See: D&C 131; 132
After a person . . . receives the Holy Ghost, which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints. . . . Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1976, pp. 150-51
The power of Elijah is sufficient to make our calling and election sure. — Joseph Smith
The Prophet Joseph Smith received the promise of eternal life – he had his calling and election made sure. God will extend the same promise to all of his children if they will obey him. D&C 132:49 explains why the Prophet Joseph received this promise. He was willing to lay all he had on the altar. He was hunted and persecuted, sued in courts of law, torn from family and loved ones, and all because he had testified that the heavens were not closed and that God speaks to His children. The Prophet Joseph is an example in this dispensation of how children of God should act. — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 334
The spirits in the eternal world are like the spirits in this world. When those have come into this world and received tabernacles, then died and again have risen and received glorified bodies, they will have an ascendency [sic] over the spirits who have received no bodies, or kept not their first estate, like the devil. The punishment of the devil was that he should not have a habitation like men. The devil’s retaliation is, he comes into this world, binds up men’s bodies, and occupies them himself. When the authorities come along, they eject him from a stolen habitation.
The design of the great God in sending us into this world, and organizing us to prepare us for the eternal worlds, I shall keep in my own bosom at present.
We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things, unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this. But after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken, how much more those of the present generation!
1st key: Knowledge is the power of salvation.
2nd key: Make your calling and election sure.
3rd key: It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, May 21, 1843; History of the Church 5:401-403
Now, there is some grand secret here, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, etc., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God [Matt. 17:5], yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place. Now, wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son?
Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their calling and election was made sure, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promised sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation. Then knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
Compare this principle once with Christendom at the present day, and where are they, with all their boasted religion, piety and sacredness while at the same time they are crying out against prophets, apostles, angels, revelations, prophesying and visions, etc. Why, they are just ripening for the damnation of hell. They will be damned, for they reject the most glorious principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and treat with disdain and trample under foot the key that unlocks the heavens and puts in our possession the glories of the celestial world. Yes, I say, such will be damned, with all their professed godliness. Then 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. — “The Doctrine of Calling & Election,” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 297-98
The Prophet Joseph Smith made this perfectly clear. He said:
“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and received the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands) . . . then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shall be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure. (History of the Church 3:380) — President Marion G. Romney,” Fruits of the Gospel,” General Conference, October 1, 1949
What I shall do if I am properly guided by the Spirit – and I devoutly hope and pray that such may be the case both for me and for all of you – is express some views and summarize some concepts relative to the doctrine of making our calling and election sure. This may sound like a hard and a difficult subject. It is one which is not fully known or understood by everyone, but at least as far as the fundamentals are concerned, it is a very basic and easily understood doctrine. There is nothing complex or mysterious about it. Rather it is a doctrine we should understand, one out of which determinations should grow to do the things that assure us of peace and satisfaction in this life and eternal rewards in the realms ahead. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Making Our Calling and Election Sure,” BYU Devotional, March 25, 1969
Paul in his second epistle to Timothy wrote: “. . . I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.” (2 Tim 4:6 8)
In this dispensation many have received like assurances. In the spring of 1839, while the Prophet Joseph and his associates were languishing in Liberty Jail, Heber C. Kimball labored against great odds caring for the Saints and striving to free the brethren. On the 6th of April he wrote:
“My family having been gone about two months, during which time I heard nothing from them; our brethren being in prison; death and destruction following us everywhere we went; I felt very sorrowful and lonely. The following words came to my mind, and the spirit said unto me, ‘write,’ which I did by taking a piece of paper and writing on my knee as follows: . . .”
This is what he wrote as dictated by the Lord:
“Verily I say unto my servant Heber, thou art my son, in whom I am well pleased; for thou art careful to hearken to my words, and not transgress my law, nor rebel against my servant Joseph Smith, for thou hast a respect to the words of mine anointed, even from the least to the greatest of them; therefore thy name is written in heaven, no more to be blotted out for ever. . . .” (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 1888 ed., p. 253)
To the Prophet Joseph Smith the Lord said: ” . . . I am the Lord thy God and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.” (D&C 132:49) — President Marion G. Romney, “Making Our Calling and Election Sure,” Conference Report, October 1965, pp. 20-23; Improvement Era, Dec. 1965, pp. 1115-1116
Now, may I read this statement from the Prophet:
“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands),which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 150.) — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Making Our Calling and Election Sure,” BYU Devotional, March 25, 1969