And let us not hold back anything, else we receive a deadening of feeling just as the foolish Laman and Lemuel. They were; in reality; under more powerful influences than we, which may have led to an even more permanent numbing of emotion. Why did they succumb to things untouched by Nephi? What did they desire in the end? 1 Nephi 2-5
And we may still end with the same result if we did not want to follow God; but may our desires grow in our weakness. The agency we have from God is a gift and is precious to us; the feelings we get from the decisions we make can be a way for the Holy Ghost to confirm to us the correctness of our choices. Yet, as we are only so young, or so old, the excuse of having either too little or too much experience; having not enough time or energy, and excuses of the poor situations of others is easy to pull out and dismiss the thoughts and promptings of the Holy Ghost. And in doing so, we do more than just nothing, but we deaden and deny the gift of the Holy Ghost. Alma 39-6
Deadening of Feeling - A Sister's Story
This deadening of feeling is that second death of which we call an Outer Darkness, a point of anger, sadness, and desolation so hot and fiery it consumes all our thoughts. What have we blatantly ignored in the past that we can still take up in full? How many times have you felt in your anger or self depression that you should stop yourself, or to be kinder to your spouse? More loving to a neighbour, or more honest to a friend? A built-in security system meant to stop the entire consumption in flames of what you hold precious - the Holy Ghost comes when invited, not called. So we must see what things stop the presence of the Spirit of the Lord to enter in to our sacred temples, else we remain in lonely darkness.
This deadening of feeling is real. I have felt it as I've knowingly turned away from God to personally indulge or relax myself, and I've seen its mark in others. It's a deadly influence in the lack of faith can demolish any remaining faith. A former member who prefers now not to be called one was strong one day before. Sister Hunt had her entire family involved with the Gospel, and was a super mom; busy with school and sports and even church. She is what you would call a fully active member. But with a mindset of curiosity, she found news and church history articles to be offending and in a spirit of unbelief, dug deeper. She did not seek complete understanding, she only scratched the surface of what God had intended her to see, and her faith was not enough to work with what she had. She felt and knew these things were not true of a prophet, or God's church, and with that , as she said, "I could not believe it, but I do not know that Joseph Smith is a prophet." After a year of searching and sincere praying, she stopped attending church and complete withdrawal of church activity. She did not even want to believe the things she said; for they denied her divine witness that the Book of Mormon was true, and that Jesus Christ is her Saviour; yet she was unbelieving. In looking after these things, she turned away from God in the smallest of actions, and led away not only herself from being worthy of the Holy Ghost, but her family as well.
"And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—"
Rather than being strengthened by these trials, problems, and facts, she was demolished and utterly exhausted by one thing. A sure and solid foundation of Faith and Testimony. Do we trust our God in what he has said to be true, that prophets and apostles still work under God, and that the Savior is the Son of God, that what he has taught is true? It is based on this faith that we can go forward doing the things of Christ. Would we not change ourselves in the obvious light of our mistakes; yet we remain the same. So how can we triumph over selfs and rise to comfort the needs of others? As we fulfil our eternal covenant to act as the Saviour would, we take on that higher plane that Jesus resides and inherit his Father's help.
Angels in Christ
"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88
We truly can be angels in Christ, and feel for ourselves the truth and reality of our Savior. His teachings and actions reflect only the true and divine purpose of his existence. We can always try our best, but it will be by the power of God, that we can be what we desire and absolutely need to be.
Ether 12: 26-27
"And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying:Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
As well as providing the physical help and nurturing of strength that the helpless need, we can bring an understanding of our purpose and weakness through sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are angels, and as we speak by the word of our own mouth, or the mouth of other prophets; through scripture and the word of God, we can bring the pure nature of God to rest with those in need.
2 Nephi 32-3
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
My Witness - Faith in Christ
God has, and will always by our listening, give us the word we need. Many things we cannot understand, but we have faith that God will do what needs to be done, and we will not come out at the end comfortless if we come to the terms Christ has set.
2 Ne. 25:25
"For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments."
Not only can our true and sincere love for others show with the application of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we can feel alive with the love of God! It is hard to express when you do have a great portion of it, but it feels without end and pure. Because Of Jesus Christ's teachings and his Resurrection, I cannot only work to this true character, but have an eternity to share and give it to others in a loving Heavenly Father's presence. And it all starts small. Prepare your testimonies of weakness and trials, look for understanding in what we cannot control, and pray always that we will be shown what we must do. To ask for strength in faith is to have it already. Your life and choices have an impact on others, so choose to do right willingly, that others may fully radiate in your love. I love you all and hope to see you again! Merry Christmas!