LEARNING TO COME UNTO CHRIST - Presentation 3
LEARNING TO COME UNTO CHRIST
Merrill Bailey - Salt Lake City, Utah -- 1991 (Transcribed and edited from cassette tapes)
Purpose for These Lectures
Our purpose is to support each other in coming unto Christ. In order to do this we need to be of one mind, willing to share the thoughts of our hearts, and to unconditionally love and support each other in all of our magnificence.
How Do We Come Unto Christ?
I have been thinking of a discussion we had last week. When things come at me, sometimes my brain does not have time to process the information, and sometimes my heart is even slow. We talked about coming unto Christ and partaking of the Atonement and moving into a higher state of consciousness. A very good question was asked: HOW DO WE DO THAT? Although I seemed at a loss for words, I am glad the question was asked. The answer is a wonderful, spiritual principle.
The Head/Heart Paradox
This principle is unbelievably complicated to the mind; however, it is very simple, spiritually, to the heart. On the other hand, some things are extremely complicated to the heart. There is a paradox here. It is an upside-down law, but one that really is true.
We have made coming to the Savior such a “headtrip” that as I struggled to find a nice, easy way to answer the question, it was not there. Not because there was not an answer but because, spiritually, it is a very complicated process.
Coming Unto Christ - Process of the Second Birth
Had I tried to put it simply, I would have been misleading. I am not saying that coming unto Christ is not simple--it is very simple -- but to explain it is extremely complicated. That is why I am taking eight weeks to do it. Everything I have said since we started, and everything I will say until the very last class, is an answer to that question.
Coming unto Christ is a way of life. It is a whole new way of being we have never before experienced. Not that we have not known pieces, and not that any of the pieces have ever been wrong, but the pieces have been incomplete. We have never grasped the whole, and that is why we have not been born again.
You will know exactly what I mean--although you will not be able to say it in words--when that event or that process begins, when you become that being who is coming unto Christ.
In explaining this, I do not want you to feel misled--I want to say it in words that will plant seeds--because when it starts, all the pieces begin to fall together and fit so perfectly. You will say, "Oh, I see what he was saying!" I am sure many of you already see big chunks, if not all of it--perhaps much more than I do.
A Better Way to Teach?
A few weeks ago my daughter said to me, "Dad, you're trying to make it simple by teaching it in steps, but this makes it so complicated that people get lost. It would probably be easier if you taught it the way you got it. Give us the whole picture so that we know where you are going--even though we may not understand now--and then go back and fill in the pieces. That is the way you got it….all in one big plan. Then the pieces will make sense.” I am going to try and do that tonight. I am going to give you a few spiritual principles…...the three basics of this new way of perceiving.
Three Basic Principles
Whenever you run into problems, you will probably find that you have offended one of these three basic principles. These are not simple things--intellectually they are almost inconceivable--you will struggle with them. We could spend eight weeks on each individual concept, and when we were through all we would have done was plant some heart things, then eventually your heart will move up and reprogram your mind to accept them.
But going the other way around……from the mind (which I am going to do now) there is no way it will get very far down. In fact, it will create more questions and more anxiety than it will answer. I want to tell you these things are true. I know that if we can learn the basics--not just talk about them, but actually make them a part of our lives and living--it will do everything that I am promising here tonight. I know that, because if I start to have a struggle with myself, I go back to one of these three basics and BANG! There it is! I have offended one of them.
What are the basics? I will give them to you and then we will spend eight weeks and, hopefully, begin to piece them together. Here they are--intellectually:
1. LOOK WHAT I CREATED!
Whenever I have a "situation” come up in my life, the first thing I always ask myself is, "How does this fit with a basic principle?" I like to call it a situation, because when I designate it as a "challenge" or a "problem" or a "block" I have made a judgment……in our lower order of thinking. As a "situation," it is neutral.
We Get What We Want
We have always received everything we ever wanted. When God created us and gave us our free agency, we realized we could have anything we want. And so everything that we have, or ever have had, is something we have desired. We are judged by the desires of our hearts, because we always get all the desires of our hearts.
Intellectually, that concept will go a short way and stop. Am I telling you that all the bad things, all the afflictions, that have ever happened to us in our lives are things we wanted? We reject that philosophy immediately! However, we must follow this on out, because it is a true principle--it really is.
We are Responsible!
The first tendency is to want to blame circumstances or to say, "I have been buffeted by fate. I am a victim of this world.….a victim of this universe!" Can you see what you are saying? "I do not have any free agency....I really am not free to choose. I do not have everything that is expedient for me!”
