" FORTHCOMING "
I WAS IMPRESSED THAT JOSEPH SMITH HAD THE BOLDNESS TO CALL THIS DETRACTOR ON THE CARPET WHILE HE HAD NOT A SHRED OF PROOF (OTHER THAN A PRINCIPLE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AS HIS GUIDE) THAT THE MAN WAS AN ADULTERER.
THE SAVIOR TOOK MANY OCCASIONS TO POINT OUT THAT THE BEHAVIOR OF THE WICKED PEOPLE (THAT EVENTUALLY PUT HIM TO DEATH) WAS GENERATED BY THE ACTIONS OF WICKED PEOPLE - SPECIFICALLY ADULTERY/SEXUAL SIN. PLEASE READ MATTHEW 12:39 TO SEE WHAT HE HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE SECRET SIN OF THE DAY:
38 ¶ Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
SO, EVEN THE QUEEN OF SHEBA WILL RISE UP IN CONDEMNATION AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF THAT DAY BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT RECOGNIZE THE GREATEST PERSON (EVEN A GOD) EVER TO WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH. TRUTH IS MAGNETICALLY ATTRACTED TO TRUTH AND TRUTH REPELS ERROR. APPARENTLY, THERE IS A POLARIZING EFFECT TO SEXUAL SIN THAT CAUSES THE ERRANT PERSON TO BECOME BLIND AND CATEGORICALLY REJECT OBVIOUS TRUTH. THE SON OF GOD POINTED THAT OUT - AND IT IS A PRINCIPLE. JOSEPH SMITH DROVE THE POINT HOME IN HIS DISCOURSES AND I WENT ON MY MISSION EXPECTING TO HAVE AN EXPERIENCE SIMILAR IN NATURE.
I was a newly-made Zone Leader in Joao Pessoa and was working with Elder Christianson (an excellent artist and servant of God). We were teaching a young family (seven children) about the Joseph Smith story and the Spirit was there in spades. I then turned to the man of the house (cannot remember his name) and asked if he could believe the truth of our statements. He said he could not believe that God could talk to man. I then explained the workings of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and that what he was feeling was the Holy Spirit confirming truth to his soul. I knew that he was experiencing that as another scripture came to mind and bore witness to me:
Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
20 If it be some other way it is not of God.
21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.
23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.
24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
Knowing that they knew the truth, but that the mysterious repelling of truth was at work - just as with the man in Philadelphia, I, to the utter confusion and horror of my companion blurted out "What do you know about the law of chastisty?".
They seemed a little confused, so I asked them to open their scriptures to Matthew 12:39 and to read it (while my companion was kicking away at my leg). They read it and then I explained that they must be in violation of that law - otherwise they would know it and declare that Jesus is the Son of God and that he did indeed appear to Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820, as we were teaching it - and as the Holy Ghost was bearing firm witness. I boldly asked them if they had something they would like to share with us.
They both looked nervously at each other and then asked the kids to leave. I was thinking in my head "Now I've done it". The kids left and they quietly told us that they had been 'living in sin' and had all seven children without ever getting married. I was floored - but then proceeded to let them know that before they could receive a deep and abiding witness of the truths that we were teaching, they would have to get married and then we could proceed. We politely bid them a good evening and left with my companion letting me know his agitation over this.
I on the other hand, was more than satisfied in the principle and was able to use it later in another even more poignant occasion while on my mission.
While Zone Leader in Belem, a largish city near the mouth of the Amazon River (will finish at a later time).