Sunday, January 13, 2013

Learning by Faith and Hoosiers

I am the ward mission leader for my home ward. What that means is that I get to hang out with LDS missionaries a bunch. As we were driving around we usually engage in gospel conversation.

Part of the lesson today in the Teachings of the Prophet Lorenzo Snow was on "Learning by Faith." Today we learned in scripture that:

1. where there is no law there is no sin. (Rom 4:15)
2. you cannot be saved in ignorance. (D&C 1:6)
3. Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. (D&C 130:18)
4. The glory of God is intelligence. (D&C 93:36)

My thoughts on this are that first, you can't get to the end and claim ignorance or agnosticism claiming intellectual honesty. God says, ask and ye shall receive. We are all expected to search out God and ask and not procrastinate until it is everlastingly too late.

Second, is the promise that the "principle of intelligence" we attain in this life will rise with us in the resurrection. What is "principle of intelligence?" In heaven, we will have access to all knowledge and have prefect comprehension, understanding, and total recall. However, just because you can know everything doesn't mean you will care to know it. My view of education has been less about how much information I've memorized but learning how much mankind doesn't know and learning to love to learn.

I asked the missionaries what came to mind when they thought of "mysteries of godliness". The response was "Kolob, Ark of the Covenant, Liahona, and the Hill Cumorah, City of Zarahemla". I said that those artifacts and places were extremely interesting and important but probably not the mysteries God and prophets like Nephi are referring to.

Firstly, when the scriptures refer to the Mysteries, they are referring to receiving the Covenants and blessings of God's Temple. But like the scriptural artifacts, cosmology, and archeology; its not the physical artifacts that are the most important. The reason the Liahona like the Temple is important is the teachings that are taught through them. Through the Liahona, for example, we are taught that by our daily faith, and steadfastness in small and simple things can we progress in our journey in this life. The lessons are much more important than the objects, places and symbols themselves.

The real mysteries of godliness have to do with learning to love and serve God and your fellow man. Mysteries concern learning faith, serenity, patience and long-suffering in the face of great tribulation abs adversity. While the great secrets of evil have to do with how to lie, cheat, steal, mislead, dup, con, coerce, enslave and force others to do what you will. The great mysteries of God have to do with how to help influence and motivate others to voluntarily and joyfully choose and follow principles of righteousness without coercion.

One of the missionaries asked of I thought other planets required other Saviors. I said, I didn't know for sure. All we know about is our Earth. But we know that God the Son, under the direction of God the Father created "worlds without number" and that Jesus Christ was the Savior for all of God's children. How this works, I'm not altogether sure but that got me thinking about how faith in Christ works on other planets. I mean we talk about Christ being born, living and dying 2000 years ago in Israel. Imagine being told to have faith in a being born on a distant planet.

That thought got me thinking that I should probably visit Israel some day. I mean, I guess it could be like living in Atlanta and never having visited the Aquarium, Coke Museum or Stone Mountain. I wonder in the eternities whether I'll meet brothers and sisters from other Earth-like planets who will ask me what it was like to be born on the same planet where Christ was born. I wonder if they will ask if I had ever visited the land of Christ's birth?

In reaction to that thought my wife said, "now let me get this straight, am I to understand, that you suddenly have a burning desire to visit Jerusalem because of the possibility that in the eternities, beings from other planets may ask you if you had ever visited the place of Christ's birth and you are hoping to avoid an eternity of possible awkward situations?" "Yes", I responded, "that pretty much sums it up".

Back with the Missionaries, I asked them; realizing that out of all the countless Earth's in the Universe, you choose to come to this Earth where Christ was born and were Lucifer himself was cast. Our of all the times in Earth's history, you choose to make your appearance in the Last Days during the time of the greatest wickedness and greatest righteousness of all time ever anywhere in the Universe?

Additionally, you decided that you didn't just want to be a spectator in the bleachers or on the sidelines but you wanted to be a player on the field during the final critical seconds. Furthermore, as the missionary for the Kingdom of God, you didn't just want to be on the field but you want the the ball in the final seconds to bare off the kingdom triumphant into the Millennium? LDS missionaries are like Intergalactic Jimmy Chitwoods (Hoosiers) who with seconds left on the clock told the coach, 'give me the ball, "I'll make it"'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not the CHURCH of Jesus Christ that poses a contradiction to truth. It's the Saints portion of that which poses a problem.

The original teachings of Joseph Smith came from God. Over several generations of time those Doctrines have been watered down by the Saints to suite the need to be accepted among those of the world.

If we are not under a collective condemnation as Saints, and we have continued to progress toward perfection & Zion, then show me the Meat.

It's a funny thing about pride...It denies it's own existence.

I'm absolutely sure this comment will not be approved because it doesn't fit the cookie cutter comments that serve the cause of pride and spiritual blindness.

So this is obviously not going to reach the readerS, but maybe the readeR will take the time to consider & weigh the lack of evidence of a people fit for a Zion which is a million miles away from materializing among a group of very materialistic people.