Let us see what Lehi tells his sons on this subject:
2 Nephi 2:21….."Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."
If 2 Nephi 2:27 is a lie, then we are not free to choose......we are at the mercy of the universe. To one degree or another we are victims. But if this is true, it places all the responsibility and all the blame on us for everything we have ever received or experienced in our lives. This may be very uncomfortable for us.
We Can Re-create……
There is such a degree of peace and comfort when we look a little further at the principle…..we begin to feel differently about it. We realize that we did not consciously choose everything that we have, because a good portion of it is subconscious. It means that if we really are free to choose and if we do not like what we have created, all we have to do is learn how to re-create and get what we want. If we do not like what our lives have given us to this point--the situations, the challenges, the problems, the pain---maybe we can do something about it. Maybe we can really re-work the world to fit what we truly want!
I do not want to mislead you here...we do not accomplish this by running out and trying to change the mirrors. If everything we have in our lives (in the external world) is what we have wanted, then these things are being mirrored back to us. Rearranging the mirrors is not going to change our lives.
The only way we can reconcile is to go inside and change what we want---find out why we are doing this. If we have some bad situations, probably ninety percent of them came through ignorance and not through sin or through knowledge that we created something bad. The change must be made in our hearts if we want things to be different.
CD 4 – 4:30
2. LIVE WITHOUT JUDGMENT
We must face the world, ourselves, and everything else in the world without judgment. We must get out of the judgment business; not a little bit, not partially, not sometimes, and we must not rationalize about making a righteous judgment. There is only one kind of righteous judgment: NO JUDGMENT!
Anytime we face a situation, a challenge, a problem, or pain (we get a lot of pain....emotional, spiritual, or physical), we can usually see that we have offended one of these two principles. We are: (1) getting what we subconsciously want, or (2) we are making some kind of a judgment.
Pain is a Reflection of Fear
This brings us to another principle: pain, whether it is in the body or in the emotions is always a reflection of fear. It is always pent up or suppressed fear. ALWAYS! Physical pain, emotional pain, or spiritual pain is always the result (actually the outward symbol) of fear. That is a spiritual principle.
It will take all eight weeks to begin understanding these principles. If we have fears, we cannot solve the problems with the problem, and our problems (our pain) all come from the head. Satan has been given power over the flesh, and the brain is part of the flesh. All negative feelings and emotions come from this "hook," and it reaches out and grabs hold of a thought. We can always trace every negative feeling back to a hooked thought.
To test this principle, just unhook the thought and watch the universe start to flow through you again. Take a negative feeling--a piece of fear or something-and go to the thought that you grasped. When it hits the back of your neck, you will feel it--then concentrate on the place that it grabbed. Concentrate on where that negative emotion grabbed you (not on the thought that caused it) and immediately it will release. You will feel it. It might be back within 100th of a second, but you will feel it release in that second. We must learn to become experts at “Letting Go”.
Move Away From Judgment
My second daughter, who is sixteen, just got her driver's license. She was running down the stairs to get the keys to the car when all of a sudden I heard her screaming, "HELP!" She had tripped, fallen down the stairs, and broken her ankle. I ran down the stairs and the two of us were trying to figure out how to get her back up the stairs.
She was just sitting there on the stairs crying and I was trying to get her to be quiet. My feeling was, "This is the daughter who is always getting hurt, always klutzy!" There I was--right in judgment! I grabbed my thoughts right there and said, "First of all, look what she has created....what is she asking for? Why did she want this? She's got her driver's license, but now she can't drive because we are heading for the emergency room. Why did she want this? Why did she create this?" Immediately it became obvious to me....she wanted unconditional love and support. She was not getting enough. When I realized this, my feelings immediately changed.
Spiritual Rebirth Helps Us Understand
I am not asking you to believe all of this. Remember, I am giving you the whole thing at one shot, and I know it is a lot to swallow. I would be amazed if you even begin to believe a tenth of what I am saying right now. I ask only for your unconditional love and support while we discuss this. Hopefully, in eight weeks I will have planted seeds, and if what I am telling you is true, it will move from your heart up to your head and answer all your questions. If you have been “born again”, you already understand what I am telling you.
Conscious Versus Subconscious
I am not suggesting for a moment that my daughter consciously decided she needed more love and support and so consequently broke her leg. It was all on a subconscious level....subconsciously she did this. But I know the truth of it. I have been working with this principle for a long time. It was not easy for me to all of a sudden unhook from thoughts of victimization, to take a step back, and feel that what I just said was true. I know now my daughter was really looking for unconditional love and support...she had not had enough. So my mission now became to give her unconditional love and support, not judgment.
