Topic Study: Face

(December 2001 TG Entry: Face See also Jesus Christ, Antemortal Appearances of: Face to Face, Communication: Non Verbal Communication)

Continued From

Transfiguration [Forward Reference]


This post examines the Topical Guide Entry of Face, attempting to determine all the meanings and uses of the word as referenced within it.  It categorizes all the references by major themes, and identifies a related hymn for most categories.

The face is the most recognizable part of us.  The scriptures highlight our connection with the Lord by our relationship to His face.  The scriptures speak of the following relationships to the Lord’s face.

  1. The Lord hides his face because of our sins
  2. We should seek the Lord’s Face
  3. His face is seen through a dark glass
  4. We may see the Lord face to face
  5. We will see that his face radiates or shines
  6. The Savior’s face was bruised for us
  7. All shall behold his face at his coming.

“Oh My Father” Hymns No. 292

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood,
Was I nurtured near thy side?

I             “Your sins have hid his face from you”

The scriptures make it clear that we cannot be in the presence of the Lord when we have sinned.

1 BEHOLD, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. (Isa. 59:1 – 4)

The entries below show some of the other references:

  • Gen. 4:14 (Moses 5:39) driven me out this day from the f. of the earth
  • Lev. 17:10 set my f. against that soul that eateth
  • Deut. 31:17 I will hide my f. from them
  • Ps. 34:16 (1 Pet. 3:12) f. of the Lord is against them that do evil
  • Isa. 8:17 Lord, that hideth his f.
  • Joel 2:6 all f. shall gather blackness
  • Matt. 6:16 (3 Ne. 13:16) hypocrites … disfigure their f.
  • 2 Ne. 9:38 those who die in their sins shall return to God, see his face.
  • 2 Ne. 23:8 (Isa. 13:8) men’s faces shall be as flames.
  • 2 Ne. 33:11 you and I shall stand face to face before Christ’s bar.
  • 3 Ne. 9:11 wickedness … hid from before my f.
  • 3 Ne. 13:16 (Matt. 6:16) when hypocrites fast, they disfigure their faces.
  • D&C 138:21 spirits of the rebellious did not look on the Savior’s face.

“Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice”, Hymns No. 21 Verse 2

The gloom of sullen darkness spread
Thru earth’s extended space
Is banished by our living Head,
And God has shown his face.

II            “Seek the Face of the Lord Always”

If we are striving to see the face of the Lord, either in this life or the next, we will be pursuing those things that turn us away from sin.  The Lord has said:

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 101:38)

The Lord has given us a very clear path to pursue:

1 VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D&C 93:1)

The psalmist committed:

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. (Ps. 27:7 – 9)

“Sweet Hour of Prayer”, Hymns No. 142 Verse 2

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since he bids me seek his face,
Believe his word, and trust his grace,
I’ll cast on him my ev’ry care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

“O Lord of Hosts”, Hymns 180 Verse 3

Prepare our minds that we may see
The beauties of thy grace,
Salvation purchased on that tree
For all who seek thy face.

“This House We Dedicate to Thee”, Hymns No. 245 Verse 2

Wilt thou thy servants here inspire
When in thy name they speak?
And wilt thou bless each contrite soul
Who here thy face doth seek?

III           “Through a glass, darkly”

We may not actually see the Savior’s face until His Second Coming.  But we can seek to see it.  For we have hints at what will be, when we will know, even as we are known.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Cor. 13:12)

“Our Father, by Whose Name”, Hymns No. 296 Verse 2

As thou thy Child didst fill with wisdom, love, and might,
To know and do thy will and teach thy ways aright,
Our children bless, in ev’ry place,
That they may all behold thy face,
And, knowing thee, may grow in grace.

IV          “Face to Face”

And how shall we see the Lord?  What shall we see?  Numerous prophets have made a point of the fact that they have seen the Lord “face to face” and talked with him, as one man “talketh” to another.

