
  4. Roy W. Doxey, “Accepted of the Lord: The Doctrine of Making Your Calling and Election Sure,” Ensign, Jul 1976, 50. [2]
  5. Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Bookcraft, 1973, 3:330–31.

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