"Sent from: Paul, probably at Rome.
Sent to: Members at Ephesus, chief commercial city in the Roman province of Asia.
Date: About A.D. 61.
Purpose: To strengthen the Saints with a doctrinal review of the gospel.
Main themes: Pre-earth life and foreordination; the last dispensation; grace and works; church organization; 'perfecting of the saints'; family life.
Background: The City
"Paul's messengers from Rome evidently landed at Ephesus on their way up to the Colossian area with letters. The cities on the western coast of Asia Minor were heavily Greek because of earlier migrations across the Aegean, and they were wealthy both in money and in religious tradition. On his third mission Paul picked populous Ephesus as the hub for spreading the gospel through the province of Asia...The geographer Strabo called Ephesus the greatest 'emporium' or trade center of Roman Asia, which comprised the western third of Asia Minor. Ephesus was a third-magnitude city, its population estimated at as large as a quarter of a million. Today it stretches in magnificent ruins from its silted-up harbor across flats and coastal hills. Acts 19 tells the story of Paul's mission there with geographical precision...
Reason for Writing
"Ephesians pictures the converts there as heavily Gentile, which would be expected from the record of Acts. Possibly through the coming of Tychicus, Paul had 'heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints' (Eph. 1:15). His letter addressed no crisis. Was the real issue lack of total conversion? Paul repreached the entire gospel to the Ephesians, showing them the relationships between salvation through Christ and the need of the Church, between the premortal heritage of the Saints and the strict duty of righteous works for salvation, including gospel living in the home. No New Testament letter so beautifully relates the parts of the gospel to the whole. In the words of a capable Protestant conservative, 'Among Paul's epistles there is none more sublime and profound.' ...A recent conservative evaluation [also] makes that point: 'It is generally conceded that Ephesians is the deepest book in the New Testament. Its vision of the purpose of God stretches from eternity to eternity.' Members of the restored Church will find in that letter a checklist of characteristics of Christ's true Church. Not tied to particular problems, Ephesians vividly challenges Latter-day Saints to be worthy of their high calling." (Richard Lloyd Anderson, Understanding Paul [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 262.)
"Perhaps no other New Testament book contains so many doctrines that today are thought of as being distinctively Latter-day Saint as does Ephesians. In it we find reference to the doctrine of foreordination, the dispensation of the fullness of times, the importance of apostles and prophets in the church, the idea that there is only one true and unified church, and the doctrine that the organization of the church is essential. In this letter we find some of the most sublime teachings on the role of the family and the importance of proper family life that are found anywhere in scripture." (Institute Manual, The Life and Teachings of Jesus & his Apostles, 2nd ed., p. 350)
Ephesians 1:4 he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world
Howard W. Hunter
"God said to Jeremiah, 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.' (Jer. 1:5.) At another time God reminded Job that 'all the sons of God shouted for joy' (Job 38:7) before there was yet any man or woman on the earth God was creating. The Apostle Paul taught that God the Father chose us 'before the foundation of the world.' (Eph. 1:4.)
"Where and when did all of this happen? Well, it happened long before man's mortal birth. It happened in a great premortal existence where we developed our identities and increased our spiritual capabilities by exercising our agency and making important choices. We developed our intelligence and learned to love the truth, and we prepared to come to earth to continue our progress." ("The Golden Thread of Choice," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 17)
Theodore M. Burton
"From the time the earth was originally planned, God the Eternal Father knew that in the last days Satan would become desperate. As the second coming of Jesus Christ approaches, Satan is doing everything in his power to destroy the work of God. He is using every artifice he can imagine to destroy the plan of salvation. He is raging in blood and horror on the earth. But God knew what Satan would attempt to do in these days and devised a plan to meet that challenge.
