False Traditions: “The Mysteries”

First, A Note About False Traditions

In my personal journey to know the Lord, I have been faced with the very uncomfortable situation of learning truth.  Truth is anything that is revealed directly from the Lord–either personally or through the Spirit of Truth.  This sort of truth can be so humbling that it breaks down your personal foundation but also has power great enough to rebuild it stronger than ever before.  This is especially true in the case of our personal foundation is rooted in false traditions.

False traditions are simply the ideas or philosophies of men or women.  Yes, sometimes they are mingled with scripture.  But mingling something with scripture is to borrow some principles (righteous or unrighteous–both exist) and leverage them for personal gain.  Personal gain may be something as simple as a personal “feel-good” but also something as heinous as power, control or dominion over another person (see also Lectures on Truth, Lecture One, 18-18.1).

The purpose of dispelling false traditions is to remove obstacles and barriers that truly bring us to become converted to the Savior, Jesus Christ, only.  This is never easy.  No one, especially the “natural man/woman” enjoys being wrong and that is true for me personally.

The problem with false traditions, assuming they are in fact false, is that we share them–we pass them onto other generations who, in turn, also share them and pass them on.  The natural man/woman finds comfort in these traditions–that’s why we hold onto them and impart them to others as chunks of wisdom in hopes they too will hold onto them for their personal benefit.  We find so much comfort in these false traditions.  So much so that we depend on them even to the point that our personal salvation is linked-to or dependent upon them.

We should challenge orthodoxy while remaining in harmony with doctrine and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When Christ came he broke the traditions of the Jews and especially the Pharisees because they loved their traditions more than Christ, Himself.  They found comfort in their traditions and they even believed their traditions would save them.  Their false traditions were roadblocks or idols in place of Christ, Himself.

Confronting unbelief and false tradition is never easy.   If you truly love God, value truth, and want to develop faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, you’ll need to confront your unbelief and seek truth above tradition.  Faith can only be founded upon truth. If it is founded upon anything else, it is not faith.  If confronting unbelief and false tradition is uncomfortable yet the only way to know the Lord, I will gladly offer that sacrifice.

The False Tradition

There is a culture that perpetuates the false notion that “mysteries are dangerous” in the sense that seeking to know them or have them revealed to you is not righteous.  This simply is not true.  I may not be saying it exactly right which I apologize for.

I want to use a simple exercise of pointing your mind and spirit to a few scriptural points in hopes the Lord will open your eyes and ears–that you might really understand what role the mysteries play in Christ’s doctrine.  I will not preach a sermon here.  Rather, my purpose is simply to point you in the right direction and allow the spirit to teach those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

First, a Note to Mysteries

I suppose some of this will depend on what we define as a “mystery.”  For the purposes of this conversation, I am talking about mysteries as truth of spiritual things beyond your current understanding and your ability to to comprehend at this time.  They could be truths of how the heavenly realms work, how God’s power works, the details of God’s divine character, what eternal progression looks like, the role and work of Heavenly Mother, the details of our Christ’s atonement and millions of other things you could only dream of.

Some of these mysteries are revealed in scripture.  Some mysteries are revealed by ordinary people that have been received into the presence of the Lord and yet have a mission to share.  Some mysteries are revealed before you receive your baptism of fire and Holy Ghost–while some are revealed after.  Some are revealed through pure intelligence in your mind through the Holy Spirit.  Some mysteries are only revealed after ascending to the presence of the Lord to be taught in a more detailed and impactful way (2 Nephi 32:6).  Some are revealed but you do not receive them because you are not prepared to receive.  Some require personal study first to build or increase your context and spiritual understanding.  Some are revealed in vision, some in dreams and some by angelic visitation to you.  Regardless, the mysteries are very interesting.

Let’s dig in a bit more on what we can learn about the mysteries from scripture:

Nephi knew mysteries

(1 Nephi 1:1) I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

Ponder:  What qualified Nephi as being “highly favored of the Lord”?

Nephi Discovered Mysteries:

  • From the plates of brass 

(Mosiah 1:3-5)  “And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God. 4 For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time. 5 I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.”

  • In seeking what his father knew (1 Nephi 11-15)

The Plates had Interpreters to Unfold Mysteries

(Mosiah 8:19)  “And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying: Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men.”

Mysteries Are Revealed Conditionally 

(1 Nephi 2:16)  “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.”

(1 Nephi 10:18-19)  “For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.  19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round”

[Note The power of the Holy Ghost is made manifest in either/both the presence of the Lord or without.]

Alma the Younger Knew Mysteries and Shared One With His Son

(Alma 40-41)  “Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. But behold, my son, the resurrection is not yet. Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know—that is concerning the resurrection.”

[Read both chapters and seek the inspiration of the Lord.  This mystery, like many mysteries may require more context/understanding before you begin to grasp this one.  Hint: There is a popular and very watered down teaching of “resurrection” even taught within the LDS church.  This is not the mystery.]

Alma Did Not Know All the Mysteries at Once

(Alma 37:1-11)  “Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.”

When Will the Mysteries Be Received?

  • Always and forever

(1 Nephi 10:18-19)  “For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. 19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round”

(D&C 76: 4-10)  ” From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.  For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.  Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.  And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.”

  • After repenting and coming unto Him

(2 Nephi 32:6)  “Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.”

Who Receives the Mysteries?

(Alma 12:9)  “It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God”

Anyone that seeketh to fulfill the doctrine of ChristRepentance, Baptism in the Name of the Son, Remission of Sins, Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, The Promise of Eternal Life (2 Nephi 31-33; 3 Nephi 11-13)

(2 Nephi 32:6)  “Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.” 

Those who have received eternal life (D&C 76:4-10)

“4 From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.

5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.

6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.

7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.

8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.

9 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.

10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.

What is the Nature of the Mysteries?

    • Infinite
  • Indescribable unless you experience it yourself

(Jacob 4:8)  “Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.”

Other Things to Consider About the Mysteries:

    • Many will know
    • Not all will receive because they harden their hearts
    • Those with knowledge of the mysteries should not impart all
    • Given appropriately to each person according to heed and diligence
  • Receiving “the greater portion of the word” precedes receiving “the mysteries”

(Alma 12:9-11)

“9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And 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 the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains”

You are personally invited to begin or complete your personal journey to come unto the Lord, in the flesh (D&C 132:22-23), that He might personally teach you all things even the mysteries of Godliness.

 


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

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