Personal Online Journal

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What do I cleave to?

Words sometimes turn out to mean the opposite from what they used to. Cleave is one of these words. It has been confusing to me unless I recognize this contradiction. And also realize that cleave is not alone among words. They are called contronyms.

Cleave can mean "To stick; to adhere;", as in "If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth;" (Ps 137:6)

Similarly it means "To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment." as in "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else." (D&C 42:22) and "forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God." (D&C 98:11)

The opposite meaning is seen in cleaver, a knife that is used to cut meat.

So what do I adhere to? To what have I affection and am strongly attached to? What competes for my attention? That might distract me from the most important?

Friday, June 05, 2015

Made Mighty Even Unto the Power of Deliverance

We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel,
when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable,
when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life,
when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome,
and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone,
truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance (see 1 Ne. 1:20). 
Some individuals who hear or read this message erroneously may discount or dismiss in their personal lives the availability of the tender mercies of the Lord. ... We may falsely think that such blessings and gifts are reserved for other people who appear to be more righteous or who serve in visible Church callings. I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us. 
(White space and emphasis is mine, "The Tender Mercies of the Lord", David A. Bednar, Apr 2005)

Thursday, June 04, 2015

If you could ask the First Presidency...

A friend of mine asked "If you could ask the First Presidency a question--any question--what would you ask?"

I wonder if the premise of the question is in our best interest. This was my answer to him.

One answer might be that in order for us to receive new light, we must be willing to live according to the light we have received. It is possible that you, personally, are living according to the light you have. That you have received a personal confirmation about some new light not available to the church or world generally. 
That does not mean that you have the authority to speak for the church. Or even the right to convince the world or Mormons of your new revelation, whether it is actually true or not.  
Asking the First Presidency might serve to distract from the most urgent needs of the church generally.  
This scripture came to mind
"if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin." (2 Ne 9:48
Also this,
"We cannot and we must not allow ourselves to get distracted from our sacred duty. We cannot and we must not lose focus on the things that matter most." ("We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down", Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Apr 2009)

It is not up to us to direct the church. It is not up to us what questions the First Presidency ought to be considering. If you feel a burning desire to advocate for a certain revelation to be received; if you feel God is calling you to make this come to pass; you are free to do so. Just do not expect the Brethren to feel obligated to answer you. Do not expect that you are free to do so without possible negative consequences.

If you are a sufficient distraction to the work of the Lord as discerned by those with the keys in your local area, they have the right to censure you as a Mormon. 

God does not make mistakes

God intended for us to have a mortal experiences. He did not make a mistake when giving Adam and Eve the opportunity to transgress or to allow Satan to tempt them. It was their choice but it was in God's plan for us to have a fallen world so that we could be born and experience it and have the opportunity to be redeemed from the fall and return more fully developed.

I do not think God makes mistakes. It is part of His plan. He did not do anything that He did not intend or foresee.

That said, the results of the fall are hearbreaking. But can turn to our good. The earth is cursed for our sake. Why? I think it is because is creates a result where we are more likely to turn to Him for help. The condition of gratitude that comes from His grace comes from our hearts turning to him. Living in a fallen world makes it more likely for us to do so.

And we chose to come here. He does not force anything upon His children. We chose to come to a fallen world. Because He promised us that it would help us progress. That we would be able to learn by experience the difference between good and evil.

The lame man did not sin to receive the punishment of his lameness. But to give the opportunity to show to him and others the grace and power and mercy of God.

Does God actively put obstacles in our way? Did He create the one born blind or lame? God does not put things in our way. We do or those before us have done so including Adam and Eve. God does not create evil he only allows it to give us opposition and thus the ability to choose.

In short, God does not make mistakes. Pain and suffering and imperfection in the world we live in comes from our imperfections and those before us.

The only antidote is repentance and forgiveness of others; and faith in our Healer Jesus Christ to restore us.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Spiritual Symbols

My brother in law pointed out a meaning of an oval (or ellipse). The orbit of the planets and other objects around the sun are elliptical. That means they are at times closer to the sun than at other times. When we pull away from God. His light and love draw us nearer to Him if we allow it.

This comforts me in my emotional swings. That I can always draw closer to God. That perhaps I might be able to adjust my proximity to God by adjusting my orbit and by being more constant or like a circle.