A great deal has been written about the Prophets of Israel, and what they had to say to their times, and to the ages. Insofar, as I am aware there has been little, if any, Studies that are along the lines of this Study. Prophecy and its spirit and content are immensely important, for it is this spiritual gift, more than any other, that God uses to disclose Himself to mankind. We write in the sense of pervasive revelation, and of prophecy in general. Can prophetic minds and prophets be developed? Well, let's see.
IS A CONSIDERATION OF FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROPHETIC EXPERTISE, WHICH EITHER LIMIT OR EMPOWER ANYONE WHO WILL SEEK TO MAKE MORE MEANINGFUL THEIR PROPHETIC GIFT.
A. There must be such factors! Otherwise, what else can explain the wide difference between the breadth and sweep of Isaiah's prophetic message, and the at least somewhat obscure and limited message of Hosea. There is a big difference between the so-called major and minor prophets of the Bible. If there are qualifying and expanding factors in what God can share with those who speak for Him, then, it is immensely important that they be perceived, broadly understood and used. Beyond any gainsaying, the much fuller comprehension and appreciation of God by the sons and daughters of men is at stake! It is that important!
B. The ideas expressed in this exploratory inquiry would seem to largely apply to all concepts and ways of prophetic impression, expression and illumination. During my lifetime of almost 84 years, there has been considerable criticism of many expressions of prophetic minded people, perhaps because the intelligence of content did not some times seem very high. This in turn has brought about a dearth of prophetic presentation. If the thesis of this exploratory inquiry is correct, then it follows that reverent discovery of means and factors of development, will increasingly make prophetic outreach have greater depth, greater and deeply spiritual intelligence, greater revealing power of the love and purposes of the Creator, and therefore be a powerful instrument of uplift and empowerment. A growing salvation is at stake!
C. In the Condensations of Twelve Classes on Divine Endowment and Related Concerns, pages 25-28, is found a theoretical delineation of the evident intent for the use of the Upper Court of Kirtland Temple - that is the development of high type prophets, by the Lord's kind of schooling (prophetic expertise, may I phrase it) - on how this can be achieved. Admittedly such will require a very special kind of Spirit - blest effort, but such is not impossible! If this delineation and conceptualization is true - and I am completely assured that it is - then, inevitably these are levels of prophetic insight, envisionment, experience, and comprehensiveness, roughly comparable to how our vision broadens, reaching out and out, as we go from the low hills far up into the mountains. Inasmuch as the Lord's thoughts and ways are higher than man's thoughts and ways, this affirmation must be true!
D. In view then, of A, B, and C, just preceding, it is logical to expect and conclude that ANYONE UNDER RESPONSIBILITY TO PROPHETICALLY EXPRESS THE WORD OF THE LORD, IS EITHER LIMITED, OR EMPOWERED, BY THE LOW, OR THE HIGH CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS OR HER INDIVIDUAL DEGREE OF PERCEPTIVENESS AND BREADTH OF COMPREHENSION, OF THE INDEED VAST AREAS OF PROPHETIC CONCERN, THAT CENTER IN AND RADIATE OUT FROM OUR MOST MARVELOUS EVERLASTING CREATOR AND FATHER, AND JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR, AND, THAT AMAZING PART OF THE TRINITY WE CALL THE HOLY SPIRIT! MOREOVER, ALSO, THE MANNER OF EXPRESSION OF THE LORD'S WORD, WILL BE INFLUENCED AND MADE PERSUASIVE, BY THE BREADTH AND SWEEP OF HIS OR HER PROPHETIC ENTHRALLMENT, roughly comparable in range to a spring of water that just trickles from a rocky source, in contrast to one that bursts out in gushing volume, or even one that sweeps forth like an underground river bursting out from its hidden course! This concept, it seems to me, is in complete accord with that grand, mountain top prophetic disclosure that "the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth"! D. & C. 90:6. It compares with the words of D. & C. 90:3 - "You shall receive grace for grace". This, in turn ties in with what Paul wrote in Heb. 1:9 - "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." It seems to me we have here a rather tremendous concept, which, when comprehended, and developed, and used, can enable the Lord to much more effectively disclose Himself to all who hunger and thirst for Him, through His highly developed instruments of prophetic expression!
