In this Series we're talking about our individual spiritual compasses and the gift of discernment ― valuable subjects considering the times.
Some of the points so far:
1. Self-reclamation is about reasserting our autonomy and our self-authority from the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals filling most of our modern religious discourse. "Lo here! or, Lo there!" (Luke 17:21).
2. We can tune all of that noise out because we are only required to listen to Christ and his words. "Behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Ne. 32:3) (what percentage is "all?").
3. The words of Christ point us in "astraight course to the promised land" (Alma 37:44), like the compass Lehi used to guide his family through the wilderness.
4. So the burning question is, What is the word of Christ? How do we spot it? How can we tell when someone is speaking it?
a. The Word of Christ is "easy" (Matt. 11:30). The easiness of the way comes from being freed from a lesser law and all of the associated carnal commandments that cause spiritual migraines (which Paul refers to as "bondage").
b. The Word of Christ is "pleasing" (Jacob 3:2) in the sense that we only care about pleasing the Lord. Jesus said, "I do always those things that please him [the Father]" (John 8:29). By contrast, religion (if we're honest) is really about pleasing each other by enforcing a common moral code (i.e., adhering to the commandments of men). Pleasing our leaders is substituted for pleasing God.
c. The Word of Christ is "truth" (D&C 84:45). Christ calls himself the "Spirit of Truth," so that's where we want to stand: beside Him. Next to Truth.
5. We have a pretty poor compass if the needle is pointing to the Brethren or some other authority figure. I don't know why we view the Brethren like we're K-pop fans following our favorite band, plastering their glamour shots on the walls of our bedrooms and every bishop's office. Jesus is our Living Prophet! So let's make sure our needle is pointed to Christ.
6. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and I'll keep saying it until I am served with a restraining order signed by a judge: It doesn't matter who's speaking; it only matters whose words are being spoken. Are they the words of Christ?
a. If yes, then we heed and hearken to the message, no matter whose lips are moving.
b.If no, then we may disregard the message, no matter whose lips are moving.
7. The Lord said, "My wordshall not pass away . . . whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:38). So servants of God are not known by their office or rank; they are known by whose words they speak.
8. The way we judge whether something is the word of Christ or not is by "the light of Christ" (Moroni 7:18). And guess what? We all have this light! We don't need special robes or a special title or a special calling. This is God's internal voice and gift to each of us. Mormon tells us to "search diligently in the light of Christ" (Moroni 7:19) where truth dwells.
9.Surprise, surprise: the Lord cares about our manner of worship (and it appears we're doing it wrong.) He said, "I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship" (D&C 93:19). The way we worship God is by growing brighter in His light. He said, "The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth"(John 4:23). Going to cathedrals and chapels on Sunday is NOT worshipping. Obeying the light of Christ is. This is the way we "glorify God," by magnifying His light in us.
10. "Truth" is not complicated. Truth simply is what is. Truth is things "as they really are and . . . as they really will be (Jacob 4:13). All truth is independent of us.
11. Knowledge is different from truth. Knowledge is NOT independent. We gain knowledge when truth is filtered through our experiences.
12. The glory of God, or "intelligence," or the light of truth (all the same thing) is (1) knowing (2) how to (3) create something that (4) does not yet exist (5) in the elemental sphere. Joseph Smith said, "In the element dwells all the glory." Intelligence is the means by which we instantiate into the elemental realm the knowledge held in the mind of God.
13. The power of intelligence creates new possibilities . . . new worlds . . . even new realities. This means that what is "true" in the future may differ from what is "true" now, if what is then is different from what is today. We're talking about faith. This is about bringing to pass what we have seen with our eye of faith.
14. Christ encompasses all realities (or truth), past, present and future.
15. While Christ is the "same" yesterday, today and forever, that does not mean He is static. Neither are his galaxies static. Yes, he is constant, but he is also constantly in motion (i.e., dynamic). His words, his works, and his wonders, never cease.
- What are these curtains we have hung over the windows of heaven to block out the light?
- What is getting in the way of us receiving the word of the Lord, or interfering with our ability to hear the voice of God broadcasting into our hearts?
- Why have we plastered over the mosaic of Christ's light with the newspaper clippings of pulpit preaching so that our spiritual countenances resemble a serial killer's ransom note?
Let's ask the Lord:
- Why has religion made a mess of your word?
- Why has your gospel been buried six-feet under the heap of the commandments of men?
- Why do you allow priestcraft to flourish and let us be led by blind guides?
- Why have the churches adopted creeds that are an "abomination" in your sight?
- How are we supposed to know you if our churches have turned you into something you're not?
- Where do we turn when those claiming your authority have proven unwise stewards of your trust?
- How do we know what is divine from what is man-made; which traditions are godly and which are not?
- Whose morality is pure in your eyes and whose morality is a byproduct of a polluted cultural background?