How to receive what you ask for


It is a gospel law that if you ask God for something that is good and right, in the name of Jesus, in faith, believing that you will receive, doubting nothing, you will receive what you ask for.

A new investigation

Lately I have been perplexed by the lack of spiritual best gifts among the church of God. In my interactions with church members, I had come to the conclusion that we do not have the gifts “because [we] ask not, neither do [we] knock” (2 Ne. 32: 4), after all, Jesus said that “every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened” (3 Ne. 14: 8.) Nevertheless, with over 13 million members of record, I found it awfully strange that not even one person sought these gifts. I mean, what are the odds of that?

That got me thinking that in all likelihood the truth was that while the vast majority of the membership no longer sought the gifts, a small minority did. Yet even among them the gifts are absent. I wondered, why haven’t these people received what they are asking for?

Moroni records Jesus as saying, “Whoso shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him I will confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 25.) He also gives his own prophecy, “Whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 21.) God cannot speak a lie and still remain a God of truth. This means that for the entire gospel to be true, all its individual parts must also be true, including this promise, because the principle is that God “never doth vary from that which he hath said” (Mosiah 2: 22; also Alma 7: 20 and D&C 3: 2.)

I decided, then, that I would put Moroni’s promise to the test and follow the prescribed steps so that Jesus would have to confirm His words to me. I believed the word of God to be true and had full confidence that I would receive what I asked for. Specifically, I was going to ask for a spiritual best gift, for the gifts of the Spirit are things that are right and good, which is one of the qualifications necessary for the promise to be fulfilled. (See 3 Ne. 18: 20 and Moroni 7: 26.)

I began my trial sometime between the 19th and 26th of January, 2011, and have continued it to this very day. This post contains what I have so far learned from this ongoing experiment with the word of God.

Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. (Ether 12: 6)

A trial is a proof. A proof is “any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; test; trial; as to put in proof.” The trial of your faith, then, is the proof of your faith, or an effort, process or operation designed to establish or discover whether or not you have faith.

The “effort, process, or operation” that is used to establish that we have faith is a very specific type of prayer. By praying in a specific way, our faith will be instantly put in proof and we will immediately know whether we have faith.

How to pray, part one

For the purposes of this experiment, we shall attempt to obtain one of the gifts of God. In particular, we will seek a gift that is easily recognizable as having been received. Of the three lists of gifts in the scriptures, the list given to the Lamanites is the only one that contains the gift of the beholding of angels (see Moroni 10: 14 and The role of angels in Nephite preaching.) So, this is the gift we will seek, for once an angel of light appears and is discerned (see D&C 129: 4-9), there is no doubt that the gift has been received.

The instructions of how to ask God for one of His gifts, which were given by Jesus and Moroni (in Mormon 9: 21, 25; 3 Ne. 18: 19-20; and Moroni 7: 26), are summarized in the following manner:

Ask the Father

Ask in the name of Christ

Believe in Christ

Believe in the name of Christ

Ask for something good and right (the gift of the beholding of angels qualifies)

Ask in faith

Believe you shall receive

Doubt nothing

The promise is that if the above steps are followed by anyone, it shall be granted/done/given and Jesus’ words will be confirmed.

Let’s write up a sample prayer based upon the above instructions.

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

A deadline

On the surface, the above prayer seems to serve its purpose of putting our faith in proof. If you have faith, the angel will appear. If you do not have faith, the angel will not appear. What it lacks, though, is an element of time. When does the angel have to appear? The prayer does not specify. The time frame is left up to the Lord. If the Lord decides to send the angel at the end of your life, 60 years from now, how does this tell you now whether or not you have faith? It doesn’t. What if the Lord decides not to send an angel because you didn’t exercise faith, would you know? Nope.

Prayers that don’t have an element of time in them are insufficient to put your faith in proof. A deadline, such as a day and time, must be included so as to make a discovery of faith (or lack thereof.) If the deadline comes and goes, with no result, you didn’t pray in faith. If the deadline arrives with an angel, you now have passed the trial of your faith and have received your witness.

Here is the same prayer altered slightly so that it serves as a trial of faith:

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me right now. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

All things can be asked for

Notice in the above prayers that I asked for everything. I didn’t say, “Give me this according to the faith that I have,” I said, “Give me faith in your Son.” I didn’t say, “I believe that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer,” I said, “Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer.” I didn’t say, “I have no doubts whatsoever,” I said, “Take away my doubts.” The Lord has everything I need to make a prayer work. If I lack anything, He can make up for it, if I ask Him for it.

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. (Mormon 9: 27)

Different amounts of faith

To move mountains, you need faith the size of a mustard seed. Jesus told Peter that he had little faith. The scriptures speak of having the gift of exceedingly great faith. All of this shows that faith comes in different amounts. Depending on what you are asking for, you will need a greater or lesser amount of faith.

The mere act of asking God for something, believing that you are going to receive, is an act of faith. How much faith? No one but God knows. However, if you ask, believing that you will receive, and do not receive what you ask for—and you know for a fact that you have not received what you asked for because you asked in the manner detailed above, using an element of time so that the prayer creates a trial of faith—it causes you to confront your false beliefs. You must then admit to yourself that the belief that you had that you would receive what you asked for was false. Again, you may indeed have asked in faith, because the very act of asking is an act of faith, but it was of an insufficient quantity to receive what you asked for, therefore your belief that you would receive was false.

When a man is faced with a false belief—not determined by someone else, but determined by the man himself—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, you will have to completely ignore the evidence. You will have to call black white and white black. You will have to act totally irrationally. You will have to step into the unknown. You will have to close your eyes and walk blindly in darkness. You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.

If you are able to get back on your knees and offer another prayer, asking again for something with a deadline, so that the prayer becomes another trial of your faith, and with the (irrational) belief that you will receive, the very act of attempting the experiment again requires more faith than your first attempt.

Each subsequent attempt will again naturally increase your faith. But each time you fail to receive, you will be faced again with a religious crisis that can only be overcome by faith.

The theory in all of this is that eventually, continuing on in this manner, you will finally arrive at the amount of faith required for what you are asking for, and you will then receive the gift you seek, obtaining the witness promised in the scriptures, which comes after the trial of your faith.

The veil of unbelief

The Lord prophesied that the people of our day would have a veil of unbelief, which, unless rent, would keep us in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart, and He would withhold the greater things from us.

Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. (Ether 4: 15)

The purpose of the veil of unbelief is to hide “the great and marvelous things” of God from us. As long as it is upon us, we can pray until we are blue in the face to see angels or obtain the powers and gifts of the Spirit and we will forever remain in the dark about such things, never tasting of the goodness of God, nor feasting upon his fatness. Only those who pray to God “with a broken heart and a contrite spirit” are the ones who rend the veil of unbelief and partake of the greater things, such as the ministration of angels. To all others, the heavens are closed.

God has power to cast away the veil of unbelief from our minds

Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God— (Alma 19: 6)

Anyone can ask for the same blessing from the Lord.

It is extremely important that the veil of unbelief be removed, because it will prohibit us from exercising faith.

And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. (Mormon 9: 20)

Using disappointment to rend one’s soul

…when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief… (Ether 4: 15)

The disappointment of not receiving what we ask for, as promised in the scriptures, is a heart-wrenching experience. If repeated over and over again, using back-to-back deadline prayers, it feels like your whole soul is being ripped apart. This might be the reason why the Lord chose the word “rend” when speaking of what to do with the veil of unbelief.

To rend means “to part, tear off, or take away, by force.” It also means “to separate into parts with force or sudden violence; to tear asunder; to split; burst; tear; to affect as if tearing asunder; as, ‘powder rends a rock in blasting; lightning rends an oak; a lion rends its prey; to rend one’s garments; the nation was rent by discord; a heart rent with grief.’” So, there is nothing gradual or subtle about rending the veil of unbelief. It is supposed to be done suddenly and violently, creating rapid change in the individual.

What the veil is

Man cannot perceive the veil of unbelief that covers him. The word veil is used to describe it because it feels very much like a thick piece of cloth that envelops the spirit. We can’t see out through it and, in fact, can’t even feel that it is there. However, once a part of the veil is rent, suddenly we can perceive that something real (an actual thing) is covering us, like a cocoon that gets cracked, letting the airy breeze in. The breeze feels good to us and the contrast between the exposed and covered parts (where the veil is still intact) enables us to finally perceive the veil.

The first perception of the veil is an alarming experience. The initial reaction is, “Get this off of me!” It feels like an uncomfortable, alien, spiritual cloth. And indeed it is. The veil of unbelief is Satan’s spiritual garment that he imperceptibly places upon all mankind when they arrive at the age of accountability and sin. Its purpose is to reduce agency, faith, knowledge, wisdom, etc. It allows him to more easily deceive us and lead us to destruction. It is the counterpart of the garment of the priesthood.

The veil of unbelief appears to be an extension of the spirit of the devil and not an individual thing placed upon each person. The result of being subject to it is damnation (see Damnation.) Once you can perceive that it is on you, you want it off of you immediately, because you can perceive that it is not a part of you and that it has been placed there without you even realizing it and that it is stopping you from spiritually progressing. In other words, you can perceive that an enemy put it there.

Even if one goes through all the ordinances of the gospel and wears the physical priesthood garment, etc., as long as Satan’s spiritual garment (the veil of unbelief) is still being worn, spiritual progress will be stunted and the gifts of the Spirit will remain off-limits. The gospel teaches that the proper order is to first rend the veil of unbelief and take it off, and then we are to put on gospel covenants and clothing. But even if things have been done out of their proper order, it is of utmost importance that Satan’s veil be removed.

The chains of hell

The chains of hell are twin filaments of spirit matter (plasma) that twist and revolve around each other in a pattern that looks like the links of a chain.

One end of the chain leads to, and is held by, Satan (see Moses 7: 26.) The other end of the chain leads to the veil of unbelief. It is attached to the veil at the back and base of the skull. One filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s left brain hemisphere (the mind) and the other filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s right brain hemisphere (the heart.)

There are three modes of plasma discharge: glow, arc and dark. The chains of hell are twin filaments of plasma discharging in dark mode.

The mind operates in arc mode, while the heart operates in dark mode. The mind is designed to believe what it sees, therefore it is designed to be lit up so that it can see everything and thus believe everything. The mind is also designed to be firm or fixed. When illuminated, it clearly can see where everything is and instantly can fixate upon what it sees without any wavering. When minds are darkened, it cannot clearly see things or where things are and must waver in order to try to find its way in the darkness, just as a blind man moves his cane left and right to figure out where things are.

When a chain of hell is attached to a veil of unbelief, the dark mode discharging filament that goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that encases the mind causes the mind to go into dark mode. The mind becomes darkened, and undergoes a state of blindness. It begins to waver. As it cannot see anything or much at all, it does not believe much either, or it begins to doubt or exhibit unbelief. Wickedness is simply a state which goes against the purpose God designed. It is a perversion. The mind was designed to operate in arc mode, in a digital manner. The veil of unbelief causes it to operate in dark mode, in an analog manner. The mind is now in a state of wickedness.

As stated above, the heart operates in dark mode. It is designed to operate in this mode and is designed by God to be soft and malleable, or easily entreated. When the other filament of the chain of hell goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that covers the heart, it cannot change the discharge mode of the heart, because the chain of hell is also in dark mode. However, it does have an effect upon the organ of the heart: it causes the heart to become hard or fixed. So now, instead of feeling its way around its environment like a blind man, as it was intended to do, the heart functions like a mind, fixating on individual emotions, instead of expanding to encompass the infinite gradations of feelings. In other words, the heart is designed to embrace the infinite, or feel an infinite variety of feelings and emotions. When the veil of unbelief, powered by the chains of hell, covers the heart, it becomes selective in what it feels, acting in a digital manner instead of the analog manner it was designed to operate in. It, too, is now in a state of wickedness.

Satan is able to deceive mankind through his chains of hell and the veils of unbelief that are attached to all sinners. Through sin, the veil of unbelief and its chain becomes attached to man around the age of eight. Through continual sin, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be removed.

The chains of hell not only look like chains, but also function as chains. If a man does not, while in mortality, repent and shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief that is attached to his mind and heart, when he dies he becomes exposed to the full captivating power of Satan. Satan has power to pull on his chains, dragging the souls down to hell, but he has no power to pull the spirits into hell while they are still in their physical, mortal bodies. Only when the spirit leaves its body can the devil pull the helpless souls into hell. The body serves as a temporary protection from the devil in this manner. Once in hell, the devil can fully subject the spirits to him, through his spirit (the chains of hell and veils of darkness). (See Alma 34: 33-35.)

Having an understanding of these things is extremely important, in order that we can work out our salvation with fear and trembling before God. (See Alma 34: 37.)

A tare sown

The chains of hell and the veil of unbelief, if turned upside down, look like a plant stalk with roots going into the heart and mind of man. This is, in actuality, the tare that is sown by the enemy. The tare seed is planted in the heart of man first (see Moses 6: 55) and then takes root in both heart and mind. In other words, the first plasma filament of a chain of hell first begins its connection to man in the heart, then the second filament connects to the mind, creating the veil of unbelief which encompasses the mind and heart of man.

(Note: the veil of unbelief only covers the heart and mind of man, not any other part of his spirit body.)

Secret works of darkness

Man cannot discover the chains of hell, nor the veil of unbelief that is upon him. If it were not for the word of God, which reveals the secret works of darkness of the evil one, no man would ever know that actual chains of hell exist, nor that veils of unbelief are secretly placed upon all mankind. These invisible plasma filaments (chains of hell) and plasma coverings (veils of unbelief) can only be detected by a manifestation of the gift of the discerning of spirits, for these are extensions of the spirit of the devil.

Satan operates in secret. As long as we have no knowledge of what he is doing to us, or what he has done or plans to do, he can work his destruction upon us with impunity. The word of God ruins his plans, because it fully exposes the danger the devil poses to us. Once a man knows that he is in chains of hell and covered in a veil of unbelief, secretly put there by the devil upon reaching the age of accountability and sinning, man can use his agency to fight it and attempt to get it off of him by calling on the power of Christ to help him. This puts a clog in the works of the devil, so he has always attempted to destroy the scriptures, or corrupt them, or get people to disbelieve them or misinterpret them. For those of us that have uncorrupted scriptures (the Book of Mormon), the devil’s strategy to stop us from liberating ourselves with the power of Christ is to deceive men into believing that all is figurative in the scriptures, or at least the parts that pertain to him. So, the expression “chains of hell” is not considered a real thing that binds man. And the “veil of unbelief” is not considered a real thing that covers the heart and mind of man. They are thought to be just figurative expressions of states of mind, not actual things that must be actively sought to be removed from one’s spirit body.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. (Mormon 9: 27)

Most LDS interpret this scriptural expression as referring to respect. In other words, when we fear God, we don’t actually exhibit fear of Him, meaning that we are frightened by Him, but accord Him the respect that He deserves. However, this expression does not refer to respect. Such an interpretation is a deception of the devil, a snare meant to blind the minds and harden the hearts of the church of God.

What fear in the expression actually means

The word fear in the expression “fear and trembling” signifies actual fear, as in fright or horror. It is the fear of being cast off forever.

And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever. (Mosiah 28: 4)

Such fear is instilled in a person when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached in its fulness and purity (see Alma 16: 21), meaning that those parts of the gospel which reveal the power and captivity of the devilthe reality of death and hell, the chains of hell, the darkness and blindness of minds, the hardness of hearts, the state of wickedness, the fallen, evil nature and nothingness of man, the bands of death, the doctrine of damnation and endless torment, the spirit of the devil, the mists of darkness and temptations of the devil, the veil of unbelief, the wavering state of the mind, the lake of fire and brimstone, the flaming sword of justice, the rivers of filthy water, etc.such parts of the gospel sink home into the heart and mind of a man, and this new awareness causes him to fear to die because of the knowledge that the instant he leaves his mortal body he will be “taken home to that God who gave him life” (Alma 40: 11) and, being found unclean and possessed by the spirit of the devil (for the chains of hell are still attached), will then be cast off into hell (Alma 40: 13), to be kept in captivity by the devil, because of his sins.

Again, this is according to the power and captivity of the devil, which the Lord respects:

And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called. (Mosiah 5: 14)

Satan possesses all who have his chains of hell upon them. We are his property and the Lord respects that and will respect that so long as we have a chain upon us sealing us as the devil’s. This is why we are cast off when we return to that God who gave us life and cannot enter paradise or the gates of righteousness. The chains of hell are still attached to us, the veil of unbelief remains intact and our minds are still in a state of blindness or darkness, or “filthiness” and “uncleanness.” No unclean thing can enter the gates of righteousness, otherwise paradise would also be unclean. So, we are cast off and dragged down to hell.

