Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Show Me That in the Scriptures"

When we receive something from God, when communication comes from the still small voice, (the whisperings of the Holy Ghost,) a deceiving spirit may immediately ask, "IS THAT FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES?" The deceiving spirit encourages us to receive the things of God with doubt and unbelief. The question, "Is that found in the scriptures?" is designed as a deflection of the evil one to destroy our confidence in communication that comes from God to us. If the evil one can successfully encourage you to doubt and question new ideas, precepts, and truths given by the Holy Ghost, then he can sever the lines of communication God has established to teach us. The question, "can you show me that in the scriptures?" comes from a premise of doubt and unbelief.

Nephi prophesied that the latter day people would adopt the idea and attitude that "We have received, and we need no more!" (2Nephi 28: 27) Nephi warned that we would be inclined to say,  "We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!" (2Nephi 28: 29) Nephi suggested there would be those "who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall." (2Nephi 28: 28) 

Joseph Smith said that if he made known all that he knew from God, many would be angry and would want to kill him. Much of what Joseph received from God, he never recorded because the people were not prepared to receive it. Much of what Joseph received cannot now be found in the scriptures. What he received, but was not allowed to record as scripture, was and is nevertheless from God. Many do indeed become "angry and tremble" when truths are revealed from God that don't seem to fit their little view of the world and eternity. When this happens, the deceiving spirit will encourage us to ask, "IS THAT FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES?" Often, communication from God to you will not be "found in the scriptures." However, if you record what you receive from the Holy Ghost, even if it is not found in the scriptures, it may become scripture for you and your life. 

Our Father teaches us by the whisperings of the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. He promises, "I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, (if it is not found in the scriptures we will not accept it!,) from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2Nephi 28: 30) He has said, "By the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of ALL THINGS." (Moroni 10: 5) "All things" are not contained in the scriptures we have been given. 

The words of the Book of Mormon itself tell us the precious record is incomplete. The Lord's own words from the Book of Mormon teach us:

"And when they shall have received this, (the Book of Mormon,)  which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, (the Book of Mormon) then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people." (3Nephi 26: 9-11)

In other words, we have been given the Book of Mormon for the very reason it is incomplete. He will "try the faith of His people" with what has been given in the Book of Mormon. If we fail to believe and accept the words of the Book of Mormon, we will then be kept from "the greater things" He desires to make manifest to us. The "greater things" cannot be found in scripture presently because we are being "tried" with the words we have been given. How tragic it would be if, when the Lord attempted to give us "the greater things," we would not accept them because they could not be proven by our existing scriptures. 

The scriptures, even if they are incomplete, are treasures given us by God to lead us into all truth. We cannot get by without the instruction and truth contained in them. Especially indispensable to us is the precious Book of Mormon. But the scriptures do not of themselves contain "all truth." Only the Holy Ghost is the receptacle of "all truth." Joseph Smith understood this better than anyone, he said, "We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." (9th Article of Faith) Those "great and important things" pertaining to the kingdom of God that are "yet to be revealed" are not found in the scriptures presently. Otherwise, to make a statement of the obvious, they would already have been revealed and recorded as scripture. The Lord said, "For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times." (D&C 124: 41) Those things that have been "kept hid" from the foundation of the earth are not yet recorded anywhere in scripture. You will not find such treasures in the scriptures, but the Holy Ghost may teach you of them "in your heart and in your mind" (D&C 8: 2-3) if you ask to know.

Alma taught, "What natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent. Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed;" (Alma 26: 21-22) Things which "never have been revealed" cannot be found written anywhere in the scriptures.

We must believe and accept the whisperings of the Holy Ghost as the only sure guide. Even if the communication we receive from the Holy Ghost "cannot be found in the scriptures." It is the Holy Ghost that has the charge and the ability to "teach us all things what we should do." (2Nephi 32: 3-5) When Nephi was commanded to slay his cousin Laban while he laid inebriated and helpless on the ground before him, he received something from the Hoy Ghost that could not be found anywhere in scripture. To the contrary, if Nephi had imposed the requirement on the Holy Ghost to, "show me that in the scriptures," the Lord's purposes in obtaining the brass plates might have been frustrated. Nothing more contrary to that which is written in scripture could have been asked of Nephi by the Holy Ghost. It could be found nowhere in the scriptures. Nevertheless, the communication Nephi received from God was authentic and needful as God attempted to lead Nephi along as He desired.

The Lord needs us to be as little children. (3Nephi 11: 37-38) Little children are able to believe naturally. They do not begin with a new idea from a premise of doubt and unbelief. When a little child is told by their mother something they have never thought of before, they do not begin by saying, "prove that to me by something that is established and accepted of men." Instead, they believe and accept and act as though the new idea was real and right. Then, as they put the idea to the test, (faith) it is revealed to them that the thing is true or not. (Alma 32: 21-43) The faith of a child, the ability to believe as a little child, precludes statements like, "show me that in the scriptures." 

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