Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ether 4:8-12

"And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh.
And at my command the heavens are opened and are shut; and at my word the earth shall shake; and at my command the inhabitants thereof shall pass away, even so as by fire.
And he that believeth not my words believeth not my disciples; and if it so be that I do not speak, judge ye; for ye shall know that it is I that speaketh, at the last day.
But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.
And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world."
Ether 4:8-12

In this chapter Moroni tells us that he wrote all the things that were revealed to the Brother of Jared, and that he was commanded to seal that part of the record, and then these verses.  And I know that this selection seems harsh at first, but imagine God trying to talk to all of his children at once... or even just us individually, during our whole lives.  We've all needed some harshness at times.  We've all been lost.  As we read about the revelations of the Brother of Jared, we want to know what he saw, and here God says he won't let us read it.  Why?  Because we're not even ready to accept the writings that we already have.  Sure, perhaps sometimes individually... but not as a people.  Not as a community.  And so, as a group, we're cursed to not receive greater things.
In the fourth verse of the selection we learn that individually, God will visit us with the manifestation of his spirit if we do believe these things... and then we'll know, and the more of us who read and believe, and find out, the more, as a community, we'll be ready for more.
Some people argue that they would believe if they had more evidence... if they had the vision of the Brother of Jared, or if God came down to let them know.  And God, here, tells us that if we can't believe this, that we'll talk ourselves out of that as well.  Revelation isn't about the magnitude of the evidence, but about listening to the spirit, and accepting it when it speaks to us.  We can get just as strong a witness of truth from God from reading the scriptures and talking about them with him as we could if he sent an angel, or struck us dumb.  Those things happened to Laman and Lemuel (angel) and Korihor (struck deaf and mute), and they didn't change who they were.  Again, accepting the witness of the Spirit about what we have will prepare us for more. :)
I love the part that says that anything that persuadeth people to do Good is of God. :)  There is so much good in the world.  People and groups that are helping others and persuading others to do good.  Today, let's be thankful for the amazing knowledge that we've already been given, and embrace it.  Let's also look for the evidence of God in the world, all around us, persuading people to do good.

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