Well, my thoughts have somewhat been rolling around in the realm of being intelligent and virtuous—that Knowledge must be matched with the sister virtue of Goodness. To the degree that intelligence and Goodness exist together, they make a person whole and glorious. C. S. Lewis said, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” I surmise that sometimes in our learning we justify our weaknesses and lower our values and standards. I think this is the seductive danger in leaning toward our own understanding and not God's understanding. In Second Nephi 9:29, we learn that "to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God." This principle of aligning my intelligence with God's intelligence has led me to ponder on my recent past.
Here is a little history: for the last twelve years, I have been associating with a couple who have intrigued me with their thoughts, ideas and intellect. Most of our discussion has been in the field of religion, LDS religion, and includes principles and ideas from without the mainstream of Church belief. It has been fascinating and compelling. Other couples have shared stories and books about visions and near-death experiences. These have been intriguing too. For the sake of making this post brief, I am not going to go into detail at this time. I may revisit this post when college classes and my own homeschooling responsibilities are not overwhelming me, but for right now, I will be brief.
Over time, I have had a feeling that something does not quite settle right in my soul about all of these things and I have not known why and maybe I still do not know why, but I have an idea. It seemed that all these years only a few number of members know about these things or talk about them. The rest do not or do not even care. The Brethren surely do not talk about them either. The word esoteric comes to mind. These discussions, therefore are for the few, not the many. They also come in, not by the Gate, but in other ways (under the gate, over the fence, etc.) Knowledge translated into Greek is Gnosis, which could be interpreted as Gnosticism. In other words, over the last decade or so, I have been delighting in good old Mormon Gnosticism. Not gnosticism in the ancient sense pertaining to the 2nd Century heretical movement, but a loose definition of gnosticism in the sense that only a few know about it—esoteric knowledge.
If the knowledge is esoteric, then it is not for the general public. This is starting to sound like the Dark Ages to me. If it is not for the general public, then it is only personal revelation and not something that ought to be shared with others. Alma 12:9 says, “It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.” Strict command is pretty strong here. I surmise that this "gnosis" in which, I have been caught up is not for me to share with others, discuss with others or listen from others.
I believe Mormon Gnosticism began as a fascination with me, then gradually, I felt a sort of "pulling away" from the basic faith. I do not think I went far, but just enough to feel a little darker. In my struggle, I felt to veer away from the esoteric and an amazing thing happened, I felt freer and more filled with light and knowledge, or more pertinently, I felt true gnosis—the kind of living knowledge given to all mankind from God.