E. This limiting, or empowering, rule and reign of law, in prophetic perceptiveness and loftiness of ideas set forth, must somehow surely apply to all who write or speak in the name of the Lord. The universe is governed by law! Profound and farsighted intelligence makes the ongoing galactic universe possible! Surely, surely, the Lord's ways of empowerment and blessing, in prophetic sharing, must also be governed by law! Endowed men of God must surely be men to whom all that is in part indicated in this exploratory inquiry, has opened up in glorious, ongoing experience!
F. This thread of logical reasonableness that runs through all this reverent exploratory inquiry, and this glimpse into the utterly amazing possibilities of an exalted and exalting future, of ever expanding prophetic experience, such as God in deepest longing must want to share, ought therefore to compel and deeply move all impressed with the responsibility of prophetic expression, to make a very dedicated and continuing effort to grow in sensitiveness to the enormous possibilities of Spiritual outreach and uplift. And, also, in understanding of the mighty, farsighted, and completely worthwhile intentions and purposes of the altogether marvelous Creator of all that is. Be assured that the Lord Jesus, as well, wants, in all the intensity of His being, to grandly share with all who love Him very greatly, and who want to grow up in Him. My brother and my sister, whoever may be stirred and entreated by reading these words, - it is the testimony of the Holy Spirit that they are not idle words!
G. Possibly, some may suppose that all the deep things of the Holy Spirit, all the supreme experiences of enlightenment, all the great promises that only the Lord can make, or all the heartwarming words of pleading entreaty - have already been prophetically expressed. Emphatically this is not so! Vast, indeed very vast are the interests and concerns, the wisdom and intelligence, and much, much more, that center in God and Christ! Yet, even were this supposition a fact, there will always be needed statement upon statement, emphasis upon emphasis, and the making of the Lord's high hopes and way of life ever more clear and persuasive. There must yet be a tremendous reaching out to ever widening numbers of people. It would seem that what has been done, is as a drop in a bucket, to what needs to be done! Old generations die. New generations arise! There are millions and millions out there. In order that we may be persuaded that there are vast fields yet to be cultivated, part 2 will attempt, carefully and reverently, to delineate some of the areas of prophetic concern, there surely must be!
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THIS IS AN EXPLORATORY INQUIRY INTO POSSIBLE AREAS OF PROPHETIC CONCERN, ENVISIONMENT, CONTENT, EXPERIENCE, COMPREHENSION, AND EXPRESSION, AS WIDE-RANGING AS MAY BE POSSIBLE.
A. A very important area is the setting forth of God's standards for human life and association. Such can be in preaching, writing, teaching, or as we contact one another in daily living.
B. There can be prophetic calling to repentance from evil ways, as Jonah and Ninevah, or as in prophetic confrontations, such as Daniel before Belshazzar. Dan. 5.
C. There can be the gift of prophecy to individuals. This is very, very important, inasmuch as inspirational insights often open up avenues of development otherwise undreamed of, or shape a destiny of holy and helpful living, or that summon to action, etc.
D. There often needs to be prophetic messages expressing the Lord's invitation to holy living in a decadent world. These need to be expressed lovingly, glowingly and persuasively.
E. There can be, and needs to be, perception and expression of grand and profound conceptualizations, as in D. & C. 85:1-4.
F. There can be prophetic foresight of future events or happenings, such as tendencies and drifts in human thinking, disturbances and confusions, wars and catastrophes, abnormal eruptions of nature, and the like.
G. There needs ever to be declaration of the consequences of evil choices. This could be called preventive prophecy, and could be somewhat akin to Preventive Medicine.
H. There has been and can yet be apocalyptic envisionment, description, and presentation. As the book of Revelation.
I. Or, the same truths, predictions, beckoning to lofty goals, and all that could be part of an apocalypse, could be, and perhaps ought to be presented "clearly and understandingly". See D & C 83:24a.
J. There needs to be prophetically grandly perceived envisionment, delineation, and declaration of God's earth's, and humanities possible, wonderfully beautiful, delightfully satisfying, golden age, (and the Millennium) yet to be. This age that can be when men and women choose to live near to the heart of God! And when they truly glorify Him!
K. The glories of life beyond death need much clearer envisioning, understanding, and description, in order that mankind may be wonderfully inspired and beckoned toward the realization of its magnificent promise!
L. There can be very special patriarchal blessings which reflect God's guidance to life and His high-minded perception of individual possibilities, that will ennoble and make life dynamic for those that are so blessed.
M. There have been times when God's chosen and choosing people need exceptional pushing and guidance toward a better or brilliant future, as Enoch for his day, Moses for Israel, and we toward a splendid Zion and Stakes of Zion, that shall inspire and lift up every aspect of life, as God intends!
