The following sharing was an entry in my July 2003 journal. It is even truer for me today in the face of world and national events as well as aging and watching the challenges of my 11 children who are in their 30s and 40s.
I mean, truly, mortality just keeps piling up and piling on. Let’s thank God for any degree of recovery (sanity) we can open our hearts and minds to receive!
THE ONLY DEGREE OF PEACE THAT BRINGS ME GENUINE SANITY
Today, I see that it isn’t reading the scriptures that brings us the peace Christ promises–the peace that passes understanding.
I see that it isn’t going to church that brings us this peace. Neither is it found in any amount of service to others. It isn’t even in getting married in the temple to the right person at the right time that brings us this peace!
This ultimate peace that floods your soul and reaches to its depths comes only from experiencing the Presence of God–and being in conscious contact with the very mind and heart of God. It’s being in the presence of a living entity. That is the only way to feel this supernatural, supernal, irrational, all-pervading peace and calmness.
It’s a peace that gives you calmness sufficient to clear your mind of fear and give you the ability to hear/feel/perceive the Spirit of Sanity. That’s how and why conscious contact/communion with God restores us to sanity.
This degree of peace and the profound sanity that it brings isn’t something that we practice until we get it right.
You can’t “practice” calming a terrified, hopelessly lost and confused mind, but you can be sure that in the midst of just such a moment God can whisper calmness into that frightened soul. He can reach in with a feeling, with a mood, with a spirit filled with a contagious calm. And that is exactly what God does to restore us to sanity. He encircles us about in His arms and stops the spinning.
Thus, we are restored to sanity–calmed down enough that we can begin to think clearly and see the truth in our life (or the lack of it)–by the “whisperings” of the Spirit of the Lord. By the amazing gentleness of His Spirit, or in other words, His Presence. It is not something you can just conjure up. It is not something that you can imagine.
The experience of God’s peaceful presence is not vain imagination at work.
It is something bigger and beyond any mortal capacity to imagine.
It is imagination in a sense, but it is imagination moved upon by the power of God—filled with the Reality of God.
It is as if our imagination is a function, a capacity, a capability to receive and magnify input from external sources and influences–whether that influence be unto fear and negativity and faithlessness or whether that influence be unto life and hope and positive feelings and encouragement.
And the ultimate use of that power is to allow the Presence of God, in other words, to allow the mind and heart, the words and feelings of God to enter and be enthroned there.
It is to allow yourself to enjoy the companionship of God by allowing the Holy Ghost to take possession of that capacity of imagination (the ability to picture or “image” ) in your brain, so that He can prepare a place fit for the personal influence of the Son to enter in. And so that, in turn, the Son can restore you to the living Presence of the Father–in part now–in fullness later.
–end of entry–
Thanks for letting me share these thoughts with you today.
