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John Prather

So When is This Supposed to Happen?

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My question for you skalenfehl, is -- what you are implying needs to be done to seek the Second Comforter? 

 

I hope you don't mind if I answer your questions in segments. The formatting of this message board (quotes, fonts, etc) is frustrating to me sometimes. I'm not implying anything other than what we have been taught by prophets. The Second Comforter is a privilege that we may have after having received out Calling and Election, or rather, having been sealed up to eternal life. Let me quote Joseph Smith:

 

 

After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses….

Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; …when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the First Born [TPJS, pp. 150-51].

 

As for how? Nephi taught us how. It's simple, but not easy. It's a process that typically takes years, if not decades, sometimes a lifetime. 

 

 

2 Ne 32:1 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?

 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

 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.

 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.

 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.

 And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they willnot search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.

 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.

 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

 

This pattern is clearly illustrated in the endowment session, which is an ordinance that provides with a narrative to teach us (as Adam and Eve learned) what we should do. Key elements:

 

1. Enter in at the way (baptism of water and fire)

2. The Holy Ghost teaches you what you need to do. Angels also teach you what to do (true messengers from Father)

3. You are brought to the veil

4. The Lord tells you what you need to do (what did he tell Nephi to do? Bro of Jared? Abraham? Moses? etc

 

It's different for everyone. You may be required to do something different that me. Also, the Lord will show you your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses that we must overcome. Each of our paths are unique to each of us. So things that I must overcome will be different than yours (What lack I yet?). 

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Moreover, it's a bit of horse-before-the-cart talk. Don't you think that we ought to be seeking the First Comforter first? Wouldn't seeking the comfort, assurance, and guidance of the Holy Ghost be the first order of business....

 

I did say that if you go back to page one and I reemphasized by quoting Nephi above. To quote my previous post:

 

 

There are two comforters. Those whom the Lord baptizes with fire (2 Ne 31) receive one comforter. Those who continue in the path (2 Ne 32) receive the Other Comforter. 

 

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...And to that...is not the means of qualifying for the Second Comforter THE EXACT SAME METHOD as seeking for the first? And can one know Jesus the Christ without having it revealed to him/her through the Holy Ghost. I think not.

 

Is not the Second Comforter more of a promise for faithfulness than a directive? Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Alma does a good job of describing receiving one Comforter in Alma 5. Jesus Christ, Himself, tells us that after we show our willingness to repent and bring fruit meet for repentance, being baptized with water, He baptizes us with fire and with the Holy Ghost. It is a two part covenant relationship. You covenant to obey, He accepts your offering and then gives you a covenant blessing. In this sense, receiving Jesus Christ as the other Comforter uses the EXACT SAME METHOD: you covenant to obey, He accepts your offering (which will likely be different mine or anyone else's) and then gives you a covenant blessing. 

 

No. One cannot "know" Christ without having revealed to him/her through the Holy Ghost. Did you notice I quoted 2 Nephi 31 previously? I'll specify some verses:

 

 

 13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

 14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

 15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He thatendureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

 

So not only does Nephi tell us what we need to do, he also gives us a glimpse of his own life. Did you notice that in this chapter, he reveals to us that both the Father and the Son have made their abode with him? We read about this promise in the New Testament. If we have received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, we have received it from Jesus Christ and thus we know Him. And it is a promise, as I mentioned previously. As for a directive, well, I'm going to leave that to you to ask Him that one, but my personal answer to you is yes. 

 

 

D&C 76:50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—

 51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after themanner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—

 52 That by keeping the commandments they might bewashed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

 53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

 54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.

 

If anyone wants to wait until some day after this mortal life to receive the testimony of Jesus, etc, that is your prerogative. Not me, though. What did Joseph Smith say about those who wait? 

 

 

71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament...

 

 74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it...

 

For an example of what the Testimony of Jesus is, read Ether chapter 3. The Lord defines what redemption is. 

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@ The Folk Prophet: I agree that there is a progression and we cannot understand receiving the second comforter if we have not received the first. So once we have been baptized our first order of business is to receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. It will lift us from sadness and give purpose to our lives. Unfortunately even this first step in the spiritual realm is misunderstood. 

 

 

In general: The originator of this post (John Prather) is struggling with simply feeling the first comforter and what Christ has done for him. The truth is, there is nowhere we need to "go". We simply need to stop blocking our spirit from testifying the truth of what we have already been given. We need to recognize that Christ is at one with our spirit here and now and if we just "listen we will hear his voice in our hearts and it will stir our very souls. 

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It's different for everyone. You may be required to do something different that me.

 

Everyone's requirement is the same. Complete and absolute submission, obedience, and consecration.