"God reserved for these days some of his most valiant sons and daughters. He held back for our day proved and trusted children, who he knew from their premortal behavior would hear the voice of the Shepherd and would accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew they would qualify themselves to receive the priesthood, that they would use the holy priesthood to limit Satan's destructiveness and make it possible for God to complete the work he had planned for the saving of his children." ("Salvation for the Dead-A Missionary Activity," Ensign, May 1975, 69)
Alvin R. Dyer
"...many of the noble and valiant spirits of the pre-existence have been withheld as to birth into mortality until this particular time that they may be here upon the earth, either born under the covenant or converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that there will be strength within the Church to fulfill the divine commitments which the Lord has placed upon us as a people. These choice spirits so withheld, as could be expected, respond more readily to the gospel message here in life when they hear it." (Conference Report, April 1962, First Day-Morning Meeting 10.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"The foreseeing of those who will accept the gospel in mortality, gladly and with alacrity, is based upon their parallel responsiveness in the premortal world...The Lord, who was able to say to his disciples, 'Cast the net on the right side of the ship' (John 21:6), knew beforehand that there was a multitude of fishes there. If he knew beforehand the movements and whereabouts of fishes in the little Sea of Tiberias, should it offend us that he knows beforehand which mortals will come into the gospel net?
"It does no violence even to our frail human logic to observe that there cannot be a grand plan of salvation for all mankind, unless there is also a plan for each individual. The salvational sum will reflect all its parts.
"Once the believer acknowledges that the past, present, and future are before God simultaneously-even though we do not understand how-then the doctrine of foreordination may be seen somewhat more clearly. For instance, it was necessary for God to know how the economic difficulties and crop failures of the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in New England would move this special family to the Cumorah vicinity where the Book of Mormon plates were buried. God's plans could scarcely have so unfolded if-willy-nilly-the Smiths had been born Manchurians and if, meanwhile, the plates had been buried in Belgium!" ("A More Determined Discipleship," Ensign, Feb. 1979, 71)
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ
"When used by the King James translators, the word predestination did not have the same connotation as it does today. Most modern versions translate the Greek word as 'foreordain.'" (Institute Manual, The Life and Teachings of Jesus & his Apostles, 2nd ed., p. 350)
Bruce R. McConkie
"Predestination is a sectarian substitute for the true doctrine of foreordination. Just as Lucifer 'sought to destroy the agency of man' in pre-existence (Moses 4:3), so through his ministers here he has taught a doctrine, based on scriptural distortions, of salvation and damnation without choice on the part of the individual. Predestination is the false doctrine that from all eternity God has ordered whatever comes to pass, having especial and particular reference to the salvation or damnation of souls. Some souls, according to this false concept, are irrevocably chosen for salvation, others for damnation; and there is said to be nothing any individual can do to escape his predestined inheritance in heaven or in hell as the case may be." (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 588.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"It is very evident from a thorough study of the gospel and the plan of salvation that a conclusion that those who accepted the Savior were predestined to be saved no matter what the nature of their lives, must be an error. The gospel of salvation based on faithfulness and obedience to the covenants and laws of the gospel is definitely clear in the doctrines of our Lord and his inspired servants. Surely Paul never intended to convey such a thought that in the pre-existence many were destined by divine decree to be saved no matter what the nature of their mortal lives might be." (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 4: 149.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"...it is clear that people do not all have the same talent for recognizing truth and believing the doctrines of salvation. Some heed the warning voice and believe the gospel; others do not. Some would give all they possess if they could but touch the hem of the garment of him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; others find fault with every word that falls from prophetic lips. Some forsake lands and riches, friends and families, to gather with the true saints; others choose to walk in the ways of the world and to deride the humble followers of Christ. Why? Why this difference in people?
"To this problem there is no easy answer. Every person stands alone in choosing his beliefs and electing the course he will pursue... But in the final sense the answer stems back to premortality. We all lived as spirit beings, as children of the Eternal Father, for an infinitely long period of time in the premortal existence. There we developed talents, gifts, and aptitudes; there our capacities and abilities took form; there, by obedience to law, we were endowed with the power, in one degree or another, to believe the truth and follow the promptings of the Spirit. And the talent of greatest worth was that of spirituality, for it enables us to hearken to the Holy Spirit and accept that gospel which prepares us for eternal life." (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 33.)
