THE SUM AND THE SUBSTANCE OF THE WHOLE MATTER
On pages 150-151 of The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Prophet Joseph explains just Who and What is being described in John 14:16-20.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Here is the Prophet Joseph’s plain declaration:
Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: and this is the sum and the substance of the whole matter. (Teachings, pp. 150-151.)
Humbly, this Easter morning, 2020, I finally share the following witness of our Savior’s perfect love for us–for truly, it is (as HE is), the “Sum and the Substance of the whole matter.”
This is the living experience of atonement with Christ which He explained, Himself, in D&C 50:43.
And the Father and I are one. I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I in you.
This is the Doctrine of Christ.
This is the “sum and the substance” of the whole matter—or in other words of the whole Gospel of Christ. It is to come unto Him, to Christ, and be perfected in Him as Moroni 10:32 testifies.
AND HOW DOES ONE BECOME PERFECTED IN CHRIST?
And how does one become perfected in Christ? On page 151 of The Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph is quoted:
. . . and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings, p. 151.)
In other words, we become “perfect in Christ,” as Moroni expressed it in Moroni 10:32, by believing in His willingness to come to us, each and any of us, personally and individually, and to speak to us through the Gift of His Own Light and through the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Each magnifies the other. Each speaks the words of Christ, or in other words, the words of Truth, or in other words the exact words that the Father Himself would speak to us if we could return to His Presence.
THIS is what President Nelson is inviting us all to awaken to ! I pray we have ears to hear his prophetic permission to lay aside all thought of our worthiness and to come to Christ just as imperfect as we are.
THE DEPTHS OF HUMILITY IS WHERE WE FIND OUR SAVIOR
For us to focus on our worthiness is a ploy by the Liar, Satan, who knows full well that there is no way to be worthy of the perfect love of God. There is no way to be THAT perfect. There is no way to qualify for the degree of mercy and grace it would take to include any of us in the Savior’s Fellowship. All who enter into that fellowship does so by laying down all pretense of their own worthiness or good works (merits) and embracing the truth that without Him they could do absolutely nothing.
As each of us finally awakens to this truth, our journey with Christ, in Christ, begins. As we counsel with Him, converse with Him, give our whole souls unto Him (Omni 1:16), the Liar’s lies (temptations) will get fainter and fainter, and we will get ever stronger in our walk with Christ—not by any worthiness or accomplishment or merits of our own—but totally by His merits only. That is the depths of humility that He dwells in, in relationship to His Father, and these are the depths we must enter into in order to be in right relationship with Him–with Jesus–and with Our Father.
This is my testimony. I have lived it.
I am no one and nothing special or exceptional. I am a convert to the true Church of Christ–the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who fled from an extremely worldly (addicted) childhood. There is no weakness or addiction that I cannot identify with–substance abuse, sexual, spending, codependency to the point of damaging other people’s lives as well as my own.
So it is, that humbly, I bear witness to you of His infinite goodness, and pray that you may be willing accept His offer of at-one-ment.
I testify from lived experience that He is as near to us as a Christ-ward thought, even in our hardest, darkest moments. After all, He is our Savior. This is His commitment to each of us, without exception: to wrap us in the robes of His righteousness and bear us safely Home.
This is my witness, my joy and my song, and I offer it in the sacred Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.