Climbing Our Spiritual Mount Sinai to the Presence of Jesus in This LifeAnd from another e-mail from this contributor:
Chapter One: Faith in the Lord Jesus ChristMoses, at eighty years of age, climbed Mount Horeb, also known as Sinai, and spoke face to face with Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Jehovah of the Old Testament. We are commanded by the Lord, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)Faith is part of the process of fully surrendering ourselves to Jesus with all of our heart, mind, might and strength, for only by doing so we can have the determination to fully, diligently seek Him and find Him personally in this life.What does it mean to exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?First we must believe that He is as quoted above. In the Book of Mormon, Alma 32:21 we read, “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”The key words are,“... which are not seen, which are true.” Faith, per the Lord’s definition, can only exist in Jesus as he really is, not in a Christ that does not exist. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches truths that have been revealed by God to His prophets and disciples in these last days which teach Jesus Christ as He really is. God continues to pour out gifts of knowledge to those who receive and maintain the sanctity of already-revealed truths.“And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.” (Moroni 7:43)Meekness begins by acknowledging to God that there are many things that we do not know and that we totally depend upon God in learning what we do not know. This means we must be humble and teachable before God at all times. Lowly in heart denotes humility which requires us to recognize the hand of the Lord in all things and desire to draw nearer to God by obedience to His will.The moment we say, “I’ve got this.” Pride has then replaced humility.The Light of Christ fills the immensity of space. In the Doctrine and Covenants 84:46-47 we read, “And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.”This is what is to referred to as our conscience. By the Light of Christ we understand the difference between right and wrong and that we are accountable to God for our choices, good or bad. The “Spirit” in these verses denotes the Light of Christ.The only way that we can exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is to:(1) Understand who Jesus really is (The Christ that the LDS church states that He is)(2) Remain humble and teachable(3) Hearken to (listen to and obey) the still small voice of Jesus by obeying His inspiring messages.The still small voice of our conscience is a rudimentary form of Jesus’ own voice to each of us. By consciously following the Voice of Jesus Christ as He seeks to inspire us to make right choices is exercising faith. The Light of Christ is the same as if Jesus stood beside each of us simultaneously, with His arm around each of us and then speaking to our hearts and minds the five things that make up our existence. These are: desire, thoughts, words, actions and time.Desire is the motivating force that moves one to action. Feelings or emotions are on the surface of our emotional make-up. These fluctuate quite often every day.But in your core, in your heart of hearts, are your desires. What do I really, with all my heart, want to see happen and more importantly, what do I really, with all of my heart, want to become? We receive according to our desires.This is because what we truly want to become sets the stage for the rest of our existence. We only think, say, do and spend our time based on our desires. This is what is called self-fulling prophecy.Christ is constantly, perfectly, and consistently communicating to each of us simultaneously to have pure and holy desires which will lead us to have pure and holy thoughts, words, actions and then spend every moment of our lives as Jesus would spend it.To hearken unto the voice of the Lord in the scriptures means only one thing: it is to follow our conscience, which is acknowledging the voice of Jesus Christ as the positive influence of our agency and faithfully listening to and obeying His Voice as He strives to lead each of us personally moment by moment. Lucifer is the negative influence of our agency. He seeks to have each of us to do anything other than hearkening unto the Light of Christ. The Light of Christ leads us to all truth.Chapter Two: The gift of the Holy Ghost -The further Light and knowledge the Father promised to send usWhen we are baptized by immersion by proper priesthood authority and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by proper priesthood authority, we thus become members of the Lord’s true church upon the earth. We have the opportunity to enjoy “the further light and knowledge the Father promised to send us.” The first Comforter, the Holy Ghost, reveals and bears testimony of all truth. “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5) He is the next step in our upward climb toward the summit of our spiritual Mount Sinai where Christ awaits for each of us with open arms in this life.When we choose to be baptized and confirmed members of the Lord’s church, we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. Jesus will ultimately decide who will actually have His name placed upon them. How we qualify to have Our Savior place His holy name upon us personally I will discuss later on in the lesson. When we consistently follow the Light of Christ as a member of the church we qualify to have the promise contained in the sacramental prayer,“... that they might always have His Spirit to be with them.” (This reference to “His Spirit” is the Holy Ghost)If we make incorrect choices and violate our conscience and fail to repent, then we will not have the Holy Ghost to reveal, testify of truth as well as guide our lives as promised. “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10)God, ever faithfully perfect with His own words, will only bless us if we do what He says. Doing what God says starts with listening to and obeying the voice of Jesus Christ which is the Light of Christ.When we consistently, faithfully follow the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, we are then exercising exceeding great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what is meant as taking the Holy Ghost as our guide. Only members of the church who faithfully do these things can return home to God.The Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith stated, “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world. …” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg. 