"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
March 17, 2008

The Desires of our Heart

…how can a few brief years spent here, born to trouble as we are, have a significant impact on [our] eternal existence?…This life, Lehi tells us, is only a probation, only a test (1 Nephi 10:21; 2 Nephi 2:21; Alma 34:32).  A test, to be searching and definitive, need last only a few seconds…The test for this life is not for knowledge; it is not for intelligence, or for courage, or for anything like that…As Alma said, we are only to be tested on one thing — the desires of our heart (Alma 43:3); that is what we are really after. (Hugh Nibley, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 9, Ch. 10, p. 300)

December 9, 2007

It’s killing me

Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry out–as a man may read what Plato or Marx said and tried to carry it out.  They mean something much more than that. They mean that a real person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you.  It is not a question of a good man who died 2000 years ago.  It is a living man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old and natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has.  At first, only for moments.  Then for longer periods.  Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in his power, joy, knowledge and eternity.  (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, page 165)

September 12, 2007

Meaningful Experience

What did Adam and Eve know after they returned to God’s presence that they hadn’t known when they were originally with him in the Garden?  What can we know after our own return to God that we didn’t know in our premortal life? The scriptures explain that God expected and desired that Adam and Eve’s children would have the same kind of mortal experiences as their first parents had, which suggests that the redemption of Adam and Eve was not just a convenient way to erase the effect of an unfortunate error.  Rather, it was an intentional element in a course of instruction designed by God himself for their preparation, if they freely chose to accept it.  Without that course of instruction, they would not have developed the capacity to live a meaningful celestial life.  So it is with our experience as their children: Mortality is not mere estrangement from God — it is the crucible through which the possibility of truly meaningful life becomes real.  (Bruce C. Hafen, The Broken Heart, pg. 39)

May 11, 2006

Eggs

[Jesus] “never talked vague, idealistic gas. When he said, “Be perfect,” He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is harder — in fact, it is impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Step by Step

“Implicit and explicit in the concept of a gospel taught by degrees instead of all at once (”line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30)) is the idea that the most important, the highest, and the holiest teachings come last.

“This is the exact opposite of the reasoning of the Christian world today, that the most important teachings must have come first, so that everything essential is known while anything that may have escaped is not really vital.

“Few would dispute that the higher and holier a teaching is, the fewer are qualified to hear it: One need only recall the Lord’s practice of discussing “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” only with his disciples behind closed doors and of selecting only a few chosen apostles to share in the still greater mysteries such as the transfiguration.
“All Christians, indeed, agree that the most glorious manifestations are reserved for the end. But the importance of a teaching is not measured by its depth and wonder but by the particular need of the person receiving it. God does give people at all times what are for them the most important teachings that could possibly be given.” — Hugh Nibley, ” . . . But unto Them It Is Not Given,” CWHN 7:107-8

March 30, 2006

The Relentless Plan

“… this grand plan and design for our happiness is not something that exists merely to strike awe in us or to evoke gasps of gladness.  It does not exist apart from us, but involves us — painfully at times and happily at other times, but relentlessy always.”  — Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith, p. 3

March 29, 2006

Hasten the Work?

“Then do not be too anxious for the Lord to hasten his work. Let our anxiety be centered upon this one thing, the sanctification of our hearts, the purifying of our own affections, the preparing of ourselves for the approach of events that are hastening upon us. This should be our concern, this should be our study, this should be our daily prayer, and not be in a hurry to see the overthrow of the wicked.” — Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, 9:3

One more day to repent and prepare.

March 7, 2006

Abraham Becoming like God

“Who was Abraham trying to become like? God. The ultimate end of the covenant is to become perfect, like God. The Hebrew word for that is THUMMIM. That means ‘perfection’ in the whole and complete sense and not the LDS cultural sense, where you bake all your bread, paint your house, have all your kids clean and dressed and studying the scriptures every morning at 5:30. It is the perfection of God in uprightness and dependability, and integrity. The name of the Urim and Thummim is ‘lights’ and ‘perfections.’”

“What color are they? White. White stones shining in a dark place teaching uprightness and perfection. They are a type of Christ, to reveal the name of God. They teach you to become like him. So how did the Book of Mormon get to us? Through the Urim and Thummim, a light in darkness. Recall also that the Book of Mormon came through the veil. Where did Joseph sit, and where was Oliver? Joseph was on one side of the veil, and Oliver on the other. It came by Urim and Thummim, through the veil! It ended up on this side of the veil, with Oliver writing it. It is typological, isn’t it? Right now, the Lord is hidden, and cannot be seen. But at the Second Coming, the veil is lifted and all will see. So the Urim and Thummim are on one side, because they represent Him, and the word coming through the veil to Oliver, and we get the Book of Mormon. All this is done through the wisdom of God who does all things from the beginning to typify Christ. It may seem a strange thing to have a translation that way, but the whole thing is strange, from beginning to end. That is scriptural.”– Robert J. Norman