God's Children are the Ultimate of Intelligence
One step further....we are magnificent....beyond our wildest imagination! We are at the top of this created universal truth. All we need do is study anything minutely, and we soon realize how everything is in absolute, perfect synchronization. Consider how the blood flows through our bodies, how the nerves and other parts of our bodies respond. Contemplate the magnificent intelligence of everything in this universe, and then realize that we are at the top of that chain, intellectually, and spiritually. It is so incredible!
I knew my daughter had needs, but did I want this to happen? Did I cause her to fall down the stairs? Or did she? I believe we chose to "dance" or interact together. I chose the person in the car behind me as my "dancing" partner when it was time to have him run into the back of my car!
I know this seems stupid, but I am asking you to feel with it …..do not try to understand it intellectually. Support me in my craziness…..that is all I ask you to do.
Our Hearts Must Become Master of our Minds
If I am telling you these are the natural laws of the universe, then we have no free agency. If the natural laws are really the laws of the universe, then we are all victims of whatever happens and our purpose in this world is just to adjust to these circumstances. That is not much of a Godship! I am just asking you to leave your hearts open, because your minds will never grasp what I am telling you. We are not intelligent enough (in the mind) to grasp these concepts, and because we have always made the mind the master, it seems totally impossible. There has to be opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2). One is made to rule over the other; one of those opposites is made to be the acting agent and the other to be acted upon.
Becoming as Gods
We are told in Alma what happened to each of us--because of the fall--somewhere between the ages of eight and nine:
Alma 12:31.…"Wherefore he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as Gods....(with the full ramifications of what that means)...."knowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good ... "”
Before the age of accountability God simply gave us His Spirit and we were in the state of being acted upon. At the age of eight we became the acting agents. Here are two principles involved:
1. There needs to be opposition.
2. They need to be in balance. (or we need to be enticed by both equally)
Whether we are talking about an electron, an atom, or a husband and wife, or anything else where there are opposites, they need to be in balance. It is the perfect balance of opposites is the living force of the universe that drives all things forward--for the spiritual or physical.
In Opposition, One is the Actor and One is Acted Upon
In opposition, one is made to act and the other to be acted upon, depending upon the circumstance. In a marriage (depending upon the specific stewardship or role at that particular time), one is the actor and one is being acted upon. One is not made to act throughout the entire marriage while the other is acted upon. However, in some cases, the actor is always the actor.
In the case with God and us in the universe, we are always the agent....the free agent. We are always the actor....we are as Gods, knowing good from evil. So that makes us responsible.
Two Opposites Inside us – Head Versus Heart
How does this fit into the head? We have two opposites inside us....we have spirits and we have physical bodies, symbolized by hearts and heads. Everything in this world tells us the head should be the agent which runs things, and if we put the wrong agent in charge in any equation, it only works half way. Soon it starts getting out of kilter and we start getting situations, challenges, and problems. That is what has happened in the fall; consequently, we trust the head explicitly and implicitly. We believe the head should be the agent, so we always make the heart the servant to the head.
The Spirit Becomes the Acting Agent
In this new way of life, we put things back the way they are supposed to be....the spirit (the heart) becomes the acting agent. This does not make sense to the head, and the head will fight against it for awhile. Because of this, I realize what I am saying is not going to make sense to your head. All I am asking you to do is keep your hearts open, and if it is really the truth, the seed will be planted in your hearts.
If It Is a Good Seed ...
If it is a good seed it will begin to swell within your breast and you will say, "Ah, this is good! I'm beginning to see some results in my life---situations are beginning to clear up--things aren't what I thought they were!" If it is a bad seed, you will say, "This is crazy! These principles don't fit!" However, it is never like that.
Experiment in Using Your Heart
Please experiment with my words....they are the schoolmaster. When you go through the temple, the Terrestrial room is better than the World room--it is a step up-we are moving according to God's timetable. Had this problem been solved in your heart (not your mind), you would have said, "Okay, everybody always gets what they want. And everybody is perfect; they just don't realize it yet. They've got ulcers, but it isn’t because there's something wrong with them--it is just that they are not aware of it yet. They're still asleep." (Adam, awake and arise!)
Let Your Light So Shine ...
After a spiritual awakening (through humility and gratitude, not comparison), you can then pray, "I thank Thee, Heavenly Father, that I have awakened and arisen!" Henceforth, you can live in joyousness....you can be a light. You can let your light so shine that others see your good works and start asking why you do what you do.
