Friday, October 20, 2006

D&C 88:29-33

"Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift."
D&C 88:29-33

I went to this meeting with the Stake Sunday school leaders last night, and (brace yourselves) I didn't want to go.   I didn't think that I would get anything out of it... I was tired, I was hungry... I had a thousand excuses.   I went anyway... and it was great. :)  The Stake Sunday School president discussed a talk from conference called "Receiving By the Spirit."   Not the only reason it was great, but that's the one I am going to touch on today. :)
I have long been a believer that students are responsible for their education as much as teachers are. When I was teaching at a University a couple of years ago, I heard of some students that were suing the school because they hadn't gotten the education they paid for.   I'm not really arguing other possible merits of the case, but the idea that the school alone bore the responsibility for the education was an interesting one.  Just as the teacher has the responsibility to teach, the students have the responsibility to learn... the old "you can lead a horse to water" idea.
Until last night though, I don't think that I realized how hypocritical I have been.   I believed that wholeheartedly about teaching, but I hadn't really taken my idealistic idea out and applied it to myself, other than in a brick-and-mortar "school" context.   All of life is a teaching experience... God as teacher, and we as students.  He offers us lessons and gifts (maybe they are the same thing), and it is up to US to accept, incorporate, and *receive* those gifts... to learn from them, to change because of them.

In the scripture above, we basically look ahead to "judgement day" and find out what will happen. ... those who are willing to receive, who take an active part in this Earthly education, will receive all that they can learn, and become all that they can be.  However, if we just stand around wondering why God isn't spoon-feeding us, then we'll be a lot less happy. ... We're basically being showered with gifts, all the time.  And unfortunately, we look around, and pick the shiniest one, and reject all the rest.   There are hundreds, thousands of lessons that we can pick up and run with every day... but normally, we wait until the teacher threatens to paddle us before we even try to listen. ... And maybe it isn't "we" but just me. ... Nevertheless, let's all look around us today for the gifts that our Father has given us, and work on our side to receive them, to embrace them, and to learn from them, even the less shiny ones. :)

And here's a link to that talk, if you'd like to learn from someone a lot wiser than I:,5232,23-1-646-33,00.html

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Psalms 82:6

"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."
Psalms 82:6

This idea changes everything.  It shows us our potential, and it explains to us why God doesn't coddle us more.  We aren't pets or playthings... we're true children with the potential to become like our father.  As gods-in-training, life doesn't seem as overwhelming.  I mean... we're gods.  We can handle it.  Things that seem scary or uncomfortable to us seem like tiny little hurdles if we have a true perspective of who we are.  We can do anything.  I was watching a show called Heroes the other day... people who have superpowers... can teleport, resist harm, fly, etc. ... and seriously, that is us.  Maybe we haven't learned to do everything yet, or learned to use our powers wisely and for good all of the time... but we have the potential for them... for all the things that God can do.  Which, I would say, is pretty much anything.   So, today, let's remember who we are, and do what God asks, no matter how difficult.  After all, he is the one who knows our potential better than we do... and who can teach us to be better than we are.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Psalms 81:11-12

"But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels."
Psalms 81:11-12

I think this is sort of scary.  If we refuse to listen to God, then sometimes he leaves us with what we want... no matter how bad it is for us.  It's scary to think of getting exactly what you want, and then having to live with it, even though you know it isn't right. ... This is one of the reasons that we have to *change* our hearts.  We need to work on wanting what God wants... not because he is trying to control us or exert power over us, but sincerely because he knows that what we want is going to cause us trouble and pain.  Life God's way is happier than life our several ways.  It's that simple.  Not to say we can't choose to be miserable when we don't get what we want... just that in the end, getting what God wants us to have will be SO much better than getting what we want to have.

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