Awake and Arise
In the last post (There is More), which I hope you read, the discussion was built off of the title of the Book of Mormon. We only scratched the surface. There is a lot of treasure hidden in the simple space of that book. The value is not only contained within the printed characters we read on the page. There is major value, even hidden knowledge, contained within the white space that separates each line. If we were to treat that white space as the “sealed portion” which we currently do not possess, (Ether 4:6 , 3 Nephi 26:7-9) there would be a much greater chance of lifting the condemnation which rests upon the “whole church”. (D&C 84:55-57) We would read and study all we could of the printed portion. Then we would ponder in our hearts and minds, petitioning heaven to open our spiritual eyes so that what is sealed might be revealed.
This process of revealing is a characteristic of revelation. This process of seeing is a characteristic of seerership. Understanding prophecy is a characteristic of the prophets.
Recorded in Numbers chapter eleven, there is a brief account of two men. One is named Eldad and the other is Medad. You will not find their names mentioned anywhere within the scriptures aside from this chapter. As far as the record goes, they were fairly insignificant other than the fact that “the spirit rested upon them…and they prophesied in the camp”. (Numbers 11:26) A young man ran to tell Moses what was occurring, “Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp”. (Numbers 11:27) In the scriptures the sentence ends with a period. My guess is that if the same thing where to occur in our day, that sentence would end with an exclamation mark.
When this young man shared the message, Joshua, a servant of Moses said “My lord Moses, forbid them”. (Numbers 11:28) Again, ends with a period. Today that would be an exclamation mark.
Moses replied “enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers11:29) Notice this sentence ends with an exclamation mark.
Here is a prophet expressing a desire that the Lord would put his spirit upon all his people, that they might be prophets. Is this the desire of Moses? Is it the desire of God? Both? Either way, it seems, according to the perspective of this young man, as well as Joshua, that the accepted line of authority was breached.
In D&C 43:1-7, the Lord, speaking to the elders of his church, states that “there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken”. Referenced through out church manuals and material is this scripture block. It is referenced to support that only the prophet is authorized to receive revelations for the Church. At some point it would be a good use of time to put in the effort and study these verses. There are a few qualifiers often overlooked or understated.
That is a different discussion and a tangent to the real purpose of sharing the story of Moses proclaiming “would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets…”. (Numbers 11:29) The real reason to bring up that story is because in D&C 46 we find, among other things, a list of gifts. One of those gifts is prophesy. (v. 22)
All these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God. (v.26) And unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head… (v.29) We often assume that head to be the president of the Church. That maybe a correct assumption.
In section 46 of the Doctrine and Covenants, there is this admonition, perhaps even a commandment; “seek ye earnestly the best gifts”. (D&C 46:8) Prophesy is a pretty good gift, maybe even numbered among “the best”. It is not THE best, (D&C 6:13) but it is among them. Would that mean we should “earnestly” seek to be the president of the Church? I think that is probably an incorrect assumption. So, maybe we should not seek “earnestly” the gift of prophesy? I think that is an incorrect assumption as well. It is vitally important to have the spirit. In first Nephi, chapter 5 we read of a father who “saw all these things” and was “filled with the spirit” and then “began to prophesy concerning his seed”. (1 Nephi 5:17) This is referring to Lehi. Was Lehi a prophet? Was Jeremiah a prophet at the same time? Where there “many prophets” among the people at that time? (1 Nephi 1:4) Are there many prophets among us today?
“Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29)
The reason for introducing this principle of all the Lord’s people being prophets is because sometimes we limit our potential and the abundance of light and knowledge our God would gladly bestow upon us. We read of amazing blessings and experiences contained in the scriptures but we, in error, limit them to the prophets. We must understand and recognize that these individuals, at least a large majority, where not recognized by their people as prophets. They were not recognized as the High Priest. Nephi was not the High Priest, yet he prophesied and saw visions. Lehi was not the High Priest yet within the first two pages of the Book of Mormon we read that Lehi saw God. Today we call these men prophets. In their day they called themselves “wreched”. (2 Nephi 4:17) The Lord showed these men great goodness, yet Nephi exclaims “O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins…” (2 Nephi 4:17-19)
Do not idolize these men. We can consider them close to the ideal, but do not idolize them. Do not place them so high upon a mantel that you feel you are not able to receive the same “great goodness”. The Lord is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34, D&C 1:35, 38:16)
AWAKE AND ARISE!
“Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.” (2 Nephi 1:23)
SHAKE OFF THE CHAINS!!!
“And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” (Alma 12:11)
Do not fall into captivity. Do not remain satisfied with the lesser portion. Do not neglect the mysteries. Do not hesitate to seek further light and knowledge! Every blessing and truth contained in the Book of Mormon is available to you. Knowledge is only withheld because we ask not. We seek not. We knock not.
We think we must simply endure to the end. We don’t progress beyond the preparatory gospel.
What is the preparatory gospel?
“And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel…” (D&C 84:26-27)
You should want more. You should desire more.
How do we receive more?