What trembling in the expression actually means

The trembling is both physical and spiritual, or the trembling of the entire soul when a man is confronted with his deepest, darkest and most horrifying fear, that of being cast off forever. Trembling happens when a man is conscious of his own guilt before God, having transgressed His laws and commandments.

Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done. (Alma 12: 1)

Shaking loose the chains and rending the veil

Fear and trembling before the Lord causes man to be confronted with the realization that he does not have faith unto salvation, unto repentance, unto redemption. It is faith that saves a man from the hell that is prepared for him. The realization that he does not have faith plunges his soul into its own personal hell, where darkness envelops him and hell fires scorch and burn him up, in a process that, if the man learns to trust the Lord, repent of all his sins and continue on through the darkness and fires, will sanctify him, for these are the refiner’s fires, which are meant to consume the impurities found within his heart and mind, his very soul.

The trembling and shaking is not a mental process alone, but also a physical one. When it is discovered that the devil has actual chains upon his spirit, with an actual veil of unbelief upon his mind and heart, the spirit of man reacts violently against the foreign spirit of the devil, of which the chains of hell and veil of unbelief are a part, and attempts to shake it off itself. As the spirit of man is connected to his physical body, when the spirit suffers in anguish because of the awareness of the presence and attachment of the spirit of the devil,―and such suffering is known as “the pains of hell”―and then attempts to shake the chains of hell loose, the physical body likewise begins to shake uncontrollably. (See 2 Ne. 1: 13, 23; 9: 45 and Alma 5: 9-10; 26: 14.)

Faith unto repentance brings relief and liberation

If a man is able to obtain faith unto repentance, by offering to the Lord a broken heart and contrite spirit, the fear of being cast off forever and his trembling under a consciousness of guilt is turned into the joy of the saints, knowing that the Lord has redeemed his soul from hell and forgiven his sins. This happens when the chains of hell have finally been shaken off and the veil of unbelief has been rent by all the fearing, trembling and crying to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The man is now free from the power and captivity of the devil and can worship the Lord free from the guilt of his sins, with the understanding that Jesus has taken them away and that should he die this instant, he will go to paradise and not hell.

“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!” (Alma 19: 29. These were the first words king Lamoni’s wife said, when she arose and stood upon her feet, after having been under the power of God.) The relief of liberation from the devil and deliverance from hell is the first thing on everyone’s mind.

In this state, the man is now justified (guiltless), purified (having no more desire to sin and, in fact, looking upon sin with abhorrence), and sanctified (having desires to do only good continually). He can now ask the Lord for a gift or power of the Spirit, with faith in Christ, believing he will receive, doubting nothing, and the Lord will grant his request.

Fear and trembling, part two

“O blessed God, have mercy on this people!” (Alma 19: 29; which were the second words that king Lamoni’s wife said after arising and standing upon her feet.)

Once free from sin, the liberated man turns his attention to those around him and his now acute knowledge of the power and captivity of the devil, and how narrowly he was able to escape his grasp and hell, causes him to fear and tremble for others. He begins to fear that those around him will be cast off forever and he begins to tremble and quake at the thought that if his fellowmen do not go through the same process that he just did, liberating themselves by faith on the word of Christ, that they will perish.

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. (Mosiah 28: 3)

The man of God, having been born as a new creature, even born of God, now desires that all should have the same privilege. Instead of fearing and trembling before the Lord because of his own sins, he now fears and trembles for the sins of others. If the man’s heart remains broken and his spirit contrite, he will continue in this purified, sanctified and justified state, working tirelessly to save as many souls from hell as he can, by exercising his faith to obtain and use the powers and gifts of God to benefit others and to help them also liberate themselves from Satan’s grasp.

This principle applies even to those who overcome the world and are translated, becoming sanctified in the flesh. Such persons still “suffer…sorrow…for the sins of the world.” (See 3 Ne. 28: 38.)

Fear and trembling, part three

The unrepentant man, whose soul is cast into hell, quickly finds himself in torment, with no apparent means of escape, bound to the devil by the chains of hell, which he can now plainly see are attached to his spirit, along with the veil of unbelief, in an environment of darkness, filthy rivers, magma, mists of darkness, surrounded by souls who are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, in continuous anguish and misery.

He sees his situation as hopeless. Although he walks in every imaginable direction, hell appears to be endless and its gates are all one way. Souls continually enter but none have power to leave. There is no relief to his torment. Not even death can get him out of this prison, for he cannot die. Finding himself literally in hell, which appears to him to be a never-ending prison, he begins to fear and tremble uncontrollably and without cease, which causes him to enter a state of misery and indescribable suffering. The fearing and trembling, however, that the damned soul in hell goes through, is insufficient to shake loose the chains of hell that bind him, because he still has no faith, hope or charity. Unless he is able to obtain the word of Christ and plant it in his heart, and go through the process of repentance, by which he exercises faith unto repentance, he must remain chained as a possession of the devil and be subjected to the devil’s power to make him miserable.

All must fear and tremble

All men who arrive at the age of accountability and have chains of hell placed upon them because of their transgressions must eventually fear and tremble. A man can either do it voluntarily before the Lord during mortality and allow the hellish process to work out his own salvation, purify his heart and shake off the devil’s chains, through faith on the Son of God, thereby causing the gates of hell to be shut before him, or he can be compelled by the devil to fear and tremble while he resides within the confines of hell.

Fearing and trembling before the Lord in mortality is the same process as that in hell, except that you have a physical body. The body makes it much easier and quicker to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief. The fearing and trembling occurs before the Lord, in prayer, as you wrestle with the understanding that there is a satanic veil covering your mind and heart, with a chain attached to it that leads directly to the devil himself. And this veil and chain is causing you to remain in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart. It is deceiving you and not allowing you to exercise faith. And unless you exercise faith, you aren’t, can’t and won’t be saved. And if you were to die this instant, with this satanic spirit attached to you, this same spirit would possess you and drag you down to hell and cause you to be in subjection to it and all would be lost. (See Alma 34: 34-35.)

These are scary thoughts, the thought that you are unsaved and doomed to hell unless you can rend the veil of unbelief. This fear, when it works its way into a frenzy, causes your spirit and physical body to start shaking uncontrollably.

Again, it is the trembling of the spirit that leads to the veil of unbelief being rent and cast away and the chain of hell being loosened and shaken off. This is how all the ancients worked out their own salvation. It is a personal trip to hell done in the presence of the Lord, where the fires of hell sanctify the person by causing him to fear and tremble, which eventually frees the man from the bonds of hell that held him tight. Mind you, these aren’t the literal fires of hell (magma), but the spirit fires of hell (the twin plasma filaments discharging into our human spirits in dark mode, known as the chains of hell.) Hell, in a very literal way, is already attached to all of sinning mankind, by way of the spirit of the devil (the veil) that is rooted in us. The spiritual fires of hell is the spiritual torment a man feels knowing that he is not saved. It is a reaction by the spirit host (the man) to the alien, devilish symbiote (the veil and chain).

No one, except it be little children, will escape the fear and trembling of hell. When little children die, they go straight to paradise, avoiding hell altogether, and while little children are alive, they are sinless and have no chains of hell placed upon them, therefore they need not go through any fear and trembling. The repentant saints of God, though, must go through hell on earth, by which they work out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. This allows them to enter paradise when they die, thus avoiding the gates of hell. The unrepentant wicked, on the other hand, do not go through this process on earth, therefore they must go to literal hell when they die, where they do not work out their own salvation, yet still fear and tremble under Satan’s power.

Suffering and sorrow is what it is all about

Suffering and sorrow are the sanctifying, purifying and justifying principles of the gospel. Fearing, trembling and having a broken heart and contrite spirit are the three principles that bring us to the Lord. The fear of being cast off forever, or, in the case of the righteous, the fear of other people being cast off forever, is a form of suffering. Trembling under a consciousness of one’s own guilt, or, in the case of the righteous, trembling under a consciousness of other people’s guilt (because of the knowledge that they will perish unless they repent), is also a form of suffering. And a broken heart and a contrite spirit is sorrow for one’s own sin (demonstrated by uncontrollable weeping), or, in the case of the righteous, sorrow for other people’s sins.

All of this suffering and sorrow is over, or about the consequences of, sin. It is sin-centric suffering and sorrow. If we go through suffering and sorrow about anything else that is not sin-centric, such as an illness, or failure at a relationship, or poverty, etc., none of such things does us any good whatsoever in the process of working out our own salvation. Only suffering and sorrow for sin sanctifies, purifies and justifies.

Deceptions of the devil

It is the intent of the devil to have all mankind fear and tremble in literal hell, under his satanic power, and not in mortality under the power of the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of working out one’s salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord destroys the devil’s captivating power, therefore, he inspires mortal men who are under his evil spirit to preach against this doctrine. One such individual was Nehor.

And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life. (Alma 1: 4)

Nehor’s preaching had devastating effect among the church of God, leading many members into sin and many were excommunicated. Since the time of Nehor, however, the devil has changed strategies, but the result is the same. Now, instead of getting the church of God to believe that the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord is false or unnecessary, the devil has caused the church to re-interpret it as something other than what it is. Now the church believes it is merely showing respect towards the Lord by striving to keep His commandments, with no spiritual and physical suffering needed. This new strategy of the devil is more effective, at least for our time, because the church actually believes that they are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, without going through any of the steps of the real doctrine.

Again, although the strategy has changed, the end result is the same. No one goes through the process of fearing that they will be cast off forever. No one goes through the spiritual and physical shaking and trembling under a consciousness of his guilt. And no one manifests the uncontrollable weeping associated with profound sorrow for one’s sins, known as a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

The doctrine of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord requires that a knowledge of the chains of hell, of death, hell and the devil, of the captivity and power of the devil, and of all things associated with Satan and hell and sin and death be explained to a person. Unless a person understands that he is in the devil’s grasp and is going to hell if he does not repent, he can never fear and tremble before the Lord in mortality, and if he never fears and trembles before the Lord in mortality, he must fear and tremble before the devil in hell.

Owing to the necessity of teaching the doctrine of hell and the captivating powers of the devil as part of the plan of salvation, the devil has enacted a plan whereby he now gets the church of God to avoid all mention of hell, death, the devil, fear, sin, trembling and any other “negative” emotional state. We focus on heaven and salvation and avoid all mention of damnation and hell. Fear is never, ever mentioned, at all, and when it is mentioned, it is immediately struck down as a barbaric relic of old-time religion. (For example, see this comment.)

Nephi saw our day (as well as the days to come) and saw the strategies that would be employed by the devil to emasculate the doctrine of fearing and trembling before God:

For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; for behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. (2 Nephi 28: 19-23)

Nephi said that “the kingdom of the devil must shake.” He understood completely the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord. Also, he foresaw that hell would no longer be considered an actual place (see Teachings on hell and the spirit world), but a state of mind, as if people could release themselves from the misery of hell merely by thinking a different thought. Such deceptions are already upon us, and even greater deceptions are to come.

The gospel has already been compromised

The Book of Mormon preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ in purity. If you look at every preacher found within that book’s pages, you will notice that when they preached Christ, they also preached the devil and hell. When they preached salvation through Christ, they also preached damnation through the devil. When they preached liberation through the Son of God, they also preached captivity through the devil. When they preached of the Holy Ghost, they also preached of the evil spirit of the devil. They preached the gospel in its fulness and purity.

Now compare that to how the Gentile church of God preaches. We leave out fully one-half of the gospel when we preach it. We never talk of damnation, or captivity or hell, etc. When we talk of the atonement, we briefly mention sin and death and how the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ liberates us from that and then move on. There is no mention of fear, trembling, or any other thing that people might consider “too negative.” We focus on the positive and largely discard anything negative from our minds and conversations. As a result, we have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, for, like a scale, balanced coverage must be given to both sides in order for a man or woman to repent of their sins.

Truth be told, even the half that we do preach isn’t preached all that much. The vast majority of our conversation is centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

Now, I normally put the blame of all things wrong with the church of God on the member’s backs, but this time I point the finger at the church leadership. They are not teaching the gospel and instead of getting the people to repent, they are causing the hearts of the people to become more and more hardened.

The plan of salvation has also been compromised

The Gentile church has likewise modified the scriptural plan of salvation. The plan is, in a word, Christ. It is not a flip-chart with circles representing kingdoms of glory, earth and the Spirit World. Christ is the plan. He was sent to deliver us from death, hell and the devil. Through faith on the power of His deliverance He can blot out our transgressions, all our afflictions, all our pain, take away our temptations and even blot out death, in other words, everything that causes a tear of sadness to fall from the eyes of man. He took all this upon Himself so that He could blot it all out.

Without Christ we are subject to the devil. We are not subject to sin, but to the devil. This is an important distinction to make. Sin and death are but tools of the devil. The real danger is the devil. The plan of salvation is a plan to save us from the devil. For example, death is a problem because

“…if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself…” (2 Ne. 9: 8-9.)

And sin likewise causes us to become subject to him, so that, were there no plan of salvation, “our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils,” even angels to a devil. So, Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection is designed to save us from the devil for he is the one holding all the chains of hell.

When we focus on sin and death and leave out the devil, we destroy the plan of salvation and faith. If sin were just a nebulous concept, without an actual being of power behind it, we could all be Buddhists or of any other religion and not need Christ. But this is not the case. No one can break Satan’s chains of hell. No Buddhist, no Muslim, no religion or philosophy of men. Only faith in Christ can. He, and He alone is the plan of salvation and we need saving from Satan and Satan alone. Christ and Satan must go hand in hand when presenting the plan of salvation, otherwise, it is no longer the plan of salvation and is of none effect to save men.

The Gentile church of God has pretty much divorced sin from the power and captivity of Satan. For example, if you look at the Mormon.org page on “Jesus Christ,” sin is mentioned 24 times with no mention of the devil. (A little better is that site’s page, “God’s Plan of Happiness,” which mentions sin 7 times, with Satan mentioned twice.) As a result, no one can properly exercise faith as a principle of power. Instead, we get hit and miss manifestations and no gifts.

Also, the focus of the plan of salvation is no longer Christ. Now when we think of the plan of salvation, instead of viewing the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ, we think of three degrees of glory and of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. And we most certainly do not think of the devil and hell. In fact, we don’t even use the word hell anymore, having replaced it with the more politically correct term, “spirit prison.” Yet, even with that term, we do not see it as an actual prison, with real shackles upon a person. All has become figurative states of mind.

All fear is negative and bad and inspired by me,” says the devil

All of this is according to the deceptions, plans and power of the evil one, for it is his intent to remove both Christ and himself from our conversations. As long as he remains out of sight and out of mind, he is free to go about destroying souls.

In this way, the people are deceived and never realize the danger they are in, nor do they learn the process by which to go about removing themselves from that danger. They are deceived into thinking that fear, meaning actual fear, as in fright, is contrary to the gospel, and that fear can only be inspired by the devil. So, they never enter the process by which all the ancient saints went through to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief and save themselves, which is the process of fearing and trembling and crying before the Lord.

Again, what is it that we are to fear in this process? We are to fear being cast off forever. (See Mosiah 28: 4.) It is this fear that causes the body and spirit to tremble. And, why should we fear this? Because as long as the chains and veil are attached to us, we cannot exercise faith, cannot be saved and will be dragged down to hell once we leave our physical bodies, to become subject to, and possessed by, the devil’s spirit. Once people learn of these things, they begin to fear death, while the righteous, who have been liberated from this captivity, have no fear of death.

To be clearer in writing, no one can be saved without faith in Christ and no one can exercise faith in Christ unless they go through the process of fearing, trembling and crying before the Lord. So, to ascribe all fear as inspired of the devil is to commit spiritual suicide, for you will then never be able to exercise faith unto salvation.

The scriptures explain these things in plainness, so that people can understand that they ought to go through this process right now, this very moment, while they are still alive. Such plainness necessitates Satan’s strategy to get us to misinterpret these real things as mere symbols.

The one mighty and strong is a deception

There are many who are waiting for “one mighty and strong” to show up and save the day, performing miracles and wonders and signs. Such a doctrine is inspired of the devil. I’m not saying that there will not be one or more persons arriving who will be mighty and strong and manifest miracles and perform great works. Of course there will be. However, the waiting for such a man or men to arrive is inspired by the evil one, that he might keep all those who believe such a doctrine in the status quo and ever relying upon the arm of flesh and looking for someone to lead them.

The true doctrine of Christ is that every man and woman is to repent of their sins and harden not their hearts, receiving a remission of their sins, and then asking God in faith to obtain the gifts and powers of the Spirit, so as to work miracles themselves, and not to wait for miracle workers to show up. Those who wait for miracle workers to show up, without learning how to work miracles themselves, will end up being deceived, for Satan will send miracle workers with the intent to deceive such people.