The Scriptures Will Come Alive
You will find scriptures come alive when you start building on these true principles. When you unhook from illusion and start hooking on true principles, the scriptures will absolutely start to burn on the pages! You will see that God is telling you all this through the scriptures....it is not something Bailey thought of.
God Loves Us Unconditionally and Supports Us Just As We Are
God said, "They are still in the bonds of iniquity because they are without God in the world. They have gone contrary to the nature of God." What is the nature of God? How does God deal? Does God get everything He wants? Does God look at us without judgment? Does He let Saddam Hussein do everything he wants to do all the while loving him unconditionally and supporting him where he is at? Yes, Hussein will have to face consequences, but God allows us our agency to do what we want. Why should we do anything differently? We need to get our little hands busy in this world and start controlling the message.
The third principle we are going to consider is:
3.LIVE IN JOY!!!
God lives in joyousness. When we hook to eternal principles we can live in joyousness also. When we, as creatures of love, hook into the energy of the universe, all we can ever really give is love. We can give it one of three ways:
1. Withholding Love
We can withhold love--and it will be evidenced by total fear. Total pain will show up in our bodies eventually or quickly, and it will show up in our spirits immediately as the gall of bitterness (stress).
2. Distorting Love
We can distort love. We can give love in the form of judgment or sarcasm by saying, "You should be doing this or you ought to do that." It is still love--just distorted love. What happens here is we get mild pain or intermediate pain physically and spiritually. It is still pain, because fear always results in pain.
3. Give Unconditional Love to Everyone
We can do what we were created to do, which is to give love unconditionally and openly as God does. We can honor all creatures and all things in the universe and every other person in their magnificence.
Those are the three ways we can express this love. When somebody is throwing love at us (if it is distorted love), we can realize it is still love....it is just distorted. So we can forgive and unconditionally love and support them in their weaknesses.
Men Are That They Might Have Joy
All of God's children will eventually discover this joyousness! We are a part of the brotherhood of God....that is why we are all here. And now, lest you think I am quoting you false doctrine, let us read a scripture in John. If you know the doctrine you will do His will....obviously we think "His will" means the commandments.
John 7:16-17....."Jesus answered them and said, my doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man shall do His will he shall know the doctrine whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself."
What is "God's Will" For Us?
All of us who have been missionaries have quoted this scripture to investigators, but we always take the Savior out of context. Let us see what the Father's will really is.
John 6:39...."And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."
Is He saying we will be saved in our sins? No! We will have to come to the awareness--pay the price of awareness. There is no salvation without awareness and receiving. We must be aware, because what does it profit a man to receive, if he does not appreciate the gift or the giver? As soon as Heavenly Father knows we will appreciate that great gift, it is ours.
Does "Hell is Endless" Mean It Lasts Forever?
We might ask, "What if someone doesn't desire to have that gift?" This universe is set up to batter us when we are hooked to illusions....batter us until we get tired of being battered. Hell is endless! But that does not mean that we are going to stay endlessly in Hell. Remember that section of the Doctrine and Covenants that tells us not one will be lost:
D&C 50:40-42.... "Behold ye are little children and you cannot bear all things now, you must grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth. Fear not little children, for you are Mine and I have overcome the world and you are them that My Father has given Me. And none of them that My Father has given Me shall be lost."
Taking my daughter to the Emergency Room was totally out of my plan. But I said to myself, "Merrill, you needed this." If she needed unconditional love and support in all her magnificence, I had a great opportunity to give her unconditional love and support under affliction. When I did this, it felt so good. I took her to the hospital and the whole situation was just perfect. That is why it is human nature to rally around someone having trials and tribulations....because it is a glimpse of what we should be doing every single day.
As it is with the Gods, all we ever give each other is love. We even do it with guns....going into the Gulf was only a distorted form of love for us in this country. Unconditional, open love is what Gods are made to do. And when we are in alignment with the love and energy of the universe, we can do that.
We Never Give Anything Except To Ourselves
Here is the magic. …when we can be unconditionally loving and supportive of one in all our magnificence, guess what happens? It mirrors. Here is eternal principle. We never give anything except to ourselves!
There is a hierarchy of relationship. The first and most important one we have is with God….we have to have that relationship in balance first. Then we have to give. We cannot give from an empty cup.
Do You Really Love Yourself?
