(The Light of Christ)

     Go ahead and read the Wikipedia article; it's very informative. But you won't really find the following perspective there. And I know it only because one of my professors in Germany was one of the country's top laser researchers. He taught us that all the magic we make with lasers is due to two, unique properties of lasers: Coherence and Cohesion.
     What are they?
     Coherence is essentially that a laser's light is all exactly the same color, the same, precise wavelength.
     Cohesion is just that all those waves are all perfectly in phase, in sync, like soldiers all marching in cadence.
     These two properties, in conjunction, are what make a laser a 'beam'. It's all the very same bit of light, not collections of rays, but just one ray, one color, one rhythm. Unity. Purity. Focus. Purpose.
     This is what makes it possible for lasers to be used to create holograms, storing more information about an image than any other form of recording, to measure distances to the nanometer in microseconds, and to drive cats wild.
     This is what causes laser light to look grainy, even vibrate, when shining on even the smoothest surface.
     Coherence and cohesion. They make lasers make magic. But there's another application of these properties akin to that of Mendeleev's Periodic Table of the Elements.
     After yet another disappointing day of incoherent, uncohesive rambling, it occurs to me that there is one thing missing from the promise that, if we 'seek first to obtain the word' to the point that 'the spirit gives us the words we need in the moment that we need them', and that is there are plenty of people possessed of the gift of gab. But that doesn't mean that they have any idea what they're talking about.
     Let those 'teachers' who so recklessly pepper their jabbering with phrases like, '... and that's what the gospel is all about.', or '... and that's what we're here for.', or '... and that's what the law of love means.', beware, repent, and start thinking long and hard about what they say. Learn your scriptures! They probably say something entirely different from what you think they say. And what they actually say is what we must all be saying, including you.
     Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
     Rhetoric and sophistry are as great a waste of time as speaking in tongues for its own sake. Just as Joseph Smith tempered the ability to speak in tongues with the actual need to do so, and to actually communicate something worthwhile in the process, and to someone who can understand both the language AND the message, the ability to run one's mouth with enthusiasm and endurance must obviously be tempered with the qualification that the words spilling forth actually add up, make sense, and not just simply have valid syntax in complete sentences.
     The message must work.
     And how do you know whether it does? Well, of course, the spirit will be conveyed. The hearer will have the spirit testify to them the veracity of the message. But can you put your finger on just why it doesn't? Or are you at a loss?
     Well, allow me to posit a suggestion that the message (and the messenger) itself is confused, poorly researched, ill formed, and even just flat wrong. In other words, it lacks both coherence and cohesion. And why is that? Because the speaker is confused. They simply do not have the Word, or at least not all of it.
     Or maybe the speaker sincerely believes themselves well versed in their subject, but as taught by others who were themselves misguided or even dishonest, say like James Redfield or Bagwan Rajneesh. In short, 'seeking first to obtain the word' can mean only 'the word of God', not the words of men. And too many still read scripture through the lens of their preconceived notions instilled in them over a lifetime of exposure to the doctrines of men, to propaganda, like those who keep insisting that the commandments are now irrelevant because the law of love has replaced them.
     No words of men will ever have the coherence and cohesion of God's word. Just read Mein Kampf, the Communist Manifesto, or practically anything at all written by men to convey a paradigm, a world view. It will unfailingly fail the laser test. Unfailingly.
     That's why the spirit fails both hearer and speaker. And yet another Sabbath gets chalked up to general disappointment. And anyone seeking to rescue the day, and restore some holiness to the day, must instead go home and spend a few hours with the scriptures, and try to blot the 'lesson' from their mind.
     The only problem with this is that, as they study, they clarify the Word to themselves. The Word's purity and unity gives them an 'eye single', and then they discover the other function of the spirit: TO CONSTRAIN. And what the spirit most often constrains one to do is to rebuke the errant motormouth with nothing intelligent to say, but who nonetheless believes that they do, and only drives the spirit away from the one place one enters hoping to partake.
     The spirit works like a laser, excising the cancer.
     Want an example of what I mean? Ask yourself whether my words are true. The spirit should be telling you. If you know the spirit. Will reading scripture clarify the Word to you? Will its purity and unity (coherence and cohesion) give you an eye single? Put my words to the laser test. Judge for yourself. Have I helped you? Have you had a 'Eureka' experience? Are you now better armed to understand what's wrong? And to correct it? Will taking such measures heal you?
     Of course, I've put it to the test myself. It works. Others have tested it. It worked for them. Paul says it works. Joseph Smith says it works. But test it for yourself. Let me know how it turns out.

~~ Marcus Aurelius ~~