N. There needs to be the perception of immensely inspiring concepts, and supremely great and beautiful ideas, such as Isa. 1:18; 55:8,9, and D. & C. 90:6 - the glory of God is intelligence. May I add, an intelligence infinitely beyond human intelligence! There must be many such!
O. There needs to be, for God's people, the seeing of what ought to be, what could be, and the how of bringing the ought to be to pass -to make the ought to be, be!
P. Sometimes there is need of mighty demonstrations of God's higher ways and powers, the standing forth of signs and wonders, as Moses in Egypt. Possibilities for such in the present or in the future, could be a very worthwhile concern for prophetic inquiry, discovery, and illumination.
Q. In the future, there will be need, in God's name an authority, to use of the tremendous powers of the Holy Spirit for preservation in case of atomic attacks, or ballistic missile onslaughts, or control of adverse satanic or, possibly, rarely control of the forces of nature. Such has occurred in the past, and can in the future. Read Gen. 14:26-35, I.V.; II Kings 8:1; Rev. II. Sometimes the work of a prophet is more than speaking out. Rather, it can at times be the exercise of immense powers, that God will grant him!
R. Grandly and immensely effectively, there needs to be perceived and disclosed how the powers that make possible what is mentioned in (Q) can be applied to achieve extremely difficult, but greatly needed projects and goals. We have yet to understand how such immense spiritual resources can be made available and used!
S. Conceivably, there are ways, and resources, and potentials, that can be used to revive, renew, envision and empower richly creative achievements by individuals, or congregations, or Stakes, or even the church as a whole. A part of such is the concept and promise of Endowment. Are there others? And how can they be put to work?
T. In places, the D. & C. suggests some very lofty possibilities and amazing projects of prophetic attainment and experience. Examples are 76:1,2; 85:12 - which promises ultimate comprehension of God!; and perhaps of the Universe! When? Where? How? And by whom? Brothers! What a lot of growing up is ahead of us!
NOTES TO PART II
Surely, there are, to us almost boundless, areas of prophetic enlightenment, envisionment, empowerment, development, experience, and Endowment. The gates of the future open wide for all who will truly go up to the mountains of the Lord!
There must be many other areas!
A very real, Spirit - blest School of the Prophets, as a center of cooperating prophetic inquiry and sharing, could be a dynamic facility in expanding prophetic horizons! May God hasten the day of its establishment and functioning!
CULTIVATING THE HOLY AND RESPONSIBLE GIFT OF PROPHECY.
Heaven help us if this Holy and Responsible gift ever completely dies out in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ! If this wonderful gift is seldom heard, in view of the wide areas of concern that are open in the exercise of this gift, as indicated in Part 2, there is real cause for alarm, and a need to change our ways! Moroni in chapter 10:18,19, of the Book of Mormon, warns very firmly - "if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief, and woe be unto the children of men if this is the case."
When this gift, which, ideally has such enormous potential, is used with depth of content in what is expressed, it can be an amazingly helpful and empowering instrument of upward change, and growing Christ-likeness, both in individuals and congregations.
In writing about the many areas of prophetic concern in Part 2, the thinking was for priesthood, mainly, especially for those who glimpse the grandeur of God's mighty Endowment, and desire with all their hearts to work and develop toward it. There are, however, others besides priesthood whom God blesses with this gift. Of recent years we have noted a tendency toward asserting that only priesthood should use this gift, excluding non-priesthood and womanhood. This attitude is certainly not supported by the Scriptures. In general, quite likely more of God's people potentially have this gift than is at present apparent. Bro. Arthur Oakman's experience with this gift, indicates also, that it can be developed, provided it is used to lift up people and to glorify God.
