O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (Moroni 4:3)
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (Moroni 5:2)
I think most people (myself included) tend to try and define for ourselves a moment in our lives or a singular event as the catalyst to mark our spiritual progression by. We look for such a pivotal and recognizable point of truth such as receiving the second comforter or other comforter as promised in the scriptures in addition to the Holy Ghost, which is no less than Jesus Christ Himself (John 14:18&23 – D&C 88:3-5), to measure our progression and growth. We tend to look for the sudden or immediate event that is undeniable before we WILL believe. We doubt Him and ourselves, and do not know our own worth to Him because without these obvious fruits, such as a personal appearance, we feel as though we are a failure or failing in our quest for Him. Sometimes this unbelief in Him and failing to recognize the fruits of His labors with you grows into: that He does exists at all.
It is my belief that not “receiving” the second or other comforter is not due to a lack of faith, but because of unbelief, because of pride, jealousies, fear and strife and that keeps us from entering into His presence.
…I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am–not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. (D&C 67:10)
“It is your privilege, and a promise”. – Don’t doubt!
For whatever reason we tend to overlook our experiences in life, our paradigm as such is often so tightly woven and focused on what we don’t have spiritually that WE cannot see the truth of things as they are. We are no different in many of our individual circumstances as the Lamanites who were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost and did not know it. (3 Nephi 9:20). We often do not see the fruits of His labors in our own lives, because we lack understanding of His ways.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
The second comforter or other comforter does not have a finale, unless we abrogate ourselves of those blessings. The second comforter is the personal appearance of Jesus Christ, and our continuation in exaltation to exaltation without end is what He works to bring about in our lives, this is His work and HIS glory. (Moses 1:39).
It began with Christ ministering to you and you probably like me, knew it not. He comes in His own way, for His own purpose and timing. Certainly a personal appearance would qualify and is the general definition of the second or other comforter, but it DOES encompass so much more than a personal appearance, “However, the appearance is not as important as the ministry of the Lord. He “comforts”(1st) those to whom He appears (2nd). He will “not leave you comfortless (1st), he will come to you (2nd) (John 14: 18).”
How has He administered to you and you knew it NOT? Have you grown to know His voice inside you, to recognize Him and His thoughts when He speaks to you – is this a comfort to you, is this not Him conversing with you through the veil? Or how about when He forgives you of your sins and heals your heartache from transgression or from an injury caused by another and you have the capacity to forgive? Is this not ALSO being administered to by Christ, is His power not healing or is it! Is He not leading you gently and with love through the many trials and difficulties you face in mortality? Has your knowledge increased, has your capacity to understand the things of God increased or a desire to serve and help others? Is this not in HIS OWN WAY? Are these not the fruits of his labors with you? Read the sacramental prayer at the start of this blog post again and pay attention to the words. You partake of this ordinance and know not what you are asking to receive; in it you have an obligation or instructions given in order for you to receive a specific blessing. The blessing is to have Him with you, always, for Him to take up His abode with you which is the other comforter.
Are you doing those things?
Grace for Grace
Call upon Him often – He then calls upon you, serve others and He will serve you, administer to others and He will administer to you. Act on the light and goodness you have received and you will receive a greater portion of His light until you are prepared to enter His presence. Believe and seek His face while you are yet in the flesh (D&C93:1). If you have the capacity to help others, especially family and you do not, are you being obedient to the Lords call to bring relief to those who suffer, to be equal in your temporal things (D&C 70:14)? Or the homeless person begging for change, is it a scammer or did you ask the Lord for something and He sent an Angel in disguise to test and try you before He blesses you?
Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D&C 93:1)
1.) Forsakes sins – Repents
2.) Cometh unto me – Baptized by water, fire and of the Holy Ghost
3.) Calleth on my name – Prays often, cry mightily unto the Lord, sincere in their prayers
4.) Obeyeth my voice – Do whatsoever the Lord asks, even if it puts you at odds with everyone and everything, even if it costs you your good name, help others, relief to the poor, charity, services… i.e. Do His works.
5.) Keepeth my commandments – As contained in the Holy Scriptures, covenants of baptism etc…
6.) Shall see my face and know that I am – Second or other comforter, personal appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For me all of this seems to be a process or recipe (for those who like to cook), the list above is your ingredients, and sometimes you have to add a little more repenting, prayer or charity to get the recipe right. Learning to recognize the fruits of His labors with you is a process. It is through a continuation of certain events in your life, a repeated pattern and often not a singular isolated event that helps you identify the administration of the Lord and His labors with you. You can begin to see how gentle the Lord has been in directing your life, you may see that you keep getting faced with the same challenge or prompting but don’t recognize it until after the time has passed, don’t “fear” but “repent” a time will come when you will act on it and complete that task that qualifies you for greater light.
Sure there will be specific experiences from time to time to confirm to you that the path you are on is the path the Lord wants you to be on, signs follow those that have faith and believe (D&C 63:9), but not before. It always starts with a desire, when you decide to try the word of God, or to act on what He says, that is Faith, it just so happens that Faith is an action. Through Faith we become believing, our belief can turn to knowledge or remain believing until we learn what it is we need to learn before going forward. God has worlds without end to accomplish this with you. In His Fathers House there are many mansions (John 14:2), or more appropriately said – many worlds, worlds without end. (Moses 1:33,35,37-38.) But why not obtain this now, while in the flesh and in this life.
Do you not see the fruits of His labors in your own life both temporal and spiritual, you should I hope be able to SEE and recognize that Christ is involved in a very personal and real way with you as He had promised He would.
I believe when we try and look for a single isolated event to qualify as the aha moment, we miss all the signs of our faith that the Lord is using to teach and show us that we HAVE indeed and are receiving the promised blessings; that He is leading you to Him, that He has indeed taken up His abode with you, initially by His Holy Spirit, that He does indeed now comfort you, that He does indeed now converse with you, that He does indeed now walk with you even though your eyes have not yet beheld Him – you know He is there! He WILL NOT leave you comfortless, He may allow you to experience despair to a point YOU believe is unbearable, that will ultimately break you, and at that moment He will show you the strength of His power. When you do behold Him (D&C 93:1) it is a final witness of Him and His personal ministry to you, this does not signify the beginning of His ministry to you, but rather a continuation of His personal ministry to you, and is a pivotal point nonetheless and with it always great responsibility. It is all part of the process of the second or the other comforter and it is a continuation of these things that have already begun in your own life as you have sought Him, this fellowship with Him and the Father unto life eternal and salvation will increase and grow as you continue to be obedient, and humble yourself and cry unto the Lord to know Him.
Now believe, with nothing doubting, and exercise faith in Him unto salvation and life eternal and see the fruit of His labors in you.
1. Believe – Nothing Doubting – You – Holy Ghost
2. Exercise Faith – Do His works – Salvation – Christ
3. Obey His Voice – Receive life eternal – Promise of Exaltation – The Father
I know He lives, because I have seen Him, but I knew He lived before I saw Him because of the many witnesses I have had in my life. Looking back I can and do recognize His works in my life and the fruit of His labors with me. He is patient; He invites all and He does keep His promises.