Your Truth Tree – The Trunk (Part 3)

In Part 2 in this Truth Tree series we explained the meaning of shallow roots.  In this post (Part 3), we will introduce the Tree Trunk and its spiritual meaning.

It’s a Spiritual Tree

If you will remember, the Truth Tree is comprised of these parts from above ground to below ground.  Each has a spiritual meaning.  Each will be discussed in this Truth Tree series:

  • The Fruit  [spiritual meaning]
  • The Branches  [spiritual meaning]
  • The Trunk Base  [spiritual meaning]
  • Shallow Roots  [Faith in the Divine Role of Jesus Christ]
  • Deep Roots  [Faith in the Divine Nature of God]

Your Truth Tree - JourneyDoctrineOfChrist

The Tree Trunk

The spiritual meaning of the tree trunk is:

Personal Revelation & the Divine Mission of God’s Holy Spirit

First, some metaphorical characteristics of a tree trunk to ponder:

  • Roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil, which are then transported up the tree trunk in cells that act much like pipes. This allows the leaves to obtain water and nutrients that are necessary for the manufacture of food from light energy (photosynthesis).
  • Food made in the leaves is then transported down to the roots and to other parts of the tree for growth. The “pipes” in the trunk are known as vascular tissue–the living material in the tree.
  • A tree trunk is made of several different layers (outer bark, phloem, cambium, xylem).  Unless you have access to the center, the bark is the only part that we can sense.  The bark is a protective layer to the powerful “pipes” within.
  • The tree trunk acts as a channel, vessel or carrier to transport nourishment from roots to tree parts above the ground and likewise to transport food from tree parts above the ground to other parts of the tree including roots below ground.  So it is with our spiritual and metaphorical Truth Tree–it is a means of carrying light and truth (spiritual nourishment) between the parts of the tree above and below the ground.
  • At some time during your life you must have seen annual (growth) rings, and you know that each growth ring represents a year. What makes these rings? An annual ring is one year’s worth of xylem growth.  Likewise, spiritually, we can develop gradual outer growth as we increase the personal light and truth that we receive.

God’s Holy Spirit

God’s Holy Spirit is the voice of light and one of the three eternal voices–voices of light, voices of darkness, the voice of your own spirit.  This voice of light is expressed and received in the form of both the “Light of Christ” and what is called the “Holy Ghost.”  The voices of light are forever focused on the eternal growth of your own spirit throughout mortality and into the eternal heavens.

Per the visual illustration below, voices of light are situated in equal opposition to the voices of darkness at all times.  The voices of light trend upward to illustrate a progression from one realm to another.  The lowest realm is the Light of Christ because it is freely available to all persons.  In general, there are requirements to progress to the realm of the Holy Ghost and additional requirements to progress to the realm of Personal Messengers.

  • Like voices of darkness, voices of light are constantly influencing our own unique spirit for good, per our personal needs, and according to the will and desire of God. Angels are assigned to each of us for the benefit of our mortal journey. As our assigned angels, they progress by serving us.
  • In the realm of personages, or personal messengers, are many kingdoms, heavens or degrees–each with its own glory.

 

The Realms of the Voices of Light - JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org
Visual illustration of The Realms of the Voices of Light from The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide

The Realm of the Light of Christ

The Light of Christ is the telestial portion of God’s Holy Spirit.  It is a portion of Holy Spirit that emanates from God (Plural; the Father and Mother; in Oneness).  Holy Spirit is the glory of God. This Holy Spirit of God has many attributes.  This glory is the mind, truth or intelligence of God. It is light that is visible through both temporal eyes and spiritual eyes. The sensation and emotion of the glory of God is “love.”  This glory of God has immense power because all things under heaven and in the earth obey God.  God desires to bestow or share Their glory upon you and all mankind for the purposes of your immortality and eternal life.

Mortal man and woman being less intelligent, non-glorified beings cannot receive, embrace or endure the fullness of God’s immense glory naturally (alone).  Thus, mortal man is separated from God and Their glory by a veil (protection).  However, there is a portion of God’s Holy Spirit that mortals can endure naturally while in a telestial sphere.  This portion is called the Light of Christ. [See also D&C 88:67; D&C 93:36; Moses 1:39; Abraham 4:25; D&C 133:49]

The Light of Christ is a universal power—a gift of God or Gift of the spirit to all mankind. It’s everywhere and fills the immensity of space.  It’s in all things and through all things.  It emanates from Christ/God.  It is the light that makes the sun glow, makes earth orbit, gives life on earth & makes everything work on earth. It’s the power by which God operates (D&C 88:6-13).  It is the god of naturalists or spiritualists that worship nature as an undefined or a non-personage god.

