Hello to anyone still lurking around this cobwebbed corner of the Internet. Three months since my last post! I often repeat the refrain, “Everyone makes time for the things that matter most.” So I will not make excuses, only say that for the past few months I have had more important things to do.
Yet a desire to write still surfaces regularly. Often, I put it off when I feel that I don’t have to time and energy to pound out something of any real depth or substance. I’m trying again to free myself from those shackles and relax my own expectations for what I write and post. With that in mind, I will get back in the saddle by sharing the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball. I’ve encountered it here and there over the years, and a recent review while studying Doctrine and Covenants 93 left me astounded by the power and prescience of his words. Some of it is downright fierce.
“The earth is spherical. If all the four billion people in the world think it flat, they are in error. That is an absolute truth, and all the arguing in the world will not change it.
“We learn about these absolute truths by being taught by the Spirit. These truths are ‘independent’ in their spiritual sphere and are to be discovered spiritually, though they may be confirmed by experience and intellect. (See D&C 93:30.) The great prophet Jacob said that ‘the Spirit speaketh the truth. … Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be.’ (Jacob 4:13.) We need to be taught in order to understand life and who we really are.
“The Gods organized and gave life to man and placed him on the earth. This is absolute. It cannot be disproved. A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true. And having done all this for his Father’s children, the Christ mapped out a plan of life for man—a positive and absolute program whereby man might achieve, accomplish, and overcome and perfect himself. Again, these vital truths are not matters of opinion. If they were, then your opinion would be just as good as mine, or better. But I give you these things, not as my opinion—I give them to you as divine truths which are absolute.
“Some day you will see and feel and understand and perhaps even berate yourself for the long delay and waste of time. It is not a matter of if. It is a matter of when.
“Experience in one field does not automatically create expertise in another field. Expertise in religion comes from personal righteousness and from revelation. The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith: ‘All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it.’ (D&C 93:30.) A geologist who has discovered truths about the structure of the earth may be oblivious to the truths God has given us about the eternal nature of the family.
“If I can only make clear this one thing, it will give us a basis on which to build. Man cannot discover God or his ways by mere mental processes. One must be governed by the laws which control the realm into which he is delving. To become a plumber, one must study the laws which govern plumbing. He must know stresses and strains, temperatures at which pipes will freeze, laws which govern steam, hot water, expansion, contraction, and so forth. One might know much about plumbing and be a complete failure in training children or getting along with men. One might be the best of bookkeepers and yet not know anything of electricity. One might know much about buying and selling groceries and be absolutely ignorant of bridge building.
“One might be a great authority on the hydrogen bomb and yet know nothing of banking. One might be a noted theologian and yet be wholly untrained in watchmaking. One might be the author of the law of relativity and yet know nothing of the Creator who originated every law. I repeat, these are not matters of opinion. They are absolute truths. These truths are available to every soul.
“Any intelligent man may learn what he wants to learn. He may acquire knowledge in any field, though it requires much thought and effort. It takes more than a decade to get a high school diploma; it takes an additional four years for most people to get a college degree; it takes nearly a quarter-century to become a great physician. Why, oh, why do people think they can fathom the most complex spiritual depths without the necessary experimental and laboratory work accompanied by compliance with the laws that govern it? Absurd it is, but you will frequently find popular personalities, who seem never to have lived a single law of God, discoursing in interviews on religion. How ridiculous for such persons to attempt to outline for the world a way of life!” (“Absolute Truth,” Ensign, Sept. 1978, pp. 3–5.)