“All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.” (D&C 93:30-32)
When my oldest boy was little, I gave him a truth and a law that was absolute for the sphere of understanding in which he lived at that time: “Do not under ANY circumstances, touch the matches! Don’t even touch the box or the drawer they are kept in! “
When my son grew older, I gave him a new truth and law according to the sphere of understanding he was now in: “You can touch the matches, but only with my permission and my supervision”.
This seemed to utterly contradict the old truth. However, being willing to receive something new, the old truth became a lie to him, and he embraced this new truth.
Now – as he is almost an adult, he has the freedom to use the matches and start a fire whenever he needs to, as long as he uses good judgment. This is yet another contradiction to the previous truth given, and even further from the original truth.
He still does not reside in a sphere where he can call down fire from the heavens, but at some point, he may. For now, that possibility is a lie to him.
He could fight the cognitive dissonance these paradigm shifts bring when he is given new information that contradicts the old, and refuse to let go of the original truth – which would effectively retard his growth and progress. He could balk at each new stage of truth given to him and reject the painful learning process as the matches burn him (where before, he was protected from being burned), thinking: “This must be a lie. It brings pain. What I was told before did not cause me this pain. Therefore, I will reject this and hold to what I was told originally.”
Or he could embrace the new knowledge and learn to understand it – as he did, and learn from the pain of growth these paradigm shifts bring.
If he looks back over his life, he’ll see that he was not being lied to with contradictions, but being led toward greater truths in stages – as he was able to understand and willing to receive them.
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)
How often do we reject new truths simply because they confuse or frustrate us, cause us growing pains, or seem (in our limited understanding) to contradict the paradigms we so desperately cling to? How often do we reject truth because we refuse to accept that we may be in a different sphere of truth from those around us? (My two sons – being ten years apart in age, do not have the same laws of truth regarding fire and matches.) It truly is difficult to become as a little child – willing to learn, and allowing God to teach us.
The Lego Movie contains some amazing Gospel truths (yes, I’m being utterly serious). I recommend it to everyone. Among these truths, is this quote from Vitruvius echoing the words of the Savior:
“Master Builders spend years training themselves to clear their minds enough to have even a fleeting glimpse of The Man Upstairs and yet, your mind is already so prodigiously empty that there is nothing in it to clear away in the first place. With proper training you could become a great Master Builder.” (Vitruvius, The Lego Movie )
If you can laugh through and overlook the obvious satire, you’ll see that, the mere fact that Emmet (the character being addressed) had such a “clear” mind, made him teachable – and able to learn in a way the others could not.
If you examine the different states of H2O, you can see a physical demonstration of a shift from one sphere of truth, to another. If H2O in its solid state as ice wishes to become a liquid, it must concede to the vibrational increase that allows its molecules to move more freely. As it is quickened (I suggest doing a scripture search on that word), it is transformed into a new state of existence that requires adhering to new laws that now become a new truth. The same process occurs when H2O transitions from a liquid state to a gas, or from a gaseous state to a plasma; each state of existence requiring adherence to a higher frequency, different from the previous state.
Condemnation occurs when we refuse to accept truth. Our progress is literally halted and we remain in our sins.
“A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 217)
How much faster would we progress toward Godhood, if we became more teachable and let go of paradigms, traditions, preconceived notions, and our fear of learning new things – let go of these things that condemn us?
- What if new truth challenges our comfort?
- What if it challenges our relationships or reputation?
- What if it challenges our church membership or other affiliations?
- What if it challenges our employment or financial stability?
- What if it challenges every old truth we’ve ever known?
- What if it challenges our very life?
On the other hand, what could we become if we embraced truth – in ALL its forms; no matter the source or cost and allowed God to mold and teach us to become like Him?