It’s the “goodness” that exists in the world.  It’s what the world calls “peace, love & happiness.”  It’s your conscience differing right from wrong–the light that quickeneth a person’s understanding. (Moroni 7:12-19; D&C 93:2; John 1:9; D&C 88:6-13; (D&C 1:2,11,14,38-39; Bible Dictionary: Light of Christ; The Light of Christ, by Boyd K. Packer)

Scripturally it is also referred to as The Light of Truth (D&C 88:6); The Spirit of Christ (Moroni 7:16); Spirit of the Lord; Light of Life (John 1:4; 8:12); Voice of the Lord (D&C 1:2,11,14,38-39); The “power and gift of Christ.” (Moroni 7:16)

For more on the Light of Christ–what it speaks or does, where you will sense or experience it, when you experience it and to whom–see the Realm of the Light of Christ in The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.

The Realm of the Holy Ghost

When you are in the realm of the Holy Ghost, you are in the situation or position of receiving the gifts of God.  The Holy Ghost is preparatory to receiving the personal heavenly messengers including a complete redemption or the presence of the Savior, Jesus Christ (Second Comforter) in Mortality (Bible Dictionary: Holy Ghost, Comforter; and Comforter)

The Holy Ghost is access to the greater portion of God’s Holy Spirit.  The Holy Ghost is what enables a person to receive the greater portion of Holy Spirit that emanates from God (Plural; the Father and Mother; in Oneness).  Holy Spirit is the glory of God.  This Holy Spirit of God has many attributes.  The glory of God is the mind, truth or intelligence of God.  It is light that is visible through both temporal eyes and spiritual eyes.  The sensation and emotion of the glory of God is love. The glory of God has immense power because all things under heaven and in the earth obey God.  God desires to bestow or share Their glory upon you and all mankind for the purposes of your immortality and eternal life.

Mortal man and woman being less intelligent, non-glorified beings cannot receive, embrace or endure the fullness of God’s immense glory naturally (alone).  Thus, mortal man is separated from God and Their glory by a veil (protection).  As previously discussed, the portion of God’s Holy Spirit that mortals can endure naturally while in a telestial sphere is called the Light of Christ (See also the Light of Christ).  Receiving God’s greater glory (Holy Spirit) while in a telestial sphere is possible because of the power of the Holy Ghost that can appropriately or safely pierce the veil and bestow a portion of the glory of God upon a spirit child/being.

Unlike the Light of Christ that is free and unconditional, the Holy Ghost is the greater portion of God’s Holy Spirit that you and all spirit children in mortality can receive by condition.  These conditions are you applying principles that include hope, faith, repentance, seeking, knocking, asking, receiving and other principles. When conditions are met, a person is sanctified enabling them to receive more of God’s glory because of the infinite love and mercy of God.

The Holy Ghost is also the third part and spirit power of the Godhead.  It is the third part of the Godhead In addition to The Father/Mother, and The Son, Jesus Christ. It is spirit and not a being in the likeness of man. This spirit is the enablement power and means whereby God can safely show or bestow any measurable amount of Their glory, in the form of gifts, to conduct the affairs of salvation with each mortal.

Think of the Holy Ghost in terms of the spirit power and ability for more intelligent and glorified beings of light (Gods and Angels) to be able to engage with lesser intelligent and non-glorified beings (mortals, spirits in mortality, spirits in a telestial world). It is by and through the Holy Ghost that the glory of God is made manifest. Were it not for the power of the Holy Ghost, we would not be able to endure or receive the gifts of God……our physical tabernacle would be destroyed (“burn up”, so to speak).

For more on the Holy Ghost–what it speaks or does, where you will sense or experience it, when you experience it and to whom–see the Realm of the Holy Ghost in The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.

Revelation is Your Privilege

Revelation is the language of the Lord. The prophet Mormon councils us strongly to believe in revelation:

  • (3 Nephi 29:6-7) “Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost! Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!”
  • (Mormon 9:7-9) And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them. For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?”

Joseph Smith

It is the privilege of the children of God to come to God and get revelation. … God is not a respecter of persons; we all have the same privilege.” ¹

“We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our Heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight.” ²

Why Revelation–What is it for?

