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Sunday, April 27, 2014

02. Walking and Talking with God, Part 1

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the second examining the phrase "obeyeth my voice".

October 3, 2012 is a day that will be forever etched in my memory.  I was driving down the interstate to an appointment.  The radio was off, and I wasn't really thinking of anything in particular.

And then, out of the blue, I heard my name called -- not audibly, but in my head.

I ignored it.

My name rang in my head a second time, louder.

This time, I paid attention.  I verbally said, "What?"

The answer startled me:

"I'm so blessed to have you as my brother."

As tears streamed down my face, I was amazed that such a phrase could be said to, let alone contemplated about, a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.  I also realized that from that moment on, my life would never be the same.

My Testimony


There are some among us today who have seen the risen Savior in this lifetime.  Others have been comforted by Him -- a doctrine known as the "Second Comforter."  Others have entertained angels, seen visions and dreams, have been given great manifestations of the Spirit and given significant eternal promises.

Yet there is one form of heavenly interaction which is rarely, if ever, addressed.  Of this form of interaction I am personally acquainted with.  It rests upon a beautiful doctrine which has existed since man and woman first walked the earth.

And the most beautiful aspect of this doctrine is...

...it is a form of communication that you, too, can enjoy.

It is called "Walking and Talking with God".

They Walked and Talked With Him


The list of those who have walked and talked with God is impressive:

Adam: Through the scriptures, we understand that "Adam received instruction, walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another" (Conference Minutes., Times and Seasons, vol. 5 (January 1844-January 1, 1845), No. 15. Nauvoo, Illinois, Aug. 15, 1844.  Whole No. 99, p.613-614).  Man and woman were created to walk with God.  This is how we were originally meant to be!  Rebellion brought an end to the "walk", but God -- through Christ -- redeemed us back that we might again walk with Him.

Enoch: Enoch had continual personal communion with God (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ, p.598) and, thus, walked and talked with God (Gen 5:22) for 365 years (D&C 107:49). During this time, "no man laid hands on him; for fear came on all them that heard him" because "he walked with God" (JST Gen 6:41; Moses 6:39). Over time, "Enoch and all his people walked with God" (JST Gen 7:77) and were consequently received by God into his own bosom" (Gen 5:24; Moses 7:69).
"Ancient Jewish texts reveal that Enoch was a simple shoemaker. And, in his simplicity, humility, and honesty, he rose to great spiritual heights. The sages teach that as he went about his day fixing peoples’ shoes, he constantly contemplated God’s existence, gave praise for his ability to work and earn his sustenance, and prayed that he would perform his job as a shoemaker to the utmost of his potential so that his clients would not only have comfort, but would find healing and faith in their lives. It was Enoch’s simple faith and love of God that earned him the biblical title 'walks with God.'
It is central to Jewish belief that we should strive to find connection to God in the most mundane activity, and that through the simplest physical acts we perform daily, we should aim to elevate ourselves and those around us.  The scriptures beautifully teach us that when we work with integrity and respect for others, we elevate our workplace. When we are consciously aware that God is everywhere and knows everything, we become better spouses, parents, siblings, and friends. We start to take on godly attributes." (http://blog.ifcj.org/post/enoch-who-walked-god)
Noah: Joseph Smith explained that God talked with Noah "in a familiar and friendly manner" (HC, IV, p. 210, as quoted in Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom, p.495).  Thus, "with God, Noah had constant communion. He was not bold except in serving Him; he taught his sons the ways of the Lord. Therefore they as well as Noah himself walked with God" (George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price, p.231; also see Gen 6:9; JST Gen 8:16; Moses 8:27)


"Not me"


I imagine many believe, "Yeah, but those were ancient prophets, not me"

Wrong!

Brother Joseph said:
"There are certain characters that walked with God, saw him, conversed about heaven &c. God is not a respecter of persons, we all have the same privilege. Come to God weary him until he blesses you &c-we are entitled to the same blessings, Jesus, revelations, Just Men &-Angels &c. &c. not Laying again the doctrine of Christ go on unto perfection. Obtain that holy Spirit of promise-Then you can be sealed to Eternal Life." (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, p. 13-15; emphasis mine)
He also said:
"In this number will be found an extract from the prophecy of Enoch, which was received by revelation, soon after the organization of the church, and first published in the 'Evening and Morning Star.' As it is a relic, too precious to be lost, we extract it for the benefit of the readers of the Times and Seasons. It gives us a specimen of the power Enoch obtained with God, by faith, for we are told 'that by faith Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him.' We trust that it will prove a stimulus, to the saints, to action, when they read of the great blessings enjoyed by the ancients and consider that they were men of like passions with ourselves, subject to all the evils and temptations with which we are surrounded; and that the same God, who conferred upon them such great privileges, 'is the same yesterday to day and forever,' and is 'no respecter of persons,' consequently is just as willing to hear and answer the prayers, and bestow as great blessings upon his children now, as in days gone by: therefore, beloved brethren, let us gird up our loins and be faithful, knowing that the days draw near, and the time is at hand, when the just shall stand by faith." (The Prophecy of Enoch, Times and Seasons, vol. 2 (November 1840-October 1841), Vol. 2 No. 1 November 1, 1840, p.203 - 204; emphasis mine)
Additionally, Pres. David O. McKay said:
"I am wondering if in early times when men walked and talked with God, if they were not more responsive spiritually than they are today. Adam, Enoch, Moses, Peter, John the Beloved, Abraham, all had this gift of spiritual response. Christ had it in perfection. Joseph Smith possessed the gift-but there is a remnant of it in everyone's soul, and particularly everyone who holds the priesthood." ("Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay", p.344 - 345; emphasis mine)

"Word of God speak"


In this short post, I raise my voice to the earth and to the heavens, that I know that my Redeemer lives.  For I have heard His voice in my heart and in my mind, and He has spoken to me, as the prophets have described, "as one man talks and communes with another."

