Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jesus' Wheels

Dear Josten,

Today was a delightful day at church, wasn't it?  A member of the Temple Presidency spoke to us with his wife during Sacrament Meeting.  We learned about the Holy Ghost in Primary, and after church, we got to witness a baptism and confirmation.

Twice within and after the meetings I got to walk out to the car, and in the parking lot saw two of the shiniest black cars I'd ever seen.  Both belonged to members; one to the visiting member of the Temple Presidency and the other to a member of the ward.

(photo source)

As I said, both cars were black.  One was an SUV, and one was some sort of modified hot rod.  I was struck by how shiny and clean each appeared.  They were clearly brand new – models I had never seen before on the road.  I will admit that I was struck with intense jealousy, but it wasn't that I wanted those cars, but I wanted the ability to purchase the kind of cars that hey had, if I wanted to.  We talked about coveting on the way home, and it occurred to me that this is probably one of the more less spoken of commandments of those given to Moses so long ago, and also repeated by Abinadi to King Noah.

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s."  (Exodus 20:17)

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s." (Mosiah 13:24)

The Lord goes even further in a commandment to Martin Harris, about 1829: 

And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God— (D&C 19:26)
Makes me wonder if that commandment is extended to us.  That's a whole other question I should probably not delve too far into for one post.

So when we got home, and were visiting after dinner, I posed the question: If Jesus were mortal again, and couldn't appear by descending and ascending and doing marvelous means of appearing and disappearing, what car would he drive?  I was wondering if it'd be an old jaloppy that needs a good re-paint, with broken windows and door handles, or something shiny like what I saw in the church parking lot.

(photo source)

You first guessed he would drive a Ferrari.  "No wait, a minivan."

Interesting food for thought!  I guess it's good that Jesus doesn't need to drive.  From what I have read and learned, he has much better means of transportation, way better than cars.

~Mom<3 :)  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Are We Really Idolators?

Dear Daniel,

Would I be off track if I said I think that many of us are idolators?  Meaning, we worship false gods?  You are not old enough to understand this at present.  Your favorite thing is your "BB", and that's about all you need to be happy.

There seems to be a high that comes when we find something to connect with and worship.  I remember once meeting someone who I was a major fan of.  I was so excited to meet her that I began coughing because my mouth got so dry from the excitement of it all.  I chalked it up to being excited to meet a new friend.  But no matter what I thought then, I realize now I was idol worshiping.  Oh, thou fabulous famous person, you are so much better than I am and so I'm hyperventilating at your greatness.  Kind of repulsing when I think of it.

Should we ever be so anxious/excited to see a living human being that we get that nervous?  Should we care if a human being touches our hand at a concert or devotional, simply because they're famous?  Should we hang posters of baseball players in our bedrooms, because they're quite talented?  Should we look up to them as role models?

(photo source)

In regards to our religion, I was struck by an article I stumbled upon where someone posted about the oddity of being offended when a church leader's name is read in the news without including the middle initial. I found myself guilty.  Why would I be offended that a church leader's name would be read just like any other human being, without their middle initial?  Are they all lawyers, or clothiers (like "Joseph A. Banks")?

(photo source)

Having realized this, I feel a little sheepish, reading some of the LDS themed online articles which are written solely for the purpose of allowing voyeurism of these men and women.  It doesn't feel comfortable anymore.

Putting one human being, or any kind of fandom, above or before God, is idolatry.  Worshiping a false god.

(photo source)

It might not be a golden calf, like Aaron shaped at the children of Israel's wishes.  It might be more subtle than that, but in some ways, it's still overt and highly visible, if we take a moment to ponder it.  Like my post a bit ago, where I was lamenting how little money I had.  Idol worship.  GUILTY!!!

Some worship status.  Some worship fame, or public acclaim.  Some worship worldly goods, like a fine, clean home.  Some worship news figures, some worship sports and either watch or play all day.  Some obsess over the latest music, their musical talents, or other hobbies like art, travel, homemaking, or business.  Some (like me) have trouble with addictions like facebook or texting, or even blogging or surfing the net.  Some have addictions to political parties, and only their party will save the country, the continent, or the world.  Others worship more severe addictions that I prefer not to even speak of.

As a country, President Kimball lamented that we trusted more in the arm of the flesh, building up a massive military, than the arm of God.  We worship the salvation and security promised by guns and steel, rather than praying to God for our salvation, like the Nephites or Ammonites did.  We are idol worshipers.

Daniel, it's time to change.  I'm not quite sure how, besides first becoming aware of it.  It's certainly hard to overcome our habits.  But to know Him is to overcome the idols.

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." - John 17:3