Having come this far in our exploratory inquiry, now, the question arises - how may we cultivate and develop this immensely worthwhile gift of prophecy. It is very, very important that we shall seek to discover such guiding and empowering ways as may be! This is true both for those of some experience, and particularly for potentially gifted users, those who desire to develop toward expression of their prophetic impressions. There is need, very great need of prophetic outreach to the sons and daughters of men! Centuries ago, a prophet stood before a king, in arresting prophetic confrontation, crying out to him-"The God in whose hand thy breadth is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified!" - Is not this sin prevalent all the world over, now? The world needs many prophets to cry out to them now! There must come a time of tremendous spiritual outpouring, even as Joel glimpsed centuries ago! Can we, as we look toward the future, foresee a time, when there shall come such a grand outpouring of supremely intelligent and very loving, and most helpful, and richly persuasive, manifestations of that Holy Spirit and Power, that will radiate out from God's Holy Presence to enthrall the hearts of men, by His mighty outreach? Can we envision, pray for, prepare for, and develop toward such a time of divine Endowment, a time of glowing invitation, combined with arresting warning, almost as if such were directly from the lips of God? My brother, my sister, amazing things can happen, when God and Christ move in power and their arm is made bare! Is such a time worth preparing for? Ten thousand times ten thousand, Yes! Think carefully, then, about that which follows. Maybe, under the Lord's blessing, you will find other ways besides these, to nourish and cultivate a most holy and much needed gift.
A. The Gift of Prophecy comes from God! It is Him who chooses mortals to speak for Him! In so doing he not only wonderfully enlightens and inspires the mind of His chosen, but, also, He uses exalted qualities and capabilities of those through whom He speaks. One must therefore be holy in him manner of living, dedicated in his intentions, active in Christly service, and qualities of personality like unto these. It is desirable that adequate and persuasive powers of expression be developed. It is an immense challenge to think the Lord's thoughts with Him, and to put them into words that invitingly portray His exalted intentions.
B. In cultivating this Gift, the concept that prophetic effectiveness must arise out of the expresser prophetic perceptiveness, with possibly some exceptions, must apply. This must be why spiritual giants feel compelled to go to desert places, or to lonely mountains, or to the deep forests, or to truly holy sanctuaries, to be alone with God! God forbid that we misinterpret Him, and men lose their souls because of our blindness.
C. Those who speak or write the Word of God, must always be certain that they express that which arises out of the inspiration of the holy spirit - not out of human emotions, nor, worse, out of the power of darkness. When the Holy Spirit is with us, there is always a strong sense of uplift, our minds have elevated powers of perception, there is a sort of warmth and glow that lights up our whole personality, and there is a deep and discerning intelligence above what we ordinarily have. All these and more bring an impelling motivation that fortifies us for that which we have to do for the Lord. It seems to me that it is good to let these build up within us, rather than responding to our first urges to speak, and, in so doing we are assured of the validity of what we present, and beyond this the depth of conviction thus developed, plus the added intensity of spiritual presence thus achieved - these in turn bear testimony to those around us!
D. In cultivating ourselves to become worthy instruments of God's outpouring, it will be most helpful if we make ourselves aware of the many ways prophetic enlightenment can be received, and expressed and shared. Over the years we have discovered, or observed, or read about, or gathered from the Scriptures, some of these ways.
(1) Prophetic messages are usually expressed vocally.
(2) They may, however be written, and I suspect best so.
(3) They are sometimes for individuals, sometimes for groups as a whole.
(4) They may be for the one receiving them, only.
(5) They may even come in very dramatic ways, and be so expressed. Read Jer. 18:1-6.
(6) They may be expressed in a prayer meeting, in preaching, or quietly just to individual persons.
(7) Sometimes they are for use in future years and situations.
(8) Sometime light may come through a vision, then be expressed in words at a later time.
(9) Spiritual impressions sometimes open doors to prophetic experiences and expression.
(10) Prophetic messages have opened up at times during special studies.
(11) A message may open up, or come to us while on our knees in prayer for someone or group.
(12) Joseph Smith once wrote of having "flashes of inspiration", come to him.
(13) There are prophetic experiences that come to us during hours of sleep.
(14) I have personally had inspirational experience presented in the form of parables, to be amplified later in written form. Note: there must be many others.
E. Another way for those who potentially have this great gift, or even those of considerable experience, to cultivate it, is to set projects of prophetic inquiry, at least somewhat comparable to what is trying to be done in this perceptive study. There are projects that require prophetic blessing of a rather high order, in order to make any progress. One example of this was, in my own experience, bringing the Lords encouragement to a faltering young man. Another could be a continuing effort to see how one's own life can be expanded and empowered, as one is called to share God's Holy Word with others. As simpler projects are successfully achieved, under the Lord's blessing, they can in turn lead to projects of larger dimensions. This kind of effort could be called spiritual mountain climbing! Surely, such long continued upward climbing can lead to widely encompassing prophetic vision that can be wonderfully helpful to many!
