Monday, January 9, 2017

Obtain a Greater Resurrection/Exaltation


I was enjoying the Lectures on Faith again this morning and something really interesting jumped out at me that I hadn't caught previously. It is a scripture that Joseph Smith quotes:

Hebrews 11:32 and the following verses: "And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword; out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to fight the armies of the aliens, women received their dead raised to life again, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." Lecture 1. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22."

Did you catch it... "and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." Wow!! It seems that we feel that if we are good and honorable members of the Church or our society, that we are almost entitled to the good life and that we either escape the bad or that our life should be void of hardships and trials. This concept shakes that thinking up quite a bit. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with striving for happiness and joy in our lives, but this thinking puts a depth of perspective into what we desire and what we are or will pass through. This concept is more than just happily enduring through what happens to us, because it expands our thinking to a new level of not just enduring, but rather a proactive role in how can I obtain and even greater resurrection/exaltation. 

Nephi teaches, "And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given." 2 Nephi 2:26 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/2?lang=eng

It seems to me, and according to this concept we are discussing, that we should "act for ourselves" rather than "to be acted upon," even when it comes to our trials and our hardships and our circumstances.

As I was pondering this morning, a quote from Joseph Smith came to mind:

While suffering greatly during his imprisonment in Liberty Jail during the winter of 1838–39, Joseph Smith wrote to members of the Church: “Beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath said that He would have a tried people, that He would purge them as gold [see Malachi 3:3], now we think that this time He has chosen His own crucible, wherein we have been tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall have kept the faith, that it will be a sign to this generation, altogether sufficient to leave them without excuse; and we think also, it will be a trial of our faith equal to that of Abraham, and that the ancients will not have whereof to boast over us in the day of judgment, as being called to pass through heavier afflictions; that we may hold an even weight in the balance with them.”

“Trials will only give us the knowledge necessary to understand the minds of the ancients. For my part, I think I never could have felt as I now do, if I had not suffered the wrongs that I have suffered. All things shall work together for good to them that love God [see Romans 8:28].” https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-19?lang=eng

I have always found this part very interesting,"that the ancients will not have whereof to boast over us in the day of judgment, as being called to pass through heavier afflictions; that we may hold an even weight in the balance with them.” It is a similar attitude as, "and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." Both are proactive and "act for ourselves" in working out our salvation. Let us, put to rest all questions along the lines of, "why me?" and rather ask ourselves, "how can I act for myself in this trial and obtain a greater resurrection or exaltation?" And then of course, go to work!!

Craig


No comments:

Post a Comment