267To obtain knowledge that saves us and thus helps us qualify to return home to God and enjoy eternal life, all spiritual knowledge must be revealed from God to us personally through the power of the Holy Ghost.Many people choose to make correct choices and thus follow their conscience by so doing. Most people do not realize that it is Jesus Christ, their Savior and Redeemer, who is inspiring them to make these right choices. Once a person has been taught the truth concerning who Jesus really is and that He is the one who is inspiring them to make these right choices then that person can move beyond mere believing to real true faith in the Lord. These blessed souls now can choose to continue to make right choices as acts of faith (consciously choosing to trust in their Savior, Jesus Christ in guiding their lives) and thus be blessed by the Lord for their obedience. Once they choose to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost they will have the opportunity of having the guidance, direction, inspiration and confirmation of each and every truth that has been revealed through the prophets of God by the power of the Holy Ghost.They will then have the wonderful blessing of coming to know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that each and every doctrine, commandment, principle and ordinance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is absolutely true. Never assume anything about anything is one of my axioms. We must know personally each and every one of these things are absolutely true. Not because any man or group of men have said so, but because God has personally revealed and confirmed to each of us that what is officially taught as truth by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is without a doubt the revealed truths from God for ourselves.Chapter Three: The Baptism of Fire and the Holy GhostEven exercising exceeding great faith cannot save us or redeem us. We must be born again. Christ told Nicodemus,“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)The Lord, through Alma, the Younger, stated, “And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.” Mosiah 27:25-27Thus we see that we must go beyond taking the Holy Ghost as our guide and that we must surrender fully, completely to Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Only He can save us. This epiphany of becoming the spiritually begotten son or a daughter of Christ is known as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. This vitally important and necessary step that we must take to be prepared to reach the summit of our spiritual Mount Sinai and come to personally know Christ in this life, the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost accomplishes five wonderful things.1. It cleanses us of all sin, for forgiveness is not enough.2. It makes us, as Alma states in the verses quoted above, spiritually begotten sons or daughters unto Christ. So Christ is not only the Author and the Finisher of our faith, but He becomes the Father of our conversion as well.“Faith in Christ gives us both the desire to repent and the strength needed to repent. As we exercise faith and repent, the Savior’s atoning power can transform our very hearts, changing our carnal nature to spiritual, our innermost desires to good. When King Benjamin witnessed the spiritual change that had taken place in his people, he commented, ‘And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters’” (Oct 2000 Ensign, Bruce D. Porter) This event in the lives of the people of King Benjamin was their own personal Pentecostal conversion experience.3. He, Jesus, claims us as His. He fulfills the covenant that we made at our watery baptism of taking upon ourselves the name of Christ by thus placing His name upon each of us personally by His grace and our willingness to surrender fully to Him with the fiery baptism. The first baptism gives us the blessing and opportunity to make that sacred covenant of taking upon ourselves the name of Christ. The second baptism gives Christ the opportunity of actually placing His sacred and holy name upon us personally.4. The baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost purifies us to the point of no longer desiring the things of this world. Without this glorious event we would not have the spiritual strength to be willing to truly sacrifice everything for the Lord which covenant we make in the holy temple.5. When we are baptized into the Lord’s true church, we become a member of the House of Israel. In name only, we become the seed of Abraham. We are still the Gentiles mentioned in the Book of Mormon until we have received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Then we become pure blooded Israelites, the literal seed of Abraham. Then we are no longer the Gentiles mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The Gentiles in the Book of Mormon are the members of the church who are yet to be converted fully to Jesus Christ.Here is what the Prophet Joseph Smith had to say about this.“The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence.” Teachings of The Prophet Joseph Smith - page 149-150 (To become the literal seed of Abraham is to become a pure blooded Israelite)Without this glorious epiphany known as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost we cannot return home to God but we will be "cast off", at best, we will inherit the Terrestrial kingdom. Most Latter-day saints will inherit the Terrestrial kingdom because they will refuse to surrender fully to Jesus and let Him convert them. The baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is our own personal private Pentecostal conversion experience. Each of us must have this epiphany in order to return to God.Chapter Four: The Events of Testimony lead to the Events of ConversionAlma 12:10,1110 “And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.”The lesser portion of the word and the greater portion of the word combined together constitute the fullness of the gospel Jesus Christ. We are the Gentiles in the Book of Mormon until the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost makes us the Remnant of Jacob. If we accept the lessor portion and then through unbelief we do not believe nor think it necessary for us personally to have the blessings of conversion then we are guilty of rejecting the fullness of the Gospel that the unconverted members of the church known as the Gentiles mentioned in the Book of Mormon. We must cast off our unbelief so that we expect and are committed to having the events of conversion