Perhaps what we have been discussing should be understood in a different context than the one we normally use. What if instead of viewing it as a description of something outside or external, you view it as something internal or inside you. Perhaps the kingdom of heaven is within us after all. (Luke 17: 21.)
From that vantage point can it be said:
-If you ignore the presence of this Spirit you still receive the Holy Spirit, or Light of Christ because that is what allows you to live, move, breathe and exist. It is a gift from God to everyone.
-If you allow this Spirit to enter into your thoughts from time to time you “receive” the Holy Ghost within you. It has affected your thoughts. It has been “received” into your conscience.
-If you allow this Spirit to continually guide you, then you have the “gift” of the Holy Ghost. It has become your companion.
-If you open yourself to receive the visions of heaven, and behold the Father and Son, then you have received the Holy Spirit of Promise.
This last Holy Spirit of Promise is given its name because when you have received the Father and the Son you become Their child of Promise, the inheritor of all the Father has, a member of His family. To reject this, as Joseph described it, is to deny the sun at noon day. For to have been given the Holy Spirit of Promise you have seen God and received from Him a Promise. [There is always more to a subject, but for the present, I’ll leave it there.]
If God sustains everything through His Holy Spirit, which is also sometimes called the Light of Christ, then is it not already within you? If it is already within you, then you can decide to “receive” it by opening yourself up to its influence. If you decide to “receive” it by opening yourself up to its influence, then you may be able to take it into yourself as a gift from God? If that gift becomes a permanent source of influence within you, then have you received the “gift of the Holy Ghost?” If this is within you, then is it your own? If your own, then do you have the Holy Ghost as your constant companion?
When you have received this, are you in touch with God? If you are in touch with God, are you also able to become “one” with Him? Is this what Christ was teaching in John 17: 20-23?
With this in mind, consider what this passage from Deuteronomy tells us:
9 And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
Related to this are many questions that have come in from readers during this week. One of the greatest impediments for some people is that they rely on the explanation given by Cleon Skousen about “intelligences” and how the universe is organized using this building block. You cannot reconcile his views with scripture. Therefore, if you choose to accept Skousen’s definition of “intelligences” as the building blocks of all creation, you will not understand the subject. If that is your framework, you will need to discard what the scriptures teach.
[Please understand I am not condemning Cleon Skousen. He was a good man. But I believe he erred in this subject. He confuses “intelligenceS” in the plural with the “intelligence” in the singular, from which man was organized. The plural of the word refers to organized spirits. They, organized spirits, have been created and exist as beings. (Abr. 3: 22-23.) Man (or the spirit within him) was organized from “intelligence” which is singular. It is co-eternal with God. It is called “intelligence” and also “light and truth.” (D&C 93: 29.) It is also called “the glory of God.” (D&C 93: 36.) Cleon Skousen supposed that man was made from something else called “intelligences” when, in fact, once intelligence or light and truth is organized into a being and assumes a separate existence it is called “intelligences” which is plural and refers to spirits. Until then, it is only “intelligence” which is singular. Read the beginning of Beloved Enos where I have tried to explain this subject. I think it will help.]
The scriptures have a lot to say about this matter. I’ve only put together a sketch. Look at the scriptures and sort through it. I’ve tried to give only a skeleton. The whole picture can be hung on that skeleton. You need to do the work of finishing the search. I don’t want to rob you of that wonderful experience. Let the scriptures speak to you without you bringing an interpretation with you in advance.
Christ said His words were “Spirit.” (John 6: 63.) What does this mean? How can Christ’s words, whether spoken by Him or given to another to speak on His behalf, be “Spirit?” If you can answer that you are in possession of a great truth.
In response to several questions, I’ll add the following to conclude this week’s posts:
At one time the Father was called “a Spirit” by Joseph, and at another time He was said to “have a body as tangible as man’s.” Similarly, Jesus Christ was resurrected and unquestionably had a tabernacle consisting of “flesh and bone” which could be handled. (Luke 24: 39-40.) He ate fish and broke bread with His disciples. (Luke 24: 42-43; John 21: 9-14.) These were physical acts. Yet He also appeared in the upper room on the day of His resurrection without entering through the shut door. (John 20: 26.) He ascended into heaven (Acts 1: 9-11) and then descended from heaven in the sight of a multitude (3 Ne. 11: 8). These are not typical of physical bodies as we encounter them. When it comes to resurrected and glorified beings, the bodies are not the same as our own physical, coarse constitutions. Nevertheless, God is composed of matter: “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see it is all matter.” (D&C 131: 7-8.) Therefore, it is equally true that God is a Spirit, and that He also possesses a body “as tangible as man’s.” How “quickened” is the body when He shows Himself? Or, in this coarse environment, how great a glory has He set aside to show Himself here?
God’s glory exceeds man’s comprehension. We can see Him in His glory only if we are transfigured. (Moses 1: 14.) Even then we cannot behold all of His glory unless we become like Him. (Moses 1: 4-5.) Therefore, to behold Him in His glory while we are mortal, we must be transfigured, but the full measure of God is not given for mortal man to behold.