Thank you all for your answers and testimonies. If you haven’t read them, or the question that generated them, please read “Your Chance to Answer”. You did exactly what I hoped you would, and gave us to further know that each of us is not alone.
Speaking When Inspired
Every truth we can gain in mortality comes to each person individually through personal revelation. Your testimony of the Jesus Christ is unique to you. You didn’t acquire it from your parents or the missionaries. You acquired it via revelation to you personally. This means that other mortals can’t transfer an inspired understanding to another mortal. The best we can hope to do is speak the words the Holy Spirit gives us in any moment – and if the hearer is ready, they will hear by the Spirit and will thus gain their own knowledge directly from heaven.
When we speak of ourselves, or because we feel anxious or excited, but not necessarily inspired, those words have a very small chance of lifting another person toward their own inspired understanding, and can in fact prejudice the hearer against truths they must eventually acquire.
When we have a divine commission to teach, or are called as a missionary, or an authority in the church, then we must open our mouths to everyone within the boundaries the Lord has set. When we are the worker bees, we best teach when the Holy Spirit opens our mouths, and the rest of the time we teach by example alone.
The Mission of the Church
We oftentimes confuse the mission of the Church with the gospel of Christ. The church has a commission to build the churches and temples, perpetuate the priesthood, safeguard the priesthood and keys, and preach the gospel according to the heed and diligence we as a people give to it. This is the “lesser portion” of the word.
These things are being done as the Lord directs. Nothing is missing, and nothing needs to be “fixed”.
If truths were marbles, then the gospel of Christ is a marble bag which contains every possible marble, and the Latter-day church consists of a “lesser portion” of the total marbles in the bag. The gospel of Christ is administered by the Church, and every “greater portion” gift we obtain flows only through the ordinances the Lord has established within the Church.
The glory and beauty of the Lord’s church is that it administers the ordinances, arms us with the Holy Ghost, provides the higher ordinances, and prepares us in all things to continue on. From these beginning moments we are given everything necessary to seek and obtain the greater things. The scriptures allude to them often, but the church does not teach them because they are not within the portion of the word the Lord has commissioned to be publicly dispensed.
Having access to these greater things only makes the lesser things more important. One does not arrive at a mountain peak and then think less of the mountain they climbed to arrive there. It is the height and correctness and inspired power of the latter-day church which makes these mountain peaks exist in our day. These greater things are the “Mysteries of Godliness” the scriptures dangle before us. They are life changing, pure and glorious, and they are given to the individual as worthiness stipulates – but they are not given to be taught by those people to the church in general.
We should say nothing more than what our authorities are teaching. We must obey the same laws of what constitutes the “portion” granted unto the church. When we speak out we are disobeying law.
When we speak in private as moved upon by the Holy Spirit, we are obeying law, and acting as directed by the Lord, dispensing His Love.
The Love of God
One of your comments included the wonderful idea that God loves all of His children no matter their present state of spiritual evolution. This is verily true. This great love provides equal access to all of the same blessings and privileges of the WHOLE gospel process. We can trust and be patient with the standing and process of every single mortal because their process is being directed by Love as quickly as they are able. The only thing we can add most of the time, is our personal example of joy in Christ and in blessings unseen by most.
Even children walk their own path of personal inspiration. We as parents teach them first, best and loudest by our example. Consistent daily scripture study and family prayers provide a familiar and loving venue for teaching as the Holy Spirit gives us words. Inspired words will reach them when they are ready. Obtaining the ability to hear and speak under inspiration can only be the result of a lifetime of seeking and preparation in our own pilgrimage back into the presence of Christ.
© June 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.