I apologize for the more doctrinal bent of this post. It is meant to document what is a highlight in my search for greater light and knowledge of the “Doctrine of Christ”. Following extended, earnest and intense prayer I had a revelatory experience and was taught what follows by the ministering of angels. In this recounting I do not intend to support the doctrine revealed with a cross reference of scripture other than what came directly to my mind during the experience.
It all started with someone I love saying, “IT” wasn’t a sin. “IT” is not described anywhere in the scripture and “IT” was never decried specifically by Jesus Christ so “IT” wasn’t a sin, or so they said.
Just what “IT” is doesn’t really matter because there are an infinite number of “IT”s possible (Mosiah 4:29). What matters is; does God care enough to let me or you know personally? The following is what I did to find out.
I was troubled in my heart by this statement of belief but, loving the individual so much, I refrained from engaging in debate to give myself time to ponder and pray about this principle that I might know assuredly for myself. I spent the week, on and off, searching scripture and pondering, mentally posing a prayerful question and thinking about and around every aspect of the question, paying specific attention to my feelings and my thoughts (D&C 8:2). By the next weekend I had considered many things but I wanted a sure knowledge for myself. That Friday night I decided I needed to take Nel for a walk in the hills west of our home with the intent of putting the question to the Lord in extended vocal prayer.
Saturday morning arrived, beautiful and sunny but with snow still on the foot hills and mountains. I loaded Nel into the passenger seat of the Safari mini-van and up the high north side of Parrish Canyon we went. From the time we were 200 yards from the van I was so engrossed in prayer and the thoughts and feelings of my heart that I remember very little of the details of the hike. However, I remember clearly the voice of the spirit and the encounter I had after I wrestled in prayer with my Heavenly Father.
The thought came unprovoked, clearly and quizzically to my mind. Roy, what is sin? I pondered for 10 to 20 seconds, surprised by the pointedness and clarity of the question. Then, as clearly as the question, came the words of the scripture in Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” I was mildly shaken, but also physically thrilled as the spirit confirmed this introductory response to my question.
I walked on, pondering this and asking for more. Again, the words came powerfully to this effect; “anything whether thought, word or act that causes mental, spiritual or physical pain to any one of my children or retards their learning of, or progress back to Me is a sin.” I continue to climb, pondering this revelation. As I pondered and negotiated my way around this thought I heard additional words; “There are diverse and innumerable sins, some more and some less sever depending on the intent of the heart and the depth of pain inflicted. ‘Any one of my children’ is inclusive of the individual who brings upon themselves their own damnation through the rationalization of their actions.”
I reviewed and repeated in my mind the things I had heard, making an effort to imbed them in my memory so that I could remember them. By now I had reached the Bonneville Shore Line or bench, high on the hillside. I stopped to catch my breath. “I have taught the greater intent of my plan and also expounded on the extent of the more serious sins but my children refuse to hear. The intent of the temple endowment, or rather the temple ‘ordinance’ is to teach the ‘greater light and knowledge’ that few actually come seeking.”
A flood of recognition came to me as I absorbed additional words of remembrance about the gospel plan and the temple. I have tried to assemble the ideas below to the best of my recollection. What was impressed on my mind is the pattern of steps that must be taken in order, one at a time, learned and perfected as best we can (following the plan of atonement that I have laid out in the previous post entitled “A Reminder of the Atonement and Forgiveness”).
The Way/The Plan of Happiness
- Brought to Christ (Missionary work, Primary, Families)
- Receive the Teachings and Ordinances* – An invitation and promise to receive a promised endowment: Holy Ghost, Ministering Angels, Second Comforter, All That God Has (Earthly Church Organization, Meeting Attendance)
- Desire, Believe/Hope, Seek, Exercise/Do (Alma 32) and Then Receive the Holy Ghost (We must actively seek His face)
- Tested, Tried, Proven to Magnify His Work and Glory; by faith, through the veil, unseen. (working to become one with God)
- Invited into His Presence and Receive the Second Comforter (The Church of the First Born)
- As One in His/Your Work & Glory (We are ‘One with God’)
- Baptism and the Sacrament – strengthen, fellowship, love – Receive the Holy Ghost
- Temple Ordinances – Learn, intend and strive to live accordingly in order to realize the actual endowments.
- Sacrifice – Our will to His (appetites, passions, desires, within His bounds not ours) BAPTISM
- Gospel – Light mindedness (trifling, frivolous, day dreaming, time wasting, vs. pray always, scripture study, attend meetings, seek greater light and knowledge), Loud laughter (raucous, boisterous, rowdy, crude, boisterous, harsh, unpleasant, irreverent), Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed (mean, hurtful, hateful, harmful, spiteful, vengeful, sarcastic, judgmental, unforgiving; toward leadership, the endowed, your neighbor), Taking of the Name of God in Vain (irreverent, rebellious, hypocritical, disobedient, hateful), Every Other Unholy and Impure Practice (the 10 commandments, the word of wisdom, modesty, respect for the body as the temple of God) SACRAMENT
- Chastity – Fornication/Adultery or anything like unto it (thoughts/desires – pornography, lust; speech – flirtation, crudeness, irreverence toward procreative organs and power; actions – masturbation, petting) TEMPLE ENDOWMENT
- Consecration – time, talents, resources, life (tithing, fast offerings, teaching, service, building kingdom of God, establishing Zion) SECOND COMFORTER/CALLING AND ELECTION
By this point in my hike I was returning from the highest Lake Bonneville water line. I was reveling in what I had been taught. I was filled with peace, joy, excitement in the surety of my new knowledge and emboldened by the experience and knowledge that God would speak to me through His ministering angels. I reviewed over in my mind all the principles. So much had come so quickly that for my mind it was hard to contain. I remembered, In order to receive the actual endowment of the promised blessings of the gospel and ordinances we must be willing and anxious to be obedient. God does not hand out blessings to the uninitiated and unproven but only after the trial of our faith. Otherwise, CHAOS would ensue and God would cease to be God. Only those who truly desire the blessings and seek them with pure intent, desiring to become one with God in doing His will and seeking His glory, will be granted the realization of the gifts or ‘endowments’.
I now have a greater understanding of ‘sin’. I know for myself. I believe that all of God’s children can also know for themselves. My greatest desire is that all of my family; ancestors, immediate family and posterity will come to Christ and gain this knowledge for themselves.
I know this is true and it brings me great peace and happiness.