“of strong faith and a firm mind”

Consider this:
“[N]either have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.  For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.”  (Moroni 7: 29-31.)
Note that angels show themselves to those “of strong faith and a firm mind.”  Also, that the visit will require them to whom such visits come to “bear testimony of [Christ]” as a result of those visitations.
From Joseph Smith:
“A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.”  (TPJS p. 137.)
Note that the “imagination” is not useful in gaining communion with God.  Fanciful, flowery and heated imaginative thoughts will detract, not contribute, to knowing Him.  The only way is to possess the same mental state as Moroni refers to – careful, sober, solemn, deep thoughts are required.  The mind must reach into heaven as well as the darkest abyss.  The opposition of things in this creation and the balance of those opposites will cause you to encounter the worst as you strive to enjoy the best. All is kept in balance throughout the process.
A person can’t imagine they have salvation.  They must “know” they possess it.  The heavens should declare it to them.  When the heavens bestow this knowledge upon a person, it is an anchor to their soul and they will never fall.  But until then, a person needn’t suppose they possess something which God has not declared by His own voice to be theirs.

True teachers will labor to help you understand how real, deliberate, attainable, and necessary this process is to engage in.  They will not ask you to follow them.  They will teach you how to follow God, and obtain from God knowledge of salvation.  False teachers will distract you. They will tell you all is right, that there is enough good being done in your life to merit God’s favor, and that it is not necessary for you to do more than belong to a privileged group.

You cannot possess the knowledge which will save you until you have learned for yourself that God lives, and that He has promised to you eternal life.

3 thoughts on ““of strong faith and a firm mind”

  1. QUOTE:
    “True teachers will labor to help you understand how real, deliberate, attainable, and necessary this process is to engage in.”

    Is this what is meant by speaking in the “tongue of angels” spoken by Nephi? (2Ne 31:13)

    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 dwilling 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.


  2. The choice as a teacher to introduce and encourage others toward “careful, sober, solemn, and deep thoughts,” regarding any truth far outweights the benefits received by teaching by any other method, although this is not always readily apparent or popular.

    As I have studied various subjects, I have often encountered great truths from teachers who have spent a lifetime studying one extreme of a matter. I sometimes become persuaded that their’s is the pure truth of the matter.

    Too often however, I have subsequently felt impressed to study the works of others who have spent a lifetime studying and teaching an opposite extreme of the same matter.

    As I’ve studied opposites, I would become persuaded by truths from both which introduced elements of confusion regarding how to reconcile what I was learning. As I strive to reconcile such matters, I have found that only by honestly and sincerely studying opposites, can I open the door to receive greater fullness concerning any matter.

    Thank you for this reminder and encouragement regarding this critical process. Hopefully, as teachers, we can give way less and less to “fanciful, flowery and heated imaginative thoughts.”

    My father’s best friend was a psychologist who worked with youth who had become addicted to the powers of the advesary. He worked with these youth as the State Hospital in Provo, Utah. Most of these youth came from “strong” LDS homes. Many were children of Bishops, Stake Presidents, Seminary teachers, and so forth.

    He was an expert in his field and worked with many such people. He suggested that too often seminary teachers, parents, and others who are responsible to teach youth substitute pure doctrine, wherein the power of truth resides, with sentiment and “faith-promoting stories (or rubbish as a recent blog suggested)” that have no real or lasting power.

    He further suggested that if as teachers we cannot lead others to the true source of power and the process for obtaining this power, the advesary only too willingly will introduce another real source of power. To the uninitiated, powers of darkness often become addictive and all consuming. The powers of the adversary are real and can only be sufficiently combatted by the power that grows within us as we fully engage in the process discussed in this post.

  3. Also, as “true teachers” lead and encourage learners regarding “the process,” the must teach “pure doctrine” by God’s Spirit alone and seek to avoid presenting truth in unsettling ways that do not invite, encourage, or edify.

    The Gospel is a message of “hope and repentance.” The gospel, when taught by God’s Spirit, even the Comforter, is not unsettling, but is edifying, uplifting, encouraging, and hopeful for even the weakest of Saints.

    To the extent teachers teach “pure doctrine” by any spirit other than God’s spirit (see D&C 50:10-36)they may be equally unjustified and incorrect in doing so as is a person who teaches “false doctrine.”

    I’ve appreciated the spirit that accompanies most blogs on this website because of their encouraging, hopeful, instructional, and uplifting nature.

    Based upon the above referenced section of the D&C. It is clear there is a place for “sentiment” in teaching, or the Lord would not have given this extraordinary revelation concerning teaching. A firm mind must also be balanced by appropriate sentiment, else why is the Holy Ghost referred to as the Comforter rather than the Unsettler.

    Food for thought!

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