“Once we know who we are and the royal linage of which we are a part, our actions and directions in life will be more appropriate to our inheritance.” (Russell M. Nelson, BYU address, Thanks for the Covenant, November 22, 1988, pg. 8)
01 – “...I ask each of you again the question, ‘Who are you?’ You are all the sons and daughters of God. Your spirits were created and lived as organized intelligence before the world was. You have been blessed to have a physical body because of your obedience to certain commandments in that premortal state. You are now born into a family to which you have come, into the nations through which you have come, as a reward for the kind of lives you lived before you came here and at a time in the world’s history...
It would seem very clear, then, that those born to the linage of Jacob, who was later to be called Israel, and his posterity, who were known as the children of Israel, were born into the most illustrious lineage of any of those who came upon the earth as mortal beings.
All the rewards were seemingly promised, or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premortal spirit worlds. Some may question these assumptions, but at the same time they will accept without any question the belief that each one of us will be judged when we leave this earth according to his or her deeds during our lives here in mortality. Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth life was given each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here?” (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, January 1974, pg. 5)
02 – “Being subject to law and having their agency,
all the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal Presence, developed aptitudes,
talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind, and degree. During the
long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and
abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained
alike...Abraham and Moses and all the prophets sought and obtained the talent
for spirituality. Mary and Eve were two of the greatest spirit daughters of the
Father. The whole house of
03 – “...the numbers of the children of
Adam - (Moses 6:67-68; Facsimile #2:3; D&C 107:40-54)
Enoch/City - (Moses 7:16)
Many Others - (Moses 7:27)
Methuselah - (Moses 8:3)
Noah/Shem (Melchizedek) - (JST Genesis 14:28, 34)
Abraham - (Abraham 1:2-3, 19)
Isaac - (Genesis 26:1-4)
Jacob - (Genesis 28:10-22)
Joseph - (1 Chronicles 5:1-2; Genesis 37:3; D&C 27:10)
Ephraim - (Genesis 48:14-20; Jeremiah 31:9; D&C 27:5)
Moses - (D&C 84:6-25; JST Exodus 34:1; Exodus 19:5; 1 Peter 2:9)
Christ with Peter, James, John - (Matthew 17)
04 – “...and Christ came according to the words of John, and He was greater than John, because He held the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood and kingdom of God, and had before revealed the priesthood of Moses...” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 274)
05 – “The time has at last arrived when the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has set his hand again the second time to recover the remnants of his people....his covenant has never been established with the house of Israel, nor with the house of Judah, for it requires two parties to make a covenant, and those two parties must be agreed, or no covenant can be made.”” Joseph continued: ““Christ, in the days of His flesh, proposed to make a covenant with them, but they rejected Him and His proposals, and in consequence thereof, they were broken off, and no covenant was made with them at that time. But their unbelief has not rendered the promise of God of none effect.”” (Teachings, pp. 14––15)
Joseph Smith - (Malachi 4:5-6; 3 Nephi 25:5-6; D&C 2:1-2; JS-H 1:38-39; D&C 39:10-11; D&C 110; D&C 124:27-28)
You - (D&C 132:30-31)
06 – “When our Heavenly Father placed Adam and Eve on this earth, He did so with the purpose in mind of teaching them how to regain His presence. Our Father promised a Savior to redeem them from their fallen condition. He gave to them the plan of salvation and told them to teach their children faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. Further, Adam and his posterity were commanded by God to be baptized, to receive the Holy Ghost, and to enter into the order of the Son of God.
To enter into the order of the Son of God is the equivalent today of entering into the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is only received in the house of the Lord.
Because Adam and Eve had complied with these requirements, God said to them, ‘Thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.’ (Moses 6:67)
Three years before Adam’s death, a great event occurred. He took his son Seth, his grandson Enos, and other high priests who were his direct-line descendants, with others of his righteous posterity, into a valley called Adam-ondi-Ahman. There Adam gave to these righteous descendants his last blessing.
The Lord then appeared to them.
The vast congregation rose up and blessed Adam and called him Michael, the prince and archangel. The Lord himself declared Adam to be a prince forever over his own posterity.
Then Adam in his aged condition rose up and, being filled with the spirit of prophecy, predicted ‘whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.’ All this is recorded in section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants (verses 53–56) [D&C 107:53–56].
The Prophet Joseph Smith said that Adam blessed his posterity because ‘he wanted to bring them into the presence of God.’ (TPJS, pg. 159)
Here is an illuminating passage from Section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants which tells us how Adam was able to bring himself and his righteous posterity into God’s presence:
The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.
‘This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in [order] … that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth.’ (D&C 107:40–42; italics added.)
How did Adam bring his descendants into the presence of the Lord?
The answer: Adam and his descendants entered into the priesthood order of God. Today we would say they went to the House of the Lord and received their blessings.
