If it should be … the will of God that I might live to behold that temple completed and finished from the foundation to the top stone, I will say, ‘O Lord, it is enough. Lord, let thy servant depart in peace.’
– Joseph Smith
Today I was set-apart as a counsellor in the Bishopric of my church congregation, and thus also ordained a High Priest. While this could rightly be considered a significant personal event, it’s not normally something I would specifically mention on here (let alone announce!), but I do so because it provides a bookend for what has been a remarkable chapter personally that has taken place over (exactly) the last 365 days.
Much that has transpired I will not relate (and I doubt I ever will), but there are some things that I’ve learned from the experience that I wish to share and hope that it may be of benefit to you, dear reader!
- We are fundamentally broken
Part of the reason we are to forgive all of everything is because if we didn’t we would spend our whole lives being offended. Look closely enough and you will find the faults of others that you seek.
Part of the reason we are counselled against pride is because we do not see ourselves clearly. To do so would probably be the ultimate demoralisation.
If you find yourself disheartened at your personal struggles, take comfort that everyone else is struggling too, in ways that do not show.
- There is a long list of people in my life that I have let down and there’s nothing I can do about it
Because I (along with the rest of you) am fundamentally broken, there is much in my life I have not done that I should have, and this will continue to be the case for a long, long time. I apologise in advance.
We are going to let each other down. We simply are, and we won’t be able fix it. We may not even know we broke it. But take heart…
- Both of the above are OK….as long as….
The wonder of the atonement and power of Christ is that it and He takes the broken and the wounded and, by degrees, leads the soul bearing the corruption of this world through the water and the fire and makes them fit for the kingdom of heaven and thus eternal union. And this can all happen without people seeing it, or acknowledging it.
One of my new favourite scriptures is Helaman 3:29-30:
29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—
30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.
For all the faults of the ones holding them (and I know plenty about *that*!), God established an order and when a thing requires the involvement of keys, trying to work around them or avoid them will. not. work. Just so you know!
- We wink at the commandments of God at our peril
So much that the Lord asks us to do requires faith, because the consequences are, at best, non-obvious and at worst firmly counter-intuitive under our paradigms, but the results of ignoring that guidance are and will be devastating. The worst part is we will do our level best to pretend that it didn’t really happen, or it’s no big deal. That will be a lie.
- We will confess at judgement that the Lord is just
At the last day, when we stand before God, we will bring our excuses, our theories, our rationalisations, even our Strong Reasons(TM) against Him, and watch in horror as they crumble to dust before what really is.
Picking that sort of fight is a hiding to nothing. And we get nothing out of it.
- Jesus stands at the door and knocks……….and waits…………
“For all of this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still”
Wherever you think you are, whatever you think your faith is like, whatever you think you have done, whatever you think *others* have done, the Saviour calls to you. While we need to open the door, He will be there when we do, even if no one else is.
A bit of a disjointed hotch-potch pot-pourri, to be sure, but I couldn’t let today go without saying it.
Time for a grand adventure, methinks. Let’s see what the next 365 has in store…