Articles of Faith, James Talmage

The following quotes come from the book Articles of Faith, authored by apostle James E. Talmage. This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 1984 and again in 2010. To visit the site with all of the books and quotes from these, go here.

Baptism

“Evidence is abundant that the Savior regarded the baptized state
as an essential condition of membership in His Church; thus,
when instituting the sacrament of bread and wine among the
Nephites He instructed His disciples to administer it unto those
only who had been properly baptized” (James E. Talmage, Articles
of Faith, 1984, p. 120).

Baptism for the Dead

“The Labor for the Dead is Twofold—That performed on earth
would be incomplete but for its supplement and counterpart beyond
the veil. Missionary labor is in progress there, whereby the
tidings of the Gospel are carried to the departed spirits, who thus
learn of the work done in their behalf on earth. So far as the divine
law has been revealed, it requires that the outward ordinances,
such as baptism in water, the laying on of hands for the bestowal
of the Holy Ghost, and the higher endowments that follow, be attended
to on earth, a proper representative in the flesh acting as
proxy for the dead. The results of such labors are to be left with
the Lord. It is not to be supposed that by these ordinances the departed
are in any way compelled to accept the obligation, nor that
they are in the least hindered in the exercise of their free agency.
They will accept or reject according to their condition of humility
or hostility in respect to the Gospel; but the work so done for them
on earth will be of avail when wholesome teaching and real penitence
have shown them their true position” (James E. Talmage,
Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 138).

Church of the Firstborn

“There are some who have striven to obey all the divine commandments,
who have accepted the testimony of Christ, obeyed ‘the
laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’ and received the Holy Spirit;
these are they who have overcome evil by godly works and who are
therefore entitled to the highest glory; these belong to the Church
of the Firstborn, unto whom the Father has given all things; they
are made kings and priests of the Most High, after the order of
Melchizedek; they possess celestial bodies, ‘whose glory is that of
the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the
sun of the firmament is written of as being typical’; they are admitted
to the glorified company, crowned with exaltation in the celestial
kingdom” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 83).

Creation

“The scriptures plainly and repeatedly affirm that God is the Creator
of the earth and the heavens and all things that in them are.
In the sense so expressed, the Creator is an Organizer. God created
the earth as an organized sphere; but He certainly did not
create, in the sense of bringing into primal existence, the ultimate
elements of the materials of which the earth consists, for ‘the
elements are eternal’” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984,
p. 420).

Eternal Progression

“It is reasonable to believe, in the absence of direct revelation by
which alone absolute knowledge of the matter could be acquired,
that, in accordance with God’s plan of eternal progression, advancement
within each of the three specified kingdoms will be
provided for; though as to possible progress from one kingdom
to another the scriptures make no positive affirmation” (James E.
Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 371).

Exaltation

“Some degree of salvation will come to all who have not forfeited
their right to it; exaltation is given to those only who by righteous
effort have won a claim to God’s merciful liberality by which it is
bestowed” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 82).

“The Celestial Glory — There are some who have striven to obey
all the divine commandments, who have accepted the testimony
of Christ, obeyed ‘the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’ and
received the Holy Spirit; these are they who have overcome evil by
godly works and who are therefore entitled to the highest glory;
these belong to the Church of the Firstborn, unto whom the Father
has given all things; they are made kings and priests of the
Most High, after the order of Melchizedek; they possess celestial
bodies, ‘whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the
highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written
of as being typical’; they are admitted to the glorified company,
crowned with exaltation in the celestial kingdom” (James E. Talmage,
Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 83).

Familiar Spirit

“The bringing forth of the Book of Mormon is held by the Latter-day
Saints to be a direct fulfilment of prophecy. In predicting the
humiliation of Israel, to whom had been committed the power
of the Priesthood in early days, Isaiah gave voice to the word of
the Lord in this wise: ‘And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt
speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the
dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit,
out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.’
The Book of Mormon is verily the voice of a people brought low,
speaking from the dust, for from the earth the book was literally
taken” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 18).

Foreordination

“Foreordination Does Not Imply Compulsion-The doctrine of
absolute predestination, resulting in a nullification of man’s free
agency, has been advocated with various modifications by different
sects. Nevertheless, such teachings are wholly unjustified by
both the letter and the spirit of sacred writ. God’s foreknowledge
concerning the natures and capacities of His children enables
Him to see the end of their earthly career even from the first:
‘Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the
world.’ Many people have been led to regard this foreknowledge
of God as a predestination whereby souls are designated for glory
or condemnation even before their birth in the flesh, and irrespective
of individual merit or demerit. This heretical doctrine
seeks to rob Deity of mercy, justice, and love; it would make God
appear capricious and selfish, directing and creating all things
solely for His own glory, caring not for the suffering of His victims.
How dreadful, how inconsistent is such an idea of God! It leads to
the absurd conclusion that the mere knowledge of coming events
must act as a determining influence in bringing about those occurrences.
God’s knowledge of spiritual and of human nature enables
Him to conclude with certainty as to the actions of any of
His children under given conditions; yet that knowledge is not of
compelling force upon the creature” (James E. Talmage, Articles
of Faith, p. 173).

