Establish... A House of God Doctrine & Covenants 88
This lesson is so chuck full of valuable things we can learn it's almost impossible to know where to start! From establishing a house of God and being commanded to build the first temple, to understanding the Creation and the three degrees of glory, to starting the School of the Prophets...
I read and marked and read and marked this Section so many times I can almost not read my own notes. According to David Ridges and his commentary in his book The Doctrine and Covenants Made Easier, there are more than 100 pieces of doctrine to learn in this section alone!
Search, Ponder and Sleep on it
In fact, there was so much revealed, that the Savior told Joseph Smith and the men present at this meeting to take the night to sleep and come back later for more. Considering my meager understanding is so much less sophisticated than that of the prophet, is it any wonder it took me the full week just to get through it all? And I still don't have a full grasp on everything.
Considering the amount of revelation we have here, there is a pretty good chance that each of us reading this section are going to take a completely different message away from it. And that is a good thing! We are all in a different place in our lives, and we all need the Spirit to teach us individually.
And that, in an of itself is the message I want to share in this post.
...my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give until you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near.
Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you...
...and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith
Doctrine and Covenants 88: 62-64, 118
Whatever it is I need, Heavenly Father will give it to me, on the condition that it is important for me to have it. But it doesn't just come because I want to know, it requires effort on my part.
This section was a perfect example of this.
As I was reading, I found my mind getting foggy. It was so much information, and it isn't written in a way that makes it hard to understand like some scriptures, but I think it was just all sort of melting together. I realized that I was not really pondering what I was reading, I was sort of muscling through it.
Maybe I started with a thought like, "Woah, this Section is 12 pages long." Since I like to start the week by reading the whole scripture assignment on the first day and then going back through it piece by piece, I might have been experiencing a little bit of overwhelm.
It reminded me a little of the days when I did my scripture reading at night laying in bed and pretty soon the Book of Mormon was bonking me on the nose and jarring me awake after dozing off.
Sometimes I need to slow down
It took me stopping to say another prayer before continuing to realize that I needed to slow down. And I just happened to be right at verse 62 when it happened.
I needed to ponder.
I needed to stop and draw near to the Lord.
I needed to ask myself what I was trying to get out of my study and slow down a little bit.
I needed to seek, and not just read.
Receiving the Second Comforter
Joseph Smith said, in his explanation of the Second Comforter:
After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter...
Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.
What a beautiful promise it is from Heavenly Father that if I will thirst after righteousness, humble myself, live by His every word, and prove that I will serve Him no matter what, I can have the gift of Jesus Christ Himself to teach me the mysteries of the Kingdom!
It sounds so simple, but.... I know I have a LONG ways to go to get there. But I can honestly say to Heavenly Father, right now, that I am trying. Every little step I take matters, no matter how small.
Lesson Help Links and Challenge Cards
This is such a POWERFUL Section and there is so much to learn! I almost wish we had a full extra week just to try and get everything we can from it! I had a hard time narrowing it down to six items for the Challenge Cards, but I picked some of my favorites...until I realized I had missed my favorite this week.
The Follow Him podcast is particularly great this week, and that is partly because I love to listen to Anthony Sweat. There is no link here for Part 2 because it was not posted before I wrote this blog post, but I am excited to resume it!
You can download this week's Challenge Cards over in FREE STUFF in the shop!