“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 1, 2014

In our bodies we shall see God. 2 Nephi 9

I pulled the dripping green wand upward from the small plastic bottle, puckered my lips and blew. Oodles of bubbles swam dreamily through the air between my thirteen month old grandson and I.  I watched as his face froze in amazement. He gasped and then his little voice began to trill a series of staccato giggles.  I’m not sure who was more amazed, he or I?  I saw him tremble with delight and then stomp his feet.  As his giggles grew louder, the sounds of his pleasure soon filled the room with raw delight.
Just a few moments before, while searching for something to ward off his boredom, I had discovered the unopened bottle of bubbles. I   He was both amazed and bewildered, over-joyed and mystified, happy for the opportunity to touch one, so round and shiny and new, and then sad when with a barely audible pop they disappeared.  By touching the fingertips of both of his hands together, he signed his desire, “more, more”.  I laughed and laughed and then took another breath and blew.

I had not realized that this was the first time he had seen bubbles. He took queue from our dogs Penny and Hobbes and began trying first to touch them and then to eat. 
Bubbles.  They are something to behold aren’t they? They are magical, light, and beautiful. They swim through the air, and in the right circumstances we can both see, hold and dance with them. They are transparent, wet, colorful mirrors of the air around us.  
And they fill us with wonder. They remind us that we need our bodies to experience joy.

Watching my young grandson experience joy for the first time helped me recognize on a deeper level, the purpose of our bodies. I see my grandson explore, touch, think, ponder, and reach for every new experience that his parents and grandparents will allow. I watch daily as his language, physical strength, and love for all of his surroundings grows. And I consider the time I have here on earth.

Jacob taught the people about their time on earth and how they too could experience not just a fleeting joy but also a more eternal joy. He says that he has read the words of Isaiah so that they might know of the covenants of God and understand that because of God’s great love for us, he wants to bless us so that when we die we will see Him.  He wants them to understand that our bodies are our connection to God and to eternal joy. He spoke about spiritual laws that bind us to heaven and to earth.  He taught, “In our bodies we shall see God.”(vs 4)

When I read these verses for the umpteenth time… I’ve read it, I’ve been taught it in Sunday school, I’ve probably even taught it, … this time I had to stop and consider that I’ve never considered that for all those who have passed on, for all of my deceased family members, the plan of salvation allows them to stand on the day of their judgment in a resurrected body.  I had to think about this because in my mind I have this picture of my body remaining in the earth. I had to question? … How many resurrected beings do I know? And remember that all of the prophets of Jesus Christ have taught that in our bodies we shall see God.

So I considered this marvelous chapter in 2 Nephi and I read about the plan for those who have not known God and I read about those who know God and rebel. And for all of them..  they shall see God in their bodies. As I read I considered my grandson’s joy and I considered how important our bodies are!

These verses helped me realize the importance of bodies, of temple work for those who are separated from their bodies, and for missionary work.  And, it made me love my body more.

It means that the temple work we do is so that when they stand before God, they will have the opportunity to stand within a clean body: one that has been baptized and given the opportunity to utilize the power of the Holy Ghost.

Resurrection is for every body. It is for all who have lived on the earth or who will ever live on the earth. It is part of God’s great plan of happiness. If we are resurrected back into our bodies, now is the time for us to learn to love our bodies and accept them as the gift that they are.

I love my body. It is not as thin as the models on the tabloid magazines, but it is healthy. I cannot eat all that the world would tempt me with for it does not bounce back from glutinousness bouts of frenzied eating, but I can still enjoy the aroma and tastes of cinnamon apples. When I look into the mirror the image no longer reflects a youthful smile, but it walks gracefully beside my eternal companion.  As I have aged it has continually increased my bodily limitations: it does not run without pain, it requires and I mean requires eight hours of regular sleep, though it still enjoys exercise it rebels at the mention of excessive exercise, it creaks in new places and causes me to slow down even when my mind wants to move, move, move. But as the years have progressed, I have learned to love my body more.

Having a body… what was the Lord thinking? Consider how all that we know comes from our body: the sweet smell of lilac on a spring day or the sound of a rhythmic rain storm, the way colors magically turn into happiness, the way a tender touch upon our arm warms our heart and how when we reach out to hold a loved ones hands it connects generations, and the way well prepared foods burst their flavors into memories.  Joy comes to us because of our bodies. 

When our spirits learn to appreciate all that our bodies offer as testimony to God’s love, we then begin to open up to the possibility of eternal joy.

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