I am going to have a little experiment…we will have some fun finding out about ourselves doing this. How do you love yourself....embrace yourself? You can say it in your head--you can look in the mirror, you can practice harder--but how can you really incorporate love to where you feel it from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet? How do you really learn to forgive yourself, to love yourself unconditionally, support yourself in all your magnificence? How do you do that? This is the problem that most people want to talk about most of the time. This is the one you really want to zero in on....to find out what is wrong with your husband or your wife, or why you are having struggles with your boss. This is the one we really want to talk about, but almost always the problem is back with one of these two principles.....it is amazing how fast this one comes.
D&C 93: "Satan cometh and taketh light and truth from the children of men by the traditions of our fathers and because of disobedience."
They are the illusions we are trying to align with in the universe, but it does not work. They are the vain imaginations of men, as shown in Nephi's dream of the tree of life. What was Satan building that was above the earth? The vain imaginations of men (that they can save themselves).
How Can We Have Christ's Energy Within Us?
WE FOCUS UPON CHRIST, THE TRUE MASTER. Then we can have His energy within us and experience true joy in this life. Let me enlarge on it a little more and say, "The true Master is Jesus Christ and every place that He is and all that He is--which is much larger than just a headtrip. Part of coming to our purpose---which is to love and support.”
In the orchestra of life, some of us are playing violins, some horns, some drums…..and when we are doing what we love to do (and doing it out of judgment), we realize we are creating what we want and living in joyousness. From that love we do what we love to do, whether it be a housewife, a doctor, a teacher, or whatever. When we start zeroing in, we start getting in line with the universe, we start to "dance" with the universe, we start living in joy. We fulfill our purpose....we start playing our little instruments. And that is coming unto Christ, because now we become like Him. We know that when He shall appear, we shall see Him as He is, because we will be like Him.
There is No Such Thing as Good Pride
Pride is always the weakness; it is always the disguise. That is why this scripture for years baffled me: "If men come unto Me, I will show unto them their weakness." I thought that was a misquote, thinking, "That isn't really the way Moroni wrote it because I thought I knew what my weaknesses were. I did not think I needed to go to God to have Him show me my weaknesses. BIG SURPRISE!!! When I finally tried it, I found out my weakness was pride. The very thing that I was taking so much pride in! There is no such thing as good Pride.
What We Focus on Expands!!!
The only time we have to live so we can be proud is if we are doubting that we are. Here is another spiritual, eternal truth. This is a biggie: WHATEVER WE FOCUS ON, EXPANDS!!! That is a universal principle of truth. If we focus on our weaknesses and sins, they expand. If we focus on the law (meaning the commandments), instead of expanding and getting better at living it, we generally become aware of how badly we are doing, and we become worse at it .. Whereas, if we focus on our perfection, our livingness, our joyousness…..guess what expands? What a principle!
Get in Tune with the True Basic Principles of the Universe
Once we get in tune with the true basic principles of the universe, we cannot be hooked in with the “two-horse" concept. People do not like these principles---they want to go on with all the sophisticated things and they offend these basic principles all the time. We cannot do both.
We could call upon our Heavenly Father all the day and ask Him; "Why aren't you coming to me...... I'm in bankruptcy! I'm starving to death. You know I can't make this money; I've tried it over and over. I've come to you in prayer." Can you see that if we are focusing on money it may expand....unless God in His great wisdom starts cutting it so that we will not get the wrong message, which is: Spirituality is money.
If we will focus on the true principles and begin 'playing our instruments' in the universe, we will find that the universe is absolutely (beyond any comprehension) abundant. It will feed us with abundance in every way. Money, love, and everything else will come flowing in. Christ meant it when he said to the apostles (paraphrasing):
See D&C 84:81-84
Matthew 6:31-34…Take no thought for the morrow, what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink, what ye shall put on. I know ye have need of these things. But if you will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things will be added unto you.” (I will give them to you. I want to give you abundance. You will prosper in the land. But it I will come in through the back door, while you are not looking, because you will be concentrating on your part in the universe. And the universe is extraordinarily abundant and will give you more than enough. But this will only happen when you choose to focus on HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, instead of your own Self-Righteounsness, which the Prophet Joseph Smith said is SIN.)
Humility Means Gratitude
I am going to give you a definition of humility....another spiritual principle. Humility means always focusing on the abundance we already have and enjoy. I can hardly talk about this, because I cannot believe the abundance that my God and my Father pour down upon me day by day in every single way. You want to talk about money? I have plenty--and more than enough. You want to talk about love? I cannot contain it all. Anything you talk about, the abundance of the universe is just pouring down on me to where I cannot even comprehend it! Do not focus on the abundance…focus on your part in the universe. As you learn to come unto Christ, all these other things come as His part of the plan.