or we will be guilty of rejecting the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.The Lesser portion of the word - The events of testimonyFaith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Following one’s own conscience. The Voice of Christ to each of us. This is what is meant by hearkening unto the voice of the Lord in the scriptures)RepentanceBaptism of water by immersionGift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (The First Comforter. The baptism of water and receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands constitute being born of the water. We covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Christ)Melchezedek Priesthood (For righteous male adult members)Washing and AnointingEndowmentTemple MarriageThe Greater portion of the word - The events of conversionBaptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost (This cleanses us of all sin and we no longer desire to sin. Without this epiphany we cannot go home. This is what is meant by being born of the Spirit. This is our personal Pentecostal conversion experience)Born Again (No longer struggling to overcome the natural man. Spiritually begotten sons and daughters unto Christ. Mosiah 27:25,26) Christ places His name upon us, thus fulfilling the covenant made at the baptism of water and confirmation wherein we promise to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. We become the “Remnant of Jacob”, the chosen of the Lord, and pure blooded Israelites. (literal seed of Abraham). Only the truly converted go home.Purification (The Holy Ghost makes us pure by fire, thus He is a purifier)Personally know Christ face to face (D&C 93:1) Second Comforter. (Finishing our spiritual Mount Sinai climb)Fulness of the Priesthood power by God’s own voice (Helaman 10 D&C 50:26-30 JST Gen:14:28-31 D&C 84:42)Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise (The Father tells you that you are going to be exalted. We then become the Elect of God and thus have our calling and election made sure)Sanctification (And by the blood of Christ ye are sanctified) Truly becoming a saint.Church of the Firstborn (LDS members who are prepared for exaltation and those who are already exalted are members of this church. These are whom the Lord refers to as the Redeemed. These are the only alive saints who are caught up into the clouds of glory when Jesus comes again)Possible translation before Christ comes in gloryThe above events can happen in any order that the Lord chooses them to happen. These could be even years apart from each other. Testimony (burning within one’s own bosom) gets one through the temple where promises of becoming converted are made. The events of conversion take place as the blessings of the promises made in the temple become reality in this life. When we are washed and anointed in the initiatory session of the temple we are promised that we will become clean of the blood of this generation. That covenant becomes fulfilled when the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost cleanses us of all sin which includes the blood of this generation and that is the only way that promise can be fulfilled.“And by the Spirit ye are purified.” Thus the Holy Ghost becomes a “purifier.” And thus we are made pure by fire, an interesting play on words. Testimony alone will not save us. Those members of the church who only have a testimony, (the lesser portion of the word) who do not become converted, (i.e. those who harden their hearts) will fall away. These are the future tares and the unwise virgins. Elder Bednar’s comparison of the Ten Virgins wherein he states that the lamps represent testimony and the oil in the lamps represents conversion is wonderfully true.Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ starts with a desire to believe. This desire to believe must be tested to see if we really want to believe. Once tested, we then believe. But with this new belief we feel that it is not enough just to believe. We desire to have faith. This desire to have faith must be tested to see if we really want true faith. Once we have accepted the true doctrines concerning the Godhead as they really are and consciously choose to follow the Savior’s voice as our conscience, then we can claim hold upon faith. Now faith is the assurance of things unseen, yet true.Exercising faith IS following the Light of Christ (Obeying our conscience-the voice of Christ-Choosing the right) and by obeying the promptings, guidance and revelations of the Holy Ghost consistently we are exercising exceeding great faith.The Light of Christ is unseen, yet it is a true messenger speaking the truth to us. This is what is meant by hearkening unto the voice of the Lord in the scriptures. By consistently exercising faith, including exceeding great faith by following the promptings, guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, we desire to know the truth perfectly. This desire to know must be tested, in many ways we are tested far more than the previous tests on our upward climb toward perfect knowledge because knowing with perfect knowledge is one of the greatest gifts that God can give, for it will lead to the greatest gift God can give - eternal life. (John 17:3) Everyone at this point must gain heavenly help like never before.Ironically, we have all had a desire to believe, then believed, we have had a desire to have faith, and through much effort acquired faith and now as we begin to climb our spiritual Mount Sinai we cannot see the peak just yet but the incline is very steep before us, shrouded in dense clouds and we say within ourselves,“I can see from here the beautiful valley below. I wonder what I will be able to see from the summit. But I cannot see how to get there. I will just settle for this view that I have now.” This is what the Lord calls our unbelief.We have a testimony, but we are not yet truly converted. We keep telling ourselves, with Satan’s help, that we are not able to know Christ personally in this life. “The prophets were able to climb to the summit and see and know and others such as the people in the 11th chapter of 3rd Nephi were blessed to come to know Christ, but alas, this is as far as I can climb. Maybe when I die, I will meet the Savior after I pass beyond the veil.” We cannot cast off our unbelief and gain the strength to climb through the clouds and reach the summit and thus know Christ in this life without divine help. We must accept fully that we are equally loved as any prophet who has ever come before us. We must accept God as a God who is no respecter of persons. Only