Monday, March 4, 2019

President Joseph Smith on intellectual and spiritual growth

Joseph Smith (December 23, 1805-June 27, 1844) was given the apostolic authority when the Church of Jesus Christ was organized on April 6, 1830 and he was designated the first president of the church at age 24. He was martyred in 1844 at age 38.
"We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same."
- Joseph Smith, from "The Elders of the Church in Kirtland, to Their Brethren Abroad," Jan. 22, 1834, published in Evening and Morning Star, Feb. 1834, p. 135; see History of the Church, 2:8

It's a basic premise that all of us in this life are capable of learning and growth. But Joseph teaches of a greater capability, a spiritual capacity to grow "in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect." As we learn to heed the light from heaven, we progress in the ways that matter most. But that does not happen all at once:

In that gradual process of spiritual and intellectual growth, we find wonderful things happening along the way. The description Joseph offers of the process is inspiring. We find greater enjoyment as our thoughts and desires become purified, and we lose our desire for sin. Ultimately we will be "wrapped in the power and glory of [our] Maker."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15