Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Savoring the Word of the Lord This Morning, part 3

And as I came to this point, I saw with sharpness (plainness, clarity) that in all these things, there is no mention of any one doing any righteousness of their own. Even in Nephi’s psalm, he is asking the Lord to do the delivering, the redeeming, the saving, the rescuing. Nephi is not thinking in terms, even for a second, of saving himself–except in one way: in trusting in the Lord. That is the perfect use of the will. To give my whole soul as an offering unto Jesus Christ (Omni 1:26). My whole soul–body, spirit, mind, heart. This is the ultimate meaning of “the pure love of Christ,” – to give ourselves without reservation to Him, so that through His grace and power He can sanctify us and purify us by His living presence indwelling in us through the Holy Spirit. He, even Jesus Christ–in Spirit and in Truth–is the Holy Spirit’s greatest, highest and purest manifestation in us. This is what He, Christ meant, when He spoke of the Holy Ghost in John 14:16-17 and then immediately promised to come unto us Himself in verse 18, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

In and through the Holy Ghost, a being of spirit who can dwell in us, we have the indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, if we will just believe and receive His offer. And through Him, of course, we are made one with our Father in Heaven in at least a portion of that oneness that we will inherit a fullness of in the eternal future.

The only thing that can stop us from that outcome is our own choice, just as we are taught in D&C 88:32.

32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.

Well, it has been over two hours and over three pages since I began to record this morning’s prayer and communion with the Lord through the blessing of the scriptures and of capturing (opening my mind and heart to His Spirit and the thoughts, insights and wisdom He is so eager to share with any of us). I will end here, though it is an “artificial” end. Why? Because in truth, there is no end to His words (Moses 1:38) and His willingness to share with us all that we are willing and ready to receive from Him. (See Joseph Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 350; Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (Relief Society and Priesthood manual), p. 268-269.)

I share this morning’s sweetness and richness without fear–looking to Him and His glory, and none of my own, for without Him I am reduced to a state of 100% hopelessness and bondage, because you see, I am an addict or in other words, I am one of those thoroughly mortal people most familiar with the bondage of the Liar. Without frequent–as close to continuous as I will humble myself to seek it–conscious contact with God, I am instantly set upon by a legion of fears and other lying influences. As President Benson once put it, I cannot survive on a “lukewarm” connection to God. (See President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Great Commandment——Love the Lord,” Ensign, May 1988, 4.)

I have no hope but to seek the Holy Ghost with all my heart and through Him cling to Jesus Christ like a drowning person would cling to her rescuer.

I offer this living, in-this-hour testimony in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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