We are to obtain the gifts ourselves so that we are not deceived (see D&C 46: 8.) If you do not obtain the gifts, but merely wait for a savior to arrive, you will get a savior, but he will be sent from the evil one.

Pray against the power of the devil

The scriptures indicate that we must pray always and not faint, that we be not led into temptation. In other words, we are to pray against the power of the devil, against his power to tempt and deceive us and others.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. (Alma 34: 21.)

The Lord will grant us what we ask for in faith, but if we do not ask for something, He will not grant it. The ancients always prayed against the devil’s power and taught all men to do so. The Gentile church typically neglects this duty.

The ordinance of prayer

Prayer is an ordinance (see New thoughts on prayer) by which we offer a sacrifice to the Lord. He only accepts one type of sacrifice: that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. A broken heart and contrite spirit is a heart that is inundated with sorrow for sin. Initially, it is sorrow for one’s own sins. Later, when forgiveness through faith on Christ has come, it is sorrow for the sins of the world.

Prayer only works if this sacrifice is offered up. If any man or woman prays to God without presenting before Him the required sacrifice, which is the only sacrifice He will accept, the prayer is counted as evil and profits the man nothing. (See Moroni 7: 6-9.) Just as Cain brought the wrong sacrifice to the Lord and was rejected by Him, while Abel brought the right sacrifice and was accepted, so if we pray to God without a broken heart and contrite spirit, our prayers will not be answered, or will be of no profit to us.

The Son of God is “quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers” (Alma 9: 26), but only if they offer the required sacrifice. If they go to the prayer altar and offer up nothing, or some substitute sacrifice, they have no such promise.

If you are not weeping, you are not broken-hearted

The Lord has given us a key whereby we might know if we have a broken heart and contrite spirit: the crying of tears of sorrow. When we are crying tears of sorrow for our own sins, or for others’ sins, then we are broken-hearted. If we have not, as yet, reached that point, our hearts are still hard.

Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen (D&C 21: 8 – The Lord, speaking of Joseph Smith, Jun.)

For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. (2 Ne. 33: 3 – Nephi)

There is a reason why the scriptures tell us to “cry unto the Lord.” The word cry can mean “to make a loud call or cry, as in an effort to be heard, in prayer or supplication, in pain or anger, etc.; to call out or exclaim vehemently or earnestly; to shout; to vociferate.” But it can also mean “to utter lamentations; to lament audibly; to express pain, grief, or distress, by weeping and sobbing; to wail; to shed tears with or without making a sound; to weep.” It is the latter type of crying that demonstrates a broken heart and contrite spirit.

When we cry to the Lord, with uncontrollable weeping for our sins, the Lord is “quick to hear the cries.” Only those who have a broken heart and contrite spiritwho are they that are truly penitent and sorry for their sinshave access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, “and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Ne. 2: 7.) This means that unless you are brought to tears for your own sins, or for the sins of the world, you are currently in a state of damnation, because your heart is still hard, the veil of unbelief is still intact, the chains of hell are still attached to you and you are still in subjection to the devil, being an enemy to God.

The condition of the heart

It all comes down to our hearts. Our hearts are hard, like a stone. This is the reason, the only reason, why those of us who ask God for a gift of the Spirit, do so in vain. This is the reason why we do not receive.

No one can exercise faith while in a state of damnation. No one can be saved in his sins. He must be saved from his sins. A hard heart is a wicked heart. As long as his heart is hard, a man is still in his sins. The heart must be broken before salvation goes forth. Before Christ can forgive anyone of any sins, there must be the all-important sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Simply saying you are sorry for your sins does not cut it. You must feel sorrow for your sins. And this must be the sorrow unto repentance spoken of in the scriptures. This is sorrow that is accompanied by tears, by uncontrollable weeping. It is this sorrow that causes you to turn from (repent of) your sins.

And for those of us who have turned from our sins without the accompanying sorrow for sin (the weeping of a broken heart), such “repentance” is but a change of lifestyle and profits us nothing in the afterlife. The Lord looks upon the heart. Regardless of how one has stopped using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and breaking the law of chastity and other laws of God, if the heart is still hard, that man is still in a state of wickedness, with veil of unbelief firmly attached, and has no faith unto salvation, which is why he cannot perform any miracle and will find himself in hell upon his death if he continues in the iniquity of his heart. So, it is sorrow for sin (the broken heart and contrite spirit) that is the first and chief gift of God that one needs to be saved.

But before you can attain to that state of sorrow, you must understand the consequences of sin. You must have a proper understanding of death, hell, and the devil and the captivity of the devil. And this understanding must work in you until you fear being cast off and tremble under a consciousness of your guilt before God. Only then can you come close to obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

All of this brings us to the role of the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the solution

The word of God, found in the Book of Mormon, contains everything necessary to bring people to repentance, to the broken heart and contrite spirit required before miracles can go forth. This volume of scripture is designed to “pull down all the pride” (see Alma 4: 19) of the church of God. The opposite of pride is humility, meekness, lowliness of heart. These words refer to the broken heart and contrite spirit, not to mere “teachableness” as many LDS would interpret them to mean.

The church of God is currently in a rising pride cycle, which means that it does not desire to repent, nor feels the need to. It enjoys the status quo just fine. It resembles the Nehor perversion in certain aspects.

(The order of Nehors created exceedingly hard-hearted people. It was the Nehors of Ammonihah who murdered the women and children believers by fire. See Alma 14. It was also mostly the Nehors who slew the Anti-Nephi-Lehies who were prostrate and praying to God. See Alma 24.)

So, many members no longer care about obtaining the gifts. But even the members that are concerned about the lack of gifts, and that attempt to receive them, are incapable of doing so because they “are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” In short, the devil has the entire world under darkness, both within and without the church.

The Book of Mormon is the Lord’s solution to this problem. It is intended to give us the word of God in purity so that we can learn everything we need to know about Christ’s atonement and His power of deliverance, as well as the devil’s power of captivity. It continually calls us to repentance and shows us exactly what to do to escape the grasp of the devil and avoid entering hell, how to obtain a glorious resurrection, how to repent and receive forgiveness of sin, and how to obtain any gift or power that God has ever given to any saint of any age. In short, it gives us exactly what we need to gain the victory over the devil and overcome the world by faith.

Enos and Amulek as our models

Enos knelt before his Maker and “cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication” for his own soul, “all the day long.” And when the night came, he did still raise his voice in prayer. And then the Lord spoke to him and told him his sins were forgiven.

It took Enos less than 24 hours of “crying to the Lord,” or less than the waking hours of a day, before the Lord finally spoke to him and he obtained a remission of his sins. It was accomplished in a single day.

Amulek said:

Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. (Alma 34: 31)

Again, the implication is that it takes but one day to obtain forgiveness.

How to pray, part two

Remember the list of steps? Pray to the Father, in the name of Christ, with faith in Christ, believing that we will receive, doubting nothing, for something good and right? Well, if you pray that way without a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you won’t receive a damn thing.

Before approaching the Lord in prayer to obtain the gifts of the Spirit, you must first obtain a remission of your sins, and before that you must first obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And to do that you need to be harrowed up with guilt, you need to tremble and fear before the Lord, and nothing does that like the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, even the word of God as written in the Book of Mormon. The broken heart is the first thing to ask for. With prayer and the word of God, as found in the Book of Mormon, pride will eventually be pulled down and your heart will be softened and the tears will flow for your sins.

At that point, you must pray to God for forgiveness, while in your state of tears, or broken-heartedness, for as long as it takes. As demonstrated by Enos, it won’t take longer than a day, for the Lord is quick to hear the cries of His people. When you finally receive forgiveness of sin and have had your sorrow wiped away and replaced by joy, being full of the Holy Spirit and being baptized with fire, with the ability to speak the tongue of angels, etc., then, and only then, will you be able to ask and receive whatever you want.

Right after Enos received a forgiveness of sins, he got back onto his knees and poured out his whole soul to God for his brethren the Nephites. His broken-heartedness was in their behalf. Again, the Lord spoke to him. Later, he again prayed in this same manner, this time asking for something specific regarding the preservation of their records. He received what He asked for, because once again, he prayed with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

This is the grand key to the doctrine of ask and receive. If you have a hard heart, you receive the lesser portion until you know nothing and are taken captive by the devil. If you do not harden your heart, but keep it broken, you receive the greater portion of the word until you know the mysteries in full. (See Alma 12: 10-11.) Again, the key to know if you have a hard or soft heart is whether you weep over sin.

The Atonement has power to melt hearts

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. (Alma 7: 11-13)

The suffering that Jesus went through is designed to move the Universe to tears, compassion and forgiveness. All mankind would unavoidably perish were it not for the redemption of Christ, and He came down to save us, not to save Himself, because He loves us and does not want the workmanship of His hands to perish. So, this was a completely selfless sacrifice. Both the reasons for the sacrifice and the intensity of it work on all who plant this word in their hearts.

This means that when we plant this word in our hearts and believe it, viewing the cross of Christ and all the suffering that He underwent, we, too, can be moved to tears, compassion and forgiveness. In other words, the atonement has power to take away our stony hearts and give us a heart of flesh. For this reason, studying the word of God tends to pull down pride and humble us to the dust, making it easier for us to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

For those of us who find that we cannot cry to the Lord, meaning that we cannot feel the sorrow for sin necessary to obtain blessings from the Lord, because the tears do not come, the Lord, in His infinite foreknowledge and mercy, knowing that the preaching of the word in purity has power to break hearts and that the Gentile church would not preach the word in purity, began the foundation of the church with the Book of Mormon, for the Book of Mormon prophets preached it in purity. In this way, anyone who desired to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit, could do so by reading the Book of Mormon with a believing heart. This would be as effective as hearing the pure word preached in power.

A doctrine of two atonements

The process of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, and of calling upon the name of the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit is an atonement. To be saved, two atonements are required. The infinite atonement of Christ in which He feared that we would all be cast off, trembled with a perfect consciousness of all our guilt, and sorrowed under the enormous weight of our sins, was the first one, without which no one would be saved. But a second one, a finite one, in which each person must also go through this process of fearing, trembling and sorrowing, is necessary to activate the first one.

A sense of our own nothingness

Ammon said, “Yea, I know that I am nothing” (Alma 26: 12.) Mormon said, “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth” (Helaman 12: 7.) And king Benjamin said, “The knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state” (Mosiah 4: 5.)

The broken heart and contrite spirit is attendant with a sense of our own nothingness. Lehi preached the nothingness of man to his children (see Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe) who then kept up the teaching throughout their generations to the end of their civilization. We are, quite literally, nothing, having come from the nothingness. All that we are and possess has been given to us, or leased to us, by the generosity and charity of God. If we do not turn the lease into a permanent ownership, by filling our hearts with charity, which is the love of God, our lease will end and we will return to the nothingness from whence we came. Just as from dust we are taken and to dust we shall return, so from nothing we come and to nothing we shall return, unless we take advantage of the atonement of Christ.

Even before obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit, getting a sense of one’s own nothingness assists in softening the heart, for the contrast between God’s absolute greatness, being a possessor of all things, and our nothingness, causes us to quake and tremble. Shaking, quaking and trembling are helpful in softening the heart. And after the broken heart is received, always remembering one’s nothingness and the greatness of God keeps everything in a proper perspective, so that it becomes that much easier to retain a remission of sin.

Retaining a remission of sins

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Mosiah 4: 11-12)

The key to retaining a remission of sins, given by king Benjamin, is to continually perform the ordinance of prayer, offering a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is the required sacrifice or atonement that is acceptable to the Lord. Doing so will fill us with the love of God (charity) so that it will be well with us at the last day, for whoever does not possess charity is counted as nothing and must return to the nothingness from whence they came, while those who do possess charity remain in the kingdom and receive an inheritance.

It is imperative, then, that we pray always and do not faint, after the prescribed manner.

There is no going back

To those who wish to use the information in this post, know going into it that once you start the fearing and the trembling, there is no going back. The pure gospel awakens you from the sleep of hell into a state of torment, even the pains of hell. The realization that you do not have faith will torment you as if your soul has been set on fire, for without faith no man can be saved.

One option (temporary at best) is to reject the gospel altogether and to believe that the promises of the Lord are false and thus the plan of salvation is a sham. But that will only work until you die and then you will find yourself in hell, in your unsaved condition. So death does not bring relief from this misery.

If you make an agency choice to continue to believe that what the Lord has promised in the scriptures is true, and that all who ask in faith, believing they will receive, nothing doubting, will indeed receive, then you must remain in your miserable, faithless state until you obtain the promised witness.

The very misery you find yourself in, then, knowing that you have no faith sufficient to save yourself, will either impel you forward to ask again and strive to obtain the witness, or drive you backward to reject the entire gospel. In this way, all who arrive at the trial of faith must make a choice. There is no middle ground. It is all or nothing.

Closing summary: A gospel prescription

Just as one goes to a doctor who then prescribes a medication or procedure to cure the ailment, so we can write a prescription based upon the above information to “cure” the world of a deficiency of gifts and miracles.

There are three steps to receiving what you ask God for. The first is the fear of being cast off forever. The second is a trembling under a consciousness of your own guilt before God. The third is a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is extreme sorrow for your sins, manifested by uncontrollable weeping.

Once a man has the fear we are speaking of, this automatically leads him to trembling. The fear and trembling, if they are continued through prayer and studying the word of God, will eventually lead to a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

It is the broken heart and contrite spirit that rends the veil of unbelief, shakes off the chains of hell and casts away every doubt. Once a person has a broken heart and a contrite spirit, he can pray to God for forgiveness of his sins and within a single day of prayer become justified, sanctified and purified. This is because God is quick to hear the cries of those that have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

After his sins are remitted, the man must continue in prayer and fasting, praying against the power of the devil, acknowledging the greatness, goodness and long-suffering of God and His hand in all things, and always remembering his own nothingness, and by so doing, he will always retain a remission of his sins.

Such a man, whose sins are now remitted due to his broken heart and contrite spirit, can ask the Lord for any gift or power of the Spirit and it will be granted him. So long as he remains broken-hearted and with a contrite spirit, he will grow in the knowledge of the glory of God, and partake of as many gifts, marvels, signs, wonders and powers as he asks for.

Now, backing up a bit: the first step is fear. To obtain this fear, a man must have the gospel preached to him in its purity, so that he has a good understanding of the power and captivity of the devil, of hell and of death, and also of the power and deliverance of the Son of God, of heaven and of the resurrection and judgment. The volume of scripture that God has given to us to preach the gospel in purity is the Book of Mormon. Therefore, to all who are serious about obtaining and exercising faith and receiving the gifts and miracles of God into their lives, may I make a suggestion?

Put every other book you are currently reading and studying aside and just read the Book of Mormon, preferably out loud, so that you actually hear it preached. Every available moment that you have, read from its pages, with the above understanding in mind, and allow it to soften and affect your heart, afflict your soul, harrow you up with your sins, instill fear in you and cause you to tremble under a consciousness of your own guilt. This can only be accomplished if you believe everything that you read and apply all the sermons of repentance to you, as if they were spoken directly to you and with you in mind. Do this until your pride has been pulled down by the word of God and you have obtained the broken heart and contrite spirit that you seek.

Also, pray to God in the above prescribed manner, using a deadline so that each prayer becomes a trial of your faith. In this way, you will be able to plainly see that you do not have faith, which will cause you to fear and tremble exceedingly.

Continue on with these prayers and scripture readings, and petition the Lord for the broken heart and contrite spirit and to rend the veil of unbelief and shake loose the chains of hell. Use every available moment to do these things and submit yourself fully to the fearful and trembling pains of hell. Eventually, the Lord will take away your stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh and you will finally feel the relief that comes from uncontrollably sobbing because of your sins. You will finally be able to feel sorrow for your sins, instead of just saying you are sorry and not really feeling it.

When those tears come, continue crying (with tears) to God, in your broken heart and contrite spirit, asking for forgiveness of your sins until you obtain forgiveness.

Once you obtain forgiveness, you can now ask God to see an angel or a vision or whatever, and it will be given to you. Then go and bear testimony to others of what you have seen so that they can exercise faith to see the same things. This is how it works.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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91 Comments

  1. Wait! I’m confused by these words: “Nevertheless, with over 13 million members of record, I found it awfully strange that not even one person sought these gifts. I mean, what are the odds of that?”

    Did you really talk to over 13 million people? That must have taken up an awful lot of time! You didn’t talk to me. The gifts of the Spirit are not gone. They are not dead. They are not passe. I’m not the only one who sees and experiences them in abundance. Maybe something is wrong with your research tactics?

    I would say it is very commendable that you are experimenting with the words of Christ to see if they are true. And you have an excellent post. You bring up many important things.

