Manifesteth

Often as I survey the environment around me, I wonder about many of the charismatic gifts.  It is a fascinating world we live in.  Many churches teach that they were done away.  Others teach us that they must ever be upon us and always manifest as a true sign to the believers.  In the world of Mormonism, there is certainly a middle ground.  One I am always watching and listening for.
“But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them…And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.” (2 Nephi 26:9, 13).
There are those within the church who make the comment that if we have not seen the Savior, than we have obtained nor lived up to all that our religion has to offer.  However, does that really mean we have to see him physically and in person?  I certainly believe it is a possibility, but something that doesn’t seem common place.  To me it seems something much more sublime.  Dreams, Visions, and all the other gifts must be manifest by the Spirit.  Accordingly we are told, that if the Holy Ghost burns the witness into our heart, it is better than if we had physical verification of the Savior.
Rather than separating all the parts of this verse apart, like many others, why don’t we look and see that perhaps the working of mighty miracles, signs, and wonders may be methods of his appearing unto us?  After all, if we can feed the hungry and clothe the naked and it is as if we did it unto him, why could not the same being done to us be a witness of him in our entropy world?  What is even more, what if we were in tune enough the spirit witnessed to us the person was acting in the Savior’s place?
How else would we learn to see the countenance of the Savior in others?  How else would we learn to see the countenance of the Savior in us and if we are a saved being?
I certainly believe in the visions and dreams which give us greater insight into the Savior’s life.  The example of Orson F. Whitney or Melvin J Ballard are great examples of what is possible in that realm.  One of the latest testimonies of the same I have read came from David B. Haight.  It seems to me that after we have learned to recognize the voice of the Spirit manifesting the miracles and signs around us, then we may be granted a greater vision and view of the beyond.
One thing I am sure of, the boasting I sometimes hear is surely not what the individuals are relating.  I remember the tale of a sister who worked in the Washington D.C. Temple.  Apparently she helped close down the temple some evenings.  She then commented in her testimony of that the Savior lives and that he goes to his own.  She then repeated over and over about four times, “I know He lives.”  While it surely may be the case she knows and it seems she was trying to indicate, after all Lorenzo Snow’s experience was similar.  However, the Spirit was not present, and to paraphrase a Joseph Smith comment about those who do not prophesy according to the Spirit, “and there shall be many inquiries after them.”
However, if we have learned to recognize the Spirit through the signs and miracles around us, I know such blessings are available.  But would we ever really know for sure if anyone else knows?  Does it really matter?  If we haven’t learned to walk that path, and to recognize those miracles and signs among us, does it really matter whether or not another member really knows?
“The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.  Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?  Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.” (D&C 88:44-46)  If we have viewed the creation of God by the Spirit, we have seen God.  Why do we need to see more.  This was Marion G. Romney’s testimony given to us again just last General Conference by Elder Hales.
“But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.” (Mormon 9:11)
Lastly, the questions I have posed are answered so clearly by Moroni himself.  He who appeared and was another witness of the spirituality of Joseph.  He surely would not have seen anything if he had not seen the miracles and signs of God all around him.  We know he wondered at the heavens in all their beauty and order.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?  For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.  And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased?  Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” (Moroni 7:27-29).
Just because Christ doesn’t walk among us doesn’t mean miracles have ceased.  Just because he dwelleth eternally in the heavens does not mean the mercies do not still descend upon those with faith.  Interestingly, the first example of the miracles that Moroni gives is that of an angel ministering unto us.  Perhaps we are to busy looking beyond the mark and are missing the signs, miracles, and angels all about us.  Indeed, the angels we are called to receive, but also to which we are also called to minister.

Updates

Sorry, I have not been on for a little.  The internet at our house has been a bit hit and miss.  Since we free load from the neighbors, I have nothing to complain about.  Our other neighbors had a really good signal, but then they moved.  So now we rely on a much weaker signal.  I have decided that someday when I get wireless, I will not put on a password so others may use it as well.  I don’t see why people want to keep it locked up anyway.  Not like we are hurting for speed or anything.
Well, as for the update on life.  Things are going well.  I have started working for my Uncle Larry in Preston again spraying lawns.  I am doing it on Saturdays.  I have very much enjoyed it in the past, and once again am doing so.  I sprayed the last two weekends, and look forward to this weekend.  It is good to be out with the people, in such a beautiful place.  The valley where Malad, Grace, and Preston (I know this one is Cache Valley) are all so beautiful.  Plus the people in general are the salt of the earth.  Who could ask for more than that.  While I am looking at going to law school, I find myself second guessing.  Why not just move back to Preston and be content there?  But then the reminder comes, gain as much education as you can.  So, why not.  I can get my law degree, head back home to Idaho, and work the spraying business a day a week or so.  Who knows.
I have to admit, it is such a great time to think and ponder.  I stopped at Red Rock Pass, near Oxford, on the way back to Preston the other day.  It is a favorite spot of mine.  I visited the little cemetery out back, and there is Jefferson Hunt buried.  He has gone like every other man, but he did something noble with his life.  Yes, he has credits enough to have me know his name as a founder and builder, but he was a good man.  Funny how his posterity would come to personally bless my life.  Senator Smith is a descendent of his.  Yet, this great man, spiritual and societal, lies in the earth, in a very humble location.  In the middle of nowhere, not even a maintained cemetery.  Somehow, I find that inspiring.  I also visited my great grandparents graves at Whitney, and there lies a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of God.  Even the prophets are laid low in the earth.  This man, Ezra Taft Benson, also was a well known man for his role as Secretary of Agriculture under Eisenhower.  There are other great men who were well known in their generation, who are now buried in those cemeteries, even amongst the most humble of others.  They lay right beside them.  Yet, these men left an influence.  Jefferson Hunt will be remembered by his posterity for his efforts and example.  President Benson’s influence is great, and will never cease because of his noble willingness to follow the Lord.  I have been the grave of many great men, but their name is almost forgotten, and continues to diminish.  But those who are righteous will never be lost.  Their influence will only increase.  Some greater than others, but as one star differeth from another….
Well, I love life.  Amanda and I are exceedingly blessed.  I pray it will continue.
I will make a last comment.  I have been reading Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman.  While I am very impressed with his scholar capacity, and his great time, I will admit there are some serious errors in the book.  He has written of Joseph Smith and has diminished him.  I will have to write more on this later.  I have some quotes by Brigham that bite Brother Bushman and his perspective of Joseph.  When I have them with me, I will share them.