Sunday, May 25, 2014

Faith, Healing, the Weak and the Meek

D&C 35:7-15:
"And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles, for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people."  
We are identified with the Gentiles.  (D&C 109.60)  We, meaning those receiving the revelations and commandments.  Our follies and abominations shall be made manifest.  What are they?  Does abominations mean sexual sin, or something more pervasive?  I believe it means our following after false gods, but I could be wrong.

"For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name.  
(In the original writing of this revelation, the word "not" is not included.)  Do I believe enough to be shown miracles?  Signs?  Wonders?  Have I received miracles?  Have I received signs?  How about wonders?  I believe so.  I see signs in everything, from my kids bringing me inspired gifts, to messages in license plates, to flowers that seem to bloom just for my eyes.  Definitely wondrous!

"And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk."
Hmmm.  Have I asked to cast out devils?  Yes.  Have I healed the sick with faith in Jesus' name?  I don't know.  I pray as I work on massage clients that their infirmities will be healed, but I honestly can't say for sure.  Have I asked to have blind receive their sight?  Deaf to hear?  Dumb to speak?  Lame to walk?

I only know one physically blind person.  I wonder if she has asked to be healed.  Years ago my mother was searching for healing, and went to some of the finest hospitals in the land.  I remember wondering why her Priesthood blessings didn't work enough, and why she had to become an inpatient in these various places.  (Interesting wordplay on "inpatient" vs "impatient".)  She was told her body would naturally regenerate from her condition, and after 7 years would be healed.  Why wait so long?  Where was her faith?  Isn't this promised in the scriptures?  Why could she not be healed???  Where are our miraculous healings?  Why are our hospitals full, and healthcare one of the biggest problems our nation faces?  Should we not be able to have adequate faith to heal by the thousands?

"And the time speedily cometh that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men; But without faith shall not anything be shown forth except desolations upon Babylon, the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

Hugh Nibley openly describes Babylon as the marketplace.  It is mammon, finances, money, capitalism.  I was an avid capitalist for many years of my life.  I still believe in "free markets", however I also believe in the commands to have "no poor among us".  My blindness to my folly is being healed.

Without faith NOTHING shall be shown, except desolations upon the moneys of the world - the same which has made us drunk, essentially.  Or perhaps there is different meaning there.  All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her (her meaning Babylon?) fornication.  Fornication is a big word, implying cheating, infidelity, disloyalty, sexual sin.  We have united ourselves, physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to the false money gods, which is what we worship over the true principles revealed.

"And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation."

Do I do good?  Am I ready to receive the fulness of Christ's gospel?  So what if the church as a whole may reject it, or not live up to its needs.  What about ME?  God has already declared that NONE doeth GOOD, except those who are ready.  Am I ready yet?  What hinders me from being ready?

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately that bemoan the current condition of the LDS church.  I get it.  I tend to get sucked into the cause, however it's time to stop bemoaning it, and start focusing on what needs to be done.  Stir the burnt milk off the bottom of the pot, and strain it out.  And if you can't strain it out, at least get it OUT of YOU!  What are changes that you and I can do to strain out the crap that's burnt on the bottom of our pans?
"Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit;" 
It's interesting – I can't hold a Bible-bash conversation to save my life.  I don't enjoy contention, so taking on any kind of scholar, even by commenting on blogs, is very intimidating to me.  I'll have all sorts of witty things rolling through my mind in response to other commentors, but rather than attempt to share my thoughts, I back off.  This is likely not me, even though I consider myself weak.

But thrash the nations?!  By the POWER of His Spirit?  Those are power packed words, especially when compiled with the weak things, the unlearned, the despised, and in essence, the cast aways.  What are we doing to clench onto the power of this electric, blinding-light, thing called "Spirit"?

"And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them." 
This past week I had opportunity to talk face to face with someone who represented someone I was once very intimidated by.  This might sound confusing, but in essence, I was bullied by someone who had an identical twin.  I've passed this twin multiple times over the past two years, nearly every time I would enter my children's school for some event.  Each time I avoided making eye contact, especially because I couldn't tell if this was the bully herself or the twin.  She made my life hell, in the sense that for a very long time, I was quite afraid to live and function in the school I attended.  I cowered.  And over two decades later, do I want to acknowledge her, especially if it's just her twin?

Something possessed me the other day to approach her in passing and ask if she was the twin.  She was; not the bully, thank you Jesus!  I wondered what in the world I had been afraid of.  I also wondered what I found so intimidating about her sister in the past.  I'm sure she could still be intimidating, but the respect, the worship, the beauty I used to see in her disappeared.  I felt as if all my prayers to overcome the baggage I carried from this person were being answered, and the fears released; as if my arm was his arm, He was my shield, and my buckler, should I have needed one.  My loins were girded up, and my "enemy" was under my feet.  He fought my battles, and I came out protected.  Even better yet, in her perfectly coiffed hair, I noticed split ends, and had to laugh inside.  If she ever reads this, I mean no offense.  There really was nothing wrong with her, but my fears were overcome and healed.  It's likely I'll never see her sister again either, and if I did, I honestly don't think I'll care.

"And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand –"
Who are the poor and the meek?  Poor in finances, or poor in spirit?  Or both?  Who are the meek?  What is meekness?  And what is the real gospel, which is preached to them?  What does it take to be meek?

A soft answer turneth away wrath.  The meek are those who see no need to fight.  They have no need to retaliate, nor to defend their good names.  They surely don't like injustice, but they deal with it and remain faithful.  I seek to be meek.  This is one of the greatest challenges that anyone can face.  Christ is meek, and here promises that those who are poor and meek shall have His gospel preached to them.  I wonder if He means a face to face visit there.  

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