Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sin and injury caused by Ignorance

In an editorial in the Times and Seasons, the Prophet Joseph observed that “nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God” (HC4:573).

Nothing does greater injury.....Joseph teaches that this deception trumps them all.  So how do you ensure you have the correct Spirit and not just think you do?

Joseph helps us with that as well.  About a year before Section 130 was received, the Prophet taught: "As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved. . . .

"A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God." (History of the Church, 5:588.) 

Revelation assists us and gives us knowledge of the things of God.  This is a real thing.  There is no need to fake it, or imply it if it's actually occurring.  The power of the Spirit cannot be faked.  There are counterfeits, but the real thing is obvious by comparison.    

Sin is to "miss the mark".  Repentance then could be said to mean hit the mark.  We hit the mark when we have enough knowledge to do so.  We all miss the mark when ignorant.  Ignorance and innocence are different.  Repentance then may in fact deal almost entirely with gaining knowledge, rather than merely ceasing some behavior.  Gaining knowledge from God might just be the path of repentance.

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