Our poorly laid plans.
The doctrine of Christ lays out a gate and a path. The gate is faith, repentance, baptism, and being given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The path is that we must press forward with all diligence, feasting on the word of Christ, and receiving the Holy Ghost in truth by so doing. Then the Holy Ghost can bear record of the Father and the Son, that we might know them.
Now we read of those at Christs appearance to whom he will say “Ye never knew me” (see the JST). How did they not know him? They didn’t follow the doctrine of Christ. They didn’t ever live so that they had the Holy Ghost enough that they could come to know God through it. It never became a revelator in their life, and thus it could never reveal, or rather, bear record, of the Father and the Son to them.
So the scriptures warn that there will be many who will feel like they are doing good spiritual work, that they are living the gospel, but who will find that they have not actually followed the doctrine of Christ and will be disappointed.
I think we live in a day that may face an abundance of such disappointment. And I would like to do whatever I can to prevent it. What are we about, if it is not to save the souls of one another?
I am afraid that these days there has become a tradition of a new path that we think will make it. I have no knowledge of where the lines are drawn above and beyond what the scriptures plainly lay out. But I feel a great concern about this new path.
The common traits of this new path are these:
- Daily feasting on the scriptures is optional, especially if we have a calling that sounds important.
- The Lord knows that we love our music, television, websites, movies, etc… And he recognizes the sacrifice we make in not seeing the worst of them. He knows how good we are for it. Sure, we watch shows that plainly either portray immorality or gender apostasy as normal, or shows with short skirts and belly shirts, or bikinis or where a woman strips down to no more than underwear. But these things do not offend the Holy Ghost. In fact, they have no affect on us spiritually.
- God doesn’t care whether we limit our children or not. That is between the couple and the Lord, which means it is up to us to do with as we please.
- God doesn’t care if the father is the head of the home. He endorses all the wonderful new things we have learned about the proper relation of men and women since the 1960s rejected morality as part of the basis of society.
- Women deserve to seek self fulfillment. That is what they need in life. And that may well mean that they don’t stay in the home.
- Your church calling IS your spiritual life. You need to magnify your calling to gain eternal life as D&C 84 tells us. Consequently, as long as we did a good job with our church calling we know we are doing all the Lord requires. We have come to think of our callings as the Lord’s plan to save us, a sort of spiritual socialism where our callings lay out all that is required, rather than working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
What does this get you? A church of Pharisees who will do a calling but don’t know or believe the doctrine of the scriptures or believe or practice the foundational doctrine of the family. Without those foundations other items soon appear on the list. Divorce becomes part of normal membership in the church. Modesty leaves the list of critical virtues. Before long, many want much worse things to become part of the church as well.
This new path to exaltation is not the one described in the scriptures, and I don’t believe it leads there. How could we possibly expect the Holy Ghost to attend such a person? Without growing into the Holy Ghost, how can they come to know Christ? If they do not know Christ, how can they hear words other than “Depart, I never knew you” when at last they find themselves in his presence?