Truly, God is no respecter of persons (click here to read more).  He is, in fact, enthusiastic to speak to us and guide us.  Every day.

It is an incredible offer He makes to you, too.  To accept that offer is to enter into an adventure filled with joy and risk, transformation and breakthrough.  And more clarity than you ever thought possible.

So, I invite you to exercise just a particle of belief that Jesus Christ will speak to you, and you will hear Him, and that upon hearing His voice, you will forever be transformed.

In my next post, we'll discuss what these prophets did -- and you can do, too...

...to walk and talk with God.

10 comments:

  1. My friend, I SOOOO know that what you say is true. Perhaps, in my quest for a personal interview with the Savior, I downplay the experiences I HAVE had. I am haunted daily by Moroni's exhortations in Mormon chapter 9. I think you are both offering the same message - a drink of living water to a world experiencing a long spiritual drought. But this drought is not to be relieved except one heart at a time - by those who follow this advice, exercise the faith, and seek that personal relationship. In closing - when was the last time we asked the Lord how His day was going?

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  2. Beautiful, truthful, powerful post! I'm waiting for the promise of the 2nd comforter/ to have my personal interview with my Savior where I can have a physical embrace-meet him while in the flesh. In the mean time I hear his voice and I am forever changed each time. The best way to describe it is being melted to the core, being totally naked, or being full of so much joy that I feel that my weak mortal frame will explode. He is teaching me at night in my dreams. I hear his voice and do what he asks me to do. It is so wonderful to me to come to this blog and other ones where there are others like me striving for the promise and reality of D&C 93:1.

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  3. I just want to say how much I appreciate your thoughts and words here. I always feel the spirit of love and charity. And no contention. Which is a sign to me that your message is inspired. I have heard His voice speak very clearly to my mind, at a time when I was going through a very difficult trial -- different than promptings which I receive daily. I am on that journey to converse with Him face to face. I believe. More now than before. Even though in years past, I understood so much, and in fact have a worn torn copy of "Words of Joseph" -- I guess I had just kind of given up on that hope. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Love that info about Enoch. Ahhh... to have a pair of shoes made by Enoch!

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    1. Deila, never give up! (I know you won't!)

      I am intrigued by what the text might be you refer to as the "Words of Joseph"?

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  4. Such a great post. "It is central to Jewish belief that we should strive to find connection to God in the most mundane activity, and that through the simplest physical acts we perform daily, we should aim to elevate ourselves and those around us..."
    I loved this as I daily feel bogged down, even quite annoyed by the mundane necessary parts of life. What a reminder that I need to do them with respect and love and probably most importantly gratitude.
    I have two girls (with curly tangly hair) which require brushing and styling each day. It is almost always a fight and ends in tears. I recently had been reading and my youngest daughter who is most picky about her hair interrupted me to redo it for the third time that day. I hesitated as I wanted to blow her off and keep reading, but decided to pause and do as she asked. I began strangely calm (as it is always a source of contention) and with love brushing my youngest daughters hair. And then all of the sudden the strangest thing happened, I became overcome by the spirit--a warm overjoyed vibratory buzz filled my soul. And I understood that even these mundane things need to be done in the attitude of love and service---that Christ is indeed in all things;)
    And yes I would love a pair of shoes made by Enoch too!

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  5. Yes, yes. This principle is true. I know it and loved to see that you wrote about it. I encourage anyone in doubt to please try it. Try it multiple times.. Quiet down and hear with your heart and mind as you walk with God.

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  6. Thank you for this beautiful post, I read it to my husband and he was touched. He is a simple pool repairman and plumber. But he drops anything to help a widow with her pool pump because she is afraid it will catch on fire or Irish to someone house to fix their toilet. I told him today, how lucky he is to have found a way to serve others for a living. He agreed. I am too on this same journey to walk and talk with God. Love to see there are others on this sacred journey.

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  7. Yes, I know this well. Since the death of my husband I have more steadily learned to walk and talk with God. In the midst of our trials we are brought down to the depth where we cannot bring ourselves out. We come to know Him in a new way as he lifts us up from the pile of our ashes and says "trust me and I will guide you through this mess." You take his hand and cling for dear life, renewing that relationship daily if not hourly if not minute by minute. I have written a lot about that process of turning my will over to him and having complete trust in order to have that open spiritual communication. My blog is called not4naught.blogspot.com I share it hoping that it will help others on their journeys through trials and in their quest to know the savior more intimately.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your blog with me.

      I've always been inspired by those who have trudged through the abyss of hell and still kept their faith in the Lord. I'm glad you're sharing your faith and wisdom and experiences with us. It really touched me!

      Thanks,

      LDS Perfect Day

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  8. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/yielding-our-hearts-to-god?lang=eng

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