Those who have been invited to the feast of the Lord are instructed to AWAKE AND ARISE! The modern world we live in finds us asleep to the mind of God. Those who receive the invitation early are woken up by an internal stirring. However, others are compelled to be humble. They are “shaken, not stirred.” You choose how you wake up. Either way, shaken or stirred, we must still arise.
Asleep: When our conscience is asleep, we only hear what we want to hear, and see what we want to see. Many are willing to change the words of God, to make “sleeping” the new “awake.” Since everyone is asleep, why is that so bad, right? (relativism). In this, men justify their sins, to remain asleep.
Often times I give my children instructions, and then they filter what I say, to hear what they want to hear. I told my son, just the other day, that if he would complete his homework, and finish his chores, he could watch a television show for 30 minutes. What I said, and what he heard, was different.
He chose to filter out the words “…complete,” when it came to homework, “…finish,” when it came to chores, and “…for 30 minutes,” when it came to the reward of watching television. He prefered to remain asleep when it comes to homework and chores, and to be wide awake when it comes to watching television. Thus, his ears were stopped, and his eyes were blind, to the heart and mind of his father.
Although you’ve probably never experienced this with YOUR teenage sons, …we are all alike when it comes to knowing the heart and mind of our Father in Heaven. We only see and hear …what we want to see and hear. Our natural tendency is to remain asleep as to His mind and will. However, those who truly want to be “at-one” with Christ, must …awake and arise.
Awake: To awake means …to receive light and truth. The “windows” of heaven allow light to pour into the room, such that you have not enough room to receive it. Tithing was never intended as “fire insurance.” Rather, it was intended to offer light, …for us to awake (3 Nephi 24:10). When you want to sleep-in, you close the blinds of the window, shutting out the light. Those prepared to wake-up, receive the light coming through the window. The intention of waking up, is to fill us with light, until we know all things, and can properly act upon that knowledge:
“10. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.“
Those willing to receive truth and light will be given an increase of light, …and will be awoken gently. Otherwise you’ll be shaken! The two-edged sword of agency offers the chance to receive the light, …where first edge of the sword offers protection. But, rejecting the light produces less and less, until you know nothing of the mysteries of God (Alma 12:11), …and the second edge of the sword is used against you, to cut you off. Choices!
Arise: To arise: is to use truth and light, to reconnect to the heavens (ascension). Truth and light was always meant to reconnect individuals to the heavens. Satan tries to remove truth and light, to stop our ascension and reconnection, through false traditions of unbelief (D&C 93:39).
Due to the fact that we are ignorant of the idea of arising, tied to ascension, …it is clear that we are still not yet awake. Therefore, we ought to take the advise of King Benjamin:
“40. O, all ye old men, and also ye young men, and you little children who can understand my words, for I have spoken plainly unto you that ye might understand, I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression.
41. And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
King Benjamin expressed deep desire for his people’s ascension, that they would be “received into heaven,” that they would dwell with God. Such a reality only comes as we awake and arise!
Conclusion: You can be gently awoken, by “humbling yourself,” by studying the words of Christ in the scriptures (symbolically stirred), …Or you can choose to be awoken abruptly, being compelled to be humbled (symbolically shaken). Sometimes, when a man is compelled to be humbled (shaken), he repents (Alma 32:13-14).
Nephi used the stirring of his goodly parents, to study it out in his heart and mind, to obtain his own ascension. However, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah needed to be shaken abruptly. Both repented, removed the scales of darkness from their eyes, awoke, and ascended (arose).
How do you prefer to awake? Do you prefer to be gently stirred, like Nephi? Or would you follow the example of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah, to be “Shaken, not Stirred?”