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Question

 

Gramps,

How can I know when I am worthy to and have sufficient faith to receive the Second Comforter?

Yearning

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Answer

 

Dear Yearning,

Receiving the Second Comforter, or parting the veil and conversing with the Lord face to face, comes with an assurance of being sealed up unto eternal life. The requirements for hearing the words of eternal life (Moses 6:59) have been shared on a general level with specifics given to individuals according to their need and diligence in asking. In this way, the requirements are akin to the requirements to receiving eternal life. A young man went to Jesus with a similar request. “Good Master,” he inquired. “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Jesus reminded him of the commandments given to all Israel. The young man replied, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” The Lord then gave him specific instruction (Matthew 19:16-22).

These commandments, both general and individualized, are more than mere hoops to jump through. “I give unto you a new commandment,” the Lord uttered in our day, “that you may understand my will concerning you; Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation” (D&C 82:8-9). The commandments themselves are instructions on how to build sufficient faith to return to that God who gave us life. They are God’s “will concerning you”, with the intent to deliver you to your salvation.

It’s the story of the Little Red Hen all over again. “Who will help me plant the wheat?” asks the hen. “Not I,” answer each of the farm animals in turn. The hen continues with subsequent invitations, “Who will help me harvest the wheat? Who will help me thresh the wheat? Grind the wheat? Bake the dough?” They respond in a chorus, “Not I.” Pulling a fresh loaf from the oven, the hen asks, “Who will eat the bread with me?” and now their tune has changed. “I will,” the animals shout as they rush over. But the hen continues her consistency by insisting in their affirmation as she did in their denials, “I will do it myself.” In this story, the bread can only be eaten by a bread-maker. Returning back to your question, at which point was the hen worthy of the promised bread? As the laborer and bread-maker, she was worthy from the moment she planted the seed on through the time she pulled the bread out of the oven. At what point had she finally done enough that she could enjoy the fruit of her bread-making labor? When the bread was made!

So when is a person worthy to receive the Second Comforter? Well a person can be worthy for long stretches without receiving the Second Comforter. The principles of justification and sanctification come into play with each layer of grace, ensuring continued worthiness for those growing from grace to grace. When has a person exercised sufficient faith to receive the Second Comforter? When a person receives the Second Comforter.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the laws and blessings of the Celestial Kingdom are a tautology. In Sunday School, I’ve been encouraged to list out in two columns the blessings and requirements of the Celestial Kingdom. I’ve never completed the task because my list gets muddled. Inhabitants are washed and cleansed of their sins (D&C 76:52), qualifying for this by being baptized after the manner of Christ’s burial (51) (isn’t that washing what baptism is?). They are priests and kings (56) because they have received and honored the Melchizedek Priesthood (57). They, who have overcome by faith (53), shall overcome all things (60).

The commandments you obey are the instructions the Lord gives for your salvation. Specific commandments can be given to you if you ask in your prayers “what lack I yet?” As you progress, you will feel the Lord’s approbation in answer to your prayers. Let that approval stave off any discouragement at the growth required for holiness, for “he that is idle shall not eat the bread … of the laborer” (D&C 42:42).

You’ll get there when you get there.

 

Gramps

 

 

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