Cover image: “The Light of His Love” by Yong Sung Kim

Have you seen God’s face, or felt the glory of His radiant presence?  In quiet moments of reflection, you may realize that you have been in His presence many times because when you feel the high level of the spirit, it is very familiar to you…

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught, ”… when we attune our souls to the Infinite, we hear and see and experience the things of God.”[1]

Compelling Spiritual Experience

Recently, I listened to a podcast where the emphasis was on seeking God’s face.  I began to ponder a lot about it and prayed for this privilege, perhaps feeling it would be some sort of destination experience.  A few days later while I was with my nearly two- year-old old grandson, Wesley, I began to reflect again on these things.  I glanced at him and he sweetly smiled at me. At that second in time, I was struck with a powerful message that was conveyed to my mind, “You are looking at the essence of the face of God!

I felt breathless and time seemed to stand still as I gazed deep into perfection, purity and sweetness.  I FELT God in and through Wesley’s face and I was lifted to supernal heights of bliss and joy! My mind was opened to profound vistas that I can never put in words.

No Words

There are no words to fully express the glory of  “seeing” or “feeling the presence of God, but there are a few scriptures that create profound images that may resonate with us as we emerge into His presence.  Here are a few:

“…and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love…”[2]

“…their souls were illuminated by the light…”[3]

“…the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul…”[4]

“…and the light which did light up his mind which was the light of the glory of God…had infused such joy into his soul…had overcome his natural frame and he was carried away in God.” [5]

“He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh”[6]

When we feel illuminated, expanded, or filled with the spirit, we can know we are “seeing” God and feeling His presence.

Remarkable Epiphany

Elder F. Enzio Busche had an epiphany one day as he lay extremely ill in a hospital bed. After praying that God’s will would be done, he felt that his spiritual mind was keenly opened.  Of this experience he wrote,

“This world we live in is not the real thing.  The actual world- which is closer to us than we sometimes realize- is full of truth and capable of bringing us to a higher level than we can understand…My spiritual insight let me see that we as human beings live far below our potential from day to day…

“With this awareness, I felt a joy of indescribable dimensions…The key to this sacred awareness comes through self-reflection, pondering, and meditation.”[7]

Elder Busche explained that when our concentration and emphasis is on God, we will reach higher spiritual levels and experience previously unknown dimensions of understanding.  Don’t we all want that?

Your Focus Determines Your Reality

If we want to “see” and feel God, we have to focus on Him and His characteristics. ALL beauty, ALL sweetness and ALL light- filled things emanate from Him. 

What are the things that make you feel an inner glowing of joy and a brightness of hope? Listening to a favorite hymn? Playing with puppies? Seeing an awesome sunset or sparkling ocean?  Pondering on scripture and holy books? 

When we connect with nature, beauty, or truth in any of its forms, we deepen our relationship with God because in those moments we feel His pure essence.

 John Taylor taught,

“God is our Father; we are his children. He has brought us into his covenant, and it is our privilege to go on from wisdom to wisdom, from intelligence to intelligence, from understanding of one principle to that of another, to go forward and progress in the development of truth until we can comprehend God.” [8]

Paradigm Shift to Begin “Seeing” God

Hugh Nibley tells a parable to show how one can shift quickly into this “seeing” paradigm,  He writes:

“Imagine, a successful businessman who, responding to some slight but persistent physical discomfort and the urging of an importunate wife, pays a visit to a …doctor.  …he descends the steps of the clinic with the assurance, gained after long hours of searching examination, that he has about three weeks to live.  In the days that follow, this man’s thinking undergoes a change, not a slow and subtle change—there is no time for that—but a quick and brutal reorientation.”[9]

This businessman, who had been obsessed with material things, suddenly began searching for the things that had real substance like family, nature, spiritual knowledge, and God. Hugh Continues:

“Later, after another series of tests, doctors determine that the man’s diagnosis was wrong and that he may live for many years.” [10] Hugh maintains that the businessman can’t return to his old way of worldly thinking, because he has now tasted something real for the first time.[11]

As WE become focused on what is real, we will connect with light, joy, and  magnificence! We begin to “see” Him as He is because His presence lights our way.[12]

Seeking and Seeing His Face

The Lord Himself tells us how we can see His glorious face.  He says,

 “…every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments shall see my face and know that I am.”[13]  This is a promise to us all!

By focusing on His light, we can seek and find His presence no matter how dark it is around us. Light-filled things resonate with our inner spiritual self like a tuning fork, helping us live up to our potential.

Let’s harmonize with SWEETNESS, PURITY, TRUTH and BEAUTY, and in so doing we’ll all discover that seeking His face is not a destination, but a glorious journey. 

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[1] Bruce R. McConkie from “The Lord’s People Receive Revelation” April,1971. Italics added.

[2] Alma 5:9.

[3] Alma 5:7.

[4] Jacob 7:8.

[5] Alma 19:6.

[6] 2 Nephi 4:21.

[7] F. Enzio Busche, Yearning for The Living God, p. 52-54.

[8] John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 21: 93 – 94. See  also Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, 1 June 1880, 1; paragraphing altered. Italics added.

[9] Hugh Nibley, “The Way of the Church” in Mormonism and Early Christianity, edited by Todd M. Compton and Stephen D. Ricks, Vol 4 in The collected Works of Hugh Nibley, p. 302-303).

[10] Ibid, 304-307.

[11] Boyd Jan Petersen, Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life, p.120-121.

[12] Moses 1:31  “…”the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face…”

[13] Doctrine and Covenants 93:17.