Religion Magazine

The Keys of Knowledge

By Ldsapologetics
I give you this from lds.org to explain and demonstrate the importance of knowledge spiritually and scripturally.
"Understanding and comprehension, especially of truth as taught or confirmed by the Spirit.
  • The Lord is a God of knowledge:1 Sam. 2:3;
  • The Lord is perfect in knowledge:Job 37:16;
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge:Prov. 1:7;
  • He that has knowledge restrains his words:Prov. 17:27;
  • The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord:Isa. 11:9; ( 2 Ne. 21:9; 2 Ne. 30:15; )
  • Ye have taken away the key of knowledge:Luke 11:52;
  • The love of Christ passes knowledge:Eph. 3:19;
  • Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge:2 Pet. 1:5;
  • Nephi had a great knowledge of the goodness of God:1 Ne. 1:1;
  • They shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer:2 Ne. 6:11;
  • The righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their righteousness:2 Ne. 9:14;
  • The Spirit gives knowledge:Alma 18:35;
  • Your knowledge is perfect in that thing:Alma 32:34;
  • The Lamanites shall be brought to the true knowledge of their Redeemer:Hel. 15:13;
  • Ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God:Moro. 7:15–17;
  • The Saints shall find great treasures of knowledge:D&C 89:19;
  • Pure knowledge greatly enlarges the soul:D&C 121:42;
  • He who has the keys of the holy priesthood has no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts:D&C 128:11;
  • If a person gains knowledge in this life, he has an advantage in the world to come:D&C 130:19;
  • It is impossible to be saved in ignorance:D&C 131:6;"

