January 26, 2015 in Blog
by Jessica Jackson Drollette
I never had childhood imaginary friends–there were enough non-imagined spirits clamoring for my attention, but I did make one exception for the girl in the stars…
How many of us have looked into the milky way galaxies on a cloudless night and imagined the infinite worlds and God’s creations contained in one inch of space? When I was young, I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my spiritual gifts (which at the time I hardly called gifts). But I was never into having imaginary friends–I already had enough non-imaginary spirits clamoring for my attention that I tried to ignore–but I did make one exception for the girl in the stars. She was a little girl just like me, looking out from her planet out at the galaxies, wondering about a little girl like herself, feeling alone in her weirdness. It created an imaginary bond that kept my gaze fixed on the stars for many years to come.
I used to chart the star where I imagined her planet orbited. I would watch the patterns in the sky with my telescope to track where her star was so I’d always know where she was in the sky. It’s been many years since I’ve thought of such things, but now I look back at my childhood in remembrance of my wonderment of the mysteries of God.
When we are children, mystery is what drives us to explore this marvelous world: the slippery frog sunning on a rock–the frost on the grass on spring mornings–exploring every nook and cranny of hidden attic spaces long forgotten. We dream and imagine, often with nothing more than sticks and stones with which to create worlds unnumbered for eons of time.
But as we age, we lose the glow of wonder that drove us to stretch our thin arms to the sky, darting to munch an elusive snowflake–didn’t anyone tell you every snowflake taste different? While oblivious to the hundreds stuck to our eyelashes.
But day by day, the mysteries lose their golden hue, and we place the veil of forgetfulness over us like our long lost comforter, blocking from our adult view the desire to seek for God’s mysteries. We forge through the humdrum days, the melodrama meltdowns, the daily routines so common we forget where we’ve driven as we wake from our autopilot stupor.
Joseph Smith taught:
“The Lord has promised to reveal his mysteries to those who serve him in faithfulness. [ ] There are no mysteries pertaining to the Gospel, only as we, in our weakness, fail to comprehend Gospel truth. [ ] The ‘simple’ principles of the Gospel, such as baptism, the atonement, are mysteries to those who do not have the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord.” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:43.)
“I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness. A man can do nothing for himself unless God direct him in the right way; and the Priesthood is for that purpose.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, p.364)
But where to begin?
Many prophets have spoken of the mysteries of God and the importance of seeking after them.
“If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation,knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. Behold, thou shalt observe all these things, and great shall be thy reward; for unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but unto the world it is not given to know them.” (D&C 42:61, 65)
“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 26:22).
What must we do to qualify for the mysteries to be revealed?
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor 2:11-14)
“But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.” (D&C 63:23)
“For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory. And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man. “(D&C 76:5-10)
How should we seek after the mysteries of God?
The Prophet Joseph Smith Taught:
“Now, there is some grand secret here, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, etc., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place. Now, wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son.
Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure, that they had part with Christ, and were joint heirs with Him. They then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation. Then knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 298)
“A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import;and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men.“
“How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of His will, from before the foundation of the world! We are called to hold the keys of the mysteries of those things that have been kept hid from the foundation of the world until now.
“Some have tasted a little of these things, many of which are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, upon the weak, obscure and despised ones of the earth. Therefore we beseech of you, brethren, that you bear with those who do not feel themselves more worthy than yourselves, while we exhort one another to a reformation with one and all, both old and young, teachers and taught, both high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female; let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads in every place; and in fine, become as little children, without malice, guile or hypocrisy.
“And now, brethren, after your tribulations, if you do these things, and exercise fervent prayer and faith in the sight of God always, He shall give unto you knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now; which our forefathers have waited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fullness of their glory; a time to come in which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many Gods, they shall be manifest; all thrones and dominions, principalities and powers,shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and also if there be bounds set to the heavens, or to the seas; or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon or stars; all the times of their revolutions; all the appointed days, months and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed, in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times, according to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other Gods, before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into His eternal presence, and into His immortal rest.” (Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg 137-138)
“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. ..Revelation can come hour by hour and moment by moment as we do the right things…Being in the right places allows us to receive guidance. It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the Spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks. Personal revelation gives us the understanding of what to do every day to increase faith and personal righteousness.
“We are also told that this Spirit will enlighten our minds, fill our souls with joy, and help us know all things we should do. Promised personal revelation comes when we ask for it, prepare for it, and go forward in faith, trusting that it will be poured out upon us.” (“And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit” by Sister Julie B. Beck April 2010)
God will speak to those who pray, meditate, and obey their covenants with Him. But you must prepare to knock, then ask, listen, and receive.
“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.” (3 Nephi 14:7)
With much love,
-Jessica Jackson Drollette