August 28, 2007

Showing You Things To Come

Heber C. Kimball September 19, 1852 A few years after Lorenzo Snow had been baptized and served a few missions, he found himself in a meeting at Nauvoo when an impression came to his mind. Truman Madsen explains:

At that moment something happened to him which in later life he called an impression; sometimes he spoke of it as a vision, sometimes as an overwhelming revelation. He came to glimpse the meaning of what had been said to him. And he formed it in a couplet which we hesitate, all of us, and I think wisely, to cite in discussion or conversation but which is a sacred, glorious insight. It's a couplet; he put it in faultless rhythm: 'As man now is God once was. As God now is man may become.' He says he saw a conduit, as it were, down through which, in fact, by our very nature, by our being begotten of our eternal parents, we descend and up through which we may ascend. It struck him with power that if a prince born to a king will one day inherit his throne, so a son of an eternal father will one day inherit the fullness of his father's kingdom (Truman G. Madsen, The Highest In Us, fireside address given 3 March, 1974).
He remembered the verses in the New Testament where Christ commands the disciples to be perfect, and where John says when Christ returns we shall "be like Him" (see Matthew 5:40 and 1 John 3:1-2). He kept the revelation to himself other than discussing it with his sister, Eliza, and Brigham Young. Joseph Smith stood before a congregation in April 1844 and taught the principle Lorenzo learned years before. And that must have been sweet to him. Heber C. Kimball described this phenomenon of learning by the Spirit even before we hear a doctrine fully explained:
…diligently seek after the Spirit of truth-seek after the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of revelation, and it will reveal past things to you and show you things to come. Many times you reflect upon things, but are not certain whether they are correct or not, and by and by they will be revealed from this stand, the very things you had in your mind for years, and that the Spirit of God had shown to you, but you did not know how to organize and classify them, and judge of their truth (Journal of Discourses 2:354).
These revelatory moments seem most likely to come when we take time to ponder the things of God. If we wish to receive greater things it is important to take time to just think about things. In those quiet moments we can be taught of the Holy Ghost; even things we had never before considered. The Lord would have us take the time to:
Be still, and Know that I am God (D&C 101:16).
While we are entitled to personal revelation, we should be sure to consider it in light of the scriptures and teachings of the prophets. This phenomenon has other precedents, as well. For example, Nephi was instructed not to write certain things (1 Nephi 14:25), Joseph wasn't to translate the portion of the plates Moroni had been commanded to seal which were written by the brother of Jared (Ether 4:4-7), Paul hints at doctrines he has not fully divulged (2 Corinthians 12:2). Brigham Young spoke of some difficulties Joseph Smith faced when people would try to reveal their own doctrines to the Church; that they knew more about the Church than he did:
Here let me give you one lesson that may be profitable to many. If the Lord Almighty should reveal to a High Priest, or to any other than the head, things that are, or that have been and will be, and show to him the destiny of this people twenty-five years from now, or a new doctrine that will in five, ten, or twenty years hence become the doctrine of this Church and kingdom, but which has not yet been revealed to this people, and reveal it to him by the same Spirit, the same messenger, the same voice, and the same power that gave revelations to Joseph when he was living, it would be a blessing to that High Priest, or individual; but he must rarely divulge it to a second person on the face of the earth, until God reveals it through the proper source to become the property of the people at large. Therefore when you hear Elders, High Priests, Seventies, or the Twelve, (though you cannot catch any of the Twelve there, but you may the High Priests, Seventies, and Elders) say that God does not reveal through the President of the Church that which they know, and tell wonderful things, you may generally set it down as a God's truth that the revelation they have had, is from the devil, and not from God. If they had received from the proper source, the same power that revealed to them would have shown them that they must keep the things revealed in their own bosoms, and they seldom would have a desire to disclose them to the second person. That is a general rule, but will it apply in every case, and to the people called the kingdom of God at all times? No, not in the strictest sense, but the Spirit which reveals will impart the proper discretion. All the people have not learned this lesson, they should have learned it long ago (Journal of Discourses 3:313).
Hidden treasures of knowledge are promised to faithful Saints, (see D&C 89:19), but revelations for the Church will come through the presiding High Priest, the Prophet, the President of the Church. (See D&C 43:1-7; also D&C 28:4-11)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The boy, like to his father grown
Has but attained unto his own;
To grow to sire from state of son,
Is not 'gainst Nature's course to run.

A son of God, like God to be,
Would not be robbing Deity.

LeRoi C. Snow

LifeOnaPlate said...

I thought Lorenzo wrote the entire poem; was it only the couplet, then?

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