The words of Christ are not static. In previous blogs I have discussed the transition from static to dynamic communications with the voice of the Lord. I want to point out a couple of significant places that this principle truly comes alive.
The scriptures are the foundational place that anyone seeking to know Christ can begin to be familiar with the voice of Christ. But the scriptures were never intended to be the end. That is why Nephi spoke against claiming “a Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible” (2 Nephi 28). Also, …Mormon wanted to give us more scripture, but the spirit stopped him, in order to try our faith (3 Nephi 26:9). The scriptures have always been only an introduction to the voice of the Lord. However, Christ’s words were never intended to be static, or broad, or general, or one-size-fits-all.They were meant to be specific, to each individual. The words were intended to sprout up a personal and individual relationship with the Savior (the mark we ought not look beyond).
The way the scriptures become dynamic is through the experiment upon the words of Christ (Alma 32:27). Most read this experiment as a test for Investigators/new converts to find out for themselves if the Book of Mormon is a true record, and if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Once we have accepted that as true, we have little use for the experiment, except to tell our non-member friends the same.
Some pondering has brought me to realize that this unbelief must be corrected, to understand the experiment as the tool to transition the voice of the Lord from static to dynamic (personalized revelation). The instructions in Alma 32:27 is to experiment upon my word… It doesn’t specify only the “written” word. Thus, when we hear a prompting, we all have difficulty discerning the voice of the Lord from the voice of our own mind. It is at this moment that you must experiment upon the words of Christ by planting those promptings in your heart (the seed=the word), and acting upon it. That is the experiment.
The Lord always provides a confirmation. So, if your actions upon the prompting swells, sprouts and begins to grow, you can know that it’s a good seed. Or in other words you can become more familiar with the voice of the Lord. More and more experiments like these will leave the experimenter very familiar with the voice of the Lord. When you are familiar with His voice, your seed has grown into a mature tree, and it will bear the fruit of Christ (Alma 32:42).
The sacrament prayer is the other place were the voice of the Lord is implicitly identified, but our false traditions have assumed that the Lord’s commandments are reduced to the static page. In the prayer on the bread, we covenant to keep His commandments which He has given them. Depending on your relationship with Him, that means something different. Those who are not familiar with His voice cannot keep very many commandments which He has given them. They are ignorant to his voice (deaf, blind, or hard hearted). However, those familiar with His voice are under greater accountabilities because we have covenanted that we would obey that voice. Each person hears Christ’s voice to the degree that they are familiar with His words and the sound of His voice. Greater light is given to those whose eyes are opened, ears are unstopped, and heart is softened. They will be the recipients of the power to “see my face and know that I am.” (D&C 93:1).
The sacrament prayer, just as the promise in Alma 32, both promise the personal relationship with Christ. The sacrament prayer promises that Christ’s spirit will always be with us. It is not the Holy Ghost being offered here. It is the presence of Christ. He chooses to step out from behind the veil, like He has for the brother of Jared, for all those who love and seek Him diligently. In Alma 32:42 it is Christ being described as the fruit that if you eat you will not hunger or thirst.
The purpose of the scriptures, the voice, and your individual revelations, is to strengthen your relationship with Christ, so that you can know His voice, so that you too can be His friends. Christ stated that, “…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23).
Conclusion: The words of Christ were never intended to be static. They were never meant for all saints to “look the same.” They were never intended to make each person mimic, dress alike, act alike, or speak alike. It was always meant to develop in you an individual, personal relationship with Christ and the Father. It was meant to celebrate the variety of talents, skills, gifts, and strengths, so that all may be edified.
Christ’s voice is a literal voice that can be heard. The gateway to develop your ability to hear that voice is to unstop your def ears, and to regain your sight from your blinded state, by the softening of your hearts, by the serious study of the words of Christ. Each of the miracles that Christ performed are both a physical miracle and also points to a spiritual miracle. He offers to heal our deafness, blindness, and hard heartedness, if we will let Him.
Once we can understand the static words, our faith will have been tried and found satisfactory for the heavens to produce more of Christ’s words. Seek to understand them. Ponder them. The objective, …or the mark, is Christ.
John defines life eternal as knowing Christ and God the Father. This is not a challenge to know about them. It is a charge to know-them. That is a personal relationship. They are offering that personal relationship as a gift by giving us the words of Christ. That is why not reading them (rejecting that gift) has produced a 182 year old condemnation that the whole church is under (D&C 84:55).
Study to know His mind and will concerning you. Start with the scriptures. Experiment upon His words that you may know His literal voice. Keep the commandments which He is trying to give to you in personal revelation. Follow no man, but follow Christ. Then, you will always have Christ’s spirit to be with you. Eventually, He will step out from behind the veil, and you will know Him, for you will be like Him, even the least of us.