Ephesians 1:7 we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins
"What makes forgiveness possible: redemption
"Forgiveness came, I learned, by being 'redeemed.' What could such a term mean? Paul wrote exalted words about the Savior which filled me with joy: 'To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.' I could sense what a wonderful experience had begun. I was now 'accepted'-received and accepted by the One whom I had received! Writing of the Savior's Atonement, Paul continues: 'In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.' (Eph. 1:6-7.) Redemption, then, makes our forgiveness possible.
"What does it mean to be redeemed? To redeem is to 'buy back' what one has previously owned and lost.
"A little boy, with his father's help, once made a small wooden sailboat. Equipped with mast and sail, the boat was launched in the backyard stream. Carefully guided by its owner, the small craft made many voyages in the boy's back yard, and was easily his most prized possession. But one windy afternoon following heavy rains the strong current swept the sailboat far from the owner's hand-downstream, around a bend, and quickly out of sight. No matter how the boy searched, his treasured boat could not be found.
"A few weeks later, while downtown with his father, the boy saw in the window of a second-hand store the treasured boat he had lost. Now brightly painted and fitted out with a new sail, the boat was still easily identified; the boy's initials had been carved into the wood.
"The boat was bought and restored to its rightful owner. Hugging his treasure, the boy exclaimed, 'Now, little boat, you're twice mine-once because I made you, and now because I've bought you!'
"That's what it means to be redeemed. Jesus Christ is our Creator: 'All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.' (John 1:3.) Then, because we wandered away, He found us and bought us, thus bringing us back. 'For you are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.' (1 Cor. 7:20.) And what was the price with which He bought (redeemed) us? ' . . . ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.' (1 Pet. 1:18-19.)
"Redemption-being redeemed, or 'bought back' by the blood of Christ-brings us forgiveness." ("Christ Secured Forgiveness of Sins" by Raymond J. Williamson, LDS Church News, 1995, 04/01/95)
Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will
"Isn't that something to think about, when you hear that the Lord will reveal the mystery of His will? And that the mystery of His will has been revealed to His modern prophets of this day?
"And we have truths that no other church in this world knows anything about-we are the only church in the world that has a program to unite all that is in the kingdom of heaven with the kingdom of God here on this earth, looking to the final winding-up scenes when all the kingdoms of this world and the world to come will be under the supervision of our great King, the Savior of the world." ("God Moves in a Mysterious Way His Wonders to Perform," Ensign, May 1977, 62)
Ephesians 1:10 the dispensation of the fulness of times
Charles W. Penrose
"This is the latter-day work spoken of by the holy prophets. It is the dispensation of the fulness of times, in the which God will 'gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him.' (Ephesians 1:10.) It is the last and greatest of all dispensations. In it will be accomplished the 'restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.' (Acts 3:21.) It is to prepare the way for the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will come 'in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,' and 'in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . when he shall come to be glorified in his saints.' (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 10.) In this dispensation, after all people have been warned and the gospel has been preached for a witness to all nations, and the elect are gathered together from the four winds, namely, the east, west, north and south, the great tribulations and judgments will be poured out, the end of the world, that is, the end of the rule of Satan and of the wicked will come, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our God and his Christ, and he will reign over them forever." (Rays of Living Light from the Doctrines of Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1954], 144 - 145.)
Ephesians 1:10 the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times is a combination of all the dispensations from Adam to Joseph Smith
Elder David W. Patten
"The dispensation of the fullness of times is made up of all the dispensations that ever have been given since the world began, until this time ... in the which all things shall be fulfilled that have been spoken of since the earth was made...
"Joseph Smith, the leader of this dispensation must be clothed with the power of all other dispensations, or his dispensation could not be called dispensation of the fullness of times...
