Last week I had a dream in which I was in Poland enrolled in a class. The class was in Russian, which few of those who were enrolled spoke. This made aspects of the course content really difficult to understand due to a having to learn Russian, while simultaneously gaining the required knowledge from the course. Fortunately what made it easier was the class was mostly experiential: we painted and baked and so on.
It took me a while though to figure out that the purpose of the course was to learn about a specific man. One girl who was a recent participant in the class lamented over the fact that she had come early to Poland in order to go sight-seeing but now realized that that had been a waste of time.
After one specific class where we had baked a meal (something that looked like lasagna), we each had to wash the bowl we used in baking. As we stood in a line outside the room in which to wash our bowls, I looked around and noticed that every person's bowl was unique. Then, when someone exited the wash room, the next person in line would enter. When I finally entered the wash room, there were individual stalls with sinks. Each person was individually washing their own bowl. When I exited, I noticed that there were many empty stalls and I told everyone waiting that they didn't need to wait for someone to exit as there were many free stalls inside. [End]
As I thought about the dream, the Spirit helped me understand that Poland represents the world. We have each come to earth to gain knowledge of the Savior (the man I was studying in my class). Many see earth life as an opportunity to be tested, but it is so much more than that. Knowing God is what gives us eternal life (John 17:3).
What makes this difficult for many is that much of our initial understanding of God comes through the Holy Ghost. However, many do not have an adequate understanding of the language of the Spirit (Russian). A real connection to God, where revelation is frequently received is vital. Without it, we cannot progress. Many though have some connection to God and receive revelations ever now and again. This may lead to progression, but not at a rate that will allow us access to the blessings that God desires to give us. Too often we only experience "feelings" as opposed to allowing the Holy Ghost to teach us more and reveal the mind of God to us. Consider how often the Spirit speaks to your mind. Spending more time in prayer and pondering, listening for His voice, will allow us to come to know God.
Further, this knowledge of God is much more than a knowledge that He exists or knowing specific aspects of His life. Even demons have that knowledge (Luke 4:41). This knowledge is an intimate, experiential knowledge that comes as we become pure and perfected like Him (experiential nature of the class, which included painting and cooking). Learning more about Jesus requires that we put this knowledge into practice. We have to actually become like Him: patient, long-suffering, forgiving, kind, compassionate, gracious, but also strong in the face of adversity, doing only the Father's will.
While many spend their lives in vain pursuits, some will later lament that they have wasted much of their lives not seeking the knowledge that saves (the girl who had gone sight-seeing). There really is so little time. The path is long and arduous. We need to repent and seek to know God's will in all things today.
An essential part of this life's journey is sanctifying ourselves (washing our bowls). Each of us have made choices and have weaknesses (unique bowls) that have led to sin (dirty bowls). But, God does not tolerate even the least degree of sin (Alma 45:16). If we desire to be in His presence, we have to repent of all our sins and all our weaknesses.
31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; 32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven. (Doctrine and Covenants 1)This requires us becoming sinless. Repeating our sins over and over again is not true repentance. We have to change! This is sanctification. This process is an individual procedure and it is God who guides you through it (individual stalls). No man should ever tell you what you ought to do in order to become sanctified (waiting our turn outside the wash room). How God wants you to repent and to sacrifice and what He wants you to develop when, it entirely between you and Him. To often, we depend on what others think and say instead of turning to God and asking Him: "What is your will for me today?"