Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; D&C 93:1
As husband and wife we talked about this idea and decided to experiment on the word of God to see if he really will come. We naively started praying to God to grant us our request. Before I knew what was happening, my face was sliding through the mud. Whenever I surfaced for air, someone else was there to push my face back into the mud.
For the next three years, I attempted to deal with the feelings this created. I knew I needed to forgive, but I couldn’t get my heart to feel forgiving. I needed help. One day while reading, God sent a message that my spirit understood. I felt a wave of forgiveness and understanding wash over me as my heart was healed. The pain was gone.
I thought I had learned some pretty good lessons and was well on my way. Life was full of joy and happiness. I heard God saying something like, “My child, you’ve put in a big request. Are you ready to go the distance?” Naively, I replied, “Yes, yes!”
God must have chuckled. He probably said something like, “OK, lets look at what’s next on the list. You are way too orthodox. You kind of remind me of the Jews at the time of Christ. We need to do something about this. I am sending you through de-orthodox training.”
I’m still in training, so I don’t know the end of the story, but this is what happened next. God needed to show me where I stood, in order to move forward.
As I was reading, I came upon a scripture: “And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” 1 Nephi 14:10
My first thought was, “I belong to the church that carries Jesus Christ’s name, I’m in the safe zone.”
The thought came, “Do you know what the church of the Lamb of God is?”
I responded, “The Lamb of God is Christ, so it must be Christ’s church.”
“What do you think it takes to qualify to become a member of that church? Who do you think decides who can become a member of the church of the Lamb of God?”
“I guess Christ gets to decide who can become a member of that church.”
“What do you know about the church of the Lamb of God?”
“Do you know of any church whose members are armed with righteousness, power, and great glory?”
“The church of the Lamb of God sounds like it could be the church of the firstborn. Are they the same church?”
“Let’s look at what the scriptures say about the church of the firstborn:
They are the ones that keep the commandments and receive the Father’s fullness. They are begotten through Christ and partakers of his glory D&C 93:19-22.
They receive a testimony of Jesus, are baptized, keep the commandments, washed and cleansed from all their sins, receive the Holy Spirit, overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise . . . D&C 76:50-70
They receive the second comforter, the promise of eternal life, and the glory of the celestial kingdom. D&C 88:2-5
They receive the mysteries of the kingdom, have the heavens opened unto them, and enjoy the presence of God the Father and Jesus. D&C 107:19
The mission of the one hundred and forty-four thousand is to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn D&C 77:11.”
“Now, that sounds like a church that is armed with righteousness, power, and great glory. I can see why their numbers are few.”
This was a big wakeup call for me. If I want to repent of my abominations, the first step is to recognize them for what they are. Here I had been thinking that I was a member of the church of the Lamb of God, but found that I wasn’t. The Lord makes it pretty clear that if I don’t belong to the church of the Lamb of God, by default, I belong to the church of the devil or the great and abominable church. But I don’t want to belong to the church of the devil. I don’t like the devil. I realized that I was just as good as the next damned soul.
I was led to read a story. This story was written for us. Mormon saw our day and the foolishness of our beliefs and behavior Mormon 8:35. He’s trying to tell us something. We don’t have to make the same mistakes if we will heed the warning. The story has a profound and personal message. Read The Zoramites and the Rameumptom
- The Zoramites believed that they were a chosen people, while everyone else was damned. Alma 31:16-17
- They taught that a belief in Christ would cause their hearts to wander far from God. They didn’t believe Christ would come and personally minister to them. Alma 31:16-17
- They thanked God for choosing them and kept reassuring each other that they were God’s chosen people. Alma 31:17-18
- The words of God destroyed their craft, and so they would not hearken unto his words. Alma 35:3
- When they went up to the stand to give their testimonies and prayers, they all said the same thing. They repeated the same mantras over and over again. Alma 31:20
- They didn’t receive revelation and did not know of things to come. Alma 31:22
- Their weekly worship of God was not reflected in their daily walk with men. Alma 31:23
- They loved their riches and fine goods. Alma 31:24
- They were proud of their supposed position with God. They were arrogant and boastful. Alma 31:25
- They looked down on the poor and did not minister to their wants and needs. Alma 32:5
- They cast out the righteous from among them. Alma 35:6
- They prayed to be heard of men and to be praised for their wisdom. Alma 38:13
Does any of this sound familiar?