I was asked this question:
“In one scripture the Lord connects patience to possessing your soul. What does it mean to possess your soul? And it’s connection to patience? This is a very new connection for me.”
That’s a great question. The verse is D&C 101: 38, reads: “And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.” To possess your soul is to have body and spirit inseperably connected, in a resurrected and immortal state. D&C 88: 14-16 explains: “Now, verily I say unto you, that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead. And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.” To possess your soul, therefore, is to have the resurrection.
In the context of 101: 38, it is also saying that while in that resurrected state you will “inherit eternal life.” This means to receive exaltation. So the concept that these words are covering is the concept of exaltation and receiving, in the resurrection, a Celestial inheritance.
Patience is tied directly to this. Indeed, patience is required for this. No person arrives in this state without offering sacrifice sufficient to develop the faith to lay hold on eternal life. That is explained in the post a day or so ago about the Sixth Lecture on Faith. This kind of sacrifice is very rarely done in a single act, but over a number of years by faithful obedience to the Lord’s plan for your own life. It is developed by learning the Lord’s will for your life and then following that will.
The whole concept begins by framing the issue around, “seeking the face of the Lord always.” That is, possessing your soul, eternal life, and exaltation are all tied to the quest to return to God’s presence here in mortality. It is tied to the path of seeking the Second Comforter. As you know, I’ve written about that process and it takes more room than this blog can accommodate. But this verse it speaking about that process.
It’s a beautiful verse. It is another affirmation that the Second Comforter is intended to be a regular minister to mankind. Not some distant, unattainable visit, limited to a select few because of its difficulty.