Deja Vu

OK. A while back, we talked a bit about Paranormal Activity (still waiting for the one reader to give me feedback on those pics Isent you) but I thought I would take it one step farther and ask what your thoughts are on Deja Vu.

For example, our old Bishop and his wife had a farewell on Saturday night, as they are leaving for a mission. When the person conducting started the proceedings, hubby pokes me, hands me the camera, and asks me to take pictures, as he doesn’t have a clear shot. I take the first shot, and as the flash went off, a “light bulb” moment went off in my head, and I knew I had done this exact thing before.

I was sitting in the front row, had been early as usual, and others had filed in behind me. Without turning around, I knew exactly who would be there and what they would be wearing. The food for the refreshments were in the kitchen. I leaned over at the end and told Keith exactly what would be on that counter and in what order. I told him who was going to come up to him to tell him something important and that at one point, someone was going to try taking the baby out of his arms.

As the evening progressed, everything happened as I told him 2 hours prior.

Explain that if you will.

If you could hie to NGC-7293

I think my belief in extraterrestrial life pre-dates the Memorial Day weekend of 1977.?Ǭ† Although seeing Star Wars for the first time expanded my imagination of what could be out there, I’ve always thought it was possible.?Ǭ† This belief probably originated in Primary classes where I was taught that God created worlds without number and that He has children on those worlds as well.?Ǭ† We also have scriptures that teach this as well.

?Ǭ†It’s always seemed a little improbable to me that this would be the only planet in the universe with life.?Ǭ† I’m glad science is catching up with me!?Ǭ† I ran across this today.?Ǭ† Interesting…

Four steps to getting a vision

I started reading the Book of Mormon for the umpteenth time a couple of weeks ago. I thought I’d try a new technique to see if I could get something more out of scripture study. I came across something interesting while reading about Lehi’s vision in the first chapter of 1 Nephi. Sort of like a step-by-step process to receiving a vision.

First, in verse 5, it states that Lehi “prayed unto the Lord . . . with all his heart, in behalf of his people.” I think this is not only an important step, but a fundamental one as well.

It shows that Lehi’s desires were not selfish. The things for which he prayed were for the benefit of others. In addition, it shows that Lehi put his entire self into his prayer. He didn’t just go through the motions or recite the same thing he does every night while lying in bed.

So fundamentally, anyone desiring to have a vision should come to the point where their desires are for the welfare of others and their prayers are completely devoted to God.

Secondly, in verse six, a pillar of fire appears before Lehi while he is praying. He saw and heard many things as a result of this. For us, this may very well be figurative. Often the Holy Spirit is compared to fire (burning of the bosom, baptism of fire, etc), so for us, it may be that in our prayers the Spirit brings revelation to our minds and spiritual eyes.

Moses talked in Moses 1:11 regarding how he saw God not with his physical eyes, but his spiritual eyes. Perhaps an experience like this would be a preparatory one, readying our “spiritual eyes” to see God.

Third, verse six also mentions that Lehi “did quake and tremble exceedingly”. The footnote for this points to Isaiah 6:5. Here, Isaiah is lamenting his unworthiness at seeing the Lord, saying “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”.

My understanding of Lehi’s shaking and trembling ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù when compared to the verse in Isaiah ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù is that perhaps Lehi is feeling unworthy regarding the things he heard and saw earlier.

So another requirement is humility.

Fourth, in verse seven, we learn that Lehi was so overcome by the spirit that he cast himself on his bed. I never have been to the point where the Spirit has manifested to me so strongly that I lost strength. Yet I still have had spiritual experiences in prayer or reading the scriptures when I stopped to ponder the things that had come to my mind.

Obviously then, it is important for us to not only be aware of revelations and inspiration but to take the time to ponder them.

It was only after these things had happen did Lehi receive his vision.

So to recap, the requirements are selflessness, full purpose of heart, humility, and pondering the revelations from the Spirit.

As a disclaimer, I do not know that this order would be the same for everyone or that this pattern is followed in all other instances in the scriptures. I would be interested in a comparative analysis of the process others have used in the scriptures. Maybe another time.

Official Declarations

Though not really the point of his post, Hellmut of at Beyond Ourselves brought up an interesting note in his Sex and Salvation post.

One finds the following point made in the Official Declaration 2:

In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church.

In contrast, Official Declaration 1 has this to say:

Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

Can we say that both of these declarations, given their different natures (one based in revelation one in response to legal pressures), are equal in authority?

First Vision

In lesson three of the Doctrine and Covenants teacher’s manual, we read the following:

What are some of the truths we can learn from the First Vision? (Summarize responses on the chalkboard. Answers could include those listed below.)

a. God the Father and Jesus Christ live.
b. The Father and the Son are real, separate beings with glorified bodies of flesh and bones.

Given that there is more than one version of the First Vision, can we absolutely say that the First Vision teaches us God and Jesus live and are separate beings of flesh?

New Revelation

In response to questions regarding Brigham Young’s teachings and thoughts on the Adam-God theory, President Wilford Woodruff wrote the following in 1897:

“President Young no doubt expressed his personal opinion or views upon the subject. What he said was not given as revelation or commandment from the Lord. The doctrine was never submitted to the councils of the Priesthood nor to the Church for approval or ratification, and was never formally or otherwise accepted by the Church. It is therefore in no sense binding upon the Church.” (Letter to A. Saxey, January 7, 1897, LDS Archives)

Is it reasonable then to expect this of all prophets and apostles? If a new doctrine or principle is taught, we should regard it as opinion unless it is explicitly indicated as a revelation from the Lord, and submitted to the councils of the Priesthood and/or the church for ratification?