A Vision of David O. McKay

I love this account from President McKay. The connection of being born again to having overcome the world is powerful.

“I then fell asleep, and beheld in vision something infinitely sublime. In the distance I beheld a beautiful white city. Though it was far away, yet I seemed to realize that trees with luscious fruit, shrubbery with gorgeously tinted leaves, and flowers in perfect bloom abounded everywhere. The clear sky above seemed to reflect these beautiful shades of color. I then saw a great concourse of people approaching the city. Each one wore a white flowing robe and a white headdress. Instantly  my attention seemed centered upon their leader, and though I could see only the profile of his features and his body, I recognized him at once as my Savior! The tint and radiance of his countenance were glorious to behold. There was a peace about him which seemed sublime–it was divine!

The city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness.

But who were they? As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words: “These Are They Who Have Overcome The World–Who Have Truly Been Born Again!”

[Cherished Experiences from the Writings of David O. McKay, comp. Clare Middlemiss (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955), pp. 59-60]

Being Present and Sanctified Today

This was made known to me by my good friend Therese Cooper.

Brigham Young:

Our work is a work of the present. The salvation we are seeking is for the present, and, sought correctly, it can be obtained, and be continually enjoyed….If we are saved, we are happy, we are filled with light, glory, intelligence, and we pursue a course to enjoy the blessings that The Lord has in store for us. If we continue to pursue that course, it produces just the thing we want, that is, to be saved at this present moment. And this will lay the foundation to be saved forever and ever, which will amount to an eternal salvation…..Some will inquire, “Do you suppose we shall finish the temple Brother Brigham?” I have had such questions put to me already. My answer is, I do not know and I do not care any more about it than I should if my body was dead and in the grave and my spirit in Paradise. I never have cared but for one thing, and that is, simply to know that I am now right before my Father in Heaven. If I am this moment, this day, doing the things God requires of my hands, and precisely where my Father in Heaven wanted me to be, I care no more about tomorrow than though it never would come.

– A Sermon by President B. Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 6, 1853, at the General Conference.

Becoming Born Again: Event of Process?

This week I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the principle of becoming born again. The question that I’ve struggled with is whether the experience is an event or a process.

The first thing to recognize is that, as far as I am aware, the scriptures never refer to becoming born again, experiencing the mighty change of heart, the baptism of fire, or becoming a Son and Daughter of Christ as a process. The scriptural pattern is always an event.

What confuses the issue is the process of sanctification and conflating it too closely with the baptism of fire. Although they are both principles of the same transformative process it is important to understand their purposes separately.

The baptism of fire is the cleansing and transformative experience of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost when one fully repents, commits to whole-hearted obedience, and is willing to sacrifice all for the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

The fruits of having one’s baptism of fire is that the natural man is neutralized by becoming a Son or Daughter of God. One loses their disposition to do evil. They feel a pure love for all people and a desire to bless the lives of all they encounter. They thirst and hunger after righteousness. They cannot wait to study the scriptures and they immerse themselves in them.

The person that is born again loves to pray and worship the Savior. They desire that all partake of the love and forgiveness of Christ. It becomes the primary motivation and desire of their lives. They lose a taste and desire of the things of the world.

The process of sanctification is the process that we engage in after we are born again. Since the fruits of being born again will always fade, one must be in the constant discipline of sanctifying themselves. This process of sanctification leads them to deeper and more fundamental experiences in the Spirit. It is the process of receiving revelation and the continuous purification of heart.

As we are invited to endure to the end, it is my feeling that that is an invitation to endure to the end in a state of redemption. In a state of grace.

It does not mean “white knuckling it” as an active member of the church. It is to learn to endure as a Son or Daughter of God.

Being born again is being in a state of grace. It is living in a state of redemption. The power, love, light, revelation, and knowledge of Christ flows through your being. It is to experience a fundamental change in your disposition. It is to become like Christ.

Shattering Triangles

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“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.” – C.S. Lewis

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