Jareth Brashear says
Thank you so much sister Harrison for these words ….I am just now reading this post as I have just liked your page on Facebook and discovered this blog . I was deeply deeply moved by your book “A Voice From The Fire”. I just finished that book a month ago and it has inspired me to create “A Ramble of My Own”. Perhaps unknown to you ….you gave the ultimate key in that book for learning how to destroy the “creeds” and lies of our wicked fathers…what you wrote through divine inspiration linked up to massive keys the spirit has revealed to me in the book of Moses that have the power to sever the veil of unbelief …thank you so much for your faithfulness in Christ and your dependence on his voice through your internal concscience . Regarding this post …I thought it magnificent that you describe a process that has been familiar to me lately …the very practise or process you speak of in this blog post is something the Holy Ghost has led me to call “Christ Conciousness”. In my life Christ conciousness begins as soon as my mind begins to contemplate upon heavenly things …whether it be revelations I have recieved , visions Father has allowed me to have , memories from the pre existence , or keywords that my mind can spiritually connect from one scripture to another in my head while I contemplate . I used to believe that in order to be enlightened that I had to carry my scriptures with me everywhere and read in between my duties at work ….becuase my work demands so much of my life I found myself at one time very discouraged …becuase I felt that satan had an advantage over me becuase I was in bondage to my job …it felt as if the shackles of the things of the world was even forcing me into non spirituality …Then one day as I was feeling that same discouragement and even raising complaints to Father in my mind about how much bondage my job had me in , the Spirit quietly revealed this to me: “Jareth , from this point on I need you to become the scriptures you have read, I need your very heart and mind to start transforming into the Holy Writ itself “. As I contemplated the spirits new revelation to me I discovered that my mind had the power to Siphon spiritual energy from Christ and his revelations (becuase a part of him dwells within me) or in other words exactly as he explains in Doctrine and Covenants 88:6-13 about how he is the Law which governs all things …even the “Light ” and the “Life” which exists in all things and which gives them their power . I have learned by this that I cannot so much as even blink my eyelash without the enabling power of his grace and without his ultimate intelligent life force living as part of me . This has taught me that as soon as I direct my conscious mind towards Father , trusting in the grace of his Beloved Son ….all things are possible effortlessly ..I have found that “Christ Conciousness” is an even greater form of prayer becuase it is the type of prayer that lasts and lasts and has no end if you don’t want it too …as long as the mind and heart are constantly being consecrated to Christ his words flow always . The only exception to this seems to be when I am required to grow more …at times like this I feel myself undergoing another descent into the grave of baptism …where I will die again before another ascent into something even greater than I was before …through this process of Christ Conciousness I have watched hours of time lapse as if it all happened in a matter of moments becuase my mind was so concentrated and focused yet alive and effortless …sometimes the expansion the spirit brings includes a glimpse into Fathers Love for me or for someone else …on occasion I have felt my heart melt and an overwhelming sense of peace that lights my heart with a burning fire , electric like lightning seems to awaken my mind to sense of knowing beyond anything your imagination can do on its own like you describe . This gift and this Love from Fathers presence has lifted me in my darkest hours and has been transforming my very understanding …I have learned that I can become his Words instead of reading them or depending upon the book itself for enlightenment ….when our minds and hearts begin to become the scriptures …we in turn begin to become Christ Concscious and begin experiencing the unity the scriptures refer too. I have been led to think that in regards to sin and failure ….we will never be motivated to abandon sin and weakness in our carnal state …only a knowledge of his love for us can begin to motivate us to leave our sins …as sin and failure naturally drop out of our lives because of his Love and becuase of the glimpses that reveal it through the Holy Ghost …we then begin to awaken …the ice around our heart begins to melt as the Fire of Christ , Fathers and even Heavenly Mothers love is revealed to us. I cannot describe enough about how thankful I am to have Heavenly Parents who both extend their unique love to me in their own intricate patterns of light …this has been an exceptional gift along my path , as being a gay man in this world is difficult especially today …but as you stated properly in your book , our religion is everything Joseph Smith promised it was …I am beginning to see that and desire to see it even more , again dear sister thank you so much for following the spirit …your book helped point my way in my own writings ..and this blog is another deeply inspired attempt to gather those with ears to hear and eyes to see .
I get so few comments (and post so erratically), I will go for (obviously) long periods of time without checking in here.
I must tell you when I came here, yesterday, and read your precious testimony, I was very blessed by it.
This morning, the Lord invited me back to D&C 88 and counseled and comforted me, by His Spirit, in the first 19 verses.
Thank you so much for your testimony of what it feels like to have a living experience with the scriptures.