    In fact, I was reading these very words not too many minutes ago: “”Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

    “This is not self-evident. If it were, then there would be more people with faith. The truth revealed here is that God is always going to bestow a worthy gift upon the person requesting it.
    He will not give you a “stone” if you request “bread.” He will give you “bread.” He knows the difference. He will not disappoint you.

    “He knows better than any kind and caring earthly father what the needs of His children are. He intends to meet them. However, when His children ask for something, (“bread”) and they do not yet qualify to receive, He sets about preparing them to receive it. He is willing to give. We are not always prepared to receive. Therefore, when He intends to bestow the gift upon the person requesting it, He first prepares the vessel.

    “We are impatient. We want quickly what can sometimes only be obtained in patience. We are in a rush, but our development requires patience. Some things require time and persistence to prepare us for the blessing we seek.”” [end of quote]

    What really struck me was that when we ask, God moves forward to prepare us to receive what we have asked for. If we have asked to see an angel, it may take God a while to prepare us, depending upon our level of purity, humility, and faith – as well as our motives for asking.

    The full post can be found here. http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/10/3-nephi-14-9-11.html

  2. I had similar thougts as the first poster. While I do not know of many examples of spiritual gifts lately, that does not equate to them not being present. The Book of Mormon is the best example and guide I know of what the Gospel is and how it should be practiced and experienced. Thank you for reminding us of this.

    Steve

  3. Re: While I do not know of many examples of spiritual gifts lately, that does not equate to them not being present point made in the two above comments:

    In my experience, lacking signs and gifts are explained in terms of — “Well this group here might not be receiving manifestations, but that group there is — or at least they might be, we just don’t know.”

    The signs and gifts are the fruit by which we may be known. If some of the 13 million LDS are receiving genuine gifts of the Spirit, but it’s not known — where’s the fruit?

    Would you expect an apple tree [which is presenting no fruit on its branches] to declare that just maybe you haven’t checked every single branch — or just maybe there is fruit, but the branches aren’t just putting it out there for the whole world to see — etc?

    Toni and Steve — I, like LDSA, have not encounter saints in my congregation that are manifesting the best gifts of the Spirit. I too have inferred that my congregation is not unique in this. Perhaps if the two of you could reply here with some accounts from your own experiences — they could edify people like me who have lack-luster congregations that profess spiritual manifestations but lack the associated fruit thereof.

    Re: the OP

    Would the counterpart of:

    The chains of hell are twin filaments of spirit matter (plasma) that twist and revolve around each other in a pattern that looks like the links of a chain.

    be the cloven tongues of fire plasma manifestation recorded in Acts?

    Once broken, can an arc-mode discharge replace the dark-mode chains — manifesting as cloven tongues? Or perhaps these two are unrelated?

  4. Toni,

    In the OP I wrote, “Instead, we get hit and miss manifestations and no gifts.” I am not making a claim that the Spirit no longer manifests in various ways. I’m strictly talking about the gifts, which are manifest on demand.

    I also ditto what Justin said.

    Re: what Denver wrote, everything is done, or given to us, according to the desires of our hearts. The desirous of the heart are measured by God according to the hardness or softness thereof. Hard hearts desire evil things, while soft hearts desire good things. When an evil man prays for a good thing, such as an angel, the Lord looks upon his heart and sees a hardened heart which in reality is desiring evil things and grants the “request” accordingly. It is not the words that we speak that are answered by God, but the desires of our heart.

    Impatience is not the reason we do not receive what we pray for. It is because our hearts are not softened. You can patiently ask for the same thing for 50 years and still not receive it if you have never gone through the process of fearing, trembling and sorrowing for your sins. If you never go through the pains of hell to the point where you break down into tears of sorrow, your heart is still hard and desirous of evil things.

    The Lord in His mercy does work with His hard-hearted children, by giving them manifestations from time to time, for the Spirit does not cease striving with man until they have completely rejected it. But gifts are off-limits to persons who are not sanctified, purified and justified.

    LDS never claim to be sanctified, purified and justified. They claim that this is a life-long process accomplished over a life-time of service and dedication to God, as if God needs to see what we do (our works) before He will grant these things. This is a doctrine of meritocracy, and is inspired of the devil. The only work God looks for among men is faith, which cannot be exercised except with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The state of the heart, then, is the determining factor, not how patient we are.

    You say that you see and experience the gifts in abundance. Ask yourself this question: are you ssnctified? or purified from all sin? or justified before the Lord? If you die right now, do you know that you are saved?

    Many who claim to have the gifts do not feel ready to die at this moment because they do not feel sanctified, justified and purified. Purification is a requirement for the obtaining and use of the gifts.

    And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you; he that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son. But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin. And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. (D&C 50: 25-29.)

    The reason he is the least and servant of all is because of his broken heart and contrite spirit, which humbles him to the dust, for he can sense his own nothingness and worthless and fallen state. Only such people are purified and cleansed from all sin. Only such people can ask whatsoever they will in the name of Jesus and it is done even as they ask. This is how the gifts work. On demand. Not hit and miss manifestations, but according to what we ask for in faith. Only those who have broken hearts and contrite spirits can exercise faith. No one else can.

    So, if you ask for a good thing and do receive not it, this is an indication of your faithless state, and that your heart is not broken, and you have been given and have received the lesser portion of the word. It doesn’t mean that you simply have to do more church service and wait more time in patience and that maybe next year or next decade you will be “worthy to obtain.”

    Again, in case I still haven’t made myself clear, “worthiness” is never an issue with the Lord. There is NO ONE worthy. Those with hard hearts are obsessed with worthiness. “I didn’t receive because I wasn’t worthy to receive.” The truth is that we are never worthy to receive. You can do all the church service and works of man (that many consider to be “good”) until you have wasted your strength and you will still be unworthy to receive anything from God. Nothing in the gospel is based upon the merits of man. We are to rely solely on the merits of Christ. He is the only worthy one among us.

    The reason why the broken-hearted receive gifts from the Lord is that they are the only ones among us who actually view themselves as unworthy. Everyone else is prideful and views themselves as having worth. It is this view of their worth that presents an obstacle to them in receiving anything from the Lord. And this is one of the reasons why the church of God is becoming more hard-hearted. Our leaders and preachers teach us that we have worth, and inflate our pride, instead of pull it down, hardening our hearts and stopping the whole population from receiving the gifts, for we listen to them, or hearken to their precepts, and thus are led to err.

  5. More on worthiness. The gospel is strange is that it inverts everything. He who wishes to be the greastest is to be the least and servant of all. He who wishes to be worthy of God is to consider himself worthless, even less than the dust of the earth. To rise in the gospel, we must abase ourselves. If we exalt ourselves, we go down to hell.

  6. Justin, I would say, “Yes.” There is the veil and the chains on one hand, and there is the Spirit of God and cloven tongues on the other hand. The chains and veil manifest in dark mode, while the Spirit and tongues manifest in arc mode. The chains of hell lead down, while the cloven tongues lead up. So, yes, once we shake off the chains and receive the Holy Ghost, cloven tongues can then manifest themselves, as well as the Spirit, for Moses and Abinadi’s faces shone, as well as the faces of all angels. It all depends upon the penitance, faith, and desires of the individual.

  7. I’m willing to share some things.

    #1- A friend and I (we’re both female, by the way) were walking in an area of Washington, Utah that – at the moment – had not been totally overtaken by houses. There were even some trees. We walked as far as we could, then turned around. When we reached near the end of the mini wilderness, a vehicle drove up (an SUV type) and parked. A couple (male and female got out). One of them opened the very back and let two doberman pinschers out. The owners didn’t appear to notice our presence.

    The dogs didn’t concern me, but they frightened my friend. The dogs began to run toward us, mindlessly happy as far as I could tell. My friend raised her arm to the square and commanded (in Jesus’ name) the dogs to go away from us. The two dogs stopped short, as if someone had simultaneously pulled on a leash, then they turned and – just as mindlessly happy – ran off in a different direction from us and from where we were heading.

    I have never known this friend to be wrong when she prophesied something, and she was not shy about speaking if she knew something was going to happen.

    I prayed for my daughter (even with hands on her head – I felt very wicked, not having done the research I have done since) when she was little and sick. She was immediately healed. I couldn’t believe it, though and made her stay in the house the rest of the day even though she had no fever, no runny nose, no lethargy, etc.

    I made my mother promise me, when I was around 14, that when she died she would tell me so that I would be the first to know. When I was about 40, she’d been battling cancer and was in another state, living with my sister because of the illness. I was sitting in our van, waiting for my then-husband to get back from driving a school bus. He had one child, one child was playing on the playground of the school, and the other one was asleep in the van. I had just gotten some very interesting books to read and was deep into one when I became aware that she was there. (In my experiences with spirit people, I do not see them with mortal eyes – I simply know they are there and what they are saying – I don’t know how to explain it.) She said to me, “Will you be all right if I go?” I said yes and began to say more, but she left. I knew she was keeping her promise to me. She died a few days later and I was with her when she did.

    Another time, I was working at Bryce Canyon. My mother worked as a live-in companion. Because it was not her home, she had told me she didn’t want me to ever call her collect. Well, she kept telling me to call her one day. She drove me nuts all day because I could feel her calling me. Finally, I gave in. These were in the days when operators were part of a collect call. I heard the operator ask Mom if she’d accept the call. Mom said yes. The operator told us we could speak and, without any preliminary, Mom said, “What took you so long to call?” I replied that she had told me not to call collect. (She didn’t know how to get hold of me – and a family member had died)

    These recollections will suffice. I don’t feel the need to fill up your blog with my experiences.

    Actually, my mother raised me (and all of her children) to expect these gifts. They were simply a part of life.

    I rarely tell them to anyone and I hope I’m not doing something I shouldn’t by recounting them on the internet for (literally) the whole world to look at.

  8. Thank you…
    This post is both more and less than I thought it would be.

    I agree with Justin and LDSA on signs and gifts. Consider this: if you had some illness or ailment that needed to be cured immediately, and you could have your pick of any of those 13 million members, from least to greatest, to come and heal you, who would you choose? Would there be anyone you could with confidence ask, knowing they had the gift to heal without reservation? I cannot think of one, and I have been an active member of 11 different wards and stakes over 30 years, attending all conferences and avidly following conferences and news of the Church. Why do I not know of anyone who is manifesting the gifts?

    LDSA, I appreciate your added words on worthiness as well. It really wasn’t so clear in the OP, and I am encouraged by them.

  9. Toni — thank you for sharing those stories.

    Can I ask you, has it been your experience with spiritual gifts that they manifest for you [or for your friends/family] on demand — or have they merely happened to you from time-to-time.

    My experience has been the latter, but I am wondering about yours.

  10. LDSA — There is the veil and the chains on one hand, and there is the Spirit of God and cloven tongues on the other hand.

    Then continuing on: I would guess that the cloven tongues discharging in arc mode from the mind/heart [when viewed upside-down] is the wheat growing because of the good seed sown in the soil [heart] by the master — while the chains [as you described in the OP] are the tares that the enemy comes and sows secretly.

  11. I know of folks who have had spiritual experiences, but they typically do not broadcast them. To look at them you would not know they were anything special or having such.

    By this I surmise there are more having such, just not broadcasting it.

    Steve

  12. Justin – Yes. The cloven tongues of fire is, in fact, the wheat. But my understanding is that the wheat grows up, not down. So, when you view the wheat right-side up, you see it as a plant. The tares grow down, so you must view it upside-down to see it as a plant. I’ve never seen the wheat (cloven tongues), so this is an assumption on my part. But the tares I was able to perceive through a manifestation of the discerning of spirits, so I know that it grows down and that the chain part of it is attached at the base of the back of the skull.

  13. Toni said, “I rarely tell them to anyone and I hope I’m not doing something I shouldn’t by recounting them on the internet for (literally) the whole world to look at.”

    My understanding is that you are free to share whatever you receive from the Lord unless you’ve been explicitly placed by Him under a charge not to. Since it sounds like you are unsure of whether it is okay to share, I would say that is evidence that you have received no such instructions, which means it is perfectly fine to tell the whole world.

    Also, yet again, I ditto what Justin said and asked you.

  14. BiV said, “This post is both more and less than I thought it would be.” What is the less that you refer to? Perhaps I can expound more on the points that don’t add up?

  15. I would imagine that both the tare-chains and the wheat-tongues travel to the source. Thus, though I haven’t discerned the chains — I believe your witness b/c Satan resides “down”, beneath our feet in the physical space of hell.

    If the source of the cloven tongues is the “God which gave us life” [i.e. the inner sun of spirit paradise], then it too would travel “down”.

    However, I guess it could likewise travel “up” if its source is EEAAOOAAEE — as that planet resides somewhere in the outer space above our heads.

  16. LDSA said:

    The gospel is strange is that it inverts everything. He who wishes to be the greastest is to be the least and servant of all. He who wishes to be worthy of God is to consider himself worthless, even less than the dust of the earth. To rise in the gospel, we must abase ourselves. If we exalt ourselves, we go down to hell.

    I’ve taught this principle in past lessons at church in terms of visualizing a mountain that is reflected in a lake. The kingdom of God is the mountain — this life is the reflection in the lake. The higher you want to travel on the real mountain — the lower you have to be on the reflection of the lake.

    Also — re: my previous comment, considering that the cloven tongues of fire “sat upon” each of the disciples, it may be more likely that the wheat does indeed travel “up” as you first suggested.

  17. Sometimes I wonder why I regularly visit this blog. Much of what has been written is over my head or sometimes takes a know-it-all approach, which I detest, probably because I am that way. However, it’s a post like this that makes it worth it. This is easily my favorite post thus far. Much of it has been what I’ve been thinking about lately and coincides with my thinking. There are some things contained in this entry I hadn’t thought of before, it reallly got me thinking. I appreciate the comments as well. There is much to chew on here and I want to thank you for that.

  18. LDSA, it does make sense that, since I have not been told not to share them, it would be okay to share them. They come more “as needed” for me than on demand, except for a very few occasions when they came through prayer. It seems they are always linked to helping someone.

    I absolutely do not disagree that faith in such things seem to be sorely lacking. I have had a difficult time finding priesthood holders to give me healing blessings that didn’t hem and haw or sidestep the issue. The blessings rarely healed. Then (was it Elder Oaks?) there was a talk in priesthood meeting that I read in the Ensign about healing blessings. I understood that my faith had been in the person giving me the blessing, not in Christ. I also find that I am more likely to be healed if I don’t tell the priesthood holder what it is I want healed. So, I don’t want any of you thinking that I’m unaware that there aren’t as many spiritual gifts as there could be.

    Excellent comments here. You are an awesome and a thinking group. That’s why I read the posts here from time to time (that, and a friend directs me here when he has read something that strikes him and he wants to share it).

  19. As far as worthiness goes, I completely agree with you (I forgot to mention it when I posted before):

    “Again, in case I still haven’t made myself clear, “worthiness” is never an issue with the Lord. There is NO ONE worthy. Those with hard hearts are obsessed with worthiness. “I didn’t receive because I wasn’t worthy to receive.” The truth is that we are never worthy to receive. You can do all the church service and works of man (that many consider to be “good”) until you have wasted your strength and you will still be unworthy to receive anything from God. Nothing in the gospel is based upon the merits of man. We are to rely solely on the merits of Christ. He is the only worthy one among us.”

    “The reason why the broken-hearted receive gifts from the Lord is that they are the only ones among us who actually view themselves as unworthy. Everyone else is prideful and views themselves as having worth. It is this view of their worth that presents an obstacle to them in receiving anything from the Lord. And this is one of the reasons why the church of God is becoming more hard-hearted. Our leaders and preachers teach us that we have worth, and inflate our pride, instead of pull it down, hardening our hearts and stopping the whole population from receiving the gifts, for we listen to them, or hearken to their precepts, and thus are led to err.”

  20. Oops. I forgot to put my name. I’m not anonymous. I’m Toni. Sorry.

  21. In the OP I wrote:

    And for those of us who have turned from our sins without the accompanying sorrow for sin (the weeping of a broken heart), such “repentance” is but a change of lifestyle and profits us nothing in the afterlife. The Lord looks upon the heart. Regardless of how one has stopped using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and breaking the law of chastity and other laws of God, if the heart is still hard, that man is still in a state of wickedness, with veil of unbelief firmly attached, and has no faith unto salvation, which is why he cannot perform any miracle and will find himself in hell upon his death if he continues in the iniquity of his heart. So, it is sorrow for sin (the broken heart and contrite spirit) that is the first and chief gift of God that one needs to be saved.

    I notice that I didn’t include any scriptural example to demonstrate this principle, so I guess I’ll do so now:

    But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son; therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest. (Alma 12: 33-34; bold emphasis mine.)

