Moses, a man who had a storied relationship with God, was once offered a view of His work and His glory. Until recently, whenever God has shown someone a vision of His creations and all of His works, I’ve imagined it as some sort of humbling history lesson which progressed in marginally boring fashion. As in, Heavenly Father saying “Look at all the things I’ve created, look at all these people, and these people, and these people.” Click, click, click. And then whoever is experiencing the vision usually says “Wow, that’s profound, I realize I’m actually quite small and maybe even nothing compared to everything you’ve ever made.” But what if they’re talking about more than that? What if those moments of heavenly perspective, had by Moses, Nephi, and others, illustrated not just our existence but our connections to each other? What if they had the chance to glimpse the way the Savior can help us weave our free-wheeling selves back to Him by loving and helping each other? What if what they saw were the moments we live that we humbly say “I had no part in making that come about,” the times when we are part of an experience that simply could not originate with us? Those are the moments when I reel back with awe, praise, and completely unforced humility at the grandeur before me, similar to what they describe. Can you imagine witnessing all of those moments throughout all time? I love the idea that His work is to help us help each other back to Him. All it takes is willing participants.
A religious leader who I love to listen to, by the name of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, once described coming to know Jesus Christ as a process similar to piecing together a puzzle. He went on to describe the startling beauty of the moment when you have enough of the miniscule pieces in place that you can begin to see the image take shape. I am still placing pieces for the likeness I’m creating over here but what do you think about the way these fit together?
I believe I lived with God before I was born and because God is love (1 John 4:8), I believe my soul knows what it feels like to bask in pure and gracious love.
I believe that God’s work is to give us the opportunity to choose to be like Him and He hopes to help us return to live with Him and thus have life eternally. (Moses 1:39)
In His intercessory prayer, the Savior says this: “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3)
I believe that knowing Him is eternal life and that earth’s physical and spiritual distance coupled with my inability to remember Him, enables me to work toward an understanding and knowledge of His characteristics that would be impossible to sort out while in His commanding presence.
I believe John’s words that “we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” He says we can know that we know Him. (1 John 2:3)
I don’t think we’re talking about just knowing what He expects of us. I believe the goal of keeping the commandments is to know Him as a Personality, to understand how He feels about us, what principles guide His interactions and His creativity, and what His priorities are. It’s the difference between knowing Him as a casual acquiantance or a treasured friend. I believe that’s what the Savior meant when He talked about knowing Them.
And again, I have found Him most frequently as Love.
John also says, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him.” (1 John 2:5)
I believe that to know Deity is to know and understand the pure love that the Father and Son exist in and offer us. I believe that the definition of working toward Him is becoming more like Him and because the primary facet of His personality is love, my focus is on understanding and feeling the love that He has for me and those around me.
I believe that as I participate in this process of obeying Him and thus knowing Him, I can experience His all-consuming love which my soul desperately misses and by definition, I can know eternal life here. Now.