Doctrine of the Two Ways
This ancient doctrine describes the direction that Israel, the church, or an individual may follow. It makes no difference whether it is an individual or a community; all are on a single path that goes two ways — forward or backward. Man is either gaining, or he is losing. He cannot stand still. Whether a group or a person, everyone is either gaining (restoring) light and truth, or they are losing (apostatizing from) light and truth. This world is a world of change. Nothing remains the same. Everywhere, one sees either growth or decay. These forces are at work everywhere. They are also at work within each individual. “You either search out new truth, find it, live it, and thereby become restored to truth, or you back away from it. If you are backing away, losing it, neglecting it, and discarding it, you are in the process of apostasy. In a restoration process, there are moments along the way that are marked and notable. Having the inspiration of the spirit, or feeling the remission of your sins, or receiving revelation, or having a visit of an angel are notable. The culmination of the restoration would be to return to God’s presence. Should that happen, through the Second Comforter’s ministry, then you have been restored in full. There are two ways — forward or backward. It is not required that you finish the course in a day; but times are coming in which the environment will require of you a greater commitment as ‘wheat’ on the one hand, or leave you to descend into becoming a ‘tare’ on the other. So the direction you are on now is quite important. Either you are restoring truth or you are discarding it.”1 “It is easy to imagine absolutes, and to think and argue in terms of absolutes…good and evil, light and darkness, hot and cold, black and white — we know exactly what they are; but in the real world we have rarely experienced the pure thing — our own experience lies between. Yet standing on that middle ground, we are faced with absolute decisions. It is not where we stand, says Ezekiel, that makes us good or evil in God’s eyes — no one has reached the top or bottom in this short life — but the direction in which we are facing. There we have only two choices. The road up and the road down are the same. It all depends on the way you are facing…. You are either repenting or not repenting, and that is, according to the scriptures, the whole difference between being righteous or being wicked.”2There are only two ways: the way I lead, that goes upward in light and truth unto Eternal lives — and if you turn from it, you follow the way of darkness and the deaths. Those who want to come where I am must be able to abide the conditions established for my Father’s Kingdom. I have given to you the means to understand the conditions you must abide. I came and lived in the world to be the light of the world. I have sent others who have testified of me and taught you. I have sent my light into the world. Let not your hearts remain divided from one another and divided from me (T&C 157:52).3
1 “Forward or Backward,” April 16, 2010, blog post.
2 Hugh Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 462–463.
3 See also “Answer to Prayer for Covenant,” July 27, 2017, 7.