When I was young I believed I could dig for truth like a gold miner with a pickaxe in search of precious metal, down and down, layer by layer, advancing towards greater (higher) (deeper) truth, line upon line, shovelful by shovelful, until some day I hoped to hit pay dirt.
The motherlode of all truths.
Oh, then I would be wise ― and spiritually rich, too! It would be like having access to all of the Banker's money in Monopoly to build my big, fat hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk (my mansions above).
Okay, I guess I loved games. And why wouldn't God make it fun for His children ― like a scavenger hunt, where God hides his truths in hard-to-find places, making us work for it like a treasure seeker, sprinkling codes and clues throughout the scriptures and his creation?
I believed if I was just smart enough, or good enough, and if I had the right tools, then I could discover the secret burial place where He has stashed His mysteries.
Where were all the spiritual archeologists uncovering the tombs of Pharaoh, unearthing the hidden secrets beneath the pyramids, deciphering the mysteries from ancient parchment?
Where were these "mysteries" I was supposed to be learning (and no, I wasn't learning them in Church)?
Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich.
I am not alone. Many of you, I know, have spent years sacrificing, fasting, praying, weeping, and bleeding in this pursuit of truth, going through spiritual jungles in search of the precious mysteries of God ― scouring the landscape of the Spirit for Shangri-La, the Fountain of Youth, and the city of El Dorado.
Like you, I brandished my machete as if it were the sword of the spirit, enduring malaria and dodging tsetse flies in search of greater light and knowledge; I paddled down piranha-infested waters; thrice I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness . . . .
(Okay, that last bit was the apostle Paul, not me.)
But have you imagined our quest for truth to be like that?
Well, forget all that.
Buy Now, Pay Later
Now let's get something clear. The X-Files was wrong.
The truth is not "out there."
The truth is "here" ― and always was.
All truth is present with us, and before us, even now.
Let me repeat this because it is one of the most valuable lessons I've learned in my scavenger hunting days:
All truth is present with us, and before us, NOW.
We are awash in truth, in all truth (!), even in the light and Spirit of Truth (!!).
Think of truth as infrared light.
Infrared waves surround us, wash over us, and yet we do not sense them.
We are birds who do not feel the air giving us lift; we are literally immersed in God's light as birds floating upon the wind who cannot perceive the mechanism keeping them afloat.
Infrared light exists, is present in and before us, and yet is a reality we are unable to see with our natural eyes.
Sometimes, though, when there's enough infrared light, humans can feel it as heat.
NASA tells us:
“Infrared waves have longer wavelengths than visible light and can pass through dense regions of gas and dust in space with less scattering and absorption.
"Thus, infrared energy can also reveal objects in the universe that cannot be seen in visible light using optical telescopes.”
King Benjamin described some sort of spiritual . . . thing . . . that quickens us:
[God] is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, [what does it mean to "lend?"] that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another.
(Mosiah 2:21) What is this thing that gives us life and agency to act?
Every part of our bodies is created with, and is composed of, elements from this planet (earth, or one of Christ's dominions which is ruled over by Satan at the moment).
This . . . thing . . . that quickens our bodies (and minds) is called the Light of Christ in scriptures.
(I don't know if physicists have located it yet with their scientific instruments.)
The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
Here's the tricky part: we are created from, and are filled with, this Light but we do not sense it!
That's right. We are looking straight into the eyes of God and do not see Him staring back.
The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.
I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.
Jesus told us we do not comprehend Him.
(How can that be? How can we be oblivious to the greatest Light of all?)
Nevertheless, his light, his word, his spirit . . . and his truth . . . are everywhere and surround us, everyone of us, right now.
So what prevents us from discerning this Light?
Plain as Puddin' Pie
The weird thing is our eternal hopes hinge on our ability to "receive" this Light.
Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning [i.e., the light of truth] is plainlymanifest unto them, [is it obscured or hidden?] and they receive not the light.
Notice that the light is being broadcast around the clock. Notice that it has been around since we were born.
Notice that our job is to "receive" the light.
Well, Houston, we have a problem.
Just as easy as we can grow in this light, it is also possible for the light to seep out of us until it is barely a flicker (although it never goes out, ever).
So if I were Satan (not that I am campaigning for the job), the greatest blow I could give to the "agency of man" (which, remember, is what Satan tried to destroy in the beginning), is to TAKE. AWAY. LIGHT.
How does Satan take away the light of truth in us?
And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through (1) disobedience, from the children of men, and (2) because of the tradition of their fathers.
In the next post, we'll explore this interesting concept of "disobedience" and the "traditions of the fathers."