Thursday, February 16, 2012

Conversing With the Lord - "No Veil to Our Feelings"

I want to go back to one of the notes I made from The Second Comforter Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil in the last post. This concept is striking in its meaning and its importance. We should try to understand it better. For anyone that is committed to striving for the conversation with the Lord at the veil, this truth, perhaps more than any other, provides a key. By understanding this principle, we can learn to talk with, (not just necessarily "to") God. More importantly, we can learn to recognize when He in turn talks with us.

Here is the principle from "The Second Comforter Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil":

"It can be a great benefit to have both this worlds learning and still keep the sensitivity to feel what lies behind the veil. There is no veil to our feelings. The veil is to our other senses. But we have learned to trust everything but our feelings…(emphasis added) it will be necessary to go back to trusting your feelings from a time long ago in childhood."

My daughter Rebecca had a very lively relationship with unseen characters when she was small. She would literally carry on audible conversations with her unseen “friends” Ronie and Jonie. Those of us who had long ago left our childhood behind could hear only one side of Rebecca’s cute conversations with these unseen friends. But, it was clear, by the long periods of Rebecca’s silence in between her own jabbering that Ronie and Jonie were speaking with her. She played and carried on conversations for hours with people we could not see. This relationship lasted for Rebecca for a very long time. Now, at age 17, Rebecca can still tell you about Ronie and Jonie her childhood friends none of the rest of us could see. Perhaps if we had been a little more like little children ourselves, we may have been able to participate in the delightful conversation and fun. Ronie and Jonie may have been real, or they may have been imaginary. The point is, like little children, we need to understand that there is indeed communication from an unseen world. We need to learn again, as the big children we are, to hear and trust that which emanates from the unseen world.

Because there “is no veil to our feelings,” because the veil pertains to, and affects only our “mortal senses,” there is always the possibility of an open connection between heaven and us. I love the thought that the sometimes seemingly impenetrable veil cannot completely block us out from our heavenly home. We can always be connected there if we choose to accept it and learn to use that connection.   

 Joseph Smith taught:

"All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all."


"A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; [that is,] those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus."

I want to point out three examples of very personal revelation recorded in The Second Comforter. In these examples we can learn a great deal about how the Lord communicates and reveals information to us. The first of these examples is found on pages 46 and 47. The author records the following:

"I began to debate with myself: "Joseph Smith could not be a prophet because there are no prophets any more."

How do you know that?

"Because there haven't been prophets for nearly two thousand years."

Just because it has not occurred for a time, does that make it impossible to happen again?

"Well, no. But the scriptures do not say further prophets should be expected."

What about Christ's test: 'By their fruits ye shall know them.'...

...Does God not have the right to add or take away? The commandment to not add or detract is addressed to man. Why would that limit God?

"Hadn't thought of it like that..."

The second example of personal revelation is found on pages 306-308. The author records a journal entry in which he converses with the Lord in a flowing conversational style. (You should take a minute and read that account. It is too long to include here but will help you understand this principle.) The back and forth conversation between the author and another unseen person leads to discovery of the presence and attendance of the Lord during a difficult time of struggle. This recorded conversation with the Lord is beautiful and provides a marvelous example of the Lord giving comfort through revelation.

The third example is found on pages 62 and 63. There, we find the following:

"After two hours of raising questions and considering answers alone in the barracks, I reached this final question: "But how do I know there even is a God? After all, there may not even be a God, and life may not have any real meaning." In response to which came this final thought:

Who do you think you have been talking with these last two hours?

It was that last thought which alarmed me. Had I really been in a conversation with God?...Perhaps this was what it meant to talk with God."

All of these "conversations" happened inside the author's head. The revelation came without affinity to the man's mortal body. It all happened inside the author's head in the abstract in a quiet moment of reflection. Think again about the meaning of Joseph Smith's teaching:

"All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all."

This conversational revealing of information to our minds is pure revelation from the Lord. We all have this kind of thing going on in our minds almost always when we are reflective and quiet. I suppose this is true because "there is no veil" where our feelings are concerned. We don't often stop to pay close attention to the flow of thoughts or impressions in our minds. When we do pay attention, however, we will notice a lot of back and forth conversational type of interaction going on. We usually take credit for everything that goes on in the conversations in our heads. We tend to attribute both sides of the conversations there to our own thoughts. But, if we will attune ourselves, and pay close attention, just as in the examples from The Second Comforter, we will notice a clear difference between our own inputs to the conversation and those that come from the Lord speaking to us in our mind. This is the still small voice. It is there. There is no veil prohibiting our feelings that come from it. We need to learn to understand when it is that voice and not our own speaking. Then, when it speaks, we should respond immediately. 

I have found the lord appreciates it when we acknowledge His voice and thank Him for speaking with us. His expressions of love in return are a priceless reward. My personal experience is that, as we grow to recognize His voice, it becomes easier and easier to distinguish from all other voices. His voice has a recognizable tone and softness that is His own. Like every person’s individual voice, His tone and sound, distinguish Him as a person. King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon taught: (Mosiah 5)

12 I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.
13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

The Lord instructed Oliver Cowdery: (D&C 8)

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation

Coming to know His voice and obeying it is key to finding the presence of the Lord. How will He ever be able to lead us to Him if we cannot hear and understand, then obey His instructions to us?

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