Is the Large and Spacious Building Inside of Me?

“And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men.  And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them” 1 Nephi  12:18

Having read this verse hundreds, maybe even thousands of times, I always focused on the pride part of the verse.  I imagined that the large and spacious building was full of prideful people partying, having a good time, and laughing at us righteous members of the church who were trying to live the gospel.  Think of a floating Bellagio casino full of beautiful people laughing at humble members of the church walking into a local meetinghouse, and that pretty much summed up how I viewed the large and spacious building and its residents.

What are Vain Imaginations?

Though there might be a pinch of truth in my old interpretation, today as I was reading this verse again a deeper meaning jumped out at me.  The phrase “vain imaginations” caught my eye and I began pondering it.  What are vain imaginations and how do they keep us from experiencing the Tree of Life?

I went to Merriam-Webster’s site and looked up the word vain.  As it turns out the word vain has several possible definitions and meanings, but the definitions that stuck out to me most were useless and ineffective.

So what exactly are useless imaginations?

I believe useless imaginations are any beliefs or thoughts that distract us from discovering or experiencing our true divine nature (Self).  Self awakening  and identification is the only way we can consistently experience and abide in God’s pure love (the fruit of the tree).  By identifying ourselves with our vain imaginations, rather than with our Self, we create a terrible gulf that divides us from who we think we are and who we really.  This false identification keeps us from enjoying the pure, unconditional love of God.

Are the Spacious Building and Tree of Life Inside of Me?

That was huge for me…I came to the realization that the spacious building and the Tree of Life are both inside of me!  And that the way I choose to identify myself, by either my vain imaginations or my true Self, determines how deeply I partake from the Tree of Life.

If the great and spacious building is truly inside of me, how is it manifest?  What are these vain imaginations that separate me from the Tree of Life?   Vain imaginations (useless thoughts or beliefs) are products of mind conditioning that come from our environment and life experiences.  Everyone has their own vain imaginations, but here are some of mine:

– God will only love me if I do everything perfectly

– I don’t belong

– I don’t deserve to be successful, because I’m not as smart as other people

– I’m a failure if I don’t accomplish X

– I’m not worthy of love because of my past

– The Savior’s atonement doesn’t apply to me.  I’m not good enough

– My value is determined by my monetary wealth

We all have our own brand of vain imaginations and they are part of human nature.  Our vain imaginations become a problem when we start indulging and identifying with them.  When we truly start believing these vain imaginations, the terrible gulf becomes wider, we stray from the narrow path of true Self identification, and we unconsciously start moving more toward the great and spacious building and away from the Tree of Life.

How to Awake Self Identification

Learning how to control the mind, contextualize vain imaginations, and commune deeply with the Savior are the keys to staying on the narrow path of Self identification which leads to the Tree of Life.  Christ-centered meditation can help us achieve this state of pure awareness of our innate divinity.

As we still our minds through consistent meditation practice, we free ourselves from identifying with our vain imaginations.  In so doing, we create space for the Spirit of Truth to testify of our inherit divinity and we are able to abide in the love of the Savior.  Free to partake of that sweet fruit that fills our soul with the love of God.  No attachments or conditions.

How do you keep from entering the Large and Spacious Building?

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field