This post is perhaps the most important thing I have ever written, or, as in this case, recorded. I cannot even share it without ensuring that you, the reader, understand the following things:
- I have been trying for years to understand the gospel in real life, attempting to understand the real meaning of the metaphors and parables that largely comprise the scriptures. I want to know – what is Salvation, Redemption, Repentance, Calling and Election, the Second Comforter, Exaltation, Eternal life? What is a prophet? What is revelation? Who is Christ? I have not been comfortable settling for the idea that, “…well, you do this and this and this, and you have faith, and then “magic” happens!” There is no magic – only a lack of understanding and knowledge. I have strived to understand and share the gospel in real words, through real experiences, that we can apply in our real lives.
- If you read the following carefully, you will recognize the answers to many of the above questions – in real terms, in real life. That is why this may be the most important post yet.
- This is not about me. Everything that I write is because I think others might benefit. Otherwise, I would share it only with my wife or a few close friends, but certainly not publicly.
- More than 20 years ago, I made a promise to God that I would “Seek to know Him”. It was made under miraculous circumstances that I have written about here. God has repeatedly demonstrated in my life that He honors, even reveres that promise. I have never forgotten that promise, and neither has He.
- The process of revelation remains something of a mystery to me. I think it is unique to each person, but since I’m not inside your head, I can’t say whether it is or not. It remains something completely intimate between me (or you) and the Lord. Yet, I choose to trust whatever manifestations I receive. This is how I “seek to know Him”. There is no reason why you should feel obligated in any way to trust these manifestations that I receive.
- This is #12 in the highly unstructured series “Conversations with God”. Unstructured, or so it seems. Still, I think this is significant because my understanding of the #12 is that it represents completion or perfection. Go figure…
Now, please indulge me as I share the essence of the conversation that took place this morning – January 13, 2019… I sincerely hope that this account serves to enhance and strengthen your own confidence, hope, knowledge, and assurance that, in truth, “…men are that they might have joy”.
Lord, I’m tired of trying to empty my mind of thought. I know it’s supposed to be very difficult, but I’m just not sure this “enlightenment” experience is as important to me right now as a conversation with you would be. These conversations have been so good, and I feel like I’m missing you, missing out on something that we might share.
Ok, then, son – focus on me. Focus on your feelings about me, your knowledge about me. Focus. Now, what comes into your mind when you do?
Trust. It’s that simple. But it’s real trust. Trust on a cosmic level. It’s a trust that so deep, so complete, it’s hard to even put a word to it.
That’s good. Let’s work with that. Let’s talk about your marriage. It’s a trust like you have in your marriage?
Yes – yes it is – only even deeper, but let’s go with that.
See, when you and Diana got together, you committed to knowing her. You extended the trust, but it wasn’t complete yet. As the years passed, with their experiences and validations, that trust grew and solidified. At some point, you realized that, even though you were separate people, each with your freedom to make decisions, you had such trust in each other – and peace together – that you were completely willing to simply accept each other’s choices without question. You were secure in the knowledge that neither of you would make a choice that would cause harm to the other, and even if you personally might have made a different choice, you would nevertheless honor each other’s choices with love and acceptance. You accepted each other for who you are; loving each other completely, without reservation, without question. This was the point at which this marriage became sealed unto eternity, because there was no fear or jealousy in the relationship. You ceased judging good vs. evil within each other, because you knew that there was only good. The universal seeds of death were completely absent, and your marriage had ascended to its natural, intended state. You created an eternal marriage.
Wow, Lord – that is what happened. I had never looked at it that way, but now I understand. It’s all coming together.
Ok, now, let’s extend that example to our relationship – the relationship between you and me. When you promised on that cold, November morning in 1997, to seek to know me, that was our betrothal. You extended trust, but it wasn’t complete yet. So we went through the same process that you and Diana did – our marriage – gaining that trust and that confidence – losing the fear and judgment, good and evil, until it has now been sealed, without the seeds of death, unto eternity. How did this happen?
When you ceased approaching me in fear and guilt; when you ceased asking me for forgiveness, realizing that it was already extended; when you began addressing me as your trusted friend, not a God to be worshiped, you began casting the seeds of death out of our relationship. When you stopped seeking experiences upon your lust, but instead just sought to be with me, to know me, to understand me, to accept our relationship for what it was, manifesting as it does, trusting in its love and its goodness; when you stopped seeking salvation and began seeking love and understanding – that’s the point at which OUR marriage began to be sealed.
I have many times likened the relationship between man and Christ to a marriage in the scriptures because typically this depth of relationship, this level of trust, this commitment only happens in a marriage. The time came when you began loving me for who I am, not for what I can do for you, and that is when our relationship was able to fulfill the measure of its creation. However, there is a major difference here. In our marriage, I’ve already done my part. The whole learning to trust and accept the other’s choices process; the commitment to love unconditionally, that’s already been done on my side – kind of like it probably happened on your wife’s side long before it did on yours (she truly is as holy as you think she is). You see, in surrendering my mortal life, I truly said to mankind, “I’m going to love you and be accepting and trusting of your choices so much that, no matter what the outcome, I’m ok with it. I love YOU that much that nothing you do could cause me to not love you, because I have no fear of the consequences. I am willing to surrender my life if need be (and I did) – and I am willing to accept whatever happens, on your journey”. In doing that, I completely purged myself of fear and all of its derivative pollutions, and became eternal, unconditional love.
My son, you have come to understand today the extent to which I dwell in you – that I am completely comfortable “dwelling within you”, spirit to spirit, unchained by time, space, and form. You understand now that I am always with you – and that I will never leave you. We are one. You have been progressing toward that understanding as you have worked at eliminating the influence of fear in your life, and embracing the influence of love – choosing to pursue good rather than avoiding evil. You truly experienced what Nephi of old experienced. You recognized that I am truly with you always, and what is meant when I have said “Come unto me.” I dwell in every person, but they cannot receive me until they are willing to commit to the marriage; until they reject fear and decide to live in trust, love, and acceptance – without judgment, without guilt. This is the state of every person, and their redemption is the process of recognizing this, and gaining the courage, the faith to embrace it.
This, by the way, IS the atonement. This is what is so often called “grace”. It is the promise, the fact, that I have accepted every person, in spite of their fear, their judgment, their guilt…which is their SIN…and my spirit awaits theirs to join me. But that sin separates us. Repentance is turning toward me, rejecting that sin (fear, judgment, guilt – NOT love) and receiving the eternal life that is their inheritance).
My son, now that we are no longer separated, but are instead united in this way, in this marriage…we are indeed one. Now that we are one, you are embraced by this atonement. You are part of it with me, you share it with me, and we extend this grace, this love, to all mankind…together. You are “redeemed from the fall” in that you are sealed to me in marriage, just as you are sealed to your wife, through our mutual trust and commitment – through our oneness.
This is cause for great joy and rejoicing, my son. My heart is joyful that the eyes of your understanding have been opened, for I know that this will bring you great joy and peace. The most important message here is that you are not special. My arm is extended in this way to everyone. There is no magic. That is why we started with the example of your marriage – something that is very real, something that everyone around you can witness. If there is magic, it is simply in your ability to recognize the influence of fear in your life and reject it, and in your willingness to trust in the goodness of your wife, and in me, and in your neighbor. I say again, “Love others without judgment, love yourself without fear, and love me without doubt”. Fear is death. Love is eternal life.
Now, let us walk together in the light of the love of my Father and yours – the love of all creation – and extend my invitation to all – “Come unto me, and I will give you rest”.