I have sometimes heard counsel in our meetings that we garden-variety members of the LDS Church should keep our testimonies super simple, almost to the point of being rote. But I have felt the Spirit of the Lord testify to me that there is a growing need to testify with plainess and strength.
I cannot shrink any longer.
As I was counseling with the Lord, conversing with Him through the veil of mortality, He told me point-blank that it was time to share the “sum and the substance of the whole matter”* as He has blessed me to live it.
Tempted to fear, I held back at first and asked Him point blank if this is truly His will for me or might I be overreaching. He spoke to me plainly through the Spirit’s still, small voice and said, “It is not too soon.” He reminded me that just an hour before I had, through the Spirit, received our Father’s witness directly that I had no need to take counsel from my fears, but only from His Son.
And so, risking looking foolish, I begin yet another blog.
The purpose of this blog is to share my testimony concerning exactly what Joseph meant when he spoke these words:
“Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and the substance of the whole matter.”**
In other words, the gift of the First Comforter—the Holy Ghost—is to introduce us into the living presence of the Second Comforter. This is available to each and all who will come unto Christ and offer their whole souls as an offering unto Him (Omni 1:26).
I do not share these things from an intellectual or scholarly point of view. I share them with you as one speaking from the lived and living reality of having had this experience. As Ammon, I do not boast of myself:
I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God,… (Alma 26:11-12).
Rather, all my hope, all my joy, all my confidence is in Christ, as I humbly share these things with you upon the invitation of the Lord Himself, in other words from God as I best comprehend Him.
Again, let me assure you that I am no one extraordinary. In standing as His witness, I am reduced to absolute nothingness. Believe me, no one knows their own nothingness more totally than when they have stood in the presence of the Lord.
The Second Comforter, the living presence of the Lord Himself, is available to all who seek Him. Of this I testify and lay my life and my reputation before all that He may lead to this sharing. In the sacred Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
* Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151
** See John 14:12-27