There is something significant about the old-school method of progress: Apprentice/ Craftsman/ Master. We rarely hear these terms in our technological world, but it’s principle is worthwhile, for both those being progressed, and especially for those doing the progressing (parents). I’ll outline the general idea, and then apply it to the heavens.
- Apprentice: The role of the apprentice is to simply learn “what to do.” The beginning of progress is to acquire a sprouting “knowledge-base” about the work you intend to do. As an apprentice, observation, accumulation, and understanding is key to developing a “knowledge-base” of what to do.
- Craftsman: The craftsman knows what to do, and is now focused on “how to do.” The craftsman lives in “the practice.” Or in other words the craftsman is developing the “skill-set.” So while the apprentice gathers a knowledge-base, the craftsman expands that knowledge-base to encompass experience.
- Master: The master knows what to do, and how to do it. His aim is “when to do.” Having grown his knowledge base through experience, the work of the master is developing the precision of timing. Knowing what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, produces in the master the attributes of patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness, long-suffering, charity, etc.
The ordinances and the scriptures are given to instruct us as apprentices in God’s work. From that theoretical knowledge-base, we muster up the faith to act on what we understand, expanding our knowledge-base, gaining practical experience and testimony as a craftsman. Through our familiarity with ordinances and doctrine, having practiced and learned from experience, the master efficiently perfects his timing to develop patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness, long-suffering, charity, etc. Considering this model, we are only apprentices, and poor ones at that, as we maintain our condemnation (D&C 84:55), and cast aside that which is written, and consider them as naught (2 Nephi 33:2).
A small knowledge base, precedes small faith, which results in small precision in our timing. A larger knowledge base, precedes larger faith, which results in larger precision in our timing. Abraham says it this way:
“2. And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”
Abraham followed this process of being a follower of righteousness by learning (apprentice), then possessing great knowledge, becoming a greater follower of righteousness (craftsman), and then possessing an even greater knowledge (master). This is how Abraham became a “FATHER,” and a “RIGHTFUL HEIR,” and a “HIGH PRIEST.” There’s more to it than simply being given a title. It is a complete transformation.
Conclusion: What starts out as a clumsy and awkward apprentice, must become a honed, well-oiled, machine! We would be fools to think that a scaled down mach-up, a model, a blueprint, was the same as having “the real thing.” Likewise, we are fools to think that as apprentices, we can dress-up in our temple garb, and call ourselves masters of the universe, simply because we have observed in our scaled-down mach-up of our temples, our scaled-down models of our ordinances, and our blueprints in our scriptures. Those things are only pointing us to rising up to the heavens. They are not “the real thing!” Instead, they are an invitation to act, to become a craftsman, and to expand our knowledge-base, to becoming true disciples.
Only when our actions are based upon what we observe in our temples, ordinances, and doctrines, will there be a need for angelic visitations to instruct us in the skill of craftsmanship, or in other words, discipleship. Our apprenticeship-condemnation for not remembering the Book of Mormon, is directly tied to the withholding of miracles and angelic visitations, and we have been unable to practice true faith, in discipleship.
Upon developing the skill of discipleship, the Savior, our Master, will condescend to make you at-one with him. He will instruct you personally. That is the Atonement. The process of at-one-ment is the making of a master out of you; to make of us “a father of many nations, a prince of peace, …a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”
Having our hearts turned to the fathers, or having our hearts turned to the promises of the fathers, is far more meaningful in this context of apprentice/ craftsman/ and master, …than the current tradition of family history. This exact instruction is given at the beginning of the process, in our ordinances and our doctrine, as apprentices. If we have the gall to claim apprenticeship to Christ as our master, then go back to the ordinances and doctrine, and turn your hearts to those fathers who can teach the heavens.