Why People Choose Not To Receive
The last days, no longer just the latter days, are upon us. I testify to you that we are surely in the eleventh hour. Yet, many people, yes very, very many people and possibly even you have not yet accepted the Lord’s invitation to begin your journey even to a fulfilling of your journey to “come unto Him”, “to receive His presence”, “to receive eternal life from Him”, or “to be personally taught by Him” all while in mortality.
Each person has their own unique reason(s). Regardless of the reason(s), each person has to willfully choose to start and continue. Even when a person is compelled to be humble, they have to willfully choose the Lord and willfully choose to receive the Lord. The Lord will forever honor your eternal gift of free will.
So, what is/are the reason(s) that people choose not to even start or just continue their journey to receive the Lord while in mortality? What is/are your reason(s)?
Because of Unbelief?
Satan Teaches Unbelief of the Doctrine of Christ
Do not forget that from the beginning, Satan immediately tried to destroy the words of truth given to Adam and Eve and their posterity. Satan tried to convince the generations of Adam and Eve to not believe the promise of complete redemption (sanctification and receiving the presence of Savior in mortality). Note this is the way and pattern of the adversary to come in and try and destroy something after it has been revealed (Mark 4:14-15).
- (Moses 5:9-13) “And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”
Categories of Unbelief Today
Think of these three categories on a continuum of greatest unbelief to least amount of unbelief:
1. “These things cannot be received In mortality. This is the purpose of faith.”
This is the greatest amount of unbelief and greatest ignorance of faith. (See also Ether 12, Alma 32, Enos 1, Moroni 10, Mosiah 3,5)
2. “Ok, ok, these things can be received in mortality but it can’t happen to me, only happens to notable Church leaders”
This is less unbelief.
3. “Ok, ok, It can happen to me but I am not personally worthy or good enough to receive them”
This would probably be considered the least amount of unbelief however, it is still unbelief.
The Bondage of Unbelief Throughout History
- (Hebrews 3-4) “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” [Note: Learn and understand the phrase “as in the provocation” or “days of provocation” when the children of Israel chose not to enter into the presence of their Savior.]
- (Ether 4:12-19) “…will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief…and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief…”
- (Moroni 10:24) Is it because of unbelief in the Gifts of the Spirit as spoken by Moroni?
- 2 Nephi 32:7) “…because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge…”
- (Mormon 1:14, 9:20) “…and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief…And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief…”
- (3 Nephi 19:35) “…wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief.”
- (D&C 84:54-58) “…your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation…”
- (D&C 63:17) “…I, the Lord, have said that the fearful, and the unbelieving…shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone…”
Latter Day Prophetic and Apostolic Witnesses to help overcome “unbelief”
“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses….
“Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; …when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the First Born” —TPJS, pp. 150-51.
“… we commend you to God and the word of his grace. You have our best wishes, you have our most fervent prayers, that you may be able to bear this testimony, that you have seen the face of God. Therefore, call upon him in faith and mighty prayer, till you prevail, for it your duty and your privilege to bear such testimony for yourselves” –Joseph Smith Papers, Minute Book 1, 12 Feb. 1834, pg. 164
Elder Bruce R. McConkie
“After the true saints receive and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost; after they know how to attune themselves to the voice of the Spirit; after they mature spiritually so that they see visions, work miracles, and entertain angels; after they make their calling and election sure and prove themselves worthy of every trust—after all this and more—it becomes their right and privilege to see the Lord and commune with him face to face. Revelations, visions, angelic visitations, the rending of the heavens, and appearances among men of the Lord himself—all these things are for all of the faithful. They are not reserved for apostles and prophets only. God is no respecter of persons. They are not reserved for one age only, or for a select lineage or people. We are all our Father’s children. All men are welcome. “And he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Ne. 26:33).
“Seeing the Lord is not a matter of lineage or rank or position or place of precedence. Joseph Smith said: ‘God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know him . . . from the least to the greatest.’ (Teachings, p. 149.) The fact is that the day of personal visitations from the Lord to faithful men on earth has no more ceased than has the day of miracles. God is an unchangeable Being; otherwise he would not be God. The sole issue is finding people who have faith and who work righteousness. ‘For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showeth not himself until after their faith’ (Ether 12:12).
