I’ve been writing a lot for the last while and I keep running into red lights from the Lord. I begin to wonder what the purpose of knowing… things.. really is? Then the question quickly becomes what would be the purpose of telling people? What would the outcome be?
But I’m working backward a little bit there; let me go back to the beginning. The Lord said in the Doctrine and Covenants – to our earliest predecessors in the Church:
“Your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.”
This condemnation hasn’t been lifted – in fact – it has since been reiterated by our leadership that it is “continued.” It means that generation after generation has passed with our people living under this condemnation. In short, most of us throughout our history have been brought up in the faith not knowing any different. Minimally, the preaching, passion, and patterns of those who have gone before us haven’t brought us out of the condemnation. In more speculative words, the faith of our fathers is probably not the faith that will prepare our people to receive the Savior at His coming.
My life has been a testament to our failures and our wandering. Can we be without error and under condemnation? Can we be under condemnation while receiving the grace that Jesus Christ intended? Do the condemned inherit eternal life?
The answer is simply “No.” The experience the Lord desires for us is more of an exception to the rule than the rule among us. So my question is then this: “Who do we really believe we are?” This condemnation should bring us low, to a place of reevaluation, a place of humility, and a place of seeking the Lord above all else. It would be a place of repentance. It would be a place of willingness, a place of desire, a place of inspiration, and a place of unprecedented change for the whole of our people.
But we have vanity and unbelief instead – much of it by our own making. As long as we are perfectly led, have the most important truths given to us from fellow mortals, and cannot trust in the voice of God directly to us above all things, we will fail to believe the word of God. Our scripture witnesses to quite the opposite of these beliefs. If we place our faith in the true church at expense of the true God, we will continue to wander.
Despite our error and our relentless persistence in it – the way is prepared through the work of Jesus Christ and the abundant opportunities He has preserved. We have two books of scripture that contain the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we have any God “before Him” or if we fail to pick His voice out of the many, it won’t be because we as Latter-Day Saints lack opportunity. The way has been prepared and it is easy.
What is greater than the revelations and scripture God has given us as a people? The scriptures suggest a lot.
So what is a person to do? When hearts are too weakened by ignorance and pride to receive the rightful rebuke of the Lord and grossly apathetic to the things of God? I honestly don’t know, it’s a tough call that leaves me without words, but I know the Lord’s been doing it for decades now just with us.
I guess you give them what they want to receive. There’s no need to disturb a person’s peace to give them what they don’t desire and cannot understand. Who does it benefit? We’re all sent to minister and to bring people to eternal life through Jesus Christ, but it is an individual journey; the seeds of eternal life in every living person will bring forth fruit of the tree of life according to the nature of our souls – or not at all.
So I testify: there is infinitely more available to us as children of God. The reality of your whole world totally shifts and takes on completely new and deeper meanings. The beauties of life become more potent while pains and frustrations fade into the background of mortality. Confusion and uncertainty are replaced with infinite purpose and the God of heavens and earth becomes a companion – and it’s just a beginning.
If what I’m testifying of seems foreign, unrealistic, unprobable, or even impossible – awesome! I’m glad, because it’s true.