Saturday, 25 April 2015

Sermon: Our Search for Knowledge As a Spiritual Gift

In our search for truth to know God our Father in heaven, and in his Son Jesus Christ. Samuel the Lamanite who focused the definition of knowledge in religious terms. He taught:-
 
And this is according to the prophecy, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among his sheep.
 
Book Of Mormon Helaman 15:13 
 
We also must consider our knowledge of good, and evil.
 
30 And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.
 
31 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.
 
Helaman 14:30-31
 
Our desire for knowledge of God, and the guiding principles that will lead us in the direction to be with Him in the celestial kingdom will require a continued effort.Some of us can fall into a trap thinking that once we have reached a certain level of knowledge we have little further to go.  Should this ever be the case? Consider the following.
 
Alexander Pope was born to Alexander Pope Senior (1646–1717), a linen merchant of Plough Court, Lombard Street, London, and his wife Edith (née Turner) (1643–1733), who were both Catholics. Edith's sister Christiana was the wife of the famous miniature painter Samuel Cooper. Pope's education was affected by the recently enacted Test Acts, which upheld the status of the established Church of England and banned Catholics from teaching, attending a university, voting, or holding public office on pain of perpetual imprisonment. Pope was taught to read by his aunt, and went to Twyford School in about 1698/99. He then went to two Catholic schools in London. Such schools, while illegal, were tolerated in some areas.
 
Lines 215 to 232 of Pope's poem from his Essay on Criticism read:-
 
"A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. First at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, While from the bounded level of our mind. Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind; But more advanced, behold with strange surprise. New distant scenes of endless science rise! So  pleased at first the towering Alps we try, Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,  The eternal snows appear already past, And the first clouds and mountains seem the last; But, those attained, we tremble to survey. The growing labours of the lengthened way, The increasing prospects tire our wandering eyes, Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!"
 
In Greek mythology, it was believed that drinking from the Pierian Spring would bring you great knowledge and inspiration. Thus, Pope is explaining how if you only learn a little it can "intoxicate" you in such a way that makes you feel as though you know a great deal. However, when "drinking largely sobers" you, you become aware of how little you truly know.
 
As we gain knowledge we will develop a greater understanding of His plan.
A greater knowledge of good, and evil.
A greater knowledge to know the will of God.
A greater knowledge to further the work of God.
A greater knowledge as a preparation for the hereafter.
I pray we will continue to realise our own limitations, and always seek for greater knowledge, and not become intoxicated with just a little knowledge. 
 
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
 
Apostle Elder  Peter Barber  

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