Sincerely — Colleen
Jareth Brashear says
Thank you so much Colleen , I must apologize also in that I have not had the time to visit your blog in a while …and so I just read your return comment. I must say that I feel truly blessed by your testimony also and on that note I also find it suprising that you receive few comments , when you are led to write so erratically by the promptings you receive from Christ . Although I wonder if I should find it suprising ….because like you I often seem to go through the experience of speaking or inviting others to hear the things I receive and in very many cases I get what appears to be the shaft and sometimes outright disinterest …the adversary used to have lots of power over me when it comes to this because at some point in my life I came to conclude that the things that I had to say “just werent important ” to people , even those I loved . My perception of my emotional relationships as seen through satans eyes in these moments of dissapoinment often led me to anger and feelings of abandonment from other people . I came to discover like you did however that if I at any point was feeling the emotion of “abandonment ” then there is a reason . As I counseled with the spirit about my relationships with people one day I was complaining to Father about the ways in which I felt I was emotionally being “treated ” ever so wisely as always I was shown the revelation that if I suspect abandonment is coming from someone else then it is but I mirror of what I am doing to another. Uniquely I never thought to look at another person as a mirror of myself ….but at that moment the Spirit questioned me with ” Jareth , who might you be guilty of abandoning” . The answer came as quickly as the question did ..I knew in my heart of hearts that I had abandoned my relationship with my Heavenly Parents …in these moments of emotional discord with other people in my life …even if my true feelings were left unspoken I had failed to bring each emotional worry and quandary to the altar of my heart …I thus discovered that the real reason for feeling the abandonment was because I had put more dependence upon other people’s validation of my truths ….rather than upon Heavenly Father and Mothers validations to me . It was a strange thing to see myself as the “neglecter” when I had spent so much time feeling like the one neglected . It then came to me that When our Heavenly Parents and Christ are first in our lives ….we will never for a single moment “feel ” abandoned even if no one else ever listens to a single thing we say or ever validates our truths at all ….because truth is truth even if everyone else disagrees …I think Dieter F Uchtdorph said something to that effect even . Anyways I’m sorry for the ramble here …but I was deeply inspired in one of your other posts that you wrote because you said ..that when Christ saved you …you no longer participated in “insane” relationships with other people and you were no longer addicted to what other people thought of you ….this is so key !! One thing I have discovered is that evil and sin are not what we think they are ….we keep judging all the symptoms such as alcohol and drug abuse …but to me Evil ..is abandoning my relationship with Christ and Sin is described as not listening to or hearing his voice in my life . In other words when we don’t Call on Father in the name of the son we thus abandon our relationship with Heaven ….and then as a result we don’t hear the words of Christ ….it’s so interesting to me that we live in a world where all the resulting problems that arise from not obeying that one simple formula are viewed as more important than the formula itself. It’s so refreshing when you find a soul who agrees with you , but it’s even more refreshing to agree with someone whom you know stands on the Savior’s atonement without the expectation existing that a particular validation is either what makes or breaks a conversation ….thinking that other people stould or fell by my inspired counsel was another big one for me ….and that is what I would call insane relationships with other people …isn’t it interesting that some of our most “insane ” relationships with others happens under a religious climate …it doesn’t appear sinful at all when we connect backwards to someone at church …yet the underlying truth still remains …we have chosen someone esle before Christ…..anyways I so much enjoy this blog …I know you don’t need my validations , but even under the light of someone giving an ear to truth can bring comfort and association . Thank you for your return comment , I’m glad my testimony brought some further light to your life !! And thank you for listening 🙂
Thank you for your wise words and your testimony of putting our relationship with Christ ahead of everyone else in our lives. Again, President Benson’s words.
Please write anytime, for as the scripture puts it, “that all might be edified together.” It’s great to share and know as Ammon that one is not boasting in their own strength, that only in Him can we do anything. Knowing that He is the Vine and that all good works are His and none of our own.
Jareth Brashear says
Thank you Colleen , I will gladly write more in the future as the spirit of Christ whispers to me. I look forward to to future edification through the inspiration received here and further inspiration to impart ….realizing as you say and as Ammon does , that all works are Christ’s ..that is truly wonderful to know …to me its a new breath of Life to realize that none of us can boast and that without him and his constant grace there is no good work .