Can you see the sky filled with “the angel [and] a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, to God in the highest, and on earth , good will toward men?”
I imagine glorious light piercing the night sky as Heaven touched Earth.
I wonder if I had walked outside of my house or inn and looked up at the sky that night in Bethlehem if I could have seen the same glorious scene. Would I have heard the host praising God? I wonder if the angel’s heralding song was available to everyone that night who was — available.
Remember the disciples on the road to Emmaus who walked with the Savior without discerning Him? Think of Elisha’s servant who trembled at the sight of the Syrian army until Elisha prayed for the servant’s eyes to be open. With open eyes, like Elisha, he saw chariots of fire round about Elisha!
The Savior told modern-day disciples
I am in your ; But the day soon cometh that ye shall and ye cannot me me, and know that I am; for the of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not shall not the day.
Light Bursting Onto the Scene
As I gathered my thoughts to write this post, a package arrived. I excitedly opened artwork I bought for myself.
Brent Borup’s image “Sacred Grove” captivated me the moment I saw it! I love the light bursting onto the scene.
I love the nondescript kneeling person. The person is Joseph Smith. The person is me. The person is you.
Deity rends a veil of darkness. Heaven touches Earth. I often imagine the heavens erupting with a multitude of heavenly hosts shouting Hosanna at restoration!
the was the Word, and the was with God, and the was .
In him was; and the life was the of men.
And the . shineth in ; and the darkness it not
Heavenly Host Praising God when Light Rends the Veil of Darkness
Standing in front of a lifesize version of The First Visions by Anthony Sweat took my breath away. There were the four “familiar characters” of the First Vision. And there— there were the heavenly hosts! The angels Joseph testified he saw. I loved it. And I could hear their anthems of worship fill the veiled corners of my mind.
If I had wandered through the Sacred Grove on that sacred morning, would I have seen the heavens open? Would I have seen the light?
The Lord’s People Receive Revelation
“In the Lord’s People Receive Revelation,” Elder Bruce R. McConkie declared that I could, and I should.
We can read about visions and revelations in the records of the past, we can study the inspired writings of people who had the fullness of the gospel in their day, but we cannot comprehend what is involved until we see and hear and experience for ourselves.
This Tabernacle is full of scenes from Vietnam and Washington. There is even a picture of men walking on the surface of the moon. But we are not seeing these things. The minute, however, in which we tune a radio to the proper wave band and tune a television receiving set on the proper channel, we begin to hear and see and experience what otherwise remains completely unknown to us.
And so it is with the revelations and visions of eternity. They are around us all the time. This Tabernacle is full of the same things which are recorded in the scriptures and much more. The vision of the degrees of glory is being broadcast before us, but we do not hear or see or experience because we have not tuned our souls to the wave band on which the Holy Ghost is broadcasting.
The Holy Ghost is a Revelator
Joseph Smith said: “The Holy Ghost is a revelator.” And, “No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations.”
Moroni said: “… by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”
The Comforter knoweth all things; he is commissioned to bear witness of the Father and the Son, to reveal, to teach, and to testify—and he is broadcasting all the truths of salvation, and all the knowledge and wisdom of God, out into all immensity all of the time.
How this is done we do not know. We cannot comprehend God or the laws by which he governs the universe. But that it does happen we know because here in the valley below, when we attune our souls to the Infinite, we hear and see and experience the things of God. …
It is the privilege and the right of every member of the Church to receive revelation and to enjoy the gifts of the Spirit. When we are confirmed members of the Church, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead, based on faithfulness. The actual enjoyment of this gift depends upon personal worthiness. “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit,” the revelation says to the Saints, “yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost. …” (D&C 121:26.)
Revelation for Our Personal Lives
“In Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Personal Lives,” President Russell M. Nelson also taught that light can rend our veils of darkness so we can see and know for ourselves.
Brothers and sisters, how can we become the men and women—the Christlike servants—the Lord needs us to be? How can we find answers to questions that perplex us? If Joseph Smith’s transcendent experience in the Sacred Grove teaches us anything, it is that the heavens are open and that God speaks to His children.
The Prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions. Drawn to the promise of James that if we lack wisdom we may ask of God, the boy Joseph took his question directly to Heavenly Father. He sought personal revelation, and his seeking opened this last dispensation.
In like manner, what will your seeking open for you? What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand? Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph. Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.
Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.”
Does God Really Want to Speak to You?
Does God really want to speak to you? Yes! “As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course … as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.”
You don’t have to wonder about what is true. You do not have to wonder whom you can safely trust. Through personal revelation, you can receive your own witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that this is the Lord’s Church. Regardless of what others may say or do, no one can ever take away a witness borne to your heart and mind about what is true.
I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”
Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!”
Light of Revelation Rends Darkness
Light rent Saul’s veil on the road to Damascus. Light pierced into the dark reality of King Lamoni’s father. Abinadab taught the Lamanites how to disperse the cloud of darkness surrounding them. When the cloud dispersed, everyone discovered a pillar of fire surrounded them.
Light slicing through darkness. Darkened veils. Darkened minds. Darkened hopes. Darkened dreams. Light always prevails.
And [Jesus] spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down andthose little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
And the multitude did see andand bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.
Light from Earth to Heaven
I wonder what light looks like as it pierces the darkness between Earth from Heaven. Do pillars of light shine from Earth to Heaven? As people become purified and sanctified, how does their light shine?
There are so many scriptural stories of heavenly hosts. The scriptures are also full of individuals who become heavenly. So many of us are on the journey to heaven so I like to imagine a “multitude of the [earthly] host praising God, and saying, to God in the highest, and on earth , good will toward men.”
This host praising God shews forth praises!
[Ye] are a generation, a , an , a people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of : into his marvellous
Host Praising God Sings in Exultation
Sing in exultation;
— Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!
Glory to God,
Glory in the highest;
Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
— Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n.
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord.
The Host Praising God With This New Song
Oh, may we be with the host praising God who are come down from Heaven or are caught up from Earth at the Savior’s triumphal return who sing His new song of praise!
For I, the, have laid my hands upon the nations, to them for their .
Andshall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut in righteousness—
Until all shall shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together , saying: this new songme, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall eye to eye, and
The Lord hath brought again Zion; The Lord hath his people, , According to the of , Which was brought to pass by the faith And of their fathers.
The Lord hath redeemed his people; And Satan is and is no longer. The Lord hath gathered all things in . The Lord hath brought down from above. The Lord hath Zion from beneath.
The hath travailed and her strength; And truth is established in her bowels; And the heavens have smiled upon her; And she is clothed with the of her God; For he in the midst of his .
Glory, and honor, and power, and might, Be ascribed to our God; for he is full of , Justice, grace and truth, and , Forever and ever, Amen.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.