Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Doctrine and Covenants 84:53-54

"And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—"
Doctrine and Covenants 84:53-54

Sometimes I wonder how it is so easy for us to know the truth and to have a strong testimony, and then to fall away, or be tempted to.  It seems too easy.  If we *really* believed, we would be stronger than that, etc.  But I think sometimes we really do believe, fervently, with everything we are, and then allow that to get buried under other things and set other priorities first.  I saw it on my mission a lot.  People would tell you an incredibly spiritual story, and then need to stop for a smoke.  Or wonder why their children weren't strong in the church, when they themselves hadn't gone for many years... still believing, and knowing that God directed the church.  And back then I swore to myself that I would never do the same... never let other things get in the way of God and fall away.  But of course, over the span of my life since then, I have often let other things get in the way.  And that's when we get so close to drifting away... because, as it says there in the second verse, our minds get darkened because we treat lightly the things that we've received.  And maybe we believe, but we don't believe enough to make it the top priority in our lives... which is in itself a kind of unbelief.  Believing that God exists and believing that he needs to be the absolute center of our lives and our first priority in everything are, unfortunately perhaps, different things, and even when we rock at the first one, often we kind of stink at the second.
So, here we are in this world, which as reported in the first verse is indeed groaning under sin and darkness.  And we see why we individually get darkened... yay.  Depressing, right?  What we really need to know is not really how we got trapped here in this dark place, but how to get OUT.  ... So, I looked that up too. :)
In Mosiah 16:9 we read about Christ: "He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened" ... he is the light that can bring illumination back into our lives.  That can restore our hope, and help us find a way out of the darkness.  Christ can stand us back on our feet, brush us off, and let us keep trying and learning to get it right.  And no one can ever stop that light from shining and showing us the way back to him.  ...And of course he is the answer.  We probably would have known that if our minds hadn't been darkened in the first place. :)  Today, whether we are a little darkened or not, let's pray and ask for light.  Might hurt our eyes a little if we aren't used to it... but that's okay.  Let's get used to it, and stay used to it, and try not to wander off into the dark anymore. :)

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