    In order to obtain mercy from God and a remission of sins, two steps are required: repenting and having a soft heart. Just repenting (turning from one’s sins) is not sufficient. Without the soft heart, it is just an outward manifestation, while the inner vessel remains unclean. This is what hypocrisy is all about. The outer man does not match the inner man. Those who repent without cleansing the inner vessel are acting, or playing the part of a righteous man, but cannot do the works of righteousness, which are the works of the Father (miracles). The most such hypocrisy can do are the works of men, which is, according to the Lord, that “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” They are just pretending to be righteous, like “whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23: 27.)

  22. I just attended a class by Brother Gileadi. One of the students commented that when he reads Isaiah regarding the end times, he’s excited for the Lord to “bring it on”.
    Brother Gileadi responded to be careful for what you ask for. And mentioned a day where he just sat and bawled all day long for sorrow regarding what was going to happen. So to say “bring it on” …you dont know what you are askng for.

    It was just a short response but now I understand what Brother Gilieadi went through. He is one of those who “gets it”. It goes exactly along with what this article is saying…weeping for your own sins…weeping for others.

    I’ll be taking your advice and read the Book of Mormon and hope to replace my heart of stone with one of flesh.

    Thanks for writing this. I love it when people can give practical advice on how to approach the Savior. That’s what I’m looking for.

    One of your best articles ever.

  23. When discussing the following verses from Matthew 7 during the last Sunday school:

    Ask, and it shall be given 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.

    Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    After my comment that described some the material presented in this post — the rest of the following comments from class members focused on how the audience to this teaching from Jesus was probably taught to fear God or to look at Him as a guy that you can’t approach about things you need. Thus Jesus was teaching them not to fear God — but know that He can be petitioned for any thing.

    One member in particular had a rather length comment on the problem of Protestants teaching “hell, fire, and brimstone” and a view of God that He is quick to judge everyone as sinners and send them to hell, etc.

    His comments reminided me of the general feeling expressed by most commenters at a post at Segullah [I’d like to bear my testimony of . . . satan] — i.e., that “negative” things like Satan and hell aren’t worth spending much time talking about and, if anything, we spend too much time on it as it is.

    Examples from the Segullah post:

    Talking about Satan truly invites his spirit in. I’d much rather focus on Christ. Knowing he’s real is good enough.
    and
    I do think we are taught that Satan is real at church. That’s where I learned it. It is just an infrequent topic.
    and
    Hmmm, I’d say this viewpoint is a bit heavy handed, and its not the way I’d talk to my kids about it. Honestly, mine would have nightmares and be scared to even tie their shoes after hearing something like this. I don’t think “every single little thing we do or say” invites God or Satan into our lives. Thats a bit extreme IMO. I agree that we need to be vigilant, but I think focusing more on the good is a better way to approach it. This feels too much like hell, brimstone and fire to me. Scare them straight, not teaching them to be good for goodness sake.
    and
    Satan doesn’t need any more attention than he currently gets. He isn’t worth the time or the memory it would take to mention him.

    By having the Atonement as an active, powerful force in our lives, we will have the Holy Ghost in our lives. He is our defense against the evil of this world, and he does his job just fine. We don’t need to “up our game” in this fight because this isn’t our fight–it is God’s. We’re better off exactly where we are–as disengaged with evil as we can possibly get.

    The Lord doesn’t honor anyone who goes looking for a fight. Only pride would make us do that.
    and
    Yes, our conversations with each other should include warnings about Satan, but it’s my gut feeling that we don’t discuss him at length over the pulpit to protect the Spirit and keep our focus on worshipping Christ and not giving Satan a stage there.

    Or, as the OP says:

    When we talk of the atonement, we briefly mention sin and death and how the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ liberates us from that and then move on. There is no mention of fear, trembling, or any other thing that people might consider “too negative.”

    The vast majority of our conversation is centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

  24. Very good points. I went to the blog you linked to. That post is a keeper.

    I think the current view in the church pretty well fits the warning in the Book of Mormon that says, “I am no devil, for there is none” and the one about God beating us with a few stripes and at last we’ll be saved in the kingdom of God.

    Lovin’ this site and the others I’ve been led to.

  25. I’ve been reading the comments. I’m surprised by how many agree with the original poster. That’s a good thing.

  26. Toni: “I’m surprised by how many agree with the original poster.

    Unfortunately, the regular readership of this site is a largely a skewed sample. Although I would still expect this post to fare much better with a more typical LDS audience than say:

    Tribal worship services

    Wives follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe

    Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God

    or

    Tribal relationships

  27. Okay, now I’ve got to go look at those posts to see why they are so heretical. 🙂

  28. I really appreciated this post as I too have marveled at the lack of gifts. I have often wondered how I, being raised in and surrounded by a world that refuses the gifts could ever turn the tide in my own life and take advantage of all that God offers to each of us. This post has given me a lot to think about.

    On a side note, I was reminded of the time on my mission when we were visiting a brother who had recently had an accident that put him in a wheelchair, unsure if he would ever walk again. This brother and his family were all very active in the church. While visiting I felt an uncontrollable urge to stand and command him to be healed and get up and walk. I did so and he did stand, then his wife went ballistic and told him to sit down before he caused more damage, shortly thereafter, she threw us out. The fallout to that one was interesting. Some months later, after I had been transferred, I got word he had died due to complications with the injuries sustained during the accident. I instantly felt a deep sorrow and knew it should have been different. In talking with a close friend about his death we discussed the gift of healing and wondered at the response of his wife, musing at how many other active mormons would act in a similar way.

  29. this post was spot on i especially agree with the part about the plan of salvation and how its not graphs and charts and what have you. being a missionary i find it really unnerving to read through the pamphlets of the lessons that we hand out and see how little the savior is mentioned and when he is its only in passing or by some image that is supposed to depict what he looks like the plan of salvation pamphlet only really talks about him once but only in passing giving no more depth than any person on the streets could give you. and of course Satan, and hell is never mentioned. the Plan of salvation pamphlet ends with a 2 page diagram with a line that is supposed to be a timeline of our creation and it starts with pre earth life and ends with three lines that look like a step ladder and it says terrestial telestial and celestial kingdom. as represented in the pamphle we teach that gods course is one eternal line. i saw a cut out diagram one of the missionarries in my district has and its rediculous, it depicts the celestial kingdom to look like a giant bouncy castle with the terrestial kindom to be a tent. it is absolutly rediculous the savior is hardly ever talked about in any ot the lessons that we are supposed to teach. i agree totally with this post keep it real.

  30. @ PallasAthena – I also wonder what would have happened if the wife had had faith instead of fear.

    @ abovethevomit – That does a great disservice to members and investigators to not have outer darkness included in the diagram.

    “I am no devil, for there is none” comes to mind.

  31. Fantastic post. Some years ago I knew I needed to approach the Throne of God in the true manner as taught in the temples. I realized it would be a pivotal moment resulting in either a glorious visitation or the utter destruction of my whole belief system and “faith”. What a horrifying juncture to find ones self in. I ran away mentally. I quit praying and reading scriptures completely doing only the bare minimum to “fulfill” my calling and keep my wife off my back. After years of going though the motions I realized that fall or fly I had to jump off that cliff. Either way my life was going to change dramatically. Last week, at an alter in an empty sealing room, I prayed as taught via the endowment. No glorious vision came. However, a path was presented to me, and imagine my surprise when searching for something totally unrelated I find this post outlining the very process/path I was given.

    Thank you for being my 2nd witness LDSA.

    It is still agony being in the middle of it, but maybe soon I can be a 2nd witness for others who read this.

  32. Kyle:

    How has your wife handled it, both then and now, if I can pry for a few more details?

  33. I added a link to the post above in the second paragraph of the Fear and trembling, part two section. I figured I ought to provide a scripture for what I was saying, so I linked to 1 Nephi 17: 47, which is Nephi talking to his brothers Laman and Lemuel. He says,

    Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength.

    Lehi also said, essentially, the same thing to Laman and Lemuel, though I didn’t link to it in the post:

    And it came to pass after my father had spoken all the words of his dream or vision, which were many, he said unto us, because of these things which he saw in a vision, he exceedingly feared for Laman and Lemuel; yea, he feared lest they should be cast off from the presence of the Lord. (1 Nephi 8: 36)

  34. Wow! What a fantastic post. I was especially aligned with what you said in this paragraph:

    “When a man is faced with a false belief—not determined by someone else, but determined by the man himself—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, YOU WILL HAVE TO COMPLETELY IGNORE THE EVIDENCE. You will have to call black white and white black. You will have to act totally irrationally. You will have to step into the unknown. You will have to close your eyes and walk blindly in darkness. You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.

    My wife is currently in relation (yes, it has been sexual) with another man. We have been married in the Temple for 30 years. She has born me 12 children. Currently we both are not active in the church. It felt too exhausting to continue my activity there.

    Two weeks ago she came home to be with our five children. Meanwhile, she is still calling her boy friend every morning, whom she has known for seven months. Those calls really tear me up.

    The direction I feel I received from the Spirit was to stay true to my commitment and not be obsessed with the evidence that is coming at me. That evidence being: I’m not lovable; I’ve been a neglectful husband and father; I’m not manly enough; She’s an adulteress: She’s gone off the deep end. She’s doing irreparable damage to the children; I’ve brought all this on by my neglect. I could go on and on, the evidence is THERE, and comes at me like water from a fire hydrant. The analogy being that I’m to give up the evidence as fast as it comes at me and stoically be my commitment.

    I find it impossible to give the evidence up about my sinfulness as well as my judgments about her. I have shed many tears of anguish over this, and have done so privately. It has been the most difficult time of my life, mainly because I am attached to the evidence I have believed about myself. That evidence has really pinned me into a place that I find I can’t escape. I realize that all my anguish has been the sorrowing of the damned, and hasn’t really produced the fruits that lead to true repentance.

    In all this I have not called on the Savior, because of more evidence that I am not worthy. So your comment that we all are not worthy was very refreshing. Thank you. Which brings up an odd thought. Most of my spiritual experiences have been at times when I have not been worthy.

    In all this, I have not rent that veil of unbelief, but I continually come back to being my commitment instead of my obsession with evidence.

    Your post has renewed my commitment to read the Book of Mormon once again. Your comment on the chains of the devil being literal makes sense and makes the scriptures come alive to me again. I was believing there was no devil, but now I see that his existence isn’t as far fetched as I thought.

    Thanks for an awesome post.

  35. How many of us have received the word of God? John 10: 34-35 Jesus answered them. Is it not written in your law, I said that ye are gods? “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came and the scripture cannot be broken”. Or may be the question should be how many of us are gods? Is it possible that you are a god and don’t know it? Could it be you are a great spiritual being have a tempoeal experience? If we received the word of god shouldn’t we know if we are gods or not.?Or could it be that we have yet to receive the word of God, in this time of the restoration of the fullness. If that is the case then would it not be our own lacking for not receiveing the fullness of the word of God and therefore our ignorance of our godhood. And if we did receive the fullness of the word of God would we not become aware of our God hood?

  36. Christ taught that ” as a man thinketh so he is” Christ also taught ” search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life” So this thinking business is important stuff. So if we have received the word of god should we not think we are gods? Is this blasphemy? Or just good thinking? We know what the Jews thought at the time of Christ, should we be thinking like them? Joseph Smith taught that mind of man was co-equal with God and then someone came a long and changed it to say that they were co-eternal tho I really don’t see much difference. But Joseph was not around to authorize the change so there is the possibility that it was written originally just as he wanted. Christ taught that we were to be one just as He and the father were one so is it such a reach to say that the collective mind of man is co-equal to God? If this is the case than we have seriously underestimated ourselves. If we can realize this potential then we can demonstrate it. I truly believe that we are to be co-opted with and by our eternal Father. so my question is why aren’t we haveing greater results especially in light of the evil we see takeing over the world today? Are we slighly off kilter and therefore not relizeing our potential? If the collective conciousness of the Saints were to be focused against evill would not God co-opt us? May I suggest that we are slightly off kilter and that if we could regain our balance our collective conciousness would be devastateing to the evil in the world today. I think we are in the same position as the church of the former day Saints just before they lost their authority, hopefully we can identify our mistakes and correct them.

  37. “Except those days be shortened none flesh shall be saved” those days that Christ refered to are also the days of our probation. So what did He mean that they shall be shortened and by so it shall be a salvation? “And for mine elects sake those days shall be shortened” what Christ is describing here is a comeing time in which a ascension process shall enrapt his elect and time shall be no longer for them. A time in which we are now in. While those that have not become the elect of god shall not experience this ascension.The book of Mormon tells us that time is only measured unto man, Albert Einstein wrote that “time is an illusion albeit a very persistent illusion”. Quantum physicists will tell you that time is not a constant, we only look at the linear aspects of time that we use to regulate our lives. My first clue that time was an illusion was that I noticed time went by so much faster when I was enjoying my self and so much slower when I wasn’t, one can say that is just a personal thing and not the truth at large or for the rest of humanity. But then isn’t that my whole point isn’t that what the elect of God are experienceing now? A quickening ? Many are finding that their days are going by so much faster. Quantum scientist point to the fact that the schuman resonance has almost doubled since 1986, the schuman resonance for those that don’t know is the closest thing that we have to measureing real time. And yet the average person is not senseing or experiencing this phenomenen. Matthew chap 1 verse 44&45 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that in the last days, two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left: Two shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left: Most Christians refer to this as the rapture, though I think they far from a complete understanding of this process, I call it a process, for now it is functioning as such and not an instantaneous thing which will be the case at the comeing of Christ in His power and glory. So what is causeing this process where is the evidence? The evidence is every where to be observed, the whole solar system is changeing every thing from solar maximus to the photon belt to the quantum wave from the galactic center etc. etc. The powers of heaven are now being shaken, there shall be signs in the heavens above and in the earth beneath. All of this has implicatons that effects us individually one way or the other. If we cleanse ourselves every whit we shall experience this quickening that is now upon us, if we shall stand upon holy ground. The Lord has commanded His people to forsake all evil and yet I see a great evil that we contribute to every day, a evil so great that it can only be described as the devil himself. I believe that this is the number one thing or reason that Israel / church is not enjoying this ascension as a whole. The Lord in the early days of the church gave us the principle of the united order that there should be no poor among us, he could also have said “that you also not contribute to the foundations of the devil” I will take the liberty of adding that for the holy ghost gives me athuority to do so. The Illuminati federal reserve run and owned by the Luceferians have been financed by the tax dollars of the American people to wage blood and carnage over the whole world. And now they with their scorched earth policy are in the process of genocide and the total destruction of man kind. We must free ourselves of this insideous organization and by comeing out of her reap the blessings of the ascension. The path of the Lord has been made straight and is before us all we have to do is commit to it and the Lord shall fight our battles. He is ready to co-opt us in the most miraculus way even a ” mighty work and a wonder” ” a rock carved without hands to go forth and fill the earth”.

  38. You shall be taught true principles and govern yourselves, “the one mighty and strong” is not going to solve all of your problems without no thought or effort from your selves, you must exercise your own agency to claim your blessings. OliverCowdery took no thought to work it out in his mind and lost his gift. “The one mighty and strong” is a event horizon and has laid his fractal in the divine matrix, he is moveing (brooding) over the face of the deep, As a tempest of hail as a destroying storm and as a flood of mighty waters there shall be judgement to the line and righteousness to the plummet, bind up the testimony and seal up the law. He is an Elias to prepare the path of the lord even this precious corner stone has been laid for you even the servant of the Lord . His passion and mission is to lead men to Christ to be a savior on Mount Zion nothing more nothing less. This oppurtunity and challenge is before you these are just friendly reminders as we all have a tendency to forget who we are. Never the less Israel shall be tried in the furnace of affliction in the last days and who you are. It is not a strange thing that we fight against unseen powers, the enemy in the chamber even the evil ones.

  39. I really agree with this author’s assessment. I also have been lately seeking the best gifts. Thank you all so much for your thoughts. I’ll submit more later, as for right now I’ll get back to the Book of Mormon.

    Love and peace,
    Brett.

  40. I thought of this post in re: to a comment I just made on my Tree of This and That post.

    I’ve struggled in obtaining a broken heart, the fear and trembling, and justification as outlined in this post. I feel as though I am kneeling down three times a day to work on being passive, to manifest receptiveness, to make myself submit, etc. When, in fact, I am supposed “not [let my] left hand know what [my] right hand doeth.”

    When my battle is largely with myself — I can never win b/c my opponent always knows my plans in advance. The only way I can succeed is to attack without having first intended to do so. Then I could make progress.

    Augustine replied to the argument that

    God would not have given us a commandment if we could obey it,

    by answering,

    But the commandment was not given in order for it to be obeyed. God never expected that it would be obeyed, because we are incapable of doing so.

