Please forgive me that it has been almost a week since my last Un-blog. This has been a chemo week. Everything they say about chemo is true. I also find that having a sick body makes spiritual attunement that much more difficult.
I have been pondering why so many of the faithful of days past and of today who have attained a seemingly more blessed spiritual stature seem to struggle with criticizing the church or the brethren.
Here is the problem as I view it. Anyone, I believe, who studies the gospel, who fasts and prays, who truly studies and cross references the scriptures and inspired writings of the latter-day prophets, who searches and seeks and asks, will come to view the doctrine of Christ in a particular way – a perspective illuminated by a brighter light than most achieve through casual investigation. These are the greater things of the Gospel. The scriptures invite us to seek and obtain them, and promise us joy and eternal life for our efforts. The problem is that once a seeker obtains this brightly-lit view, they might look back upon the pathway they just walked, and feel inclined to say of others still on that path, “What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see there’s more? Are your eyes closed like new-born puppies? Awaken from your sleep and lay hold upon these great and glorious things! What is wrong with the church that these things aren’t openly taught in Sacrament meeting and General Conference? Why did I have to acquire them through such a hard journey?”
The ever-present danger lies in the fact that nobody but the prophet has a voice authorized to say such things. Such words are in their very tone apostate-leaning.
The Gospel system is designed by God to allow every plateau of growth to bring joy and peace, to lift and to instruct in the nearby presence of “greater things”. No mortal has the right to say, from a more blessed footing, that those upon the growing pathways are amiss or unguided, or failing in some way by being there. These are upward paths, and steeply heavenward climbs all.
Here is the great danger that has taken away salvation so many times, it is that when we think we have obtained some greater light, that we feel obligated to use it to show shadows where there are none. When we receive some greater truth or principle by revelation, we are almost always prohibited from attempting to dispense that truth or principle or doctrine to others. (Alma 12:9) That truth remains preciously and privately ours.
It can be a hard road to walk, to remain verbally circumspect about things you think you know, but it is not optional. Unless we have a specific mandate from the Holy Spirit to speak in special settings, or in private places, then we must remain silent.
The greatest reason for this mandated silence is that it harms, it siphons virtue away from those who don’t understand, and it attacks and damages. It can also militate against the growing testimonies of others. More than all of these things, it is wrong, and the Holy Spirit will not abide with us when we walk in the pride “revealing” things that don’t belong to us.
There is a joyful reason that it isn’t even necessary for mortals to speak of these things. The pathway of revelation comes from directly over our heads – there are no mortals involved. We need not interpose ourselves in the process of our fellow Saints unless when acting upon a prompting from the Spirit of God. This process will work better for them, if we are not acting out of fear, concern or even out of a desire to bless. They will find the path as quickly as they need to, and as quickly as their personal discipleship allows. Anything else will just slow them down.
After all it is the Christ’s work and His glory, not our own.