Literary DCGD #31: The Lord of Hosts has Spoken

August 11, 2013 | no comments
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The doctrine of eternal marriage, discussed in D&C Gospel Doctrine lesson 31, is clearly tied to the priesthood (the authority by which such marriages are performed) and to salvation, for salvation in the eternal kingdom is dependent on sealing, both to parents, to spouse and to children. The following poems addresses the role of sealing in our understanding of priesthood and of salvation.

Its author, Octave F. Ursenbach (1870-1951), was a second-generation Mormon who grew up in Utah. He served an LDS mission to Switzerland and Germany from 1893-1895, a year after he married in the Logan Temple. In 1934 he was called as the President of the French mission before returning to the U.S., where he served as a patriarch as an accountant for the Los Angeles Bishop’s Storehouse. In addition to many poems published in LDS magazines, he wrote Why I am a “Mormon” (1910), Redemption: An Epic of the Divine Tragedy… (1928) and The Quest (1951).

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The Lord of Hosts has Spoken

By O. F. Ursenbach

The Lord of Hosts has spoken.
Let all men understand.
The Gentile chain is broken
According to command.
Lo, Priesthood now is given,
Though demons swear and rave,
Revealed to men from heaven.
To bind beyond the grave.

 

Now, marriage vows transcending
Earth life, do still endure,
In love’s symmetric blending,
Celestialized and pure.
The Gospel of salvation,
All honest souls shall save;
Dead of all generations
Now reached beyond the grave.

 

Let nations now awaken
Aye, potentates give ear:
The Lord of Hosts has spoken-
Restored His Priesthood here.
The great Plan of Salvation
Earthward has come again,
As warning to each nation,
Of Christ’s majestic reign.

Instructor, v66 n10, October 1931, p. 603

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Ursenbach makes his point clear early, stating that “The Gentile chain is broken” and that the gift of God, Priesthood, restores the ability “To bind beyond the grave.” Thus:

Now, marriage vows transcending
Earth life, do still endure,

I very much like his next lines:

In love’s symmetric blending,
Celestialized and pure.

It does seem to me that a good marriage is a “blending” of both parties, and the more that I think about it “symmetric” is also what it should be, both in terms of the amount contributed by both husband and wife, and in terms of the kind of contributions. Ideally, a marriage doesn’t consist of two people trying to be identical, but instead of two people trying to be complementary.

Ursenbach doesn’t stop there, however. He connects this to salvation, noting that the gospel “All honest souls shall save;” because:

Dead of all generations
Now [are] reached beyond the grave.

This hints at, I suspect, a large part of how the gospel saves us. We are put into relationships that are eternal in nature. Hurting the other party, or simply failing to keep up a living and loving relationship with them therefore has eternal consequences. These relationships are all about our eternal progression. And with them, and with as many eternal relationships as possible, we can practice the “symmetric blending” that makes us like unto our heavenly parents.

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