    The commandment was therefore given to convince us of our own sinfulness from which we could be rescued only by His grace — an infusion of external power.

    Therefore, Christianity from then on focused just on how to get grace. It’s supposed to be freely offered to all — but some people get it, and some don’t. This indicates that you must have some power to resist it — and also some power to accept it.

    I feel like I’m saying, “You must relax now. You will let go. Give in!” I’m trying to make myself do something that will only be acceptable when it is voluntarily done.

  41. I’ve been thinking of this post a lot lately, and wondering how you have been doing. I also wanted to share something I have learned:

    Because we have, in essence, been so brainwashed to believe the “false traditions of men,” it is difficult to know what one believes that is true, and what is false. We are so steeped that we often cannot tell. So, I began asking God to open my eyes. I begged him to show/tell me what to pray for. I told him that I did not know exactly what to ask for/how to word my requests. I did know that I wanted greater light and knowledge. In your case, it might be, “I want to experience the gifts of the Spirit. How do I do that? What do I ask for? Please soften my heart, open my mind, unstop my ears, unblind my eyes. Please help me.” I have found that praying thus, in all sincerity, yields answers. It may or may not come the first time one prays like that, but it is my experience that answers come.

    I hope that helps someone.

  42. Thanks for sharing that experience Toni. It helped me to remember exactly how my own recent experience came about. I see that while experiences with this may vary in many aspects from person to person and from situation to situation…there seem to be some key elements.

    SPONTANEITY – Like Justin pointed out above, this is not something that we can really schedule. I had definitely, since reading the post, been struck with a strong desire to experience the trembling specifically. It resonated with me and I felt the spirit witness that this truly was the way of the ancients and something which I needed in my own life. But I was not “successful” through any “trying” of my own. I see that it is one of those things that does not come “right on time”, rather it is a thing which IS “Right IN Time”. That being said, I agree that there still things we can do on our part to help facilitate.

    HUMILITY – My thoughts were recently led to consider just how wrapped up I have been in times past and present, in “The World” through “The Church”. I had thought about this before and intellectually acknowledged the facts. But this time I felt very, very humble and there was an equal mental and emotional connection made which illustrated clearly to my heart and mind, the real ramifications of it all. I had already come to see many things including my “mission service” and “honest tithes” in a different light. But this night, I was struck with the clear and present danger of it all. I knew that The Devil had taken my power, had used it and would continue to do so on any level of my life that I did not surrender FULLY unto Christ. I could feel my spirit take over and from the inside conduct my body to a kneeling position. I began to pray and the words illustrated MY predicament with more detail. I have always given more power to the spirit over my vocal chords, but this time was as you described, especially guided as far as what to say or ask for. Some of the exclamations were more automatic, I felt. But the flow built from my RIGHT brain for sure.

    My wife had a glass of water which she had been drinking from at the time. She took a sip as I prayed and realized that power of the prayer coming through me had made the water very sweet. She went and got a glass for me. My eyes were closed, but when she placed a glass of water in my hands, for some reason I knew that it was for a holy purpose and responded spiritually with more fervor. I look back and realize that on an infinitesimal but to scale level, what we do is analogous to and intertwined with Jesus’ infinite atonement. There is a CLARITY that pervades, whereas what we typically consider intense spiritual experiences can still be very clouded.

    At the conclusion of the prayer I was inspired to use the water for a sort of internal baptism. The water tasted so good and the mental clarity which had been surprisingly sharp throughout such a flowing prayer, was coupled with a SPIRITUAL SENSITIVITY. I can only describe it as feeling very good and the two of us started to sing. We sang an old “Negro Spiritual” and then an “LDS Hymn”. Then out of the blue we felt to sing a song from a current day easy listening/pop/folk artist we both know. The song is entitled “I Feel It All”. It was featured on an album which I had purchased and dedicated to my mother years earlier. But since we had not listened to it in some time, I found it interesting that the spirit should move us to sing it. We looked up a youtube video so we could read the lyrics.

    I don’t exactly know how to describe what happened next. But apparently long time issues regarding my mother were ready to be peeled away in that moment. As I read and sang the lyrics to that song, they seemed to be perfectly written for me in that moment. I laughed out loud as the verses progressed, struck by the perfection of the whole experience. That epistrophe “I Feel It All” repeated throughout and once it reached the bridge…the quaking started. It was definitely from the core out to my extremities and it was powerful. It began to ramp into a progressive frenzy, at which point my sweet wife attempted to hold me and comfort me. But I was able to ask her not to. From there it escalated till it was a full out trembling, irresistible in its momentum but guided in its course. Like I said it was definitely something that originated 100% from inside and worked its way out. In a sense or rather a part of me, simply rode it out. Especially as my body began to shake and twitch exceedingly, I was taken aback by the relaxed state of inner calm that was easily maintained by the spirit while the body was obviously in the most intense throes. Really the best way I can describe it would be to say that I started becoming aware of sensations on a spiritual level…Not merely premonitions and whisperings but just like physical senses only attached to another part of me. I did feel the ripping and it was concentrated over the LEFT hemisphere of my head. It was hard to pronounce any audible words but I did ask with total consciousness of soul, that He “take it off me”.

    When the trembling subsided, I felt very refreshed. I believe that the body and more external aspects of my being perceived and in fact enjoyed the experience as a more SPONTANEOUS action. My heart lost itself in the softening and yielding to the steward intelligence harbored therein. (In much the same way I would imagine a woman enjoys giving herself over to a man, utterly, completely, HUMBLY) And my spirit seemed to be the part which stood back and both basked and marveled at the level of control and CLARITY which it retained throughout the whole thing.

  43. Awesome experience. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Elder Chantdown — I read that twice and then gave it a thumbs up. Thanks for posting it here.

  45. I still struggle with prayer. It is my gospel weakness. Just yesterday I was listening to a Christian radio station that had this group offering a prayer for God to end abortions.

    I yelled at the radio and turned it off — finishing my drive in silence.

    It makes me mad cause it doesn’t work. Whatever we’re supposed to be doing — it’s not speaking out loud to the sky, addressing it as God, and asking the air to “end the murder of millions of your innocent babies“. It still happens.

    Something like abortion or child sex trafficking is hard for me to think about when I see prayers go unanswered b/c those issues aren’t about me. It’s not about me trying to receive justification — it’s about the babies and the children being murdered or exploited.

    I don’t even pray for things like that b/c I wouldn’t want to end up hating God if I didn’t see it stop — heck, He shouldn’t even need me to bring something as unjust as those examples to His attention. If He’s not sufficiently motivated by child sex trafficking without my petitions — then nothing I could say would make the issue any more pressing.

    So, in the end, I wind-up feeling like if people can’t get God motivated to intervene with aborted babies — what on earth chance do I stand in getting Him to intervene by saving me?

  46. Justin, your post just made me think of my own struggles. I’m not saying you fit what I’m about to say. You were speaking about group prayer (so I understand).

    If there are as many people “wanting” against something as “wanting” for it, it is difficult for anything to be changed, unless one side has powerful faith. Anyone wanting change “out there” should first change “in here” (in one’s heart and mind). It seems to me that there are a lot of “out there” prayers that don’t really seem to be sincere.

    I honestly think that the only first criteria in prayer is to be honest. Next, if one is capable of it, is to avoid a haughty angry honesty. Instead, I think one should be humbly sincere. Really saying how one is feeling. Being open to being told something one disagrees with would be a good idea, but the first step is honesty.

    Not giving up is another thing. If we want something badly enough, and pray for it long enough, God is bound to answer it. Whether we recognize His answer is sometimes another thing.

    I have struggled with answers to prayers, and with faith. I still do. It’s like I’m on a circular path. Each time I enter the passage of doubting God, doubting answers to prayers come, it is on a little higher level than the last time I went through it. It helps to remember the miracles I’ve seen, the witnesses that God has answered my prayers in the past.

    God is nothing more than an exalted Man, an emotionally healthy Father, who cares very much about you, one who is vitally interested in your well-being – But, by the nature of the test, His hands are tied. He cannot do anything without someone’s request, and He cannot do much of anything unless faith accompanies that request – Yet He is kind and merciful, and will give us all of the benefit of the doubt it is possible to give (which, it seems, is a whole lot more than we humans do for each other).

    Feeling like God doesn’t answer, feeling like He has abandoned one, or possibly does not exist – those are difficult feelings. I’ve been there. One has to decide how important this desire is – to know God is there, to know He answers prayers. Is it important enough to pursue at all costs? Yet, it is so easy to feel discouraged and angry.

  47. It is so hard to continue in prayer when answers do not appear to happen.

  48. I agree — I’ve just been holding on to the idea LDSA wrote about when he said:

    The mere act of asking God for something, believing that you are going to receive, is an act of faith. How much faith? No one but God knows. However, if you ask, believing that you will receive, and do not receive what you ask for—and you know for a fact that you have not received what you asked for because you asked in the manner detailed above, using an element of time so that the prayer creates a trial of faith—it causes you to confront your false beliefs. You must then admit to yourself that the belief that you had that you would receive what you asked for was false. Again, you may indeed have asked in faith, because the very act of asking is an act of faith, but it was of an insufficient quantity to receive what you asked for, therefore your belief that you would receive was false.

    When a man is faced with a false belief—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, you will have to completely ignore the evidence. […] You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.

    If you are able to get back on your knees and offer another prayer, asking again for something with a deadline, so that the prayer becomes another trial of your faith, and with the (irrational) belief that you will receive, the very act of attempting the experiment again requires more faith than your first attempt.

    Each subsequent attempt will again naturally increase your faith. But each time you fail to receive, you will be faced again with a religious crisis that can only be overcome by faith.
    […]
    There is no going back

    To those who wish to use the information in this post, know going into it that once you start the fearing and the trembling, there is no going back. The pure gospel awakens you from the sleep of hell into a state of torment, even the pains of hell. The realization that you do not have faith will torment you as if your soul has been set on fire, for without faith no man can be saved.

    One option (temporary at best) is to reject the gospel altogether and to believe that the promises of the Lord are false and thus the plan of salvation is a sham. But that will only work until you die and then you will find yourself in hell, in your unsaved condition. So death does not bring relief from this misery.

    If you make an agency choice to continue to believe that what the Lord has promised in the scriptures is true, and that all who ask in faith, believing they will receive, nothing doubting, will indeed receive, then you must remain in your miserable, faithless state until you obtain the promised witness.

    The very misery you find yourself in, then, knowing that you have no faith sufficient to save yourself, will either impel you forward to ask again and strive to obtain the witness, or drive you backward to reject the entire gospel. In this way, all who arrive at the trial of faith must make a choice. There is no middle ground. It is all or nothing.

    The only conclusions are that I am damned or God isn’t real. I don’t want to conclude either.

  49. You know, I just had some thoughts come together last night and this morning and it appears that the Lord has been putting things in my paths for 50 years to help me understand the principle of faith. What patience He has. And if I were a hopeless cause, I don’t think He would keep at it for so long.

    Perhaps the same applies to you.

  50. And when they were come to him [Paul], he said unto them, “Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:18-21)

    “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:31)

    And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship. (Acts 20:36-38)

    Tearful sorrow for sin appears to be the key that unlocks the works of the Father.

  51. I think I may have something of benefit to add to this concept. For many years I just rubberstamped as Gods will all of my trials in life and rightly so as I had faith in Him to lead me. And seeing how I had so far to go it has only made sense for me to get some good ass wuppins.LOL! I eventually realized the eternal wisdom in being tried in the furnace of affliction as Isaiah stated our teachers are the bread off adversity and the waters of affiction. That doesn’t fit the idea of good mental health in fact sometimes it can be down right depressing!
    I have recognized a distinct pattern of trials and spiritual growth in my life that has allowed me to be aware of my weaknesses and strenghts. The most beneficial outcome of this process at least for me has been the complete forgiveness and love for humanity that I now have. I also realize that this life was for the most part a complete sacrifice with any and all rewards comeing afterwards. I still do rubberstamp Gods will But I have now a better sense of what to ask for, as my prioroties have changed closer to His will.

    Anymore I don’t seek to excell and have no alterier motives but to do His will of course to do His will one must first know or understand His will. “This is my work and glory to bring to pass the imortality and eternal life of man” “man is that he might have joy even a fullness of joy” and there is Gods whole agenda and purpose. And yet He also calls it “His strange act” and I am sure that any one who has gone through the fire will agree it is strange at least untill one grasps the mechanics of the whole thing. Untill that understanding has been made manifest to the individual faith is the lifeline to sanity.
    .

  52. An example of LDS proof-texting, as well as ignoring the “negative” doctrine of the captivity of the devil is Alma 34:34. This scripture was used in the Gospel Principles lesson on “The Spirit World”:

    Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

    With the point being — when you die, your desires will not change. You won’t be more likely to repent once you’re dead [like those other Christians think]. And if you are addicted to alcohol, you’ll still be addicted to alcohol. Etc.

    However, not only does this verse seem to suggest otherwise:

    Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God.

    This seems like it’s saying — the very first thing a departed spirit is going to do after death, looking around and realizing they have died and are unjustified is suddenly want to repent.

    But besides that — the LDS proof-text just ignores verse 35:

    For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

    “That same spirit” from verse 34 is either the spirit of the devil or the Spirit of the Lord. It is not your pre-mortal spirit body. Look at the end of verse 34 again — your spirit body will not have power to possess your spirit body in that eternal world, that doesn’t make any sense.

    Either the spirit of the devil or the Spirit of the Lord will have power to possess your spirit body upon death, in that eternal world.

  53. Justin – Heard you deleted your FB account. Hope all is well. Steve

  54. Steve — all is fine. I deleted it mainly because I wanted less draws on my time. I have the GEMTAM book project and the LDSA blog — in addition to the things in my physical, “real” life that require my attention.

    Something needed to get cut back to free up some time/energy — and I chose Facebook. Thanks for asking about it.

  55. Glad to hear it.

  56. I know that the first couple comments on this post showed that people don’t like to read the broad-brush generalizations like:

    Nevertheless, with over 13 million members of record, I found it awfully strange that not even one person sought these gifts. I mean, what are the odds of that?

    But, I’ll come out and state as a general observation [that I have yet to see sufficient evidence to over-turn] that, all things being equal, there isn’t a substantial difference in life circumstances between people who are faithfully religious and/or devout pray-ers and people who are not/do not.

    Meaning — both mostly seem to have some good days and have some bad days. Both seem to get sick and get well again at about the same rate. Both seem to get by in life about the same. If I could see a graph of one’s religious devotion plotted against the outcomes of one’s life — I’d expect a scattered mess with no discernible trend or pattern.

    Now — what I do see as a substantial difference between the two groups [religious pray-ers and moral-yet-indifferent people] is the attitude about what appears to be their similar results with life. Meaning, that the happily-religious group mainly just seems able to look at their problems in a different way — seeing them as “God working in their life”, etc.

    I’d try to always take the scriptures at face-value — to mean exactly what they say. But “receiving as ye have asked” is my biggest hang-up with doing that — mainly because I’ve never seen it work out that way.

    I think that I could accept that that’s the way it is supposed to be. Meaning, prayer will never work as magic — to physically alter the material world in a substantially discernible way — but that such a prayer-filled lifestyle works to change the mind/perspective and cause one to interpret their circumstances in a different way.

  57. …and then the material world will go on to be changed as a result of the change of mind.

    “Sign-seeking” is asking for the whole thing to happen backwards. It’s saying show me a change in the physical environment and then I’ll change my mind — when it’s once our ideas about the world are changed, that we see a change in the physical material surrounding us.

  58. Now — what I do see as a substantial difference between the two groups [religious pray-ers and moral-yet-indifferent people] is the attitude about what appears to be their similar results with life. Meaning, that the happily-religious group mainly just seems able to look at their problems in a different way — seeing them as “God working in their life”, etc.

    … and then the material world will go on to be changed as a result of the change of mind….once our ideas about the world are changed…we see a change in the physical material surrounding us.

    If the attitude or perspective is changed by a prayer-filled life, which then causes a change in the physical world around us, why is there no corresponding change in the physical world in those who claim to be constantly praying?

    Also, what of the scripture, which says:

    for by the power of my Spirit created I them
    yea all things both spiritual and temporal
    first spiritual secondly temporal
    which is the beginning of my work
    and again first temporal and secondly spiritual
    which is the last of my work
    speaking unto you that you may naturally understand
    but unto myself my works have no end neither beginning
    but it is given unto you that ye may understand
    because ye have asked it of me and are agreed
    wherefore verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual
    and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal
    neither any man nor the children of men
    neither Adam your father whom I created

    If a man is praying for a change in the physical environment, such as for healing, is he really praying for a change in the physical environment if all things unto God are spiritual? In other words, if it is the spiritual environment (that which acts) that must change for the physical environment (that which is acted upon) to be reconfigured, would not all petitions for physical change equate to petitions for spiritual change?