"Therefore, brethren, beware concerning yourselves, that you sin not against the authority of this dispensation, nor think lightly of those whom God has counted worthy for so great a calling. (In History of the Church, 3:51-53.)" (as quoted in "The Fulness of Times" by Robert J. Matthews, Ensign, Dec. 1989, 49)
'...it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.' (DC 128:18)
"Adam holds the keys of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times; i.e., the dispensation of all the times have been and will be revealed through him from the beginning to Christ, and from Christ to the end of all the dispensations that are to be revealed. 'Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.' (Eph. 1:9-10.)
"Now the purpose in himself in the winding up scene of the last dispensation is that all things pertaining to that dispensation should be conducted precisely in accordance with the preceding dispensations.
"And again, God purposed in himself that there should not be an eternal fulness until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered together in one, and that all things whatsoever, that should be gathered together in one in those dispensations unto the same fulness and eternal glory, should be in Christ Jesus; therefore he set the ordinances to be the same forever and ever, and set Adam to watch over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them." (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 53.)
Ephesians 1:10 That...he might gather together in one all things in Christ
Howard W. Hunter
"Temples are sacred for the closest communion between the Lord and those receiving the highest and most sacred ordinances of the holy priesthood. It is in the temple that things of the earth are joined with the things of heaven. In a letter written by Paul to the Saints at Ephesus, he made a very significant statement about the day in which we live, that there would be a gathering of all things in Christ that are on earth and in heaven:
'Having made known unto us the mystery of his will ... That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth' (Eph. 1:9-10).
"The doctrine that all creation will ultimately be united in Christ is the major theme of Paul's epistle. The things of earth will become one with the things of heaven. The great family of God will be united through the saving ordinances of the gospel. Vicarious work for the dead and ordinances for the living are the purposes of temples." ("The Great Symbol of Our Membership," Ensign, Oct. 1994, 2)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"The disciples knew that the time of restitution was not to come until the time approached for the second coming of Jesus Christ, and it was to be in that day that Elijah was to bring back to the earth his priesthood and restore to men the power to seal on earth and in heaven, so that mankind might have means of escape from the destruction which awaited the wicked in that great and dreadful day of the Lord. This great and dreadful day can be no other time but the coming of Jesus Christ to establish his kingdom in power among the righteous on the earth and to cleanse the earth from all iniquity. It will not be a day of fear and to cause dread in the hearts of the righteous, but it will be a great day of fear and terror to the ungodly." ("The Coming of Elijah," Ensign, Jan. 1972, 4-5)
Ephesians 1:10 The final glory and destiny of this ultimate dispensation
While the dispensation in question began in 1820, the final glory of this dispensation has not yet been realized. The church's inauspicious beginning-with only six members in a small log cabin-will be contrasted to a great worldwide organization. The little stone 'cut without hands' may be a large boulder now but it has yet to become 'a great mountain [which fills] the whole earth' (Dan. 2:34-35). We have not yet seen all that the Lord has in mind to restore, for the restoration of the city of Enoch, the restoration of the continents to their original positions (DC 133:23), and the purity of the Garden of Eden (2 Ne. 8:3), must all be restored (see commentary for Acts 3:21). As Elder McConkie put it: "It should be noted that Peter (Acts 3:21) does not say that all things must be restored before Christ comes, but that the age, era, period, or times in the earth's history in which restoration is to take place must itself commence. That era did begin in the spring of 1820, but all things will not be revealed until after Christ comes. (D. & C. 101: 32-34.)" (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 796.)
"The heavenly priesthood will unite with the earthly to bring about those great purposes. And whilst we are thus united in the one common cause to roll forth the kingdom of God, the heavenly priesthood are not idle spectators. The spirit of God will be showered down from above; it will dwell in our midst. The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles, and our name will be handed down to future ages. Our children will rise up and call us blessed, and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured, the untiring zeal that we have manifested, the insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessings which they will realize, a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight for generations past, that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets, a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family." (Kent P. Jackson, From Apostasy to Restoration [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996], 258.)
