But as it is written:
“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,”
this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Among human beings, who knows what pertains to a person except the spirit of the person that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.
For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
When I first saw the pictures of Joseph Smith’s primary seer stone my first thought was, “Oh, cool, I’m glad they released some pictures. I knew it was a small, chocolate-colored stone but I didn’t realize it had stripes.” and that was that.
I see conversations around the web indicating that some members of the Church are upset about the seer stone and the part it played in our history. Some were unaware of its existence, but I remember learning about it as a teenager. I didn’t know that much about the process of the translation and how the seer stone and Interpreters fit into the picture, but I did when I cared enough to research it on my own.
Skeptics find humor in the seer stone looking like just a plain old rock and are no doubt enjoying the opportunity to further paint Joseph Smith as an occultic scheister.
Instead of trying to address all of the legitimate concerns and questions, I want to write about my own perspective and the much larger themes at play.
Read Full Post
CLIMB, verb intransitive
1. To creep up by little and little, or step by step; to mount or ascend, by means of the hands and feet; to rise on any fixed object, by seizing it with the hands and lifting the body, and by thrusting with the feet; as, to climb a tree or a precipice.
2. To mount or ascend with labor and difficulty.
3. To rise or ascend with a slow motion.
CLIMB, verb transitive
1. To ascend by means of the hands and feet, implying labor, difficulty and slow progress; as, to climb a wall, or a steep mountain.
2. To mount or ascend, with labor or a slow motion; as, to climb the ascents of fame.
I’ve always loved dictionaries. I remember back in school when I used to finish my work, I loved to just read and explore the dictionary. Before the Internet, encyclopedias were my Google, I loved learning about every sing topic.
I still remember being a teenager and sitting down to read the entire Bible Dictionary front to back. In a matter of days, I felt like my knowledge concerning theology had doubled. I still love dictionaries and the powerful, sometimes transcendent ideas conveyed by simple words.
“I had the same good feeling while reading scriptures and while watching a fictional movie, how is that possible?”
I have heard this question or something like it asked time and time again. I’ve heard this example used to illustrate how ’emotions should not be trusted,’ which, I actually agree with. This question makes a valid observation if you are working under some kind of assumption that the Holy Spirit only confirms specific spiritual things as ‘true’ and shouldn’t ever be showing up during something like a movie (only if it’s a church movie though, right?)
Without proper context, people can be led to conclusions that are incorrect because the foundational assumptions are problematic to begin with. I’m not blaming the person who has the question, I’m not sure we do a very good job at really teaching how the Spirit works and what the relationship is between the truth we have and the truth possessed by everyone else.
Emotions themselves are a tricky because they are simply reactions to things we are exposed to. If someone punches you, it hurts and you feel mad, if someone scares you, you feel terror for something that isn’t really terrifying once you realize it. If someone says sweet things to you, you feel good, even though they may really want to take advantage of you. Reading something inspiring, it can also make you feel good.
There’s nothing wrong with all that, but where we do go wrong is in makRead Full Post
“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11- 14, emphasis added)
What I find interesting are the following words:
- the word
- thy mouth
- thy heart
- do it
This calls to mind a portion of Lecture 7 verse 3:
“…We understand that when a man works by faith he works by mental exertion instead of physical force: it is by words instead of exerting his physical powers, with which every being works when he works by faith…”
The exercise of faith is a creative act, it is something we do. It is by words, not words of hypocrisy or self-aggrandizement, but words fueled by real intent that bring the powers of heaven into our lives.
Just thought I’d share an old quote I came across again from “Thomas” who was a commenter on a post at TempleStudy.com. I don’t know who this guy is but I like the way he thinks. He shared some very profound truths and here they are for you to enjoy as well.
“Mysticism is the study or practice of “mysteries”. Therefore mysticism can be defined by the means and methods and not by the resultant experience.
First, the experience isn’t mystical, it’s metaphysical. Second, mysticism derives from the same Greek root as mystery, and derives much of its meaning from that root. Mystic (of or pertaining to mysteries known by the initiated) with the suffix -ism (denoting action or practice). Experiences vary dramatically, anyway; what doesn’t vary nearly as much, however, is the means and methods.
Thus, you may be a mystic – not because you seek a transcendental experience, but because you practice mystical rites and ordinances: namely study, meditation, and prayer (among others). By this definition, all mystics practice more or less similar methods, though they may do so for very different reasons.”
For some additional pondering, I’ll throw in this quote from Joseph Smith:
“A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.” (Joseph Fielding Smith (editor), Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 137)
There are but a very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God. The great majority of mankind do not comprehend anything, either that which is past, or that which is to come, as it respects their relationship to God. They do not know, neither do they understand the nature of that relationship; and consequently they know but little above the brute beast, or more than to eat, drink and sleep. This is all man knows about God or His existence, unless it is given by the inspiration of the Almighty… Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us. (Joseph Smith’s King Follet Sermon)
A great resource to begin understanding the character of God are the Lectures on Faith, particularly the third lecture which specifically examines six points that define the character of God. Below is an excerpt from this lecture which details these six points:
- First, That he was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was, after it was created.