F. Somewhat akin to this last, for those who reverently desire to cultivate this very special gift the Lord has given to Him or Her, it is very much worthwhile and altogether necessary that they seek the light that the Lord alone can open up to them. This can be done prayerfully, thoughtfully, and inspiringly as we try in dedicated effort, to live very close to the Lord's Magnificent Intention for life, and particularly His wisely choosing people. Doing so, you increasingly comprehend the bearings of this Intention for those round about you. Inevitably this kind of reverent effort broadens and deepens prophetic perceptiveness. This, perhaps, is difficult to adequately describe, but immensely uplifting to experience.
G. Just as we go to those who have trained themselves in special ways - science, music, art, or whatever, when we desire to develop comparable skills, even so the inexperienced prophetic person, man or woman, young or old, can often be helped by talking to those of admirable experience. Correspondence may be advisable. Experienced Patriarchs should be good advisors. Deeply spiritual men can usually help.
H. I have apprehended for a long time, that one way of discovering our own particular spiritual gift, is to reverently study and think about the at least five score distinct gifts there are, noting those that appeal to us strongly. Surely, each gift has others more or less closely related to it that would seem advisable to improve also, as for example the gift of mighty prayer. It seems reasonable, likewise to suggest that consideration be given to the twenty areas of prophetic concern that are part of this exploratory inquiry. There must be others besides these. A byproduct of such consideration could well be a deep sense of humility before the Lord, and a profound assurance of the very great need of faith that the Lord will open our eyes and understanding to the amazing abundance of His providence.
I. Quite probably we should note that beginning expressers of prophetic light, should be relatively brief and simple, unless strongly impressed otherwise, in the content of what is said or written. An apostle of other days observed to a beginning preacher, whose sermon had attempted to range from Genesis to Revelation - "Little boats should keep near the shore!"
J. With few exceptions, my own experience has been to write that which is impressed on my mind. There are many advantages in doing this. Among these are -
(1) Greater explicitness of content;
(2) Greater carefulness in wording; and
(3) Greater depth of perception; as well as
(4) Stronger build-up of assurance and testimony.
As we think the Lords thoughts after Him, it seems right to me that they ought to be expressed as beautifully as possible. Surely, lofty concepts expressed in delightful ways, as Isaiah wrote his prophetic messages, are much more persuasive than language that is much more obscure or just bumbles along. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult for all of us to recall in detail prophetic messages expressing the everlasting worthwile, such as the Lord inspires, when we just hear them verbally presented. Written messages are, to me, much better than verbal ones recorded on tape. In my own experience I often go to the Lord's House, to the School of the Prophets room, to write what I discern the Lord wants me to express. It is richly inspiring to write within the holy Presence that abides there. Afterward, I carefully read what has been written, even sometimes to prophetic minded, deeply spiritual friends. The build-up of spiritual testimony, the Lord's find of emotional warmth, and the intelligence content then evident, enable me to critically judge that which I have put in words. Moreover, it is much more inspirational to have the Lord's Word to us to think about, to treasure, and to apply! There would be no Scriptures if the prophets of Israel had just spoken verbally. The ages are truly indebted to them because they had the wisdom, and may we say gumption, to write their messages.
K. There is this problem that always faces the one who expresses a prophetic message. Shall it open or close with a "Thus saith the Lord", or "Thus saith the Spirit"? Let it be admitted that either of these phrases is very dramatic and attention getting, and where strongly impressed should be used. In my own experience, I very much prefer to let the intelligence and appropriateness of what is presented, plus what may be called its spiritual glow and fervor, bear their own testimony and witness. Nevertheless, an opening statement should announce that what you have to say, (or write), comes from a higher power than yourself. When presenting a written message, I quite often state such is a gift of inspired writing. This phrase can be used - "I am impressed to say". Elbert A. Smith introduced gifts he presented in rather unique ways. Each person must choose as seems best to them, their way of validating and indicating that the Word of the Lord to them is being expressed.
L. It is my deep conviction that the name of the second floor of Kirtland Temple is not only a name, but also a prophecy, so to speak, that prophets can be developed by the Lord's kind of schooling. The name School of the Prophets, is an affirmation, as well. At least part of what is possible is suggested in Condensation of 12 classes about Divine Endowment, and Related Concerns. See latter part of Condensation #9. This is written by Earl R. Curry. This reasonable affirmation ought to encourage all who have the Gift of Prophesy, either through experience, or potentially.
Now, a few last ideas about this Holy Gift of Prophecy.