The order of priesthood spoken of in the scriptures is sometimes referred to as the patriarchal order because it came down from father to son.
But this order is otherwise described in modern revelation as an order of family government where a man and woman enter into a covenant with God—just as did Adam and Eve—to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity, and to do the will and work of God throughout their mortality.
If a couple are true to their covenants, they are entitled to the blessing of the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. These covenants today can only be entered into by going to the House of the Lord.
Adam followed this order and brought his posterity into the presence of God. He is the great example for us to follow.
Enoch followed this pattern and brought the Saints of his day into the presence of God.
Noah and his son Shem likewise followed the same pattern after the flood.
Abraham, a righteous servant of God, desiring as he said, ‘to be a greater follower of righteousness,’ sought for these same blessings. Speaking of the order of the priesthood, he said: ‘It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time … even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, our first father, through the fathers unto me.’ (Abraham 1:2–3)
So Abraham declared: ‘I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers.’ (Abraham 1:4)
Moses taught this order of priesthood to his people and ‘sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also.’ (D&C 84:23–25)
We learn through the Joseph Smith Translation that the Lord further instructed Moses: ‘I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof.’ (JST Exodus 34:1)
This higher priesthood, with its attendant ordinances, was
My purpose in citing this background is to illustrate that this order of priesthood has been on the earth since the beginning, and it is the only means by which we can one day see the face of God and live. (D&C 84:22)” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple, August 1985, pg. 8-9)
07 – “The Prophet Joseph called upon Brother Brigham, myself and others, saying, ‘Brethren, come, go along with me, and I will show you something.’ He led us a short distance to a place where were the ruins of three altars built of stone, one above the other, and one standing a little back of the other, like unto the pulpits in the Kirtland Temple, representing the order of three grades of Priesthood; ‘There’' said Joseph, ‘is the place where Adam offered up sacrifice after he was cast out of the garden.’ The altar stood at the highest point of the bluff. I went and examined the place several times while I remained there.” (Heber C. Kimball, Life of Heber C. Kimball, pg. 209-210)
08 – “It will be noticed that, according to Paul, (Galatians 3:8) the Gospel was preached to Abraham. … Our friends may say, perhaps, that there were never any ordinances except those of offering sacrifices before the coming of Christ, and that it could not be possible [for] the Gospel to have been administered while the law of sacrifices of blood was in force. But we will recollect that Abraham offered sacrifice, and notwithstanding this, had the Gospel preached to him. That the offering of sacrifice was only to point the mind forward to Christ, we infer from these remarkable words of Jesus to the Jews: ‘Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad’ (John 8:56).... It is said again, in Galatians 3:19, that the law (of Moses, or the Levitical law) was ‘added’ because of transgression. What, we ask, was this law added to, if it was not added to the Gospel? It must be plain that it was added to the Gospel, since we learn that they had the Gospel preached to them. From these few facts, we conclude that whenever the Lord revealed Himself to men in ancient days, and commanded them to offer sacrifice to Him, that it was done that they might look forward in faith to the time of His coming, and rely upon the power of that atonement for a remission of their sins.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 60–61)
(3 Nephi 16:8-9; Genesis 28:10-22; Genesis 32:24-30)
09 – “A man will rise and demand, ‘By what right does God choose one race or people above
another?' I like that form of the question. It is much better than asking by
what right God degrades one people beneath another, although that is implied.’
God's grading is always upward. If He raises up a
nation, it is that other nations may be raised up through its ministry. If He exalts
a great man, an apostle of liberty or science or faith, it is that He might
raise a degraded people to a better condition. The divine selection is not
[alone] a prize, a compliment paid to the man or the race—it is a burden
imposed. To appoint a
[In short,] the Lord hath made [
10 – According to Franklin D. Richards, later a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Prophet Joseph Smith explained that the power of Melchizedek was:
“not the power of a prophet, nor apostle, nor patriarch only, but of a king and priest to God, to open the windows of heaven and pour out the peace and law of endless life to man. And no man can attain to the joint heirship with Jesus Christ without being administered to by one having the same power and authority of Melchizedek.” (Joseph Smith; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith, pg. 245)
11 – “Every person who embraces the gospel becomes of
the house of
12 – “That this adoption involves a literal change in the blood was plainly taught by the Prophet. The Holy Ghost, he said, “is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his ,whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. The man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. (TPJS, pg. 149-150)” (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, pg. 390; John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 399-400)
13 – “The Abrahamic promise of countless descendants pertains to the eternal world as well as to descendants on earth.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Millennial Messiah, pg. 262–64, 267)
12 Points in the Abrahamic Covenant:
Abraham 1:31, 2:6-13, Abraham 3:14
1 But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.
But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother's son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and 2 to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which 3 I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.
For I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven; the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains--Depart hence--and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly.