- Secondly, That he is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.
- Thirdly, That he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday to-day and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.
- Fourthly, That he is a God of truth and cannot lie.
- Fifthly, That he is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.
- Sixthly, That he is love.
It’s one thing to read about these things, it is another to know them by experience. In what ways has God provided us with the paths that lead us to this knowledge concerning his character?
The following are selected excerpts from my personal “small plates“. I am an advocate of recording personal revelatory insights and desire to share my experiences to encourage others.
- Fear lulls us into a false comfort. Real and rewarding comfort comes after we have been in a condition where we actually need to be comforted.
- If people are not occasionally offended by you, then you are withholding truth that may end up damning you instead of them.
- Trust in the ability of the Spirit to speak through your inadequate words.
- Forgiveness is more than just releasing someone from blame, it is then deeply loving them and having compassion on them. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness.
- The amount of personal liberty we enjoy is directly equivalent to the laws we know and the obedience we demonstrate toward them.Read Full Post
The following is simply a personal commentary on 1 Nephi 11 and how it relates to theophany.
These are my own observations and overlook many, many other important doctrines and principles contained in these verses. My object was to explore only a certain facet of what is here and the conclusions are my own. I’m publishing them here at oneClimbs because I feel that some things might be of use to others and fit the spirit of this site’s purpose: to simply share insights.
Nephi’s personal preparation
1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
Nephi’s preparation includes the following three things:
- Desire: a wish to possess some gratification or source of happiness which is supposed to be obtainable (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
- Belief: an assent of the mind to the truth of a declaration, proposition or alleged fact, on the ground of evidence, distinct from personal knowledge (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
- Pondering: to weight in the mind…to view with deliberation; to examine; (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Nephi is caught away by the Spirit because in this case, he is almost ready for Theophany.
Theophany: 1630s, from Late Latin theophania, from Greek theophaneia, from theos “god” + phainein “to show” (etymonline.com) a visible manifestation of a deity (merriam-webster.com).
Often, we just study as part of a schedule with no real desire other than to keep that schedule and feel good about checking it off a list as a task completed. Effective study should be driven by Read Full Post
The following talk is from an April 1971 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bruce R. McConkie. A commenter named “Thomas” at TempleStudy.com mentioned this article and I have reposted here for oneClimbs readers.
When I was a mission president in Australia, I once said to those of my missionaries in Tasmania: “Tomorrow we shall climb Mt. Wellington and hold our missionary meeting on the top. We shall there seek to commune with the Lord and partake of his Spirit.”
We made the climb, and while on top of the peak we visited a television broadcasting station. A bright young man explained to us in words I had never heard, and using principles I could not and do not understand, how the sounds and scenes of television were broadcast into the valley below.
That night, back in the city of Hobart, my two young sons and I sat before a television set that was tuned to the proper wave band, and we saw and heard and experienced what had been described to us in words.
Now I think this illustrates perfectly what is involved in the receipt of revelation and the seeing of visions. We can read about visions and revelations in the records of the past, we can study the inspired writings of people who had the fullness of the gospel in their day, but we cannot comprehend what is involved until we see and hear and experience for ourselves.
This Tabernacle is now full of words and music. Handel’s Messiah is being sung, and the world’s statesmen are propagandizing their people. But we do not hear any of it.
This Tabernacle is full of scenes from Vietnam and Washington. There is even a picture of men walking on the surface of the moon. But we are not seeing these things. The minute, however, in which we tune Read Full Post
Sometimes some of the greatest mysteries are right in front of our eyes every day. This morning I came across this YouTube Video called “The Mystery of Magenta” and was really interested in how this guy approached the subject of how the brain perceives color.
You’ll have to check it out and ponder the implications. I was blown away at how the color magenta is different from all the other colors and how it might be the answer to some things I have experienced. All I can say about it is that I think there is something to the color magenta and the veil; perhaps someone out there will know what I am talking about.
Occasionally I will hear the subject of “mysteries” brought up in a church class or in conversations with other church members like it is an off-limits subject; “Don’t go delving into those mysteries!” I often wonder if they know what mysteries are.
Then there are those not of the Latter-day Saint faith that are concerned about the so-called ‘secrecy’ aspect of Latter-day Saint temples.
In an attempt to shed some light on a subject that ironically is meant to shed light in and of itself, perhaps something can be gained by understanding and pondering the word “mystery”.
First off, although there are limits set to receive mysteries, they are not off-limits. The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi had “great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me” (1 Nephi 2:16 ). In another place he also stated clearly that:
For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (1 Nephi 10:19, emphasis added)
What does the word “mystery” mean to you? Here is a modern definition of the word pulled right off of Google:Read Full Post