11 Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face, as one man talketh with another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made;

12 And he said unto me: My son, my son (and his hand was stretched out), behold I will show you all these.  And he put his hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which his hands had made, which were many; and they multiplied before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof. (Abr. 3:11 – 12)

As we seek for it, we will be blessed, at some point, to see the Savior face to face, and be blessed of him.

“Adam-ondi-Ahman”, Hymns No. 49 Verse 1

This earth was once a garden place,
With all her glories common,
And men did live a holy race,
And worship Jesus face to face,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

  • Gen. 32:30 (Moses 1:2, 11) I have seen God f. to f.
  • Ex. 33:11 (Moses 1:31) Lord spake unto Moses f. to f.
  • Num. 14:14 thou Lord art seen f. to f.
  • Deut. 5:4 Lord talked with you f. to f. in the mount
  • Deut. 34:10 Moses, whom the Lord knew f. to f.
  • Judg. 6:22 seen an angel … f. to f.
  • Ezek. 20:35 plead with you f. to f.
  • Acts 25:16 accused have the accusers f. to f.
  • 1 Cor. 13:12 now we see through a glass, darkly, but then f. to f.
  • Mosiah 13:5 Abinadi’s face shines as Moses on mount Sinai.
  • Ether 12:39 (D&C 17:1) I have seen Jesus … f. to f.
  • D&C 17:1 (D&C 50:11) brother of Jared(2) talked with the Lord face to face.
  • D&C 107:49 Enoch(2) was before the Lord’s face continually.
  • D&C 130:15-16 Joseph Smith to see the Lord’s face.
  • Moses 1:2, 31 God speaks to Moses face to face.
  • Moses 7:4 the Lord … talked with me … f. to f.
  • V           “The Lord make his face shine upon thee”

The Lord commanded Aaron and his son’s to bless the people with the following blessing.

24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Num. 6:24 – 26

The Savior’s face radiates his glory.  It is as lighting.  It is powerful.  And when we are worthy to behold it, we partake of that same glory.

29 ¶ And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.

32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.

33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.

34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out.  And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.

35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Ex. 34:29 – 35

“Redeemer of Israel” Hymns No. 6, Verse 5

Restore, my dear Savior, the light of thy face;
Thy soul-cheering comfort impart;
And let the sweet longing for thy holy place
Bring hope to my desolate heart.

“Silent Night”, Hymns No. 204 Verse 3

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth;

“There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today”, Hymns No. 227 Chorus

Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine
When the peaceful happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows his smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul.

  • Ps. 31:16 (119:135) Make thy f. to shine upon thy servant
  • Eccl. 8:1 man’s wisdom maketh his f. to shine
  • Dan. 10:6 his f. as the appearance of lightning
  • Matt. 17:2 transfigured … his f. did shine as the sun
  • Acts 6:15 saw his f. as it had been the f. of an angel
  • 2 Cor. 3:13 Moses, which put a vail over his f.
  • Hel. 5:36 shine … as the f. of angels

VI          “They struck him on the face”

But may we be very careful, in our search to see the Savior’s face.  For if he reveals himself to us, and we turn from that knowledge, we crucify him anew.  We do as the Roman soldiers did on the day of his death.

63 ¶ And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?

65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.

Luke 22:63 – 65

“Sweet Is the Work”, Hymns No. 147 Verse 4

But, oh, what triumph shall I raise
To thy dear name through endless days,
When in the realms of joy I see
Thy face in full felicity!

  • Isa. 52:14his visage was so marred (added entry)
  • Matt. 18:10 angels do always behold the f. of my Father

VII         “The face of the Lord shall be unveiled”

All will ultimately see the face of the Lord, for surely every knee shall bow to him, and confess that he is the Savior.

95 And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled;

96 And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him.

97 And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven—

98 They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.

D&C 88:95 – 98

 “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”, Hymns No 141 Verse 1

Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see
And in thy presence rest.


May we all seek to see the Savior’s face, so that moment may be one of joy and not sorrow.

Related Hymns

See Hymns embedded under each heading above.

Continue At

Glory [Forward Reference]

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