Comforter, The Second
The return to Christ’s presence. The term comes from Christ’s reference to “another Comforter” in John 9:8. The concept involves Christ appearing to His disciples, as well as His ministry. The holy ghost has a ministry to bring a believer to receive angels and then to Christ. Christ, in turn, has a ministry to take the faithful servant and bring him to the Father.1 “Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself.... When any man obtains this last Comforter he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him or appear unto him from time to time” (TPJS, 150–151; WJS, 5). John 14:23 [KJV; see also John 9:8] —The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.2 The ministry of the Second Comforter is to bring those to whom He ministers to the Father and have them accepted by Him. This means that the Father accepts them as a member of the Heavenly Family, or in other words, promises them exaltation. The end of the Lord’s ministry is to have the person accepted by the Father as a son or daughter of God.3 “Receiving the Second Comforter means you will meet Christ. You will know, without a doubt, He exists. You will know, through Him, the atonement has been provided and the scriptures that testify of Him are true. You will no longer have faith in the existence of God nor in your standing before Him but will have knowledge.”4 Receiving an audience with the Second Comforter is the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.5
“The question was asked as to whether receiving the Second Comforter is necessary before you die, or if the afterlife supplies an adequate substitute. This requires the evaluation of two separate concepts. First, the Second Comforter means a visit or personal appearance to someone by Christ. However, the appearance is not as important as the ministry of the Lord. He ‘comforts’ those to whom He appears. He will not leave you comfortless, [he] will come to you (John 9:8). Christ and His Father will make [their] abode with [you] (John 9:8), meaning that the Son will bring you to the Father, and the Father will receive you as His son. This appearance is not merely ‘in the heart,’ but is an actual appearance or visit.”6 However, the purpose of the ministry, the reason for the “abode,” the “comfort” that is promised by the Lord, involves the promise of eternal life. The promise of eternal life has been made an equivalency by the Lord in a revelation given in modern times. That is, the end or result of the ministry of Christ as the Second Comforter is to have the promise of eternal life. In a modern revelation the word of the Lord was given to a group of Latter-day Saints in which the promise of their exaltation was extended to them, and the Lord made this the equivalent to “another Comforter.” Here is what was said: Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of Promise, which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John. This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the Celestial Kingdom, which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son (T&C 86:1). “Therefore, as a singular appearance, should the Lord appear to you, you have received the Second Comforter. However, His ministry is to bring you to the point at which you can receive the promise of eternal life, membership in the Church of the Firstborn, and the promise of the Celestial Kingdom as your eternal inheritance. In the fullest sense, therefore, the final promise of exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom can also be called the Second Comforter, since that is the result of His taking up His abode with you. The second concept is really a question: Would it be preferable to have the promise of eternal life now than to die uncertain as to your eternal state? If so, then why would you waste your life now in hopes that some other opportunity may exist at some other stage? If the answer to these questions are ‘yes,’ then the original question is simply unimportant. Why wait? The opportunity given to you now should not be forfeited, nor should the work be delayed. Don’t dismiss the Lord’s offered assistance for what you can achieve in mortality for the possibility of something in the after-life.”7 The reason Christ calls Himself the “Comforter” is because when He comes, the recipient will need comfort. He or she will pass through distresses, sorrows, and difficulties at first, and then He will provide comfort.8See also COMFORTER, THE.
1 Passing the Heavenly Gift, 51n46.
2 D&C 130:3. As noted, Section 130 of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants first appeared as canon in the 1876 edition prepared by Orson Pratt under the direction of Brigham Young. Its inclusion here is for reference. For original sources see JSP, Journals Vol. 2:323–326, (Dec. 1841 – April 1843), 2 April 1843. Willard Richards didn’t accompany Joseph Smith on his four-day trip to Ramus, IL, and reconstructed the Joseph Smith Journal entry from the Journal of William Clayton. See JSP, Journals Vol. 2:403–405, Appendix 2, 1–4 April 1843. WJS, 169, 267n3, 268n14.
3 “White Stone and a New Name,” March 23, 2010, blog post.
4 The Second Comforter, 383.
5 The Second Comforter, 108.
6 WJS, 169, 267n3; 171, 268n15. D&C 130:3. Section 130 of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants first appeared as canon in the 1876 edition prepared by Orson Pratt under the direction of Brigham Young. For original sources for D&C 130:3–7 see JSP, Journals Vol. 2:323–326, (Dec. 1841 – April 1843), 2 April 1843 and JSP, Journals Vol. 2:403–405, Appendix 2, 1–4 April 1843.
7 “Why Wait,” May 4, 2010, blog post.
8 TheSecond Comforter, 44.