God can empower us with that understanding and strength needed to remove from us our unbelief and then and only then we will become truly converted to Christ. We cannot do this alone. Once these tests to desire to know are passed then we come to know perfectly by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus lives.What once started out as a desire to believe has become perfect knowledge essential to our eternal happiness. We are on our way to becoming truly converted and not just a person with a testimony.Repentance of all of our sins is required by all. Gaining forgiveness for our sins brings us peace and joy as we draw nearer to God, our Eternal Father, through His Son, our Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ. But forgiveness of our sins is not enough to qualify us for eternal life. We must be cleansed of all sin. We enter the holy temple to make covenants with God that if obeyed fully will not only convert us completely to Christ but make possible for us to have eternal life.If you do not believe or do not desire with all of your heart to see Jesus in this life, I testify that you that will not want to see him when you die, for it will not be pleasant at all.Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance of all of our sins, followed by the baptism water and of the Holy Ghost - The laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost - unlock the power of the Atonement of Christ.But we are not yet born again nor truly converted until we experience the last baptism, the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost and become spiritually begotten sons or daughters unto Christ. (Mosiah 25:26,27)Yes, there are instances when people, like Cornelius in the New Testament, and the 300 Lamanties who sought the lives of Nephi and Lehi in the Book of Mormon experienced the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost before they were baptized by water and the gift of the Holy Ghost. But for us latter-day saints the process usually runs in the prescribed order.The endowment in the temple is where we make certain eternal covenants. These sacred covenants are two way contracts with God. We promise God that we will obey fully the requirements of these sacred covenants. He promises us that we will become truly converted and come to know Jesus Christ in this life. As we progress in the ceremony, we are drawing nearer to the veil that separates us from the presence of the Lord.If we keep these covenants fully, and as mentioned above with God’s divine help in casting off of our unbelief, receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, then and only then, can we have Christ step through the veil and be in His presence in this life. For what happens at the veil, I testify, symbolizes Christ stepping through the veil and embracing us personally in this life. The blessing that one receives from fulfilling the covenants made during the endowment is to stand in the very presence of Jesus Christ in this life. The events of testimony are designed to inspire us and lead us to the events of conversion. God does not want us just to have a testimony that could be denied when trials and tribulations come. For the winds will blow and the rains will descend and beat upon our house as the Savior said and if we only have a testimony built upon sand (the lessor portion of the word) we will not stand. But sand can become stone. Through the forces of nature sand must be pressed together with tremendous pressure and become chemically changed in order to solidify into sold rock. So must our testimonies pass through the spiritual processes of trials and obedience and with divine help surmount the summits of doubt and unbelief to produce a soul that is truly converted, truly changed within, truly built upon a foundation of sold rock which is Jesus Christ.This foundation of rock is the knowledge that Jesus lives and that we, because of Him, know that we are blessed with the events of conversion in our lives and that when the trials and tribulations descend upon us and all others, that we will not stumble and fall but stand, standing firm in the knowledge that only comes through the process of true conversion to Jesus Christ, the Lord.I bear you my solemn testimony, my dear brothers and sisters, that there is no greater joy than to be filled, every particle of one’s soul, with the pure love of Christ, directly from its source, the very bosom of Jesus Christ, Himself. I bear my witness that Jesus Christ lives. He is with perfect knowledge the resurrected, living Son of the living God. He awaits with great anticipation to step through the veil and embrace each of us into His bosom in our life times. May we all become truly converted and so blessed by Him who mighty to save, in Jesus’ Holy name, amen.Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. The Lord has blessed me to come to know these things for myself.
One side note. Moroni 7:48
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.""All the energy of heart" means that our spiritual energy can only be increased by following our conscience, the voice of Jesus Christ, following the Holy Ghost, forsaking our sins, coming unto Christ, obeying His voice, (again our conscience) and keeping his commandments, (not out of fear, or duty, but out of love, the pure love of Christ) shall see my face and know that I am... "true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ." starts with our conscience... "that ye may become the sons of God" occurs with the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost for it makes one a spiritually begotten son or daughter unto Christ... "that when he shall appear" refers to a personal appearance, not the Second Coming. When the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost cleanses us of all sin we are at the moment able to have Christ appear and stand before the resurrected living Son of the living God pure as he is pure. Both ourselves and the Savior, Jesus Christ, are sinless. Yes, we will sin after that experience for we are not yet perfect, but He who is Pure and Holy has made us temporarily pure and clean as He, Christ is in order to stand in His presence in this life. This adds another dimension to the phrase "stand in Holy places." Gathering to the tops of the mountains is spiritual not the Rocky Mountains. For each person who has reached the summit of their spiritual Mount Sinai has reached the top of their mountain, spiritually speaking. Those who truly desire to be pure and clean holy, saintly people come to know Christ in this life.