God

“In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges
of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the eternal truth: ‘As man
is, God once was; as God is, man may be’” (James E. Talmage, Articles
of Faith, 1984, p. 390; page 430 in the missionary edition).

“We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty
is intelligence; whose perfection consists in eternal advancement;
the perpetual work of whose creation stands ‘finished, yet renewed
forever;’—a Being who has attained His exalted state by a
path which now His children are permitted to follow; whose glory
it is their heritage to share. In spite of the opposition of all other
sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims
the eternal truth, ‘As man is, God once was; as God is, man
may become’” (James Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 390).

Idolatry

“Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the current dispensation, while
reproving certain of his brethren for intolerance toward the cherished
beliefs of other men, taught that even idolaters ought to be
protected in their worship; that, while it would be the strict duty
of any Christian to direct his efforts toward enlightening such benighted
minds, he would not be justified in forcibly depriving the
heathen of their liberty in worship. In the sight of God, idolatry is
most heinous: yet He is tolerant of those who, knowing Him not,
yield to their inherited instinct for worship by rendering homage
even to stocks and stones. Deadly as is the sin of idolatrous worship
on the part of him to whom light has come, it may represent in the
savage the sincerest reverence of which he is capable. The voice of
the Lord has declared that the heathen who have known no law
shall have part in the first resurrection” (James E. Talmage, Articles
of Faith, 1984, pp. 365-366).

Justification

“The Sectarian Dogma of Justification by Faith Alone has exercised
an influence for evil” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 432).

Man

“But ‘Mormonism’ is bolder yet. It asserts that in accordance with
the inviolable law of organic nature-that like shall beget like, and
that multiplication of numbers and perpetuation of species shall
be in compliance with the condition ‘each after his kind,’ the
child may achieve the former status of the parent, and that in his
mortal condition man is a God in embryo” (James E. Talmage,
Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 474).

Nephites, Three

“Prophecies of and Conditions to Attend the Lord’s Coming…The
Three Nephites to remain in the flesh until the Lord shall come
in his glory with the powers of heaven—3 Nephi 28:7” (James E.
Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, pp. 336-337. Ellipsis mine).

Obedience

“No human being who has attained years of accountability in the
flesh, may hope for salvation in the kingdom of God until he has
rendered obedience to the requirements of Christ, the Redeemer
of the world. But while thus decisive, ‘Mormonism’ is not exclusive.
It does not claim that all who have failed to accept and obey
the gospel of eternal life shall be eternally and forever damned”
(James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 468).

Plates of Gold

“On the occasion of his first visit to Joseph Smith, Moroni told of
the existence of the record, which, he said, was engraved on plates
of gold, at that time lying buried in the side of a hill near Joseph’s
home. The hill, which was known by one division of the ancient
peoples as Cumorah, by another as Ramah, is situated near Palmyra
in the State of New York. The precise spot where the plates lay
was shown to Joseph in vision; and he had no difficulty in finding
it on the day following the visitation referred to. James E. Talmage,
Articles of Faith, 1984, pp. 231-232).

“The plates of the Book of Mormon as delivered by the angel Moroni
to Joseph Smith, according to the description given by the
latter-day prophet, were, as far as he knew, of gold, of uniform size,
each about seven inches wide by eight inches long, and in thickness
a little less than that of ordinary sheet tin. They were fastened
together by three rings running through the plates near one edge;
together they formed a book nearly six inches in thickness, but
not all has been translated, a part having been sealed. Both sides
of the plates were engraved with small characters, described by
those who examined them as of curious workmanship, with the
appearance of ancient origin” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith,
1984, pp. 237-238).