Remember what we focus on expands. Humility is focusing on the abundance of the universe we already have and enjoy. It is gratitude…..it is awareness. Stop for a moment and be aware of how much money you already have. Be aware of how much love and how much of all the things of the universe you already enjoy, instead of focusing on what you do not have or wish you had. Otherwise, what you do not have will enlarge.
It is a true principle and true principles will always make sense because you already know them. All I am trying to do is take away the illusions we have built up, because Satan came and took away light and truth due to (disobedience and) the traditions of our Fathers.
To be Perfect Does Not Mean “Flawless”
It is not a contradiction to say that we are working on perfection and that we are already perfect. It is a contradiction to the head, but not a contradiction to the heart. I am going to show you what I mean by that....let me say it in another way. We are perfect." To be perfect does not mean to be flawless; it means to be complete or whole. It does not mean that we do not have weaknesses. God's perfection is our imperfection.
Look at nature. There is nothing out there that is flawless….every tree, every plant, everything in God's universe has flaws, and yet it is perfect. The Atonement took all of our flaws and rectified them, so there is no right or wrong. You probably choked on that!
Five Things About Yourself That You Admire
I want you to fold a piece of paper in half, then open it up and on the top half list (secretly) five things about yourself, your personality, your character, or your spirit (who you are) that you like or admire. This is hard because our traditions have taught us not to do it. My students in school groan when I ask them to do this.
If you cannot stay away from EGO concepts such as: "I look good, or my beard is great, etc.", zero in on spiritual qualities…..your sensitivity, your love, your awareness, your brightness. Now of those five, narrow your list down to the one quality that you admire the most about your personality, character, or spirit. Circle it.
Five Character Traits of Others That Really 'Bug' You
After you have done that, fold in half the other section of the paper. Think of several people in your life with whom you deal every day, and put down the five character traits or personality traits that just bug you to death.....the five that you hate the most in somebody else. Although I told you not to judge, I am asking you to judge for just a second. Write them down. (Generally, you will find these traits scattered throughout several different people.) Now narrow these traits down to one thing you have a struggle with every time they are around. Circle that one.
Now you have five things about yourself that you love, and the one that you love the most. You also have five things in others that bother you, and the one that bugs you the most. Hopefully. a year from now, you will have a very hard time doing this, because you get so out of the habit of judging people you do not find things that bother you. I want to tell you right now that you can get to that place. Those things will not matter.
Negative Traits are Ways of Expressing Love
That is why your life will begin to change…you realize that people are just using other ways to express love. Even though it is distorted, you can accept them and love them and their ways, because you realize the Atonement covered it. It gives texture (and context) to your life.
Remember the analogy of the orchestra…..we are not all going to learn the violin. Some are going to play oboe and some violas, and it is that difference in each of us as we each do what we love that makes it beautiful. The discords in the orchestra are coming from people who would rather play oboe, but are trying to beat on drums. That is what is ruining some of the music for us.
Complete Harmony in the Celestial Kingdom
Look at a Ieaf……observe the way it was has designed for God’s Spirit to flow through it. Each function supports the other functions until there is no discordance in it at all…...everything works in harmony. I am convinced that is the way the Celestial Kingdom will be, not because every part of the leaf is the same. It is the difference that makes it work in harmony.
Descriptive Adjectives of the Savior
I am going to play a song for you and I will pass out the words. I know you have all heard it before, but I think this is an appropriate time to play the song, "The Greatest Gift." Everything we have talked about tonight centers around the Atonement and coming unto Christ. This song is by Afterglow. As I play it, you will already have had time to read the words. On the other side of your piece of paper" write down traits to answer this statement:
The Savior is…………….
Jesus Christ is ………………...
Just let it flow and write as many descriptive adjectives as you can. Describe your feelings for your
Traits of Yourself and Others
On that first half where you wrote the things you loved the most about yourself, would you write next to it: THIS IS ME…...because it is. Relish how that feels. New take the second list…..the five things that bother you in others. Chances are the things that bother you the most in other people are the very things you are hiding inside yourself and trying to run away from, You may not be exhibiting them ……they may be even subconscious.
You may have repressed them and pushed them down underneath, but the reason they bother you is because you pump power into them. You do not pump power into something unless there is some truth in it. Next to all those things, write the words: THIS IS ME. Maybe these are some of the weaknesses God will show you when you go to Him.
Attributes of the Savior
What I am trying to really plant here tonight is your divine nature: Now turn the paper over to the side where you wrote all the attributes of the Savior and write in BIG BOLD LETTERS: "THIS IS ME."
