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Friday, December 9, 2011

20: ETHEREAL SUBSTANCE OF A TRUE PROPHET


My last post was about AWAKING AND ARISING.  Here is some more thoughts on the subject that I just read today that I thought I should share. Quotes are taken from a lecture entitled, “The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered”.

“Repentance is a critical thing. It is the message of the Book of Mormon. It is the greatest message contained in the book of Isaiah and it is the message of all true prophets. There are two things that generally stir you up to repentance. The first thing is to awaken to your awful situation. The second is to arise, and connect with the source that will cure what is wrong with you. We are not self-curing. We are filled with that same shame that came in the beginning as a consequence of doing what we were not suppose to be doing. The greatest way the adversary keeps us in a state of slumber is to prevent us from looking about and awakening to the awful situation we find ourselves. Hugh Nibley commented on more than one occasion that there is nothing quite as annoying as being awakened out of a deep sleep. No one really likes that. When it comes right down to it, unconsciousness is a very pleasurable thing; particularly when what you awaken to what we face here.”

Repentance means change. Repentance actually means you turn from the direction you are facing. Whatever direction you are facing, turn from that direction, and face God. When you turn to God and face Him and let Him be the object of your focus and your attention, then you have repented. ―Facing‖ your job, or your favorite sports team, or your religious hobby, or even your church leaders is not the same thing as facing God.

God imparts intelligence, light and truth face Him. You cannot learn what He imparts if you refuse to  face Him. When you strain His light through another man, even a very good man, you lose a vital connection we are all intended to possess.”


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Sidenote:

I taught gospel doctrine last week on first chapters in the Book of Revelations which contain John’s  seven letters to the seven churches. It was interesting to study the historical and geographical information about each of the churches. I saw the pattern of the rapid decline into apostasy from the true gospel of  Jesus Christ.  With the exception of the few humble followers of Christ, most residents of these seven locations where successful , wealthy, and self sufficient. They enjoyed the honors of men as the continued to compromise with the world. Along with the Roman influence of building temples to Deity, they also built buildings that in essence worshipped “men” including their living human leaders which they considered divine.

What I found to be very interesting, is that the final letter to the seventh church did not contain any commendation/praise from the Lord. The church had became lukewarm, seeking unity with everyone, showing tolerance for any doctrinal aberration and interpreting it as love. It is reflective of a Church that at end of the age has come under the influence of the world instead of being an influence in the world. The Laodicean church thought they were doing well and were spiritual. After all they were rich, so of course God must be blessing them. The wealthy mostly dress well and talk about their possessions to impress people. They focus on outward appearances and worldliness. But these people did not know their inward condition; they were blind and could not see.

But, today we have a living prophets to teach us. I just read an article in the Church News that announced the completion of  President Monson’s life-size sculpture which is now on display. The article interviewed the artist and here was just a few lines that I found interesting.

“Studying the life of his subject helped me learn more about President Monson – his fishing stories, his travels,  his many experiences. The artist knew that tens of thousands of people would eventually view the bust during visits to the Conference Center. He hoped the finished product would speak to each viewer. He understood that his artistic charge was to capture more than President Monson’s physical likeness – he had to capture the ethereal substance of a living prophet.”

I had to look up the word, ethereal. I found that the phase, “ethereal substance” was an oxymoron. Ethereal:  lacking material substance, immaterial, intangible. Substance: having physical matter or material, tangible.  I am not sure what ethereal substance is.. but I do know that when reading the scriptures, the only necessary “substance” for a true prophet is to know Christ  and  to preach repentance.

3 comments:

  1. I think "ethereal substance" may have been what the Emperors New Clothes were made of in that old tale by Hans Christen Anderson. :)

    I suppose the sculpture needs new clothes otherwise the molten image (Isaiah 42:17) being admired may become obvious.

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  2. Well said Brother, well said!

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  3. It seems that "the prophet" (i.e. the president of the church) should be truly a prophet. We should be able to see him, speak with him. But, in addition to that, bishops should be much more serious about what they do. They should pray and seek for the gift of prophecy and other spiritual gifts so they can be real and true leaders, as Christ would have them lead, in their wards. Instead of baby-sitters or motivational speakers, they should be trusted counselors who speak the word of God into the lives of their parishioners. Bishops seem to have been subjugated in their callings due to the current hierarchical structure of the church, as the "local managers" instead of the holders of a high and holy calling for life, as it was in the beginning.

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