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Chapter 23
John Taylor
The Laws of God Unchangeable, Universal and Eternal -- Examples and Definitions -- Evolutionists -- Kingdoms and Light -- Christ the Creator, etc. -- Deviation from General Laws -- Every Kingdom has a Law Given.

THERE is an inexorable law of God that requires from His professed followers the principles of virtue, honor, truth, integrity, righteousness, justice, judgment and mercy, as exhibited in the following Scriptures?

"Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face." -- Psalm lxxxix, 14.
"Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." -- Psalm 45:7.
"Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." -- Psalm 15:1-5.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." -- Psalm 24:3-5.
"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil. He shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." -- Isaiah 33:14-16.

There are eternal, unchangeable laws associated with God, and with all His plans, His works and ways, the requirements of which must be met; nor can they be evaded or changed, except on certain principles provided for and contained in the laws themselves. When man had transgressed, an atonement had to be made commensurate with the act, and fully adequate to meet the inexorable demands of justice; so that, as stated, justice might be satisfied, which, if it had not been, the law pertaining to this matter could not have been carried out, and must necessarily have been violated.

All the works of God connected with the world which we inhabit, and with all other worlds, are strictly governed by law. So accurate are the movements of the heavenly bodies that even with our limited knowledge we can compute, after the departure of most of these bodies, the time of their return to a minute. The sun rises and sets with great regularity, and we can tell to a moment, by calculating the revolution of the earth, at what time it will make its appearance in the morning and disappear in the evening; the same rule applies to the moon, the whole of the solar system, and to all bodies that can be reached by our instruments. There is perfect regularity, exactitude and order associated with all worlds; a departure from which would produce incalculable evil and irretrievable destruction and ruin. With regard to the matter of which the earth is composed, it is also governed by strict, unchangeable laws; matter possessing the same properties under the same conditions, in all parts of the world. The various grasses, herbs, plants, shrubs, flowers, minerals, metals, waters, fluids or gases, when under the same conditions, are subject to or governed by unchangeable laws; and by those laws chemists or scientists are enabled to apply test to demonstrate the properties of the various elements in nature, which they find are always immutable, and the same degree of accuracy applies to the laws and various formations of crystallization, under the same circumstances. The animal and vegetable creations are governed by certain laws, and are composed of certain elements peculiar to themselves. This applies to man, to the beasts, fowls, fish and creeping things, to the insects and to all animated nature; each one possessing its own distinctive features, each requiring a specific sustenance, each having an organism and faculties governed by prescribed laws to perpetuate its own kind. So accurate is the formation of the various living creatures that an intelligent student of nature can tell by any particular bone of the skeleton of an animal to what class or order it belongs.

These principles do not change, as represented by evolutionists of the Darwinian school, but the primitive organisms of all living beings exist in the same form as when they first received their impress from their Maker. There are, indeed, some very slight exceptions, as for instance, the ass may mix with the mare and produce the mule; but there it ends, the violation of the laws of procreation receives a check, and its operations can go no further. Similar compounds may possibly be made by experimentalists in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, but the original elements remain the same. Yet this is not the normal, but an abnormal condition with them, as with animals, birds, etc.; and if we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God; and being His son, he is, of course, His offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryotic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father -- a God; being indeed His offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propagates its own kind, so does God perpetuate His.

There are different organisms possessing different qualities, from which the same results are uniformly obtained. The body of a sheep produces wool, that of a goat produces hair, the flesh of certain kinds of fish produces scales, the flesh of birds produces feathers, and by the coverings of the various kinds of animals, birds and fishes, may their originals be known. It is true that some of these coverings may be slightly changed by a removal of the creature from the arctic to the torrid zone, or vice versa; wool may assume a nearer approach to hair in length and texture, or hair may become more woolly, but these modifications are slight, and this covering of the animal is predisposed to return to its original qualities when the creature is replaced in his natural habitat. Paul, in speaking on the resurrection, refers to the different qualities of flesh as follows:

"But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." -- 1 Cor. 15:38, 39.