If it is a true seed, the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will carry it into your heart. I do not expect you to believe this anymore than the Zoramites believed it when Alma tried to get them to plant a seed. He told them to "experiment upon my word" (verse 32). If you exercise a particle of faith--even no more than a desire to believe that which I have told you tonight is true--you will find a seed has been planted in your heart.
Behold, if it is a true seed or a good seed--and if you do not cast it out by your unbelief and resist the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will carry it into your heart, and it will have edified you. And if you do not resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold it will begin to swell within your breast. And when you feel these swelling motions, you will begin to say within yourself that it must needs be this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul. Yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding. The seed begins to move from the heart to the head……not from the head to the heart, as we have always done under the law. In the past you learned a concept, and it sank down…... it does not work that way. It is just the opposite to enter this higher realm…....it must start in the heart and swell and enlarge.
Your Life Changes
As you focus on it and begin to watch the fruit, it will reprogram your mind…...not the other way around. It will begin to enlighten your understanding, it will begin to be delicious to you. You will begin to see things change in your life. Your relationships with your children change, the people you thought were your enemies change, you begin to see good things. All of a sudden money starts coming in…...you begin to have more abundance, you quit worrying about whether you are going bankrupt or not, because there is always just enough. Miraculous! What you focus on now begins to enlarge. Is this not then real?
Alma 35:33 .. "I say unto you, yea, because it is light and whatsoever is light is good. "
HOW DO WE PLANT THIS SEED?
It moves from the spiritual (here all things are created first) into the material, and your mirrors begin to change. The Zoramites had the same question, "But how do I plant this seed?' In verses 3-11 Alma tells us. look through the list of things you have written about the Savior and then follow His prescription.
Instructions on Prayer
Alma 33:11 says, "PRAY." He quotes Zenos, and he says, "PRAY.” Where do you pray? First of all you pray over your enemies. You pray in your fields. You pray in your house. You pray in your closet. You do not pray to be heard of men. You pray in your congregations, but the secret is this: Pray in the sincerity of your hearts….with real intent.
Alma 33:11….."And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of Thy Son that Thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto Thee in all my afflictions, for in Thee is my joy. (And then verse 16)..... "Thou art angry, O Lord, (he is quoting Zenos, the Prophet) with this people…..because they will not understand Thy mercies which Thou hast bestowed upon them because of Thy Son."
Law of Mercy and Grace
The Lord was aggravated with this people…...and at us too! Why? Because we will not understand His mercies. Everything we are talking about tonight is the law of mercy and grace, not the law of judgment or of justice. And He is angry because we will not understand that His Son has already paid for it all and perfected the entire thing.
Alma 33:19 .. "Behold Christ was spoken of by Moses, Yea, and behold a type or a symbol will be raised up in the wilderness that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live, but few understood the meaning of those things.”
Speaking facetiously, we could say they wanted to go back and do their home teaching and live the law and do all those works. It could not be so easy that they just had to look in order to live! It had to be something more difficult, something more strenuous, something that really tried them. It could not be so simple as to just look on the serpent and live! The difficulty was because of the hardness of their hearts. They thought it was humility that made them want to do all this work, but it was the hardness of their hearts!
Alma 33:20….."But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look .and therefore they perished.” (the reason they would not look was because they did not believe it would heal them ---it was too easy – it can’t be this easy).
Alma 33:21-22….. "Oh, my brethren, if you could be healed by merely casting about your eyes, would you (be so stupid as to)....not to behold quickly? Or would you rather harden your hearts in unbelief and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish? If so, wo shall come upon you…..(there is no hope for you, because salvation comes only in and through the name of Jesus Christ. It does not come by the law of justice. All of us are forever damned. It is only given through Christ). "But if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God."
Resurrection--When We Are Ready
Believe what? A headtrip? Or can we believe everything we have heard tonight--that a God came and descended below all things before the foundation of the world and paid for all this so that we can live without judgment, so that we can be perfect? Can we believe that He came to redeem His people, that He suffered and died to atone for their sins and that He shall rise again from the dead (just like we will, as soon as we will “awake and arise, Adam!”), which shall bring to pass the resurrection that all men shall stand before Him to be judged? What resurrection, how about the resurrection in the D&C?
D&C 84:33…."For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining of these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses, and of Aaron, and the seed of Abraham, and the Church and Kingdom and the elect of God. And also all they who receive this priesthood receive Me, saith the Lord. For he that receiveth My servants receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me, receiveth My Father. And he that receiveth My Father receiveth My Father's Kingdom; therefore all that My Father hath shall be given unto him."
