Saturday, February 22, 2014

Finding God

We'll start with my favorite scripture on this topic:
12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly;now I have found thee; (Abraham 2)
Abraham was diligent in seeking God. Before this time, I would say Abraham had been well accustomed to hearing God's voice. He didn't stop there, though. It didn't count as finding God until, finally, he saw the Lord's face. It wasn't hearing His voice; it wasn't through a revelation by the Spirit; it was when he saw the face of the Lord that mattered. This is beautiful doctrine to me.
The scriptures testify of this doctrine various times. You just have to look for it and recognize it. President Lee stated that this is the Gospel in one verse:
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D&C 93)
But this is only for prophets and apostles. Right?
Orson Pratt states it so matter-of-fact:
And it is our privilege to so live that we may come into possession of all the promised blessings. Among the blessings promised by our Lord Jesus Christ, unto those who humble themselves, and seek unto Him, is that “You shall see my face, and know that I am.” This does not mean the Apostles only, but the promise is to every Latter-day Saint who will comply with the conditions, that such person “shall see my face, and know that I am.” These are some of the promises that have been made to the Latter-day Saints through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The same promise was made to ancient Israel, through Moses, the great lawgiver and Prophet who promised that they should all hear his voice, and see his face, if they would hearken to his counsels, and obey all His commandments. The promise was not to the Priesthood only, but every son and daughter of God had the same promise, because all are destined to come into the presence of God, and behold the glory of His countenance. If we would attain to these blessings, and enjoy the fullness of the promises made unto the people of God, we must cleanse ourselves from all unrighteousness, that we may endure His presence in the world of glory.
Even if you don't believe it, live as if He were here already:
11 Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them. (Jarom 1)
This is what the prophets have been teaching all along. From TPJS:
…This is why Adam blessed his posterity; he wanted to bring them into the presence of God. They looked for a city, etc., “whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10.) Moses sought to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God, through the power of the Priesthood, but he could not. In the first ages of the world they tried to establish the same thing; and there were Eliases raised up who tried to restore these very glories, but did not obtain them; but they prophesied of a day when this glory would be revealed.
It's not about creating a religion. It's about preparing a people: Zion. Isn't this what we're preparing for? This is the end result. How can we prepare for Zion, or how can we prepare to see Him now if we don't prepare now; to live as if He were already here?
It is all done by faith:
8 But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.
10 Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God. (Ether 12)
Doesn't it make sense that this is the way? If we would just hearken unto the Spirit perfectly, our doubts would quickly fade. It may sound impossible, but it's not. As we obey the Spirit, our faith burns brighter and brighter. We will know when it comes from God over time and experience. It would come to a point that no doubt would remain. In the process, the Spirit cleanses us as we obey. This is the faith of the Brother of Jared.
What more could I say?:
41 And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen. (Ether 12)
These things are real! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Obtain and seek the best gifts! The things of this world are useless, but only to be used in building God's kingdom on the earth! Hearken unto the Spirit! Seek His voice! Okay…calm down; but this is great stuff!
Eventually we'll get there if we're diligent:
13 Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected. (D&C 67)
I invite all to seek the Lord, in this life. I know it's possible. Perfect obedience to the Spirit is possible. Zion is possible. We are weak, but God will help us to overcome. He has helped me overcome many things, although I still lack much. Yet, I acknowledge the source of this power to overcome. Obedience is rigid at first, but if we are diligent it will become natural with His help:
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. (Psalm 27)

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