No, the veil is expertly woven from unbelief (belief in false doctrine – Mormon 9:20) and disbelief (our failure to truly believe). It is coarsely laced with jealousies and fears (D&C 67:10), which in turn yield the jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires (D&C 101:6) that stand between us and the presence of the Lord. Finally, it is all bound together with the pride or hubris that so insidiously influences our thoughts and motivates our actions.
These burdens are the fruits of the fall.
Only through the power of the Lord’s atonement can we hope to overcome them. We must first, however, recognize that they are there. We must humble ourselves before Him. These are the very roots of the sin that the Lord cannot look upon with the least degree of allowance (D&C 1:31). As long as they are part of us, our actions mean very little. We may “obey the commandments”, but we will be no better than Israelites in the desert, or the Sadducees and Pharisees of Christ’s day. We draw near to Him with our lips:
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isaiah 29:13)
but we can never know him (John 17:3) and can thus never have eternal life.
If our hearts are set on our riches even to the smallest degree; if we have not truly consecrated all that we have – our time, talents, and possessions – to Him and to His work; if we are waiting for the day when the prophet or the bishop says “bring it all to the storehouse”, then we are not prepared to be part of the building of Zion.
The veil stands between us and Zion. Zion can only be built by pure hearts and willing hands, and the cooperation and devotion that will be required cannot tolerate these things of which the veil is woven. This truth has been made clear to me as I have pondered what I personally need to do to prepare to be part of this great work. Your personal veil must be rent because only those who can endure His presence will be able to reside in Zion.
This is the journey to Zion. I beg each of you who have ears to hear – rid yourself of jealousies and fears and covetous desires. Cast away any and all vestiges of pride, and humble yourselves before Him. Tear these things from your hearts by the very roots through a process of rigorous prayer and self-exploration. Commit yourself to give freely of all that you have.
Come on this journey with me. It is arduous and difficult. It requires great faith. You will discover things about yourself that you were completely unaware of – perhaps painful things. In doing so, however, you will find yourself drawn ever closer to Him. The vessel will be cleansed from the inside out – the clay in the potter’s hands. Eventually, you will receive that Second Comforter spoken of by Joseph while he was expounding upon John 14:16. When you know this, you will know that you are prepared to endure His presence. Then, you will know that you are called to build Zion.
I testify of my Savior, but the knowledge I have, the love and devotion I feel cannot be fully described with mere words. I can best honor Him by my actions. Most of the time, they are woefully inadequate. I pray that I might live up to the standard He has given us. It is out of love that I make the attempt. It is out of love that He comes to me, even in my weakness. Oh, the Glory of my God!