Saturday, July 5, 2014

Doctrine and Covenants 93:38-39 -- On Obedience and Independence

"Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.
And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers."
Doctrine and Covenants 93:38-39

I think it is interesting that it talks about the wicked one taking something away from us.  Not preventing us from gaining it or learning it... but taking it away.  Something that we presumably already had, or how could we lose it? :)  ... Since Christ redeemed us from the fall of Adam, we're only responsible for our own sins, not born into an already existing deficit.  So we start out innocent, and we *begin* with light and truth.  Already in us, already part of us.  We start out good.  And we learn bad... way too quickly.  Sometimes we learn it through our own actions, sometimes from our parents.  As we grow, there are many, many more sources as well.  But the good, the light, the truth... that's still our beginning.  Our core.  Something that we will recognize as we return to it.  None of us is inherently evil.  None predestined to fail.  And what we lose, we can get back, through obedience and repentance.
Sometimes we think of obedience as a bad word.  We want to be independent and powerful, and make our own choices.  Just like a little kid that says "I'm big!"  ... He doesn't want to be treated like he is little, and not be able to do the big people things.  But, exactly like that little kid, we can't graduate into independence all at once.  We need to be shielded and assisted as we learn to be more independent, little by little.  And let's not assume that we're ever ready for independence from God.  That's not even the goal.  Just like an earthly parent, he is going to stay in our lives, no matter how much progress we make.  He's not trying to get us to be separate from him... we're learning all of this so that we can be more like him.  So we can emulate him.  He is *filled* with that light and truth that we just have a little bit of.  So, today, let's find our light and truth inside, however covered with other things... it is still there.  Let's make it stronger, and let's turn to God, and let him help us.  It doesn't diminish us to value God's guidance.  It's wise.  We can get further and become more with his help and by following his example.  Obedience, at least in the case of God, leads to freedom and independence.  Just like the little kid wanting to be big.  He's not a slave.  He just learns faster if he follows the rules and listens.  And so do we. :)

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