Predestination

“Foreordination Does Not Imply Compulsion—The doctrine of
absolute predestination, resulting in a nullification of man’s free
agency, has been advocated with various modifications by different
sects. Nevertheless, such teachings are wholly unjustified by both
the letter and the spirit of sacred writ. God’s foreknowledge concerning
the natures and capacities of His children enables Him
to see the end of their earthly career even from the first: ‘Known
unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.’ Many
people have been led to regard this foreknowledge of God as a
predestination whereby souls are designated for glory or condemnation
even before their birth in the flesh, and irrespective of individual
merit or demerit. This heretical doctrine seeks to rob Deity
of mercy, justice, and love; it would make God appear capricious
and selfish, directing and creating all things solely for His own
glory, caring not for the suffering of His victims. How dreadful,
how inconsistent is such an idea of God! It leads to the absurd
conclusion that the mere knowledge of coming events must act
as a determining influence in bringing about those occurrences.
God’s knowledge of spiritual and of human nature enables Him
to conclude with certainty as to the actions of any of His children
under given conditions; yet that knowledge is not of compelling
force upon the creature” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984,
p. 173).

Repentance

“No soul is justified in postponing his efforts to repent because of
this assurance of longsuffering and mercy. We know not fully on
what terms repentance will be obtainable in the hereafter; but to
suppose that the soul who has wilfully rejected the opportunity of
repentance in this life will find it easy to repent there is contrary
to reason. To procrastinate the day of repentance is to deliberately
place ourselves in the power of the adversary. Thus Amulek taught
and admonished the multitude of old: ‘For behold, this life is the
time for men to prepare to meet God; * * * therefore, I beseech
of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance
until the end; * * * Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful
crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye
cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies
at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have
power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye
have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death,
behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he
doth seal you his’” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 105.
* * * in original).

Repentance, Death-Bed

“So-called deathbed repentance is not part of the divine plan. It is
an attempt to live after the manner of the world during the years
of vigor and virility, and then to gain the rewards of the blessed
without ever overcoming the lusts of the flesh, lusts that, with old
age and death, cease to burn in the mortal soul. Thus Amulek
continues: ‘Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until
the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare
for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this
life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no
labor performed.’ There are no redeeming doctrines, no saving
ordinances, no promised kingdoms of glory for such. Those who
reject the gospel in this life-having heard the word from the lips
of a legal administrator and having been made aware of its glories
and truths-and who then accept it in the spirit world shall go to
the terrestrial kingdom” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the
Articles of Faith, p. 230).

Sacrament

“The sacrament has not been established as a specific means of
securing remission of sins; nor for any other special blessing aside
from that of a continuing endowment of the Holy Spirit, which,
however, comprises all needful blessings. Were the sacrament ordained
specifically for the remission of sins, it would not be forbidden
to those who are in greatest need of forgiveness; yet participation
in the ordinance is restricted to those whose consciences
are void of serious offense, those, therefore, who are acceptable
before the Lord, those indeed who are in as little need of special
forgiveness as mortals can be” (James Talmage, Articles of Faith,
1984, p. 159).

Salvation

“This twofold effect of the atonement is implied in the article of
our faith now under consideration. The first effect is to secure to
all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus
providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open
a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission
of personal sins. As these sins are the result of individual acts
it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual
compliance with prescribed requirements—‘obedience to
the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’” (James E. Talmage, Articles
of Faith, 1984, pp. 78-79, Italics in original).

“Yet in spite of the plain word of God, dogmas of men have been
promulgated to the effect that by faith alone may salvation be attained,
and that a wordy profession of belief shall open the doors
of heaven to the sinner” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984,
p. 98).

Trinity

“The Godhead: The Trinity—Three personages composing the great presiding council of the universe have revealed themselves to man: (1) God the Eternal Father; (2) His Son, Jesus Christ; and (3) the Holy Ghost. That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 35.)

Works

“There are some who have striven to obey all the divine commandments,
who have accepted the testimony of Christ, obeyed ‘the
laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’ and received the Holy Spirit;
these are they who have overcome evil by godly works and who are
therefore entitled to the highest glory; these belong to the Church
of the Firstborn, unto whom the Father has given all things; they
are made kings and priests of the Most High, after the order of
Melchizedek; they possess celestial bodies, ‘whose glory is that of
the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the
sun of the firmament is written of as being typical’; they are admitted
to the glorified company, crowned with exaltation in the celestial
kingdom” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 83).

Zion

“Later revelations directed the elders of the Church to assemble in
western Missouri, and designated that place as the land appointed
and consecrated for the gathering of the saints: ‘Wherefore, this
is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.’ The
town of Independence was named as ‘the center place,’ and the
site for the Temple was designated, the saints being counseled to
purchase land there, ‘that they may obtain it for an everlasting
inheritance.’ On August 3, 1831, the temple-site thus named was
dedicated by the prophet, Joseph Smith, and his associates in the
Priesthood. The region round about was also dedicated that it
might be a gathering place for the people of God” (James E. Talmage,
Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 319).