Topic Study: God, Privilege of Seeing

(January 2002.TG Entry: God, Privilege of Seeing See also God, Manifestations of; Jesus Christ, Antemortal Appearances of)


The privilege of seeing God will:

  1. Be granted only upon personal worthiness
  2. Not happen without the accompanying presences of the Spirit
  3. Happen Only in the Temple
  4. Be a very personal experience

I             Personal Worthiness

Reportedly, President Harold B. Lee’s favorite scripture was the following:

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

Being obedient is a prerequisite to seeing the face of the Lord.

Oh, to be clean! This is the great challenge of our mortal probation. It is also the only way to the indescribable joy of truly knowing our Savior. He has promised us, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). (Neil L. Andersen, “The Joy of Becoming Clean,” Ensign, Apr. 1995, 53)

  • Matt. 5:8 (3 Ne. 12:8) blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall s. God
  • D&C 76:117 he grants this privilege of s.
  • D&C 84:23 sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God
  • D&C 88:68 sanctify yourselves … that you shall s. him
  • D&C 93:1 shall s. my face and know that I am
  • D&C 97:16 pure in heart … shall s. God

II            Not without the Spirit

10 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

11 For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.

12 Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.

13 Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.

D&C 67:10 – 13

Obedience brings the Spirit of God.  With that worthiness, we are made capable of standing in the presence of God.

  • Ex. 19:21 charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze
  • Ex. 33:11 Lord spake unto Moses face to face
  • Ex. 33:20 there shall no man s. me, and live
  • Judg. 13:22 We shall surely die, because we have s. God
  • John 1:18 (6:46; D&C 67:11) No man hath s. God at any time
  • Acts 7:56 I s. … the Son of man standing on the right hand
  • Heb. 12:14 holiness, without which no man shall s. the Lord
  • D&C 35:21 (50:45) hear my voice, and shall s. me
  • D&C 58:3 ye cannot behold with your natural eyes
  • D&C 84:22 without this no man can s. the face of God … and live
  • Moses 1:5 no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh
  • Moses 1:11 eyes have beheld God … my spiritual eyes

III           Only In the Temple

1 THE veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.

2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.

6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.

7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.

8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.

9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house.

D&C 110:1,2, 6- 9

At the dedication of the Monticello, Utah temple, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that if we are to see the Savior’s face, it will be in the temple.

  • Ex. 3:6 Moses … was afraid to look upon God
  • Ex. 19:11 Lord will come down in the sight of all the people
  • Ex. 24:11 nobles of the children of Israel … saw God
  • Num. 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth
  • 1 Kgs. 11:9 Lord … had appeared unto him twice
  • Isa. 6:5 mine eyes have s. … the Lord
  • Ether 3:15 never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created
  • D&C 110:2 We saw the Lord standing upon the … pulpit
  • Moses 1:2 he s. God face to face, and he talked with him

IV          A very personal experience

Joseph Smith taught:

3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance;

D&C 130:3

Listen to the personal nature of this appearance of the Savior to the Brother of Jared:

13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people.  Behold, I am Jesus Christ.  I am the Father and the Son.  In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.

Ether 3:13 – 14

Elder Hanks has said:

This, we declare and testify, [knowing God himself]  is a supreme blessing, for to “know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge” and thus to “be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19) is the source of the greatest comfort and consolation in this world, and the greatest motivating power for good. How do we gain this indispensable knowledge? The “works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom” can only “be understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves.” (D&C 76:114, 117.)  (Marion D. Hanks, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, May 1975, 14)

  • Gen. 32:30 I have s. God face to face
  • Deut. 34:10 Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face
  • Job 19:26 (Moses 5:10) in my flesh shall I s. God
  • Matt. 11:27 Father … to whomsoever the Son will reveal him
  • John 14:18 not leave you comfortless: I will come to you
  • John 14:21 I will love him, and will manifest myself to him
  • 1 Jn. 3:2 we shall be like him, for we shall s. him as he is
  • Rev. 1:17 when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead
  • Rev. 22:4 they shall s. his face
  • 2 Ne. 11:3 Jacob, also has s. him as I have s.
  • Alma 19:13 I have s. my Redeemer
  • Ether 3:13 redeemed … therefore ye are brought back into my presence
  • D&C 76:23 we saw him, even on the right hand of God
  • D&C 130:3 appearing of the Father and the Son … is a personal appearance
  • Moses 6:39 fear came on all them … for he walked with God
  • Moses 7:4 I saw the Lord and he stood before my face
  • Moses 7:59 Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend
  • Abr. 3:11 Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face
  • JS-H 1:17 I s. two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description


What could be more important than striving to see the face of God?  For our ultimate goal is to return to his presence.  We should strive to see the face of God.

Related Hymns

“Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” Hymns No. 26

“A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” Hymns No. 29

Other References

  • John 5:37 Ye have neither heard his voice … nor s. his shape

Continue At

Mountain [Forward Reference]

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