Gospel Doctrine Class a la' Leif Erlingsson September 2004
I must tell you all that about a year ago I prayed earnestly to the Lord for additional Wisdom, and also Knowledge, because I felt severely lacking in this regard. And the Lord gave, more liberally than I could ever have dreamed possible. And not at all as I had imagined it.
Naturally, I of course knew, when I "ask[ed] of God," that this was also what Joseph Smith [said he] had done once upon a time. He had done so [he said], because he felt uncertainty about what was right, and what was God's will for him.
Class, I testify that whereas I once also felt uncertainty about what was God's will for me, I do so no longer. Now I know my mission. To witness of that which I feel is true. As I myself in any given instant understand these concepts. And that means a responsibility and a continuous search of my own.
I will now show you what is right, what God wants you to do.
(Class, here is where you should view this IMAGE that I have prepared: http://xmo.lege.net/img/i_have_had_a_dream__yeah_a_vision.gif)
We will now walk through these insights, because I truly have had a dream, yeah a vision. Compare Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 8:9-33; 11:8-36; 12:16-18.
Class, observe the PATH. This is the narrow path of being true to yourself. See the image, and compare 1 Nephi 8:21,22,24,30. You can see it too. Class, do you see the PATH?
Observe the RAILING. This is the "iron" railing of rational thought. Compare Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 8:23; 11:25. Class, NEVER let go of it, or you will be utterly LOST.
Observe the TREE. This is your REWARD. This is the tree of Wisdom & Knowledge, precious above all, who's fruit is more white and delightsome, and desirable above all other fruit in Heaven or on Earth. Compare Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 8:10-12,26,28; 11:8-9,22-23.
But what must we all be wary of, class? Anyone? -- Yes, the MIST. The MIST of irrationality & one-sided reliance on feelings for finding the way and the truth (ignoring the "iron" railing of rational thought). You are so right. What a wonderful class I have here today. You are so bright. You may, if you like, also compare 1 Nephi 8:23,28,32; 12:17.
What can happen to us should we get lost in the MIST? Yes? . . . That's right. We can end up in various ORGANIZATIONS, we can wander off into irrational philosophies of various religions and human organizations. That's correct. You might want to compare 1 Nephi 8:28,32. Anyone else? . . . Yes, the BUILDING. I'll get to what that is.
The proud & spacious BUILDING of "the true church", with people jeering, mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit of Wisdom & Knowledge, who follow their God-given intelligence & the "iron" railing of rational thought, that God in his love have shedded in the hearts of the children of men, so that they will be able to have the love of God, the most desirable above all things. Yes, this is a very real DANGER. We might end up in that BUILDING, if we are not careful. The building which closes our minds. Makes us ARROGANT, and makes us think we knows best. Yes, it's just one of those irrational philosophies, but maybe one of the worst. You may want to compare 1 Nephi 8:26-27,31,33; 11:35-36; 12:18.
Ahh. You wonder about the ABYSS. The unclean abyss, the depths thereof that are the depths of hell, where blind "follow the leader" may drag you down to. Good people who live true to counsel, or follow their leaders that is, can be hopelessly misled into heinous inhumanity. Within Mormonism and within many other authoritarian systems this has happened many times. I must warn you of the ABYSS. It is the worst that can happen to you, should you join "the true church". Or any similar system that "knows that they are right". Compare Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 12:16. You may also want to refer to the work "Suddenly Strangers" -- http://suddenlystrangers.com/ -- for how Mormonism has had it's adherents in the past to commit heinous inhumanity, just because they were people who "live[d] true to counsel". Check out chapter 16 and forward.
Yes? -- We should only study church sanctioned literature, you say? I'm sorry, but you flunk this class. But the rest of you did excellent. Especially you, Grace! [It was Grace who called me "The best Gospel Doctrine teacher ever".:)]
I testify that I know these things to be true. Now go out and do as Ye have been taught. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
13 September 2004
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Updated 13 Sep 2004