I used to worry about things like, are we, as the Gentiles, rejecting the “fullness of the gospel” (3 Nephi 16:10)? Is the latter-day church moving forward fast enough? Will we ever get around to building Zion? These questions burned in my mind.
Then, something marvelous happened in my heart and mind. I was reading D&C 45, regarding the condemnation under which all of us dwell for taking lightly the things we have received, when the Holy Spirit warmed my soul, and simply said, “You can lift this condemnation from your own head and from your family.”
It had never occurred to me that there was anything I could personally do about a sweeping general condemnation. I felt trapped in the tide of the general lack of saintliness of the church as a whole. In that moment I realized that the church is only millions of individuals, and that any overarching condemnation is due to what those million individuals are doing. That being said, I – all by myself – had the ability to step out from under that behavior and enjoy the full light of every blessing the scriptures are promising. Even though God treats us as a group, he judges us as individuals. I am not culpable for what everyone else is doing, unless I’m doing the same things.
From that moment I quit worrying. I began to seek and to obtain the light and blessing I had seen with an eye of faith. It was only a small leap of logic to realize that if I was stepping out of the condemnation, so were many others – perhaps millions of others. I also realized that whatever was generally occurring – I had to do something different – more – better – with greater insight. I had to do this by choice, by personal worthiness, and by my personal quest. I found this to not only be true, but to be relatively straight forward and very available. I wouldn’t say “easy” because it is not, but it is a straight path that was meant to be walked by the weak but obedient souls among us. It isn’t a tightrope only the spiritually skillful can navigate.
I also realized that if I could overcome those things which instigated the condemnation in the first place, that I could perhaps influence others to do the same – if the Lord accorded. I could be a small light that was no longer under a bushel. I never even guessed that it would lead to writing books, giving seminars and doing this Un-Blog. I didn’t see that coming. It’s probably a good thing it was hidden from me until it occurred, because it has done violence to my comfort zone.
The danger of 3 Nephi 16:15 is that “if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice,” then God will take away the “fullness of my gospel from among them.”
Therefore, by choosing for myself to come unto Christ, and hearken to His voice, I have insulated myself from these destructive events, lifted the condemnation upon my own head, kept the fullness of all gospel blessings within my reach, and stepped into the sunlight of the latter-day glory that will become Zion.
© April 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.