My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
And 4 I will make of thee a great nation, and 5 I will bless thee above measure, and 6 make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, 7 that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
And I will bless them through thy name; 8 for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and 9 shall be accounted thy seed, and 10 shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
And 11 I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and 12 in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;
Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.
And it was in the night time when the Lord spake these words unto me: I will multiply thee, and thy seed after thee, like unto these; and if thou canst count the number of sands, so shall be the number of thy seeds.
Galatians 3:16, D&C 45:9-10, D&C 98:12-15, Exodus 4:16, Malachi 3:1; D&C 93:8
Abraham 1:31........... Preservation of Records
Abraham 2:6............. Property
Abraham 2:9, 3:14..... Posterity (Christ - Abraham 2:)
Abraham 2:9, 11....... Priesthood
Abraham 2:10........... Promise of Salvation
Abraham 2:6............. “when they hearken to my voice.”
Genesis 17:7, 10-14; JST Genesis 17:11-12 “circumcise the flesh of your foreskin”
Genesis 17:5, 15........ “thy name shall be Abraham”; “Sarah shall her name be”
Allegory Of Two Covenants
First Covenant (spiritual)
Represents the Law of Christ
Last Covenant (temporal)
Represents the Law of Moses
Last Covenant (temporal)
Represents the Law of Moses
First Covenant (spiritual)
Represents the Law of Christ
Paul Compares the Two Covenants
Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC, 2:477-478)
Paul here uses the life of Abraham as an allegory to dramatize the superiority of the gospel over the law of Moses -- a mode of teaching designed to drive his doctrine home anew each time his hearers think of Abraham and his life.
Hagar, the bondwoman, bore Ishmael; and Sarah, the free -- woman, brought forth Isaac. Ishmael was born after the flesh, while Isaac, as a child of promise, came forth after the Spirit. Hagar is thus made to represent the old covenant, the law of Moses, the covenant under which men were subject to the bondage of sin; while Sarah symbolizes the new covenant, the gospel, the covenant under which men are made free, free from bondage and sin through Christ.
Mt. Sinai, from whence the law came, and Jerusalem, from whence it is now administered, symbolize the law, and their children are in bondage. But the spiritual Jerusalem, the heavenly city of which the saints shall be citizens, is symbolized by Sarah, and she is the mother of freemen. Sarah, who was so long barren, as our spiritual mother, has now made us all, like Isaac, heirs of promise.
But it is now, as it was then, those born after the flesh war against those born of the Spirit. And as God rejected Ishmael and accepted Isaac, so does he now reject those who cleave to the law of Moses and accept those who turn to Christ.
[The two covenants] The first is the old covenant, the law of Moses, the law of carnal commandments, the preparatory gospel, the covenant God made with Israel, through Moses, to prepare them for the second. The second is the new covenant, the everlasting covenant, the fulness of the gospel, the covenant God offers to make with all men, through Christ, to prepare them for the fulness of his glory. The old covenant was the lesser law, the new is the higher law. Moses was the mediator of the old covenant, standing between God and his people, pleading their cause, seeking to prepare them for the coming of their Messiah. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant, standing between God and all men, pleading their cause, seeking to prepare them for that celestial inheritance reserved for the saints.
(JST Genesis 50; 2 Nephi 3:7; D&C 113:7-10; D&C 124:58)
Joseph [Hebrew] Asaph - to gather
14 – The Prophet Joseph Smith was a descendant of Abraham, a ‘pure Ephraimite.’ (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 322)
15 – “You have heard Joseph say that the people did not know him; he had his eyes on.... blood-relations...His descent from Joseph that was sold into Egypt was direct, and the blood was pure in him.... He had the sole right and lawful power, as he was the legal heir to the blood that has been on the earth and has come down through a pure lineage. The union of various ancestors kept that blood pure. There is a great deal the people do not understand, and many of the Latter-day Saints have to learn all about it.” (Brigham Young, Genealogical and Historical Magazine, July 1920, pg. 107)
16 – “This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in all its fullness to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.” (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:536-537)
17 – Joseph Smith Sr., the first patriarch, blessed his son Joseph Smith Jr. as follows:
“A marvelous work and a wonder has the Lord wrought by thy hand, even that which shall prepare the way for the remnants of his people to come in among the Gentiles, with their fulness, as the tribes of Israel are restored. I bless thee with the blessings of thy Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and even the blessings of thy father Joseph, the son of Jacob. Behold, he looked after his posterity in the last days, when they should be scattered and driven by the Gentiles.” (Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, 23:175; [October 1932])
18 – “Behold, I raised up my servant Joseph Smith to introduce my Gospel, and to build up my Church and establish my Kingdom on the earth....He was called and ordained to this office before the world was. He was called by me, and empowered by me, and sustained by me to introduce and establish my Church and Kingdom upon the earth; and to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to my Church and Kingdom; and to be a King and Ruler over Israel.” (John Taylor; Fred E. Collier, Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; 1:133)
19 – Inauguration of Endowment Ceremonies. (1842) - (Ezekiel 4:6; Daniel 8:8-14)
“Wednesday, 4.—I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office (so called because in that room I keep my sacred writings, translate ancient records, and receive revelations) and in my general business office, or lodge room (that is where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally, for want of a better place) in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the I spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation.
