God, Privilege of Seeing Face to Face
"Seek the face of the Lord always"
-- Doctrine and Covenants 101:38
While I was serving a mission for the LDS church in Sapporo Japan in '83-'84, I compiled a list of scriptures which chronicle instances in which people have beheld God. I titled it, "God, Privilege of Seeing." Jotting them down as I found them, listing scriptures from the Bible in the left-hand column and scriptures from the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price in the right-hand column; I came up with five pages of reverences along with short blurbs summarizing the content of each verse. What I discovered was very clear, consistent, and marvelous. Namely, that not only CAN we behold the face of God as so many great men and women have in the scriptures, but it is something that we SHOULD SEEK as part of the walk as a disciple.
In the list below, I am quoting from my notes, beginning with page 1, left-hand column, then going to page 1, right-hand column, and so forth.
Verses from the Scriptures About Seeing God
John 6:40 Will of God: "every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life."
John 14:21 "he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him."
Matt. 5:8 (3 Ne. 12:8) the pure in heart shall see God
JST-Matt. 11:27 "and no man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son and they whom the Son will reveal himself; they shall see the Father also."
Heb. 12:14 "follow peace and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
Gen. 12:7 Lord appeared unto Abraham
Daniel 10:5,6 Daniel sees the Lord; describes his appearance.
Ezek. 1:1 Ezekiel sees "visions of God."
Acts 7:55 Stephen sees "God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God."
Gen. 26:2 Isaac sees the Lord.
Gen. 28:13 Jacob sees the Lord in a dream.
D&C 67:10-12 Faithful elders shall be quickened by the Spirit and see the face of God.
|It is your privilege|
|A promise to those that have been ordained unto this ministry|
|Inasmuch as ye
|the veil shall be rent, you shall see me and know that I am|
|not with carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual|
|No man has seen God at any time in the flesh except quickened by the Spirit|
|Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.|
D&C 88:67,68 eye be single to my glory, whole body filled with light, no darkness, comprehendeth all things, sanctify yourselves, days will come . . . you will see him, he will unveil his face, in his own time, own way, own will
Gen. 31:24 "God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night"
Gen. 32:30 Jacob: "I have seen God face to face"
Gen. 35:9 "God appeared unto Jacob again."
Exodus 3:2 Moses "angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire" "the bush burned with fire [but] was not consumed."
Exo. 24:9-17 Moses, Aaron, Nabab, Abihu, 70 of the Elders of Israel, and nobles of the children of Israel "saw God . . . and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone; and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness." "sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel."
1 Kings 3:5 "Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night."
2 Chron. 1:7 "God [did] appear unto Solomon."
D&C 84:20-24 By power of Melchizedeck priesthood is the "power of godliness manifest" ordinances and authority thereof, without which no man can "see the face of God, even the Father, and live." Moses taught this to the children of Israel, sought to sanctify them, they hardened their hearts, could not endure his presence, God's anger kindled; they should not enter into his rest (while in wilderness); rest is fullness of his glory.
D&C 93:1 forsake sins, come unto Christ, call on his name, obey his voice keep his commandments, "shall see my face and know that I am."
D&C 97:15,16 Do not suffer unclean things to enter the temple, my glory will rest on it, my presence shall be there, I will come into it, all pure in heart who enter shall see God.
D&C 101:38 "And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life"
D&C 109:5 "Build a house to thy name [temple] so that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people."
Num. 11:25 "Lord came down in a cloud"
Num. 12:6,8 "If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream . . . and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold."
Num. 22:9,20 "God came unto Balaam."
Num. 23:4 God met Balaam
1 Sam. 3:21 "And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh" to Samuel
Ezek. 1:26-28 Ezekiel sees throne of God, sapphire stone, as the appearance of a man, brightness of a fire, as the appearance of a rainbow around.
Amos 9:1 Amos sees the Lord
Acts. 7:2 God appeared to Abraham
2 Chron. 18:18 Micaiah said, "I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the hosts of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left."
D&C 110:1 Lord appears to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
D&C 110:7,8 "I will manifest myself in mercy unto my people in this house." will appear to my servants and speak unto them, if they keep my commandments, do not pollute the holy house.
Alma 12:29 "[God] send angels to converse with them, who caused man to behold of his glory."
D&C 136:37 "Ye are not yet pure; ye cannot yet bear my glory; but ye shall behold it if ye are faithful in keeping all my words
Moses 7:4 Enoch sees the Lord
Abr. 1:15 Abraham sees Jehovah
Moses 8:22 Shem, Ham, and Japeth "walked with God"
JST-Gen. 14:30,31 "everyone ordained after [the order of the Son of God]. . . should have power . . . to stand in the presence of God."
Mormon 1:15 Mormon sees the Lord at age 15
Ether 9:21,22 "Emer executed judgment in righteousness . . . he saw the Son of Righteousness, and did rejoice and glory in his day; and he died in peace."
Alma 36:22 Alma saw God as Lehi did and the numberless concourses of angels and longed to be there.
Ether 12:39 Moroni said Jesus "talked with me face to face, . . . he told me in plain humility, even as one man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things."
Daniel 7:9 Daniel "beheld...the Ancient of days...whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool: his throne was like a fiery flame...thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand [100 billion] stood before him: the judgment was set"
Daniel 3:22,25 after Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fire, the king's counselor said, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire . . . and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
Moses 1:5 "No man can behold all my woks except he behold all my glory, and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth."
1 Ne. 2:16 the Lord "visits" Nephi.
2 Ne. 2:4 Jacob "hast beheld in they youth his glory"
1 Ne. 1:8 Lehi "saw God"
D&C 107:49 "and [Enoch] saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually."
D&C 107:53,54 Lord appeared unto Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah at valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman.
2 Ne. 25:14 "after the Messiah hath risen from the dead, and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name..."
Ether 12:12 The Lord shows not himself to the children of men until after their faith.
Alma 19:13 king Lamoni said "I have seen my Redeemer, and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe..."
Alma 36:22 Alma "saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising God."
Alma 36:26 "because of the word that [God] imparted to me [Alma], many . . . have seen eye to eye as I have seen, therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know."
Mormon 1:15 Mormon "being 15 years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus."
2 Ne. 10:2,3 Jacob (Lehi's son) and Isaiah "have seen my Redeemer even as I [Nephi] have seen him."
"No Man Hath Seen God" -- Correction
Regarding this phrase, "no man hath seen God," which occurs but twice in the scriptures, Joseph Smith helps us tremendously, both in restoring a true understanding of the two verses as well as in bringing them into harmony with the bulk of other scriptures (e.g. the above list) which speak of beholding the face of God.
In John 1:18, Joseph renders the verse thus: "and no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved."
As for 1 John 4:12, Joseph renders the verse: "No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe. . ."
Then, in the Doctrine and Covenants 67, this is elaborated yet further.
11 For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.
12 Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.
13 Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now; neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.
by Sterling D. Allan; Manti, Utah; January 14, 2000
|Beholding the Face of God -- in the Mirror|
|Biblical Statements on Man, Potential to Become Like God|
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