"But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
2 Corinthians 3:15-18
Last night I went to this interesting enrichment meeting, and the girl who was introducing the speaker was talking a little bit about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." She said something that absolutely fascinated me when on the topic of Liberty... she was trying to define the word, and she said that she thought Liberty was "the freedom to improve." What an interesting definition... and I immediately thought of this scripture... not the whole thing, just the line, "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." It's an interesting topic to me, because the way that we look at things sometimes is that the Gospel is restrictive... so many rules, so many limitations... but just as in Alma 38 where it tells us to bridle our passions, that we may be filled with love... learning to obey the rules offers us more freedom rather than less. Learning to color inside the lines doesn't prevent us from scribbling, if we so choose... but it does offer us the freedom to go on and become an artist. Like language too... I am a writer and editor, and because I know the "rules" of grammar, know formal and informal language, know spelling rules and how to direct my language and jargon to a specific audience... so many other rules as well... I have the *freedom* to communicate to any audience, in their own colloquial language, and have my message understood and even respected... someone who never learned the rules wouldn't have the same freedom... or the same power. the same is true of most things that we learn. we gain freedom and power by knowing the rules, and what cases apply to which, etc. knowing the rules and when to use them offers incredible freedom to me... and some kid in 3rd grade who asks why he has to learn sentence structure, or get quizzed on stupid spelling seems silly to me. In God's kingdom, we are all that third-grader. We are asking why we have to learn this things that we can't see any application of, and we don't realize that the knowledge that we are gaining of rules and relationships is power, and freedom. Liberty *is* the freedom to improve... choosing not to learn is an exercise of our freedom, which then prevents us from improving. do we really want to be in third grade, or less... for eternity?
Anyway, I should talk about the rest of the scripture, eh? I like the whole veil on the heart thing, but when we turn our hearts to God, then the veil is taken away... and it's heart, not mind, not soul... when we learn to love God, to care about him the way we care about our best friend... our family... more than that even... *that's* when the Lord starts removing the barriers to our premortal existence... to our capacities for understanding... all the barriers that exist... and it starts with turning our hearts to God. and then the last verse is way incredible... it's like looking in a mirror and seeing ourselves become, day by day, Gods and Goddesses... that freedom to improve offers us new levels of understanding and being... until our faces reflect the same power, glory, truth, and radiance that dwells in God. The Spirit of God leads us to the knowledge that we need to get there... and we have all of God's power behind us for the journey. If we make the effort, we have NO chance of failure. We just have to exercise the freedom to improve.