“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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Great Illusionist by Ann Y.

I was reading Linda's post about serpents, and it got me to thinking...

I thought about Heavenly Father's plan of salvation. What a beautiful plan it is, and how simple really. If you remove all of the trappings of this world, and all of the stumbling blocks that cause us distractions, the plan becomes easy to follow. Just follow the commandments. In fact, there aren't even that many commandments to follow. I've worked for companies that had more rules than Heavenly Father has. And the reward for following the Plan the way it is written? The rewards are many: the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, a reputation for integrity, physical protection in this life, not to mention exhaltation in the next. Why would anyone not stick to the plan, then? More on this in a minute.

My next thought naturally turns to Satan and his plan. Of course, Satan's plan is to convince the souls of men to follow him into his world. Well if Satan is trying to buy the souls of men (and he is), what is he offering in return? Let's see...he wants us to break our Father's laws, and the rewards for that are also many: degredation, disrespect, often physical danger, misery in this life and much more misery in the next. So how on Earth does Satan sell a deal like that, and what kind of moron would buy it?

So Satan gets to thinking. He's got lots of time on his hands, you know (since he doesn't really have a job). Somewhere along the line, he realizes that he will never be able to sell a deal like this at face value. The only way to sell a deal like this is to make it appear to be something it's not. And so emerges the first and greatest illusionist of all time.

If anyone has ever watched a great illusionist, one knows that with the use of mirrors, the right lighting, and lots of distractions, it is possible to make even an elephant disappear right before your eyes. So it is with Satan. Instead of lighting and mirrors, he uses half truths and physical beauty. Instead of slight of hand and low lighting, he uses fun activities, the allure of wealth, peer pressure, and the accolades of men. With these and other methods of trickery, he manages to make black appear white, and white appear black. He manages to make the elephant in the room completely disappear.

I'm sure that when one looks at this world from the distance of Heaven, it is difficult to see how so many of our Father's children are led astray. But anyone who has a few years under his belt knows that Satan's magic show is so impressive, so convincing, that everyone falls for it to some degree. In fact, the only person who has ever escaped this life without falling for at least one of Satan's tricks is our beloved elder brother, Jesus Christ.

The point is not berate ourselves or others of our brethren for being tricked by the Great Illusionist. We will all at some point be distracted by the show. Make course corrections, forgive yourselves (and others) and move on. The important thing is to always keep the brass ring in sight. Try to keep a universal view of your life and remember the goal. Like in the Wizard of Oz, learn to see the man behind the curtain, and not be distracted by the light show. Remember what is true and what is not true. Also remember that what was true yesterday must still be true today. If it was wrong last year, chances are, it's still wrong, no matter what the "elite" say.

We must always ask ourselves what is most important? Remember also, that one of Satan's most devious tricks is to lead us to choose better instead of best. We must all learn to see beyond the trappings of mortality and understand the transient nature of our lives here in this realm. We have only a limited time on this Earth (as it is now) to prove ourselves and our mettle.

We must understand the Great Illusionist and learn to see that no matter how good his magic show is, we don't have time to watch.

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