Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Words of Mormon 1:7

Words of Mormon 1:7
And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

A wise purpose. Interestingly it was a verse in James about lacking wisdom that prompted Joseph Smith to go pray and lead to the bringing to light of this record (James 1:5). The priceless moments I've been privileged to glimpse God's wisdom I've looked at my self and felt extremely foolish, shortsighted, and feel a sense of disappointment at the pride than I should never have had.

I've found God is not only eager to share truth and light with us but feels after us, yearns to communicate with us, and if we will accept it wants us to become sons and daughters of Him (Mosiah 27:25). Mormon acknowledges he doesn't know all things but he knows the Lord does. His humble acknowledgment reminds me of Moses who after had come into the Presence of the Lord says: "Man is nothing, which thing I had never before supposed" (Moses 1:10). When we rely too heavily on our intellect I think we may think we are smart and be every learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

"For thus it whispereth". For thus what whispereth? Why does it whisper? Will those dull of hearing even know they are missing anything? Or will they loudly proclaim their hearing is just fine (Matthew 13:15).

Next line says "according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord." Is the Spirit of the Lord the same as the Holy Ghost? Is the Spirit of the Lord what the brother of Jared saw (Ether 3:16)? Now that's an interesting question. I certainly don't have all the answers but the questions are intriguing. The phrase about the workings of the Spirit reminds me of Nephi, and what he said about the Liahona. He said it would work according to the faith, heed and diligence they would give to it (1 Nephi 16:28).  But this part of the verse also raises the question about the unity, yet distinction between the Spirit of the Lord, and the Holy Ghost.

In the Spirit realm, if we talk about the "workings of the Spirit" from the scriptures it is never defined as an emotion. It may bring with it feelings but it is not just sentiment. Too much of that I think can be a distraction. It could be called a feeling but the workings of the Spirit is not merely a feeling, it can grow, and mature in depth, meaning and experience (1 Nephi 11:1) (Alma 32:42). Information and a message is communicated when God speaks. Emotional stories, and sentiment are different.  Some things are only to be seen and heard by the power of the Holy Ghost (D&C 76:116). The Spirit can make them known, but man can't. For those having experienced such things the words the scriptures use to describe it are perfect. The Spirit is unmistakable. Nephi says he puts this stuff in words as plan as words can be but still people will not understand (2 Nephi 32:7).

For someone with only an emotional frame of reference the words are vague, unclear, and "spacey". However they are not. The Spirit can impart intelligence, light, truth or a stroke of ideas or thoughts the person did not previously have. And then these can grow and mature as well. It can come from outside of them. There are English words that sort of describe it, but they are not descriptive enough often times, but that doesn't mean it's vague.

It's challenging to covey the language of the Spirit to someone who has not had an experience with it. You have to experience it, then you will see with new eyes what before were scales of blindness (Acts 9:18, 2 Nephi 30:6). Without experiences with the Spirit I would be limited to the vocabulary of emotion or maybe words from psychology.  But the Spirit is something different than those.

Well back to the verse... The Spirit of the Lord is dwelling inside Mormon. He says so. What a concept that is. He has become a temple with the Holy Ghost dwelling inside (1 Corinthians 6:19). This is different than being a Child of God based on pre-earth heritage. What Mormon is describing is having been born again in this life. Born of God.

Mormon is caught up in doing the will of God. He knows it. There is no doubt, he is following the Lord. Much of his life if rated by the Motion Picture Association would be rated R. But that doesn't stop him from Following the Lord. A good example to us all. Sin, foolish teachings, and all the errors prophesied in the scriptures are all around us, but we too can follow the Lord in spite of a fallen world, and regardless of what anyone else does or does not do with the Gospel (3rd Nephi 16:13).

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