Sunday, March 25, 2007

the easiness of the way

First off, I apologize if this comes across as preachy to anyone - it's not my intent to make anyone line up directly with my personal beliefs and experiences, but rather I feel like this insight is important enough both to record for my own benefit, and to share with others if they care. This connection has been stewing in my mind for a while now - I've read over the passages in my personal study and in my scripture study with Salad in the last few weeks, and they clicked together the second time through. I've been trying to figure out how to convey the power of the connection I saw. Here are the passages:

...he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree. (1 Ne 8:30)
What meaneth the rod of iron which [Lehi] saw, that led to the tree? was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.(1 Ne 15:23-24)
...and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. (1 Ne 17:41)
The connection seems obvious, and most people have probably already figured this out, but it really struck me this time through, and I did a small evaluation of my recent life. Before a few weeks ago, though I'd cracked open my scriptures periodically I hadn't established a firm schedule for scripture study, and whenever I tried things would get in the way. I'd easily rationalize missing a day and making it up later (which rarely happened). This time, I've been much more consistent - though I'm only partway through 2 Nephi and though Salad and I only just finished 1 Nephi tonight, there's been a difference. I haven't missed a single day of personal scripture study since I began, and Salad and I have missed two days due to curfew, but made them up the next day in both instances. What really interests me, though, is how much easier it is to face temptation when I've got my scripture study going. I taught that to people all the time, but I guess I never actually internalized it with anything other than my mind. I wasn't convinced it was true. It really is, though.

The words of the Lord as contained in His scriptures have a power in them to change lives and to influence people. A concerted effort to study the scriptures personally allows one an extra layer of protection against the adversary. It's not foolproof, it's not a get-out-of-jail-free card, but it lends you strength and brings you that much closer to the Spirit. How often do we forget in our angsty, internally focused lives and through our trials that we have the words of God available to us? A commonly-used cliche' Mormon concept is that to talk to God we pray, and to listen to God we read our scriptures. On a very simple level, it's true. There's obviously more to listening to God than just reading our scriptures, but it's an important step to finding the will of God and finding the strength to align ourselves to it.

That's about all. PS is anyone else excited for Conference? My psych stats teacher said that two of the Apostles, while reorganizing stakes in the Utah Valley area, said that this Conference will be Historic with a capital H. My stats professor then spread the rumor that they're getting rid of Sunday School and going to a 2-hour block of meetings. I don't know if it's true or not, but I'm pretty sure my testimony would be strengthened if that happened. ;)


1 comment:

Mormon Enigma said...

My stats professor then spread the rumor that they're getting rid of Sunday School and going to a 2-hour block of meetings.

That rumor has made its way to Texas as well.

If it's true, in some ways I think I'll miss Sunday School. I've never gotten into Gospel Doctrine class (I somehow always manage to find other 'important' things to do during the 2nd hour). But, I have enjoyed other classes, such as Family History.