Friday, July 31, 2015

Galatians 1-3

(July 31, 2015)
                I was struck as I read through this chapter about Paul confronting Peter and the significance of that.  I am a firm believer that you follow Priesthood leadership, and at this point Peter was the leader of the Church.  And yet Paul minces no words in his correction of Peter for what he believes that Peter is doing wrong.

                Of course, we understand that Paul is not infallible himself.  Do we see what Paul did as something to emulate, or is that a mistake that Paul has made in confronting Peter in this way?  I tend towards the latter interpretation because the events as Paul described them seem to lend towards contention, and we know that is not the way that the Lord operates.  But I couldn’t begin to be certain about that.

2 Nephi 11-12

(July 31, 2015)

                I was struck in my reading today of Nephi’s delight in “proving” the Christ.  Nephi does not prove the Christ in the manner that we typically expect him to – there is no argumentation or evidences or rhetoric.  He ‘merely’ quotes Isaiah.  But if his purpose was to prove it to our spirits (awakening us), then perhaps what he wrote did exactly what he said it would – prove the Christ.

2 Corinthians 12-13

(July 30, 2015)
                There is so much truth to the idea that the glory of God is made manifest in our weaknesses.  For so long I attempted to hide my weaknesses, but by opening myself up to acknowledging them and dealing with them I have become aware of vast power through the Grace of the Atonement that is available to us.

                C. S. Lewis (if I may paraphrase him) stated that Christ could appear in a perfected body yet chosen to appear with scars on His hands and His feet because those wounds demonstrated the Glory of God.  Likewise, Lewis thought that we would be healed so perfectly that our spiritual wounds could be hidden forever yet we might show them because they would demonstrate the Glory of God in the power of the Atonement to heal us.  I don’t know if that is true, but I have seen something similar in my life where an open acknowledgement of my weaknesses serves to demonstrate the Glory of God in its capacity to help me overcome those weaknesses.

2 Nephi 10

(July 30, 2015)

                Remembering that the House of Israel can be seen as a symbol for each of us, I was struck by Jacob’s language concerning those who had been broken off and dwell on the isles of the sea.  I can empathize, in my current situation, with the feeling of being Israel being found on the isles of the sea rather than in Jerusalem, but Jacob reminds me that even in difficult situations it is important that I do not hang my head because the Lord has made great promises to the isles of the sea who stay true to Him.  And I trust He will do likewise in my situation.

2 Nephi 9

(July 29, 2015)
                I struggle to understand exactly where the dividing line exists between having chosen to accept or reject the Gospel and not having had that opportunity (which is yet another good reason I am glad that I am not in a position of judgment).  Jacob here speaks of the wo that will come to the blind who will not see.  This description struck me because the modification of the blind to be limited to those who would not see (not those who could not see) seemed meaningful to me.  In my life, I have learned that I know more than I think that I know about the truth of the Gospel, but at the same time there are blinds spots in my life that I struggle to deal with.

                With those blind spots, I have had to come to an understanding that I don’t know what I don’t know.  But I am not happy being willfully blind either, and so long as I strive to take the blind spots to the Lord (as I find them) and allow Him to open my eyes, that has seemed to be sufficient.  I expect this is what Jacob is talking about (or, rather, the opposite).

2 Corinthians 9-11

(July 28, 2015)
                I don’t think I glory in the Lord as much as I should.  The reality is that I am so very blessed, and sometimes when I am facing challenges or temptations or struggles of some kind I can forget that important fact.  I become so focused on what I don’t have that I lose sight of what I do have and how greatly the Lord has blessed me.

                But if I properly gloried in the Lord, I would always remember how He has blessed me throughout my life.  I would trust Him to turn me from what I am into what I am to become.  I would be satisfied with whatever He chose to give to me, and would trust that whatever it is He would turn it to my benefit.

                A life spent glorying in the Lord seems like a far more enjoyable life to live.
prophet of God.

2 Nephi 7-8

(July 28, 2015)
                There are those who would, for lack of a better way of putting this, make the scriptures and the prophets offenders for a word.  For example, if there is a single mistake in the Prophet’s words they feel justified in discounting his stewardship.  Call it Simons Ryder disease.

                                This, of course, is utterly unreasonable.  We believe in fallible leaders and fallible scriptures and a perfect God.  So, for example, when the scriptures in this chapter speak of the fish dying of thirst, that isn’t an accurate description of how fish would actually die in the event that a river or lake disappeared.  And the fact that this piece of biology/ecology happens to be wrong has absolutely no impact on the truthfulness of the message or Isaiah’s status as a prophet of God.