Rick asked an important question in his Un-Blog comment. His question is a little out of sequence with our present line of discussion, but it is an important bridge to be able to cross. Fully understanding this answer would require that you have understood most of what we have Un-Blogged for the last year. If this does not yet make full sense, hang on and we will Un-Blog these things again as we go forward.
Rick asked about D&C 88:64-65 where the Lord clearly promises that “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given you; that is expedient for you; And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.”
As we progress in our spiritual journey, we are taken from line to line, and from precept to precept. We learn greater things, have greater spiritual gifts, make greater spiritual covenants directly with God, and we obtain greater gifts – one of these gifts is the ability to pray and receive whatever we ask.
The previous verse, 63 defines who is actually qualified to make these powerful requests that God will always honor. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
From this we may understand that this type of mighty prayer, where we receive all that we ask, comes to those who have diligently sought Christ and found Him, even as the Temple promises that we may approach the veil and there “knock” and have Christ open the veil and invite us in.
The same promise and the governing law to this gift are again repeated in D&C 50:27-28 where we read: “He that is ordained of God and sent forth,” (which is an ordination by God, by His own hands, while in his presence, as we saw in 88:63) “the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son.”
These “ordained by God” are the greatest because they have been in the presence of Christ, and have been given the same gifts as John and the Nephite Three received while they were in His presence. They are the servants of all, as is John, Enoch and others. They are possessors of all things because their priesthood power is the “fullness” that man may receive as a mortal. They have power of life and death (even their own death, because they have been translated) but these great gifts and priesthoods only operate “by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son.”
Now comes the answer to Rick’s question in 88:29. “And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin (which is of course the requirement to be allowed into the presence of Christ after we have “sought him diligently”) “Ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. But know this, it shall be given you what to ask.”
In other words, having the power isn’t permission to use it, until you have been “given what to ask.”
Thus, in order to pray and receive everything you request you must walk this path:
- Draw near unto Christ
- Seek Christ diligently (His appearance to you)
- Become purified and cleansed from all sin
- Knock and enter into His presence
- Be ordained “of” God
- Receive the fullness of the priesthood
- Obtain power over life and death (which may also include translation)
- Christ will lead you to ask for many things (the “true order of prayer” if you will)
- You ask and receive those things Christ directs you to request, and thus all things are subject unto you.
- If you ask for something other than what Christ leads you to ask for, then this thing is not “expedient” and it will turn to your condemned for asking.
Here is the bottom line – it is that this “expedient” clause in the divine contract only kicks in after we have received full power to ask and receive. To then use this fullness of power without Christ’s permission will condemn us – which means to stop our progress.
This is what happened when Moses struck the rock and took credit for bringing forth the water in the desert. He had the power and the permission to do it, but he took credit, and this displeased God. Moses’ “condemnation” was that he was not allowed to step foot into the promised land. Remember that Moses was by then a translated being, and his exaltation and glory were absolutely assured, and could not be lost. But, in a moment of anger and weakness, he did something that was not “expedient”.
The glorious news, the almost incomprehensible wonder of this principle is that we CAN obtain this gift, this glory and this power while we live here in mortality. This is the mystery of Godliness that is hidden from the world and revealed unto babes.
© September 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.