"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

Calling and Election Made Sure

by Roy W. Doxey

An exhortation to make one's "calling and election sure" is found in Peter's writings (2 Pet. 1:3-10), and is associated with the "more sure word of prophecy" (2 Pet. 1:16-19). The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that "the more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood" (D&C 131:5).

Peter said that the acquisition and exercise of faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity are necessary to make one's "calling and election sure" and to obtain a fulness of the blessings of God (2 Pet. 1:5-7; cf. TPJS, p. 305).

In addition to acquiring these qualities of character, those who would have their calling and election made sure must receive the ordinances of the gospel, including the temple ordinances (D&C 131:2-3; 132:19-20).

Having one's calling and election made sure is not attained easily. Speaking of this, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that "When the Lord has thoroughly proved [a person], and finds that the [person] is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the [person] will find his[/her] calling and election made sure" (TPJS, p. 150). The Prophet indicates that this was the case with ancient prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, Paul and others (TPJS, p. 151).

“To have one’s calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is to receive the assurance of godhood; it is, in effect, to have the day of judgment advanced, so that an inheritance of all the glory and honor of the Father’s kingdom is assured prior to the day when the faithful actually enter into the divine presence to sit with Christ in his throne, even as he is ‘set down’ with his ‘Father in his throne.’ (Rev. 3:21.) (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Bookcraft, 1973, 3:330–31.) 

In the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 299) he states, “I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.” Thus implying that it should be the goal of all people to strive to make sure their calling and election through obedience.

Additional information about calling and election is available from this BYU Idaho site and on this blog.


Doxey, Roy W., comp. The Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, pp. 406-409. Salt Lake City, 1965.

McConkie, Bruce R. Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 3, pp. 323-53. Salt Lake City, 1973.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 299-305





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Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Calling and Election

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