True Meaning of Freedom


Note: Professor Truman Madsen passed the veil Thursday, May 28th., 2009.  He was a shining light in Church doctrine: http://www.mormontimes.com/people_news/newsmakers/?id=8026.

When I was young I had a conversation with a friend on a hill overlooking a valley. He commented that he didn’t believe his existence was real – he only seemed to be standing there. “So then you don’t have a problem falling down the hill?” I asked. Sheepishly, he refused my offer. When challenged with the task of proving mortality once and for all, he sought escape to the only source he knew – a desire to maintain his identity. He didn’t ask the right questions:

Is it enough to know we are conscious? Are we only a bundle of atoms? Why did God give man Torah (the revealing of Ha-Shem (the Name) to man through laws and prophecy)? Torah only gives us a peek at God and confirms He made mankind adaptable to earth life. Why are we further endowed with an individual essence (spirit), a body, insight, language, memory, reflection, given experiences of good and evil, pain, joy, a measure of the world about us, and, for some, the lust to know everything? Where do we come from? Doesn’t all of that armamentaria equip us for more than simply “being here”?

Is there no more? What value has a life lived only in the moment? How well can we know who we are? Is development limitless? At death, what happens to our essence?

Neither Judaism nor any religion but one has ever correctly parsed questions such as these. Philosophers, biologists, physiologists, all are stumped. Speculation trumps fact. If there are answers, where are they hidden?

God has the answers and he willingly divulges His truths to any one earnestly seeking them. In 1820 His truths were made known to a fourteen year old boy and from those divine bestowals we all may learn the true meaning of freedom. How grateful I am for revelation’s gifts!

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.” He said modern revelation establishes “a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world”. (Smith, J F. Teachings of the Prophets)

Here is part of that foundation: Re identity: We are individual, separate intelligences, without beginning or end, uncreated. An identity cannot therefore be destroyed – individual intelligence is everlasting. Agency is an eternal gift. Each consciousness and existence, each spirit and body is indestructible. Death does not destroy the self but delimits it. (Truman Madsen, Eternal Man)

Professor Madsen adds: “Mind has no birthday and memory has no first… Age is relative only to stages, not existence… No one is older or younger, than anyone else. Immortality is in no sense conditional… nothing is something we never were and never can be. The self is free.” Isn’t that magnificent? Want to know more? Look for my July posting!

We are as God once was. We can become as He is. (Lorenzo Snow, 1898)

Click on http://mormonsandjews.net for more great posts!

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