Knowledge is an important thing in this life and it is the only thing we may take with us in the world to come therefore time and energy spent acquiring knowledge is never wasted. Jesus came as a bringer of light and wisdom, He bestowed upon all generations, possessing open minds and hearts, the keys of knowledge.
But in order to gain the keys of spiritual knowledge you must be wary of those who try to remove from your grasp those very keys.  Speaking of the Pharisees Jesus said this:
"45 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. 46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.
49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:
54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.(Luke 11:45-54)"
In verse 46 Jesus says that the Pharisees layden the people who follow them with undue burdens that are as impossible to carry as they are damaging and painful to carry but worse yet they burden them with things they need not be bothered with in the first place.
Things like lacing up one sandal before another every time, bathing rituals, all manner of rituals that have nothing to do with attaining meaningful knowledge of the spirit or of entering the Kingdom of God.
Jesus says the Kingdom of God is within you.  Jesus implies that the path to the Kingdom is an inner journey not based on the outward signs of righteousness and the legalistic rituals of the Pharisees.  And I'm sure you are as aware as I am that modern LDS leaders and culture place the same emphasis on outward signs of righteousness, on certain rituals and cultural expectations that the Pharisees did in their time.  The inner path to the Kingdom of God that is within you is dismissed entirely it seems.
Modern leaders teach things like "Your eternal salvation depends on attending meetings like Elder's Quorum, Relief Society and Sunday School; doing your home or visiting teaching, paying your tithing and living the Word of Wisdom."
Scripture says to hold to the word of God as an iron rod leading the way back to God, it says to avoid reliance on "The Arm of the Flesh," and nowhere in scripture is it said that your eternal salvation hinges on attending meetings, paying tithing or in rituals like home or visiting teaching.
In verse 52 Jesus says that the Pharisees have not entered the Kingdom and have actually hindered others from entering!  How did they hinder others?  Maybe by focusing on every outward and legalistic detail of the law of Moses rather than by consulting with the spirit of God behind each letter of the law as inscribed not just on the parchment of the scriptures but on the living hearts of his children.
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.(Jeremiah 31:33)"
 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.(2 Corinthians 3:3)"
 The key of knowledge is to me like the key of a map; if you do not understand how to use it then the map, or in this case the scriptures, become useless.  A person's righteousness cannot accurately be gauged solely on appearances.  You cannot know what's on a persons heart just by knowing whether or not they passed the Temple Recommend interview.
Appearances can be deceiving.  The clean shaven look that so many are judged by in church these days is actually frowned upon in the Old Testament, for example:
"You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard" (Leviticus 19:27); "They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh" (Leviticus 21:5).
My point is that anyone can fake appearances and appear to be righteous when the internal righteousness is nearly impossible to fake.  Think about the people who have known in your life, all of them.  Now think about the few of them that you would describe as being truly Christlike.  Their countenance is entirely different than that of the average person isn't it?
They treat all with kindness, compassion, understanding and love.  Even those that hate them they treat with the same love.  That is nearly impossible for most of us so how are they doing so so effortlessly?  Is it because they recognize that the Kingdom of God lies within and they delve deep inside themselves and pull out that Christlike love, they unlock the doors of the Kingdom within and allow it to enter into our world through them?
In the Gospel of Thomas, whose historical reliability is hotly debated, Jesus says something that bears repeating.  He says in verse 67 "One who knows everything but lacks in oneself lacks everything."
So worldly knowledge or legalistic scriptural knowledge does not dictate righteousness because there may be some degree of righteousness and spiritual understanding lacking.  But developing true spiritual knowledge leads to walking the walk not just talking the talk.  By judging the righteousness of others based on outward appearances you are judging someone based on them talking the talk but by paying attention to the countenance of an individual you may know whether or not they are walking the walk.  If you would describe them as displaying Christlike love to all they meet, whether a homeless beggar on the street, whether a clerk at a gas station or whether a Bishop or Stake President then the word righteous may be fitting of them.
But the question of how to judge others is really a moot point and not just unnecessary, in contrast to the importance LDS leaders place on "righteous judgment," it is forbidden by Christ: 
 "aJudge not, that ye be not bjudged. For with what ajudgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what bmeasure ye mete, it shall be cmeasured to you again. aAnd why beholdest thou the bmote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the cbeam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou ahypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)
The reason I bring all this focus on judgment up is because the modern LDS leaders and culture draw your attention away from the importance of the Keys of Knowledge and the first key to me is that the Kingdom of God is within you, that is where you discover all the other keys.
To me the outer world exists to provide us with inspiration, experience and contrast whereas the inner world exists to provide us with spiritual confirmation, communion with God, knowledge of self and therefore knowledge of others and solitude and spiritual rejuvination as a result of all those things.
Prayer and meditation have been scientifically shown to produce the same effects on the mind, body and I presume soul.  Those effects include harmonizing your higher cerebral functions with the more irrational animalistic side of your brain so that you control your brain, rather than allowing your emotions and desires to rule you.
This article written by Dr. Rebecca Gladding shows you better than I ever could what exactly those effects are and to some degree why they take place.  To maximize the positive results all that is required is to practice daily meditation and/or prayer for approximately 20 minutes a day.
I wrote about scriptural references to meditation here.  And here Jesus mentions how to pray:
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."  (Matthew 6:5-8)What's the best way to gain privacy and serenity?  To close the door to your room or to close the door to your outward senses and journey inward to meet you Father who is always with you and seek his guidance, companionship and love? The path to salvation lies in knowledge of oneself, of God, and the word of God serves as guidance but the inward journey provides you with the Holy Spirit which is your personal guide along the path.  Rather than trying to "aid" someone in their salvation by "righteously judging" them try being the kind of friend a friend would like to have.  Extend Christlike love, compassion, understanding and friendship with all your brothers and sisters you come into contact with.  Allow others to partake of the gift of the atonement provided by Christ.  And pray or meditate with them and see if that is a better help to their journey back to God and towards salvation than simply judging them "righteously."But before you can lead they way to the Kingdom of God you must journey within to open the gates and let the living water of Christ flow out into the world first.  Be a living well, a living spring sharing that living water of Christ with all you meet.
                                                                                                                          

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