“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pondering God's Law (Helaman (10: 1-5)

Once upon a time I was a young mother of three small children. After one hectic morning at the YMCA swimming pool my young family returned home to prepare for afternoon naps. I'm not sure who was more tired, my children or me? So when one child raced to the beat the other inside of the house and to the bathroom a very large fight erupted, causing one to knock the other around a bit more than I was comfortable with.
There I sat a young mother who had tirelessly worked to teach my children to love one another, to help one another. I had given them instruction, I took them to church where they learned moral lessons. I showed them good examples and "not so good" examples so that they might be able to learn to judge for themselves. I sang them songs to help them remember to always be kind. What went wrong? Why did they divide against me? Why did they not listen and heed my counsel and my example? Who were these young tots that were beginning to make their own choices and disobey my counsel and rules of the house?

Politics exist in every facit of our lives. They begin before we are born and continue on after our death. If you don't believe me think of the recent passing of an a elderly Hunt family member who was survived by several younger heirs. Politics are about whose in charge and how the power will be disbursed within a a family, a community, a society, and a nation. When the moral laws that dictate the behavior and judgments of a family become corrupt, the family is at risk to split, to separate, to divorce. When they can't see eye to eye, they divide.

Nephi understood this. He sorrowed deeply for the wickedness: abuse, divorce, child molestation, robbery, murder, assaults, cheating, bribery, and all of the mayhem that he saw within his community. He tried in vain to get them to listen to a better way of life. A way of life that required them to love others more than themselves. A way of life that put a higher love above their selfish desires. He understood that what happens in our families carries into our communities, our society, our state, and our country? When one is unstable and filled with chaos, both are unstable and filled with chaos.

Nephi spoke as but one voice among many who have spoken to the need for unity through moral choice. My father spoke eloquently to this point today in his blog "How Hegel and Darwin helped create Progressivism". He writes not how one man sought to keep the unity through moral choice, but rather how the influence of two men created a division of philosophical ideas within today's American society and law. These ideas have served to act as the opposition needed to help us weigh our choices. Choice is an integral part of God's plan and helps differentiate those who choose a life of liberty via the strength of morality and those who choose a life of false security via a system set to "get gain". Without choice we have not freedom. Without freedom we have no power to make educated choice. History has proven that leaders whose main goal is to "get gain" set their nation upon courses that eventually deprive their countrymen of choice.

Nephi wanted very badly for his fellow citizens to understand where their decisions were taking them. He wanted them to "exercise their choice" by pondering and thinking about the signs he gave them, the proof he offered, not for himself but for God's way of life. The reason the men accused him of wanting the glory for himself was that is the only view they knew. How could they think that he might actually want them to live honestly if they themselves did not understand the meaning of honesty? Their accusations reflected the selfishness of their own hearts.

Nephi pondered what went wrong. When things don't go as we hope, when life doesn't turn out as we plan do we ponder? Do we consider God's love and how he will continue to be in charge. God does not in tend for us to have control. We are only to speak the truth and let others make the choice for their own lives.

Words and Phrases

vs 1 there arose a division - There were those who did not beleive and those that did believe. The sad thing here is that no one stood with Nephi. He converted a few, (the 5) but no one stood with him.

vs 2 pondering the things which the Lord had shown him.... He thought carefully about all that God had revealed. He knew what was coming. He understood the wicked path his countrymen were on. They had just buried a judge who was murdered by his brother for greed and power. Greed and power had taken over the land.
vs 3 he was pondering in his heart - We don't ponder just in our head. We use love, and wisdom to help correct the mistakes of our intellect. We ponder with our hearts. We think with our minds.

vs 4 unwearyingness declared the word - As a mother I hope that I declare God's word with no wearyness. I hope that my actions, my words, and my love is received in a manner that touches the hearts of my children so that they will hear God's voice as it speaks to them and helps them see his signs in the heavens.

vs 4. what he did .. He did not fear... he did not seek gain for his own life... he sought only to do God's will. he sought only to keep his commandments.

vs 5 I will bless thee forever... wow.. what a thing to ponder. If we can learn to do God's will unselfishly... consistently.. and with unwearyness, we might just have a chance of having an eternal blessing.
What a thing to have the trust of God so that he knows that we would not ask anything contrary to the word of God. But to not ask for anything contrary to the word of God, you first have to know the word of God.

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