Monday, January 30, 2017

Do What You Know, Try What You Don't

Most of us have been inspired by the story found in Moses 5:5-8 when Adam is asked by an angel why he is performing a sacrifice and he responds, "I know not, save the Lord commanded me." It teaches us exact obedience to commands that we don't fully understand. I always took that lesson as a lesson in what some might call "blind obedience"; simply obeying because we love and trust the Lord even if we don't know why we do it. This week, however, I learned how to apply the teachings of this scripture to myself in a more meaningful way. 
It's not only about "blind obedience" it's about doing what you know and letting that drive you to try what you don't know. Adam knew what he was doing and how to do it, having learned how to make animal sacrifices from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But he didn't know the why, which for many people prevents us from actually doing something. But he took what he knew, the how and the what of sacrifice, and decided to try it, even if he didn't have all the answers. 
So it is with us. We rarely know all three aspects of a commandment: What, How, Why. That's where faith is meant to make up the difference. If we knew everything why would we need faith? What 
 would the point of coming to this earth be if God gave us everything right away? We are made better when we are given the opportunity to show our faith and commitment to our loving Father in Heaven that we trust Him enough to give Him a chance, to let Him play an essential role in our lives. Let us all show more commitment to our God Who does so much for us and try a little more to be a little more faithful and obedient. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Love Thy Neighbor

Most of us are very familiar with the commandment found in Mark 12:30-31 (also found in other books of scripture) that states, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
"And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, There is none other commandment greater than these." We've come to understand better what it means to love God and His children and how to show and greater develop that love. But I wonder how truly we actually understand what that means. In my house we have a huge window that faces the street and I get to people watch while doing my homework. This past week I watched as people passed each other on the street and didn't even acknowledge the existence of the other human being and I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed; disappointed in myself, because I know I do it all the time, and in how that is the social norm in our society and world today.We tend to shut out the world around us when going from place to place, which is okay sometimes. We need that time to be by ourselves and think and figure things out as we walk. Too often, however, it's just to get to where we're going a little "faster" by not having to bother with the exhaustion of personal interaction.
There were two men specifically that caught my eye as they passed each other. They weren't just avoiding eye contact or ignoring one another, there was simply no recognition of the fact there there was another living human. I couldn't help but think, "but we were all together in heaven! That's your brother! How can you just ignore him like that?!"
What I'm trying to say in all of this is that we all knew each other and we're all here on the earth now trying to make sense of it all, trying to become better and overcome the hardships of life. I think the least we can do to show and feel a little more of that familiar love we had once felt for each other before this life is acknowledge each other. Make eye contact and smile. We'll all feel a little better. Love God and His children with a little more heart and soul, a little more thought, and a little more strength.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mary the Mother of Christ

Mary is universally known as the mother of Jesus Christ who is our Lord and Savior. She has been revered, respected, and at times even worshiped for having performed the amazing task of bearing and raising the Redeemer of the World. She was courageous in accepting this calling but also humble. In St Luke 1:38 Mary responds to the angel Gabriel, saying, "...Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to they word..."  When I read this my mind thought of when Christ suffered in Gethsemane and pleaded with God that He might not drink from the bitter cup but then said, "nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (St John 22:42). This scripture about Mary's humility and submission to the Lord's will helped me to understand her better. She knew fully well that few people would believe her and if Joseph had called off the marriage, no one would have had her. Her humility and faith that the Lord would take care of her is incredible. She was willing to sacrifice her life and all her comforts to perform this incredible act. Might we follow the examples of Christ and his wonderful mother in having enough faith in our Heavenly Father to trust His will and submit ourselves to living worthy of performing in behalf of the Lord.