In view of the wide-ranging areas of prophetic concern as set down in Part 2, as well as the other great concepts expressed through out this definitive exploratory inquiry into the higher and even immense possibilities of prophetic attainment and use, to raise the level of life where this great gift is adequately manifested, can you join with me in declaring that Prophecy is the Prince of all Spiritual Gifts. It would seem that this is why it was said in Rev. 19:10 "The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
May we pause and be humbled however, that ideal prophecy is the most difficult of all Spiritual Gifts, to exercise in complete adequacy. Why is this so? May we remember Isaiah's lofty insight - that God's thoughts and ways are higher than man's thoughts and ways, as the heavens are higher than the earth! That is why there is need to most reverently cultivate and develop this marvelous gift! Prophecy is at once the Prince of Spiritual gifts, and also the most difficult! God bless you in reaching up!
Finally, Fred M. Smith remarked in the Higher Powers of Man, p. 220 - "A Thought, an idea, a vision, glimpsed only for the briefest part of a second, may eventuate in molding a life's course, and pointing the road to the highest achievement." If this is true of a second, what of the minute, the hour, the day, the month and the year? Glory hallelujah!
The best is yet ahead!
A. INSIGHTS, MEDITATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS, RELATIVE TO THIS TOTAL EXPLORATORY INQUIRY.
(1) It is my hope that this Definitive Study of the Holy Gift of Prophesy will help when that good time comes when we shall see a Kirtland Temple School of the Prophets established. May our faith in the promises of God rapidly increase!
(2) As an observer of the times, and as far as what is published and spoken is concerned, it seems fair to conclude that the deeply spiritual aspects of Priesthood preparation still center in Kirtland Temple. Also, it at present appears that academic, and perhaps what could be called scholastic efforts, will center elsewhere.
(3) If this is a factual observation, then, it would seem that those who are assured that the Lord's Magnificent Intentions for Kirtland Temple are as yet far from realization, and that the achievement of the exalted destiny of the Temple lies yet ahead, - then all such should continue, and even intensify their efforts, quietly and without ostentation, to see the needs of our day in profound depth, and to develop far-sighted written studies and materials, such as can greatly assist, when the time comes, in the successful achievement of what the Lord intends shall come to pass.
(4) Looking toward the future, therefore, this needed preparation, as far as prophetic development is concerned, would seem to require that:
(a) We earnestly attempt to discover, understand, and put in words, the analysis of what has developed in past ages, regarding God's prophetic outreach to mankind. This is suggested in some detail in Condensation of 12 classes concerning Divine Endowment and related concerns, see Condensation #9.
(b) Reverently and in such ways as may open to us, add to this Definitive Study of the Holy Gift of Prophecy.
(c) Study, and attempt to perceive the personality characteristics prophets must achieve in order to function on an increasingly higher prophetic level. Surely this would please the Lord.
(d) As such develops, build up a list of sacred objectives to which prophets have given themselves in the past.
(e) Along with this, as we become aware of the tremendous spiritual needs of this present age, set down a growing list of sacred objectives appropriate to our time.
(f) Continue special efforts to envision the Lord's kind of curriculum, such as will produce a deeply spiritual, inspirationally intelligent, grandly prepared, reverently capable, ministry and people.
(g) If Kirtland Stake is to be a leavening and uplifting influence, radiating out and out, by all means seek to discover how such may be developed - humbly and reverently.
(h) Quietly search for personalities who are deeply concerned about such objectives as these!
(i) Above and beyond any intensive Spirit-guided intellectual reaching up, it is immensely necessary to perceive how God's stupendous Spiritual Resources and Possibilities of divine empowerment, can increasingly be made available and put to use in prophetic development and outreach.
Is it too much to expect, as we approach the time of Christ's Return, that we can be uplifted by ass-clarion in home wonderful way, with holy personalities of past centuries, such as is suggested in D. & C. 104:9 or by those who have tarried? Or by angels? Or, eventually, by the Savior himself?
Tremendous issues face us! The salvation of mankind is at stake! Have faith in God! Have great faith in God!
B. School of the Prophets, and Endowment processes and procedures, must surely be a continuing facility! Nay, more than that - they must, in the very nature of all that is caught up in them, they must expand, becoming ever more and more effective instruments of empowerment. Quite likely they will be part of the millennium! Why must this be so?
(1) It is inconceivable that such shall be a once only experience. In God's Holy Name, why should such a magnificent tremendously enabling experience be momentary? An amazingly effective facility, in the very nature of mankind's vast needs - and the Lord's vast love, must go on and on!
