I had lunch yesterday with a friend. We were discussing notable persons in the scriptures including Adam, Abinadi and others. We were discussing the spiritual path that many of these notables experience.
My mind was turned to thoughts of the New Testament account of Cornelius, a righteous Gentile who was prepared to receive the gospel and then was instructed by an angel to visit the Apostle Peter:
“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
“But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
“And as he talked with him he went in, and found many that were come together.
“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
“Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?” …
Cornelius replied: “Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
“But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:25–29, 33–35.)
So therein lies the first question. These are the words of Peter and each person first has to ask themselves if they believe Peter was acting prophetically in this case. Peter is still arm of flesh like us all, so we have to discern whether he was speaking by inspiration and knowledge of God?
We’ve heard it before and it even has legendary status in quoted scriptures. We use it to justify or defend our perceived inferior position or status at times. But you really have to ask yourself if, in fact, you believe that God truly is no respecter of persons.
Really? No Exceptions?
This is the part that I think really challenges each person’s testimony. Let’s assume that we do in fact believe that God is no respecter of persons. Does that mean you and your bishop are equals? Are you an equal with your ward auxiliary leaders? Are you an equal with your stake president or other stake leaders? The seventy? The twelve? Are you an equal to the church president?
With the understanding that there is no other way (2 Nephi 9:41), will we all have to ascend to the Lord and Father in the same way? Ponder these questions:
Does the church president have to receive line upon line, precept upon precept?
Does he need to receive the Light of Christ?
Did he receive his testimonies any easier than I did?
Did he receive his Baptism of Water easier than I?
Did he receive his Baptism of Fire and Gift of the Holy Ghost without having to seek for it? Or ask for it?
Will he receive his second comforter and calling and election made sure automatically because he had a church calling of apostle or president without having to seek, ask or knock?
I, personally, testify that God is, in truth, no respecter of persons and that includes those notables who may even sit in a current leadership calling of any type or hierarchy. It means that each person is required to receive and fulfill the Doctrine of Christ equally. The individual journey or path will never be exactly the same as anyone else’s. However, we will each have to fulfill the steps and milestones of the Doctrine of Christ. So, yes, that means that Adam, Abinadi and other notables had to seek, knock, ask the entire way. Yes, they had to receive their baptism of fire, Gift of the Holy Ghost and Second Comforter by entering the gate, following the path, holding to the rod, seeking, knocking and asking through the entire journey.
How refreshing it is to know that even these notable people had to go through the exact same process that every other not-so-notable person has to. These notables simply learn line upon line and precept upon precept just like me, a not-so-notable.
I invite you to learn, understand and feast upon the Doctrine of Christ by starting your own personal spiritual journey today. Your #JourneyDoctrineOfChrist Study Guide is waiting for you here.