A friend of mine and I were discussing the fracas on the (anti-) Heavenly Mother thread. She asked me how I would answer the dilemma I posed to Nate therein. I answered that the dilemma is not one for me because I teach repentance and faith in God, and this because my target audience is those who don’t have the gift of the Holy Ghost, either never having been baptized by fire, or having been so baptized but having let the light go out.
She asked me what I really want, and answered for me.
You want people to have the gift of and speak by the Holy Ghost. You want people to act on principles of righteousness, not pride or anger or shallow reasoning. You want to see the gifts of God manifested in all people. You want egoism to cease and peace to reign.
She said it better than I could at the time, preoccupied with the fracas as I was. That is the Zion I am seeking but keep not finding, neither in person nor online.
With Tim’s loving and graceful permission, I have endeavored to teach a few things here and there in the hope of shortening the learning curve of whoever will listen and respond, to bring to pass the preparation of the children of God for the establishment of Zion and the advent of Christ. I have always wanted – hoped – that people would go and search the scriptures and drink deeply of the words of Jesus Christ, specifically those things that he delivered by his own mouth to his disciples and to the people, and do exactly those things continually, laying aside the precepts and traditions of men. In doing the works of Christ, we learn what manner of being he is, and he makes us as he is. I must thank Sfort for giving me the final piece of the puzzle – the role of works in our salvation – which is just that. Yet even without understanding why we do those works we are commanded to perform, we are profited thereby, learning the principles of righteousness, and receiving revelations and commandments not a few as we pray continually.
“Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord?” Or, why do you do what the Lord said?
“I know not, save the Lord commanded me.”
But now I know. This thing is in similitude of the works of God, wherein he giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not. And he bestows his grace – his ability to give good gifts – upon them who delight to serve him and keep his commandments continually.
He who would be greatest shall be the servant of all.
I truly cannot improve upon the teachings of the Lord; I only wish I could persuade all men to abide in him and do his works continually. I wish I knew what I could say to get anyone to want to hear his words and do them, praying always for the fullness of his spirit.
There is deep meaning in this to me. I once was an unbeliever, possessed of the spirit of the devil, and led to do whatever wickedness my heart desired – yet I wanted peace and that desire for peace led me to stop doing the most egregious things. But peace was still never quite mine – until one day I was caught in a benevolent snare woven by God and perceived by the Spirit that the true path to happiness was in the teachings of Jesus, specifically the sermon on the mount / plain. And at that time, for the first time in my life, the light and love of God entered my heart, and I was told there was a God, and that he loved me. And from thence I was enfolded back into the Church, and struggled ineffectively against my many sins according to the teachings thereof for years.
I studied our religion as though it were brand new to me, particularly delighting in Nibley’s books – and the same light and love that entered into my heart with the voice of the Spirit telling me there was a God and that he loved me entered into my heart again as I marveled at the King Follett Discourse in The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and told me that Joseph was a true prophet.
Even so, I could not seem to get free from the sins that did so easily beset me, until finally I started trying to walk in the paths of the Lord as he taught and my temptations kind of just faded away. I cried unto the Lord for the Spirit continually, praying anytime I thought of praying, while observing to do those things the Lord said to do. And my prayers were eventually answered in a manner I would not have beforehand been able to comprehend or even imagine.
And that’s the key point – it is literally incomprehensible and unimaginable until it happens to you. I’ll give an analogy. When I was a teenager, I believed all love songs were lies. I believed they were taking the vague sentimental warmth I felt for my parents, let’s say, and blowing it up through poetic exaggeration beyond all recognition to make themselves seem to be better than me by claiming to experience things which I did not know about nor believe in and could not imagine. And thus it was until I felt love for the first time, and then I understood the songs.
So it was with this answer from heaven.
And that’s what I want for each of you if you haven’t yet discovered the way. That’s why I keep talking about the golden rule, and the teachings of the Savior. I had a blog once called “Cry Mightily,” the purpose of which was to convince men to, well, cry mightily unto God to receive the Holy Ghost, as taught throughout the Book of Mormon.
Once you see this teaching, you can’t miss it.
All I can do is invite you to come and see – do what I did, and see if you do not receive what I received from God, which cannot be described in words. Pray always for the Holy Ghost, and do the commandments of the Lord that he delivered in his own voice, focusing your mind solely on these things. Yield to no temptation, including fear.
For those in whom the light has gone out, the path back is the way you took to get there in the first place. Do you remember what it was to pray with all the energy of your soul? Do you remember what your works were in those days? Does the memory of those things not haunt you? Are you satisfied where you are? I have been in your shoes.
What more can be said?