Hello! Shalom! Aloha! Mabuhay!

If this is your first visit to Modern Apocrypha, I have only two recommendations for continuing on with minimal confusion:

1) Please begin with the first introductory post (found HERE) and work your way forward. Almost all the posts on this blog flow chronologically and will make more sense with the background and context of previous ones. Jumping in anywhere might be disorienting.

2) Please read along in the texts posted off to the right. I try not to summarize too much in the commentary and discussion, and being at least somewhat familiar with what we're discussing or I'm commenting on will be most beneficial and edifying for all involved. Plus, going along with the theme of this blog, any hidden truths to be brought to light will be found within the text itself and not necessarily within my ramblings.

Okay, fine, three recommendations:

3) Please read with an open heart, mind, and spirit. See what truths you can find in these works--ones which speak to you. Namaste : )

Monday, April 28, 2014


My wife, Chelsea, spoke in church yesterday on baptism and the Holy Ghost. I felt that some of her thoughts and quotes she shared were applicable here and fit with the purpose of this blog--namely, that in this life we need to learn how to get, hear, and follow the Spirit of the Lord so that we can be led to truth.

So how do we tune into the Spirit? Once we feel we're on the right track (I'm not going to get into ideas of cleanliness, worthiness, etc.), we first need to calm down. Joseph B. Wirthlin said:
I fear that some [of us] live far beneath our privileges with regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some are distracted by the things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. This is a noisy and busy world  that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit.
Harold B. Lee learned this same lesson from David O. McKay:
A few weeks ago, President McKay related to the Twelve an interesting experience.... He said it is a great thing to be responsive to the whisperings of the Spirit, and we know that when these whisperings come it is a gift and our privilege to have them. They come when we are relaxed and not under pressure of appointments. (I want you to mark that.) The President then took occasion to relate an experience in the life of Bishop John Wells, former member of the Presiding Bishopric. A son of Bishop Wells was killed in Emigration Canyon on a railroad track. Brother John Wells was a great detail man and prepared many of the reports we are following up now. His boy was run over by a freight train. Sister Wells was inconsolable. She mourned during the three days prior to the funeral, received no comfort at the funeral, and was in a rather serious state of mind. One day soon after the funeral services while she was lying on her bed relaxed, still mourning, she says that her son appeared to her and said, "Mother, do not mourn, do not cry. I am all right." He told her that she did not understand how the accident happened and explained that he had given the signal to the engineer to move on, and then made the usual effort to catch the railing on the freight train; but as he attempted to do so his foot caught on a root and he failed to catch the hand rail, and his body fell under the train. It was clearly an accident. Now listen! He said that as soon as he realized that he was in another environment he tried to see his father, but he couldn’t reach him. His father was so busy with the duties in his office he could not respond to his call. Therefore, he had come to his mother. He said to her, "You tell father that all is well with me, and I want you not to mourn any more."

Then the President made the statement that the point he had in mind was that when we are relaxed in a private room we are more susceptible to those things; and that so far as he was concerned, his best thoughts come after he gets up in the morning and is relaxed and thinking about the duties of the day; that impressions come more clearly, as if it were to hear a voice. Those impressions are right. If we are worried about something and upset in our feelings, the inspiration does not come. If we so live that our minds are free from worry and our conscience is clear and our feelings are right toward one another, the operation of the spirit of the Lord upon our spirit is as real as when we pick up the telephone.
We need to mind and be mindful of the Spirit. We can't do that through interference, whatever its source.

So, then, referring to the title (John 16:13), what truth is the Spirit leading us to? God's workings--His plan, His truth, etc.--is deeper than we can fathom, broader than we can comprehend, and grander than we can imagine. But it is all focused on us; He works toward and glories in our immortality and eternal life. All He asks is that we work to match our frequency to His and catch a glimpse of His vision for us.

Joseph Smith taught (D&C 130:18-19):
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. 
But he constantly struggled to get the "Saints" to join with him in what the Spirit had taught and shown him...
Why be so certain that you comprehend the things of God, when all things with you are so uncertain? You are welcome to all the knowledge and intelligence I can impart to you. (13 Aug 1843)
...and lamented when they could or would not.
Some people say I am a fallen Prophet, because I do not bring forth more of the word of the Lord. Why do I not do it? Are we able to receive it? No! not one in this room. (19 Dec 1841)

It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind. Oh! how I would delight to bring before you things which you never thought of! But poverty and the cares of the world prevent. (16 Apr 1843)

There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots [very hard] with a corn-dodger [cornbread] for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle [mallet]. Even the Saints are slow to understand. I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. (21 Jan 1844) 
Now think of the doctrines, creeds, and beliefs of traditional Christianity, and then think of all of the non- or post-traditional (i.e., crazy) things Joseph Smith restored, revealed, and taught that were and are accepted by Latter-day Saints--corporeal deity, plural marriage, an infinite atonement saving extraterrestrial beings, temple ordinances, etc. These were just a mere introduction to reality! What he's trying to get at here is that there was and is SO much more to learn of God's truth and His plan for His children. Things that would make today's most stalwart believer crack if they held too tightly to the traditions of their current belief system. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is expansive, and we need to be open and flexible enough to grasp it. Hopefully we can all keep that in mind as we move forward in our spiritual exploration of truth.


  1. Thanks, again, Brad. Great thoughts. I second the early morning peace and clarity--when there is little to confound the flow of intelligence. I need to be better at utilizing the early hours to find guidance and feel promptings. This is valuable insight. Br. Nibley used to say that we are blessed with a spiritual palace, and we choose to live in the basement broom closet. Keep up the writing!

    1. Thanks for your words. These are all things I'm still trying to work on, too.

  2. The part you underlined that says we are limited in our spiritual guidance because of "poverty and the cares of the world" really stood out to me. If we are living in poverty we are consumed by our physical needs—we are in a state of scarcity. In order to receive greater spiritual guidance we need to lift ourselves to a state of abundance, believing that our physical needs will be met with assurity. If we're not preoccupied with our physical needs there will be room in our lives to welcome in the Spirit and answers. Very cool! Thanks, Brad (and Chels), for those thoughts and quotes.

    1. Learning to rely fully on the Lord for our physical necessities is probably one of the most difficult things to master nowadays, esp. when we're responsible for the survival of other people. Even though the scriptures often speak of the poor as more receptive to the Gospel because they've been "compelled to be humble", there is still that potential over-preoccupation with worldly things--the flip side of the same coin--as those who are rich.