"The work of the Lord in these last days is one of vast magnitude and almost beyond the comprehension of mortals. Its glories are past description and its grandeur unsurpassable. It has been the theme which has animated the bosom of prophets and righteous men from the creation of this world down through every succeeding generation to the present time. And it is truly the dispensation of the fulness of times, when all things which are in Christ Jesus, whether in heaven or on the earth, shall be gathered together in him, and when all things shall be restored, as spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began. For in it will take place the glorious fulfillment of the promises made to the fathers, while the displays of the power of the Most High will be great, glorious, and sublime. . . .
"Here, then, beloved brethren, is a work to engage in worthy of archangels-a work which will cast into the shade the things which have heretofore been accomplished, a work which kings and prophets and righteous men in former ages have sought, expected, and earnestly desired to see, but died without the sight. And well will it be for those who shall aid in carrying into effect the mighty operations of Jehovah." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 175.)
"We are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the latter-day glory. It is left for us to see, participate in, and help to roll forward the latter-day glory." (Kent P. Jackson, From Apostasy to Restoration [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996], 258.)
Ephesians 1:13-14 ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise
To be 'sealed with that holy Spirit of promise' and receive 'the earnest of [your] inheritance' is to have one's calling and election made sure. Herein, the individual receives the promise of eternal life from God.
"Paul exhorts us to make our calling and election sure. This is the sealing power spoken of by Paul in other places. 'In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory' ("Eph. 1:13"Eph. 1:14Eph. 1:13-14), that we may be sealed up unto the day of redemption.
"This principle ought (in its proper place) to be taught, for God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know him (who remain) from the least to the greatest. How is this to be done? It is to be done by this sealing power, and the other Comforter spoken of, which will be manifest by revelation. (HC 3:379-80.)" (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 150 - 151.)
Ephesians 1:13-14 that holy Spirit of promise...is the earnest of our inheritance
An "earnest" is "something of value given by a buyer to a seller, to bind the bargain" or a "token or installment of what is to come" (Webster's New International Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1934). Brother Robert L. Millet discussed this concept in connection with purchasing his first home:
"[A] friend offered to lend us the down payment. It was at this time that Shauna and I became acquainted with the concept of 'earnest money.' We made a goodwill payment to the owner of the home, a small amount, to be sure, but an amount sufficient to evidence our seriousness about purchasing the place. That amount was called the earnest money. It was a token payment, a gesture indicating our desire to acquire that home, a promissory note of sorts.
"God works with us in a similar way. He communicates to us that we are following a proper course by sending his Spirit. The Holy Ghost thus represents God's 'earnest money' on us, his down payment, his goodwill gesture and assurance to us that he is serious about saving us and that one day he will own us and claim us fully as his." (Robert L. Millet, Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 170-171.)
For those of us who have not yet received the promise of eternal life, how are we to know our standing before God? How can we receive some kind of assurance or 'earnest' that we will inherit that which has been promised to the faithful? See also commentary for 2 Cor. 1:21-22.
"...is there any way to know we are saved other than receiving the more sure word of prophecy? I think there is. That same Holy Spirit of Promise that searches the hearts of men and women, that ratifies and approves and seals ordinances and lives, that same Holy Spirit serves, as Paul indicates, as the 'earnest of our inheritance' (Ephesians 1:14).
"Though this passage refers specifically to being sealed up unto eternal life, I believe the principle is also true in regard to our qualifying for and cultivating the gift and influence of the Holy Ghost. That is, the Lord sends to us 'the earnest of the Spirit' ("2 Cor. 1:212 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:5) as an evidence that our lives are in order. The Lord's 'earnest money' on us, his down payment, his indication to us that he will save us, is the Holy Spirit. We know that we are on course when we have the companionship of the Spirit. We know that our lives are approved of God when we have the companionship of the Spirit. We know that we are in Christ, in covenant, when we have the companionship of the Spirit. And we know, I suggest, that we are saved when we truly have the constant companionship of the Spirit.