 

If you mean in the details (a.k.a. one guy gets called on a mission to Ireland and another gets called to the Philippines...or...one guy is a bishop and the other is a ward librarian....sure....)

 

He accepts your offering (which will likely be different mine or anyone else's) and then gives you a covenant blessing. 

 

No. The covenant is the same with everyone. Obedience = eternal life.

 

As for a directive, well, I'm going to leave that to you to ask Him that one, but my personal answer to you is yes. 

 

The directive is plain in the scriptures. Obey.

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We simply need to stop blocking our spirit from testifying the truth of what we have already been given. We need to recognize that Christ is at one with our spirit here and now and if we just "listen we will hear his voice in our hearts and it will stir our very souls. 

 

The means whereby we do this is through obedience to His commandments (and, I will include for the sake of clarity, repentance for those commandments we have broken).

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Yes, obedience=eternal life. But the details, as you put it, are different. Noah built an ark. Abraham offered up Isaac. Nephi and the bro of Jared and Mormon and Joseph Smith, etc all had different tasks to perform. And they each obeyed their respective directives given them of God. 

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Yes, obedience=eternal life. But the details, as you put it, are different. Noah built an ark. Abraham offered up Isaac. Nephi and the bro of Jared and Mormon and Joseph Smith, etc all had different tasks to perform. And they each obeyed their respective directives given them of God. 

 

Agreed. If God tells you to build an ark, you do it.

 

The covenant, however, is not to build an ark. It is to obey.

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The means whereby we do this is through obedience to His commandments (and, I will include for the sake of clarity, repentance for those commandments we have broken).

Indeed obedience is important but I think you may be misunderstanding the way to progress in the gospel. If the work of obedience was enough the strict Jews would have received an audience with Christ long ago. But this is not the way. Rather, the person who exercises faith, humbles them self before the Lord, and asks for strength will receive the spirit. With the spirit he will gain power and the ability to obey the commandments. This is the message of the gospel. This is what the Savior has done for us. He has allowed us access to the spirit because we desire it and plead for it, not because we deserve it. If we could do something to earn it we would not need him.

 

Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by trying to keep the Jewish laws? Of course not, for the Holy Spirit came upon you only after you heard about Christ and trusted him to save you. Then have you gone completely crazy? For if trying to obey the Jewish laws never gave you spiritual life in the first place, why do you think that trying to obey them now will make you stronger Christians? You have suffered so much for the Gospel. Now are you going to just throw it all overboard? I can hardly believe it!

I ask you again, does God give you the power of the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you as a result of your trying to obey the Jewish laws? No, of course not. It is when you believe in Christ and fully trust him. (Gal 3:2-5 NLT)

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Indeed obedience is important but I think you may be misunderstanding the way to progress in the gospel.

 

You must be right! I never realied that the problem is that I have no idea how to progress in the gospel. Man...all those talks on obedience...all the scriptures. They were full of it! I never knew! What a fool I've been.

 

the person who exercises faith

 

We've been commanded to exercise faith. This is obedience.

 

humbles them self before the Lord

 

We've been commanded to humble ourselves before the Lord. This is obedience.

 

and asks for strength

 

We've been commanded to pray and ask for strength and other things. This is obedience.

 

He has allowed us access to the spirit because we desire it and plead for it,

 

We've been commanded to desire and plead for the Spirit. This is obedience.

 

If the work of obedience was enough the strict Jews would have received an audience with Christ long ago. 

 

The strict Jews in Christ's time were not obedient. If they were then why was Christ constantly telling them keep His commandments, do His will, etc.? Because they weren't doing His will...which means they weren't being obedient.

 

Partial obedience is not obedience. One can't pay their tithes and offerings but fail to visit the sick and needy and claim they are obedient. One can't do their home teaching but fail to love his/her neighbor and claim obedience. One cannot go to church but then come home and work and play all the rest of the Sabbath day and claim obedience. Being obedient is being fully obedient. It's not just conforming to the basic letter of the Mosaic law.

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It has been interesting in reading the responses to this and other replies to my posts.  For the most part, especially this one, I have found them (for the most part) to have been flippant.  However, people are entitled to their opinions and viewpoints.  It has reinforced my thinking that even in cyberspace I cannot establish any type of relationship or connections with others.  I also, apparently, never developed an emotional bond with my parents.  No hugs, no kisses, and a constant feeling of being in the way and costing money.  No ‘I love you’s or words of encouragement as seen on TV.  What I can remember is mom repeatedly saying is, “I can’t wait for you kids to move out.”  That started around 4th grade for me.  So with this background it is easy to see why I am not emotionally bonded with God the Father and His Son.  They are just abstract entities or characters in a book.  But I am told I am loved by these guys. So this is where the whole can o’ worms opens. I have no experience of feeling that I am loved by humans I can see. This does not translate well to Omnipotent beings who are said to love me.  I am sometimes able to manage this feeling of frustration of not experiencing love but there are moments when I witness familial affection and I become enraged.

