Monday, August 31, 2015

2 Nephi 15-17

(August 2, 2015)
                The Lord’s rhetorical question (“What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?”) ought to bring each of us a great deal of hope.  The God of all has put forth His very best efforts to allow us as His children to succeed.  Should we not take joy in this fact?

                If we sat and contemplated what it would take to bring us to be the kind of people that could go back and live with Him, we certainly could imagine miracles and revelations and so forth.  But we know that an omniscient Father, far wiser than us, has given us everything He could to help us succeed.  That means whatever we might imagine that would help us, God has given us so much more than that.  We have been placed in the best possible position to succeed.

Galatians 4-6

(August 1, 2015)
                There seems to be a particular mentality that has become somewhat prevalent.  This mentality draws upon some language regarding overzealousness, and draws the conclusion that any zeal is a bad thing.  Those who espouse this position hold the idea that anyone who is zealous about anything has missed the mark.

                But, of course, this is not true.  Paul is quite clear in these chapters that zeal for a good cause is a good thing.  In fact, even accounting for the scriptures regarding overzealousness it is far more appropriate to say that zeal is a negative when it is misdirected.  One cannot be overzealous in the service of the Lord – one can, however, be overzealous in pursuing a particular Gospel hobby and claiming it to be service to the Lord.

                But, regardless, it is painfully clear that zeal is a positive trait (rather than a negative one), and is sorely lacking in the world currently.
ven when they were successful).

2 Nephi 13-14

(August 1, 2015)
                This has the language of beating people to pieces and grinding the faces of the poor.  In my life, I have always read this in a way that it seemed to me that the motivation was greed – the people in power wanted what the poor and weak had, and so they destroyed them to get it.

                But since then, I have been in a bit of a different situation than I was in before.  I have, unfortunately, been obliged to deal with people who viewed my destruction as a positive thing independent of whether there was any other benefit conferred.

                I read this part in light of that this time.  I am certain greed is a part of the problem, but there are those in this world who would destroy others simply for the benefit of seeing them destroyed rather than to acquire some benefit of their own.  The irony, of course, is that having experienced this I have seen the Lord take what I have gone through and made me stronger and seen those who sought to destroy me become weaker through their efforts (even when they were successful).