These different qualities seem to be inherent in the several species, as much so as the properties of silver, gold, copper, iron and other minerals are inherent in the matter in which they are contained, whilst herbs, according to their kind, possess their specific properties, or as the leading properties of earth, air, and water, are distinct from one another; and hence, on physiological grounds, this principle being admitted, and it cannot be controverted, it would be impossible to take the tissues of the lower, or, indeed, of any order of fishes, and make of them an ox, a bird, or a man; as impossible as it would be to take iron and make it into gold, silver, or copper, or to produce other changes in the laws which govern any kind of matter. And when the resurrection and exaltation of man shall be consummated, although more pure, refined and glorious, yet will he still be in the same image, and have the same likeness, without variation or change in any of his parts or faculties, except the substitution of spirit for blood.

This principle of exactitude in all the works of God represents the principles that dwell in God Himself. He is called in Scripture the I AM, in other words, I AM THAT I AM, because of those inherent principles, which are also eternal and unchangeable; for where those principles exist, He exists, and when speaking of the worlds by which we are surrounded, it is said, "Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any, or the least of these, hath seen God moving in his majesty and power." -- Doc. and Cov., sec. lxxxviii, 47, p. 310.

And again it is written:

"He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him: and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, for ever and ever. And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons." -- Ibid., 41, 42, p. 309.

And again, in the same revelation, we read:

"As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made. And also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made. And the earth also, and the power thereof; even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space. The light which is in all things; which giveth life to all things: which is the law by which all things are governed: even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." -- Ibid., 7-13, p. 306.

The world was made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made, and, therefore, having made all things He has given to all things a law; and hence those laws which we have briefly alluded to, are the productions of His comprehensive, intelligent, and infinite mind: He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Fountain of all life, of all light, of all truth, of all intelligence, of all existence. He is also the sustainer of all life and all light in all created beings; in Him all animal life of every form has its being.

There are some apparent deviations from general laws, but these apparent deviations are merely appendages to the great general law, in order that creation may be perfect in all its parts. For instance, there is a general law of what is termed gravitation which causes bodies to fall to the earth from a given height, with the same velocity according to their specific gravity. But there are other local laws which disturb the normal conditions, so far as they extend, of what may be termed the general law. As, for example, the magnet, in its limited sphere is more powerful than the general law of gravity, it attracting certain matter to itself in opposition to the general law, while the magnet itself is subject to the general law. There is also another principle, called capillary attraction, which causes water and other fluids to ascend in the earth, in tubes, etc. Take away these local agencies and everything resumes its normal condition. A bird, through the use of its wings, possesses the power of locomotion through the air; let that bird, however, lose its mechanism and power by being maimed or killed, and it is governed by the same law of gravitation and drops to the earth. Balloons will ascend and carry a specified weight with them to great altitudes, but this is owing to a modification of one part of the law of gravitation; which causes denser bodies to cling with greater tenacity to the earth, and the gas that enters the balloons is more rarefied than the atmosphere immediately contiguous to the earth; which dense atmosphere forces the lighter gases to their proper place, causing them to bound upwards; this being done and the equilibrium obtained, if the gas is permitted to escape, the materials of which the balloon is composed, together with its occupants, are precipitated, according to the general laws of gravitation, to the earth.

God is unchangeable, so are also his laws, in all their forms, and in all their applications, and being Himself the essence of law, the giver of law, the sustainer of law, all of those laws are eternal in all their operations, in all bodies and matter, and throughout all space. It would be impossible for Him to violate law, because in so doing He would strike at His own dignity, power, principles, glory, exaltation and existence.

The book of Doctrine and Covenants states:

"And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law, and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore they must remain filthy still. All kingdoms have a law given: and there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified; for intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence: wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light, mercy hath compassion on mercy, and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course, and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne, and governeth and executeth all things." -- Sec. lxxxviii, 34-40, pp. 308, 309.

Hence, the law of atonement had to be met as well as all other laws, for God could not be God without fulfilling it.

Jesus said, "If it be possible, let this cup pass." But it was not possible; for to have done so would have been a violation of the law, and he had to take it. The atonement must be made, a God must be sacrificed. No power can resist a law of God. It is omnipresent, omnipotent, exists everywhere, in all things, through all things and round about all things. We read:

"O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not any thing, save he knows it. And he cometh into the world that he may save all men, if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men; yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this, that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it; Wherefore he has given a law; and where there is no law given, there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment, there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation, the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him; for the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel. But wo unto him that has the law given; yea, that has all the commandments of God like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state." -- 2 Nephi 9:19-27.
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