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Sunday, September 29, 2013

07. Spiritually Creating a Future Event with the Eye of Faith

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the seventh examining the phrase "calleth on my name".

It is, in my opinion, one of the least-discussed, yet most profound and beautiful doctrines to be restored in the latter-days:

Spiritual Creation.

In a previous post, Elder Bednar explained how you can spiritually create your day prior to actually executing it.

This is just a tiny example, just a taste, of what you are capable of spiritually  For I believe that you can spiritually create events in your future that will figuratively, then literally, bring you to the feet of the Master.

Spiritual Creation = Eye of Faith

"Alma 32 tells us about the spiritual creation, the temporal creation, and the eye of faith, meaning that you create in your mind first of all...the spiritual creation of that which you desire, and you concentrate your mind on it until it comes into reality in the real world.

Every idea, the exercising of faith, anything that has any value that I know of, is created first of all spiritually in the mind of man and then later, because of his exceeding great faith, he brings it about temporally -- he literally causes it to happen." (Elder Gene R. Cook, "Qualifications For The Work", Talk Given At The Missionary Training Center, June 7, 1983)
Alma encouraged you to look forward with an eye of faith (Alma 32:40-41).  In fact, he challenged you to:
"imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth" (Alma 5:15-16).
Elder Robert B. Harbertson of the First Quorum of the Seventy elaborated:
"What is this eye of faith?  What does it mean?  Can you actually see the things that can come to pass?  I believe that you can.  You must be willing, though, to spend enough time to think about what you want to do, what you want to be, how you will react and what you will say under given circumstances.  When you work on it hard enough and have it firmly planted in your mind with the eye of faith, you will actually see it happen.  You will make the right decisions, you will do the right things, and you will accomplish the goals you set for yourself, if you are willing to put forth the effort and have the faith." ("The Eye of Faith", Liahona, 1989).

Exercising the Eye of Faith

Look at the verses above (some may see the phrases in red font).  It is clear to me that Spiritual Creation = exercising your Eye of Faith = Visualizing = Imagining (or, SC = EoF = V = I).
"When you visualize, you’re exercising faithVisualizing is a powerful mental process, one of man’s unique endowments.  Most of us neglect this power." (Stephen R. Covey, "Likening the Scriptures Unto Ourselves", Ensign, Sept. 1974).
Unfortunately, most of us horribly neglect this creative power within us.  We live too much out of our memories, too little out of our imaginations.

I believe this does not need to be the case for you.

Let's be honest here: Nobody needs to teach you how to imagine an event. Whether you realize it or not, the power of imagination is not something you have to acquire; you have it already!  You think in images (even if you aren’t aware that you do), and you use imagination every single day of your life.

When you think about the future, you are imagining. When you worry about something, you are visualizing (albeit in a negative way).  Conversely, when you are excited about something, you are using your power of imagination (positively).
“There is a point where your spirituality has to go way beyond your intellect, and you can only access that way of thinking through wisdom, revelation, encounter and imagination with God.  The reason God gave you an imagination and the reason that He speaks to people in dreams and visions is because those things are not based in any kind of logic or rationale, but they open you up to a realm of thinking that logic is incapable of getting to.” (Graham Cooke)
It's no wonder that Elder Neal A. Maxwell said that those who see through the eye of faith "still see divine pattern and purpose" ("Brightness of Hope", October 1994 General Conference) and "gain a broader view and an eternal perspective" ("Turning to the Savior in Adversity", Ensign, 1999).

Friday, September 20, 2013

06. Shattering the Barriers to the Veil

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the sixth examining the phrase "calleth on my name".

As I've mentioned previously, most (if not all) of us live far beneath our privileges when it comes to enjoying the fruits of the gospel.  We often fail to catch the vision, to realize our full potential, of what we really can accomplish. 

We discount the very real possibility that D&C 93:1 actually applies to us...right this life.

Satan, who is ever-mindful of those who seek such profound blessings, expertly convinces almost everybody that enjoying such blessings is out of our reach.

How?  Here are a few possibilities:

  • You're not a G.A.:  Do you think that only prophets and apostles, general authorities and temple presidents, can pierce the veil and view not only the things of God, but also God himself?  You know this simply is not true.  The facts speak otherwise.
  • You simply don't believe ordinary little you can see the Lord in this life (aka "Choosing to stay behind the Veil of Unbelief"):  If the hyperlink two lines above didn't convince you, understand that those who choose to remain behind the "Veil of Unbelief" deny themselves some truly fantastic blessings:
"Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God" (Alma 19:6)
  • "I'm not worthy!  I'm not worthy!": True. You aren't.  All those who ever have and ever will interact with the Lord at the veil have been and are unworthy of such a blessing.  Ironically, it's this state of being broken-hearted and having a consciousness of ones own guilt that catalyzes the profoundest blessings:
"And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not." (3 Nephi 9:20)

"yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel...: (Ether 4:15)

"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15)

"For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite..." (D&C 136:33)


“All things are possible to him that believeth”

That's what the Savior told a distraught father whose son had a disturbed spirit.

2,000 years later, that's what he's saying -- and I'm testifying -- to you today.

If you believe any of the three bullet points I listed above, stop.  Throw off the shackles that bind you to the Veil of Unbelief.

Believe that the Lord -- who is no respecter of persons -- not only speaks to us today, but also appears to imperfect, sinful, non-General Authorities.  The Lord doesn't base his appearances on ecclesiastic titles or who's the "most perfect" among us.

You may be asking, "OK, fine.  But how can this be catalyzed?"

By rending the veil of unbelief...

...which, believe it or not, just happens to be the subject of my next post.