“Our scriptures contain such counsel as: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Isaiah 55:6-7.) ‘Seek the Lord, and ye shall live. . . . Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion. . . . The Lord is his name.’ (Amos 5:6,8.) ‘Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness.’ (Zeph. 2:3.) ‘Seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life’ (D&C 101:38).
“I repeat: apostles and prophets simply serve as patterns and examples to show all men what they may receive if they are true and faithful. There is nothing an apostle can receive that is not available to every elder [and woman] in the kingdom. As we have heretofore quoted, from the Prophet’s sermon on the Second Comforter: “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them.” (Teachings, p. 149.) It follows that everything stated by Elder Oliver Cowdery in his charge to the apostles could also be given as a charge to all elders. Every elder [and woman] is entitled and expected to seek and obtain all the spiritual blessings of the gospel, including the crowning blessing of seeing the Lord face to face.”
–Elder Bruce R. McConkie, excerpts from The Promised Messiah, Chapter 31, p.575-595)
Because of Lacking Essential Faith in Jesus Christ?
- (Ether 12:6-7,10-13,16-19,21,30-31) “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. 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. 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. Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth. Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after. And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith. And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God. And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad. And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil. For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith. For thus didst thou manifest thyself unto thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in thy name, thou didst show thyself unto them in great power.
- (2 Nephi 26:13; 27:23; 9:23) “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…For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith…And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God”
- (Moroni 7:26) “And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.”
- (Alma 9:20) “Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come”
- (D&C 20:6; 1:21-22; 18:22; 20:25) “But after repenting, and humbling himself sincerely, through faith, God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness…That faith also might increase in the earth; That mine everlasting covenant might be established…And as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved…That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved”
- (Hebrews 6:10-20) “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister [Be His servants]. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises [We desire all of you to inherit and witness the same blessings]. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, [God Himself came to Abraham to make an oath in His presence]. Saying, surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise [Patiently waiting for the proper time]. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife [The presence of the Lord, Second Comforter]. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us [Called and chosen, an heir and a promise]: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; [Strengthened with confidence in the presence of God]. Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. [Following the pattern of Him who has gone before].
Because of Pride?–They Do Not Seek Because They Need No More?
- (2 Nephi 28:1-32) “Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!…Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!” [Note: Zion and the Gentiles he is speaking to and about are the Lord’s covenant LDS people. See also, Appendix: We Still Live Under Condemnation]
- (2 Nephi 32:4) “…if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock…”
- (2 Nephi 32:8) [not pray, not hearken unto spirit] “for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.”
- (Helaman 12:5-6) “Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths! Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.”
Because They Harden Their Hearts
- (Alma 12:9-11, 34-36) “…they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by…(34-36)…And whosoever will harden his heart and will do iniquity, behold, I swear in my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest.”
- (D&C 84:50-53) “…whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin…”
- (3 Nephi 2:2) “…thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.”
Is it because their hearts are not sufficiently humble and contrite?
Other Reasons People Do or Will Not Receive?
- Is it a lack of faith, knowledge, or believing; they simply don’t know?
- Is it because they take the new covenant and the Book of Mormon lightly…To literally “come unto Christ.” (Moroni 10:32)? In D&C 84:54-58, it highlights this condemnation that the LDS church as a whole is still under to this day. Individuals can come out from under the condemnation but the church as a whole remains under condemnation. Learn more about this in Appendix: Not Remembering the New Covenant
- Could it be that people are putting their trust in man instead of God?
- Like the children of Israel did to Moses, are we turning other people (arm-of-flesh) into an intermediary between us the the Lord? Consider some of this modern-day thinking:
“Well, unless someone says these exact words or phrases over the pulpit in General Conference, I will not do anything.”
“If church leaders are not saying these types of things over the pulpit then it must be false doctrine or apostate”
“I don’t need personal revelation, I have church leaders for that.”
“I don’t need a personal relationship with the Savior if I have a living prophet.”
“Are they actually saying it but I do not hear it because my heart and mind are closed?”
Do you remember the purpose of a prophet and church leaders quoted from Handbook 2?
Invitation to Overcome
You are personally invited to overcome any of these reasons and others by starting your spiritual journey to the Lord through a personal study of The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide or other complimentary guides.
JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on complimentary, online Study Guides to help you learn, believe, live 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