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Once a person has established a relationship with God through prayer, it seems like a natural desire to deepen that relationship by vision or visitation. While caution is needed (because too many people want to force that kind of an experience), the scriptures are filled with invitations, promises, and prerequisites for seeing God.
The Psalmist said: “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalm 27:8). Was that an idle invitation by the Lord or an impossible search by man?
Following Abraham’s deliverance by “the angel of his presence” (Christ, see D&C 133:53, Isaiah 63:9), he said: “Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee” (Abraham 2:12).
There is a preparation necessary to enjoy such an epiphany. Urging the early brethren of this dispensation to recognize and overcome impediments preventing them from enjoying great spiritual experiences, the Lord said:
Start your quest by getting rid of jealousies and fears. Make humility an ongoing effort. Work endlessly on developing godly patience. As you free yourself from worldliness, don’t let your mind turn back—like Lot’s wife—to the enticements of a carnal world. Then, as you continue to perfect yourself (with the help of the Lord), let Him decide when you are prepared to enjoy His presence and the ministering of angels.
The Lord seems anxious to reveal Himself to His people. He said: “Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you” (D&C 88:68–69).
How is the sanctifying process to proceed? In Helaman 3:35 more instructions are given, helping us understand how we are to become sanctified: “Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.”
Once again fasting and prayer, stronger efforts in developing humility, and constantly strengthening our faith in Christ leads us to a state where we gladly “yield our hearts unto God” or do whatever He asks us to do— and do it willingly. It is interesting to note that we hold the key to how quickly we are sanctified by how willing we are to yield our hearts unto God and do whatever He requires of us.
In what is probably the deepest doctrinal section of the Doctrine and Covenants (section 93), the Lord begins by outlining five things a person must do to see His face: “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who (1) forsaketh his sins and (2) cometh unto me, and (3) calleth on my name, and (4) obeyeth my voice, and (5) keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.”
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
You can read Randy Bott's new book, God's Formula for Success, currently on sale at cedarfort.com.