And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Holy Ghost Witness - Greater than an Angel?

"The witness of the Holy Ghost is greater than angels." 
I believe this to be false and I will show why I think that from the scriptures. I have heard this teaching from many including recent Elders Quorum lessons. It stems from this.
“When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:151).
Keep in mind this was a man who had not seen Christ nor angels when he made that statement. Its in our church manuals:
I did not live in the days of our Savior; he has not come to me in person. I have not beheld him. His Father and he have not felt it necessary to grant me such a great blessing as this. But it is not necessary. I have felt his presence. (Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith, Chapter 2, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, 1972)
Others support this belief by using the example of laman and lemuel seeing an angel. That story has nothing to do with angels, it was due to their haddened hearts. They had no place for the Holy Ghost or the Word of God in them therefore they would not hear it. They had no interest in the mysteries of godliness thus they were taken captive by the chains of the adversary until they knew nothing concerning the mysteries of godliness (Alma 12:10-11) I have several friends who I know who have had super strong HG experiences and have still given up the gospel.

The scriptures inform us the following:
..yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away. (Alma 23:6)
Therefore there is something that caused these people to be converted to such a degree they never did fall away. This does not say they couldn't fall away (become perdition) because even the sanctified can fall from heaven and should take heed. (D&C 20:30-34) What it says they never did fall away. And what was it they had that gave this level of conversion?
5 And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, (vs 5)
Not belief, not faith, but knowledge (cannot be saved in ignorance). Unbelief to belief which turns into faith, faith turns into knowledge. (See my post The Doctrine of Christ: A Different Perspective)

Or as Paul put it.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2 Peter 1:10)
Ether gained this knowledge from this experience.
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you. (Ether 3:13)
Joseph associated knowledge with knowing God. To know God you must be like Him. (Moroni 7:48) The Brother of Jared was like Him. (See Ether Chapter 3 and examine Bro. of Jared's characteristics) You cannot be saved in ignorance therefore we have a more sure word of prophecy (D&C 131:5-62 Peter 1:19)

Angels Speak by what power?
Lets look at why angels witnesses are not less than the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of Christ by Nephi states:
Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32:3)
Do you see it? Angels speak BY the power of the HOLY GHOST. Or in other-wards when they speak they are speaking the same voice as the Holy Ghost speaks to you right now except you have an additional witness of the angel delivering unto you in plainness so you cannot error. When an angel delivers it unto you, YOU do not have to parse through it and guess "was that the spirit" or "is that exactly what it said to me"? Instead you are left to ponder its message. At least for those unlearned in the manner of the spirit. It is spoken as one man speaketh to another. A message sent by God to you by the Holy Ghost through ministering spirits. Therefore when an angel delivers a message to you to expound the scriptures it is a greater witness than that of the Holy Ghost especially when they come in their glory. If you look at the accounts of angels relating information its always to expound the scriptures. (See what Moroni told Joseph for example) The scripture tells us to FEAST upon the words of Christ, which Angels speak to us.

It was sufficient to convert Alma the younger, a murderer, in one visit because of the prayers of his father. (Mosiah 27) If he had a hardened heart he would have denied that witness but he softened his heart and accepted the message sent by the power of the holy ghost which are the Words of Christ. Nephi ends by saying.
4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. (2 Nephi 32:4)
Nephi explains why we do not understand the doctrine of Christ. It is sobering words. Further relates why in verse 7.

Angels are those who do belong or have belonged to [this earth]. (D&C 130:5; Also see Alma 13:24.) The angels will be the ones responsible for the final gathering. (See D&C 77:11Mark 13:27.) This presents an apparent impediment to those who either don’t believe angels minister to mankind, or who believe they only minister to church leaders, or who think them possible, but have never been administered personally by them. Angels will gather those who follow Christ rather than trust the arm of  flesh,  and  ultimately  Christ will return and the world will be wasted at His coming. Though there will be some fragment, like the days of Noah, there will be those who have been gathered by the angels. Those few will be preserved. Ministering angels are an indispensable part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why those keys were restored so early on in this dispensation, and are so widely disseminated into the Church membership. (See D&C 13; and D&C 107:20.) They will continue to minister as long as there is one man yet to be saved. (Moroni 7:36)

Holy Ghost is the First Comforter.
Oliver Cowdery wrote,
“It is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God.” Then he continued, “That is more than the testimony of an angel….Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face.”(Joseph Smith Papers, Pp. 195–96 in Roberts, B.H., ed. 1976. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Vol. II. 2nd ed. rev. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company.)
It is also taught that the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can have in this life. While its a great gift to be had that will show us all things we must to do return to God's presence (2 Nephi 32:5) there is yet a greater gift. (2 Peter 1:10,19) That is the Second Comforter, the Lord himself, which will come to you and minister to you when YOU love Him. (D&C 76:117-1182 Nephi 32:6-7). As there is a more sure word of prophecy, which is received by a "voice which came from heaven" (2 Peter 1:18) the same wording of those who receive true priesthood. (See D&C 84:42JST Genesis 14:29, or my post Priesthood Absent from the Church: The Church and Priesthood along with Fulness of the Priesthood) Where the Father and the Son will take up their abode with you while in the flesh, which is the promise of eternal life. (D&C 88:1-5) In the due time of the Lord to those who knock (D&C 88:63,68).

But first "“I say to all those who are disposed to set up stakes for the Almighty, You will come short of the glory of God. To become a joint heir of the heirship of the Son, one must put away all his false traditions." (Teachings of Joseph Smith Chapter 22, or History of the Church, 5:554)

No comments:

Post a Comment