Personal revelation is more important than written scripture:

Joseph Smith

“I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. … I thank God that I have got this old book; but I thank him more for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have got the oldest book in the world; but I have got the oldest book in my heart, even the gift of the Holy Ghost. … The Holy Ghost … is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him.”  ³

Our God, through the Holy Ghost, is a “Revelator” that desires to reveal not just some things but all things:

(Moroni 10:4-5) “and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

Revelation is the Heavenly Gift

(Ether 12: 6-8) “…it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers..and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift…

(4 Nephi 1:3) “…but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.”

(Heb. 6:4) “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost…”

Where is the Heavenly Gift Supposed to Lead Us?

To help us develop this gift and discernment, the Lord gives us His “personal” commandments.  We often think of “the commandments” as the 10 commandments, written commandments, the scriptures or even the words of church leaders but the Lord is speaking to our souls through personal revelation. He has the power and ability to offer you personal guidance in your life simultaneous to offering personal guidance to millions of others.  Our God is a great and powerful God. As you study the scriptures you will find principles that will guide you. We grow in our relationship with the Lord and He blesses us with His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:10-13). Next a person should seek baptism of water as a sign to the Father that we have accepted Jesus the Christ (Romans 6:3-5). Then, as we continue following His personal commandments in righteousness (following the Spirit) we are blessed with the baptism of fire and the Gift of the Holy Ghost (Hebrews 6:1-4, 2 Nephi 31:13). This same Spirit will join us to our Lord, Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-29, Romans 15:4).

This Heavenly gift is supposed to lead us to further sanctification even unto receiving your baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Then, one receives the gift of the Holy Ghost (First Comforter). It is by faith that we continue to receive personal revelation from the Lord that will guide us to the Savior, Himself (the Second Comforter). Faith is the key the entire way:

(Ether 12:6-12) “For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world…But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen…Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith…Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God…Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled…For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

Revelation & Personal Truth

Any person is limited in their pursuit and ability to receive eternal truth from God only by their personal desire and sacrificial offering.

19 Just as Truth is the absence of darkness, Light illuminates our personal reality. Our personal reality is Personal Truth.

20 Personal Truth is the portion of Eternal Truth that one has actually chosen to “receive” or embrace.  Personal Truth is always incomplete.  Personal Truth is the sum of one’s current spiritual intelligence or the current sum intelligence of one’s own spirit.  A person’s own intelligence is the sum of free or unconditional Eternal Truth received through the Light of Christ plus what additional Eternal Truth that has been purchased by the law which that new truth is governed (conditions)–including but not limited to an offering of a broken heart and contrite spirit; faith; desire; seeking; knocking; asking.

21 Personal Truth is dependent upon both the free will of the individual and the mercy of God.  Because God is perfectly just and merciful, God will not force Eternal Truth upon a person.  Personal Truth is what a person willfully chooses to receive and apply (Application) from among different aspects of their personal environment.  In the illustration example, a person’s Personal Truth is comprised of Social & Entertainment, Professional, Health, Spiritual, and a specific religious institution (The LDS Church).

22 Per the ILLUSTRATION: The Organizational Relationship of Eternal Truth, a person can receive additional Doctrines and Principles through Gifts. Theoretically, you can draw a channel (path) from the center (one’s Personal Truth) outward crossing through relevant Gifts and then passing through relevant Principles until you arrive at a Doctrine.  Also, a person’s Personal Truth (sphere) would increase in size as Gifts are received from God, thereby enabling that person to receive more Eternal Truth. 

23 Personal Truth is relative.  It is based on a personal relationship with God.  Personal Truth is always unique to the individual and not the same as anyone else’s.  Because salvation and exaltation are individual, God works with each person to grow their intelligence.  God desires to grow our personal intelligence because God is omnibenevolent (all-loving). God is always willing to offer experiences and pure intelligence to prepare context for the next Eternal Truth that one desires and is “willing” to “receive” by purchase.

24 Personal Truth is always correct because it is equal to the person’s purchasing power.  Because God is perfectly just and merciful, God would not allow a person to “receive” (comprehend) more Eternal Truth than they are able.  Because God is omniscient, God allows a person to “receive” only what is relevant for a person to fulfill their individual mission.

Source: Lectures on Truth.  For more context on the following, see the recent blog post, “What is Truth.”

 


In Part 4 of this series, you will discover the spiritual meaning of the “branches” on the spiritual tree.

 


JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on complimentary, online Study Guides to help you learnbelievelive and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has in fact introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).

Blog posts are intended to supplement the Study Guides.  Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation.  Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to come into His presence while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org

 


Citations

¹  The Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 2007, 132)

²  Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, p. 54.

³  History of the Church, 6:307–8; paragraph divisions altered; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Apr. 7, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, Thomas Bullock, and William Clayton.

 

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