Now back to verse Alma 33:
Alma 33:22…... "which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before Him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works."
Wonderful Blessings From Works of Righteousness
Because if our works have been works of righteousness and works of forgiveness and atonement and Grace, then they will bless us forever.
Alma 33:23…."And now, My brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this Word in your hearts. And as it begins to swell, even so nourish it by your faith. And behold it will become a tree, springing up unto you, unto everlasting Life, and then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light through the joy of His Son. Even all this can ye do if you will. Amen."
Judgment Takes on New Meaning
So we are free to choose? Yes! Do not look at judgment in the old way. All the words in this realm take on a whole new meaning. The words--Resurrection, Keeping the Commandments, Judgment, and Repentance--all take on new meanings.
Righteous judgment means no judgment at all. Do not judge, because we always look at judgment negatively. All things are good…..there is no right or wrong, because the Atonement paid for everything. We will each be judged for what we did not do and given credit for every good thing we ever did and our works will follow us forever. And if we do not do any good, then we will not have that goodness. That is understandable; it is a righteous judgment…..the same kind of judgment Christ gave.
Christ Never Condemns
Christ said, "Because the Father placed all judgment in My hands, go thy way, neither do I judge you. I did not come to condemn the world. I came to save the world." Christ always judges with righteous judgment--which means: HE ALWAYS JUDGES BY LOVE. HE NEVER CONDEMNS.
Eternal Life is Now
Eternal Life is in this moment of time and there is a constant judgment going on, but it is not a judgment between right and wrong. If a situation, challenge, or problem arises, it is always because we violated one of those basic, major principles of the Universe.
We Withhold Love Because….
We live in constant judgment. All day long we are judging ourselves. We are evaluating in terms of effectiveness or non-effectiveness, using distorted love, full love, or withdrawn love, and we find ourselves in fear many times a day. When we realize that fear comes because we are withholding love (always from ourselves and usually from others), we can begin to trace it down.
Where is that withholding of love coming from? Generally, it comes because we are still holding onto the world, trying to ride two horses with one seat. We can always turn to that first principle and realize we are getting what we asked for--getting what we want.
We Can Change the Situation
If we want something different: we can change. Then we can get out of judgment and begin to love and support ourselves unconditionally. We can get "feelings", not "thoughts”…..and the whole situation will change. We must leave the details up to the universe as to how to play our instruments and it will give abundance to us, moment by moment. We will start to reap the abundance of the universe.
The Final Judgment is NOW
Let me say two things: First, there is always a final judgment…..the final judgment is going an in our lives--right at this moment of time. Are we at this moment accepting responsibility for our lives? Are we living without judgment? Are we one hundred percent unconditionally loving and supporting others in all· of their magnificence? Are we living in joyousness? Can we feel that joy of the universe pouring through us at this moment, just like the blood in our veins and like the air outside and like rivers that flow?
God's Spirit is flowing through the universe always, and if we are not blocking it, we can feel it. If I am standing here loving you unconditionally, my works (this work and this moment of time) will always be with me. There is the final judgment.
States of Being –Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial
Secondly; whether we choose a Telestial, Terrestrial or Celestial state of being (we can go into D&C and read what the real meanings are), we are always in one of them. Our final judgment is taking place…..we are always living in the world. We can be in the Terrestrial where we are always struggling with the law and beating ourselves up, or we can always be forgiving and in the Celestial Kingdom. That final judgment is putting us in a kingdom every day of our lives.
Joy on Earth will be Restored to Joy in the Spirit World
We get out of this world, pass through the veil, and take up communion with God…..then His Spirit and His joyousness will flow through us. Our Savior is the resurrection and the Light. This moment of time is eternal life…...a well of living water springing up all the time, There is no death…..death has lost its sting. I do not know what is going to happen in the spirit world. I do not care. I know (according to Alma) that I will be restored to happiness because I have had happiness in this life. I am living in joy. I am going to be restored to joy over there. That is the whole message of Alma 41.
If we are still in misery here (and living the gospel), we are going to be restored to misery over there (and living the Gospel)! That is what Alma 41 tells us. Are all the people living in misery (and living the Gospel) hoping to get over there and have it change? Yes!! But will that same state…..that same spirit which possessed them here have power to possess them there--forever? No!! Just until we choose to let go of that Negative Spirit and turn to God. Obviously, this evolution goes on and on until all of us go back in Father's Kingdom.