So flash forward into adulthood.  I am a Child Welfare/Child Protection Officer.  We removed this one boy age about eight from his mother for neglect.  Later on when we were working with mom for reunification with her son and mom decides she does want her son anymore.  How do you tell a kid this? We stumbled through this via therapist but he was still asking why? A couple of weeks later I am transporting the boy to an appointment somewhere and we pull up to a stoplight and guess who should pull up beside us?  He was screaming, wailing for his mother in the other car. She stared straight ahead. She knew he was there. He kept calling out for his mother.  I still to this day get nausea recounting this scene.  I once removed a boy from his mother for physical/medical neglect after she went to jail.  He was about 9ish or so. He would dance for her when she did show up for visits.  Eventually she stopped showing up and her rights were terminated.  The boy had a lot of behavior problems before but was exacerbated by his mother abandoning him. He was adopted but the adoption didn’t take and he was returned and abandoned again.  I assigned him a Big Brother. This guy was awesome. Had a son about the same age. He had a job that paid well and took our boy with the rest of his family out on family trips.  And then this Big Brother got himself killed in a car wreck! Where is the love of God?  See, now I wonder what kind of adult this boy turned into.  How much of his earthly life will be held against him in the choices he will make?  He is one of many, many episodes in my life that I am haunts me. I developed a feeling that God no longer loves me and others but have set us up to fail. 

There is to me the academic approach to the gospel and then there is the emotional one.  I have no problems with the intellectual aspect but I am livid with anger about internalizing the emotional part.  I would never stand up in Jr. Sunday School and say I hate God but I sure feel it inside me that I do.  I hurt and I hate.  I turned 55 a couple of days ago and then has not been a moment of enlightenment where comfort has come.  This why I have attempted suicide. I don’t want to live again or experience any form of awareness.  I would like to die and enter oblivion.  But I don’t even have that to look forward to. 

I was told by someone here that this is a place to come and blow off steam.  I do this and maybe get some insight that I have overlooked before but I am met with clucking tongues and waggling index fingers saying ‘All ya gotta do is…’ I read the scriptures and try and keep the commandments as best as mortals can….so where is the peace? Am I neurologically not capable of feeling certain emotions?  A heads up from God would be nice.

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John, I did not intend to make light of what you have said. I do not have a good answer, except that I have no doubt that God loves you and values you as his son. But that knowledge does you very little good, and I don't know what to do or say or write or pray for to make anything better.

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John - I'm sorry that you've experienced these things.  Based on what you've described, it's quite likely that you have developed a heart-wall (for protection) so love can't get in or out.  *Please* go to healerslibrary.com to find a practitioner that can help change this.  You are worth it!!! x

 

To understand more, there's a book you can read - The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson (a trained Chiropractor and practicing Mormon)

Edited by notquiteperfect

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John, I am so sorry for the pain you have endured and are enduring. You provided no context in your original post and my response was purely objective and was written with care. I can see now why Eowyn expressed concern in her reply to my post. Had I read any of your other posts, I might have had some indication of what you have been through. Your subsequent post provides a great deal of context, which I can now relate to. 

 

I grew up in an abusive and dysfunctional home. My father had a temper and considered us kids little more than mouths to feed. "You are of no help to me." "You are useless." "All you do is eat my food." "You are stupid." "You all are a bunch of lazy animals." "Ahh, stupid." "Why are you so stupid?" "I am Lord Pharoah. You will kneel before me." That was a good day. A bad day was when he lost his temper and hit us repeatedly. Some days it was with a board. Some days his belt. Other days his fist. But he never beat us as badly as his mother beat him. 

 

He was the youngest of many siblings. If his sisters didn't belittle him, his mother had plenty to spare. There was not a day that she didn't beat him with anything that she could find and she beat him until her arm tired and she could take no more, never mind him. She didn't need an excuse to beat him. Her own temper was reason enough. When my dad turned 18, he literally ran out the door and joined the Army, not even looking back to say good-bye. Couple the discipline he received at Basic Training with his upbringing and you get an idea of his mentality when I was old enough to make him lose his temper.

