Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2 Nephi 9:41-42

"O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them."
2 Nephi 9:41-42


In some ways these verses sound like they are knocking education, which can't be the case.  In other scripture God tells us how much he values intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge.  He wants us to learn.  So, knowing that, a better interpretation here is that it is only when we lose humility that we're in trouble.  That's also a hard one.  God wants us to understand our individual worth, but we need to beware of pride.  I think the distinction here is an important one.  Learning and self-esteem are not the bad guys here.  The problem comes when we let anything... learning, riches, any talent or attribute we have... get in the way of our relationships with God and other people.  The second we start imagining that we are better than other people... or that we don't need God's guidance and direction in our lives is when we slip. 
We *are* cool... unbelievably so.  We're golden... children of God with infinite potential.  But we're not better than random person #4.  Random person #4 is ALSO golden, and beloved, and has all the potential we do.  And when we don't understand that (which happens fairly frequently with all of us, I think), then we're the ones with a learning problem, and we need some remedial education.  It's hard to think of ourselves as fools... we've learned so much, and come so far when we think back over our lives.  But remember, fools *before God.* ... We're always, always that.  God has so much to teach us, and often, at least with our weaknesses, we don't learn very quickly.
Today, even though it is hard, let's work on our humility.  Let's really try to see every person around us as an equal, and treat them accordingly.  Let's be golden in the way that we treat people rather than our intellectual prowess.

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