Who are YOU? What do you believe about yourself? What are you doing here? Contradictions are common in spiritual awareness and growth. We even have seeming incongruities in the Gospel of Jesus Christ about our deepest identity and purpose, but when we look closely, understanding is born.
The Great Paradox: Nothing Vs. Everything
There is an epic paradox in this life that can initially be confusing.
On the One Hand…
“O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.” (Helaman 12:7)
King Benjamin taught his people:
“For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state…” (Mosiah 4:5)
Moses also echoes this theme, when he said,
“…and he said unto himself: “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.” (Moses 1:10)
When we focus on this thinking, we can become discouraged, and miss the understanding God wants for us.
But on the OTHER hand…
The Lord thinks we are so valuable that He created this world and the entire Universe FOR us. We’re EVERYTHING to Him! We’re His Glory, and His Universe EXPANDS because of us! C. S. Lewis’ rightly stated:
“When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive.” (C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory” (1949)
The Lord said:
“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)
The explanation to this conundrum is that our “natural man” self IS nothing, but our REAL and Eternal Self is everything! The fact is, we are a contradiction in this world.
Many of us believe that we are worthless for something we’ve done, or not done, but the good news is, Christ died so that our “natural man” self could transcend NOTHING-NESS to achieve EVERYTHING-NESS, letting the natural go, to cling to what’s real.
We are limitless, eternal beings in limited mortal bodies and reality. This transcendence comes from learning humility, trust and faith in Christ. It’s only when we incorporate God’s light into our lives that we begin to see and feel our real selves and boundless potential. This light can grow brighter and brighter as our focus prevails.
Who We Are Revealed
It seems that there are two main ways to fully recognize and understand our true identities and purpose.
1. PERSONAL REVELATION
Personal Revelation can be revealed to us as we read scripture, other high resonance sources, or receive it straight from God, directly in to our heart. Nothing is more delicious to us! Just knowing that the God of the Universe knows us and personally impresses knowledge to us, is powerful. He’s sharing EVERYTHING He has with us! (As fast as we are willing to receive).
In Doctrine and Covenants we’re taught how this works:
“Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation;” (D & C 8:2-3)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie further explained:
“There is no limit to the revelations each member of the Church may receive. It is within the power of every person who has received the gift of the Holy Ghost to see visions, entertain angels, learn the deep and hidden mysteries of the kingdom, and even see the face of God.” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 489)
This intimate communication is profound, and always increases our knowledge of our purpose.
Acquiring Brilliance: What Are We Doing Here?
Hugh Nibley was one of the world’s most brilliant scholars, fluent in 14 languages, and used his expertise to give extensive illumination to revealed scripture and the temple ceremony. When he was still young, he had a striking revelatory experience where he began to comprehend who he was, and what his mission on earth was:
“One day when he was fifteen, he was in the attic looking through some old books. As he skimmed through the Pearl of Great Price, he read Moses 1:41 which promised that ancient writings ‘shall be had again among the children of men.’ ‘Oh boy, that hit me,’ remembers Hugh. ‘that verse wasn’t just purely a mental process.’ ‘Absolutely stunned’ by this promise, he lifted his head and ‘stared out the window. ‘I was looking out across the sky…So ‘I got into this old stuff,’ –ancient literature and history— ‘and stayed with old stuff ever after that.’ (Boyd Jay Petersen, Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life, p. 60)
Through personal revelation he was informed of the direction and purpose for which he was born. Like Hugh, all of us will have moments of clarity in our lives where we begin to feel the “EVERYTHING” we’re here to receive.
Reminders of Identity
We’ve all had flashes where the veil has been thinned and we have resonated with scripture or something we have seen or heard. Often, this type of experience is to remind us who we are, and what we’re doing here.
The more we focus on and strive for the spirit, the more the Lord will reveal to us who we are. Spiritual experiences and validations are generally born of spiritual pursuit and the corresponding altitude we climb to. Sheri Dew wrote:
“When the Holy Ghost is operating with us, we’re smarter, wiser, kinder and more filled with charity, the pure love of Christ. And we actually look more like our true selves as well.” (Women and the Priesthood, p. 61)
When we abide in Divinity, Divinity will abide in us. (Moses 6:34)
2. REVELATION FROM OTHER SOURCES We are so blessed that we have access to Patriarchal blessings and Priesthood blessings that can help us navigate this life, enlightening us on who we are, and to help us know what we should focus on.
A Taste of Who She Was
A dear friend told me that recently she was given a blessing from a General Authority who was visiting her Stake. Doctors had just discovered a tumor, and she knew she would have to have surgery. In the blessing, in addition to the blessing of future health, she was given a taste of who she was. He told her that she had “attributes of our mother in heaven.” He told her she was “so loved, and that angels were at her beck and call.” She could feel the truth of this as hands were on her head, and it has helped shape her faith and recovery.
As Great As God
On one occasion, Joseph Smith Sr. who was a very spiritual man, told Lorenzo Snow, then not a member of the Church:
“You will become as great as you can possibly wish –EVEN AS GREAT AS GOD, and you cannot wish to be greater.” (Eliza R. Snow, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, 9-10)
This knowledge is for all of us.
What is Your Truth?
The truth is, we are divine expansive beings that God wants to give a spiritual inheritance to. Our nothingness is just a mortal perception we struggle to overcome in this life. As we open to God’s light, our divinity becomes apparent to others as well as ourselves. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught:
“… the God of Creation, who breathed life into the universe, surely has the power to breathe life into you. Surely, He can make of you the genuine, spiritual being of light and truth you desire to be.” (Dieter F. Uchdorf, April 2015).
As we grow ever more intimate with Him, He reveals His will more fully, and we can begin to understand and become as He is.
Let’s open to His perception of us. Let’s open to EVERYTHING!
You can CONTACT Anne at [email protected]