Friday, May 14, 2010

"I saw two Personages"

I have had some extremely powerful spiritual experiences in my life, and I share them rarely and with hesitancy specifically because of how I have seen people respond to others who share extremely personal, spiritual experiences. I have seen the way people nit-pick and obsess over the tiniest, most irrelevant aspects and reject entire experiences for what amounts to nothing of significance.

How do I say I have seen God weep for the sins of His children, without making it seem like I am claiming to have had a vision? How do I encapsulate a conversion story from my mission into a concise narrative without making it seem shallow and formulaic - like I simply copied details and descriptions from other stories? How do I describe a deeply, intensely spiritual experience in such a way that someone who has never had such an experience will "get it" - and how in the world do I share it in a short enough narrative that readers don't lose interest as the story drags on and on and on? Finally, how do I summarize an experience with the Holy Ghost in such a way that someone who knows little or nothing of the Holy Ghost will understand what I mean?

Take my struggles and multiply them exponentially to encompass a vision of or visit from deity. The account Joseph wrote of his First Vision wasn't for the Christian world; it was for humanity at large. It was told in a tone of awe and astonishment - in a way that describes inexpressible wonder. "I saw two personages" is a PERFECT description of what initially must have hit Joseph's brain - BEFORE he had any idea of who the personages were. There is no indication anywhere that Joseph expected to see God, the Father, and Jesus, the Christ, when he entered the woods. There is no reason to insist that, upon seeing them, he immediately thought, "Cool, this is the Father and the Son." Again, "personages" describes perfectly what he must have seen and thought as they appeared. It only was AFTER "the first [Personage] spoke, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other, 'This is my Beloved Son. Here Him,'" that Joseph must have begun to comprehend what was happening to him. Given my own experiences with overpowering spiritual experiences, I'm fairly certain he walked out of that grove with his head spinning - literally reeling from what had happened.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful,Ray.I think you have expressed accurately my own experience of the truthful resonance that the first vision has for me,even when I do approach it critically.It somehow manages to fly in under my radar,straight to the heart.Bless Joseph's muddled humanity.It makes me love him more.