Thursday, 5.—General Adams started for Springfield, and the remainder of the council of yesterday continued their meeting at the same place, and myself and Brother Hyrum received in turn from the others, the same that I had communicated to them the day previous.” (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:1-2)
20 – “Let us briefly consider some of the simpler geometric designs which are used and learn their age-old meaning. The square, the equilateral triangles, and the circle are some of the oldest symbols in existence, and when their meaning is fully understood they reveal some of the profoundest principles of life. All symbols have a dual meaning - The exoteric, or material, is given to the curious, while the esoteric, or spiritual is only to be found by the sincere seeker after truth. We will now draw these symbols, that you may better understand them:
You will notice that there are two triangles, one with the point downward, and the other with the point upward. These are combined in the symbol of the interlaced triangles, or the six - pointed star. The triangles when used separately gives each triangle a distinct and separate meaning. The one with the point upward, is called the symbol of manifestation on the material plane, and symbolizes mankind focusing their thoughts on God; the triangle with the point downward represents manifestation on the spiritual, or Divine plane, and symbolizes God's consciousness focalized on mankind. In the six-pointed star formed by the interlaced triangles we symbolize the blending, or uniting, of the physical and the spiritual.
The square represents building uprightly on a strong secure foundation. The circle, which is endless, is the universal symbol of eternal life. The square and the interlaced triangles are the only two equiangular and equilateral figures, the sum of whose exterior angles equals 360 degrees, or perfection, as symbolized by the circle. From these symbols, we learn that by building uprightly on a strong secure foundation, we unite the physical and the spiritual, and with them inseparably connected' as symbolized by the interlaced triangles, we have eternal life.
These symbols were often abbreviated: By taking an angle from the square we have an L, or the sign of the square; an angle from the interlaced triangles gives us a V, or the sign of the compass; and the merging of the physical and spiritual is symbolized by the X, which is often written —, or the line. These three symbols when united, and in their esoteric sense, mean LIFE, LIGHT, and LOVE, the eternal principles by which ‘all things HAVE BEEN, ARE, or WILL BE CREATED.’
If we write them out we have the Latin word ‘LVX’ which means light. If they are arranged in the form of the spiritual triangle with the point downward, we have the symbol of spiritual light, which is pure intelligence. If an individual is worthy of wearing this symbol on his breastplate, and continues faithfully in the service of the Master, he will receive the SPIRITUAL LIGHT, which will enable him or her to unite the physical and spiritual, and through the process of Divine Alchemy, change the mortal corruptible body into a Celestial Eternal Body and thereby have eternal life.
Whenever an individual consecrates his life to the service of God and to his fellowmen, he brings the points of the triangles together thus; which is preparatory to uniting them in the interlaced triangles, as they continue onward through a life of faithful service.
If we take the signs L-V-X, and read them as Roman numerals we have 50-5-10, which would be our equivalent to light. A study of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, which the Egyptians referred to as Light, or the Temple of Light, we find that it is built in courses of masonry which are arranged in courses of five and ten. In fact the word Pyramid comes from these two words, PYR, 5, and MET, 10. It is at the fiftieth course that the initiate, or mankind receives the light. Once again we read the true symbology of the Pyramid, L-V-X, in the Roman numerals, or in Latin, meaning Light, or a Temple of Light, or learning, or initiation into the mysteries of Godliness. It may be that in the Temple of LVXOR that many of these truths were taught for it is claimed by many that Solomon studied in Egypt, before returning to Palestine and building the Great Temple at Jerusalem. While very little is known at the present time as to what formed the basis of the teachings in Egypt, we do know that the principles of LIFE, LIGHT, and LOVE formed the basis of the teachings of the Temples in the Holy Land, and also is the basis of the teaching in modern Temples.
Whenever individuals are initiated into the mysteries of Godliness they then strive to bring into their beings that principle of balance which is symbolized by the lesser Seal of Solomon, in the five-pointed star. After meditation and instruction, they become adepts, and finally after mastering the Mysteries of the Kingdom, they become true priests, or priestresses [priestesses] after the Order of Melchizedek, as Masters of Spiritual Laws, by which they advance to the six-pointed star, or the Great Seal of Solomon, wherein the physical and spiritual become inseparably connected, in the Celestial Kingdom of Eternal Life.” Herman R. Bangerter, January 15, 1940; N.B. Lundwall, Temples of the Most High (1944), Significance of Ancient, Geometric Symbols, pg. 239-242)
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