  59. If the attitude or perspective is changed by a prayer-filled life, which then causes a change in the physical world around us, why is there no corresponding change in the physical world in those who claim to be constantly praying?

    I wrote in this post that:

    A vain repetition is something that is said so often that it loses any meaning. However, not all repetition is vain … A repetition is vain when the right-brain-heart is not broken/softened and the asker is unrighteous. The prayer is vain because it will profit the pray-er nothing … Unless one’s heart has been broken by the guilt of their own guilt before God, all prayer is a vain repetition. Meaning, if this event has not taken place [referring to this post], the only prayer that is not vain is a prayer for a broken heart and a contrite spirit. This is because a person with a hard heart: “doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.

    “Prayer-filled people” are praying as their Self [in the left-brain] — speaking out-loud to the sky, addressing that as “God”, and then asking for things they want or think they can get — and then tag on “the name of Jesus Christ, Amen” – thinking they’ll then receive accordingly.

    I’ve begun to think that praying “in Jesus’ name” means to stop praying in the left-brain [as your Self] — and to start praying as Jesus. To say the words of Christ, to say what He would say. It involves identifying ourselves with [or as] Christ in mind and in heart. And that can only come once we’ve denied [or disowned] our Self, taken up our cross, and started doing the same works as Jesus.

    So — what I really think is happening is “prayer-filled” people exhibit the power of positive thinking and confirmation bias — meaning the inner-nature is not really transformed such that they are ceasing to identify as their Self and are identified as Christ. Only that is the kind of change of mind that will eventually work its way down into material existence.

    So long as “constantly praying” is used as a means to an end — it will not correspond with a change in the physical world. It has image — but no reality. The complete denial of Self [the fear, trembling, sorrow, weeping, broken heart etc. described here] brings a person to a point where they may pray as an end in itself.

    So,

    would not all petitions for physical change equate to petitions for spiritual change?

    I’d say, not necessarily. If the “spiritual change” has not yet taken place — then asking for a “physical change” is essentially asking for action from something that can only be acted upon. The physical is a symptom of the spiritual — it’s informed [given its form] by the spiritual.

    And also — for that scripture specifically — I’d always taken “temporal” not to mean “physical” — but “temporary”, “of or relating to time”. Such that “spiritual” would be things that are “eternal” or “timeless”.

  60. I am curious, pertaining to the chains of hell, is it possible that there might be physical reactions in the body once the chains are loosed. for instance, sores or markings similar to the ones that occur during an extended fast? some of the things you mention seem intimately paired with what can occur during fasts, so I am eager to hear your thoughts.

  61. Jesus went forth preaching the gospel and healing all those who believed in Him. He also sent the twelve apostles out and they preached the gospel, healing all those who believed in Christ. And He also sent the seventy elders out and they preached the gospel, healing all those who believed in Christ. Jesus also stated that “these signs shall follow them that believe…they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” So, according to this pattern, I would say, no, sores or markings are not associated with the removal of the chains of hell. Healing appears to be the association. Or, as the scripture says, “the renewing of their bodies.”

  62. Yes, yes. I see that. D&C 84 mentions this renewal. I can see what you mean. This renewal is associated with receiving both preisthoods and the magnifying of said priesthood(s), or keeping all of the temple covenants (compared to being a good scout leader or home teacher, though in fairness I suppose that could be a little part of it). It goes on to say that when this happens one becomes the elect of God. I have thought that the renewed bodies would be those physically and spiritually sanctified bodies (either completely or still working through it). I was only curious because I have always felt that what happens during an extended fast was corruption leaving the body and the body healing behind it. I guess in my mind the processes were similar. Shaking off the chains of hell would have promoted the body to remove or repair any physical corruption I see what you mean though. Thanks.

  63. From the OP:

    A tare sown
    The chains of hell and the veil of unbelief, […] is, in actuality, the tare that is sown by the enemy. The tare seed is planted in the heart of man first (see Moses 6: 55) and then takes root in both heart and mind. In other words, the first plasma filament of a chain of hell first begins its connection to man in the heart, then the second filament connects to the mind, creating the veil of unbelief which encompasses the mind and heart of man.

    The tare is sown in the same manner that any seed is sown, e.g., mortal children are conceived by the corruptible sperm of a man, being spiritually born again of God by the incorruptible seed of the word of God delivered by the Holy Spirit.

    inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin
    even so when they begin to grow up
    sin conceiveth in their hearts
    and they taste the bitter
    that they may know to prize the good
    [Moses 6:55]

    Meaning that sin is “conceived” in the heart in a manner comparable to how children are “conceived” by the corruptible seed of a man.

    let no man say
    when he is tempted
    I am tempted of God
    for God cannot be touched by evil
    neither does he tempt any person
    but every one who is tempted
    is drawn away and enticed by their own lust
    then when the lust hath conceived
    it gives birth to sin
    and sin, when fully matured, gives birth to death
    [James 1:13-15]

    Again, God does not sow the tare into the hearts of people — the right-brain-heart is the female organ that all humans [regardless of gender] have. Temptation isn’t external — it says that it comes by “their own lust“.

    Once the right-brain-heart yields [made open to] to sin — the conception of sin in the heart is the same as the result we’d expect when the female sexual organ yields to a man’s seed [conception of human life].

    Sin is the child conceived in the right-brain-heart by what’s been sown in lust. The sin grows to encompass the entire brain [both heart and mind] — sin becomes the light by which people see.

    Thus the scriptures say they are blind — because they are without the true light of the gospel informing the perspective of their minds. The works of the flesh manifest outwardly, when the mind is informed by the sin-child conceived there [instead of the offspring of the Spirit, when there is conception from the seed She deposits when yielded to].

    That sin-child — when fully-matured — will grow-up to give birth to its offspring, which is death or damnation.

  64. The above would explain why God responds to sin in terms that different prophets have described using the language of a husband finding out that his wife has been sleeping around with other men.

    If we have covenanted with God, then to allow other powers [whether you want to call that doctrines/ideas/”gods”/etc.] to inform our minds — meaning conceive the ideas in our hearts from which our minds use to create — other than the word of God transmitted by the Holy Spirit, then that is analogous to the physical commission of marital adultery among a husband and wife.

  65. About two weeks ago I felt a subtle sensation begin in my body that reminded me of my fear and trembling experience which I had last year. I felt to look up this post and give it a re-read. I wanted to refresh my memory of my own experience and look at the scriptures and methods proposed in the original post. But I got sidetracked by the “And the labor they had to perform” post. I forgot what a wealth of spiritual witness and good information was contained in the comments section. I also forgot that my own comments indicate that the incredible experience I had, occurred almost precisely one year ago. I find that very interesting.

    The precepts set forth in this post, like those discussed in the “Labor they had to perform” post, compose a formula. In the comments there I warned against rigidity in formulas saying that they only remain useful to us inasmuch as they allow for free flow of each element involved including , as strange as it may seem to us, even the initial desire and the final outcome. In both of these posts plenty of scriptures are referenced which illustrate the need for fluidity of spirit and there are many more. We are realizing how necessary it is that the spirit give us the very words to say and even how ideally the spirit will set the time frame for applying these formulas which the ancients seem to point us towards. But if I may belabor the point, fluidity is of the upmost importance to us in this formula for ridding ourselves of the veil of unbelief because quite simply we need LUBRICATION if we are to escape it. This lubrication is the HEAVEN / HELL PUSS that simultaneously nourishes us while in the cocoon and aids in our escape. But ironically if allowed to dry up, it will harden into the very shell that we are attempting to break free from. It is vital that we understand this.
    Now why should the spirit bring me around again to this principle one year later? Well I believe we are taught by the Father in cycles. Pragmatism describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice. LDSA has sparked our minds with a very pragmatic approach that rings true with us individually because of personal experiences which we have felt to review here in this spiritual cyber-gathering. To continue the cycle of learning with our Heavenly Father we have only to keep the process flowing. Within the comments for this post we see also the more important component of contemporary confirmation. People are receiving very similar formulaic guidance from the spirit and are serving as second, third and so on, witnesses for eachother. So even though the “first” step is performed by the spirit and is an internal process that we can not really force or consciously schedule, as Justin has rightly brought up. However this does not mean that we, God’s offspring can not or must not do a crucial part to facilitate the flow once initiated or as a part of seeking initiation and continuation of the learning process. As a matter of fact we are lying to ourselves and god if and when we make no real attempt at a drastic departure from our wicked ways yet we expect miraculous intervention and signs. What for? If we will not do something as simple as change the way we breathe, eat or speak. Much of the time we deem as unnecessary or go as far as to deride practices like Yoga, Diet, Chanting etc. Enos took a whole day to pray and meditate. But we have to be responsible citizens of Babylon so we don’t have a free day. And when we do we DEADicate it to The Churtch. But if we are serious we will PRACTICE the art of the ancients no matter how silly we may appear to our neighbors. So now we practice. Now we theorize. Now we practice. Or as God expounds to us in D&C 29 –
    FIRST spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, FIRST temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work—Speaking unto you that you may naturally understand; but unto myself my works have no end, neither beginning.
    This is what I call the BEGENDING. And this is why I feel like we can not stress enough the need for flexibility and freedom of movement when we are talking about formulas which we may extract from the books of scripture we have available to us. If we are going to jump into this cyclical flow of faith (both power and action types) and get results like the title of this post suggests then we will need to remind ourselves what Toni has quoted here for us – ”what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” And it is very necessary for us to each ask ourselves the question put to us by BrandNu….
    “Is it possible that you are a god and don’t know it?”

    LDSA said:
    “When a man is faced with a false belief—not determined by someone else, but determined by the man himself—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, YOU WILL HAVE TO COMPLETELY IGNORE THE EVIDENCE. You will have to call black white and white black. You will have to act totally irrationally. You will have to step into the unknown. You will have to close your eyes and walk blindly in darkness. You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.
    My wife, Quiana, always says that F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. This then is the evidence that LDSA speaks of. The fear of the Lord is nothing more than our personal fears which come from forgetting our godhood and investing belief or disbelief here and there, in this and that as directed by the Devil. Justin has expounded beautifully this basic tactic of the enemy in his “This and That” post. But perhaps what we have need of theorizing a little more on in this forum would be the imperative to “Belive All Things”. For how can we command at WILL the Spiritual Gifts if our beliefs are in fact rooted in disbelief of other things or our self. Indeed how can we do anything at will when all we do must be in accordance with God’s will and our other-imposed but self-accepted beliefs say that such and such thing is not impossible but is wrong …why?…because it is not God’s will. We must ever remain in such a pitiful state of indecision, never knowing God’s will, only what others have written about what they claim is God’s will. Or if we believe not in such things as prophets, but we would not dare to disbelieve in such a thing as GOD…well then we will claim that whatever happens in the world around us must of course be God’s will because, after all, God is all powerful, or so we’ve been told. We will only come to know God’s will when we come to know our own will. This does not happen as two separate events but simultaneously.

    I don’t know about you but I sure do not want to be forever consigned to that awful state of being which is represented by a born in the covenant (or should we say convent) LDS youth at a Stake EFY Q&A session asking his/her leader to explain how to know “when it’s the spirit and when it’s just me”. This is damnation and training camp to become angels to a devil. I would much rather live the life enjoyed by sons/daughters of gods. Our practice is the playtime, so we should have fun with it. We should likewise have fun with the theorizing that occurs when we engage in this type of dialogue. We come together as the exalted parents. Thus in correspondence with higher councils, we ought to rejoice over the progress of our little ones, our growing aspects. But a disconnection of this interplay between inner and outer nature is what makes the natural man an enemy to God. By focusing entirely on the “evidence” presented by the outer to the neglect of his inner nature, he erroneously arrives at a false formula that freezes into a CONclusion —

    Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.

    Everything about this statement is a lie. But it is apparently true when we don’t believe IN ourselves, instead placing all belief outside of ourselves.

    Kyle “realized it would be a pivotal moment resulting in either a glorious visitation or the utter destruction of [his] whole belief system and “faith”. “What a horrifying juncture to find ones self in.” he said and ran away mentally. But when he later confronted his fear he\we can see the fear of the Lord which needs to come upon us. LDSA has explained that it is not a respect for the Lord nor is it a fear and trembling before the Devil. But it is a fear of being cut off from the presence of God. This only comes through humility in recognition that we have already cut ourselves off to a terrible degree. So at once, two realizations hit you. 1. THIS IS NOT GOOD and 2. ITS NOT AS BAD AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. Meaning, that we see instantly that our fears are only misguided beliefs which pile up and cake over our spirits with a gelling veil of unbelief UNLESS AND UNTIL we confront them in the name of Christ…whereupon the flesh which we ourselves have placed upon the skeletal (belief) system of the monster we have built with our own hands now begins to melt in our presence. The glory of the Lord shines through us and consumes on contact any and all golems we have previously clothed and fed with our fear and limited, dictated belief structures. Now we realize the truth of Rob Pollard’s words regarding the ‘Labor they had to perform’ post – “Our burden of illusion is so heavy it kills us literally. That is why we die.” Knowing this we can now truly feast in the presence of our enemies!

    The strange plasma solution of HEAVEN \ HELL PUSS can and does go either way. LDSA and Justin have spoken of the filaments which manifest as cloven tongues of heavenly fire or tares/chains of hell. They are said to attach/emanate (YOU decide) from the crown and the back of the head respectively. These interestingly match up with the anterior and posterior fontanelles on a baby’s head. The posterior usually fuses around 6 weeks of age. This area at the back of the head and base of the skull is called Qoph in Hebrew and it corresponds to the English letter Q which still bears some resemblance to the original glyph and still evokes the image of that spot where the neck meets the skull. As such, Qoph represents that which leads up to and comes before the dominion and rulership of which the word ‘head’ or ‘resh’ (R) is a symbol. This key represents the stage of spiritual unfoldment, wherein the knowledge gained by meditation is incorporated into the bodily organism. It is the stage of body building and corporeal consciousness. The function of sleep is assigned to Qoph, perhaps used to lull us with the devil’s lullabyes into carnal security and eventually to Hell itself. Also in Qabala it is associated with the number 18. The power of 8 (a magic number of accountability in Mormonism) operating through the agency of 1. The Law of Suggestion in action, which controls and creates the subconscious patterns which in turn create and build form. All organic structures are built under the control of the Law of Suggestion, be it an individual body, a personality, an institution, a religion, a culture, an army or navy, or an entire race. The plasma chains discharging in dark mode give Satan’s spirit direct access to slither into our lower Reptilian Brain and allow him some dominion over the flesh. This is where we view everything through the lenses of either fight or flight. With this enmity Lucifer desires to siphon off of these particular subconscious powers of ours and use them to build bodies for the angel or regiment of angels which he assigns to guard us individually. These are our would-be handlers. These disembodied spirits can successfully posses human bodies. We may think we know what a successful or complete demonic possession looks like but do we really?

    In the new testament we hear report of people afflicted with evil spirits. The victims seem out of control of their own bodies and even dance or flail about wildly. But think about it. These were those with the desire and faith to be healed of Jesus. Their actions do not indicate complete possession but a valiant struggle of WILL POWER. If you want to know what a more complete demonic possession looks like then look at your average Churtchgoer. So fully has their intelligence been put to sleep that their functions are automatic, methodical and claimed as their OWN choice. Spiritual sloth and intellectual infidelity are the sins that keep them wrapped up the body bag of the veil of unbelief as if it were to them a comforting blanket. More than your typical fire and brimstone preaching, what LDSA and others here are advocating is less silly but more scary in many ways. What we all need from the gospel is TRUTH. An accurate view of the way things are is always the scariest shtuff that LDS and other modern Christ-Shuns can fathom because it reveals us as Satan worshipers. It shows us that our Pious Lifestyles are in actuality Babylonian Deathstyles. PallasAthena tells us that he witnessed the bizarre behavior of one such possessed woman while visiting the home of an active LDS family who’s father had suffered a tragic accident. He felt an “uncontrollable urge to stand and command him to be healed and get up and walk.” He did so and the man did stand. Now anyone with a little faith regardless of having passed through this refining ordeal of fear and trembling or not would glorify God or at very least sit silently in awe. But what did this man’s wife do? She “went ballistic and told him to sit down before he caused more damage, shortly thereafter, she threw PallasAthena and his missionary companion out. That man later died due to complications with the injuries sustained during the accident. Upon hearing this news, PallasAthena instantly felt a deep sorrow and knew it should have been different.

