“Yea, why will he not show himself in this land as well as in the land of Jerusalem?
But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass, but not among us, but in a land which is far distant, a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes that they are true.
And they will, by the cunning and the mysterious arts of the evil one, work some great mystery which we cannot understand, which will keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them, for we depend upon them to teach us the word; and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives.”
See, there it is, the rationalization I was talking about on Day 12. Someone is going to arrange for a car to run over me! The thing is, if you don’t know how to recognize the Holy Spirit, how DO you distinguish the truths from the near-truths that are so prevalent today?
Warning, soapbox coming. Free agency is my favorite topic:
Everyone is born with a conscience. As children we are taught to use our conscience to know right from wrong. Teachings from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls it the light of Christ. Every human being is born with it. As we grow older, and learn to listen to it, we can also choose to ignore it or believe it. Just as our experience and reasoning skills can increase our faith it can also cloud our judgement. So how do we know what is true? Christ is the source of all truth and the Holy Spirit’s function is to communicate that truth to each of us, spirit to spirit. As I said in the previous post, you must have faith that Christ has the “big picture” and has our best interest in mind. Once we have that faith (even if it’s just that we want to believe) then we are open to receive the truth from Him. Our conscience will tell us whether or not something is true. It’s not magic though. Sometimes we have to work for the answer (search, ponder and pray). Consider who is saying it. Consider the consequences of the statement. These people are worried about being kept in “ignorance” because they aren’t getting the answers to their own prayers about the subject. We are never asked to blindly follow the prophet. It is our duty to pray about what they say so we know the truth. Some things are obviously true or not or of no significance. But, if we are struggling with determining the truth, pray about it and be open to receiving an answer. Never be afraid of knowledge. If we allow our conscience to be open to the Holy Spirit, we can distinguish the truth. The most basic of human rights, to me, is the freedom to choose what to think. The “evil one” wants to take that away. God and Christ never will.