“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.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Community Rules! (1 Timothy 5:1-25)

Elephant's are emotional, intelligent and very social animals. There is an intricate set of social rules that keeps the matriarchal society functionally intact.  Because of their effective use of social skills, they are considered by those who study them to be "some of the best team players."  A few of these are: leadership, communication, clear understanding of social roles, co-operation, consensus building, mutual respect and "skillful reconciliation." 

I found it quite interesting that the main leadership role within an elephant clan falls upon the matriarch.  Typically this matriarch is the largest and sometimes the oldest female. If not the oldest, then she is most likely a close relative to the previous matriarch, or to the oldest of the clan. Her success depends upon her ability to rely on her clan's experience, natural intuition (skill), and memory of both historical events, characters and places. You might have heard it said "An old elephant never forgets." 

Leadership responsibility entails the making of critical decisions that will ensure the clan's health, safety and survival. So great is the leadership that if a matriarch is shot or poached, the herd will not flee, but will remain near the body and risk being shot as well. This deference of decision making toward the experienced, wiser, and older herd matriarch not only helps in the forming of "nearly unbreakable bonds" but also allows the next generation to learn "critical survival skills." 

In our family, our clan matriarch was my Grandmother Christine Conkey. From her I learned many valuable lessons of family life, history, politics, respect, health, and the love of nature. From her I learned to follow my role within the family and find a place in my community of other women. She created several book and educational societies for women. She ran for political office. She initiated the idea of a State Park along the shores of Lake Michigan, not 5 miles from our family farm. Many of the ideas that she taught about health, exercise, and community still help to guide me. Her faith in family and God were strong. 

Experience should not go unheeded. Communities exist to sustain, teach, guide, support, counsel, direct, convey memorable experiences, and teach timeless lessons of wisdom. Paul understood this as he taught Timothy how to organize the community of Saints and believers. He understood the need for all members of the community of believers to have both respect, purpose and place. He understood the need for widows to share their experience and wisdom with the younger generations. 

If you read this passage carefully and with an eye for society, you will see the order of community living that Paul is establishing. 

Respect for the elders (the elderly and the priesthood bearer). 

vs 1 Treat the older male members of your society with respect. Treat them as you would your own father. Treat the younger men as your own brother. 
vs 2  Treat the older women with respect.. as your own mother. Treat the younger sisters with respectful purity. 
vs 3 Show deference and respect to the widows of your community. They have experience. They have wisdom and knowledge. They have patience and love. 

Widow Rules 
1. Let their own family : children, nephews, first take care of them: food, clothing, shelter. It is good that we should all honor our parents. 
2. vs 5.  The true widow relies on her faith in God to help her through. She is desolate and in need of help. It is through her prayers that she finds help and strength. It is through others that she is cared for. 
3. vs 8.  We should provide for our own. Take care of our elderly mother's and mother in-laws. 
4. vs 9-10 In order to be taken "into the number" cared for financially (my guess) a widow must be at least 60, have had one husband, been in good report, lodged strangers, good children, or followed every good work. 
5. vs 16 Family First - Go to the church only after all measure of family has first been exhausted. Relieve them that are truly widows and have no living family to aid them.

Younger Widows.5. vs. 11-13 refuse the younger widows - they will marry. they cast off their first faith, become idle, gossips, 
6. vs 14. Younger widows - remarry, raise children, 
vs. 6 -7  If a woman is a widow and does not rely on God, but rather relies on earthly pleasures to get her through, she is indeed dead. (in spirit). She does not require our help

Elders (Men) 
vs 17 Priesthood leaders - double the honor for those who labor in word and doctrine. 
vs 18. Why? because you should not muzzle those that do the work of the Lord. And the Laborer is worthy of his reward. 
vs 19 Accusation against and Elder? - 2 0r 3 witnesses. 
vs 20 Sinning Elder - rebuke them before all. 

Community Rules 
1. Vs 21 - Respect all. Do not prefer one before another. Do not partial out one for another because of prejudice, place, wealth, etc. 
2. Vs 22 - Hands to yourself - No hitting. No touching. Keep your hands to yourself 
3. Vs 22 - Sin not - Do not partake of another man's sin (peer pressure) but keep yourself clean and pure.
4. vs 24 - drink wine for stomach ailments (Water at this time was impure and contained many bacterial contaminants. Ale was much better as it also acted as a pain killer. 
5. vs 25 - Judgement - All sin will be eventually seen. Some will be punished here and others must accept their punishment in the hereafter. 
6. vs 25 - Rewards - Like Judgments not all rewards will be recognized here on this earth, some we must wait for in God's due time. 

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