Friday, March 21, 2014

D&C 7:8 -- On Avoiding the Hive Mind

"Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired."
D&C 7:8

This section talks about Peter and John and what each of them asked of Christ.  It is similar to 3 Nephi 28, where the Nephite disciples ask Christ for different rewards.  I thought it was interesting today because sometimes we think that God, or the gospel, or the church, or everything together is conspiring to make us all the same.  Little cookie cutter Christians... all giving the same answers in Sunday School, all baking homemade bread and canning peaches, and all with the same art on our walls and eating the same Jello. :)  And, since we believe this is a good thing, we work at conforming to the norm: wearing the same uniform, rarely talking about the things that make us individual and different.  And often we are ashamed of who we are.  But right here, in the scriptures, God tells two people that they can both have different things... and, significantly, the difference between them isn't measured in what God wants, but in what *they* want--what brings each of them joy.  It's sometimes good to be ashamed of sin, but not of who we are.  God doesn't want us to erase our personalities... Only to clean them up with a good deep scrubbing so we are prepared for eternity. :)
Now, for the record here, I am not saying that we should pursue our desires before God's will.  And I am additionally not saying that some social conformity in general is evil.  What I am saying is that God loves us, and it is okay, and accepted, and embraced, for us to express our unique personalities.  It is okay to have our own style.  And it is overwhelmingly okay to have opinions, and to like one thing more than another and to ask questions.  We don't have to smother our sense of self to be acceptable to God.  Both of these people asked Christ for what they wanted, and they both got it.  The fact that it wasn't the same thing is okay.  Similarly, our lives are spectacularly different.  If everyone doesn't ask for or desire the same things, that is okay.  We're going to find our joy in different things sometimes.  As long as we're okay with God and obeying the commandments, those differences benefit us all and help us to see different perspectives.
Today, let's try not to criticize each other because we don't want the same things.  Let's try to let each other find individual joy.  And let's be more open to still being ourselves as we learn to be more like God.  :)  Not selfishly, but just normally.  Let's remember that when God asks us to transform and become new, he means to be better versions of us, not to become some stepford-wives perfect robotic representation of ourselves.  He's asking for our inner beauty, not our inner Borg.


  1. Great perspective on this. Yes, there is plenty of room for individuality. Unity on principles, but diversity in operations and gifts and talents and even good desires.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Glad you liked it.


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