(2) The world turns. Day follows day. Year follows year. Men and women bring children into the world. Priesthood grow old and die. New priesthood arise. The higher manifestations of a brilliantly alive religion must progress ever upward. The church has been all too much a backward looking institution. Surely the Almighty One intends it to ever be a forward-looking one.
(3) In view of the immensity of the Universe and all the farsighted intelligence so evident in all its functioning, there must be an immensely empowering facility, such as we dimly perceive, yet which is known to the universe's Creator. Yes there must be such a facility - knowledge wise, wisdom wiser forward looking wise, intelligence wiser lofty spiritual attainment wise, reverent use of Spiritual Resources wise, Holy Gift of Prophecy wise, and all such like. Why in all God's universe should such a facility be for just one brief period of time; or be intermittently active, or be forever and altogether discontinued? For such to be God's intention is completely and utterly unbelievable!
(4) Surely, as and when such a facility is established, in the very nature of what it is, it will be found to be growth producing, dynamically motivating, personality enlarging, prophetically inspiring, and a very efficacious means of Kingdom of God progress. Inevitably, its total scope will broaden out! Its enabling power will increase! It will deepen! It will increasingly open doors to an expanding godly intelligence. It will spiritualize all endeavors! It will blossom and bloom, and blossom and bear amazing fruit! It will do all these and more, because of God's marvelous uplifting power! What a concept! What an amazing facility! In view of this, why are we so dumb, and blind, and hesitant?
C. How can we be gotten to see all this, and the utter magnificence of this tremendous concept and facility -an exalted and very real School of the Prophets, and what it leads to - an immensely empowering divine Endowment. How can the company of the sacrificially concerned be sought out, inspired, and enlarged?
This is a very important and seemingly staggering query, for there seem to be very few, in general, who show any interest or concern at all, in seeking an answer. Dismayingly this observation seems to be particularly true with most priesthood. Anyone grandly caught up in this immense idea and concept tends to be regarded as a bit "tetched". Nevertheless we must seek solutions. Could such as these be answers? What would you add; my reader?
(1) Let things drift until they fall apart, demonstrating the futility of the easy, then, in desperation reaching up for help?
(2) Ask the Lord's help in discovering potential personalities. There may be more than we think.
(3) Continue personal efforts writing and outreaching efforts.
(4) Continue sharing discussions wherever possible.
(5) Try to help saints see that reliance on the arm of flesh cannot get done what needs to be done.
(6) Prophetic preaching could help. Little opportunity as of now.
(7) Sharing prophetic writing could help.
(8) Enlarged use of the Holy Gift of Prophecy could help wonderfully.
(9) Encourage sermons on the signs of the times.
(10) Search for searching young people, and help them see.
(11) Emphasize reliance on the Word of God, in Scriptures and in faith-sought personal experiences.
D. That which I am now about to express, is somewhat difficult to adequately put into words. It may be even more difficult for many to believe. Yet if this affirmation is true, or even just largely true, recognition of its truth, could have very far-reaching consequences, and even amazing results, that could lift up the lives of millions.
As I look back over the course of religious history and experience, it seems to me, that with very, very few exceptions, THE PROPHETIC PRESENTATION TO MANKIND OF THE GLORY OF GOD, THE MAJESTY OF HIS PERSONALITY, THE TREMENDOUSNESS OF HIS LOVE AND LOVABLENESS, THE PURPOSEFUL INMENSITY OF HIS CREATIVE POWER, THE COMPLETE WORTH-WHILENESS AND FARSIGHTEDNESS OF HIS HOLY PURPOSE, HIS ALMOST UNBOUNDED WILLINGNESS TO SHARE ALL THAT IS CAUGHT UP IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, HIS GREAT DESIRE AND YEARNING TO ENNOBLE AND INSPIRE HUMAN PERSONALITY AND ENABLE ACHIEVEMENT OF THEIR LOFTY DESTINY - ALL THESE AND MORE, HAVE SELDOM BEEN CLEARLY, AND INTELLIGENTLY, AND ADEQUATELY, AND PERSUASIVELY PRESENTED TO THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN! As far as vast numbers of people is concerned this affirmation is certainly and sadly true. Even in any record of past prophetic outreach, we have all been too ineffective. This, too, is true.