 

My dad couldn't understand what it was like to be loved. And even throughout my childhood, I loved me dad. He did have enough compassion toward us, though. I think the only love he could comprehend was the love my mom expressed. She was raised in an abusive home, too. She was quiet and subservient. So you can imagine the kind of relationship they had. I guess I can say that I do have the benefit of knowing what it's like to be loved, thanks to my mom. She was born and raised a Catholic and converted to the LDS church, served a mission and soon after met and married my dad. It was her faith that instilled in me the possibility that there was a loving God up there somewhere. But it took decades for me to strip away the layers of dysfunction and little to no self esteem. Today, as you have read in my first reply, I can testify that I know God's love. But it wasn't without walking through my own valley of the shadow of death. 

 

Incidentally, my wife (of 23 years now) and I are adoptive parents. After miscarriages and a tubal pregnancy which nearly cost her life, we decided to adopt. After having been through DCFS training and extensive and grueling paperwork (they sure go out of their way to do background checks!), we became foster parents. Eventually, we adopted two half brothers from a severely neglected home. We truly had our work cut out for us, but we really wanted to make a difference for them. It cost my wife and I heartache after heartache, sleepless nights, and so much more. I eventually closed the doors to my business, lost my home and more. My boys are full grown now. I'd like to say that there is a happy ending, but both have been in and out of jail and prison. The silver lining? Well...one of my boys called me once and told me that if we hadn't taken them under our wing, they'd surely be dead in the gutter somewhere. 

 

Do I know what love is? I've learned to love and along the way, I've become loved. I don't know how. It was just a process. I guess it's like Amulek said. It starts with a small seed. You gotta plant it, nourish it, make it grow. Sure, I made lots of mistakes and I've been through hell. Sheer hell all my life. I guess that's how I came to learn that I can be loved by God. He's taught us how. He already paid the price. We just have to do our part and get our feet wet somehow. It's different for each of us. One time, my younger son asked me why I never hit him the way my dad hit me-why I didn't treat him the way my dad treated me. I told him that I wanted to prove to myself that I could break the cycle of abuse. And I did. But not without paying for it.

 

Mistakes will happen. The key is learning from them. You gotta make the choice to cry out to God. Yell at Him. I have. Tell Him all your pain. He'll heal you. You just gotta lay it all on the alter. And I mean all of it. I have long since forgiven my dad, have helped him to heal from his own hell. Compassion, forgiveness, patience, longsuffering, etc, isn't learned without paying a price. I guess it's kinda like letting people beat you and belittle you and spit on you and nail you to a cross so that they can learn regret and learn to ask for forgiveness while you learn to forgive and to love while taking it.

Edited by skalenfehl

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John,

Thank you for sharing with us. I'm deeply saddened by your story. Life has not been kind to you. It's very clear to me that you are in dire need of some serious healing. I don't know why that hasn't yet happened for you.

Injustice and unfairness abound in this world. Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that all-too-often the people, who are the recipients of some of the greatest ugliness mortality has to offer, are those who least deserve it. I don't know for certain.. But I wonder if you might be one these. If you are not, then the easy and obvious answer is that you would simply need stop feeling sorry for yourself. Have you heard that advice from people before? I suspect you have. .. And it probably makes about as much sense as someone handing a unicycle to a pilot whale and saying, "Here's your answer to all that shrieking you've been hearing inside your head. No more need to go beach yourself to get away from it.. Now you can ride blissfully into the sunset!"

We are unable to heal each other. We are quite capable of injuring one another in profound ways. You've seen this again and again. Will there ever be an end to it?

Yes.

Please hang on, dear brother. I wish I could convince you how much our Father does care about you and everything you've been through. I don't know what He has planned for you. I wonder if He might actually have a great deal of respect and trust in you to have allowed you to see and experience some of the things you have. I don't know... But He does.

Edited by theSQUIDSTER

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The purpose of my rant was not to garnish sympathy or an act of attention seeking behavior.  As I said in my previous post, I can usually hold it together when it comes to observation and quotes concerning being on the receiving end love.  We can be emotionally arrested at an age when we experience trauma.  So there is a little boy in me that screams, “That’s not fair!” from time to time.  I have imagined myself being in a crowd where someone popular is standing on a platform throwing presents out to this crowd and the presents go over my head.  I jump up but fail to get a gift. All those around me are getting something sometimes twice or more. I continue to jump until it seems futile. I say that I don’t want a present but I do. I realize I could knock a present away from someone else but I don’t. I want to but I don’t.

So maybe people like me will have to wait till ‘later’ for our presents.  I know others suffer more than I do.  I’ve walked the slums of New Delhi. I believe I have seen the poor of the poor.  And I try to count my blessings but I am missing the foundation.  I used to pray to be loved but now I pray for that desire to be removed. I think I wanted people to know that even though we may be on the ‘same team’ we are not the same.

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