Saturday, December 26, 2015

Our Second Estate

In some ways, our second estate, in relationship to our first estate, is like agreeing in advance to surgery. Then the anesthetic of forgetfulness settles in upon us. Just as doctors do not de-anesthetize a patient in the midst of authorized surgery to ask him again if the surgery should be continued, so, after divine tutoring, we agreed to come here and to submit ourselves to certain experiences; it was an irrevocable decision.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

God Left the World Unfinished

In the March 1998 Ensign magazine, Thomas S. Monson made the following statement:
God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation.

As I try to seek and understand God according to my experience and my religion, signs point to Him being at the crossroads or the balance between opposing concepts.

Christ is a loving, healing, helping, and saving God. Yet there are so many instances in life when God seems distant, absent; when He does not heal or help according to our pleas and fervent prayers.

According to our record, Jesus quite consistently affirmed that His blessings and healings were contingent upon faith. I wish we had a record of a time when someone came to Jesus seeking a blessing, where Jesus said, "no." The only instances that come to mind are in the case of the Canaanite woman (whose petition He eventually granted), and in the case of Paul:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Great Article on the Power of the Atonement to Heal

I just read an article in the December 2015 Ensign magazine entitled, Returning Home Early From My Mission. It's an article I want to remember and review. It interests me because it is about someone who is trying to do all the right things, but encounters trials and illness that prevent her from doing the "right things" she wants to much to do, and which - according to Church leaders - the Lord wants us to do too.

Our faith must mature in order to know how to feel and think about God when the harder we try, the worse things seem to get. It is a wrestle to know when it is time to do more and push harder, and when it is time to loosen our grip, back off, and leave things in the Lord's hands. The first thought that comes to mind is: "the Spirit will tell you." My experience so far is that, either the Spirit doesn't always tell me, or I don't always know how to listen. We are on this Earth to have experiences and learn from them. How often I have wished that the Spirit would always guide me, and how hard I have tried to always be worthy of that guidance. I'm still struggling to understand the Gift of the Holy Ghost.