Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Stiffnecked People, Helaman 5:3

What does "stiffnecked" mean?  This morning I was led to Helaman 5:3.

"Yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people, insomuch that they could not be governed by the law nor justice, save it were to their destruction."  

Last November I took a course on how to do deep tissue massage on the neck muscles.  There are really quite a number of minute muscles in the neck.  I always thought it'd be interesting to see if there were particular thoughts or emotions tied to given muscles of the body.  Some believe that the body, also called the temple, holds a record of the "Book of Life".  That each cell in the body records our daily occurrences, thoughts, and DNA.  So what does it mean if a people at large becomes stiffnecked?  Do they all  need bodywork?

For me, it means inflexibility.  My neck has been somewhat misaligned for the last week or so, and yesterday I went to the chiropractor.  His intention was to realign the vertebrae in my neck, however the muscles were so tight from it being out of alignment that it was nearly impossible for him to adjust it properly.  He said, "I'm just not satisfied with how it's moving," and recommended I return in a few days once it had loosened up from the current adjustment.  How does this compare spiritually?

Between the bones/vertebrae, the muscles, and the nerves, the neck is a major channel between the head and the rest of the body.  If you have ever awoken with a kink in the neck, you'll know how much it can irritate the whole day, or even several days, until the kink can be resolved.  Some people will even have surgery, thinking that to fuse the bones in the neck is the only fix for such things.  How sad.

Here in Helaman 5:3, we learn the people could not be governed by the law, nor by justice.  They had lost all sense of what was right.  The only direction they knew was to allow things that would prove to their destruction.  Why would a people choose such things?  Surely if they knew it would destroy them, they would choose an option which allowed for self-preservation.

The preceding verse explains a little more.  Verse 2:

"For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted."

It appears that choosing evil over good is a direct correlation.  Yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people that could not be governed by law nor justice.  They chose evil, knowing full well it was evil, and corrupted their own laws.

Perhaps the solution to any civilization which finds themselves in a stiffnecked predicament would be to soften the neck muscles, realign the perspective, and allow greater flow between the "head" and the "rest of the body".  How very symbolic.  When the neck is properly aligned, all parts of the body function more properly.  The digestive system, immune system, circulatory system, respiratory system, and in essence, all systems function properly when there is a proper connection, even a proper "flow", from the brain to the body.  If Christ is the head, and we, as individuals, are the "members" of the "body", a misaligned neck has all sorts of ramifications.  But fix the neck, clear the musculo-skeletal-nervine connection, and what a healthy body you will find!

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