    It can be different. It should and shall be different because it is different. Life is not what it seems. Do not despair all you who fight against powers of darkness in high places. Any tear or hole we are able to create in this black veil will let in the most glorious light. While it is true that the scriptures describe this action as a rending and a sudden violent act, we need not despair if we find ourselves in need of rest between these trembling sessions. Ultimately these bursts of spiritual energy on our part will result in our ripping free from the veil of unbelief, the veil of belief systems which has bound us for so long. The strength we develop while busting free from this cocoon will enable us to live forever free of it. When we give that last triumphant tear we will be surprised to see that the bright light on the other side of the veil that through brief glimpses and warmth of our soul kept us going throughout the dark night of our struggle….that bright light was none other than ourselves in the flesh. Staring back at us and crying tears of joy we will see ourselves shinning and we will understand finally in that moment that we were and are the parents and our physical bodies the children coming through the birth canal ready to be one with THE FAMILY.

  66. I found this site by searching “plasma”, because many people are now seeing plasma orbs in the sky, and they are usually twins. I found out that this is the natural state of plasma, but I didn’t understand where it was coming from. The orbs seem to revolve around each other. The same entity can also mimic a plane, and people are recording the trial sometimes looking like a chain. I was targeted by a sorcerer, and now I have these plasma entities following me around! They go everywhere I go, and the harassment never ends. It has been going on for three years. A good video to show it is called “Lumi Birds”, but there are many, many videos of them. Are these the chains of hell? They must be!

  67. Just a note, don’t mind this. I just wanted to record here that two days ago (Monday, 12 November) I learned something new about the principles in this post. I’ll probably write about it some time in the future, but not now.

  68. Being a watchman upon the tower, in quantum phyisics you could be called an observer collapsing the waveform. A greater conciousness has advanced in righteousness and will collapse a waveform (matter) towards righteousness. D&C 101 sec 54 And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy whille he was yet afar off; and then and then would have been ready…..

    So the challenge to tearing down the towers of the enemy is one of conciousness or the lack thereof. I think man has been given every thing needed to increase his conciousness to meet the challenge.

    Resonating with the higher frequencies currently streaming into our solar system is empowering. D&C 35;13 Wherefore I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my spirit.

    I think it would be nice to get more watchman upon the tower or in other wards more quantum warriors. Is there any doubt that the nations of the world are being thrashed?

    It be obvious that the money system we use feeds the beast, had we stuck to the united order we would not have built up the Kingdom of the devil that great secret combination spoken of by the prophet Ether. This beast is now in position to inflict the mark of the beast thru the Obamacare rfd chip.

    This should bring a increase in conciousness, “stand upon the tower and be a watchman”, if you eliminate all mental disconnects this spirit shall flow through you and you shall be empowered.

  69. LDSA, two things.
    You wrote a note a few comments back
    Just a note, don’t mind this. I just wanted to record here that two days ago (Monday, 12 November) I learned something new about the principles in this post. I’ll probably write about it some time in the future, but not now.

    Do you remember what it was about?

    Secondly, Im working right now on rending my veil of unbelief with fear and trembling before God but Im having trouble with the “forever” part of “being cast off forever”. Right now my thinking is “yes, I realize that I will go to hell and tremble there, but as soon as the missionaries come, I will exercise faith and break free from hell” and this thought prevents me from working this fear into a frenzy. If I was persuaded that it was indeed “forever” that would have a profound effect on me. Please help.

  70. jackdale76,

    You wrote a note a few comments back
    Just a note, don’t mind this. I just wanted to record here that two days ago (Monday, 12 November) I learned something new about the principles in this post. I’ll probably write about it some time in the future, but not now.

    Do you remember what it was about?

    That comment was concerning a revelation I had received on the date mentioned. I internalized that revelation (meaning that I applied it to my life) but decided not to record it anywhere. I do not remember why I didn’t record it. Perhaps I was just too dang lazy, or perhaps I thought it contained a bit too much personal information. At any rate, I thought that I ought to at least mention in a comment on this blog that it had been received, and I suppose that I thought that merely mentioning it would be enough to get me to remember it. However, three years later, I have forgotten what it was all about. It may be that if I re-read this post that revelation will come back to me. Or, it may be that it won’t. At any rate, it doesn’t matter one bit. The comment noting its reception is sufficient. If ever I want to know what that revelation was, I will ask God to re-reveal it to me. This was, I think, my original thought, namely, that just recording that it had been received on that date was specific enough that I could go to God later and say, “On such-and-such a date you gave me a revelation, which I have since forgotten. Please re-reveal it to me.”

    Secondly, Im working right now on rending my veil of unbelief with fear and trembling before God but Im having trouble with the “forever” part of “being cast off forever”. Right now my thinking is “yes, I realize that I will go to hell and tremble there, but as soon as the missionaries come, I will exercise faith and break free from hell” and this thought prevents me from working this fear into a frenzy. If I was persuaded that it was indeed “forever” that would have a profound effect on me. Please help.

    The two-handed condition is coming back, through the convincing ministry of the Josephite, so unless you are going to die before his ministry starts, the “I’ll go to hell and get free by the missionaries’ ministry” idea ain’t gonna fly.

    Perhaps this will help you:

    Hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

    Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God. (Mormon 9:27-28)

    So, just ask God for the fear of being cast off forever, and do not stop asking for it until you get it. He will give it to you, if you are diligent and sincere. (And when you end up getting it, then that likely means that you are now in the two-handed condition, if you get my drift.)

  71. Thanks for the verses, there’s a lot of power in those verses. And I am doing as they direct. It’s just that some things have to sink deep into my heart first.

    Well, I cannot pretend that the two-handed conditions are upon us already. I have to repent acc.to the current conditions as if I were to die tomorrow. Hence my question, is it possible to rend the veil by not having the fear of being cast off forever but by fearing having to go through the suffering “how sore you know not, how hard to bear you know not etc.”, even though this suffering will not last forever?

    Another question. LDSA, you said

    When you finally receive forgiveness of sin and have had your sorrow wiped away and replaced by joy, being full of the Holy Spirit and being baptized with fire, with the ability to speak the tongue of angels, etc., then, and only then, will you be able to ask and receive whatever you want.

    I remember you said that you had received your baptism of fire before your water baptism and so did the Lamanites in the prison in Hel 5.

    So, how does one understand the sequence of events in the words on Nephi which say A) repentance B) water C) fire ?

    repenting of your sins,
    witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word,
    behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost;

    (2 Nephi 31:13)

  72. Re: the baptism of fire question, see The baptism of fire post. I think that answer lies in there somewhere.

    Re: the rending the veil with a lesser fear question, well, let me ask you this: How many latter-day saints do you know that have rent the veil with such thinking? I, personally, don’t know of any that have rent the veil, and yet all have thought this thought, that “being cast off forever” is only for sons of perdition and everyone else just gets a temporary stop in spirit prison, where they don’t really suffer, (except for the really wicked people, but even these don’t suffer literally, except with mental anguish,) yet all are to be freed when the missionaries get there. So it’s all temporary punishment at worst. in other words, it is this doctrine:

    …if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. (2 Ne. 28:8)

    Did Joseph Smith have such a thought before his first vision? Doubtful. He likely was fearful of losing his eternal salvation and soul because of his sins. Now, there have been a few people who have claimed to have rent the veil and seen the Lord or angels, and these are Mormons who have been taught the current theological models, but I don’t know whether they claim to have experienced fear of being cast off forever.

    I think it is proper to start wherever you currently are, with whatever fear or degree of fear you may have, and to build from there, asking the Lord to give you what you lack, just as Alma said it was okay to start with even just a desire to believe, until you give enough place for the word to where you actually do believe. The fear of being cast off forever is completely irrational. The rational mind totally rejects this idea. It is, essentially, the fear of death, but of the soul, and perhaps even also of the body. If you have ever experienced a fear of mortal death, then you already know what it feels like, except that it is transferred or applied to the soul, and so it is much more intense.

    In my own life, I have been threatened with death on many occasions, by people with guns or knives or just plain fists, etc., but there was only one occasion when I felt a true fear of mortal death, and this because the man took me by surprise, while I was deep in thought and unaware of my surroundings, and my body reacted in fear, which surprised me, for I had never faced death or potential death with fear before. This reaction embarrassed the hell out of me, believe me. But the body will do what the body will do. Yet to this very day I am ashamed of that reaction. But there have been other times when I felt the fear of mortal death, of which I am not ashamed, for they were proper reactions, yet quite irrational. One was a time when I broke out laughing in the holy temple of God and couldn’t stop. I truly believed that I was going to be struck by lightning by God for this infraction on my part. But He spared me. (It was an innocent thing, after all, and I was very young.) On another occasion I pulled a Lehi, and complained against the Lord in a pretty freaking bad way. Afterward, He put the fear of death once again in me, sending a devouring wolf my way. Scared $#!tless, I accordingly repented on the spot and the wolf immediately retreated. Lesson learned. I will never do that again. On yet another occasion, I refused to obey a direct order of the Holy Ghost, because I was livid, and in my anger I pretended that the voice of the Spirit was just my imagination, and so I ignored the command. (Of course, it was just pretending, for I knew full well it was the Spirit. But I wanted to act like other men, as if I didn’t know, in order to get off the hook of obeying the commandment.) It took two full days before my anger finally subsided, and when it did, I was in mortal fear, of both body and soul, and feared to lose all my gifts. (The rest of that story is not important, except to say that the Lord was merciful and gave me a second chance, which I took with full repentance.) All these things are quite irrational, but essential, for the fear of the Lord is a beautiful thing, allowing the Spirit to have full sway in one’s heart. So, nobody ought to downplay these things. Irrational or not, they are important.

  73. LDSA, could you offer your understanding of these verses (not pasting the whole block for brevity but preceding verses also must be looked at)

    36 These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels—
    37 And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
    38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath
    (Doctrine and Covenants 76:36–38)

    My understanding is that only the saints who were overcome by the devil will be cast off forever or is there more than meets the eye in these verses?

  74. Yeah, that’s my understanding, as well.

  75. With that in mind Im puzzled at what Ammon said to king Lamoni’s father who never was a saint nor was he under two-handed conditions (only the Nephites were).

    17 But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.
    (Alma 20:17)

    Soul could not be saved = being cast off forever.

    Any thoughts?

  76. But Ammon stood forth and said unto him:

    Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved. And again, it is expedient that thou shouldst forbear; for if thou shouldst slay thy son, he being an innocent man, his blood would cry from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee; and perhaps thou wouldst lose thy soul.

    It is a curious scripture, because Ammon seems to be differentiating between a soul not being saved and a soul being lost. I would say that a soul not being saved means that the king would not go to Paradise upon his death, whereas losing one’s soul means being cast off forever. As for the king not being under the two-handed condition, we don’t know that for sure. Missionaries had been sent to the Lamanites regularly since the days of Jacob:

    And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. (Jacob 7:24)

    It’s just that they weren’t successful in converting any Lamanites until the days of the sons of Mosiah.

  77. LDSA, could you please explain how do you reconcile that DC76 says that only saints who were overcome will be cast off forever with the idea that certain non-saints (like king Lamoni’s father who were given sufficient knowledge) will also be cast off forever?

    I would think if someone never became a saint (through faith and repentance), they by definition cannot be cast off forever.

  78. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve repented, exercised faith, been baptized and so forth. All that matters is how much knowledge you have, through the power of God, and then you have to deny it. We don’t operate currently with “convincing power,” but the Nephite missionaries did.

    Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—…Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

    Nephi had the convincing power, as did other Nephite missionaries:

    And it came to pass that Nephi—having been visited by angels and also the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eye-witness, and having had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eye-witness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations; therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds—went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. And he did minister many things unto them; and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice, therefore they are not written in this book. And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority. And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.

    When you preach with such faith and power that the Holy Ghost takes your words right into the hearts of an unbeliever and gives them an instantaneous testimony that your words are true, so that they can no longer say that they don’t believe your words, but they don’t care one way or another about the truth of the words, they just refuse to repent, that is when you have been made partaker of the power of the Lord and have received of the Spirit, but then instantly denied it. At that point, you are toast if you don’t repent before you die, even if you’ve never been baptized.

    Consider, for example, the damned souls of the last days. When the Josephite comes forth, he is going to preach with this very same convincing power, except on an order of magnitude many times greater. For example, I fully expect this guy to go around with tongues of fire above his head and his face shining while he preaches. Everyone is going to be left without any excuses for not believing his testimony. They will all get an instant testimony, a sure knowledge of the truthfulness of his words. Regardless of whether they were ever baptized into the church or not, if they deny his witness, and these many displays of power, they will be delivered into Satan’s hands, as part of those overcome. So, it all comes down to the power. If you have partaken of the power of the Lord, receiving of the Spirit, and then deny it afterward, you are screwed. The Nephite missionaries that preached to the Lamanites did so from Jacob’s days onward, so there is definitely a possibility that Lamoni’s father’s unrepentant state was awful, just like many other Lamanites. This is likely one of the reasons why these missionaries felt the need to go and try to convert these souls. Other missionaries had been there and been unsuccessful, yet they, perhaps, had also preached with convincing power. So, the Lamanites who had listened to the message and rejected it were screwed. The Lamanites were always described as super-hard. Only the dissenters were described as harder. The Lamanites were descendants of Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, all of whom had been preached to with Nephi and Lehi’s convincing power, yet they didn’t repent, so they were entirely resistant to the truth, and they taught their seed to also be resistant to it, necessitating that missionaries had to preach with much greater power demonstrations than the missionaries that currently are sent to the Gentiles. Yet even there, they weren’t successful until the sons of Mosiah. The point is that we don’t know the background of Lamoni’s father, but Ammon did, and his assessment was that that guy was in an awful state. And surely he must have been, since he was ready to kill his own son, even though he knew his son was innocent, (which he even states in the record!)

  79. 8 But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day.
    (Doctrine and Covenants 38:8)

    LDSA, do you know why this verse sounds as if the veil will be rent collectively and not based on individual repentance?

  80. they were encircled about by the bands of death
    (Alma 5:7)

    Any thoughts about the nature of those bands. Are they of plasma origin? And who creates those bands and encircles the spirits with them?

  81. jackdale76, Re: the bands of death, I must assume that they are an aspect of the spirit body of this planet Earth, in the shape of bands, and so, as they are composed of spirit matter, they must be plasmoids.

  82. My understanding of that veil shall soon be rent verse is that it will happen collectively, to the entire world, to both quick and dead alike.

  83. My understanding of that veil shall soon be rent verse is that it will happen collectively, to the entire world, to both quick and dead alike

    Could you clarify what you mean? Are you talking about rending the veil in order to bring everyone to the great judgement? Is this “veil of darkness” the same as “the veil of unbelief”?

  84. LDSA, so did you end up seeing an angel? It’s been 5 years since you’ve begun the experiment mentioned in this post.

  85. My understanding of that veil shall soon be rent verse is that it will happen collectively, to the entire world, to both quick and dead alike

    Could you clarify what you mean? Are you talking about rending the veil in order to bring everyone to the great judgement? Is this “veil of darkness” the same as “the veil of unbelief”?

    No, it is not the veil of unbelief, but the veil that hides the face of God from everyone on this planet.

  86. LDSA, so did you end up seeing an angel?

    Nope. But then angels appear to them of strong faith, and my faith isn’t strong, yet. If I do see an angel though, I expect to publish the account on this blog, unless I’m prohibited by the Lord from doing so (which I highly doubt will happen.)

  87. Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit… (Alma 22:15)

    So, the spirit of the devil has roots in a person’s breast. How can this be reconciled with what was said in this post i.e. that the chains of hell are attached (or rooted) to the base of the skull?

  88. Everyone thinks, and has always thought, that the (spiritual) heart is located in the chest cavity, where the physical heart is found, including that Lamanite king.

  89. 38 Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.
    (Mosiah 2:38)

    Any thoughts on why breast is mentioned here?
    On the face of it, things like guilt, pain and anguish happen inside the mind, not the breast.

  90. Jackdale76, see my latest post. These are just Hebraic expressions transferred word-for-word into English in seed form.

  91. I think I have a better explanation of why the Lamanite king used the word “breast” when he said “having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast”.

    According to 1913 Webster’s dictionary, one of the definitions of “breast” is “the heart”. It has been mentioned already on this blog that the (spiritual) heart is actually part of the spiritual body.

    To corroborate this idea, I noticed that the Scriptures say that the feeling of guilt is felt in three places:
    breast, heart, and soul.

    … which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish (Mosiah 2:38)

    …and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son (Alma 24:10)

    18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse .. (Alma 5:18)

    My explanation of why guilt is felt in both breast, heart, and soul is because they are one and the same place inside of our spiritual body.

    So, going back to the Lamanite king, I do not think that he was in error when he used the word “breast”.


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