Joseph Smith said, “Salvation cannot come without revelation.” Just as we cannot survive physically without food, we cannot hope to survive spiritually without revelation. But what does revelation have to do with the Olive Garden? Here are some insights from a recent visit of mine.
Food can be complicated. If something is prepared wrong, you can get food poisoning. For those of you that have had the pleasure of food poisoning, you’ll understand when I say that for me it was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. It far surpassed the root canal that I got in my early teen years, or the weightlifting routines my dad made me do when he wanted me to be a football player (I dance now, by the way. He failed miserably).
As we pray for inspiration, we should also confirm our feelings to make sure that we’re not consuming “bad food”. For example, we can compare our decisions with the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets.
This idea stuck out particularly because of the political clash over Proposition 8. I’m from California, and in support of Proposition 8, so I followed pretty closely the news and chatter about the it. I can understand that others might be opposed to it in the world in which we live, and I support them exercising their right to give their opinion and cast their vote. I have no problem with that. What I was absolutely floored by, though, is the opposition to Prop. 8 from among the membership of the LDS Church and mainstream Christianity, in and out of California. With all due respect, there is some major food poisoning going on in the hearts of some that are taking their social whims as revelation that trumps the word of God.
But it’s not just with gay marriage. It can happen with any principle with which we disagree, when we “kick against the pricks” instead of seeking to reform ourselves. We need to check our social and political opinions against the words of the prophets, ancient and modern. If we have trouble accepting their counsel, there is nothing wrong with asking God for personal revelation that confirms their words and changes our hearts, as long as we ask with real intent.
If we find ourselves suddenly distant from God, it was not God that moved.
The Food Pyramid
What are the most important foods we need to consume? There are important food groups, like grains, vegetables, and fruits that take priority. Likewise, there are essential things we need to receive revelation about.
In Alma 33, the Zoramites ask how they should begin this experiment that Alma taught them about in chapter 32, and how they should “plant the seed“. In 33:22-23, Alma exhorts them to begin to believe in the Son of God, and in his atonement and resurrection in behalf of all men.
In our day, the reality of the Savior is interconnected with other truths of the Restoration – The First Vision and the calling of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the truthfulness of the Church. Believing that Joseph Smith is a prophet is not the same as disbelief in the Savior. Rather, it is belief in a Savior that continues to guide the world today through prophets, just like he has through the rest of human history. That is the most spiritually essential food we can receive because it enables us to learn how to gain eternal life.
In the same vein, there is other spiritual food that is not as important. All the deep mysteries that God has not yet seen fit to reveal, or the tidbits found on the gospel periphery, are not worth crowding out the quintessential truths that focus on Jesus Christ and his gospel.
Continuing the Series
- Part 1 – Breadsticks and Waiting Training
- Part 2 – Dietary Needs and Rushing or Overeating
- Part 3 – Food Poisoning and The Food Pyramid