(November 18, 2015)
There is a scene from the movie “Galaxy Quest” that I thought of as I read this chapter. In it, there is a self-destruct sequence which the heroes are attempting to cancel. They make it to the place where they can cancel it, only to have it not stop when they push the button. Why? Because the countdown only stops when there is one second left – only when the destruction was imminent (for dramatic purposes) did the salvation come.
But, of course, the Lord doesn’t work for dramatic effect (or maybe he does? Doctrine and Covenants 19 would seem to lend some credence to that position). In any event, the Lord waited until the last possible day before saving the people. I think there is a powerful lesson that we need to learn from this – so many times in my life I have looked for a convenient salvation from the pains and difficulties that I have faced. I have hoped for rescue from those who seek to hurt me to come in my time and in my way. The reality, though, is that the Lord has His own timetable, and if we trust Him it will be soon enough (but perhaps only barely soon enough).
The other thought that I had as I was reading in this chapter was on the teaching that the Law of Moses should be revoked. This is the danger from having an intellectual rather than a spiritual understanding of the Gospel (a problem that I had in the past, and likely still carry to a certain extent [though less so now]). Those advocating the repeal of the Law of Moses were doctrinally correct that the Law must end. But they were spiritually wrong because there was a detail that they were mistaken about.
Putting that in context of the present day (or the recent past), consider the issue of the blacks and the Priesthood. There were those who, reading the scriptures or researching the history, came to the conclusions that blacks should have the Priesthood. Some left the Church over that issue. But for all of their intellectual acumen (and the fact that they were doctrinally [almost] right), the reality is that the change had to come by revelation and in the time that the Lord required. Doing things early is not acceptable, and they must happen in the appropriate time and through the appropriate channels.