The main exception is, of course, the personal ministry of Jesus Christ! Surely, it is extremely easy, and perhaps lifts a load of guilt off ourselves, when there is little response to our quite limited prophetic outreach, in any area or age, or to small or to large numbers, to justify the lack of response by calling all whom we have inadequately addressed. Carnal, sensual and devilish And, in so doing we tend to turn all we have not persuaded over to the horrors of perdition! Must this kind of situation continue on into an ever-bleaker future? God forbid!
On one face of the Cleveland Press building in Cleveland, Ohio, is inscribed: far up on the wall, these words. GIVE LIGHT AND THE PEOPLE WILL FIND THEIR OWN WAY. This inscription must be at least potentially true. How could our magnificent everlasting Father have created us less than that? This, then, implies a tremendous problem of enlightenment and persuasion, in appealing to man's innate potential. This is true of one small community such as Kirtland. The problem becomes enormously greater when our godly concern expands to include the whole wide world.
Undoubtedly, to most of us, this problem of universal outreach seems so enormous and vast that there can be no solution! Must multitudes blunder hopelessly on and on, until they destroy them-selves in a fiery catastrophe of desolation and annihilation? Must extreme blindness and folly ultimately bring human history to a close in massive futility? Surely, God who created us, were He asked such questions, would reply, ten thousand times ten thousand, NO!! Yea, in the providence of the Almighty, there are facilities that can be used to reach out and lift up humanity from the melter of turmoil, selfishness, hate, shortsightedness, vulgarity, strife, and warring madness! There are as of now, immense facilities of education and training, that, were God to move in power, could be lifted above their largely materialistic motivation, and sublimated to the good of mankind in a stupendous cause! There are means of travel as never before! Dynamic discoveries of immensely spiritually inspiring perceptions and revelations of uplifting truths can quickly be put into print, and made available far and wide! Information of an exalted nature can be flashed to the uttermost parts of the earth in a mere moment of time! Physical facilities are available in this unique age. But, in extreme sorrow we ask, where are the grandly enabled men of God, and people of God, who can disclose the exalted mind of God, through His amazingly blessed prophetic outreach? Where? Are there any grandly enabled and empowered, as the Lord of Hosts would want them to be?
What then? With such utter demanding need, with such vast facilities of persuasion, with a world of many nations that within one hour can be embroiled in deadly, destructive conflict - is there no hope? Is there no hope?
Yes! There is hope of the finest kind and nature. Even as John the Revelator saw centuries ago, on lonely Patmos, there is "a pure river of water of life, clear as a crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb" and there was there the tree of life ?..and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Yes, there is hope, and the abounding source of this hope is in the Providence of God, whose thoughts, and ways, and wisdom, and intelligence, are vastly above our human ways.
It is my Spirit - blessed and therefore intense conviction, that before the church of the Lamb of God was restored to the earth, in the noble councils of heaven, the means for the solution to this enormous problem, were provided in advance! The means for a scintillating transformation and transmutation of priesthood personality were foreseen! The ways were worked out for raising up an expanding number of God-equipped holy prophets! All this and more, long in advance of the Restoration. As far as I am concerned, and beyond all doubt, this means for adequate empowerment, this facility for making bare the "arm of God", for the solution of a tremendous problem - is a Spirit blessed School of the Prophets, combined with a growing divine Endowment of the Holy Spirit!
We need to reverently perceive and understand what I am here trying to express. We need to have mighty experiences with God. I testify to all who may read, that the Lord has enabled me to see in part concerning this amazing dynamic, empowering facility that will so abundantly and ably bear testimony to and uplift mankind! I have seen and am enthralled! We need to share this promise with our children in our homes! We need to talk about it! We need to share this promise with our children in our homes! We need to talk about it! We need to preach about it! We need to forsake our sins, our blindness in part, and our too great trust in the arm of flesh!
God and Christ in all their glory, and all they stand for must be presented to a dying world in ever increasing better ways. They must be presented clearly, intelligently, adequately, persuasively, and in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, by Men of God who have been made prophetic in the grand sense, beyond, can we say, any experience the world has ever known!
FOR ALL WHO WILL PREPARE, THE BEST LIES YET AHEAD! THE BEST IS WONDERFULLY AHEAD!
And so we come to the close of our Definitive Study of the Holy Gift of Prophecy. May God bless you who may read and study it. May you be able to see farther and deeper than that which has been herewith presented, is my prayer for each of you. God bless you! and guide you! in your reaching up! TREMENDOUS ISSUES ARE AT STAKE!!!