I have always found it sad that Moses was called to prepare the children of Israel to see the Lord’s face, yet they did not claim that huge privilege. While he was on the mountain conversing with Jehovah, the people were standing in its shadows, creating a golden idol to worship. The Lord knew what the people were doing and instead of welcoming them into His presence, wrote out the basics of serving their God instead.
They could have had a deeply defining, spiritual “mountaintop” experience, like Elder Jack H. Goaslind explained. He said, “We can create our own “mountaintop experience” so unique and personal that I wonder why more of us do not readily do so. The spiritual mountaintop of which I speak is the development and refining of a testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Just as we can stand on the top of any great mountain and experience an awe-inspiring panorama, I believe we can stand in our own places and experience overwhelming awe in knowing that the Savior, in an act of love which defies mortal understanding, gave his life in taking upon himself our pain and suffering.” 1
When temples were not available, the Lord’s followers went to the mountains to commune with God. He denies no one the glory of His love and Spirit. We only deny ourselves these blessings by failing to put forth the effort. When all we must do is step up to the feast, so many sit down and lick the crumbs off the floor. If it was the crumbs they wanted, then Moses gave them crumbs in the form of rules to obey, instead of a close personal relationship with their God. But the Lord continued to guide His people.
Noah preached continually against the wickedness of his day. He was doing his best to change the hearts of the people. They chose not to listen however, which resulted in only eight people being saved from the floods. The Lord prepared His people through the prophet by building a humongous ship to house animals of every kind, seeds, food, etc. Do you ever wonder what was happening outside of the ark as the rain continued coming down? I imagine the cries of those in the flood were painful for the few members of the ark as they waited for the water to sustain the grand ship. These were friends and neighbors, and merchants in their communities who were likely begging Noah for rescue. But God prepared the faithful.
Nephi’s people held out faithful to God’s teachings. When the Lamanites decided they wanted to destroy Nephi once and for all, the Lord warned him, giving him and his people an escape. God saved the faithful.
Joseph Smith was just a boy when the Lord called him but through his own experiences, and his deep conversion to the Lord, Joseph never faltered. He urged the Saints onward in the face of trial and opposition, preparing the faithful for their reward out west.
Like the faithful throughout the ages, God is preparing those who seek Him through His prophets. President Nelson has asked us to minister, to love, to serve both the living and the dead to become more like our Redeemer and be able to live with the constant company of His Spirit. We can have mountaintop experiences daily! As we prepare for the second coming of our Savior, God is working on us as a church to truly become His people, preparing us to receive Him. As we follow the counsel of the Prophet and Apostles, we will be prepared for that glorious day when He returns to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- “Spiritual Mountaintops”, Elder Jack H. Goaslind, General Conference, October 1995, Saturday Morning Session