"If we live in such a way that we can take the sacrament worthily, hold and utilize a current temple recommend, maintain the gift and gifts of the Spirit (including the greatest gifts of faith, hope, and charity), and in all things yield our hearts to God (see "Hel. 3:35Helaman 3:35;"D&C 20:31 D&C 20:31), then we are in the line of our duty; we are approved of the heavens, and if we were to die suddenly, we would go into paradise and eventually into the celestial kingdom." (Robert L. Millet, Within Reach [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 78.)
"Do you feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in your life? Do you enjoy the gifts of the Spirit? Then you can know that God accepts your faith, repentance, and baptism and has agreed that '[you] may always have his Spirit to be with [you].' (D&C 20:77.) This is perhaps one reason why the Holy Ghost is called the Comforter, because if we enjoy that gift, we can know that our efforts are acceptable-for now-and that we are justified before God by our faith in Christ. And that is comfort indeed." (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 94.)
Ephesians 1:14 until the redemption of the purchased possession
George Q. Cannon
"God had given his Spirit to the Saints in that age, in confirmation of the truth of the words of his servants, and to assure them that the inheritance which had already been purchased by Jesus for all those who would obey the Gospel, should, in due time, be redeemed from the possession of those who wrongfully held it and bestowed upon His faithful Saints. That 'possession' is the earth in its purified and celestialized condition together with the gift of eternal life to enable us to enjoy it; and, although neither the former nor latter-day Saints have yet received that inheritance for which both have been laboring, yet we, as well as they, have received the 'earnest,' or assurance of the Spirit that we shall yet possess it if we endure to the end." (Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 2: 216 - 217.)
Ephesians 1:17 the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him
Elder George Teasdale
"The Lord said that to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent, is eternal life. If we could not obtain this knowledge we certainly would come short of eternal life. It is a kindly dispensation that the Almighty has given unto us in the restoration of this knowledge by the spirit of revelation...This knowledge comes to the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, through obeying the principles of the Everlasting Gospel. No matter what our circumstances, we may, if we desire, obtain the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost imparts light and truth, illuminating our minds and impressing us so that we are enabled to understand, by having 'eyes to see and ears to hear,' and the understanding heart." (Conference Report, April 1907, Third Day-Morning Session. 65 - 66.)
George F. Richards
"There is in this thing called 'Mormonism' a spirit, a spiritual life, and I fear that many of us have not found it. I fear that we are too mechanical in our prayers, in our worship, and in our service of God. When this spirit is upon us we feel the truth and see the beauty of the gospel which we have received. Our soul are lighted up by it and we have the spirit of testimony and knowledge of the truth. It is the spirit of revelation, it is the spirit by which the Church and kingdom of God has been set up and by which the work has been conducted up to the present time. We can have this spirit with us and have its manifestation if we will live for it, my brethren and sisters. We must make these tabernacles of ours, which are the temples of God, fit to receive the Holy Ghost that he may dwell within us, that we may be inspired by him in that which we have to do in life, to see aright, to feel aright, and to act aright, that our administrations and our lives may be acceptable unto God." (Conference Report, April 1926, Afternoon Session 147 - 148.)
Joseph F. Smith
"...those who possess the light of Christ, the spirit of revelation and the knowledge of God, rise above all these vagaries in the world; they know of this doctrine, that it is of God and not of man." (Conference Report, October 1909, 8 - 9.)
Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power...and every name that is named
"Paul affirmed that Jesus Christ transcends all things, is superior to the gods of the pagans, has preeminence over the mystical deities of the Gnostics, and is, under the Eternal Father, the One before whom all creatures bow in humble reverence. Paul wrote to the Ephesians...that the Father's power had been 'wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all' (Ephesians 1:16-17, 20-23).
"Many of the ancients believed that names held power and that to know the name of a deity was to possess power with or over it. Paul let it be known that Christ was the name above all other names and that salvation, the greatest of all the gifts of God, was to be had only in and through that holy name." (Robert L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 81 - 82.)