We often hear that the scriptures tell us to “Judge not”. Period. End of story. We are never to judge. But many are quick to point out that the scriptures don’t end there, and actually have a bit more to say about it.
Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment. For with what judgment ye shall judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. [Matthew 7:2-3 RLDS]
Likewise, we often hear that there is a pattern in all things, used to determine if something is of the Lord or not. After all, DC 52:4b does say “I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived”. Period. The scriptures stop right there. No need to read any further. Well, let’s go ahead and read the rest of it, just in case it might be pertinent:
"And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations; wherefore he that prayeth whose spirit is contrite, the same is accepted of me, if he obey mine ordinances. He that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek, and edifieth, the same is of God, if he obey mine ordinances. And again, he that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise, and wisdom, according to the revelations and truths which I have given you. And again, he that is overcome and bringeth not forth fruits, even according to this pattern, is not of me; wherefore by this pattern ye shall know the spirits in all cases, under the whole heavens." [DC 52:4b-5a]
The rest of the passage actually tells us what pattern to look for!!! It’s telling us how to determine if something is of the Lord or not – by determining the spirit behind it. The pattern the Lord has put in all of His works that we need to look for, is:
- He that prayeth whose spirit is contrite
- He that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek, and edifieth
- He obey mine ordinances
- He that trembleth under my power [ie God-fearing, humble] shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise, and wisdom
These are all attributes that are manifested in a person rather than being attributes of an event, because the Lord does his work through individual people. The scriptures do not tell us to look for repetitions, but to look for the spirit.
Consider a sequence of numbers: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2. The pattern is that they are the same number being repeated. Consider this sequence of numbers: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32. The pattern is that they are being multiplied by 2 each time. Both are patterns, but only the first one looks the same each time. When looking at the works of the Lord, we cannot simply look to see if it’s the same thing being repeated again, as if the Lord has to continue repeating the same things over and over. We have to look for the multiplier, or the Spirit of God, that is behind the work.
The scriptures also give us other patterns. The Old Testament patterns were for specific items, such as building the temple and creating instruments for it. The New Testament starts to focus on patterns in behavior. The Doctrine and Covenants largely gives patterns for church organization/affairs and performing missionary work (ie two by two, etc).
Following is a list of when a “pattern” is mentioned in the scriptures (RLDS):
- The book of remembrance recording past generations (Genesis 6:47)
- The tabernacle/temple, vessels, and instruments (Exodus 25:9, 40, Numbers 8:4, 1 Chronicles 28:11,12,18,19, Ezekiel 43:10, Acts 7:44, Hebrews 8:5)
- Altar of the Lord (Joshua 22:28, 2 Kings 16:10)
- How to live your life showing the light of Jesus, good works (1 Timothy 1:16, Titus 2:7)
- Things in heaven purified by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:23)
- Instructions on how to do missionary work (DC 23:7d, DC 115:1c)
- Instructions for public worship (DC 46:Intro)
- How to know the spirits (DC 52:4b-52:5a) – discussed above
- Those who overcome will receive an inheritance (DC 63:6b)
- Elders to receive their missions at conference (DC 73:2b)
- Instructions for performing the ordinance of washing feet (DC 85:46b)
- The layout of the buildings in Zion, building of temple (DC 91:1a, 2a-b, 3c, DC 94:3a)
- Organization and duty of high councils (DC 99:7, 11d)
- Organization of stakes (DC 125:10a)
Almost all of the patterns listed above are patterns given to us to follow, not patterns given to God to follow. Nowhere do the scriptures say that the works of the Lord have to follow a pattern of repeating the previous occurrence. However, we do see repeating occurrences of the Lord’s people falling into wickedness, receiving punishment, repenting, and returning to righteousness. But even then, the situations and punishments often differed each time.
In conclusion, sometimes we believe things sound scriptural, or sound like something the Lord would say, but upon closer examination we find that it’s not what the scriptures actually say. The “pattern in all things” is not referring to a repetition of events, but it is the pattern by which we can identify the spirit in the work.
October 29, 2018
This work is the "refreshing" of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days brought first through Joseph Smith Jr and comes again through Maurício Berger. This website will post truth irrespective of its conduit. "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also, otherwise there is no existence" D&C 90:5b RLDS or D&C 93:30 LDS. Therefore, postings on this website should be viewed as the endorsement of truth—speaking generally and not specifically for each word, action, person or organization. "And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem." Genesis 7:70
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