Thursday, June 11, 2009
Seek Learning and Knowledge
Because we worship the God of light and truth and he loves us, his children, it is his desire that we also be glorified in light and truth. The Lord taught us this in the following scripture,
28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.
At Christ's second coming he is going to reveal all things (see D&C 101:32). He has cautioned us to prepare our minds for the great events that will take place at his coming, "...prepare for the revelation which is to come" (D&C 101:23). One of the best ways to prepare our minds is to learn the truths that the Lord has already revealed and seek to understand them.
Brother Hugh Nibley had this to say about the truths revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith,
The Expanding Mind:--Brigham Young was the Prophet Joseph's most faithful disciple; their teachings are one as the minds of the saints and prophets have always been one. Before he met Joseph Smith, Brigham recalls, "the secret feeling of my heart was that I would be willing to crawl around the earth on my hands and knees, to see such a man as Peter, Jeremiah, Moses, or any man that could tell me anything about God and heaven." (8:228:60.) And then "when I saw Joseph Smith, he took heaven figuratively speaking, and brought it down to earth; and he took the earth, brought it up, and opened up, in plainness and simplicity, the things of God; and that is the beauty of his mission." (5:332:57.) It was a mind-stretching religion: "Thy mind, O man!" said the Prophet, "if thou wilt lead a soul to salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity." (Teachings, p. 137.) The promise he gave to those who took the Gospel and the cause Of Judah to heart was that "your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens. . . and contemplate the mighty Acts of Jehovah in all their variety and glory." (Teachings, p. 163.) What attests to him the divinity of the Bible is that it is "so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every man is constrained to exclaim: 'It came from God!'" (Ibid., p. 11.) The Holy Ghost, the ultimate teacher, "has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge. . . it is. . . the pure light of intelligence." (Ibid., p. 39.) Mind and heart must expand together, according to the Prophet: ". . . you must enlarge your souls towards each other. . . let your hearts expand, let them be enlarged towards others." (Ibid., p. 228.) For not only is "the mind or intelligence which man possesses. . . coequal with God himself" in time (Ibid., p. 353), but "all the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement . . . so that they have one glory upon another. . ." (Ibid., p. 354.) (Educating the Saints--a Brigham Young Mosaic by Hugh Nibley Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 11 (1970-1971), Number 1 - Autumn 1970, p.66)
The Prophet Joseph Smith encouraged the saints to seek knowledge,
A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity-thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart!
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.137)
We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same.
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.51)