Dear Gramps,Thank you for your answers! It is great to have a resource like this to get answers to things that I have been searching for for years.
This time I have a few unrelated questions. The first relates to questions previously asked about Satan and Christ and their influence in other worlds. I had heard at one point that our world was the only world wicked enough to crucify Christ, but will be the only one righteous enough to receive Him again. Is this true? And where can I find any documentation about it?
The second question I have is about the waters. Missionaries are told many stories of other missionaries that have died because they got too close to water and that Satan has control over the water, so missionaries should stay away from water (such as rivers, oceans, lakes). I have found very little documentation about this. Rev.8:10-11 talks about the curse on the waters and History of the church v.5:56 talks briefly about it as well, but I think I’m missing some information. Could you please give me some more leads/answers if you have any?
We hear from time to time that this is the only world that was wicked enough to crucify their Savior. Yet I can find no authoritative reference to substantiate that remark. It is true that the Savior chose to work out his mortal sojourn on the most wicked of all worlds (See Moses 7:36).
However, I would suggest that the reason for that would be that He descended below all things (D&C 88:6). If he had made his great sacrifice on some other world, the people could have said, “He withstood all the evil here, but if he had been born on that other world…”
Also, I doubt the authenticity of the statement that this will be the only world righteous enough to receive him when he comes. It’s true that the wicked will be destroyed at his coming, but those worthy of a terrestrial glory who are living when he comes will remain, although they will not recognize him as their Savior. Of all the infinite number of worlds, it’s difficult to imagine that this wicked world could attain to such righteousness at his coming, although after the Millennium it will be transformed into a celestial sphere and become a world on which the Savior will dwell.
As you know, missionaries serve under regulations that would be considered rather severe by those who are not acquainted with the work. However, as they are called on the Lord’s errand, and their service is so vital to the eternal salvation of our Father’s children, they are encouraged to dedicate all their time and talents to the work of the Lord. A weekly preparation day is provided, however, so that essential duties not primarily related to the missionary work itself may be accomplished. This is not primarily a recreation day, although conservative recreational activities are permitted and even encouraged.
However, not only is swimming prohibited, but also other activities that may be either dangerous or not within the spirit of their calling. Missionaries should be particularly circumspect about activities “on the waters,” as there is indeed both scriptural and historic precedent for avoiding unnecessary exposure.
On 9 August, 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith, with ten elders of the Church, began a journey from Independence, Missouri to Kirtland, Ohio. The Prophet recorded the following about this experience in his journal:
“Many of the dangers so common upon the western waters, manifested themselves; and after we had encamped upon the bank of the river, at McIlwaine’s Bend, Brother Phelps, in open vision by daylight, saw the destroyer in his most terrible power, ride upon the face of the waters; others heard the noise, but saw not the vision” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, Vol 1, p. 206.)
Following the recording of this account, on August 12, the prophet received the revelation identified as Section 61 in the Doctrine and Covenants. Part of that revelation refers specifically to the power of the Adversary “upon the waters.”
Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart. . . . And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares; I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree. Wherefore, let those concerning whom I have spoken, that should take their journey in haste–again I say unto you, let them take their journey in haste. And it mattereth not unto me, after a little, if it so be that they fill their mission, whether they go by water or by land; let this be as it is made known unto them according to their judgments hereafter (D&C 61:14-22).
We read that it mattereth not unto me, after a little, if it so be that they fill their mission, whether they go by water or by land. One could infer from the above that those who were on their mission at this time should not travel by water, but that after their mission they could travel either by water or by land. Also, we read that the days will come when only those who are upright in heart would be able to journey on the waters. These are not the only dangers that could befall those who are not upright in heart. Those who persist in disobeying the Lord’s commands would eventually loose the influence of the Holy Spirit and would come under the power and control of the Adversary. Alma tells us,
And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell (Alma 12:11).