January 4th, 1916
Received by:James Padgett.
I am here, Jesus.
I will write only a few lines, and because I desire to confirm what Luke has so clearly explained as to what the atonement is.
He has stated the true plan of God for the redemption of mankind, that is for the placing of them in the exact relation to our Father that our first parents occupied, and which relation by their disobedience was taken from them and never restored until my coming. Men must learn the true meaning of the great plan for their salvation and for their becoming at one with the Father in His divine nature. No other plan has been provided and no other way is open to men to receive this Divine Nature of the Father and Immortality.
The material love of man - that is the love of the Father that God bestowed upon men at the creation of our first parents - is a love that is pure and in harmony with God's laws and the workings of the universe, and which must be restored to its pristine purity in order for man to come into harmony with God as to the laws controlling it; and men must, in order to get in this harmony, become free from all violations of God's laws in their conduct towards Him and towards one another; and many of my teachings were directed to bring about this harmony.
The Golden Rule is one, and this great teaching, if observed in the conduct of men towards one another, will tend to bring about the harmony. For to man the most important thing is his own happiness; and when a man shall do unto others as he would have others do unto him, he will be proceeding towards that condition of conduct and the correct relationship of man to man that will bring harmony, and an observance of those requirements of God's laws controlling such relationship.
But the observance of the right conduct of man to man or the regaining of the purity of this natural love, will not bring about the great reconciliation to God in the Divine sense - that is, make men at one with the Father in His Divinity and Immortality. And now I see and understand why my great teachings of the Divine at-onement was not considered as important by men, after my early followers died, as the teachings that should control them in their conduct towards one another, that is, what may be called my moral teachings.
In those days the great majority of men who professed to follow my teachings, as are written in the Bible that the church adopted, thought more of the rewards and happiness that might come to them as mortals than to those that might come to them after they became spirits, just as the Jews had thought for all the long years prior to my coming. These teachings were merely those of the earth, and as such teachings, whether of the Old Testament or any other teachings recognized by them as governing their conduct as mere mortals, were of more importance to them than were the teachings that showed them the way to the Celestial Kingdom.
And when the church which my apostles founded, came under the control and government of men with only the temporal interests at heart, the greater importance was attached to those things which, as the rulers and leaders of the church thought, would cause the people to conduct themselves in such a way as would tend to increase the power and influence of the church. And hence, the great truth of the New Birth was neglected, and salvation was declared to be by means that could be more readily utilized by the officials of the church. In other words, salvation became a thing which depended on the church and not on the individual. So you see the great harm that was done by these teachings and the great power the church acquired.
Salvation is a thing between God and the individual, and can be obtained only by the individual becoming at one with the Father, who cares not for the teachings of the church or of man, unless these teachings will bring the souls of men in harmony with him. I say, cares not, but that does not just express what I mean, for God does care whenever his creatures are taught false doctrines, as He is waiting and anxious to bestow upon every man His Divine Love. But even He cannot or will not make such bestowal, unless man follow the Plan which He has prescribed. And He could not have adopted any other plan, for the only way in which men can become at one with Him is to become, as it were, a part of Him - to partake of His Nature and Attributes; and unless the soul of man receives from the Father these Qualities, it can never become at one with Him.
As Luke said, my death or blood or any supposed vicarious atonement could not have made a man's soul a possessor of the Divine Love of the Father, because they could not bring man into that relationship with the Father that would cause the soul of man to open up to the inflowing of this Love. Let no man suppose that by a mere belief in me as the son of God and the savior of the world, or that I died for him, he can become at one with the Father, for it is not true, and has worked great harm to mankind.
Only the pure, honest, sincere aspirations of the soul of a man for this Great Love of the Father can possibly bring about this atonement that is necessary in order for that man to become a part of God's Divinity and partake of his Divine Nature.
I have written enough and will close.
Your brother and friend,