Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hid up from the foundation of the world

Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begat Enos, and prophesied in all his days, and taught his son Enos in the ways of God; wherefore Enos prophesied also. (Moses 6:13)

Can you imagine how well Adam knew God after having met with him face to face daily for perhaps hundreds of years before the fall? Can you imagine how much of this knowledge he conveyed to his son Seth? And how much Seth's son Enos learned from his father and grandfather? And not one word of what was handed down is written in Genesis.

Truly we live in a desert of knowledge of the character of God. In spite of a great deal about what God did provided by the scriptures, we have very very little about how he did it. They are written as a history, not a biography of God. When you read a good biography, you come away with a very clear understanding of not just what a person did in their lives, but why they did it.

It is absolutely critical to understand the character of God. To do God's work, you must know his will. Though he can reveal his will in specific situations to you through revelation, if you know his character, you can know his will a priori. He can only reveal himself to you in proportion to how much like him you have become. If you do not know what he is like, how can you become like he is?

It is interesting that in the Moses 6:13 (quoted above), it says that Enos prophesied because his father taught him "the ways of God." That gift was predicated, at least in that case, on Enos knowing "the ways of God."

We are at a tremendous disadvantage because, unlike Adam, Seth, Enos, ..., Isaac, Jacob, etc., we do not have a close personal connection that is intimately knowledgeable of God. In fact, our situation is even sadder than it seems, because our disconnection is both deliberate and immediately correctable.

The Lord said:

13 Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.
14 Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.
15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. (Ether 4)
A deep, empowering knowledge of God's character--among what was revealed to Adam at the foundation of the world--is immediately available to everyone who is not steeped in unbelief.

How will God deliver these things to you when you repent of your unbelief?

1. Direct revelation.
What we receive from God is limited only by our heed and diligence in seeking.
For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (1 Nephi 10:19)

2. Through another person.
Joseph Smith was charged to obtain and reveal these things, but he did not fulfill that mission. The Lord will appoint another to do it.
And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead. (D&C 35:18)
3. Through a book.
The sealed portion of the plates contain these things.
10 But the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.
11 And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth. (2 Nephi 27)